“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown. Only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”
– James T. Kirk, “The Corbomite Maneuver”
I remember the first time I watched Star Trek. Having watched 2009’s, J.J. Abrams-directed film, I immediately became captivated by creator Gene Roddenberry’s imagination. So I started at the very beginning, or as it’s called, The Original Series. And haven’t stopped watching since.
Why did I become a Trekkie and what’s this post leading to? Good point, I’m getting there. What first drew me to Star Trek was nostalgia, I have a fondness for the past and that includes TV shows. They take me to another time, to another world. Star Trek takes me there literally, with a whole universe of worlds to explore!
What I really love about the show, however, is that each episode reflects the problems and issues of the day, and asks all the deep questions that many of us struggle to answer. I’m not saying that I agree with the answers that Star Trek provides to these dilemmas, but I do applaud their openminded boldness to even ask such questions and try to tackle them. They are deep and personal things that can be painful to uncover and challenge, and yet this is the only show that I have seen take such a leap.
Lastly, I will say that I love how it explores humanity. It’s never truly about exploring new planets, though on the surface that’s what it would seem. With each new discovery, we also discover something about ourselves that makes us set apart. Whether that be compassion, creativity, love, or the thirst for freedom.
Now on to the point, I really wanted to start a blog series on Star Trek quotes that have stuck with me and have challenged me to think deeper. Although I would say this is a highly secular show, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from it as Christians. In some ways, it gives us a broader understanding of what our society thinks and feels about different subjects from a non-religious background.
The first quote, though spoken by both Captain Picard and Doctor McCoy, originated from John Dalberg-Acton, a writer, politician, and historian from the late 1800s:
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Let’s discuss this quote for a moment, and let’s see if you agree. I believe this speaks to our need of God, in that we ourselves are ill-equipped to handle access power apart from Him. This also shows that evil does exist and tends to take over well-intentioned people of power. I truly believe that without God and His authority over us, we automatically place something else in that place of authority and power, and if we aren’t careful, that something can be ourselves.
We see this in society, this erasing of God and promoting of self. It is a weakness in humans to believe we know and perceive more than our creator does. That somehow we can surpass Him in our goodness, wisdom, and power. When we start to believe this, satan takes over and that is when we start to bring about our own destruction. There is a reason we live in a world that lacks a supreme ruler, power is delegated for the sole purpose of protecting ourselves from such a predicament.
Let’s chew on this one for the time being, what are your thoughts on this subject?