Julia Houston on The Difficulty of Paradise

By Amy
September 20, 2000 - 4:56 AM

About.Com's guide for Star Trek Fans, Julia Houston, has posted this week's feature article, 'The Difficulty of Paradise', where she discusses the ideas of paradise and how the two may go ahnd-in-hand.

The central difference, of course, between Star Trek's universe and Heaven is that the world of Star Trek is not an afterlife. Star Trek's universe is supposed to have come about because of man's technological and social improvements, not because everyone's dead and enjoying their divine reward.

But setting that difference aside, we can see that there are some rather interesting similarities between Heaven and the Enterprise.

The Star Trek Gene Roddenberry envisioned sounds like a secular paradise: no war, no hunger, and no greed. That last one, the one about greed, is the most disturbing. Roddenberry's vision suggests that people themselves can undergo great change by promoting progress in their environment. According to such a plan, people who are without suffering don't simply act better because they have no motivation to kill and exploit others. Instead, the promotion of humanity becomes an evolution on both a social and individual level. We are legitimately "better" people.

That means the task of portraying such an environment where humans are "better" people is really quite similar to portraying a Heavenly environment where the inhabitants are recognizably human, and yet act like angels.

In the full article, Julia continues with this theme, concluding with some thoughts on why Trek has gotten "darker", or perhaps not darker at all, just more complicated.

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