Cultural Indictment: The New Star Trek

Michael Stark

I’ve been a lifelong science fiction fan, especially so of the Star Trek franchise. As a kid, I was drawn to the stories and to the ability to use reason to guide humanity past difficulties and solve complex problems (though I could not put such words to it as a child). As an adult, I more clearly see the philosophy embedded within Star Trek, especially so in The Original Series and The Next Generation incarnations.

Theologian Stanley Grenz testified to the philosophy in Trek many years ago. The opening chapter of his book, A Primer on Postmodernism, examines the shift from modern philosophy to postmodern philosophy as seen in TOS and TNG. That chapter is required reading in my intro to philosophy courses that I teach and it is coupled with an readings from Descartes and different postmodern thinkers (Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard) through the lens of James K.A…

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