Monday, 7 September 2015

The moral disintegration of Star Trek as a microcosm

For John C Wright's blog:

It is sad to the point of nausea to see the most beloved franchise in science fiction slip down the sewer slide of moral relativism, and yet, ideas have consequences, and once you eliminate the anchor of Christianity as your moral North Star, your children will slid further into the twilight, and your grandchildren into the midnight. Because without Christ, there is no human yet divine person at the top of the hierarchy of being, and no law above human law.
Logic operates in thought as well as in nature, and will not cease operation merely because we do not foresee, or would prefer not to see, the end of the path on which we are inevitably being led.
If there is no law above human law, then logic says there is no law. Even if you set out with the best of intentions to retain the moral capital of Christian civilization, painfully gathered over centuries, without the philosophical underpinnings of that civilization, your arguments and your laws cannot withstand the erosion, and law is abolished. The only alternative to law is force, that is, pure tribalism. Tribalism is fending for one’s own because they are one’s own, because one has no one else to fend for you. Where there is no standard of right and wrong, and no due process, that is what is left: every tribe for itself, and the individual counts for nothing.

Because this is a logical process, even in something as innocent as a television franchise about space explorers, the philosophy will out. If your fathers accepted the deadly premise, your children taste the bitter results.

I have never been a huge fan of Star Trek - although I watched with enjoyment the original series and the Next Generation when they first came out - but the moral trajectory described in this introduction is accurate and - as Wright makes clear - all-but inevitable. The same applies to Doctor Who, which I have followed with somewhat more attention and engagement.

These series were launched in the sixties when the residue of inertial Christian morality was still effectual, and things were not as corrupt and depraved as present, but the path of secualr Leftism was established and was well advanced. Since both shows were and are about morality more than action, they are bound to show up the morality of their makers and audience, and to track the decline of this morality into self-righteous but impotent incoherence.

Of course, at their best, Doctor Who (I don't know about recent Trek verions) retains the archetypal force of its main character - and the episodes are made with cleverness, wit and skill - sometimes this can give an impression that there is, morally, more about them then meets the eye... but this is a superficial illusion. The explicit and covert morality is one of subversion of Christian and traditional values and the shoving-forward of the Leftist agenda of perpetual revolution against The Good.