Captain . . . Kirk . . . is . . . godless!

September 17, 2009

A few things have kept Star Trek on my mind lately: my interview on Point of Inquiry with a Star Trek producer on the atheism and humanism in the Star Trek universe created by Gene Roddenberry, the fact that we have been going through the whole Star Trek: The Next Generation series on DVD at home, and the fact I was immersed in the sci fi geek heaven of Dragon*Con a couple weekends ago, and saw Patrick Stewart, Leonard Nemoy and William Shatner at the event. (I'm aiming to blog about that amazing weekend in the days ahead.)

So imagine my surprise to run across an old interview of Shatner , from way back in 1968 , where he speaks openly about his atheism and lack of belief in an afterlife. If only more pop icons and celebrities would do the same today. When asked a question about whether he has religious beliefs or believes in an afterlife, he says:

"No. I don't. Emotionally I would like to believe there is a life after death. Intellectually . . . . I cannot accept the idea. . . . as for myself, I have finally come to the conclusion that life is here and now . . . and nothing more."

(via the Look At His Butt podcast, wherein two geek babes talk about Star Trek, science fiction, books, TV, the Internet, sex toys, and William Shatner's butt.)

Comments:

#1 Ben Radford on Thursday September 17, 2009 at 8:25pm

DJ Very interesting! Good job digging that up!

#2 Jim Lippard (Guest) on Thursday September 17, 2009 at 9:35pm

Celebrity atheists wiki updated:

#3 gray1 on Friday September 18, 2009 at 5:24pm

Isn’t it ironic that the Star Trek wunder welt was brought to us by so many atheistic Jews?

#4 Edwardson on Saturday September 19, 2009 at 7:57am

Great news that Shatner came out openly that early! Hopefully no conversion occurred along the way.

I was disappointed with Star Trek Voyager. They’ve got telepaths galore, among the crew (even Vulcans are telepaths!) and some alien species they encounter. Sigh. Promoted woo. And there are hints of religion being given a thumbs up—most notably in the character Chakotay.

That said, the series had a good number of episodes that touched on various ethical dilemmas—the very thing that draws me to Star Trek.

#5 DVD Rentals by email (Guest) on Monday September 21, 2009 at 4:07am

Hi,
The Next Generation series on DVD at home, and the fact I was immersed in the sci fi geek heaven of Dragon*Con a couple weekends ago..
  Thanks…

DVD Rentals by email

#6 Jesse on Monday September 21, 2009 at 3:58pm

I did some research and it looks like Shatner has embraced a very ambiguous theism.

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c44_a11930/The_Arts/Books.html

“...[Shatner]says he believes in “the mystery of God” but adds “whose God, which God?”

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