When Lieutenant Marla Aster is killed unexpectedly during an away mission under Lieutenant Worf's command, Worf takes young Jeremy Aster under his wing by participating in the Klingon ritual known as "R'uustai" ("The Bonding"). In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling explore the philosophical themes of death and loss. Mike and Zachary discuss meaning and the existential absurdity of life and death, the sociological and cultural role of rituals, Jeremy Aster's escapism and the illusion of happiness, the finality of death, and the sense of powerlessness in the face of death. Finally, Mike and Zachary continue the turbolift debate between Captain Picard and Counselor Troi about the wisdom of allowing children to live aboard a starship.
Welcome to Episode 24 (00:01:07)
Synopsis of TNG "The Bonding" (00:06:00)
Initial Thoughts (00:06:46)
Death, Meaning, and the Absurd (00:12:20)
Emotions and Death (00:16:47)
Worf and Jeremy Aster (00:21:55)
The Role of Ritual (00:25:43)
Death, Pluralism, and Cultural Relativism (00:30:31)
Exploration and Meaning - The Challenger Explosion (00:41:21)
The Finality of Death (00:43:11)
The Role of Death in Life (00:45:25)
Escapism and the Illusion of Happiness (00:48:22)
Subjective Meaning vs. Objective Meaning (00:52:18)
Deep Space Nine - "It's Only a Paper Moon" (00:57:20)
Cross-Cultural Connections (01:03:45)
Children on the Enterprise - A City in Space (01:09:53)
Final Thoughts (01:18:41)
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)
Kevin C. Neece and The Gospel According to Star Trek. Hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling are joined by author and speaker Kevin C. Neece to discuss his new book, The Gospel According to Star Trek: The Original Crew.
Justice. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the various themes in philosophy of law and punishment raised by the Next Generation episode "Justice."
TNG Season 7 - Essential Trek Philosophy. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling compare their picks for Essential Trek Philosophy from season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Return to Tomorrow. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison continue the discussion from The Ready Room episode 201 about the philosophical themes of the Original Series episode "Return to Tomorrow."
Starship Phenomenology. In this episode of Meta Treks, Zachary Fruhling leads Mike Morrison on a guided meditation starship phenomenology thought experiment as a Star Trek inspired lesson in phenomenology.
Deep Space Nine Season 7 - Essential Trek Philosophy. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison compare their top picks for must-see philosophical episodes of Deep Space Nine's seventh and final season.
The Philosophy of Star Trek Beyond. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling share their initial thoughts on the philosophical themes and overall message of Star Trek Beyond.
The Divine Comedy. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the classic work of literature The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri and its relevance to the Star Trek universe.
Nationalism. In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling debate the role of nationalism and national identity within the idealism of Star Trek's vision of future society.
"Cause and Effect" and the Metaphysics of Time. In this 33rd episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison use the TNG episode "Cause and Effect" as the starting point for a discussion on the physics and the metaphysics of time.
Voyager Season 7 - Essential Trek Philosophy. From Cartesian skepticism in "Unimatrix Zero" and "Workforce," to medical and bioethics in "Critical Care" and "Lineage," Mike and Zachary talk Essential Trek Philosophy from Voyager season 7.
Speech Acts and Performative Utterances. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison consider the many kinds of performative speech acts in Star Trek, everything from starship christenings to Klingon wedding vows.
The Philosophy of Insurrection. Meta Treks hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling discuss the ethical and philosophical themes of Star Trek: Insurrection, from forced relocation and eminent domain to civil disobedience and reconciliation.
Crime and Punishment. From engramatic purges to virtual prison sentences, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the many forms of punishment seen throughout the Star Trek universe and different ethical theories about punishment.
Enterprise Season Four - Essential Trek Philosophy. Meta Treks hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling are joined by fellow Trek.fm hosts Jeffrey Harlan and Norman Lao to discuss "Essential Trek Philosophy" from Enterprise season four.
The Industrial Design Philosophy of Star Trek. From its technological and social progressivism to its roots in 1960s counterculture, Zachary and Mike explore the implicit values and assumptions behind the industrial design philosophy of Star Trek.
Euthanasia in Star Trek. From physician-assisted suicide to the ritual suicide practices of various alien races, Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling debate the ethics of euthanasia in Star Trek.
In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss Risa, hedonism, and the clash of Federation values seen in the Deep Space Nine episode "Let He Who Is Without Sin."
The Bonding. Mike and Zachary explore the philosophical themes of death and loss in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Bonding."
Vulcan Philosophy and Spinoza. Zachary and Mike examine the philosophical roots of Vulcan philosophy in the work of the Western rationalist philosopher Baruch Spinoza.
Star Trek IV and Environmental Ethics. From whale consciousness and intelligence, to whales' ability to feel pain, to whale pods and the ethics of care, Mike and Zachary have a whale of a time discussing environmental ethics down in Cetacean Ops.
Manu Intiraymi. In this episode of Meta Treks, we're joined by Manu Intiraymi to discuss his role as Icheb on Star Trek: Voyager, his appearance in Star Trek: Renegades, and his latest film project, The Circuit.
Preemptive War and Star Trek Into Darkness. Hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling examine the ethical issue of preemptive war in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Hermeneutics in Star Trek. In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss issues of meaning and interpretation in Star Trek.
Poker, Virtue Ethics, and the Prisoner's Dilemma. From virtue ethics to game theory, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling bluff their way through a discussion of the significance of poker in the Star Trek universe.
Media Ecology with Dennis Castello. Hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison are joined by editor and producer Dennis Castello to discuss media ecology and the sociological effect of different types of media within the Star Trek universe.
Alternate Realities vs. Alternate Timelines. Mike and Zachary have a followup discussion on the distinction between an "alternate reality" and an "alternate timeline" in response to Standard Orbit 115: "Wibby Wobbly Primey Wimey."