Has there ever been an acknowledged Atheist character on a series?

TV Arts

Michael
I know we won't see it now with the religious wackos gaining
power but I wonder if we've ever seen it. Mike Stivic maybe? I don't
remember for sure. Just funny how these middle ages beliefs still
infest 21st century life.
                                            
rgormantelusplanetnet
Sure.  Captain Picard.  Which is funny because he used to hang out
with God.
                                            
FunkyDevil
"Q" was not God , he was part of an alien race.

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More information than you need LOL
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Origin: the Q Continuum.
Super-race able to change matter to energy and to suspend time,
existing in a continuum of the limitless dimensions of the galaxy.  A
dissident once claimed that his brethren are not omnipotent, but have
sacrificed in their evolution their mortality, sense of purpose, desire
for change, and capacity for growth.

Despite their advanced nature,the Q at times have practiced capital
punishment and life imprisonment, especially to punish those who would
leave the Continuum. The issue of suicide, viewed as an interruption of
their existence, prompted a civil war between the more liberal and the
staid Qs, seen as a series of galaxy-wide supernova bursts in 2372.

One of their kind, dubbed "Q," has several times been an intruder amid
human affairs, providing taunts and so-called tests especially for the
Starfleet crews of Jean-Luc Picard and Kathryn Janeway. His visits have
changed the Q's perception of humanity from that of savages to the
tamer "unusual creatures" that in time will not be so limited and will
in fact surpass the Q - thanks to the quality of "human compulsion."
Humans have twice affected Q affairs: when Janeway decided the suicide
issue and helped end the Q civil war.

While visits from the Q are problematic at best, not all are alike. The
El-Aurian, Guinan, advised Captain Picard, "Some are almost
respectable."

Q's home dimension once tired at last of his meddling with lesser races
and stripped him of all power, granting him his choice of a mortal
human form, until offering to allow his return after an attempted
self-sacrifice.

Q says their foreplay can last for decades. Natives measure time in the
billions of solar years, such as 5 billion for the Female Q's age. The
Continuum is "way beyond sex," which is why Q searched out a human or
other reproducible species to mate with. Even so, he designed a new
form of copulation for his wife and they bore a child.

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/library/aliens/article/70700.html
                                            
rgormantelusplanetnet
Who could create worlds and resurrect the dead.  Close enough.
                                            
Ken_from_Chicago
By that definition 21st century humans could qualify being able to
build bio-domes and resurrect the "clinically" dead.
                                            
arnold
Q's power has limits.  God's, if He exists, don't.

Arnold Kim
                                            
Ken_from_Chicago
There are more beliefs about God, Gods, Goddesses, Ancestors, Animal
Spirits, The Force, than monotheistic, omnipotent, omniscient Western
beliefs.

Q would fit quite well with many polytheistic beliefs in gods. Funky
Devil's description about Q upthread fit well with Greco-Roman beliefs
about Zeus / Jupiter--except for the not-quite-so subtle comment that
despite their advance state the Q still practice capital punishment or
life imprisonment.
                                            
Charles
And yet, there is evil in the world and he (God) can't do anything
about it supposedly because of  "free will" arguments (which never
made any sense but that's another argument). So, yeah, Q doesn't
seem to be very limited, except by other Q.

By the way, where was it stated that Picard's an atheist?
                                            
Ken_from_Chicago
There was an episode where Picard was asked about death and he replied
there was a greater universe blah blah and in other episodes they have
commented that Earth has "advanced" beyond religious beliefs--such as
in episode where they went to a planet where an alien orbitted the
planet meeting out destruction from on high, and he went by the name of
"God".

Plus Roddenberry was an atheist and took mucho reported delight in
making episodes where people were shown the folly of religious beliefs,
and thus set up Earth humans as not having religions by editorial fiat,
just like they didn't have money or buy stuff--as revealed explicitly
for the first time in an episode of DS9.

That's right, Earth humans were ... Godless communists.
                                            
arnold
Maybe he can do something about it, but chooses not to.  And since he's God 
and, again, about a trillion times smarter than any human being, it's 
entirely possible that his reasoning for doing so is beyond our ability to 
comprehend.

If there is a God, I'd imagine that second guessing him is like an amoeba 
second guessing Stephen Hawking.

Arnold Kim
                                            
Charles
If you're arguing that he chooses not to because of some (unknown)
reason, no - that doesn't work. The same argument applies whatever the
reason. Second guessing doesn't come into play. If God is viewed as
having NO limits then any such reason amounts to limiting what he can
do. The only way around this that I can see, is if God has some limits
(i.e the' took 6 days' argument that some else mentioned).
                                            
arnold
Or he wants humans to figure out the reason for themselves with minimal 
assistance from him- i.e. without him just making things the way he wants 
them to be.

Arnold Kim
                                            
Mark
Assume you are correct here. Then take "minimal" assistance to the
limit of "no" assistance. Now explain what difference it makes whether
there is a god or not.
                                            
Ken_from_Chicago
That would be the deistic view of a monotheistic god, aka "The Great
Clockmaker", God makes the universe as a person makes a clock, and sets
it running--all on its own without further interference. The universe
has rules governing its functions like a clock has gears and pendulums
and springs, cause by an intelligence source but once started then God
no longer intervenes (so that evil is the result of human will or
random chance) and leaves humanity to act on their own--at least while
they are alive.

I'm not clear on the deistic beliefs about death or an afterlife--or
about a Messiah (or if they view that Christ was a "correction" to one
flaw in the Clock and after that left humanity all alone).
                                            
Mark
I don't remember about the afterlife, but suspect they were not all in
agreement about that. But I'm pretty sure they did not consider
themselves Chirstians in any way.
                                            
Invid
Depends on what religion you follow, naturally. If there are many gods,
and some are more powerful then others, then that means that some gods
have a limit to their power.
                                            
arnold
I think it's clear that there's a difference between -a- god, and God.  We 
were talking about the latter, not the former.

Arnold Kim
                                            
Invid
Again, your God and my God are probably different. The word means
different things to different people, capital letter or no.

(George Smith's book 'Atheism' starts out stating that until you define
'God' you can't argue for or against it's existence, and since nobody's
come up with a consistent deffinition there's no reason to believe. He
goes on for another 200 boring pages, though ^_^)
                                            
arnold
I think it's safe to assume which God we're talking about.  We're not 
talking about Hindu or Greek gods here.

Arnold Kim
                                            
Invid
Yes, but my upbringing as a Presbyterian taught me that the god we
worshiped at at least some limits. I mean, it took 6 whole days to
create the earth and he had to rest! Like I said, different people view
God in different ways.
                                            
Ken_from_Chicago
Nitpick, did he *have* to rest or did he *choose* to rest?

Much can hang on a few words (e.g., "Money is the root of all evil"
versus "The LOVE of money is the root of all SORTS of evil.").
                                            
rgormantelusplanetnet
Not that we ever found.  


That we know of.
                                            
arnold
Is Q capable of creating reality, like God (supposedly) did?  From my 
understanding based on discussions with some of my trekkie friends, he 
can't.  Creating a number of worlds is one thing, creating an -infinite- 
number of them out of nothingness is something else.


That depends on how you believe God to be.

Arnold Kim
                                            
Ken_from_Chicago
Even for omnipotent God there are logical limits as demonstrated by ye
ole paradox:

Can God create a rock so big even he could not lift it?
                                            
ANIM8Rfsk
in article [email protected],


Only if he doesn't eat enough fiber.
                                            
Ken_from_Chicago
To quote the great expert on religions, Doctor Arthur Fonzarelli,
"EXACTAMUNDO!"

Beliefs about God are not monolithic--not even monotheistic beliefs.
                                            
rgormantelusplanetnet
We have no concrete reason to think they couldn't.
                                            
RichA
Not really.   
-Rich