Meta Treks 12: Just a Simple Question / by Trek fm

The Meaning of Life

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Running Time: 1 hour 23 minutes 17 seconds

Perhaps the most fundamental philosophical question, the most important question of the human condition, is the question, "What is the meaning of life?" In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling explore competing philosophical theories about the meaning of life within the Star Trek universe. Topics covered include the distinction between universal meaning and subjective meaning, meaning as progress and the Federation's progress narrative, colonialism and criticism of the progress narrative, nihilism and the lack of meaning, existentialism and self-chosen individual or cultural meaning, theism and religious meaning, finding meaning in a galactic cultural melting pot, and new questions of meaning in the 21st century that the upcoming Star Trek 2017 series might consider.


Welcome to Episode 12 (00:01:15)
Introducing the Topic (00:03:18)
Two Approaches: Capital-M "Meaning" vs. lowercase-m "meaning" (00:05:53)
Metanarratives and Peace (00:09:09)
A Crisis of Meaning in Star Trek? (00:13:58)
The Star Trek Answer: Meaning as Progress (00:17:32)
Star Trek Beyond: Colonialism and Criticism of the Progress Narrative (00:23:21)
Nihilism, Meaninglessness, and Suicide (00:34:06)
Existentialism and Self-Chosen Meaning (00:42:34)
Theism and Religious Meaning (00:47:40)
Meaning in a Cultural Melting Pot (00:53:27)
Meaning in the 21st Century and Star Trek 2017 (00:57:02)
Final Thoughts (01:00:32)


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) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

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