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Highly related to Maggots at a party... How would alien races dine together? but hopefully not duplicate.

I am designing my own Starfleet. I want it to be original, but I know that if I want to avoid all racial and cultural misunderstanding, it will look a lot like usual Star-Trek.

Imagine, you have universe as diverse as you can imagine. And these races, humans included, want to have joint operation star ship. So far I came up with these ideas:

  • Starfleet is purely scientific operation.
  • All members on board go through racial diversity training and are prepared to deal with alien races
  • Shifts on board are organized in a way that races who feel really "alien" to each other will meet as little as possible (example: Humans have "day" shifts while insectoids have "night" shift, so humans can eat their lunch without looking at insectoids eating their maggots)
  • Speaking of which, there is definitely more than one mess hall on the ship. So far thinking about at least two mess halls, so you can eat your food in peace.
  • Religion is contained to personal quarters, all members on board agree on purely atheistic manners.

But the last point gives me real head aches. For next parts I will use human religions only.

Even if some humans feel atheist, they still do celebrate religion-based holidays, like Christmas.

Moreover, humans tend to celebrate these holidays in groups and most of them generally agree that celebrating these holidays together is what brings real "spirit" to these holidays.

Also, take for granted, that religious people crew-members will be on board. So the question is:

Should I design one room purposed just for religious intentions on my starship?

Assumptions:

  • Building spaceship is hard
  • Bigger spaceship requires more fuel
  • Fuel is hard to get
  • Replicators do not exist in my universe
  • Holodecks are not a thing, not invented in my universe
  • Faster than light travel is a thing, for scope of this question assume that "works perfectly"
  • Majority of crew members on the ship will worship some religion
  • Given starship will be "in the wild" for at least three human years. Some stops are granted, but there can be more than two months without possibility to leave the ship
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closed as primarily opinion-based by Mołot, L.Dutch, Renan, Frostfyre, RonJohn Apr 12 '18 at 12:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ There are books with chapels on ships, there are ones without. There are real life navies with them, there are ones without. We have the same issue in real life, and no definitive, objective answer for it despite ages of experience... how answer to your "should" can be anything but personal opinion, or, at best, opinion based on the society someone was raised in? $\endgroup$ – Mołot Apr 12 '18 at 9:00
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    $\begingroup$ I feel like 90% of your question is kind of a red herring. I don't see how fuel, something about "race", Star Trek, the location of the mess hall and all of that relate to the issue. The thing is, even though you've given us a good general idea about what you want to write about, I completely fail to see the issue you have with having an all-purpose religious room or with not having such a room since ."Religion is contained to personal quarters, all members on board agree on purely ateistic manners.". I think you would greatly benefit from focusing your question around your actual question $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Apr 12 '18 at 9:00
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    $\begingroup$ You ship has meeting rooms - adepts of a religion can book a room for their services. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Apr 12 '18 at 9:03
  • $\begingroup$ So true. I failed to check how it's done today on the sea. Will delete question in about an hour $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Apr 12 '18 at 9:05
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    $\begingroup$ They could use virtual reality to join in to whatever religious mass (or any other scheduled programme) they want. Alternately, even in our culture, digital realities like MMOs (without any virtual reality added) are so prevalent that they sort of have their own culture. I could imagine a future where religious gestures and symbolism is relegated to digital spaces like that and it is nothing out of the ordinary, even for people not on a starship. $\endgroup$ – Real Subtle Apr 12 '18 at 11:49
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Space used on vessels of any kind is dictated by practical necessity not by emotional needs. Crew are going to be selected for their ability to function in a restricted and limited environment. People who can't do that won't be selected.

Moreover, humans tend to celebrate these holidays in groups and most of them generally agree that celebrating these holidays together is what brings real "spirit" to these holidays.

This of course is nothing to do with religion as such. Religion is generally about personal belief and ethics and you are confusing social interaction with religious needs.

All that is required on any vessel to fulfill all these requirements is the ability to have some form of shared or common area. On smaller vessels this is simply the entire living and working quarters as they are typically the same space. On larger vessels there is typically a dedicated mess hall mainly used for eating, but which would be a focus for communal activity.

But ultimately crew on such a vessel are specifically selected for their ability to co-exist and maintain what private space they need entirely in their heads.

A submarine would be the best model for a spaceship of this fictional type. Resources are small, quarters cramped and shared (down to sharing bunks on a shift basis) and common areas consist of practically nothing more than the absolute minimum needed for particular functions, like eating (in shifts).

Space for religious worship - in your head.

In relation to religious requirements you might note this video :

Do Muslim's Face Mecca When Praying In Space ? on the Today I Found Out channel on YouTube.

This discusses briefly some of the complications and the official position adopted by some religions on the subject.

But the bottom line for religious space on a space ship ? In. Your. Own. Head.

Shifts on board are organized in a way that races who feel really "alien" to each other will meet as little as possible (example: Humans have "day" shifts while insectoids have "night" shift, so humans can eat their lunch without looking at insectoids eating their maggots)

In practical terms this (and many related issues) is why ships would almost always have single species crews, or at most crews populated by closely compatible crews. It simply makes no sense to try and force incompatible crews together long term - it's asking for trouble.

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  • $\begingroup$ This. It so solved my problem. Thanks a lot. Worth keeping the question open for three days to give you more reward :) $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Apr 12 '18 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ @PavelJanicek Just in case and as I'm not sure what you mean by "keep open for three days" (as you're a high rep member), but the norm is to leave open forever (accepting an answer is not closing a question). $\endgroup$ – StephenG Apr 12 '18 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ I just had second thought about the question itself, if its "worth" keeping it here and not delete it forever. I will keep it up and after three days there is a bounty option. You deserve it for idea of submarine $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Apr 12 '18 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ It's your choice of course, but my view is that we should leave any question not voted off-topic by the community in place. In all honesty I think my "submarine" suggestion would probably be one many posters would have thought of, I just happened to be first up. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Apr 12 '18 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ @a4android If you are e.g. locked in solitary confinement do your religious obligations or needs stop ? I don't think so. If society around you stops conforming to your religion, do your religious obligations/needs stop ? Again, I think not. It's ultimately personal. It's function as social glue is secondary, it's primary function is to inform and enrich the soul. In restricted settings you can't generally rely on the secondary aspects, but the primary ones remain. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Apr 12 '18 at 13:21
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I would just point out that when Christianity was founded, they celebrated in their homes, even when their religion was tolerated by authorities. When Christianity became a majority religion, they generally took over civil spaces - Romans had previously used basilicas for arguing about legal matters - and not converted temples.

I'd assume if your religious crew members are small enough in number, then they'd meet in someone's quarters. If they can't fit, and your ship has meeting rooms similar to what Alexander points out in his comment, then they might gather in one temporarily.

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