The Importance of Friendship in Star Trek

One of the strongest thoughts on friendship in the history of philosophy was by Aristotle. Aristotle describes 3 types of friendships: wish, value, wanting to help. The first two types have a primary motive in gaining something yourself. The focus of these 2 types tend to be short lived and don’t develop character.

In the final type, people are centered on someone else. These friendships take time. They require constancy through hardship and devotion to each other. The goal is to work building the other up. This friendship develops the character of each partner.

James Kirk, Leonard McCoy, and Spock share their friendship beyond the confines of the Starship Enterprise and Starfleet service

James Kirk, Leonard McCoy, and Spock all seem to be at such opposite ends of the spectrum that a friendship between them would be doubtful. Instead, the e

xperiences shared by each proves that their bond is stronger than one would believe. On the other hand, Aristotle believed that this type of friendship required similarities to grow. That isn’t necessarily true. Dedication and respect for each other must remain constant. It requires the will to stick with someone during a disagreement and continue to seek the betterment of others we don’t have much in common with. This can also be seen in the friendship and interactions between Lt. Worf and Commander William Riker. They are at odds concerning beliefs and culture but continue to respect each other.

Friendship is in community. In Star Trek, we see humans experience the misunderstandings and growing pains of expanding that community to increasingly encompass those we don’t fully understand.

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