“Intolerance in the 23rd century? Improbable! If humankind survives that long, we will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between people and between cultures. We will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear. It’s a manifestation of the greatness that God, or whatever it is, gave us. This infinite variation and delight, this is part of the optimism that we built into Star Trek.
“Star Trek is an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on that day that it begins not just to tolerate, but to take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms — if we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.
“We reach maturity when we learn to value diversity — of life and ideas. To be different is not necessarily to be ugly; to have a different idea is not necessarily to be wrong. The worst thing that could happen is for all of us to look and think and act alike. For if we cannot learn to value the small variations among our own kind here on earth, then God help us when we get out into space and meet the variations that are almost certainly out there.”
— Gene Roddenberry