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Old January 30 2009, 08:13 PM   #539
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

Sci wrote: View Post
I misunderstood that, and apologize for that misunderstanding. In particular, your argument that it was anthropomorphizing the Borg to attribute malice to them was one that I had thought was arguing that they weren't experiencing emotion (and in particular emotions such as sadism and malice); in quoting the passages above, my intent was to demonstrate that the Borg do experience pleasure from causing harm to other beings.
Well, there's a middle ground. Maybe the Borg aren't completely dispassionate (at least when sufficiently provoked), but neither does that mean it's valid to interpret their motivations in purely human emotional terms. I still think it's an exaggeration to use words like "pleasure" and "malevolence" for them. I don't think they're sadists. Yes, the Queen was described as having "murderous fury," but not just out of the arbitrary desire to do harm for its own sake. That fury was a response to the specific threat that the Federation had proven to pose. The Borg adapt when faced with an obstacle, and this was a problem that required an aggressive response; therefore, this new Queen adapted by embracing an aggressive mentality. It's not the gratuitous evil of a B-movie villain, it's a response to a specific stimulus. As Dave said, it was a mandate built into her consciousness. Aggression is a fundamental drive which serves a purpose -- it motivates life forms to pursue prey or to compete for territory or to defend against predators. Of course it's an emotion, but it's also a drive that serves a function. If a tiger kills a wildebeest, you can't anthropomorphize that as an act of malevolence or cruelty.

And I didn't see anything in the passages you quoted about the Queen taking pleasure in others' suffering. I saw descriptions of homicidal fury, aggression, hatred -- all of which are responses provoked by the damage Voyager did to the Collective. "Endgame" was the Borg's Pearl Harbor. It's natural they'd respond to that with aggression, and with an intense desire to see that enemy destroyed, a desire that could be characterized as "hate." But that doesn't mean they were always driven by hate; it was a reaction to the specific context.

So just because I'm saying you can't anthropomorphize the Borg doesn't mean they're incapable of some form of emotion. Animals have emotion, after all. I'm just saying that you can't assume their motives can be described purely in human terms, or explained in terms of innate malevolence or sadism.
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