Brutal Strudel wrote:
Well, I was rather serious about it myself, though I went out of my way to point out that such a situation is not to be found outside of SF. In fact, that's what makes it truly disturbing: BSG gave us a situation where the morally indefensible choice was the only viable option then fell back onto a somewhat self-congratulatory moral absolute. In my book, there are no moral absolutes; all morality is situational, all ethics are relative.
I find it disturbing that most people who defend the choice to try to destroy all Cylons by a biological weapon, committing a genocide, are the ones who take the self-righteous moral absolute stance, apparently unable to recognize that there is anything morally wrong with such a choice. If they said "Yes, I know this is a crime, that it is wrong in many ways, but it is understandably a good choice under those circumstances", I wouldn't have such a problem. But they act as if this was an undeniably right thing to do, and condemn Helo for doing the moral thing and refusing to commit a genocide. Even worse, they claim that he is a traitor for disobeying a direct order to commit genocide. I guess they must also think that the Nuremberg defense ("I was just following orders") was completely legitimate, eh?
The premise used for defending genocide in that situation in BSG, is the same premise used for defending war crimes and genocide many times in real life. The difference is that in real life, propagandists claim that this is just what has to be done for the survival of 'our people' against the cruel enemy; while BSG, it being SF, created a situation where it might have been true. But once people accept the premise that it's OK and even necessary and commendable to commit genocide in retaliation for genocide, or that it is a treason for a soldier to disobey the order to commit a war crime, I can see them buying into that kind of propaganda (which, unfortunately, I am all too well familiar with) in real life as well.