I don't see why wanting to better oneself can only come from conflict and/or something negative.
Maybe it doesn’t have to come from conflict, but it has to come from somewhere
. Where does an android get the desire to better oneself? More to the point, how does an android come to the conclusion that better=human?
Data wants to have an emotional makeup more like the humans. The humans don’t want to have an emotional makeup more like Data. Everybody knows that human is better.
It doesn’t have to be what I suggested, that was just one idea. My idea is that it’s something the series should have addressed, and never really did.
Then how do you know you are human?
I lack the unnatural skin tone and super strength of a Soongian android, so I’ve ruled that out. I don’t know what else I might be if not human. Do you have an idea?
I think the contradiction with Data and his experience with emotions is the idea that he spent around 3 or 4 years at Starfleet Academy and possibly 5 or 6 more years on a field post somewhere before getting a LtCmdr position on the Enterprise before realising that he needed to do something about it.
If so many years elapse between Data’s activation and his assignment to the Enterprise, and he doesn’t really start trying to emulate humans until that assignment, then something about his new situation or an event around that time in his life starts him down this path. What is it? The series never really addressed the question.