See, the difference in those latter situations is that they're dealing with an actual, legitimate threat and not a vague sense of "threat" possibly brought about by depression and deepened with self-justification.
I'm confused that this misunderstanding persists. It's not a "vague sense" of anything. Sisko lived with beings who existed in the future
. Who didn't just have a sense of what the future might hold, but who directly experienced what actually would happen.
While he lived with the Prophets, he saw the future too. And while he doesn't remember specifics, he remembers knowing for a fact
that they'd be in danger if he stayed. Why is that so difficult to comprehend? It was spelled out quite clearly in the book, I thought.
What's more, those characters whose family member sacrificed their lives or freedom to protect them usually understand or have it explained to them why - whereas Sisko, for his first year, didn't even do that much.
Maybe he didn't, but that's not the issue. The key question isn't whether what Sisko did was right. Well-drawn characters are allowed to make mistakes, and that's part of what makes them interesting. The issue at the core of these persistent and very repetitive BBS debates is whether Sisko's actions were in character
for him -- whether it was believable that a Ben Sisko in the circumstances he was placed in, with the knowledge and convictions that he had, would have chosen that course of action, right or wrong. So the key question here is
about his motives, because that's what's being attacked and misrepresented in these debates. I'm far from convinced that he did the right thing, but I think that under the circumstances, he acted in character and in what he believed was good faith. He chose to sacrifice himself out of his love for his family. Nobody's saying that what he did was nice and beautiful and satisfying. But he was convinced it was the lesser of two evils, that the alternative was even worse.