On the contrary, it has to be as strict and dogmatic precisely to prevent a slow loosening up like with torture.
Hell, it has to be even more rigid as torturing runs against common decency whereas the Prime Directive is extremely
counter-intuitive, hence all the adverse reactions by fans.
First of all, no
rule should be dogmatic, which means "characterized by assertion of unproved or unprovable principles." "Dogmatic" has the connotation of being enforced in a narrow-minded manner with little or no regard to the specifics of the situation.
And it's not the PD that's counter-intuitive. You know...I really don't get you. From my point of view, you seem to be advocating the Prime Directive for all the wrong reasons. The Prime Directive is to prevent the Federation from "playing god", to stop them from taking advantage of other cultures, and to prevent them from causing even bigger problems than those they are trying to solve. The PD is the Federation's way of admitting that they don't know everything. It also comes from the knowledge that not every culture is equal - which is why there are certain qualifications to be met before a planet can join the Federation. A culture that condones child abuse or encourages slavery or engages in some other heinous activity is not welcome in the Federation.There's also the fact that some cultures simply aren't ready for the level of technology used by the Feds - it's the same principle that says you don't give a child a freakin' Bugatti Veyron for their first car. Those
are the reasons that make the PD a good idea. That's not the same as saying letting a species go extinct is the right thing to do. It's not. The Prime Directive doesn't (or at least shouldn't
) apply to extinction level events or
two active cries for help. Now, there would be situations where the Feds would be justified in turning down a cry for help, a line where they would say "Sorry, we can't get involved with this." One example would be asking for help in a war that had nothing to do with the Feds.
But you seem to be advocating the PD as engraved in stone, never to be broken or questioned whatsoever. The Prime Directive should not be a dogma, and if you think it should be you either don't know what "dogma" means or you have missed the entire point of Trek
in general and of the Prime Directive.
I'll defend it as a construct designed to keep cultures on a normal course of growth. As in, not interfering in a societies social order, preventing advanced technology from being dumped in their laps and allowing them to find on their own how they fit into the greater scheme of things.
But none of the above would prevent me from stopping an extinction level event. At the end of the day, cultures can recover from contamination, even if widespread.
I agree 100%.