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Old September 5 2012, 06:01 AM   #90
CorporalClegg's Avatar
Location: Land of Enchantment
Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

Another huge qualm I have with TWOK that I sort of forgot about but really needs to be addressed, was its introduction of over-simplified (and thus bastardized) Bentham utilitarianism.

That one simple quote has sort of, retroactively, become the credo of Trekkies world wide as sort of the end-all, be-all of Star Trek idealism. Yet it is a philosophical half-truth that is completely missing the substance and nuance. (and the point).

People seem to have twisted the whole concept around into being nothing but a numbers game, treating it solely as mathematical logic and not philosophical ["Vulcan"] logic.

I think this most notably came to fruition when Insurrection came around. (Thanks for the reminder, Netflix!)

There was an overwhelming insistence that, despite all the movies other faults, the one major hang-up people had was they felt Picard and Co. were all acting in the wrong, citing the "needs of the many" as the only reason why. But this shows a complete lack of understanding of the core concept--or, more accurately, Mill's expansion upon it, the "greatest-happiness principle," which I believe was Nimoy's, Meyer's (whoever's) real inspiration for it. In fact, if we follow both Bentham's and Mill's (And thus Spocks?) theories to their completeness, we find Picard was in the absolute right.

Now that's not to say I blame whoever put it in there for this; it was probably initially intended to be a throw-away line. And it's really up to the viewer to understand it.

My problem is it never really needed to be there in the first place. It's two complex an idea to try and show-horn into a light space adventure. The only reason they did so was so they had an excuse to shove Spock into a story he otherwise had no part in.
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