However, ignoring calls for help from alien societies that are in peril and have invested into genuinly seeking assistance from the galactic community is rather harsh. To me these episodes feel like false dilemmas because they exceed what the PD is really intended to achieve.
Well, I cannot see a fundamental difference between a warp-capable species that cannot evacuate their population on time, and ask for federation assistance, and a bronze-age level civilization that knows it's doomed for whatever reason, and praying desparately to their gods for help.... a society who would be willing to contact any alien if only they had the technology for it.
I can understand the basic wisdom of the PD. More specifically, I can buy into the 'trying to preserve identities' concept. But when the only possible solution to let a species survive (i.e. to preserve any identity of that culture at all
)is to corrupt said culture to some degree, and this still gets condemned
, i think there is something wrong. (BTW, I feel a bit like Picard myself right now, ranting like that
I can also buy into the 'not wanting to play God' stuff. Problem with this is that it seems arbitrary to me, since, as star grinch already pointed out, you never
know what is going to happen in x years. For example, I can imagine that the consequences of developing replicator technology must have been pretty unpredictable when it first came available. So would be the consquences of finally developing transwarp, or eternal life/ extreme longevity, for that matter. But we still see the federation pursuing those.
So then we're thrown back to the dividing line between 'those that are ready for it and those that aren't', as it is now, development of the warp drive.
Which on the one hand, I can understand, but on the other hand, sounds a bit like 'we'd rather not share our technological advances with you because of 'unpredictable potentially destructive consequences' but if we can't prevent it anyway because you have warp drive already, we prefer that you trade with us instead of the romulans'