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Old February 26 2013, 06:31 AM   #383
UFO
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Re: I hope for more traditional space battles

Set Harth wrote: View Post
So in other words, X is wrong because it is X?
Pretty much. I was just cutting to the chase.


BillJ wrote: View Post
However small it is, there is a chance Nero could pull a rabbit out of his hat and survive the collapse of the Narada. If he survived (remember he had a collection of craft aboard), he could become a huge problem somewhere else in the timeline.
To me his chances look like zero but because the visuals are a bit ambiguous its a pity that wasn't covered in the movie.

Saul wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
UFO wrote:
It is mostly wrong because we are robbing Nero or anyone in his position of their remaining life and that hasn't been removed.


However small it is, there is a chance Nero could pull a rabbit out of his hat and survive the collapse of the Narada. If he survived (remember he had a collection of craft aboard), he could become a huge problem somewhere else in the timeline.

This sounds more like an argument that Kirk is wrong for simply doing something any other rational being would do in his place. It's not about the action taken, it's about whose taking the action.


I count seven photon torpedoes fired from that clip, four from the Enterprise and three from the Excelsior. with there being three separate firings (1,2,1 from Enterprise and 2,1 from Excelsior) and no one stopped to even give Chang the chance to surrender.
His ship was still a threat since they couldn't see it, only the explosion from the first torp and they had to stop an assassination.
Exactly. There was no time to stop and ask Chang how badly he was hit. Nor did they have another gas seeking missile ready to go. In that situation you keep firing till the battle is over or someone surrenders. That scene was nothing like the one with Nero where the shooting had well and truly stopped.


yousirname wrote: View Post
UFO wrote: View Post
Ignoring sensors, observed damage, and such like, the fact that Nero is talking rather than shooting might be clue. If he is so offended by Kirk I am not even sure there was a point in talking anyway.
I am not ignoring sensors or damage. The information Kirk has is not sufficient to establish that Nero is weaponless, that's all.
There is no way you can know that. On the other hand. Nero (a guy not known for his diplomacy) wasn't firing and neither was Kirk. That should tell you something. If Nero was a threat, Kirk would have demanded his surrender first, before offering help. The whole scene was clearly intended to show Nero was defenceless.

And I donít agree we (nor Kirk) know the things you went on to assume we do. Eg. We donít know Krik can save Nero. Kirk barely saved himself! Not that knowing them would justify anything in my view. The assumption it does is your unsupported opinion.
I don't really care if Kirk can or can't save Nero. Indeed, if he can't, all that does is remove one of the reasons why killing him would be wrong. But he appears to think that he can, so I dealt with that issue anyway.

Yeah, it's pretty clear that you and I approach the issue differently and with differing ethical assumptions.
I can't help but think you may have differing ethical assumptions to the rest of the known universe. Which is not to say you are "wrong", however let's look at the ones that supposedly combine to make killing people (I'm still thinking mostly Nero) "OK":

yousirname wrote: View Post
His death is imminent and inevitable

It can be avoided with Kirk's help

Given the exhaustive and compulsory choice 'Die or accept Kirk's help' Nero prefers death

Kirk can reasonably suppose that attempting to forcibly rescue Nero represents an unacceptable risk to him or to his crew or to his ship, or to all of the above

No-one currently exists who will mourn Nero

What the above facts do is remove, one by one, every objection I can raise to Kirk pulling the trigger.
I think your average police force would take a contrary view. I note the business about the victimís mental state is missing form that list however. Preferring death doesn't cover it.

yousirname wrote: View Post
This is just a word game. Suppose that my very dear friend is suffering from a painful and debilitating illness. So crippling is this affliction that, though his pain is such that he wants nothing more than to die, he is unable even to end his own life. This friend asks me to assist in his suicide. Initially I agree, since I have determined using my criteria that it is not wrong to do so.

Now suppose that, just as I am about to painlessly inject him with a lethal dose of morphine, a thought occurs to me. Say, Bill, I ask him, even though in your current circumstances you want nothing more than to die, wouldn't you prefer to not have this disease? And Bill responds Don't be an idiot, of course I would.

Now, if Bill didn't have his illness, it would certainly be wrong of me to inject him, wouldn't it? Your reasoning would seem to imply that it would be wrong of me to inject him even though he does.
OK lets try again: For some reason, one of your criteria is that someone has to be "indifferent to their pending death" By demonstrating that Nero would accept help from the right quarter if it had existed, my counterfactual shows that he wasnít indifferent to his death even in the actual situation he faced. If someone is indifferent to their death they wouldnít care if they could be saved. I think we agree Nero would care if only to continue his revenge and his attempts to make the universe safe for Romulans everywhere. By your own rules therefore, you have to hold off on pulling the trigger.

With respect to your example above, I have never argued we should base our decisions on situations that are not the case. But such situations could tell us something about the actual case.

As for whether you would be right to inject poor old Bill, that could depend on a number of factors beyond his illness and his desire for death (how long-term his desire is, pain relief etc). But assuming they are accounted for, I have no issue with voluntary euthanasia. The voluntary bit is important however! Nero didn't volunteer from where I was sitting.

I note with interest that your example only invokes one of your "criteria" (A) above.

Yeah, as I say, clearly we disagree. All I'll say is that your opinions are no less subjective and arbitrary than mine.
I am not being subjective in the sense that I donít have to try to figure out how someone is feeling in order to decide if its "OK" to kill them or not. That is dangerous. We disagree on how Nero is feeling for example (although I trust that has now changed ). Based on more agreed moral principles, I would say its not OK no matter how he is feeling if I don't have his agreement along with any other relevant criteria (see above). Even then it can be debateable depending on circumstances.

As for my views being arbitrary, all moral principles probably come down to some sort of axiomatic position but generally one that has some social agreement, which yours do not appear to. In fact quite the reverse in my view.


I am saying that given circumstances X, Nero's state of mind is Y, and therefore Z, it is acceptable to pull the trigger.

You are responding by telling me that if circumstances were ¨X, then Nero's state of mind would be ¨Y, and therefore ¨Z (it is not acceptable to pull the trigger). And you are claiming ¨Z even though X is in fact the case.
No, as demonstrated above, my counterfactual showed that Nero's state of mind was never Y, even in the actual situation (that turned out to be your subjective impression), and thus it was never OK to pull the trigger even by your criteria.

However, if a crazed Vulcan is on board the Enterprise who can and will blow up the ship, then it is not possible for Kirk to rescue Nero (even if he beams Nero on to the Enterprise, Nero will die when the Vulcan destroys the ship), (¨A). Therefore Kirk will not save lives by attempting to rescue Nero, (¨B) and therefore Kirk must not rescue him (¨C), and in fact (I would argue) is compelled to pull the trigger (D).
That would at least give Kirk the excuse he so desperately needs. Though it is not the stuff heroes are made of.

Last edited by UFO; February 26 2013 at 07:36 AM.
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