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Old February 26 2013, 05:28 PM   #62
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Star Trek: INS- Son'a/Dominion Question

sonak wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post

I'm not a believer in rigidly deontological ethics. Context matters when evaluating ethical decisions- they're not "conquering" anyone, they're relocating a small village for a vastly greater good. If you can't see that, then you're probably one of those who think a starving person should go to jail for ten years for stealing a loaf of bread.

"but he was starving!"

"it was STEALING!" "He's a thief, context doesn't matter, it's all about rigid rules that are totally devoid of the context of the situation!"
This is why you prioritize values, otherwise they constantly come into conflict. A person's right to live is more valuable than a baker's revenue, so while stealing a loaf of bread so you don't starve is illegal, it would be difficult to argue that it's unethical.

Self-determination and sovereignty are some of the most important Western values there are, values which the Federation also appears to hold as sacred. Given that, being willing to violate those principles for the sake of acquiring some dubious medical technology puts in doubt how much the Federation actually values those supposed rights.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Wait didn't Starfleet remove a group of migrants, from a planet that wasn't theirs, so they would not be harmed?

(Ensigns of Command)

And don't forget, at no point in the movie do the Baku state that they consider the ring planet to be "theirs." This comes solely from Picard.

The migrants were Federation citizens, on a planet the Federation had ceded (by treaty) to the Sheliak. Apples and oranges since the Federation had legal jurisdiction over those settlers, but not the Ba'ku.

I agree that the Ba'ku should have actually been part of the discussion regarding what to do with them and their planet. Had the Federation bothered to go down that road, no conflict or "insurrection" should have been necessary.

1. claiming that the medical technology is "dubious" is a way of rigging the argument in your favor. There is nothing in the movie to indicate that the procedure wouldn't work as advertised.
It's dubious because it was being sold to the Federation by the Son'a, who were not the most trustworthy folks to begin with.

2. Self-determination and sovereignty aren't being threatened here, PROPERTY is. The Baku would have simply been relocated to have sovereignty and self-determination on a different planet, they would have remained independent and sovereign, it wasn't an issue of conquest. So the "values clash" you refer to is actually that of the property rights of a few vs. the vastly greater good of the many.
"You can still have your self-determination and sovereignty, but we're going to force you to have it somewhere else." Uh, no. That right there is blatantly infringing on their right to self-determination.

3 the "Baku weren't asked" argument is one that gets brought up a lot, but it's kind of a silly one. There is a point in this movie when they realize exactly why they are being faced with removal, and they give no indication that they would consider doing so. The argument is basically a technicality-yes, there was never a point where Dougherty went down to the planet and directly asked "would you voluntarily relocate so that we can get this resource? We will find you a new planet and give you compensation."

It is however, pretty clear from the Baku attitude in the movie that they would have said no.
Well, why should the Federation be able to come in and demand things of the Ba'ku? That would make them bullies. A supposedly enlightened culture would be willing to engage in negotiation and compromise. Maybe the Ba'ku wouldn't want to be moved, but would be willing to allow the Federation to set up an orbital research station to the study the rings and determine how to duplicate their effects. But since the Federation opted to use deception, the Ba'ku could hardly be blamed for not automatically assuming good faith.
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