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Old June 23 2013, 12:36 PM   #635
Rear Admiral
Re: Destiny: Lost Souls by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
Arpy wrote: View Post
Uh, Riker was right in "The Last Outpost" regarding the Ferengi as idiots. Don't romanticize diversity. Their whole society is based on swindling those they couldn't steal from or conquer or oppress or, well, eat - remember, the Ferengi weren't supposed to be comical at first. Just because they managed to develop warp doesn't make them equals any more than Nazi Germany was just as valid at mid-century America. If you're saying that it's just their way to be...basically assholes, and they can't change being that way, I find that a perverse interpretation of cultural diversity. Is there something special about us humans that we can let go of slavery and treating women like property that other beings simply can't come to?
It's the "It's easy to be perfect in a world of Replicators and Holodecks" as that's the Bread and Circuses of the 24th century.
How would replicators and holodecks by themselves make it easy to be perfect? Couldn't replicators make it more difficult to understand the worth of things, and holodecks make it easier to become unsocial and alienated? Wealth and leisure alone do not make one a moral a person.

Sci wrote: View Post
…by what right would someone pass judgment on all of German culture based on the Nazis? … What about understanding that the Nazi era is one historical era in German history, not the defining historical era?
Exactly why Riker argued for their survival against the Tkon who was ready to kill them.

Plus Riker was telling the Tkon to spare the lives of the three Ferengi that actually were "Nazis."

Sci wrote: View Post
...Not because their lives have intrinsic value -- no. They should live so that we can spread Federation values to them. Disgusting.
This may be off-topic but what exactly do you believe are Federation values are that shouldn't be spread?

Riker was arguing that they be permitted to live in the hopes that they'd naturally evolve (you suggested the Federation teach them anything) to something other than what they'd showed themselves as: thieves and killers. In fact Riker says though the Ferengi [Alliance] may one day destroy [the Federation], that's a chance his people are willing to take in the hope that the Ferengi will change their ways. That's a pretty damn admirable, if a little too idealistic.

Sci wrote: View Post
What I am saying is that a half-hour with a few guys is not enough time to get an adequate -- or even honest -- sense of what an entire culture is like, and that even if you object to some of their philosophical values, you shouldn't act like they themselves as unique individuals are necessarily inferior or that their lives only have value insofar as you can convert them to your beliefs.
It's episodic television. Riker cut to the chase. He wasn't wrong about them. That they were farcically simplistic and loathsome wasn't the issue; that was the conceit that set up the moral dilemma actually being discussed - what to do about such a people.

Regarding the "intrinsic value of all life," here's a brain teaser, if the Ferengi were incapable of being anything but thieves and killers (if they were like the xenomorphs from Alien…alive but anti-life) should the Tkon have permitted them to be a perpetual threat or should he have eliminated the threat? As Hicks said queasily comically, "nuke them from orbit"?

Finally, Phipps, if the remaining survivor of a race is a mass murderer, I say it is genocide and wrong to kill them in the 24th century. Given their level of psychiatric and genetic-engineering/cloning tech, I'm sure both the murderer and their race could be saved. Not that most people would want to.
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