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Old January 21 2014, 11:46 PM   #11
BillJ
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Re: PD: a captain vows to sacrifice his ship and crew rather...

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post

Something else I have somehow always interpreted as one of the few excuses to ignore the PD is Spock's observation of the Organians in "Errand of Mercy". While it appears that the PD is not an issue at times of war, I nevertheless couldn't help to feel that Spock's report was having a relief character (along the lines "Damn it, we have to violate the PD but fortunately find out that we aren't doing any damage"):

SPOCK: Captain, our information on these people and their culture was not correct. This is not a primitive society making progress toward mechanisation. They are totally stagnant. There is no evidence of any progress as far back as my tricorder can register.
KIRK: That doesn't seem likely.
SPOCK: Nevertheless, it is true. For tens of thousands of years, there has been absolutely no advancement, no significant change in their physical environment. This is a laboratory specimen of an arrested culture.

If Spock provided all or some of the exceptions where not to apply the Prime Directive, I'd guess there are more TOS examples that qualify than usually assumed.

To partially answer those good questions at the end of Warped9's opening post, I'd say a lot would depend on any aliens' experience with a history like ours, i.e. are we still making (ethical) progress or have we become ourselves an "arrested culture"...?
Also mentioned in "The Return of the Archons".

SPOCK: Captain, our Prime Directive of non-interference.
KIRK: That refers to a living, growing culture. Do you think this one is?
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