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Old May 24 2012, 05:55 PM   #16
DavidGutierrez
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Location: Texas
Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

To be sure, the Dominion were the aggressors. Obviously, they fired the first shot. Of course they were prepared to utterly annihilate the governments of the Alpha Quadrant. I'm not saying war wasn't inevitable. Even in my other thread, I never meant to imply that the Dominion wouldn't have to be fought.

What I'm saying is this: if one abandons the principles for which one is fighting, what is the point of fighting for them? War is hell (part of why it should be avoided at all costs and used only as a last resort).

I have also not forgotten about Section 31 and don't condone their actions or existence to begin with.

I thoroughly enjoyed the drama on DS9 and I know the writers intended to show a darker side of Trek, but from an in-universe perspective, I wish the characters had remembered more of their principles on the outset.
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Old May 24 2012, 06:04 PM   #17
MacLeod
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

In times of war sometimes principles are comprimised.
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Old May 24 2012, 06:10 PM   #18
DeganTNG
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Location: Birmingham, Al, USA
Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Well the show manufactures the circumstances the characters react to. The could make either choice the "correct" choice. For instance in the episode The First Duty, Wesley ultimately chooses to tell the truth because it is the right choice. The writers said they had an alternate scenario in mind where the correct choice would be to lie because it protects the team.

Therefore in the show the writers chose to make the correct choice the more morally ambiguous ones in order to show the horrors of war. It doesn't seem to be unreasonable to think that the writers could have made the correct choice the morally "righteous" choice more often. It may not have as much dramatic impact on the viewer, but it would be more faithful to the world the characters live in as established by that world's creator.

TNG couldn't negotiate with the Borg thats true, but they couldn't negotiate with a storm either. That was the point. They were a unique entity without reason.

Star Trek doesn't have to present a war as it would occur in the real world, because star trek is not the real world.
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Old May 24 2012, 06:55 PM   #19
Edit_XYZ
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

DavidGutierrez wrote: View Post
What I'm saying is this: if one abandons the principles for which one is fighting, what is the point of fighting for them? War is hell (part of why it should be avoided at all costs and used only as a last resort).
If your moral principles are such that you break them by defending yourself (or defending yourself half-way effectively), then your moral principles are fundamentally suicidal in this universe and any group following them will disappear from the universe shortly, outcompeted - enslaved/exterminated/etc - by others.
Indeed, the only way such a group can survive for any period of time is if another group (with more down-to-earth principles) protects the first one.

I have also not forgotten about Section 31 and don't condone their actions or existence to begin with.
Without S31's actions, Odo's attempt at the end would have amounted to nothing.
By praising Odo's actions as 'the way to do it' you indirectly praise S31's actions as 'the way to do it'. Denying this - or claiming the contrary - doesn't change it.

DeganTNG wrote: View Post
Well the show manufactures the circumstances the characters react to. The could make either choice the "correct" choice. For instance in the episode The First Duty, Wesley ultimately chooses to tell the truth because it is the right choice. The writers said they had an alternate scenario in mind where the correct choice would be to lie because it protects the team.

Therefore in the show the writers chose to make the correct choice the more morally ambiguous ones in order to show the horrors of war. It doesn't seem to be unreasonable to think that the writers could have made the correct choice the morally "righteous" choice more often. It may not have as much dramatic impact on the viewer, but it would be more faithful to the world the characters live in as established by that world's creator.

TNG couldn't negotiate with the Borg thats true, but they couldn't negotiate with a storm either. That was the point. They were a unique entity without reason.

Star Trek doesn't have to present a war as it would occur in the real world, because star trek is not the real world.
So, you essentially want children's tales, to tell you cushy facts that blatantly contradict reality, just because reality is too inconvenient for your ivory tower, cushy philosophying?

No, thanks.

BTW that was the greatest weakness for TNG. Annoying, when it was obvious that, from a real world perspective, the 'correct' choice was noting of the sort; in most other circumstances where it occured, it merely diluted the show with simplistic/unrealistic black/white with nothing in between - it was just like watching a cartoon for 6 years old.
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Old May 24 2012, 07:10 PM   #20
DeganTNG
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Hmm

"Without S31's actions, Odo's attempt at the end would have amounted to nothing.
By praising Odo's actions as 'the way to do it' you indirectly praise S31's actions as 'the way to do it'. Denying this doesn't change it."


That's a bad premise. That's like saying the only way someone can be seen as to be a good guy is if there are people acting terribly, and therefore we should thank the horrible people for making us look good.

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"So, you essentially want children's tales, to tell you cushy facts that blatantly contradict reality, just because reality is too inconvenient for your ivory tower, cushy philosophying?

No, thanks.
BTW that was the greatest weakness for TNG. Annoying, when it was obvious that, from a real world perspective, the 'correct' choice was noting of the sort; in most other circumstances where it occured, it merely diluted the show with simplistic/unrealistic black/white with nothing in between - it was just like watching a cartoon for 6 years old."


Star Trek is beyond the current world, it's not likely that the morality and ethics of people in that society would be the same as you would find today. Just like the morality and ethics of our world are much different then the 1700s.

And it's not sugarcoating something to look for the best in people. Take "In the Pale Moonlight" for instance. While it was great dramatically, and it was interesting to see a different take on a problem it just didn't feel like Star Trek.

Why couldn't they have come together to fight against a common enemy without duplicity. It's just a simple matter of the writer's choosing which choice is the right choice.
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Old May 24 2012, 07:22 PM   #21
Sjaddix
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Please I see nothing wrong with Pale Moonlight. The Romulans have never been close Federation Allies, not to mention give the amount of backstabbing and assassination that regularly occurs amongst Romulans. That might be the one move they respect.
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Old May 24 2012, 07:59 PM   #22
sonak
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

DavidGutierrez wrote: View Post
To be sure, the Dominion were the aggressors. Obviously, they fired the first shot. Of course they were prepared to utterly annihilate the governments of the Alpha Quadrant. I'm not saying war wasn't inevitable. Even in my other thread, I never meant to imply that the Dominion wouldn't have to be fought.

What I'm saying is this: if one abandons the principles for which one is fighting, what is the point of fighting for them? War is hell (part of why it should be avoided at all costs and used only as a last resort).

I have also not forgotten about Section 31 and don't condone their actions or existence to begin with.

I thoroughly enjoyed the drama on DS9 and I know the writers intended to show a darker side of Trek, but from an in-universe perspective, I wish the characters had remembered more of their principles on the outset.

if you try to be morally pure when fighting a war for survival, you'll end up unable to defend your principles anyway when you're conquered, enslaved, or worse.
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Old May 24 2012, 08:33 PM   #23
Edit_XYZ
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

DeganTNG wrote: View Post
Hmm

"Without S31's actions, Odo's attempt at the end would have amounted to nothing.
By praising Odo's actions as 'the way to do it' you indirectly praise S31's actions as 'the way to do it'. Denying this doesn't change it."


That's a bad premise. That's like saying the only way someone can be seen as to be a good guy is if there are people acting terribly, and therefore we should thank the horrible people for making us look good.
Not quite.
It's saying Odo's good deed would have achieved nothing - without S31; that it was not the way to end the war - without S31.

It's not generalising anything - AKA your "only way someone can be seen as to be a good guy" is unjustified.

It doesn't say Odo's not a good guy; merely saying that he would not have been a successful good guy without S31; as such, it's a poor argument for the ideas you - and DavidGutierrez - support.

It's saying that the only way Odo's action could support your position is if one somehow 'forgot' about S31's contribution.

"So, you essentially want children's tales, to tell you cushy facts that blatantly contradict reality, just because reality is too inconvenient for your ivory tower, cushy philosophying?

No, thanks.
BTW that was the greatest weakness for TNG. Annoying, when it was obvious that, from a real world perspective, the 'correct' choice was noting of the sort; in most other circumstances where it occured, it merely diluted the show with simplistic/unrealistic black/white with nothing in between - it was just like watching a cartoon for 6 years old."


Star Trek is beyond the current world, it's not likely that the morality and ethics of people in that society would be the same as you would find today. Just like the morality and ethics of our world are much different then the 1700s.
It's not about society, it's about the objective universe, which won't change regardless of time, society or what one would want.

Game theory - the best strategy for action in games such as 'the prisoner's dilemma'? It's NOT being generous and compassionate all the time; indeed, if you try this, you will inevitably loose.

Not that one has to recourse to game theory. Look at history. You think being compassionate all the time translates into you surviving?

And it's not sugarcoating something to look for the best in people. Take "In the Pale Moonlight" for instance. While it was great dramatically, and it was interesting to see a different take on a problem it just didn't feel like Star Trek.

Why couldn't they have come together to fight against a common enemy without duplicity. It's just a simple matter of the writer's choosing which choice is the right choice.
As said - it doesn't feel like star trek because the star trek you look for cheats to always put forward situations that are black/white.
This happens seldom in the real world, during war.

How many times have cold warriors - or enemies - liked each other in history?
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; May 24 2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old May 24 2012, 08:50 PM   #24
Pavonis
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

DavidGutierrez wrote: View Post
What I'm saying is this: if one abandons the principles for which one is fighting, what is the point of fighting for them?
What principles do you think the Federation and Starfleet abandoned? They never claimed to be pacifists. They tried to reach out diplomatically to the Dominion. They did their best to avoid war, while the Dominion was doing its best to sow discord among the Alpha Quadrant powers and had planned an assault against the Federation long before the UFP was even aware of the Dominion.

Frankly, I just don't see any principles that were abandoned in the name of defending said principles.
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Old May 24 2012, 11:04 PM   #25
Photon
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Pavonis wrote: View Post
DavidGutierrez wrote: View Post
What I'm saying is this: if one abandons the principles for which one is fighting, what is the point of fighting for them?
What principles do you think the Federation and Starfleet abandoned? They never claimed to be pacifists. They tried to reach out diplomatically to the Dominion. They did their best to avoid war, while the Dominion was doing its best to sow discord among the Alpha Quadrant powers and had planned an assault against the Federation long before the UFP was even aware of the Dominion.

Frankly, I just don't see any principles that were abandoned in the name of defending said principles.
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Old May 29 2012, 08:45 PM   #26
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Odo ends the war by being the most Starfleet-esque person in the show! He reaches out and shows compassion for an enemy, conquering the enemy by making her a friend.
That was a nice ending, but completely implausible. The Female Founder was a ruthless genocidal maniac throughout, but what she really needed all along was a hug. What baloney.

DS9 generally gets high marks for earning its dramatic twists and not asking the audience to accept implausibilities just because the plotline needs them to, but that wasn't one of DS9's better moments in terms of writing.

It's obvious that what happened was, the series was ending and the writers needed to wrap things up in a way that didn't a) have the Federation lose or b) have the Federation win by doing something awful. Trouble is, they'd written themselves into a corner by that point and option c) - do something implausible that the fans can't complain about because it's over and it's too late for complaints - was the only alternative left.

You could also argue that they really chose b) anyway. The Female Founder would have never given in simply because of Odo's, or anyone's kindness if she hadn't been severely weakened by the S31 disease.
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Old May 29 2012, 08:54 PM   #27
Sindatur
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Odo ends the war by being the most Starfleet-esque person in the show! He reaches out and shows compassion for an enemy, conquering the enemy by making her a friend.
That was a nice ending, but completely implausible. The Female Founder was a ruthless genocidal maniac throughout, but what she really needed all along was a hug. What baloney.

DS9 generally gets high marks for earning its dramatic twists and not asking the audience to accept implausibilities just because the plotline needs them to, but that wasn't one of DS9's better moments in terms of writing.

It's obvious that what happened was, the series was ending and the writers needed to wrap things up in a way that didn't a) have the Federation lose or b) have the Federation win by doing something awful. Trouble is, they'd written themselves into a corner by that point and option c) - do something implausible that the fans can't complain about because it's over and it's too late for complaints - was the only alternative left.

You could also argue that they really chose b) anyway. The Female Founder would have never given in simply because of Odo's, or anyone's kindness if she hadn't been severely weakened by the S31 disease.
Getting Odo back into the fold, was always priority Number 1 for the Female Shapeshifter, more important than waging the war, itself, IMHO. With Odo willing to return to the Link, and having the added bonus of Odo curing the entire link (Or allowing their entire race dying off), I don't think it's implausible at all, that she was willing to call a truce and surrender herself. I don't believe it had anything to do with gaining a new appreciation of the solids, or being convinced by Odo the solids shouldn't be hated, or anything like that, I don't believe her attitude about the Solids changed in any way. I think it was exactly what dialogue told us, Odo returning, and providing the cure.
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Old May 29 2012, 08:56 PM   #28
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Getting Odo back into the fold, was always priority Number 1 for the Female Shapeshifter, more important than waging the war, itself, IMHO.
That doesn't wash. If that's what the Female Founder wanted, she could have made Odo an offer he couldn't refuse during the occupation of DS9 - return to the Link and we'll end the war. The fact that she didn't make that offer shows that Odo's return was not a vital reason for the war.

Why couldn't they have come together to fight against a common enemy without duplicity. It's just a simple matter of the writer's choosing which choice is the right choice.
Wow. You really do want children's stories then, if you want the writers to spin some BS where the "nice" choice is always possible. Reality just isn't that considerate. Often the choices are between Bad and Worse. DS9 was honest about that, but as the ending shows, not always totally honest.
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Old May 29 2012, 10:29 PM   #29
Sindatur
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Getting Odo back into the fold, was always priority Number 1 for the Female Shapeshifter, more important than waging the war, itself, IMHO.
That doesn't wash. If that's what the Female Founder wanted, she could have made Odo an offer he couldn't refuse during the occupation of DS9 - return to the Link and we'll end the war. The fact that she didn't make that offer shows that Odo's return was not a vital reason for the war.

Why couldn't they have come together to fight against a common enemy without duplicity. It's just a simple matter of the writer's choosing which choice is the right choice.
Wow. You really do want children's stories then, if you want the writers to spin some BS where the "nice" choice is always possible. Reality just isn't that considerate. Often the choices are between Bad and Worse. DS9 was honest about that, but as the ending shows, not always totally honest.
Oh, no, I didn't mean to indicate getting Odo back was the reason for the war, but, I'll betchu if Odo had agreed to go back earlier, in exchange for ending the War, she would have. But, again, in the finale, she had the added burden of allowing her race to die off by not agreeing with Odo's proposal or the added benefit of her race being cured by accepting.
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Old May 29 2012, 10:53 PM   #30
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet, but it's no different than essentially every war fought by anyone ever. The Cardassian War brought out the worst in Robert Maxwell. Old antagonisms against the Klingons brought out racism in Kirk. Shadows of the Romulan War impeded the crew in Balance of Terror. Just as war is important, in each and every single example, is how our heroes regain their humanity after that.
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