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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 19 2012, 01:19 AM   #46
Vanyel
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Vanyel wrote: View Post
The Boraal were saved for selfish reasons. Then put onto a new planet where they did not belong, which would devastate them or the planet.
If the Boraal died on their home world, or on their new world yes they would in both cases be dead, but by taking them to a new world they had a chance to survive, remaining where they were meant certain death. If their arrival meant the destruction of the ecosystem and they died from that, they still would have had a chance for life.
If their arrival meant the destruction of the new planet's ecosystem, they would die. No ecosystem, no life, no chance. The arrival of the Boraal would be the introduction of a foreign life form into an ecosystem not equipped to deal with it. The consequences of such an act are usually devastating to the invaded ecosystem. Look what's happened here with the introduction of fire ants, killer bees, the brown tree snake and others. Some animal species gone extinct, some industries threatened. Moving a species from one planet to another may be the feel good we did the right thing, but really thinking about it, did you do the right thing? For the Boraal a quick, albeit frightening death, or a long slow death. Or do you move them again, and again, and again? Or is it just one move per customer?
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Old September 19 2012, 02:28 AM   #47
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

Vanyel wrote: View Post
The arrival of the Boraal would be the introduction of a foreign life form into an ecosystem not equipped to deal with it.
Please remember Vanyel, the Federation engages in interstellar colonization, Humans (just as a example) are on dozens of worlds. Moving the Boraal isn't a one of a kind experiment, they know how to do this because moving a intelligent species from one world to another is something they have considerable experience in.

If their arrival meant the destruction of the new planet's ecosystem, they would die. No ecosystem, no life, no chance.
True, that unlikely hypothetical could happen. But again, if they stay where they started, they definitely die out as a species, all that they are would be gone.

It's the difference between a statistical probability, and a absolute certainty.

... the introduction of fire ants, killer bees, the brown tree snake and others
When did any of these introductions kill off all the Humans in a certain area?

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Old September 19 2012, 03:29 AM   #48
Vanyel
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

And Star Trek and other scifi shows gloss over the fact that just because a planet has what it needs to support Human/Vulcan/Andorian life does not mean it can. They would only have a slightly greater chance of surviving on an alien world than on their doomed one. Like I said, quick or slow death. The chances of finding a world that would not kill the Boraal is miniscule. To find one in the time allotted during Homeward would be impossible.

Humans in Trek engage in Terra Forming. From what TWoK, and TNG's Home Soil tell us is that if life is there no Terra Forming allowed.

Going from a macro to a micro scale, the Bubonic plague came Europe from Asia leaving villages barren of human life. Half the population of Europe died. Small Pox was brought from Europe to the Americas and untold millions of Native American were wiped out. Again villages were left empty. Micro invaders, in a new ecosystem killed on untold scales, and it's happened more than once in human history.
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Old September 19 2012, 06:26 AM   #49
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

Vanyel wrote: View Post
The chances of finding a world that would not kill the Boraal is miniscule. To find one in the time allotted during Homeward would be impossible.
This assumes that the Boraal star system is in the far off reaches of the galaxy and not in the interior of the Federation. If it is in the interior, then the surrounding star systems would be thoroughly surveyed, and the chore of selecting a suitable replacement world for the Boraalans would be no more involved than simply checking the records on the local neighborhood. The Vacca star system was a mere forty two hours away.

Beverly Crusher
:
"There are countless M class planets in Federation space which can support the Boraalans."

Half the population of Europe died
Yet when Amanda moved in with Sarek, half the population of Vulcan didn't croak.

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Old September 19 2012, 08:32 AM   #50
Vanyel
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Vanyel wrote: View Post
The chances of finding a world that would not kill the Boraal is miniscule. To find one in the time allotted during Homeward would be impossible.
This assumes that the Boraal star system is in the far off reaches of the galaxy and not in the interior of the Federation. If it is in the interior, then the surrounding star systems would be thoroughly surveyed, and the chore of selecting a suitable replacement world for the Boraalans would be no more involved than simply checking the records on the local neighborhood. The Vacca star system was a mere forty two hours away.

Beverly Crusher
:
"There are countless M class planets in Federation space which can support the Boraalans."

Half the population of Europe died
Yet when Amanda moved in with Sarek, half the population of Vulcan didn't croak.

What would they have been thoroughly surveyed for? To catalog it, or to determine if it's a possible place for a colony? Then if it is for a colony, a colony for who? Humans? Vulcans? Andorians?

Then is it possible to accurately determine what each species on the new planet, could do to its new inhabitants. The Boraal weren't going to be kept in a habitat like the Lunar colony (didn't that one female cadet on the Valiant tell Jake about coming from Luna and going outside the habitat with her father?) or the Mars Colony.

There are too many variables involved, too many possible out comes, only one in which the Boraal survive. Chances are far greater that they would die out on the new world, than survive. Yes there is a slim chance that the Boraal would beat the odds. I will admit "slim" is better than "no" but is it worth the risk to the other planet? No one seems to care about the life that already exists on their new home and if there is a life form on that planet that would grow to be intelligent in a few million years if not for the Boraal.

By the time of Amanda and Sarek, and indeed any interplanetary cooperation and commingling, the medical science would have been at a point where disease would no longer be a factor. What I mean is that each planets science teams would come up with medication or vaccines to protect the new comer, in this case Amanda from infecting the Vulcans and them from infecting her.
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Old September 19 2012, 10:49 AM   #51
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

Since contamination by a single species (especially a sapient humanoid one) often happens yet never kills a world in Star Trek, it follows that the decision to move the Boraalans was safe and sound in that respect. Whether Star Trek is realistic isn't really an issue here, because the safety of the Boraalan transfer is inherent in the show format where all the myriad humanoid species and Earths are perfectly interchangeable. Any attempt at inserting "realism" in this respect would collapse the entire story format.

Besides, for a small group of Boraalans to kill a planet, even the darkest "realistic" scenarios would involve timespans of several generations. Plenty of time to amend the situation afterwards. The minuscule group of Boraalans would not notice any of the amending anyway, as they would only cover and control an insignificant fraction of the planet and would have no means of observing the rest.

What Nikolai did here was comparable to what Kirk did in "Paradise Syndrome", except he didn't reveal forbidden things to the natives quite as much. Any later corrective action would also be comparable to that episode. The argument really is which of these episodes is the greater mystery, the greater divergence from the Star Trek norm on dealing with ignorant natives in mortal distress. Both are extreme cases with seemingly absurd underlying premises...

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Old September 19 2012, 03:44 PM   #52
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

I just don't see how this could end without the Boraalan culture being contaminated. Assuming they have any sense of astronomy they'll notice the stars have changed, and unless they confined themselves entirely to their village they're bound to see that the geography of "their" planet has also changed.

The only real question seems to be how adversely that will impact them.
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Old September 19 2012, 03:46 PM   #53
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

But why should that be a question at all? Any degree of contamination, including half of them turning into addicts of a horrible drug and prostituting the other half to pay for the stuff, would be vastly preferable to extinction. Specifically, any degree of contamination would be ultimately reversible in its ill effects.

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Old September 19 2012, 03:53 PM   #54
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

Who are we to assume that the Boraalans would consider any degree of contamination preferable to extinction? If you want a precedent, the Caeliar as a species would rather go extinct than abandon their pacifism. If one is willing to abandon their morals in the face of extinction, then one should also be willing to admit that their morals are...flexible.

I assume I don't even have to point out that it's dangerous to assume that any degree of cultural contamination can be reversed.
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Old September 19 2012, 04:00 PM   #55
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

Who are we to assume that the Boraalans would consider any degree of contamination preferable to extinction?
That's the most automatic assumption a human being would make. And it's certainly no worse than all the other human assumptions our heroes make in the course of the show.

But that's neither here nor there. The assumption is irrelevant: the salient fact is that by going for survival, one gives the Boraalans the choice. By going for extinction, one eliminates all choice.

If you want a precedent, the Caeliar
Thankfully, not canon. There's no actual Trek precedent for a species that would vote for self-annihilation; even if lunatic individuals make such a claim, they are shouted down eventually (say, "Ensigns of Command").

I assume I don't even have to point out that it's dangerous to assume that any degree of cultural contamination can be reversed.
You mean, not dangerous at all?

Even if contamination could not be reversed, so what? No harm done. Not in comparison with death and denial of all choice.

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Old September 19 2012, 04:06 PM   #56
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

Okie-dokie.
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Old September 19 2012, 04:17 PM   #57
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

...Not that I'd see anything wrong with your way of thinking in the context of the show, where our human heroes indeed seem to have a callous attitude about death in general, and death of others in particular. It's just that the idea of choosing death over life is so alien to our way of, well, life, except in cases where death can be argued to decrease suffering. Be that the victim's, or the killer's... No such considerations would seem to apply in the "passive euthanizing" of the Boraalans.

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Old September 19 2012, 04:27 PM   #58
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

I just think the way the Prime Directive is used in the 24th century is wrong. You invade a species territory and infiltrate their society without asking then you refuse to help when they face an extinction level crisis.

When you get into that close of a relationship with another species, I think you take on certain obligations. You take on the obligation not to interfere but at the same time I think you take on an obligation to protect them from things they may not understand as threats to their species as a whole. The Federation is extracting reams of knowledge yet offers nothing in return to these fledgling species.
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Old September 19 2012, 07:32 PM   #59
Vanyel
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

BillJ wrote: View Post
I just think the way the Prime Directive is used in the 24th century is wrong. You invade a species territory and infiltrate their society without asking then you refuse to help when they face an extinction level crisis.

When you get into that close of a relationship with another species, I think you take on certain obligations. You take on the obligation not to interfere but at the same time I think you take on an obligation to protect them from things they may not understand as threats to their species as a whole. The Federation is extracting reams of knowledge yet offers nothing in return to these fledgling species.
So a preindustrial society can have comets and asteroids moved out of their path, but a society like ours gets hit just because we understand the threat? How is that fair?

ETA:
What about societies no more advanced that the Boraal that evolved on a planet orbiting a Red Giant or Hyper Giant. Right now we know those stars are going to go super nova with in the life span of our sun. For some species their sun will explode way before they even know that the stars are suns. Does Starfleet move them too because they are being observed and don't understand the threat their own sun is to them?
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Imogene, get serious! Who do you think you're talking to?! I've known you for 27 years, and all I can say is, if God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time! And so would the rest of us!
--Julia Sugarbaker

Last edited by Vanyel; September 19 2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old September 19 2012, 08:04 PM   #60
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Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

Vanyel wrote: View Post

So a preindustrial society can have comets and asteroids moved out of their path, but a society like ours gets hit just because we understand the threat? How is that fair?
One has a choice on whether it puts its collective resources towards preventing its own extinction while the other does not. You're far more likely to want to save a toddler, who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, from getting hit by a bus which is a threat it doesn't understand than trying to save someone who darts across a busy intersection everyday to save a minute or two.

One understands the ramifications of reckless actions while the other doesn't know the potential threat exists.

You'll never be able to save every species and no one here has said that you should even try, but you do have a responsibility to those you're exploiting for personal gain. Or else the Federation is really no different than the Klingons or other races that exploit less advanced cultures.
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