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Old January 18 2013, 08:04 PM   #91
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I think one of the most interesting conundrums of the human condition, (and this was brought up in films like Good Will Hunting where the main character is giving the reasons he won't work for the NSA) is that we are constantly in this zone where we can either act on something because we think it's right in the present, or we can over-think things and not act at all, because we can attempt to formulate all of the future repercussions of that action. I think the point that Dear Doctor was making (in addition to just telling us more about Phlox as a character) is that humans are always in this uneasy precipice between these two perspectives.

as other people have pointed out over and over, "dear doctor" is NOT a smart or well thought-out episode. It uses a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution that could have been cleared up by a nine-year-old with ten minutes on wikipedia. It then USES this asinine understanding of evolution to justify an ethically monstrous decision and then pats itself on the back for its "message" about not playing God and in support of science. The fact that many Trek fans praise that episode for being "smart" is incredibly disappointing.
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Old January 18 2013, 08:12 PM   #92
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

The episode is flawed about evolution. So is Wrath of Khan about how life forms (a torpedo that can turn lifeless moons into jungle planets). Science being wholly accurate isn't the point of Trek. The point is how the characters base their decisions from it. Even you disagree with the decision made here, doesn't make it a bad episode!
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Old January 18 2013, 08:18 PM   #93
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
The episode is flawed about evolution. So is Wrath of Khan about how life forms (a torpedo that can turn lifeless moons into jungle planets). Science being wholly accurate isn't the point of Trek. The point is how the characters base their decisions from it. Even you disagree with the decision made here, doesn't make it a bad episode!

the difference is that TWOK doesn't base an ethically monstrous decision on the basis of its made-up pseudoscience. "Dear Doctor" not only does that, the writers seemed to think that they were ACTUALLY PRESENTING THE SCIENCE ON EVOLUTION ACCURATELY


TWOK never tried to pass the Genesis device off as anything other than sheer fantasy/magic.
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Old January 18 2013, 08:32 PM   #94
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Are you forgetting the moral and ethical debate between Bones and Spock? Are you forgetting that this debate was furthered in the following film when David confessed that he used shortcuts in the device?

Based on what we know about evolution, Dear Doctor has problems. However, there are a few things to consider: We only have one data set (this planet) with which to derive our position on evolution, and can't speak to whether or not two humanoid species might develop on another world. But even if we can demonstrate the flaws (I think we can, so I agree with you on that) that's not the point of the episode. The point is examining what the implications of the soon-to-be prime directive idea with what we think is moral in the present. Which was why I brought up Good Will Hunting. There have been many episodes where the Prime directive has led to conclusions that are not moral. But they do tend to make the case that Starfleet or the Federation or whomever shouldn't be the arbitrators of their version of right and wrong where they have no business to do so. This episode puts this debate through the wringer and then some, and the fact that we can argue this point until the cows come home makes the episode great.

Star Trek has never been complete accurate on Science, but it does speak to the speak to the human condition
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Old January 18 2013, 08:56 PM   #95
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

I think dogmatic, inflexible application of the Prime Directive is stupid and wrong, so saying the Prime Directive applies doesn't change anything for me. That makes it sound like you're saying non-interference is always the right course simply because the Prime Directive says so.

Also, I don't consider "Dear Doctor" to be a well-made episode. I don't find it thought-provoking - I find it insensitive, ethically dubious, and badly written. I'm not condemning it for "making us think." I'm condemning it for being, in my opinion, a stupid episode.

But if you enjoy it, I'm not going to condemn you for it. Like any work of fiction, it's subject to a variety of interpretations.
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Old January 18 2013, 08:59 PM   #96
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Well, I admire it because it doesn't just dole out action in lieu of story. I actually has a story it wants to tell, and we don't need to agree with the positions here. I'm not sure I agree with them, but the fact that the episode was made, the fact that the characters spent at least a little time talking about the issue, was only a good thing.


a stupid episode.
To me stupid episode is one that doesn't try, save to fill a deadline, like "Precious Cargo."

But if you enjoy it, I'm not going to condemn you for it. Like any work of fiction, it's subject to a variety of interpretations.
Thank you (no sarcasm, that's genuine)
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Old January 18 2013, 09:08 PM   #97
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Hm. What you just said pretty much sums up my views on "In The Pale Moonlight." I guess the difference is I find ITPM to be an all-around better episode. The way the dilemma is presented, the way the story plays out, and the way Sisko and Garak deal with the situation seems far more nuanced to me than the events in "Dear Doctor."

I don't totally agree with Sisko's actions, but I understand them. But Phlox's actions in "Dear Doctor" simply baffle me, and the way they're presented as absolutely right ruins the episode for me.
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Old January 18 2013, 09:12 PM   #98
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

They may be presented as absolutely right, but that doesn't mean they are.

In Fight or Flight, the Enterprise destroys an alien spacecraft, and they have no way knowing what the ramifications are.

The point of the series Enterprise, in my opinion, especially in the early episodes, is that, even if the characters think they are right, even if an episode preaches it as right, doesn't mean i is.

But also, another point in this thread supports the assertion that Starfleet shouldn't get involved at all in how a planet evolves, regardless of the morality. That's the point of the Prime Directive and one reason that it can make us all uncomfortable.
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Old January 18 2013, 09:59 PM   #99
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

I honestly don't understand how someone can so completely buy into "they're fated to die", yet ignore the fact that they were able to reach out for help?

If that is what the Prime Directive represents, then humanity needs to go home because they honestly don't have a clue. Nevermind all the help they got over the years in getting through their growing pains.
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Old January 18 2013, 10:09 PM   #100
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Yes, it is dubious, but that's what makes the dilemma interesting. Besides, their reaching out for help didn't get very far, they made it less than a light year from their planet. The writers could easily have made it an AM or FM transmission. That hardly matters, Archer still would have wanted to help.
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Old January 18 2013, 11:00 PM   #101
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

so why didn't he help? his doctor told him he mustn't help. there's no dubiousness. pure dogma. the only thought it provokes is 'bullshit'.
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Old January 18 2013, 11:25 PM   #102
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

"Hey Doc, I've got this giant cancer tumor growing out of me! Help!"

"Sorry pal. If you can't cut the tumor out and irradiate your body on your own, you're fated to die."
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Old January 19 2013, 12:09 AM   #103
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

False analogy is false.
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Old January 19 2013, 04:07 AM   #104
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
False analogy is false.
Did or did not the Valakians come to the stars and ask for help?
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Old January 19 2013, 04:23 AM   #105
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
False analogy is false.

explain how, I thought it was a very relevant analogy.
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