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Old January 19 2013, 06:26 AM   #106
magarity
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post
I think dogmatic, inflexible application of the Prime Directive is stupid and wrong,
Application of the Prime Directive? I always thought it was called the "Prime" Directive because it was the first one tossed out the airlock when it was inconvenient. Either that or because it was the first one trotted out as an excuse for inaction when providing assistance would be time consuming or otherwise expensive.
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Old January 19 2013, 06:33 AM   #107
magarity
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

And what if the disease wasn't smallpox but the human reaction to a Vulcan virus. But this Vulcan doing the survey was a planetologist and had no idea he had caused the outbreak.
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Old January 19 2013, 06:34 AM   #108
JirinPanthosa
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

R. Star wrote: View Post
commanderkai wrote: View Post
For one of my personal most "wrong" episodes, is For the Uniform in Deep Space 9. To summarize

Sisko: I'm pissed! Eddington embarrassed me!

Dax: Oh my, Eddington just announced he has WMDs, and he threatened to use them on Cardassian colonies!

Sisko: WHAT? We better go after him!

*Some time passes*

Eddington: See Captain, just leave the Marquis alone, you're coming after me because I hurt your feelings. You're being like this antagonist in this book I enjoy.

Sisko: Oh, I know how to catch Eddington. I'll be the bad guy! Worf! Prepare a WMD for a Maquis colony!

Whole Crew: Eh, Captain....aren't you a bit out of con-

Sisko: Shut up and fire!

*Maquis colony is just gassed by a Starfleet officer*

Eddington: Jeez, I'm supposed to be the terrorist Maquis, you're the Starfleet officer, who's supposed to uphold the morals of the Federation. Didn't you just have Worf almost extradited to the Klingons after he was accused of blowing up a civilian ship during the heat of battle?

Worf: Yeah, something about losing battles and even our lives to keep innocent civilian lives out of harm, rig-

Sisko: The continuity levels for this episode have been reached by having a Maquis plot! Now surrender, or we'll keep doing this.

Eddington: Sigh, fine. You win.

*Back on DS9*

Dax: You didn't get approval for your whole gassing a colony plan, did you?

Sisko: I knew I forgot something...Psh, they're only Maquis.

*Episode Ends*
Yeah, this was literally the equivalent of a US navy captain ordering a nerve gas attack on an Arabian village suspected of holding an Al-Qaida cell. Sisko should've been sharing a cell with Eddington. You know something is wrong with your order when, Worf, the most trigger happy guy in the Trek franchise, questions your order to fire.
Eh, I agree it was wrong, but it's not the same thing because nobody on that colony died. They just ended up switching places with the gassed Cardassian settlement.
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Old January 19 2013, 06:42 AM   #109
JirinPanthosa
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I'm not saying I agree, but there is a case to be made, and some well-known atheists have made it, that there is no freewill, and that everything is predestined.

But, more to the point, I can see the prime directove (in this case, before it was actually a directive) intent on keeping us out of the natural evolution that would haev happened, just as it did for the death of a species in Homeward.

We don't have to agree with the ultimate decision in Dear Doctor, but that doesn't make it stupid. It would have been stupid if both Archer and Phlox didn't think carefully about the decision, and moved on, but the whole episode was about a careful consideration about the meaning and implications of interference.


The point of the Prime Directive, the thing that makes it interesting for dramatic storytelling, is that you are supposed to remove empathy and emotion from the situations in which it would apply. Think about that.
I think the argument of molecular pre-destination as a replacement for the religious concept of fate is a little ridiculous. Even if it's true that, did we know the exact location of every particle in the universe, we could absolutely predict the future of the universe, then the ship arriving at that planet is part of that destiny.

And also, even if molecular predistination is true, from our perspective, we are making decisions in an uncertain future, and all we can do is predict the possible consequences of our actions. Archer knew the result of his actions was a civilization dying.

Getting back to Vreenak, the Bajorans were forced to kill way more innocent people than Vreenak in order to drive away the Cardassians. I don't see how you can make the 'The ends don't justify the means' argument here without advocating absolute pacificism in the face of all kinds of tyranny.

Inaction that causes people to die is exactly the same as action that causes people to die.
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Old January 19 2013, 08:18 AM   #110
-Brett-
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

A good episode is one in which both sides of a moral issue can be intelligently defended. "Dear Doctor" does not qualify. Phlox's position is based on religious dogma, pure and simple. Dogma that's especially appalling coming from a medical doctor. There's no logical reason he wouldn't apply those beliefs to any and every patient.

"Bat'leth to the gut? Sorry pal. If you were dumb enough to piss off that Klingon, you deserve to die. Evolution."
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Old January 19 2013, 08:44 AM   #111
commanderkai
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Eh, I agree it was wrong, but it's not the same thing because nobody on that colony died. They just ended up switching places with the gassed Cardassian settlement.
Except there is no guarantee that said Maquis colony would be able to fully evacuate without any causalities, and Sisko never checked if said colony would have enough transports to evacuate everyone as well.

I really don't think the continuation of the status quo justifies the extreme action Sisko conducted, which, as highlighted throughout the episode, was much more based on a personal vendetta, not his Starfleet duty.
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Old January 19 2013, 03:09 PM   #112
BillJ
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

The stupidity of this episode amazes me...



He works in a hospital using a tablet computer, yet isn't evolving?
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Old January 19 2013, 05:45 PM   #113
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

-Brett- wrote: View Post
A good episode is one in which both sides of a moral issue can be intelligently defended. "Dear Doctor" does not qualify. Phlox's position is based on religious dogma, pure and simple. Dogma that's especially appalling coming from a medical doctor. There's no logical reason he wouldn't apply those beliefs to any and every patient.

"Bat'leth to the gut? Sorry pal. If you were dumb enough to piss off that Klingon, you deserve to die. Evolution."


yep, also, Phlox is the same guy who was perfectly fine with transporting a slug from its natural environment and dropping it off on an entirely new planet!!! But he won't "interfere with evolution" when it comes to saving billions of sentient beings.


One of the "heroes," ladies and gentlemen-he cares more about a slug than a sentient civilization.
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Old January 19 2013, 09:33 PM   #114
CorporalClegg
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

sonak wrote: View Post
explain how, I thought it was a very relevant analogy.
For the same reason that a handful of do-gooder passengers stopping the attackers on 9/11 is different than another handful of do-gooders building a time machine so they can go back and stop the hijackers.

Whether it be time travelers with prior knowledge or explorers from another realm, it is irresponsible to influence the cogs of that alien mechanism. The PD is there to define (or is supposed to define) where that mechanism begins and ends.

It's not perfect. I was never meant to be. Its purpose is to ensure that emotions and ethics never become a variable.

Of course it never works that way because no one can ever agree on where those defined boarders are supposed to be. But that's due more to the discrepancy in the writing than the imperative itself.

Like I said before, it's not moral; it's dubiously ethical at best; and it's certainly not just; but it has to be there in any civilization that wants to explore the universe and learn from it, not influence it. Because doing so would ultimately be counter productive.

I still haven't seen the episode, and at this point I just don't care. As a rule, Enterprise is pretty terrible; that's why I haven't watched it in eight years. But to be fair, all the other shows have fumbled with the problem. They can never seem to get it right. Granted, "Pen Pals" presented the issue much better--even if Picard had ultimately said "no."

I am, however, now interested in what the group's take on The Trolley Problem would be.


BillJ wrote: View Post
He works in a hospital using a tablet computer, yet isn't evolving?
I'm not sure what you're implying here, but intellectual evolution =/= biological evolution. Knowledge is only one stage of intellectual development. However, being handed the knowledge skips over the prior steps and ultimately stunts their intellectual growth. As Bertrand Russell said, "Every increase in knowledge requires and increase in wisdom." There was no wisdom gained.

I'm sure you could teach people of Mesopotamia how to use a smart phone. But you'd never do it--for the same reason that, when your kid asks "Dad, what does pedantic mean?" You say, "Look it up."
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Old January 19 2013, 11:00 PM   #115
BillJ
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post

I'm sure you could teach people of Mesopotamia how to use a smart phone. But you'd never do it--for the same reason that, when your kid asks "Dad, what does pedantic mean?" You say, "Look it up."
But I'm not going to allow the older sibling to die so the younger one can figure it out the hard way.
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Old January 19 2013, 11:18 PM   #116
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
explain how, I thought it was a very relevant analogy.
For the same reason that a handful of do-gooder passengers stopping the attackers on 9/11 is different than another handful of do-gooders building a time machine so they can go back and stop the hijackers.

Whether it be time travelers with prior knowledge or explorers from another realm, it is irresponsible to influence the cogs of that alien mechanism. The PD is there to define (or is supposed to define) where that mechanism begins and ends.

It's not perfect. I was never meant to be. Its purpose is to ensure that emotions and ethics never become a variable.

Of course it never works that way because no one can ever agree on where those defined boarders are supposed to be. But that's due more to the discrepancy in the writing than the imperative itself.

Like I said before, it's not moral; it's dubiously ethical at best; and it's certainly not just; but it has to be there in any civilization that wants to explore the universe and learn from it, not influence it. Because doing so would ultimately be counter productive.

I still haven't seen the episode, and at this point I just don't care. As a rule, Enterprise is pretty terrible; that's why I haven't watched it in eight years. But to be fair, all the other shows have fumbled with the problem. They can never seem to get it right. Granted, "Pen Pals" presented the issue much better--even if Picard had ultimately said "no."

I am, however, now interested in what the group's take on The Trolley Problem would be.


BillJ wrote: View Post
He works in a hospital using a tablet computer, yet isn't evolving?
I'm not sure what you're implying here, but intellectual evolution =/= biological evolution. Knowledge is only one stage of intellectual development. However, being handed the knowledge skips over the prior steps and ultimately stunts their intellectual growth. As Bertrand Russell said, "Every increase in knowledge requires and increase in wisdom." There was no wisdom gained.

I'm sure you could teach people of Mesopotamia how to use a smart phone. But you'd never do it--for the same reason that, when your kid asks "Dad, what does pedantic mean?" You say, "Look it up."

sorry but this is nonsense on a lot of levels. First, you admit you haven't seen the episode-the basis of Phlox' decision is pure pseudoscience, a complete misunderstanding of evolution. He COULD NOT BE A DOCTOR if he had those beliefs, which was BillJ's point-a doctor "interferes" with the course of nature all the time. Just because it's another planet doesn't change the equation. You can't explore and make contact the way Enterprise does if you held to a rigid "non-inteference" doctrine, it would force you into isolationism for fear you'd be interfering.
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Old January 19 2013, 11:25 PM   #117
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

You can't explore and make contact the way Enterprise does if you held to a rigid "non-inteference" doctrine, it would force you into isolationism for fear you'd be interfering.
Of course that's just the point. The PD hadn't been developed. And the point of the early seasons was to capture the naivete of the crew, and the dilemma's of interfering with a culture because they had to, wanted to, needed to, or just thought they were doing the right thing, versus the unknown ramifications of doing so.
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Old January 19 2013, 11:32 PM   #118
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

but it wasnt a dilemma of "should we help or not?" it was "we mustn't help because evolution-destiny tells us not to"
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Old January 20 2013, 12:29 AM   #119
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

junxon wrote: View Post
but it wasnt a dilemma of "should we help or not?" it was "we mustn't help because evolution-destiny tells us not to"

yes! exactly-the "dilemma" doesn't work, nor is it meant to even be a dilemma-from the presentation of the episode from Phlox' point of view, we are meant to see that Archer "saw the light" when Phlox approves of him for basically accepting his nonsense pseudoscience.

This wasn't like "Tuvix"-the viewer wasn't meant to wonder about the decision, they were meant to overlook or ignore the misunderstanding of evolution on display here and respect Archer's decision.
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Old January 20 2013, 12:44 AM   #120
BillJ
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

sonak wrote: View Post
junxon wrote: View Post
but it wasnt a dilemma of "should we help or not?" it was "we mustn't help because evolution-destiny tells us not to"

yes! exactly-the "dilemma" doesn't work, nor is it meant to even be a dilemma-from the presentation of the episode from Phlox' point of view, we are meant to see that Archer "saw the light" when Phlox approves of him for basically accepting his nonsense pseudoscience.

This wasn't like "Tuvix"-the viewer wasn't meant to wonder about the decision, they were meant to overlook or ignore the misunderstanding of evolution on display here and respect Archer's decision.
Basically, it was a story that they had the end to before ever putting anything to paper. They didn't want any debate, they just wanted a pat on the back for their "bold" storytelling.

Much like Insurrection, they attempt to drive home that there is only one "correct" solution. At least Tuvix attempted to show that there was no correct decision.

It's funny, the two pieces of Trek I despise the most are the two that I know the best because of arguments like these.
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