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Old January 22 2013, 02:49 AM   #136
JirinPanthosa
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

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The point of Dear Doctor, and the PD, is to protect members of Starfleet from having to actually make decisions based on their morality. Picard said this in an episode, I think Pen Pals.
Which is a cop out of moral responsibility. By the logic of the Prime Directive, if they came upon one of Hitler's concentration camps, they'd just let it go about it's business based on non-interference of another culture.
I think issues like these are where the Prime Directive is useful. People/societies have to learn some things for themselves. Whooshing in and telling them that it's wrong and pounding the offending party with phaser fire will only work for as long as your sitting in orbit playing babysitter. And will likely only escalate the hate that one party has for another.

I have always stated there are only two reasons to violate the Prime Directive, extinction level events and to fix prior violations.
I would add two more: Genocide and slavery.

If millions of people are murdered for no reason, they're not exactly going to gain the benefits of learning a lesson.

It's a bit too cynical for Star Trek to say that it only exists to protect us from moral choices. More, it's meant as a moral guideline to benefit from the moral philosophy of the past, like 'Do no harm' and 'Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness'. In the TV show it leads the characters to rather silly moral choices on occasion, but we have every reason to believe that 99 out of 100 times the principle leads them to good decisions.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:00 AM   #137
BillJ
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
I would add two more: Genocide and slavery.
If you include those two, you easily can get led down the path of becoming an occupying power. Certain things folks have to learn on their own.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:06 AM   #138
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

I'm going to say this again: I don't have to like what characters in a show or movie decide to do for me to like the show or movie. I think what makes Dear Doctor good is that it dares to do something that we might not like or agree with. And even if we do agree with the decision, we still might not like it. But that doesn't make this episode a bad one.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:14 AM   #139
R. Star
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post

Which is a cop out of moral responsibility. By the logic of the Prime Directive, if they came upon one of Hitler's concentration camps, they'd just let it go about it's business based on non-interference of another culture.
I think issues like these are where the Prime Directive is useful. People/societies have to learn some things for themselves. Whooshing in and telling them that it's wrong and pounding the offending party with phaser fire will only work for as long as your sitting in orbit playing babysitter. And will likely only escalate the hate that one party has for another.

I have always stated there are only two reasons to violate the Prime Directive, extinction level events and to fix prior violations.
I would add two more: Genocide and slavery.

If millions of people are murdered for no reason, they're not exactly going to gain the benefits of learning a lesson.

It's a bit too cynical for Star Trek to say that it only exists to protect us from moral choices. More, it's meant as a moral guideline to benefit from the moral philosophy of the past, like 'Do no harm' and 'Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness'. In the TV show it leads the characters to rather silly moral choices on occasion, but we have every reason to believe that 99 out of 100 times the principle leads them to good decisions.
Picard cited the Prime Directive as to why the Federation didn't intervene in the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. So.... I'd say it does cover genocide and slavery.
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Old January 22 2013, 04:52 AM   #140
Dale Sams
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

R. Star wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post

I think issues like these are where the Prime Directive is useful. People/societies have to learn some things for themselves. Whooshing in and telling them that it's wrong and pounding the offending party with phaser fire will only work for as long as your sitting in orbit playing babysitter. And will likely only escalate the hate that one party has for another.

I have always stated there are only two reasons to violate the Prime Directive, extinction level events and to fix prior violations.
I would add two more: Genocide and slavery.

If millions of people are murdered for no reason, they're not exactly going to gain the benefits of learning a lesson.

It's a bit too cynical for Star Trek to say that it only exists to protect us from moral choices. More, it's meant as a moral guideline to benefit from the moral philosophy of the past, like 'Do no harm' and 'Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness'. In the TV show it leads the characters to rather silly moral choices on occasion, but we have every reason to believe that 99 out of 100 times the principle leads them to good decisions.
Picard cited the Prime Directive as to why the Federation didn't intervene in the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. So.... I'd say it does cover genocide and slavery.
Are you sure? Seems like a political matter that doesn't need justifying.

At one point I had just assumed that Bajor being abandoned was a condidtion of the Cardsassians being caught with their pants down in that TNG two-parter.

Picard does specifically mention slavery I believe in 'Pen Pals'.

Slightly related, I just watched "Think Tank" today and Janeway asks Jason Alexander how far they're willing to go, if they have any limits? She asks the question perfectly "Just curious" so there's no moral judgement. He says they won't create weapons of MASS destruction or commit genocide. Janeway doesn't moralize or pass judgement. And waits til she gets back to her ship to comment on it. Perfect.
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Old January 22 2013, 05:15 AM   #141
Dale Sams
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Anyway..."Pen Pals" seems to imply that Starfleet ignores non-self made geological disasters that can easily be prevented. That is the height of cowardice. (not including the one with Worf's brother since that seems to have happened quickly)

Personally, I would revise FC protocals to include a civilization on the brink of self-annihilation be it unloading a nuclear arsenal or some kind of cascade thing VOY ran into in the second or third ep. Better to give them a chance of dealing with future shock then just have them all dead.

Edit: "Beverly, history has shown us time and time again, that whenever a society intervenes in the development of a less-advanced one...the results are invariably disasterous"...I would bet that the sabermetric study would show that interfering or not interfering results in the same amount of catastrophic events.

Last edited by Dale Sams; January 22 2013 at 05:28 AM.
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Old January 22 2013, 10:00 AM   #142
Nightdiamond
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

The Federation preaches non interference when it involves other culture's problems, but when its freedom is threatened they sometimes throw the rule book out the window.

The Fed got frustrated when the Romulans didn't want to get involved in the Dominion war, so they tricked them into it on their side.

If they were winning it probably wouldn't have bothered them as much, but since they were losing, they didn't care about non interference.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:51 PM   #143
BillJ
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
The Federation preaches non interference when it involves other culture's problems, but when its freedom is threatened they sometimes throw the rule book out the window.

The Fed got frustrated when the Romulans didn't want to get involved in the Dominion war, so they tricked them into it on their side.

If they were winning it probably wouldn't have bothered them as much, but since they were losing, they didn't care about non interference.
Your ethics don't do you much good if you cease to exist as a society. Federation historians and philosophers may look unfavorably on Sisko's actions, but they'll be able to pass those judgements in a free society because of those same actions.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:57 PM   #144
BillJ
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Dale Sams wrote: View Post

Personally, I would revise FC protocals to include a civilization on the brink of self-annihilation be it unloading a nuclear arsenal or some kind of cascade thing VOY ran into in the second or third ep. Better to give them a chance of dealing with future shock then just have them all dead.
Are you willing to take their weapons away though? Police their planet so they can't build more weapons? Much like children, there are some things a society has to learn for themselves.

Would I object to subtle "behind-the-scenes" nudging like we see in Assignment: Earth? Probably not. But I would object trying to overtly push a society in a direction it simply isn't ready for. You simply create resentment and distrust.
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Old January 22 2013, 04:33 PM   #145
The Wormhole
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

R. Star wrote: View Post
Picard cited the Prime Directive as to why the Federation didn't intervene in the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. So.... I'd say it does cover genocide and slavery.
That wasn't so much the Prime Directive so much as Bajor was well outside Federation territory, therefore the Federation had no jurisdiction and therefore couldn't do anything about Cardassia annexing Bajor.
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Old January 22 2013, 04:54 PM   #146
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I'm going to say this again: I don't have to like what characters in a show or movie decide to do for me to like the show or movie. I think what makes Dear Doctor good is that it dares to do something that we might not like or agree with. And even if we do agree with the decision, we still might not like it. But that doesn't make this episode a bad one.

And I'll say this again: I have no problem with good, well thought-out ethical dilemmas presented in episodes or movies. Unfortunately, the "dilemma" presented in "Dear Doctor" is NOT well thought-out, therefore the episode fails miserably.
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Old January 22 2013, 08:43 PM   #147
TiberiusMaximus
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

Your ethics don't do you much good if you cease to exist as a society. Federation historians and philosophers may look unfavorably on Sisko's actions, but they'll be able to pass those judgements in a free society because of those same actions.
True, but that alone does not automatically mean those actions were right. "The ends justify the means" is a dangerous philosophy for an entity like the Federation to have.

And I'll say this again: I have no problem with good, well thought-out ethical dilemmas presented in episodes or movies. Unfortunately, the "dilemma" presented in "Dear Doctor" is NOT well thought-out, therefore the episode fails miserably.
I agree. Because the dilemma feels forced and ridiculous, the episode falls flat.
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Old January 22 2013, 09:01 PM   #148
sonak
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post
Your ethics don't do you much good if you cease to exist as a society. Federation historians and philosophers may look unfavorably on Sisko's actions, but they'll be able to pass those judgements in a free society because of those same actions.
True, but that alone does not automatically mean those actions were right. "The ends justify the means" is a dangerous philosophy for an entity like the Federation to have.

And I'll say this again: I have no problem with good, well thought-out ethical dilemmas presented in episodes or movies. Unfortunately, the "dilemma" presented in "Dear Doctor" is NOT well thought-out, therefore the episode fails miserably.
I agree. Because the dilemma feels forced and ridiculous, the episode falls flat.

it's a shame, because there are some decent dilemmas they could have gotten out of the situation in "dear doctor." For example, what if Phlox fails to find the cure but Archer is asked for their warp technology to go find other species that might help them to find a cure? Since the episode takes place before the PD THAT would have been interesting, since Archer could have made the decision using his own judgement and it wouldn't have been a foregone conclusion.


Instead, we got a fake dilemma based on pseudoscientific nonsense by writers that love to throw around the word "evolution" but don't have the science knowledge of a bright high school junior.
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Old January 22 2013, 09:37 PM   #149
Dale Sams
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

The perfect scenario would have Archer's Enterprise receive some sort of plea into the dark from some random civilan on a world on the brink of nuclear annihilation. A few nukes are launched...Archer shoots them down...both sides think the other illegaly has satellite 'Star Wars' technology and they empty their arsenals. Archer can't shoot them all down and he realizes that the limited exchange might have prevented an all-out war ala' the novel "War Day"

But that also is kind of close to the novel "Prime Directive".
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Old January 22 2013, 09:39 PM   #150
BillJ
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Re: most "wrong" episode...

TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post
True, but that alone does not automatically mean those actions were right. "The ends justify the means" is a dangerous philosophy for an entity like the Federation to have.
We throw around "right" and "wrong", but honestly the morality of any action comes down to context. It would be wrong for Sisko to gun down Vreenak on the Promenade just to get his jollies. Sacrificing Vreenak so millions of lives are saved in the long run and the Alpha Quadrant isn't under the boot of the Jem'Hadar, is probably right. When you consider there looked to be no other way to achieve the goal that was needed.
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