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Old January 30 2013, 11:14 PM   #31
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

I'm sticking with my assumption that there can't be a caste system without discrimination. It seems inherent in the very concept of it.
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Old January 30 2013, 11:34 PM   #32
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Timo wrote: View Post
Depends on the definition of discrimination, I guess. Today, it's atypical to yell "discrimination" if only people of a select gender are allowed to become pregnant or only those with a certain nationality are allowed to vote in certain elections. The "lot in life" inherent in being born to a caste might not warrant moral outrage amounting to discrimination charges, not in all cases.
Um, what? Are there massive amounts of people complaining that only women can become pregnant? Is there some vast conspiracy that is preventing men from becoming pregnant?

You got me lost here...

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I'm sticking with my assumption that there can't be a caste system without discrimination. It seems inherent in the very concept of it.
Yes, I, too, would like to understand how a caste system can work without any form of discrimination.
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Old January 31 2013, 08:31 AM   #33
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I'm sticking with my assumption that there can't be a caste system without discrimination. It seems inherent in the very concept of it.
Yes, I, too, would like to understand how a caste system can work without any form of discrimination.
It doesn't. Discrimination is inherent to the very concept of caste.

"Separate but equal" is a lie, pure and simple.
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Old January 31 2013, 09:58 PM   #34
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

So is the idea that something could be "not discriminatory".

Everything we ever do, discriminates. Everything we ever think, discriminates. "Equality" doesn't exist. If you see it somewhere, you are just being blind or biased.

Thus, it is a very relevant point whether the discrimination inherent in a caste system would be less tolerable than that inherent in all other systems. You can't vote in a Finnish election, Sci. That is discrimination, but that is good discrimination we all support, with arms if necessary. In turn, I can't vote for or against my favorite US Presidential candidate. A caste system need not be too different from this: different rights for different people, but none of it particularly malevolent or detrimental.

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Old February 1 2013, 04:17 AM   #35
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Timo wrote: View Post
So is the idea that something could be "not discriminatory". <SNIP> Thus, it is a very relevant point whether the discrimination inherent in a caste system would be less tolerable than that inherent in all other systems.
The relevant question is, "Is it oppressive?"

Caste-based discrimination is oppressive, and there is no such thing as caste without oppression. Thus it is banned by the Federation.

A caste system need not be too different from this: different rights for different people, but none of it particularly malevolent or detrimental.
This is sophistry in search for a rhetoric to justify the unjustifiable, to make palatable the idea of a system that would in reality be inherently oppressive. Your argument is, in other words, pure bullshit.

ETA:


Timo wrote: View Post
You can't vote in a Finnish election, Sci. That is discrimination, but that is good discrimination we all support, with arms if necessary. In turn, I can't vote for or against my favorite US Presidential candidate.
And neither the Republic of Finland nor the United States of America would be ready for Membership in the United Federation of Planets were it real.

Also, this is hardly the same as caste-based discrimination. If I wanted, I could apply to become a Finnish citizen; if you wanted, you could apply to become a United States citizen. While the process would be difficult, neither of us is irrevocably prevented from voting in one-another's elections.
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Last edited by Sci; February 1 2013 at 04:40 AM.
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Old February 1 2013, 04:30 AM   #36
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Timo wrote: View Post
different rights for different people, but none of it particularly malevolent or detrimental
That is a contradiction in terms.

Rights must be shared by all. Equality that is not absolute has no meaning.
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Old February 1 2013, 05:47 AM   #37
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Clearly the most fundamental requirement for a society or species to join the Federation as a member is humanoid appearance. The citizens of the Federation are only comfortable with aliens that look like them - one face, two arms, two legs, a torso, genitals where they belong, and maybe some specific idiosyncrasy so that the other members can mock them for having that trait or roll their eyes when they display it.

Seriously, though, were there any grossly non-humanoid aliens that were UFP members?
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Old February 1 2013, 07:22 AM   #38
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Seriously, though, were there any grossly non-humanoid aliens that were UFP members?
Canonically, Arcadians, the Ariolo, the Bzzit Khaht, the Kasheeta, and the Zaranites are Federation Members, and they're awfully alien. Then there are the Antedeans, the Anticans, and the Selay were all in the process of gaining Federation Membership.

In the novels, the Federation also includes species like the multi-tentacled Sulamid, the jellyfish-like Selenans, the repilian Saurians, the teddy bear-ike S'ti'ach, the tripedal Triexians, the aquatic amphibious Selkies, the Velociraptor-like Pahkwa-thanh, the pillbug-like Nasat, the hideous Medusans, the diminutive Evora, the merpeople-like Aonis, and, of course, the famous rock-eating Horta.
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Old February 1 2013, 11:27 AM   #39
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

The relevant question is, "Is it oppressive?"
Well, taxes are. We find them a good thing to have around nevertheless.

The real question is, "Is it so oppressive that the UFP would object?". Everybody is in the business of oppressing, and just as you say, everybody then uses sophistry to defend one's personal brand of oppressing, and to defile the opposition's.

Discrimination is a prerequisite for equality: if everybody were really treated the same, the weak would suffer and perish, and the strong would triumph. Discriminating for equality is fighting for peace. Or raping for virginity, if your personal brand of equality differs from the one your opponent is trying to reach through his discriminatory acts; there can be no objective view on the issue, only competing opinions, because no brand of equality is inherently better than any other.

Rights must be shared by all.
...Yet tailored for everybody, in a balanced manner, or else "rights" would merely set in stone the survival of the meanest.

Equality that is not absolute has no meaning.
Now that can only be accomplished by severe eugenics. And only for one generation, because you'd then have to choose whether your equal individual was a male or a female.

The shorter and truer form of the above is "Equality has no meaning". We are not born equal, we don't die equal. We can be given various levels of discriminating support to live more or less equal, but it takes a complex system of government and legislation to get the discrimination just right, or anywhere approaching right.

Naturally, the very same mechanisms we use to strive for practical equality are the ones used when we strive for inequality or personal benefit. We turn necessity into virtue so that the biggest inequalities would be leveled out and some sort of societal stability would emerge. The UFP would be facing more pressing necessities than the Earth, given the greater diversity of species and cultures and environments, but the mechanisms for leveling out inequality would be the same: discrimination, with a partial feedback loop so that the discriminated can help adjust for even more beneficial discrimination, but not freely so because otherwise the selfish desires of the individual would ruin the balance.

It's very difficult to imagine how else things could ever work out. Except, of course, through the already mentioned eugenics trick where individuality is completely eliminated and true equality finally attained.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 1 2013, 03:43 PM   #40
Pavonis
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Sci wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
Seriously, though, were there any grossly non-humanoid aliens that were UFP members?
Canonically, Arcadians, the Ariolo, the Bzzit Khaht, the Kasheeta, and the Zaranites are Federation Members, and they're awfully alien. Then there are the Antedeans, the Anticans, and the Selay were all in the process of gaining Federation Membership.
But all those examples are clearly humanoid, even described as such in the links you provided. Canonically, it appears the other Federation members just can't stretch enough to accept radically non-humanoid members.

In the novels, the Federation also includes species like the multi-tentacled Sulamid, the jellyfish-like Selenans, the repilian Saurians, the teddy bear-ike S'ti'ach, the tripedal Triexians, the aquatic amphibious Selkies, the Velociraptor-like Pahkwa-thanh, the pillbug-like Nasat, the hideous Medusans, the diminutive Evora, the merpeople-like Aonis, and, of course, the famous rock-eating Horta.
OK, while most of those examples are non-humanoid, what are the Evora doing in there? They're definitely humanoid. Being shorter than average isn't radically alien. Hell, the Evora's diminutiveness probably prompted the Federation to take them on as a protectorate. "Aww, they're so short, it's cute! Let's protect them!"
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Old February 1 2013, 05:49 PM   #41
Sci
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Timo wrote: View Post
Sci wrote:
The relevant question is, "Is it oppressive?"
Well, taxes are.
You are confusing oppression with irritation.
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Old February 1 2013, 06:45 PM   #42
Pavonis
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Sci wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Sci wrote:
The relevant question is, "Is it oppressive?"
Well, taxes are.
You are confusing oppression with irritation.
Most people do.
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Old February 1 2013, 07:10 PM   #43
Timo
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

That's the point: one's oppression is another's irritation. And nobody in the UFP or Starfleet seems to be particularly interested in rooting out irritation as a thing. Or oppression as a thing. They just aim for a specific level of discomfort, which excludes killing the carpenters who try their hand at oil painting, but includes throwing into jail those who speak their mind in front of a superior officer.

It's just that the UFP comfort zone is not a particularly narrow one. Duels to the death over possession of females are okay. Whether a benign caste system could come up with something less repugnant than that isn't much to ask...

Really, it would be easy to see some people witness the UFP go to war over caste systems, and deem them savages for such senseless and immoral behavior. Overreacting to irritation is just as bad as underreacting to oppression.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 1 2013, 07:30 PM   #44
Sci
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Timo wrote: View Post
That's the point: one's oppression is another's irritation.
Pure bullshit.
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Old February 1 2013, 07:41 PM   #45
Timo
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Re: What are the requirements for the joining the Federation?

Simply a universal fact. And anybody claiming to act on absolute standards of oppression or equality is simply a mindless tyrant, a threat to his environment, and a prime target for judicious elimination.

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