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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old May 15 2013, 03:31 PM   #1
xvicente
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who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

I the real world, I mean. Certainly It was not invented in ST II , like the Klingon proverb.
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Old May 15 2013, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

I've found some sites claiming it's a quote from A Tale of Two Cities, which is referenced elsewhere in the film, but I searched the whole text at Project Gutenberg and it's not there.

Although the concept certainly predates The Wrath of Khan, it does seem that the exact phrasing did originate there.
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Old May 15 2013, 03:49 PM   #3
F. King Daniel
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

Surak. Dur.

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Old May 15 2013, 05:14 PM   #4
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

According to answers.com:


answers.com wrote:
Answer:


It wasn't a philosopher, but was first spoken by Leonard Nimoy's Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However, philosopher Jeremy Bentham had a similar quote: "It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong."
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Old May 16 2013, 12:22 AM   #5
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

It was Shakespeare in the original Klingon text.
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Old May 16 2013, 12:37 AM   #6
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

King Daniel wrote: View Post
Surak. Dur.

It definitely sounds like something Surak could have said or written. Given that the few later became the Romulans his line might not have been that smart.
Seriously, I like that Trek used different ethical ideas. On the one hand this utilitarian stuff, on the other hand the very opposite, liberal "human" rights, in "I, Borg".
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Old May 16 2013, 06:49 AM   #7
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

Christopher wrote: View Post
I've found some sites claiming it's a quote from A Tale of Two Cities, which is referenced elsewhere in the film, but I searched the whole text at Project Gutenberg and it's not there.
Given the references at the beginning and end of the film (plus the references to other authors including Laclos and Melville), it's not surprising some viewers figured this was Meyer sneaking in yet another literary reference.
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Old May 16 2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

^Yeah, but they still guessed instead of checking, and that's a mistake.
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Old May 16 2013, 07:57 PM   #9
sonak
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

Mysterion wrote: View Post
According to answers.com:


answers.com wrote:
Answer:


It wasn't a philosopher, but was first spoken by Leonard Nimoy's Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However, philosopher Jeremy Bentham had a similar quote: "It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong."

yeah, the idea is basically classical utilitarianism.
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Old May 16 2013, 08:26 PM   #10
Greg Cox
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

Yeah, I don't think it's a quote or allusion. Just a bit of Vulcan logic.
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Old May 21 2013, 03:55 AM   #11
Elder Knight
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

You can still meet Bentham face to face: he's mummified at his old society's headquarters.
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Old May 23 2013, 04:43 PM   #12
Marsden
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

xvicente wrote: View Post
I the real world, I mean. Certainly It was not invented in ST II , like the Klingon proverb.
The Klingon proverb wasn't invented. It was a real proverb that they stuck the word Klingon on to.
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Old May 23 2013, 05:47 PM   #13
Christopher
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

Nicholas Meyer seemed to enjoy the joke of taking an Earthly saying or quotation and having a character attribute it to an alien race. Khan did it with "Revenge is a dish...," and in TUC, Spock said "Only Nixon could go to China" was a Vulcan saying -- not to mention "Shakespeare in the original Klingon."
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Old May 23 2013, 08:35 PM   #14
RXTT
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

It is feasible for two completely separate cultures to create the same aphorism, no?
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Old May 23 2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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Re: who said "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

It really does seem that while the idea/concept stated by this phrase was old, the exact wording of it is straight up a creation of Wrath of Khan.
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