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Old July 7 2013, 05:15 AM   #136
Nightdiamond
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

In First Contact, an alien culture is about to discover and implement warp drive.

Picard and Troi simply materialize into a scientist 's office, introduce themselves and tell them all about space and life on other planets.

The logic being that when a culture discovers warp drive, they're more ready for contact, and it's better than having a random confrontation in space.

The problem is, this culture still has a problem with things like riots, social reforms and demonstrations and believed they were the 'highest form of life' in the universe .

By some of TNG's PD standards, they shouldn't have been contacted at all.

Their attitude seems odd, because while a reasonable culture would welcome advanced technology to solve their problems (and the knowledge they are not alone), it appears many don't want it no matter how many problems it would solve.

As long as they thought they were still the center of the universe what did it matter if they have to keep dealing with droughts, hunger and social unrest?

Why would Starfleet consider this culture OK to contact and share technology with, but not others?


On the other hand, the Mintokans got the wrong idea at first about Picard, but after a simple speech by Picard they understood quickly enough and didn't seem "contaminated" by Starfleet.
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Old July 7 2013, 08:06 AM   #137
T'Girl
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
The logic being that when a culture discovers warp drive, they're more ready for contact, and it's better than having a random confrontation in space.
The logic there is the species now has a warp drive of their own, if you don't contact them, they're going to contact you.

Waiting until they first form a society that acceptable to you is no longer an option. Warts and all, here they come.

Anwar wrote: View Post
In "Homeward"'s case, they just needed to go further and explain that it wasn't possible to evacuate the planet in time and that would set a precedent for such actions that would lead to an ineffective Galactic Nanny State.
Homeward is a great example of the lack of conviction Picard has in the Prime Directive. It's easy for Picard to stand aside and simply allow everyone on Boraal II to be killed by a natural disaster, but once he discovered that his holodeck contained a few dozen survivors, by the letter of the Prime Directive shouldn't Picard have turned the ship around and beamed the survivors down to the airless surface. Not doing so was hypocrisy on Picard's part, he's a avocate of the PD, a vocal supporter of it.

Picard didn't want to get his hands bloody.

sonak wrote: View Post
Just because a humanitarian intervention is doable in one scenario (because of population size, resources, etc.) doesn't mean that the Federation would somehow be forced to intervene throughout the galaxy.
Well of course not, it would be a question of priorities and assets.

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Old July 7 2013, 08:30 AM   #138
Anwar
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

BillJ wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post


slippery slope arguments are not realpolitik. Just because a humanitarian intervention is doable in one scenario(because of population size, resources, etc.) doesn't mean that the Federation would somehow be forced to intervene throughout the galaxy.
It would set a precedent, and once those are established you've opened up a whole new can of worms you were better off leaving unopened.
I'd say your concern is unwarranted, since we saw the Federation engage in saving species from time-to-time and it didn't become a full-time job.
Saving species, as in having to evacuate doomed worlds? We didn't any of that aside from "Homeward".
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Old July 7 2013, 11:35 AM   #139
JarodRussell
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

What if you could only save a species by evacuating and relocating if you force them on another species that lives on the other planet? All of a sudden you would influence the development of both cultures, and, highly probably, cause a never ending conflict between both.
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Old July 7 2013, 11:37 AM   #140
T'Girl
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Anwar wrote: View Post
Saving species, as in having to evacuate doomed worlds? We didn't any of that aside from "Homeward"
But evacuation isn't the only form of "humanitarian intervention" there is, and we have seen Starfleet step in to save species whose planets were threatened with extinction events.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
What if you could only save a species by evacuating and relocating if you force them on another species that lives on the other planet?
The Star Trek universe does seem to have a large number of "nobody lives here" planets. And if need be relocate them to a Federation planet, put them in some kind of reservation/park situation. Being alive and having to deal with neighbors, is better than being dead.

All of a sudden you would influence the development of both cultures, and, highly probably, cause a never ending conflict between both.
Relocating one primative species to the planet of another primative species probably would be something to avoid.


Last edited by T'Girl; July 7 2013 at 11:50 AM.
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Old July 7 2013, 06:00 PM   #141
Anwar
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Saving species, as in having to evacuate doomed worlds? We didn't any of that aside from "Homeward"
But evacuation isn't the only form of "humanitarian intervention" there is, and we have seen Starfleet step in to save species whose planets were threatened with extinction events.
Yes, but I'm talking about setting a precedent for Homeward-level types of crises. The ones that would require thousands of starships working around the clock.
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Old July 7 2013, 06:06 PM   #142
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Anwar wrote: View Post

Yes, but I'm talking about setting a precedent for Homeward-level types of crises. The ones that would require thousands of starships working around the clock.
Which simply isn't practical. Your level of help also depends on how practical that help is. It simply isn't practical to move a planetary population.
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Old July 7 2013, 10:33 PM   #143
T'Girl
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

T'Girl wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Just because a humanitarian intervention is doable in one scenario (because of population size, resources, etc.) doesn't mean that the Federation would somehow be forced to intervene throughout the galaxy.
Well of course not, it would be a question of priorities and assets.
Anwar wrote: View Post
Yes, but I'm talking about setting a precedent for Homeward-level types of crises. The ones that would require thousands of starships working around the clock.
This has already been addressed.

Yes, have the Prime Directive policy include that when a species is facing utter extinction that Starfleet can move all or part of the species off the doomed world. Direct contact with a primative (or not so primative) species.

Because survival trumps contamination.

No, this doesn't mean the Starfleet then has to endlessly prowl the galaxy looking for species to move. The only precedent that would be create is that the Prime Directive recognizes that not all situation are the same. If Starfleet has the assets availible, in place, at that time, great. If not then a tragedy will occure that is in no way Starfleet's fault or responsibility.

I could imagine that during the Dominion War a Humanitarian evacuation would have been out of the question.

BillJ wrote: View Post
Which simply isn't practical. Your level of help also depends on how practical that help is. It simply isn't practical to move a planetary population.
This. It unlikely that a entire planetary population in the tens of millions (or more) are going to be moved. Starfleet is simply going to have to employ some kind of selection process. to the majority of the population left behind (abandoned) on the doomed planet the selection process wouldn't be seen as fair. The people moved will have to be people who can re-establish their culture on a new planets, while at the same time being able to feed themselves after a short period of time.

Unless we want them to become dependent on Starfleet's on going assistance.



Last edited by T'Girl; July 7 2013 at 10:49 PM.
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Old July 8 2013, 04:45 AM   #144
Anwar
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Yes, have the Prime Directive policy include that when a species is facing utter extinction that Starfleet can move all or part of the species off the doomed world. Direct contact with a primative (or not so primative) species.

Because survival trumps contamination.
I think we discussed this a few years ago. I brought up how this ends up creating a lot of dependent Vassals the Feds would spend years looking after and devoting a ton of resources to.

No, this doesn't mean the Starfleet then has to endlessly prowl the galaxy looking for species to move.
I remembering bringing up how the anti-PD pro-interventionalists would insist they do so.

The only precedent that would be create is that the Prime Directive recognizes that not all situation are the same.
If that were true, the PD Haters here wouldn't be complaining so much.

If Starfleet has the assets availible, in place, at that time, great. If not then a tragedy will occure that is in no way Starfleet's fault or responsibility.
And I'm saying that the precedent set would mean that when any others in peril were discovered, the ship in question would now HAVE to call in all ships available to help, meaning the thousands necessary would have to be pulled away from their other (important) duties to do so. Because that's what the Boraal Precedent would cause.

I could imagine that during the Dominion War a Humanitarian evacuation would have been out of the question.
Maybe, but then after the war they'd have to go and try and salvage those worlds they couldn't completely save, even if the ships were needed elsewhere.

Starfleet is simply going to have to employ some kind of selection process. to the majority of the population left behind (abandoned) on the doomed planet the selection process wouldn't be seen as fair.
And given the Anti-PD attitudes witnessed here alone, the Feds would still end up condemned for not being able to save everyone.
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Old July 8 2013, 02:22 PM   #145
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Anwar wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Yes, have the Prime Directive policy include that when a species is facing utter extinction that Starfleet can move all or part of the species off the doomed world. Direct contact with a primative (or not so primative) species.

Because survival trumps contamination.
I think we discussed this a few years ago. I brought up how this ends up creating a lot of dependent Vassals the Feds would spend years looking after and devoting a ton of resources to.

No, this doesn't mean the Starfleet then has to endlessly prowl the galaxy looking for species to move.
I remembering bringing up how the anti-PD pro-interventionalists would insist they do so.



If that were true, the PD Haters here wouldn't be complaining so much.



And I'm saying that the precedent set would mean that when any others in peril were discovered, the ship in question would now HAVE to call in all ships available to help, meaning the thousands necessary would have to be pulled away from their other (important) duties to do so. Because that's what the Boraal Precedent would cause.

I could imagine that during the Dominion War a Humanitarian evacuation would have been out of the question.
Maybe, but then after the war they'd have to go and try and salvage those worlds they couldn't completely save, even if the ships were needed elsewhere.

Starfleet is simply going to have to employ some kind of selection process. to the majority of the population left behind (abandoned) on the doomed planet the selection process wouldn't be seen as fair.
And given the Anti-PD attitudes witnessed here alone, the Feds would still end up condemned for not being able to save everyone.

your argument is basically a strawman of the pro-interventionists: no one is suggesting that the UFP's primary missions be scrapped so that they can go around looking for planets in danger.

Also, it's not "anti-PD," it's anti-TNG PD. The TOS PD was fine with interventions when it was necessary to save the civilization.
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Old July 8 2013, 05:56 PM   #146
Anwar
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

sonak wrote: View Post
your argument is basically a strawman of the pro-interventionists: no one is suggesting that the UFP's primary missions be scrapped so that they can go around looking for planets in danger.
The changes made to the PD the anti-PD folks want would result in that.

Also, it's not "anti-PD," it's anti-TNG PD. The TOS PD was fine with interventions when it was necessary to save the civilization.
Anti-PD is anti-PD, TOS or TNG or otherwise. Folks don't understand the consequences of these things in the long-term.

What if aliens had decided to stop the great meteor that hit Earth and killed off the dinosaurs, resulting in humanity never existing? Would you think that was a good thing?
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Old July 8 2013, 06:17 PM   #147
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Anwar wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
your argument is basically a strawman of the pro-interventionists: no one is suggesting that the UFP's primary missions be scrapped so that they can go around looking for planets in danger.
The changes made to the PD the anti-PD folks want would result in that.
Huh? Do you even you what your talking about? No one here has presented that Starfleet's job is to go around looking for endangered worlds. You're essentially making things up as the centerpiece of your argument.

Here you go, just for clarity: If you stumble upon a bad situation, you should help if you can help. Unless the situation was caused by the inhabitants acting stupid.


Anti-PD is anti-PD, TOS or TNG or otherwise. Folks don't understand the consequences of these things in the long-term.
And you do of course!


What if aliens had decided to stop the great meteor that hit Earth and killed off the dinosaurs, resulting in humanity never existing? Would you think that was a good thing?
Depends. Are the dinosaurs sentient? Do the dinosaurs have a living culture? I wouldn't expect anyone to withhold help based on what "might" happen a hundred, a thousand or a million years down the road.

"Don't save that toddler from getting hit by a bus! Who knows what negative ramifications it might have fifty years from now!"

Your entire argument is absurd.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:12 PM   #148
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

The Prime Directive shouldn't prevent Starfleet from saving entire planets. As it's presented in much of Trek, it seems written in a simplistic way, without regard to mitigating circumstances.
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Old July 9 2013, 12:16 AM   #149
Nightdiamond
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

There are some good arguments for and against how the PD is interpreted . But the main problem I have is the mixing of pseudo science with it.

In Pen Pals, Data made contact with a little girl from a pre-warp society, whose planet was about to tear itself apart.

Data suggests that it might be possible to save the planet without any contact with the inhabitants, but here is the response;

DATA: If we can determine the cause of the geological instability, we might be able to reverse the process.

PICARD: And violate the Prime Directive.
Even if they could save those people without any risk of contact, it is still a violation?

But the real new age/philosophy part occurs later during a conference about the situation.

RIKER:.... We would be gods, but we're not. If there is some cosmic plan, isn't it the height of hubris to presume that we can, or should, interfere?

GEORDI: So what are you saying? That the Dremans are fated to die?

RIKER: It's something that needs to be considered.
When they start using words like "fate" and destiny with what is supposed to be an non interference policy towards aliens, the (TNG) PD starts looking a little weird.

So according to this the criteria for deciding to help a culture in danger is whether they are warp capable or aware of life on other planets--if they are, they deserve to be helped--

If they're not, then it's their fate and they should not be helped

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Old July 9 2013, 01:12 AM   #150
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Pen Pals opens up a dumb can of worms, so we can assume, probably (From The Drumhead), that SF looked the other way because Picard saved the planet...from a NATURAL disaster...and without contamination.

Well what about the poor slob Captain one sector over who obeyed Starfleets "most precious regulation" to the letter when he finds out 'Oh heyyy...those billions of people you let die and will carry to your grave? Yeah...Starfleet really doesn't care one way or another."


The ONLY way all this works is if Prime Directive 101 is taught at the Academy as a philosophy course and not a strict set of regulations. "Every Captain must make his own decision, no two cases are alike."

edit: I also find it hilarious that the only thing standing between aliens swooping down and solving all our problems for us, is that...no one has thought to ask.
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