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Old November 5 2013, 10:30 PM   #31
QCzar
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

This is why I and many are skeptical about his claims. It may indeed be in the Q's nature to "seem" vulnerable, such as getting punched by Sisko, while being in complete control of every situation that could ever possibly exist. But how do we measure this? By what laws of logic does the Continuum operate? Simply saying that it's beyond our "puny" minds is a cop-out.
How so? That precludes the possibility that there are things that Humans simply aren't smart enough to understand, a rather arrogant belief. As for how we "measure" the Q, we can't. That's the whole point.
No, the point is that we don't just have to take the Q, or Q specifically, at face value simply because he says so.

The Federation may have advanced medical technology and could indeed make some rather bold claims about it. But if they claimed to be able to restore the dead to life, sure, a primitive people may not have the means to disprove this possibility, but nor would they be compelled to accept it either. The Federation made the claim so it would be up to them to demonstrate that it was true.

What Q is asking us to do is accept that simply because he's big and powerful, that he is the biggest and the most powerful, and to accept it only on faith. On something that can pretty much never be demonstrated.

Believing that something is all powerful/omnipotent simply because you can't prove that it's not is, quite simply, a leap of faith. It's the cornerstone of theology. That would very well make the Q nothing less than gods to those who believed it (a descriptor Q no doubt has no problems with). Since it doesn't matter what is true from the perspective of someone who cannot ever be shown that it is or isn't true, I choose to remain deeply skeptical about his supposed omnipotence.

Considering Q is a manipulative, meddlesome, child-like prick with a depraved indifference to suffering (and truth telling), I'm going to keep on believing that he is exaggerating just a tiny bit.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:40 PM   #32
hux
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

Harbinger wrote: View Post
What if they are humans from the future?
I've always thought this was pretty obviously the case

Encounter at farpoint has a number of things that hint at this idea.....If the Q know that humans are very powerful in the future (and we accept they can travel in time) then why travel back to ask these questions of humans....why not just ask the powerful humans of the future

Unless.....the Q are the humans of the future and are interested to know how they became Q....what is it about their ancestors that led to this

well, why not just go back and ask/interact with your ancestors
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Old November 5 2013, 11:02 PM   #33
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

Are the Q omnipotent or merely immensely more powerful than the federation?

Omnipotent - not; Quinn established that. Also, omnipotence generates paradoxes such as can omnipotent beings create a rock they cannot lift?

Immensely more powerful than the federation - than any corporeals with limited consciousness? Indeed, so far above them, they're functionally indistinguishable from omnipotent? Definitely.
What with the Q having complete control over time, space and matter, being able to create universes - complete with conscious beings - on a whim, etc. BTW, the only thing able to hurt Q are other Q or weapons made by the Q. Thinking that destroying the human form a Q inhabits even slightly inconveniences a Q is naive in the extreme.

Are the Q arrogant, etc? O, yes.
And they have the power to back their arrogance up - and more. If Picard manages to actually annoy Q as opposed to merely amusing him, Q may just decide to bitch slap Picard by removing the human species from existence with a snap of his fingers. He even did it once, in TNG: All good things.
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Old November 6 2013, 01:51 AM   #34
Nightdiamond
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

QCzar wrote: View Post
To be clear I don't think everyone doubting their supposed omnipotence is saying it's because of technology. That's unnecessarily reductive. There are just general doubts that Q has always told the truth about his peoples' power. It's due not only to Quinn (or even Voyager at large), but many small indicators (Amanda, Guinan, the persistence of other similar races that do not make such claims but possess demonstrably similar power), as well as the fact that we have only one Q's word.

And that one Q is possessed of a rather acerbic, mischievous and mercurial personality.

Remember Nightdiamond, the Cardassians are the Alpha Quadrant's most magnificent civilization...according to the Cardassians. Of course, because they're closer to humanity's level, we can clearly see that they are not. The Q ask us to trust, on faith alone, that they are basically gods and the only proof they offer us is a bunch of (admittedly frighteningly powerful) parlor tricks and the occasional wonder.

As you may know, omnipotence is considered by most non-religious folks to be an immense paradox: if an omnipotent being can create a stone too heavy for it to lift, how can it be omnipotent; but if it cannot....and so on. The Q have already shown themselves vulnerable to death. Whether it is in their own nature or not is beside the point. If an omnipotent, omnipresent entity can be made to cease being omnipotent, then was it really ever omnipotent in the first place?
That made me wonder.....What about having an IQ that allows them to defy the paradox? Who knows---create a copy of one's self that cannot lift a rock, except the original can lift the rock because he created the rock and the copy?



By what laws of logic does the Continuum operate? Simply saying that it's beyond our "puny" minds is a cop-out.
In EAF when Troi sensed Q, she said that it felt like it was beyond what we would call a life form. The idea implied was that they were so advanced they were way beyond the simple measurement of alive and conscious.



We don't automatically think, simply because we can't explain how the Prophets work, that they're omnipotent. Why does Q get the benefit of the doubt? His boyish charm?

Super powerful? Obviously. Omnipotent? Doubtful. And to be honest I also doubt anyone on the Enterprise-D or Voyager ever truly believed this either
.

True-- there's no need to kneel down in awe of Q when they may be simply operating in ways we yet don't understand.But what makes the Q different from the Prophets for some fans, is maybe that Q was shown doing things almost unheard--=even for an entity -- at a whim.

Shrinking Voyager into the size of trinket, transporting it to earth, possibly in the past, and hanging it on a Christmas tree, was one of the wildest things. The Prophets, The Dowd, Organians can do interesting things, but this way off the charts in power displaying.

Do we think the other entites can do things like that in real time space? So that creates the question, if the Q could manipulate matter and space like that, what the hell can't they do?

Just for laughs, Q turned Beverly Crusher into a dog while she was nagging him--and she had no idea.


From time to time, in some rare cases, even Picard was shown being awe of Q, but true, basically he was the main one to call Q a sham.


Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Thinking that destroying the human form a Q inhabits even slightly inconveniences a Q is naive in the extreme.

Are the Q arrogant, etc? O, yes.
And they have the power to back their arrogance up - and more. If Picard manages to actually annoy Q as opposed to merely amusing him, Q may just decide to bitch slap Picard by removing the human species from existence with a snap of his fingers. He even did it once, in TNG: All good things.
It is interesting that in EAF, Q freezes a security guard when he reached for his phaser and then told Picard something like, "knowing humans as you do, Captain would you be so captured helpless by them?"

Obviously the guard would not have been able to hurt him, yet Q's reaction was strange-- they always throw in strange scenes like that to make you wonder.
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Old November 6 2013, 01:27 PM   #35
MikeS
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

hux wrote: View Post
Harbinger wrote: View Post
What if they are humans from the future?
I've always thought this was pretty obviously the case

Encounter at farpoint has a number of things that hint at this idea.....If the Q know that humans are very powerful in the future (and we accept they can travel in time) then why travel back to ask these questions of humans....why not just ask the powerful humans of the future

Unless.....the Q are the humans of the future and are interested to know how they became Q....what is it about their ancestors that led to this

well, why not just go back and ask/interact with your ancestors
Perhaps the original direction that Gene wanted to go with TNG? Exploring the evolution of Human beings into god-like creatures. It makes sense...

Introduce Q in the pilot, make reference to the fact that Humans may one day surpass the Q.

Hint at Wesley being the next step of Human evolution in WNOHGB. That would certainly fit in with the idea of him being a "Mary Sue" character "He's a god!".

Give Riker the option of fast-tracking evolution in Hide & Q.

It was forgotten about a little until All Good Things where Q made reference to the fact that the adventure lies within, not without.
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Old November 6 2013, 02:07 PM   #36
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Omnipotent - not; Quinn established that.
He said they werent. Thats not establishing anything, especially since Q has said the opposite in the past.

Plus when pushed on that statement by Tuvock and asked what their vulnerabilities might be if they werent omnipotent, Quinn talks about a lack of manners and morality.

grendelsbayne wrote: View Post
But it does happen by means of technology, which means it's not at all inconceivable to think that Q's proven abilities could be what you get when a species actually understands perfectly how that technology works and has developed a way to control it by thinking (which is also very clearly possible).
Yet there is no evidence at all the the Q's powers are tech based.
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Old November 9 2013, 07:19 PM   #37
publiusr
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post

Is that power source something internal to their being or something external, as in the case of Squire of Porthos?

Good one.

I'm going to say that the Q are Boltzmann brains that developed sentience ln/on the surface of the cosmological horizon. They really are the empyrean incarnate. From the wiki:

Holographic theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure "painted" on the cosmological horizon.

The Q operate in the reverse. They live on the brane and project inward to 3D.

I'm going to call that their tidal pool. They exist as patterns. Imagine if you will the dyson sphere from relics, but with the world spanning abhoth creature from solaris on the inside surface, and how that pattern interacts leave a virtual image towards the center (3d space) A higher dimensional version of that--a living brane brain. That is what the Q are.
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Old November 11 2013, 08:04 AM   #38
MikeS
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

The way I understood "brane theory" is that we and all of reality only really exist on the "brane" and that our consciousness projects it into the 3D world that we are all familiar with. I'll have to read up on that. Or hope Prof. Brian Cox does a show on it (he can explain anything)
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Old December 20 2013, 09:21 PM   #39
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

R. Star wrote: View Post
But they're not omnipotent. Quinn said so.
This isn't true. Quinn has a philosophical approach to defining 'omnipotent' as being 'invulnerable', and give examples of 'vulnerabilities' in his statements
"Quinn: In a way, our vulnerability is what this is all about. As the Q have evolved, we've sacrificed many things along the way, not just manners, but mortality and a sense of purpose and a desire for change and a capacity to grow. Each loss is a new vulnerability, wouldn't you say?"
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Old December 20 2013, 09:38 PM   #40
alpinedigital
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Quinn hinted to Tuvok that the Q may use some type of really advanced technology to do what they do.

That suggests some type of limitation.
Quinn's statement:
"You and your ship seem incredibly powerful to lifeforms without your technical expertise. It's no different with us. We may appear omnipotent to you, but believe me, we're not. "
This is more about perspective of ability, not the manner in which those abilities are achieved. The Q can will a bronze sword into existence, and human's can create one as well, but this doesn't imply the Q need to forge one from scratch, nor can a human 'think' one into existence.
With Quinn, he is more apt to using an abstract, philosophical perspective to undermine the defining quality of being 'omnipotent', which is in and of itself, a paradox:

Can an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that it cannot lift it?
If yes: the being has a weakness (being unable to lift the stone) and his power is limited, or becomes limited.
If no: the being's power is already limited, since there is an action he cannot perform.
Either way, the allegedly omnipotent being has proven not to be omnipotent due to the logical contradiction present in both possible answers.

The bottom line is, yes - the Q, - by the writers submission of material - have unlimited control of space, time, and matter, as well as can be defined and presented in a manner which satisfies their story; They do not, for instance, create comic book demonstrations like blowing up entire galaxies.
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Old December 20 2013, 10:41 PM   #41
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

TheGoodStuff wrote: View Post
To be honest, I think the Q are the masters of Bravado. It seems to be, that the franchise lightly hints at this too.

1. We know a Q dies, on Earth, due to a tornado. [I hope im recalling correctly, havent seen that episode for a while]

2. Q is shown to be 'stripped of his powers'.

3. There is a civil war in which Q die.

4. Q seems intimidated by Guinan, and she seems poised to defend herself. A ridiculous notion if it were a true 'god' however she seems serious enough. He even calls her an 'imp'....which implies some sort of impish behaviour against the continuum.



I have always suspected the Q exaggerate their power to portray an aura of invincibility to the less developed races [who have insufficient resources to prove otherwise]. No doubt they are vastly powerful....but not omnipotent. The mere word makes no sense.
This is easily explained with the simplest math: Two Q can simply over-power a single Q.

1. A tornado killed humans that were once Q.
2. Q can be stripped of his powers by multiple Q, and could possibly have elected to grant this ability to a governing party in the continuum, until chaos broke out during the civil war, at which point they could have simply elected multiple Q to defy the will of any party that attempts to enforce rule.
3. The Q civil war was the second time Q provided a visual 'representation' of the continuum: "I'm simply allowing you to perceive it in the context your human mind can comprehend." It is actually suggested that the crew wouldn't comprehend the continuum, so the viewers wouldn't either. During the episode, Q were shown injured, one was shown with no legs, but none were shown dead. It's up to the viewers to interpret and give meaning to what an injured Q represents, since they're not human, their weapons weren't really shooting 'bullets' so we shouldn't assume they they actually suffering from flesh wounds.
4. Guinan is the most interesting argument for skeptics of Q's power but it says more that she would effort to defend herself with attack or block his power in some manner. It doesn't, however - present the intensity of the attack Q planned to use, and we cant assume he was willing to blink her completely out of existence.

"The mere word makes no sense." - in a way, I agree. But it's close enough to the definition of Q, which at some point, we just have to accept there are no limits without it having to be demonstrated. Quinn made Voyager sub-atomic in size.. a mere quantum-scale speck of matter and energy, yet with all the crew still alive and functioning, along with all the ship systems. That, and or positioning Voyager in a realm of 'nothingness' before space expanded with the big bang? Basically, that's when you stop questioning Q's abilities. I mean - it seems if he can imagine it, his will can be done.
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Old December 20 2013, 10:51 PM   #42
Silvercrest
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Re: How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

publiusr wrote: View Post
From the wiki:

Holographic theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure "painted" on the cosmological horizon.

The Q operate in the reverse. They live on the brane and project inward to 3D.

I'm going to call that their tidal pool. They exist as patterns. Imagine if you will the dyson sphere from relics, but with the world spanning abhoth creature from solaris on the inside surface, and how that pattern interacts leave a virtual image towards the center (3d space) A higher dimensional version of that--a living brane brain. That is what the Q are.
MikeS wrote: View Post
The way I understood "brane theory" is that we and all of reality only really exist on the "brane" and that our consciousness projects it into the 3D world that we are all familiar with.
Brane and brane? What is brane?
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