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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old January 17 2012, 04:22 PM   #31
Start Wreck
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Data should value life above his own freedom.
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Old January 17 2012, 04:38 PM   #32
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
Data should value life above his own freedom.
So Data should put a scumbag (btw, Saul Rubinek does a fantastic job as Fajo) above himself? He should allow Fajo to continue stealing and abducting sentient beings? He should allow Fajo to continue abusing other sentient beings as he desires?

That is a pretty warped morality my friend...
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Old January 17 2012, 04:59 PM   #33
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

BillJ wrote: View Post
Start Wreck wrote: View Post
Data should value life above his own freedom.
So Data should put a scumbag (btw, Saul Rubinek does a fantastic job as Fajo) above himself?
To avoid taking a life, yes.

BillJ wrote: View Post
He should allow Fajo to continue stealing and abducting sentient beings? He should allow Fajo to continue abusing other sentient beings as he desires?
Theft and abduction are lesser crimes than killing, so yes, he should have allowed himself to be abducted rather than kill.

BillJ wrote: View Post
That is a pretty warped morality my friend...
It's in keeping with how Data's morality is portrayed in the show. He values life, and will only kill in defence.


People are arguing that Fajo would definitely kill again even if Data obeyed him, or that there is at least a "sure enough" chance that he would. Is there evidence of this in the episode? Does it state how many times he has killed before? I can't recall the exact dialogue.
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Old January 17 2012, 05:12 PM   #34
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Start Wreck wrote: View Post

It's in keeping with how Data's morality is portrayed in the show. He values life, and will only kill in defence.
Defense is a pretty big net. We know that Fajo disfigured Varria.


People are arguing that Fajo would definitely kill again even if Data obeyed him, or that there is at least a "sure enough" chance that he would. Is there evidence of this in the episode? Does it state how many times he has killed before? I can't recall the exact dialogue.
This is from The Most Toys...

FAJO: Or what? You'll fire? Empty threat and we both know it. Why don't you accept your fate? You will return to your chair and you will sit there. You will entertain me and you will entertain my guests. And if you do not, I will simply kill somebody else. Him, perhaps. It doesn't matter. Their blood will be on your hands too, just like poor Varria's. Your only alternative, Data, is to fire. Murder me. That's all you have to do. Go ahead. Fire. If only you could feel rage over Varria's death. If only you could feel the need for revenge, then maybe you could fire. But you're just an android. You can't feel anything, can you? It's just another interesting intellectual puzzle for you. Another of life's curiosities.
If he's killed once with no remorse. What makes you think he hasn't killed before or won't kill again to get his way?
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Old January 17 2012, 05:18 PM   #35
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Never mind, here's a transcript:
http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/170.htm

I don't see anything there that suggests Fajo has even killed before. He owns dangerous weapons and almost certainly controls his crew with threats, but based on his reaction to Varria's death, I get the impression he felt a little bad about it (nervously telling Data it was his fault). I don't see a convincing argument that Fajo would kill again should Data surrender to him.

The intention of the writer seems to be that Data fires due to an emotional response to Varria's death:
FAJO: Or what? You'll fire? Empty threat and we both know it. Why don't you accept your fate? You will return to your chair and you will sit there. You will entertain me and you will entertain my guests. And if you do not, I will simply kill somebody else. Him, perhaps. It doesn't matter. Their blood will be on your hands too, just like poor Varria's. Your only alternative, Data, is to fire. Murder me. That's all you have to do. Go ahead. Fire. If only you could feel rage over Varria's death. If only you could feel the need for revenge, then maybe you could fire. But you're just an android. You can't feel anything, can you? It's just another interesting intellectual puzzle for you. Another of life's curiosities.
DATA: I cannot permit this to continue.

Rage, revenge. Not because there's logically no choice. If there was logically no choice, he wouldn't have needed to lie about it.

Data fired because he was angry. That, to me, is at least quite interesting...
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Old January 17 2012, 05:33 PM   #36
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Start Wreck wrote: View Post

Rage, revenge. Not because there's logically no choice. If there was logically no choice, he wouldn't have needed to lie about it.
Fajo was taunting Data.


Data fired because he was angry. That, to me, is at least quite interesting...
I don't think so. I think Data merely calculated the odds of his escape if he didn't take the opportunity in front of him. He knew that once the crew learned of what happened to Varria, that there'd be little chance of escape after that. And I don't think he would've fired if he didn't believe that killing Fajo was the only way out.

Was he "angry" at Fajo? Yes. Did the "anger" drive his actions? I don't think so.
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Old January 17 2012, 05:40 PM   #37
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Data wasn't angry, he was making a rational decision that Fajo had to be stopped, you can see him processing that decision before he raises the gun.

he says "I cannot permit this to continue" in the same flat voice in which he'd give a routine report.
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Old January 17 2012, 05:45 PM   #38
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

The problem, IMHO, is not simply that Data fired. It makes sense that he did. The problem was the specific weapon he used.

Data knew what kind of pain the Varon-T disruptor causes. By choosing to fire, he chose to subject Fajo to that kind of pain. Data must have wanted Fajo to suffer as Varria (and others) did. Otherwise, Data would have tried to find some other way. I admit, I forgot about Fajo's force field, but Data would have found a way around that.
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Old January 17 2012, 05:49 PM   #39
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

We'll have to agree to disagree, then. Given the circumstances presented in the episode, I see no evidence that Fajo would have killed again had Data surrendered.
Fajo's dialogue being antagonistic (taunting) is precisely the point; if not, why was it written like that?

Think about it: if you're trying to write an interesting drama, you don't make the decision an easy one. If Data's actions are logically justifiable, then the resolution is boring. "He did what he had to do to save lives" is dramatically dull, whereas "he acted beyond his programming, emotionally" is the stuff of meaty character development. Or it would be if anything ever came of it. They left the ending "ambiguous" as a get-out clause, I suppose.
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Old January 17 2012, 05:51 PM   #40
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Fajo is obviously untrustworthy and a liar. I see absolutely no reason to take anything he says at face value.
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Old January 17 2012, 11:29 PM   #41
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Fajo is obviously untrustworthy and a liar. I see absolutely no reason to take anything he says at face value.
If that's true, you must also distrust his assertion that he will kill again, therefore no one is in danger.

Anyway, IF Data did fire, he is a liar too.
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Old January 17 2012, 11:48 PM   #42
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

I think Data acted very human. Fajo deserved to die. Sometimes thats the only way to stop the evil that Fijo had within.
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Old January 18 2012, 12:01 AM   #43
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

All we know is Fajo's never killed anyone with the Varon-T disruptor before - that explains away his fascination after killing the woman as far as I'm concerned...

I don't think Data "got angry" I think that he processed it all in his head and came to the conclusion that Fajo would kill again and that as a starfleet officer, he had a duty to protect "the innocent"...I'd imagine he'd equate it to when Riker vapourised that assassin...and Riker had back-up...

As far as Data knew he was the only one around, and Fajo was a clear and present danger!
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Old January 18 2012, 01:08 AM   #44
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

JB2005 wrote: View Post
I don't think Data "got angry" I think that he processed it all in his head and came to the conclusion that Fajo would kill again and that as a starfleet officer, he had a duty to protect "the innocent"...
If he was doing his duty, then why did he lie about it to his commanding officer? Surely he would have said, "yes Commander, I was just about to protect more innocent lives by putting an end to Fajo's reign of terror. Give me a medal."

The idea that he was morally duty-bound to shoot Fajo doesn't hold up. It doesn't hold up logically, it doesn't hold up narratively, and it doesn't hold up dramatically. The only explanation (aside from the unsatisfying one that there was a sensor/transporter glitch) is that Data experienced an emotional response and wanted revenge.
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Old January 18 2012, 01:22 AM   #45
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Re: "The Most Toys" Data would have killed but lied to Riker!

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
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Then I'll say it with 101% certainty. Fajo would not have kept his word.
Ignoring the fact that that makes no sense, you're already wrong, because he was caught before he could do any more harm. How can you be totally sure that something will happen when it already definitely didn't?
Because Fajo was very unexpectedly (from Data's point of view) caught before he could do anything else. Data had absolutely no way of foreseeing that outside help would arrive when it did. As far as he knew, it was all up to to HIM.

It is remarkably easy to moralize about what Data should have done, and how "murder" is unjustifiable (which last you have said quite a few times). But, despite how much you keep denying this, Data was in basically a survival situation. Fajo may not have actually killed Data if he surrendered, but he would certainly have taken steps (under threat of killing more innocents presumably) to prevent any further actions by Data. Very arguably something exceptionally nasty - lobotomization and/or crippling comes to mind.

And it was very very clear that Fajo was not a being that could be trusted.
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