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Old June 1 2012, 03:13 PM   #226
Sindatur
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Why does everyone continue referring to the Menk as little more than Apes or not fully Sentient? That's simply not what we are shown in the episode, we are shown exactly how Intelligent they are. Give a random Human Being Phlox' samples and they are not going to categorize and sub-categorize the way the Menk helping Phlox did, that showed a great intelligence. The reason the Menk are labeled as Apes or not Fully Sentient, is precisely because they are being exploited, and being held back from their potential.

Regarding "Better to be enslaved than dead", perhaps you should look to all the folks throughout History who have fought to death to avoid enslavement. There's no guarantee the enslavement will work itself out, we've seen Spacefaring Races that still practice slavery and it certainly can't be undone, it can be ended, but, it can't be undone.
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Old June 1 2012, 03:49 PM   #227
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Why does everyone continue referring to the Menk as little more than Apes or not fully Sentient? That's simply not what we are shown in the episode, we are shown exactly how Intelligent they are. Give a random Human Being Phlox' samples and they are not going to categorize and sub-categorize the way the Menk helping Phlox did, that showed a great intelligence. The reason the Menk are labeled as Apes or not Fully Sentient, is precisely because they are being exploited, and being held back from their potential.

Regarding "Better to be enslaved than dead", perhaps you should look to all the folks throughout History who have fought to death to avoid enslavement. There's no guarantee the enslavement will work itself out, we've seen Spacefaring Races that still practice slavery and it certainly can't be undone, it can be ended, but, it can't be undone.

so this is the opposing side's argument-don't give the cure, leave the Valakians to die, because after observing that culture for A FEW DAYS, you figure that it's possible that the exploitation might go on for a while.

Do you realize how many Earth cultures practiced slavery or discrimination against a group at some point, only to have reforms that later changed that?

The U.S., Britain, France, Russia, ancient Rome, ancient Greece, countries in the Middle East, etc.

your argument basically relies on ignoring countless historical examples and pretending that you can look into a crystal ball and see what'll happen in a culture.


You're "playing God" in an attempt to say that you're NOT "playing God." You're saying they shouldn't be helped because their society isn't the way you'd like it to be right at that moment.
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Old June 1 2012, 04:10 PM   #228
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

sonak wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
Why does everyone continue referring to the Menk as little more than Apes or not fully Sentient? That's simply not what we are shown in the episode, we are shown exactly how Intelligent they are. Give a random Human Being Phlox' samples and they are not going to categorize and sub-categorize the way the Menk helping Phlox did, that showed a great intelligence. The reason the Menk are labeled as Apes or not Fully Sentient, is precisely because they are being exploited, and being held back from their potential.

Regarding "Better to be enslaved than dead", perhaps you should look to all the folks throughout History who have fought to death to avoid enslavement. There's no guarantee the enslavement will work itself out, we've seen Spacefaring Races that still practice slavery and it certainly can't be undone, it can be ended, but, it can't be undone.

so this is the opposing side's argument-don't give the cure, leave the Valakians to die, because after observing that culture for A FEW DAYS, you figure that it's possible that the exploitation might go on for a while.

Do you realize how many Earth cultures practiced slavery or discrimination against a group at some point, only to have reforms that later changed that?

The U.S., Britain, France, Russia, ancient Rome, ancient Greece, countries in the Middle East, etc.

your argument basically relies on ignoring countless historical examples and pretending that you can look into a crystal ball and see what'll happen in a culture.


You're "playing God" in an attempt to say that you're NOT "playing God." You're saying they shouldn't be helped because their society isn't the way you'd like it to be right at that moment.
No I'm not. I have never said the cure should not have been given. My debate has solely been centered around the exploitation of the Menk being dismissed by those who say not giving the cure is tantamount to Genocide. Both situations need to be looked at, you can't simply dismiss the Menk's enslavement/oppression and see the Valakians as the only victims.

Again, I am on 3rd the side, that believes it was not Archer's decision to make, he should have left it up to his superiors to make such a big decision, there was no Prime Directive or Starfleet Protocols at the time to even guide him.

Personallly, I do believe it was wrong not to give the cure, I just strongly disagree with ignoring the Menk's plight, and dismissing them as barely more than Apes or not Fully Sentient, because the episode makes it clear they are fully sentient and are intelligent
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Old June 1 2012, 04:17 PM   #229
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Sindatur wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
Why does everyone continue referring to the Menk as little more than Apes or not fully Sentient? That's simply not what we are shown in the episode, we are shown exactly how Intelligent they are. Give a random Human Being Phlox' samples and they are not going to categorize and sub-categorize the way the Menk helping Phlox did, that showed a great intelligence. The reason the Menk are labeled as Apes or not Fully Sentient, is precisely because they are being exploited, and being held back from their potential.

Regarding "Better to be enslaved than dead", perhaps you should look to all the folks throughout History who have fought to death to avoid enslavement. There's no guarantee the enslavement will work itself out, we've seen Spacefaring Races that still practice slavery and it certainly can't be undone, it can be ended, but, it can't be undone.

so this is the opposing side's argument-don't give the cure, leave the Valakians to die, because after observing that culture for A FEW DAYS, you figure that it's possible that the exploitation might go on for a while.

Do you realize how many Earth cultures practiced slavery or discrimination against a group at some point, only to have reforms that later changed that?

The U.S., Britain, France, Russia, ancient Rome, ancient Greece, countries in the Middle East, etc.

your argument basically relies on ignoring countless historical examples and pretending that you can look into a crystal ball and see what'll happen in a culture.


You're "playing God" in an attempt to say that you're NOT "playing God." You're saying they shouldn't be helped because their society isn't the way you'd like it to be right at that moment.
No I'm not. I have never said the cure should not have been given. My debate has solely been centered around the exploitation of the Menk being dismissed by those who say not giving the cure is tantamount to Genocide. Both situations need to be looked at, you can't simply dismiss the Menk's enslavement/oppression and see the Valakians as the only victims.

Again, I am on 3rd the side, that believes it was not Archer's decision to make, he should have left it up to his superiors to make such a big decision, there was no Prime Directive or Starfleet Protocols at the time to even guide him.

Personallly, I do believe it was wrong not to give the cure, I just strongly disagree with ignoring the Menk's plight, and dismissing them as barely more than Apes or not Fully Sentient, because the episode makes it clear they are fully sentient and are intelligent

OK, then I don't see who you're arguing against. No one I've seen who has supported giving the cure said to "ignore" the plight of the Menk. You're making it an either/or situation again when it's not.

Again, whether or not to give the cure is not a big "decision." There's no other side to it, unless you buy the pseudoscientific eugenics of that quack, Dr. Phlox.
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Old June 1 2012, 04:34 PM   #230
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Actually numerous people have acted like the plight of the Menk is no big deal and referred to them as "Not Fully Sentient" and "Little more than Apes".

IMHO, Archer should've contacted his superiors, they should have agreed to to provide the cure, but, made it contingent upon the Valakians agreeing to raising up the status of the Menk, allowing them to reach their potential. Simply tossing them the cure and walking away with no thought of the Menk plight, IMHO, is just as bad as walking away without giving them the cure.
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Old June 1 2012, 07:32 PM   #231
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Actually numerous people have acted like the plight of the Menk is no big deal and referred to them as "Not Fully Sentient" and "Little more than Apes".

IMHO, Archer should've contacted his superiors, they should have agreed to to provide the cure, but, made it contingent upon the Valakians agreeing to raising up the status of the Menk, allowing them to reach their potential. Simply tossing them the cure and walking away with no thought of the Menk plight, IMHO, is just as bad as walking away without giving them the cure.

OK, then I don't think we're in disagreement over the major issues. We both think the cure should be given and that the Menk should be helped.

I disagree strongly with your approach though-witholding the cure to force the Valakians to help the Menk is blackmail on a societal scale.

It will just create resentment, and even if the Valakians agree(as they likely will), they will be bitter toward the Menk for a while and it'll affect relations between the two.


Better to encourage the Valakians to make the reforms on their own.
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Old June 1 2012, 07:40 PM   #232
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

sonak wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
Actually numerous people have acted like the plight of the Menk is no big deal and referred to them as "Not Fully Sentient" and "Little more than Apes".

IMHO, Archer should've contacted his superiors, they should have agreed to to provide the cure, but, made it contingent upon the Valakians agreeing to raising up the status of the Menk, allowing them to reach their potential. Simply tossing them the cure and walking away with no thought of the Menk plight, IMHO, is just as bad as walking away without giving them the cure.

OK, then I don't think we're in disagreement over the major issues. We both think the cure should be given and that the Menk should be helped.

I disagree strongly with your approach though-witholding the cure to force the Valakians to help the Menk is blackmail on a societal scale.

It will just create resentment, and even if the Valakians agree(as they likely will), they will be bitter toward the Menk for a while and it'll affect relations between the two.


Better to encourage the Valakians to make the reforms on their own.
Yea, that's what I meant, strongly encourage them, It came out worded more strongly then I meant it, it wasn't meant to sound like Blackmail, but, rather "See our compassion in helping you, you owe the same compassion to the Menk".
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Old June 1 2012, 08:06 PM   #233
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Sindatur wrote: View Post

"See our compassion in helping you, you owe the same compassion to the Menk".
But this works under the assumption that either the Menk are unhappy with the current situation or they are being mistreated. The episode doesn't indicate either is happening, even Phlox calls it a symbiotic relationship.

You should get involved for only two reasons: an external extinction event (not self-inflicted) or to clean up a mess by a prior expedition. This is where Starfleet would get bogged down, trying to turn every planet into Earth of the 22nd thru 24th century.
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Old June 1 2012, 08:20 PM   #234
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Miss Lemon wrote: View Post
What I find puzzling is that the episode that is about Sisko making a decision that is generally considered to be morally wrong is commonly considered to be DS9's best.
It's not puzzling at all.

The DS9 episode was all about Sisko acknowledging that he had done something which Starfleet would consider ethically wrong, but which would ultimately save billions of lives. It wasn't a black-and-white morality play, and the conclusion was deliberately left ambiguous, posing a confession of guilt, and a question without easy answers.

'Dear Doctor', on the other hand, wants to pretend that easy, morally comfortable answers exist to moral dilemmas that are clearly difficult to resolve (if indeed the discussion here is any indication). You don't have Archer making a note on Phlox's Starfleet record for having made an unethical decision or any reflection on the ramifications of the decision beyond the scope of the single episode - the whole thing is wrapped up in much too pat a way.

(Actually, I take that back. They do come back to these themes later, in 'Observer Effect', but have the exact opposite problem, saying with absolute moral certitude that the Organians should interfere and not let their crewmen die. But this has the effect of Archer coming off as a douchebag saying 'my race deserves special treatment; the rules we made don't apply to us!')

The smug moral self-assurance of the Enterprise universe (particularly in episodes like this one) is only made the more irritating by the fact that it is done in the pose of 'Look, look! See how not like TNG we're being!'.

And by the fact that Archer is 195-proof douchebag. IMHO.

BillJ wrote:
You should get involved for only two reasons: an external extinction event (not self-inflicted) or to clean up a mess by a prior expedition. This is where Starfleet would get bogged down, trying to turn every planet into Earth of the 22nd thru 24th century.
Part of the difficulty with US foreign policy right now is that we don't really know where the line is anymore. Take Syria, for example.

One side (the FSA) is being armed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The other (the Syrian government) is being armed by Iran, with Russian logistical assistance. But it is, for all intents and purposes, a civil war. Do we intervene or not? On which side? At the moment, we are leaning heavily against the Syrian government - possibly for entirely self-interested reasons (Saudi Arabia and Qatar supplying a sizeable proportion of our raw petroleum), though we (almost of necessity now) have to dress up our rationale for intervention in entirely 'humanitarian' terms.

Personally, I don't like the special pleading we do for such cases. I think we ought to err on the side of nonintervention in civil wars, because the costs of our entry are much, much greater both for us and for the country we are, er, 'helping'.

In this case, I agree with the 'Prime Directive'-like principle, at least as far as military intervention is concerned. I certainly think we should be in the business of providing shelter to the displaced and refugees, providing emergency rations and amenities, &c, however. In another case, like a genocide, I might not agree with such a principle of military non-intervention.
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Old June 1 2012, 08:58 PM   #235
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

BillJ wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post

"See our compassion in helping you, you owe the same compassion to the Menk".
But this works under the assumption that either the Menk are unhappy with the current situation or they are being mistreated. The episode doesn't indicate either is happening, even Phlox calls it a symbiotic relationship.

You should get involved for only two reasons: an external extinction event (not self-inflicted) or to clean up a mess by a prior expedition. This is where Starfleet would get bogged down, trying to turn every planet into Earth of the 22nd thru 24th century.
How can you not classify it as being mistreated, when you actively prevent Intelligent people from using their intelligence and you keep them uneducated? Yes, I know, nothing is mentioned about education...at all, but, obviously they are prevented from being educated, when they are treated like Pack mules, unable to even care for themselves, and then we see the intelligence expressed by the guy working with Phlox.
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Old June 1 2012, 09:05 PM   #236
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

BillJ wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post

"See our compassion in helping you, you owe the same compassion to the Menk".
But this works under the assumption that either the Menk are unhappy with the current situation or they are being mistreated. The episode doesn't indicate either is happening, even Phlox calls it a symbiotic relationship.

You should get involved for only two reasons: an external extinction event (not self-inflicted) or to clean up a mess by a prior expedition. This is where Starfleet would get bogged down, trying to turn every planet into Earth of the 22nd thru 24th century.

But they were already involved with these people and they'd asked for Archer's help. It's not like Archer was going around saying "let's look for planets so we can tell the people how to live more like us."

Because then I'd agree with you. Here they're already involved, though.
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Old June 1 2012, 09:09 PM   #237
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

sonak wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post

"See our compassion in helping you, you owe the same compassion to the Menk".
But this works under the assumption that either the Menk are unhappy with the current situation or they are being mistreated. The episode doesn't indicate either is happening, even Phlox calls it a symbiotic relationship.

You should get involved for only two reasons: an external extinction event (not self-inflicted) or to clean up a mess by a prior expedition. This is where Starfleet would get bogged down, trying to turn every planet into Earth of the 22nd thru 24th century.

But they were already involved with these people and they'd asked for Archer's help. It's not like Archer was going around saying "let's look for planets so we can tell the people how to live more like us."

Because then I'd agree with you. Here they're already involved, though.
They asked Archer for medical assistance, not to critique their social order.
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Old June 1 2012, 09:19 PM   #238
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Sindatur wrote: View Post

How can you not classify it as being mistreated, when you actively prevent Intelligent people from using their intelligence and you keep them uneducated? Yes, I know, nothing is mentioned about education...at all, but, obviously they are prevented from being educated, when they are treated like Pack mules, unable to even care for themselves, and then we see the intelligence expressed by the guy working with Phlox.
Well, if you're working at what looks to be a state-of-the-art medical facility you have to have at least some education.

But the crux of the problem, is that Phlox says one thing about the Menk (their evolving chimps) and the episode shows us something entirely different (they have language, have a social order, use logic). But Archer only meets one Menk for a few moments, his evaluation is based solely on Phlox's recommendations. It's like we got an episode formed from two distinct stories and no one caught that glaring contradiction.

However, it's still not Archer's job to tell the Valakians/Menk that their societal setup is wrong based on human values. The Menk don't look to be mistreated at all, no obvious physical mistreatment, they seem eager to help and look to be well fed (we even see a husky Menk). This is why there is a Prime Directive, to keep us from imposing human values on an alien culture.
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Old June 1 2012, 09:31 PM   #239
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

BillJ wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post

How can you not classify it as being mistreated, when you actively prevent Intelligent people from using their intelligence and you keep them uneducated? Yes, I know, nothing is mentioned about education...at all, but, obviously they are prevented from being educated, when they are treated like Pack mules, unable to even care for themselves, and then we see the intelligence expressed by the guy working with Phlox.
Well, if you're working at what looks to be a state-of-the-art medical facility you have to have at least some education.

But the crux of the problem, is that Phlox says one thing about the Menk (their evolving chimps) and the episode shows us something entirely different (they have language, have a social order, use logic). But Archer only meets one Menk for a few moments, his evaluation is based solely on Phlox's recommendations. It's like we got an episode formed from two distinct stories and no one caught that glaring contradiction.

However, it's still not Archer's job to tell the Valakians/Menk that their societal setup is wrong based on human values. The Menk don't look to be mistreated at all, no obvious physical mistreatment, they seem eager to help and look to be well fed (we even see a husky Menk). This is why there is a Prime Directive, to keep us from imposing human values on an alien culture.
No, actually, there is no Prime Directive, Enterprise is before the Prime Directive was created, hence, my position, that Archer had nothing to guide his decision by, and he shouldn't have made any decision, he should have contacted his Superiors and had them make the decision.
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Old June 1 2012, 09:46 PM   #240
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Sindatur wrote: View Post
No, actually, there is no Prime Directive, Enterprise is before the Prime Directive was created, hence, my position, that Archer had nothing to guide his decision by, and he shouldn't have made any decision, he should have contacted his Superiors and had them make the decision.
I agree he should've contacted his superiors in regards to curing the Valakians. But they would have laughed at him, and rightly so, if he had been suggesting they change the planet's social order because he felt the helper monkeys weren't being treated fairly.

It has evolved into a Prime Directive discussion because absolute non-interference is exactly the course of action Phlox recommends and Archer carries out.
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