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Old June 1 2012, 10:45 PM   #241
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

It is interesting to see how the people who argue for helping the Valakans do, or shall I say have to, pretend that the Menk are lower lifeforms than they actually are.
Apart from the obvious disgusting fact of calling an intelligent primate who can speak a "helper monkey", this shows once again that the anti-PD faction is not concerned about clear a ethical principle which would imply that helping slaves to free themselves is mandatory just like healing a sick species is. Instead they pick and choose, help the sick folks and call the slaves stupid monkeys.
That's why Starfleet has a rule that forbids its officers from abusing their power to the benefit of group A and the detriment of group B.
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Old June 1 2012, 11:15 PM   #242
BillJ
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post
It is interesting to see how the people who argue for helping the Valakans do, or shall I say have to, pretend that the Menk are lower lifeforms than they actually are.
Apart from the obvious disgusting fact of calling an intelligent primate who can speak a "helper monkey", this shows once again that the anti-PD faction is not concerned about clear a ethical principle which would imply that helping slaves to free themselves is mandatory just like healing a sick species is. Instead they pick and choose, help the sick folks and call the slaves stupid monkeys.
Once again, the Menk are what they are. They are the equivalent of helper monkeys, according to Phlox, at this point in time. If a helper monkey is a slave, then the Menk are slaves. We have a known quantity in the Valakians and an unknown quantity in the Menk.

That's why Starfleet has a rule that forbids its officers from abusing their power to the benefit of group A and the detriment of group B.
But you've, once again, offered absolutely no proof that helping the Valakians is in any way a detriment to the Menk. Not even Phlox could prove it and he states they are deciding whether to help the Valakians based on a theory about what may happen to the Menk in a thousand or so years.
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Old June 1 2012, 11:28 PM   #243
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

They are not. Watch the friggin' episode, they are intelligent primates who can speak. And no, Phlox doesn't compare them with monkeys, he actually compares the Valakians and Menk with Neanderthals and homo sapiens.

PHLOX: We'd be interfering with an evolutionary process that has been going on for thousands of years.
ARCHER: Every time you treat an illness, you're interfering. That's what doctors do.
PHLOX: You're forgetting about the Menk.
ARCHER: What about the Menk?
PHLOX: I've been studying their genome as well, and I've seen evidence of increasing intelligence. Motor skills, linguistic abilities. Unlike the Valakians they appear to be in the process of an evolutionary awakening. It may take millennia, but the Menk have the potential to become the dominant species on this planet.
ARCHER: And that won't happen as long as the Valakians are around.
PHLOX: If the Menk are to flourish, they need an opportunity to survive on their own.
ARCHER: Well, what are you suggesting? We choose one species over the other?
PHLOX: All I'm saying is that we let nature make the choice.
ARCHER: The hell with nature. You're a doctor. You have a moral obligation to help people who are suffering.
PHLOX: I'm also a scientist, and I'm obligated to consider the larger issues. Thirty five thousand years ago, your species co-existed with other humanoids. Isn't that correct?
ARCHER: Go ahead.
PHLOX: What if an alien race had interfered and given the Neanderthals an evolutionary advantage? Fortunately for you, they didn't.
ARCHER: I appreciate your perspective on all of this, but we're talking about something that might happen. Might happen thousands of years from now. They've asked for our help. I am not prepared to walk away based on a theory.
PHLOX: Evolution is more than a theory. It is a fundamental scientific principle. Forgive me for saying so, but I believe your compassion for these people is affecting your judgment.
This factual distortion is not an accidental but a necessary symptom. People cannot bear the radical implications of their ethical stance (human ethics are universal in the galaxy) so they disavow them via viewing the Menk as slightly lower lifeforms who do not fall into our ethical rules (on a sidenote, I hope that they would, that our future is more Singerian).
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Old June 1 2012, 11:42 PM   #244
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

I just watched it. Are they comparable to the Valakians? Apparently not according to a Phlox and according to him the only way they grow is for the Valakians to die. That means they are a lesser life form at this point.

Would they have their own society without the Valakians? The Valakians cannot control every Menk in existence. There has to be at least some in the wild. Have they built their own society or are they sitting in trees flinging poo at each other?

So, whether you like it or not, the closest equivelant we have is that the Menk are primates in comparison to the Valakians. Now if you consider helper monkeys slaves then the Menk are slaves.
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Old June 1 2012, 11:53 PM   #245
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

BillJ wrote: View Post
sitting in trees flinging poo at each other
You can of course stick your fingers in your ears, sing lalala and pretend that they are monkeys. Doesn't make it true though.

Menk are primates in comparison to the Valakians.
Ehm, the Valakians are primates as well. We humans are also primates.
Not that my choice of the word primate was good as it includes monkeys as well as apes. Great apes, hominids or the Trek term "humanoid" are narrower.
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Old June 1 2012, 11:57 PM   #246
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

You can continue to ignore the point that the Menk were a lesser life form on the evolutionary scale and that determination comes from an independent third party (Phlox).
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Old June 2 2012, 12:14 AM   #247
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

I never said that they aren't. You on the other hand continue to call them monkeys. If you wanna lie, go ahead, that is your prerogative. But it is hardly the basis for a discussion.
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Old June 2 2012, 12:18 AM   #248
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post
I never said that they aren't. You on the other hand continue to call them monkeys. If you wanna lie, go ahead, that is your prerogative. But it is hardly the basis for a discussion.
I said 'equivalent' to helper monkeys.

Is it slavery when we use a lesser life form to help humanity? You know, like a seeing eye dog or a helper monkey? That's what the Menk are, a lesser life form being used by the dominate race.

It doesn't mean the dominate life form should be sentenced to death nor does it mean that the social order should be changed.
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Old June 2 2012, 12:47 AM   #249
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Still sticking with your monkey comparison, eh? They are neither dogs nor monkeys, they are hominids who can think and speak. We have no frame of comparison as among all the higher primates who could have (or actually have?) developed speech we are the only one in existence on this planet.

Phlox' comparison with Neanderthals was good but also had its flaws as we do not really know whether they were not actually a subspecies of us and whether we really exterminated them or actually got along and even mated with them.
But it is still far closer than your comparisons. The difference between us and monkeys is larger than between us and greater apes and larger than between Valakians and Menk.

Back to the frame of comparison problem, we have no rules for how to deal with a fellow human species which is slightly less evolved than we are. That's why I would advocate the Prime Directive, we simply lack competence.
But I see nothing inherently wrong with treating them according to human ethics. As the Menk are "more human than animal" (with this I mean the treshold which we perceive between us and animals; of course we are animals but also more than that and the ability to think and speak constitutes this more) we'd have to grant them full "human rights" and not animal rights. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness; the Valakians only grant them the first one so we'd have to liberate the Menk.


You cannot have it both ways, help group A but not group B. Certainly not if your only way to uphold this argument is via denying the "humanity" of group B.
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Old June 2 2012, 01:34 AM   #250
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post
You cannot have it both ways, help group A but not group B. Certainly not if your only way to uphold this argument is via denying the "humanity" of group B.
But your argument falls apart because there is no hint that group B is in any kind of distress.

I've already layed out the requirements for me to offer help, either an extinction level event or to clean up a mess from a prior expedition. The Menk don't fall under either of those two parameters.

EDIT: this is ridiculous, I'll end up making full Admiral on this thread alone if things keep up.
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Old June 2 2012, 01:46 AM   #251
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Do you actually read before you respond?

We'd have to grant them full "human rights" and not animal rights. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness; the Valakians only grant them the first one so we'd have to liberate the Menk.
Comparing hominids with dogs and monkeys, lack of reading, one-liners responses, I am somehow tempted to use a harsher phrase than intellectual laziness.
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Old June 2 2012, 01:53 AM   #252
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Do you actually read before you respond?

We'd have to grant them full "human rights" and not animal rights. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness; the Valakians only grant them the first one so we'd have to liberate the Menk.
Comparing hominids with dogs and monkeys, lack of reading, one-liners responses, I am somehow tempted to use a harsher phrase than intellectual laziness.
Meh. I'll live through your harsh criticism... somehow.
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Old June 2 2012, 02:02 AM   #253
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

I don't wanna be difficult but sorry, when you write the equivalent of "slaves who are well treated shouldn't complain" I naturally have some doubts about whether you have really thought about your ethical stance.
Despite being a PD advocate I view the inverse position as totally sound as long as you do not disavow its radical and horrible implications ... which you obviously do via your denial of the "humanity" of the Menk.

About your position, it is an interesting one and, guess what, I would agree that Starfleet should prevent the annihilation of an entire planet.
But preventing the annihilation of a species? Nah, it requires a definition of which life is safe- worthy and which isn't (the Data and Doctor problem), evolutionary questions like in Dear Doctor and very problematic questions like whether you should interfere into a war between two species that threaten the annihilation of one. Where do you draw the line, what about genocide, what if not a species but a group is annihilated by another?

I say something very horrible now, if there are aliens up there I am happy that they do not stop any genocides down here. Because we have to learn on our own, even if it costs the lives of millions. I find it hard to say something more horrible than this but that is what ethics are, rules that might run counter to our natural-biological morals. They are not meant to make you feel good about yourself.
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Old June 2 2012, 02:21 AM   #254
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

I see the disposition of the Menk as an internal affair. To be solved between the two parties. You could "free" the Menk and it would, most likely, change very little in the relationship between the two parties. Only the nature of how the support is given to the Menk would change. Working as a hospital orderly is still going to lead the Menk to live in compounds based on a rather low rate of pay for unskilled positions. It would be unlikely that their education would ever be of the same caliber as they aren't as intelligent as the Valakians.

Has their intelligence come far enough to know how to value currency? How to make sure they're making the right nutritional choices? To know when to go to the doctor? What about voting would they even be able to understand the concepts of politics?

Sounds like you're interfering solely to make yourself feel better...
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Old June 2 2012, 03:14 AM   #255
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Yeah, that's why I just described how horrific the consequences of my Prime Directive advocacy, being passive while millions or billions people die, actually is.

Internal affair? The entire thing is an internal affair! Either you help everybody or nobody. When you help group A you hurt group B and vice versa. An arbitrary pick and choose game is not a viable option.

If you have to literally change reality via viewing the Menk first as monkeys, than denying that from a human perspective (which is not my perspective but the one of anti-PD folks which I have to adopt here) they are slaves who have the right to be free and now implying along similar lines that they could not cope with freedom (it sounds like the stuff slave owners say) your argument that the Federation can actually play such pick and choose games stands on very shaky grounds.

Your ill-thought off position reveals what the lack of a Prime Directive (and a lack of the inverse, to apply human ethics universally throughout the quadrant) implies, random favouring of some folks at the costs of others. If the self-interests of the Feds comes into this equation you sooner or later end up with imperialism.
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