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Old July 6 2012, 02:06 AM   #316
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

It is not distasteful, just factually wrong. The Menk are as intelligent or perhaps even more intelligent than the Valakians.
Usually you form an opinion conditional upon facts, not the other way around.
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Old July 6 2012, 02:11 AM   #317
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post
It is not distasteful, just factually wrong. The Menk are as intelligent or perhaps even more intelligent than the Valakians.
So we're not actually debating the contents of the episode? We're also not going by Phlox's opinion of the Menk, but then using that same analysis as the basis for withholding the cure?

You're really all over the place here.

And I'll ignore the insult...
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Old July 6 2012, 02:24 AM   #318
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

If you feel insulted when somebody points out that you are messing up facts you need to grow a thicker skin. Whatever you think you saw, the Dear Doctor in the real world does not feature Menk who are animals but sentient and intelligent hominids or as Trek usually calls them humanoids. This becomes obvious in the scene with the Menk on the planet and hence Phlox' later comparison between Menk/Valakians and homo sapiens/Neanderthals.
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Old July 6 2012, 02:28 AM   #319
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post
If you feel insulted when somebody points out that you are messing up facts you need to grow a thicker skin. Whatever you think you saw, the Dear Doctor in the real world does not feature Menk who are animals but sentient and intelligent hominids or as Trek usually calls them humanoids. This becomes obvious in the scene with the Menk on the planet and hence Phlox' later comparison between Menk/Valakians and homo sapiens/Neanderthals.
But if they've evolved to a point equal to the Valakians, then Phlox's whole hypothesis that the Valakians need to die out for the Menk to evolve is flat wrong. Correct?
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Old July 6 2012, 02:58 AM   #320
horatio83
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

I was also wrong, they are not as intelligent as the Valakians.
So it is the other way around, Valakians are the equivalent of us and Menk are perhaps the equivlane of Neanderthals.
Due to their language skills I do not get the impression that they are the equivalent of earlier human species, that they are that far away from the Valakians.

So OK, they are biologically slightly less evolved than the Valakians and due to their model of coexistence the Menk do not need to be particularly intelligent. Without the Valakians around they have to solve more problems and due to natural selection their brains should grow.
This is as far as I understand it Phlox' point and people rightly criticize that this either or stance, either we help the Valakians and the Menk evolve slowly or we let them die out such that the Menk are on their own and can prosper, is pretty nasty.

The mistake is that this correct biological observation of how species interact in the long-run can is mistaken for an guideline to act. As Sonak rightly pointed out, it is Social Darwinism, mistaking biology for politics.
About politics proper, the Valakians do not have to vanish to enable the Menk to prosper. They only have to treat the Menk decently, as citizens. Once they have the right to own fertile land and other property, grow their own food and start their own economy, get educated by the Valakians, govern themselves and so on they will also evolve (although culturally probably faster than biologically).
But like in Cogenitor the question is whether this would actually work or whether it would not rather create chaos if it is enforced by outsiders. And the Enterprise crew would have to enforce it as the Valakians certainly do not willingly give up their socially dominant position. That's as if a slaveholder is fine with the abolishment of slavery or if a worker is fine with immigration and the resulting competition.
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Old July 6 2012, 03:09 AM   #321
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post
So OK, they are biologically slightly less evolved than the Valakians and due to their model of coexistence the Menk do not need to be particularly intelligent. Without the Valakians around they have to solve more problems and due to natural selection their brains should grow.
But there's every chance that the Menk growth could be stunted if the Valakians die off. It's possible that the presence of the Valakians was what pushed the Menk to grow in the first place.

A younger sibling trying to keep up with the older one.

Social structures are fleeting. Once the Menk reach that point of being on equal footing, the society they live in will have to recognize that and adjust.

Starfleet is duty bound to attempt to assist those that ask for it. They are not permitted to mess in the social structure of a given world because its values do not match up with Starfleet's. Nor is it Starfleet's right to attach societal changes as a condition of help.
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Old July 6 2012, 03:10 AM   #322
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Does Phlox ever specifically say that the Valakians need to die out, or does he just say that curing them would alter the natural course of life on the planet?

It has been quite awhile since I've seen the episode.

In any case, I think Starfleet is obligated to investigate the circumstances of those who ask for help, not simply render aid blindly with no regard for what repercussions it might have.
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Old July 6 2012, 03:17 AM   #323
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

DonIago wrote: View Post
Does Phlox ever specifically say that the Valakians need to die out, or does he just say that curing them would alter the natural course of life on the planet?

It has been quite awhile since I've seen the episode.

In any case, I think Starfleet is obligated to investigate the circumstances of those who ask for help, not simply render aid blindly with no regard for what repercussions it might have.
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.
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Old July 6 2012, 03:19 AM   #324
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

BillJ wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
So OK, they are biologically slightly less evolved than the Valakians and due to their model of coexistence the Menk do not need to be particularly intelligent. Without the Valakians around they have to solve more problems and due to natural selection their brains should grow.
But there's every chance that the Menk growth could be stunted if the Valakians die off. It's possible that the presence of the Valakians was what pushed the Menk to grow in the first place.

A younger sibling trying to keep up with the older one.

Social structures are fleeting. Once the Menk reach that point of being on equal footing, the society they live in will have to recognize that and adjust.

Starfleet is duty bound to attempt to assist those that ask for it. They are not permitted to mess in the social structure of a given world because its values do not match up with Starfleet's. Nor is it Starfleet's right to attach societal changes as a condition of help.
True, the Menk might e.g. have learned some of their linguistic skills from the Valakians. But at the present the Valakians rather inhibit them.

I totally agree that Starfleet should not mess with societies it does not understand for precisely these reasons, there are too many unknowns. And that's where we face the other crucial question, is curing a genetic disease that literally causes your DNA to disintegrate something like a plague or not rather something more fundamental which constitutes a serious interference into Valakian and thus also Menk life? And how about Starfleet's perspective upon this issue a century after the Eugenic Wars and WWIII?

I am not saying that we should follow Phlox' biologistic advice but rather take his insights seriously while viewing the issue in general more from a social perspective. Is this just a cure or is this an interference into their two-species-society?
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Old July 6 2012, 03:33 AM   #325
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

horatio83 wrote: View Post

I am not saying that we should follow Phlox' biologistic advice but rather take his insights seriously while viewing the issue in general more from a social perspective. Is this just a cure or is this an interference into their two-species-society?
The place you want the Menk to have in Valakian society, they are going to have to earn on their own. To try and push the issue, is just going to lead to the Valakians resenting the Menk and probably not good for their long term development.

Are you going to force the Valakians to rewrite their government to give the Menk equal power? Are you going to force the Valakians to give up factories to the Menk? Are you going to force an affirmative action program on them, that so many Menk have to be doctors, lawyers and engineers? That would just lead to disaster, Phlox himself says it could be a millennium if ever.

The Valakians are facing an extinction level event and have asked for help, I have a cure. The Valakians get the cure. The cultural side of the equation is for them to work out.
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Old July 6 2012, 04:17 AM   #326
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

I think this worst PD episodes and puts the PD in a bad light. I think episodes like Patterns of Force and Who Watches the Watchers are episodes that put the PD in a positive light. Those dealt with the ideas of cultural imperialism and imposing your beliefs on another society. But saying a society should die out rather then have outside influence placed on it, seems contrary to Gene Roddenberry's ideals.
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Old July 6 2012, 04:31 AM   #327
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

The Overlord wrote: View Post
I think this worst PD episodes and puts the PD in a bad light. I think episodes like Patterns of Force and Who Watches the Watchers are episodes that put the PD in a positive light. Those dealt with the ideas of cultural imperialism and imposing your beliefs on another society. But saying a society should die out rather then have outside influence placed on it, seems contrary to Gene Roddenberry's ideals.
Dear Doctor and Homeward are probably the two episodes that have damaged the Prime Directive the most.
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Old July 6 2012, 04:37 AM   #328
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

You mistake enlightenment for compassion.
No, I'm not. You missed my point. The intention of the scenes may have been to show Phlox as enlightened, but that's not the message the audience received. All we saw (we in general) was Phlox using skewed logic to justify withholding the cure. If the logic was more persuasive, perhaps the message would have come across more clearly. I'm criticizing the execution of the scenes, not the message they were trying to get across.
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Old July 6 2012, 04:48 AM   #329
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post
You mistake enlightenment for compassion.
No, I'm not. You missed my point. The intention of the scenes may have been to show Phlox as enlightened, but that's not the message the audience received. All we saw (we in general) was Phlox using skewed logic to justify withholding the cure. If the logic was more persuasive, perhaps the message would have come across more clearly. I'm criticizing the execution of the scenes, not the message they were trying to get across.
It also would've helped if his views on the Menk actually matched what we see of them on screen. If a species is using language, organizational skills, hold down jobs and can learn new concepts quickly... they're probably already over the hump.
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Old July 6 2012, 04:55 AM   #330
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

BillJ wrote: View Post
TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post
You mistake enlightenment for compassion.
No, I'm not. You missed my point. The intention of the scenes may have been to show Phlox as enlightened, but that's not the message the audience received. All we saw (we in general) was Phlox using skewed logic to justify withholding the cure. If the logic was more persuasive, perhaps the message would have come across more clearly. I'm criticizing the execution of the scenes, not the message they were trying to get across.
It also would've helped if his views on the Menk actually matched what we see of them on screen. If a species is using language, organizational skills, hold down jobs and can learn new concepts quickly... they're probably already over the hump.
Are you sure, I worked in a mall during college and I'm sure few there would have qualified as intelligent, sentient beings. Plox's argument amounts to don't interfere with nature. Treating it as a divine action that mustn't be interfered with. I loathe that aspect of TNG era Trek.
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