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Old May 29 2012, 12:42 PM   #31
Vassa
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

What I find interesting about Phlox is that he has very peculiar moral values. I believe that most human physicians would have feel obliged to cure those people because of their Hippocratic Oath. There has been one other example of this divergence, but I can't remember in which episode right now. It should be clear however that Phlox has a rather unorthodox approach to patient privacy and confidentiality compared to our standards.

Maybe his species never identified themselves as the center of the Universe? Didn't have centuries of delusions to that effect?
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Old May 29 2012, 12:47 PM   #32
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Vassa wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Vassa wrote: View Post

Conversely, how much of your resources are you going to spend on a species to keep it alive? Are you going to do the same for each and every species that asks for help? Where do you draw the line?
Well it only took Phlox a couple days to solve the dilemma and there was no hint of any long term costs for Starfleet.
Yes, wasn't that fortunate? Could have taken decades. I guess now the Enterprise should also create the 50 million doses to treat everyone? Stick around make sure eveyone gets inoculated against their genetic defects? Make sure there aren't any other defects they can cure?


Meanwhile, the Valakians are begging for Warp Drive. Should Archer have given it to them? Maybe he should have just given them a few grams of anti-matter? Let them figure it out on their own?
Any time you stumble across a situation like this it'll break down into three components: ethics, costs and logistics.

On ethics, is it right to allow an entire race to die out because they don't understand the nature of the universe around them? Should you allow a planet to be pulverized by an asteroid because the natives don't know about them? Should you let a child be hit by a bus because they don't understand the danger?

On costs, what is it going to costs you in manpower and materials? This one is always tricky because you things don't always play out the way you intend them too. But there is no indication that the Valakians can't reproduce the cure themselves. And did you ever think of what happens to the Menk? Left with dangers they simply don't understand and hundreds of millions of corpses to clean up?

On logistics, is it feasible to help? To save the Valakians, it's not going to take some great migration to save them.
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Old May 29 2012, 01:14 PM   #33
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Saving a child standing in front of a bus is a very different thing than deciding to save a planet from an asteroid or genetic defects; because, the Bus, the Road, the poorly marked crossing, and a great many other things in that scenario were created by man. Not so the asteroid. Species die out all the time. Should Archer make sure there are no species facing extinction on every planet they visit?


I could counter that the deaths of the Valakians inspire the Menk to create the most beautiful works of art and music the galaxy has ever known. How dare Archer deprive the future of that inspiration? Or 10 years down the road the defect mutates into something else that drives the Valakians to kill every single Menk.

Often what it would boil down to is how god-like you'd want to pretend to be. How positive you'd be of the future that should happen and how righteous you'd feel about yourself for creating that future.
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Old May 29 2012, 01:28 PM   #34
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Vassa wrote: View Post

Often what it would boil down to is how god-like you'd want to pretend to be. How positive you'd be of the future that should happen and how righteous you'd feel about yourself for creating that future.
You become morally accountable to these types of situations when you put yourself on a starship and head out into the cosmos. You can't help everyone and no one has said otherwise.

Plus, did you ever think of the possibility of scientific discovery offered by such a unique situation? That is the reason they're in those starships to begin with.

By-the-by, you're playing God either way.
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Old May 29 2012, 02:44 PM   #35
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

By-the-by, you're playing God either way.


I guess if you see your presence as some sort of divine intervention.

Otherwise, aren't you saying that every witness to a murder is just as guilty as the murderer?
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Old May 29 2012, 02:58 PM   #36
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Vassa wrote: View Post
By-the-by, you're playing God either way.


I guess if you see your presence as some sort of divine intervention.

Otherwise, aren't you saying that every witness to a murder is just as guilty as the murderer?

Think of it this way, if you wonder uninvited into a strangers home and they're choking do you have a moral obligation to help?

This is exactly what the Prime Directive preaches. You're allowed to go into territory that is not your own to collect information in the name of "exploration" yet you feel no obligation to help combat natural forces that could destroy that civilization. It's a relationship where Starfleet takes advantage of lesser cultures for their own gain.

If Starfleet isn't willing to help those they are exploiting then they simply shouldn't be in the business of exploration.

But, in regards to Dear Doctor, this episode really wouldn't fall under the purview of the Prime Directive. Representatives of the Valakian government contacted the Enterprise and requested assistance and I agree with Mach5, who said that it simply wasn't Archers decision to make. This is an instance where he should have called Starfleet.
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Old May 29 2012, 03:33 PM   #37
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

You're right, Archer should have contacted StarFleet before rescuing the Valakians.
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Old May 29 2012, 03:35 PM   #38
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Vassa wrote: View Post
You're right, Archer should have contacted StarFleet before rescuing the Valakians.
He didn't rescue them...
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Old May 29 2012, 03:44 PM   #39
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

He should have contacted StarFleet before doing this.
From the synopsis:

On the bridge, the crew are discussing a pre-warp vessel they have encountered. It is not responding to hails, and has two weak biosigns on board. They dock the vessel in Bay 2 and take the aliens to their medical bay.



Do you consider people who survive a flood responsible for the deaths of those who didn't?
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Old May 29 2012, 03:51 PM   #40
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Vassa wrote: View Post
He should have contacted StarFleet before doing this.
From the synopsis:

On the bridge, the crew are discussing a pre-warp vessel they have encountered. It is not responding to hails, and has two weak biosigns on board. They dock the vessel in Bay 2 and take the aliens to their medical bay.
So you're saying Starfleet shouldn't offer aid to anyone? He should allow others to die just on the off chance their world might need help? Okay...


Do you consider people who survive a flood responsible for the deaths of those who didn't?
Depends. Did they offer a hand to help those they could reasonably help or did they just watch them drown?
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Old May 29 2012, 04:05 PM   #41
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Rendering aid is certainly the kindest thing to do and hopefully fosters the idea of mutual aid to ships in distress but to do so doesn't induce a moral obligation to save an entire species.
Archer could have stabilized the crew and ship and went on his way.


Depends. Did they offer a hand to help those they could reasonably help or did they just watch them drown?

I'm not sure how to answer that question. I guess I've never thought about interrogating flood victims to find out if they stood around watching others drown.

Last edited by Vassa; May 29 2012 at 04:06 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old May 29 2012, 04:10 PM   #42
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Vassa wrote: View Post
Rendering aid is certainly the kindest thing to do and hopefully fosters the idea of mutual aid to ships in distress but to do so doesn't induce a moral obligation to save an entire species.
Archer could have stabilized the crew and ship and went on his way.

So Archer should have ignored a request for assistance from representatives of the Valakian government?

"Tough shit, y'all! We can't take a couple days out of our leisure cruise to analyze your problem and at least give your (and our) government a report."

Archer is not only an explorer, he is also a diplomat representing Earth interests on the frontier. Not only that, but you also want to examine the situation to ensure that the planet itself doesn't need to be quarantined.

Good thing that Captain Garrett of another Enterprise didn't ignore a request for assistance from the Klingons, even though in your world nothing good could come from it...
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Old May 29 2012, 04:25 PM   #43
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Archer should not have offered to try to cure their disease. He was interfering in the natural order of that planet.

Garrett's actions fall in line with rendering immediate aid. The strategic benefits of such an act in regard to relations with the Klingons are also a further reason to help.

And the Klingons didn't then ask Garrett or the Federation to go to war with the Romulans. Which is what you seem to be implying would be the morally correct thing for Star Fleet to have done.
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Old May 29 2012, 04:36 PM   #44
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Vassa wrote: View Post
Archer should not have offered to try to cure their disease. He was interfering in the natural order of that planet.
Archer (or Kirk or Picard or Sisko or Janeway) interfere with the natural order of a world the moment they step on it. You are introducing elements that the biosphere may or may not be able to handle.


And the Klingons didn't then ask Garrett or the Federation to go to war with the Romulans. Which is what you seem to be implying would be the morally correct thing for Star Fleet to have done.
Huh? Is English not your first language, because I implied nothing of the kind. Garrett saved people, people who asked for help and her actions, unknowingly, helped to avoid a future war.

For all you know, the Valakians will get assistance from someone else down the road and that help could have negative ramifications for Earth/the Federation.
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Old May 29 2012, 04:52 PM   #45
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Re: True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

You are correct. Landing on any planet alters it. That is why there is a Prime Directive. To have rules about when that interaction takes place. We are shown many instances of the Enterprise-D scanning planets and determining what the impacts of an intrustion might be. I wish there had been more instances of, "We would seriously alter the bioshpere and should not land", but that would have made for rather boring entertainment...
The observation of primitive cultures via the "blinds" was deemed to be "controversial" in the show if I remember correctly.

I'm sorry, I thought your were saying that because Archer helped the Valakian ship he was obligated to cure their disease because they asked him. It didn't seem that far of a stretch to conclude that since Garrett saved the Klingons from an attacker, the Federation was obligated to protect the Klingons from any attacks in the future.

And for all you know the Valakians find their own cure and figure out the Menk are more intelligent than they first realized.
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