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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old June 14 2013, 03:14 AM   #91
Praetor Baldric
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Sran wrote: View Post
^Suppose Khan's kept in stasis long enough to meet someone like Julian Bashir. He was able to help Serena Douglas. If a similar procedure were developed for Khan to modify his personality, it's possible he could've been changed for the better. I'm not saying it's likely, but it may have been possible.

--Sran
Ok, fair enough. So let's say Kirk decides to put Khan and Co. back into stasis until the authorities can figure out some way to rehabilitate him. That still requires taking on an incredible risk that someone less ethical might find some way to revive Khan prematurely and try to use him as a weapon against the Feds (possible Klingon or Romulan black ops to free and finance Khan to destroy the Federation in exchange for a piece of the pie.) Why take any chances with these guys? They are very, very dangerous...WWIII dangerous! As unpopular as it may sound, getting rid of them permanently is the only safe bet. Remember, Kirk's error in dealing with Khan came back to bite him in the ass 20 years later in TWOK. I think TWOK makes the argument for me that Kirk made the wrong decision back in Space Seed. In the end, the Khan problem is solved by destroying him and his followers. They could have saved a lot of lives and time if they had just done away with him back in the 60s.
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Old June 14 2013, 03:31 AM   #92
Sran
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Big Daddy wrote: View Post
I think TWOK makes the argument for me that Kirk made the wrong decision back in Space Seed.
The problem with this type of thinking is that it doesn't take into account the mistake by Reliant's crew in not recognizing Ceti Alpha V when they traveled to the star system in TWOK. Now, one could argue that there would have been no opportunity for a mistake had Kirk not left Khan alive, but that doesn't excuse the carelessness with which Reliant approached the situation.

In any case, I don't know that a Federation citizen makes the decision to kill another being regardless of the risk he poses. Kirk could have destroyed Reliant once it was disabled, but he gave Khan a chance to surrender. That Khan still tired to destroy Kirk by activating the Genesis device fits your argument, but it doesn't change what Kirk was trying to do in the situation.

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Old June 14 2013, 03:36 AM   #93
Praetor Baldric
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Sran wrote: View Post
Big Daddy wrote: View Post
I think TWOK makes the argument for me that Kirk made the wrong decision back in Space Seed.
Kirk could have destroyed Reliant once it was disabled, but he gave Khan a chance to surrender. That Khan still tired to destroy Kirk by activating the Genesis device fits your argument, but it doesn't change what Kirk was trying to do in the situation.

--Sran
The reason why Kirk's actions in Space Seed and then again in TWOK bother me; that is, the fact that Kirk keeps trying to give Khan a chance as you have pointed out quite rightly, is that it suggests that Kirk is somewhat thick. What's that expression? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
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Old June 14 2013, 04:07 AM   #94
Sran
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Big Daddy wrote: View Post
What's that expression? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
That's the one. Now that you mention it, I'm surprised Spock didn't recommend that Kirk do away with Khan, either in "Space Seed" or The Wrath of Khan. Kirk's entirely human response to the situation may have precluded his taking the action on his own, but Spock's sense of logic should have enabled him to see a clear solution to the problem of how to deal with Khan once he was defeated. Moreover, why didn't anyone think to beam the Genesis device away from Reliant as soon as the battle concluded? Didn't the Federation want it back?

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Old June 14 2013, 04:11 AM   #95
Sran
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

^Small thread hijack, but I just thought of an interesting take on why this didn't happen. Perhaps David was so concerned about his being found out before the Genesis device could be used that he didn't want to risk beaming it to the Enterprise. As Spock eventually died trying to save Enterprise from the Genesis detonation, it would explain why David later sacrificed his life to save him in TSFS.

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Old June 14 2013, 12:13 PM   #96
starburst
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Sran wrote: View Post
Big Daddy wrote: View Post
I think TWOK makes the argument for me that Kirk made the wrong decision back in Space Seed.
The problem with this type of thinking is that it doesn't take into account the mistake by Reliant's crew in not recognizing Ceti Alpha V when they traveled to the star system in TWOK. Now, one could argue that there would have been no opportunity for a mistake had Kirk not left Khan alive, but that doesn't excuse the carelessness with which Reliant approached the situation.
Not noticing a planet had gone missing is a pretty big oversight... even if it is a little surveyed area they knew enough about it to notice that one planet was now missing.

It may have been a mistake in retrospect, Kirk likely wished he had done it differently, but there are a few variables which he couldnt have seen back in Space Seed namely another planet exploding and the Reliant not making the connection.

Sran wrote: View Post
Kirk could have destroyed Reliant once it was disabled, but he gave Khan a chance to surrender. That Khan still tired to destroy Kirk by activating the Genesis device fits your argument, but it doesn't change what Kirk was trying to do in the situation.
Which is a defining element of Kirk's personality as he obviously planned to take who ever was still alive into custody no matter the risks. The same when it came to the Romulans in Balance of Terror or Kruge in TSFS.
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Old June 14 2013, 12:25 PM   #97
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Dream wrote: View Post
The death sentence was outlawed in Starfleet with the exception of General Order 7, so Kirk killing Khan after winning the fist fight would make Kirk a murderer.
This. Starfleet would have removed Kirk from command and court-martialed him.
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Old June 14 2013, 02:57 PM   #98
Sran
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

starburst wrote: View Post
It may have been a mistake in retrospect, Kirk likely wished he had done it differently, but there are a few variables which he couldnt have seen back in Space Seed namely another planet exploding and the Reliant not making the connection.
Exactly. Hindsight is always 20/20, so it's not always fair to judge a decision years after it was made and argue that it was wrong. Decisions have to made based on the circumstances that exist at the time one's making them. Taking the future into consideration is important, but trying to take hypothetical scenarios into account is asking to much, IMO.

starburst wrote:
Which is a defining element of Kirk's personality as he obviously planned to take who ever was still alive into custody no matter the risks. The same when it came to the Romulans in Balance of Terror or Kruge in TSFS.
Correct, though I'm not sure if a group of Romulans poses the same risk that Khan's people would. They'd certainly have greater strategic value. I wonder how Kirk would have handled the situation in "Rocks and Shoals." Sisko didn't like shooting the Jem'Hadar down, but he did it. Would Kirk have taken that step?

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Old June 14 2013, 07:57 PM   #99
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Big Daddy wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Big Daddy wrote: View Post
Look at it this way, would you give a group of Hitlers, Stalins, and Napoleons their very own world? Seems to me it'd be safer just to waste them all.
This is called a "human rights violation." (Or, I suppose in the world of Star Trek, a "sentients' rights violation.") People have the right to live, even if they are monsters; killing someone is only acceptable in the act of immediate self-defense or the immediate defense of others.
Killing a megalomaniac and his followers who have a history of oppressing and killing others and who have shown intent to do so again would constitute killing "in the immediate defense of others" in my book.
Your book is wrong. If they are not in the immediate act of trying to kill you or someone else -- e.g., holding a gun on someone -- and they are already restrained and in custody, then they are by definition not an immediate threat.

Sometimes human rights are revocable.
No, they are not. That's why they are human rights, not human privileges.

Just ask a holocaust survivor what he/she would think about applying your philosophy to someone like Hitler.
Victims of violence are not in charge of determining punishment for the perpetrators, precisely because they are too close to the crime and thus prone to revenge rather than justice.

Khan is a defective mutation, an engineered virus to the body of civility.
No, Khan is a person and thus has the right to live.
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Old June 14 2013, 08:07 PM   #100
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Sran wrote: View Post
In any case, I don't know that a Federation citizen makes the decision to kill another being regardless of the risk he poses. Kirk could have destroyed Reliant once it was disabled, but he gave Khan a chance to surrender. That Khan still tired to destroy Kirk by activating the Genesis device fits your argument, but it doesn't change what Kirk was trying to do in the situation.
Recall that the Reliant wasn't totally destroyed. It was severely damaged, but it could be repaired. Why destroy it and waste the vessel? Also at this point, for all Kirk and company knew, Khan was beaten and could no longer fight back.

However, what did surprise me is that given the importance of Genesis, why didn't he think to immediately have the device beamed off the ship, just in case Reliant's condition worsened and risked explosion? This is even independent of the idea of Khan being able to still use the device.

But what really annoys me about that scene is that when Genesis was activated, Kirk didn't even think to try beaming the device off the ship and then scramble the atoms--a very simple and quick solution to the problem. Then the transporter chief would radio back how they can't get a lock on it, and Spock says something technical like the energy field around it is scrambling the beams. THEN they make a run for it.
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Last edited by Gary7; June 14 2013 at 08:35 PM.
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Old June 14 2013, 09:16 PM   #101
DonIago
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

If Our Heroes debated every single way they've defeated similar situations every time they encountered a similar situation, the runtimes would at minimum triple...
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Old June 14 2013, 09:28 PM   #102
JarodRussell
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

DonIago wrote: View Post
If Our Heroes debated every single way they've defeated similar situations every time they encountered a similar situation, the runtimes would at minimum triple...
It worked perfectly in Stargate SG1 and SGA. They often recalled solutions from previous episodes and then gave a reason why it wouldn't work this time.
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Old June 14 2013, 09:34 PM   #103
Sran
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Gary7 wrote: View Post
Recall that the Reliant wasn't totally destroyed. It was severely damaged, but it could be repaired. Why destroy it and waste the vessel? Also at this point, for all Kirk and company knew, Khan was beaten and could no longer fight back.
As a commanding officer, Kirk doesn't have the luxury of making that assumption. As far as he's concerned, Reliant is threat until it's not, Khan or no Khan. Salvaging the vessel would be a distant tertiary concern behind securing the vessel and getting back the Genesis device.

Gary7 wrote:
However, what did surprise me is that given the importance of Genesis, why didn't he think to immediately have the device beamed off the ship, just in case Reliant's condition worsened and risked explosion? This is even independent of the idea of Khan being able to still use the device.
I've wondered the same thing. If Kirk beams the device over before Khan activates it, there's no danger of Enterprise being destroyed. I don't know that trying to scramble the device with the transporter would have been a good idea. For all we know, that could've detonated the torpedo prematurely, killing everyone aboard both ships.

--Sran
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Old June 14 2013, 09:54 PM   #104
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

^ The Genesis device prevented the transporter from working. Once it's activated, it can't be stopped or beamed away.

Remember Kirk suggested that they beam aboard the Reliant and stop it, and David replied "You can't."
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Old June 14 2013, 09:57 PM   #105
Sran
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Re: Why Let Khan Live?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ The Genesis device prevented the transporter from working. Once it's activated, it can't be stopped or beamed away.

Remember Kirk suggested that they beam aboard the Reliant and stop it, and David replied "You can't."
I think David was referring to them shutting the device down with the computer. There's no evidence the transporter couldn't be used to beam it away, though I don't know if doing so would be safe. It may have detonated prematurely if caught in a transporter beam for all we know.

--Sran
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