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Old July 9 2013, 01:21 AM   #151
BillJ
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Dale Sams wrote: View Post

The ONLY way all this works is if Prime Directive 101 is taught at the Academy as a philosophy course and not a strict set of regulations. "Every Captain must make his own decision, no two cases are alike."
I agree with this.

The only way the TNG version of the Prime Directive would work is if you completely did away with your exploration of habitable systems. Too many things can go wrong, as we've seen, and contamination of some sort is inevitable.
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Old July 9 2013, 01:22 AM   #152
Gov Kodos
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
There are some good arguments for and against how the PD is interpreted . But the main problem I have is the mixing of pseudo science with it.

In Pen Pals, Data made contact with a little girl from a pre-warp society, whose planet was about to tear itself apart.

Data suggests that it might be possible to save the planet without any contact with the inhabitants, but here is the response;

DATA: If we can determine the cause of the geological instability, we might be able to reverse the process.

PICARD: And violate the Prime Directive.
Even if they could save those people without any risk of contact, it is still a violation?

But the real new age/philosophy part occurs later during a conference about the situation.

RIKER:.... We would be gods, but we're not. If there is some cosmic plan, isn't it the height of hubris to presume that we can, or should, interfere?

GEORDI: So what are you saying? That the Dremans are fated to die?

RIKER: It's something that needs to be considered.
When they start using words like "fate" and destiny with what is supposed to be an non interference policy towards aliens, the (TNG) PD starts looking a little weird.

So according to this the criteria for deciding to help a culture in danger is whether they are warp capable or aware of life on other planets--if they are, they deserve to be helped--

If they're not, then it's their fate and they should not be helped
Cosmic Plan, I guess Riker would love the Intelligent Design idiots.
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Old July 9 2013, 06:29 AM   #153
Anwar
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

BillJ wrote: View Post
Huh? Do you even you what your talking about? No one here has presented that Starfleet's job is to go around looking for endangered worlds. You're essentially making things up as the centerpiece of your argument.
And I'm saying there are more consequences to going around saving every endangered world encountered than folks think about. All they seem to care about is "Folks in danger, do something that requires all our resources even if they're deployed elsewhere!" and not about what that really entails.

Here you go, just for clarity: If you stumble upon a bad situation, you should help if you can help. Unless the situation was caused by the inhabitants acting stupid.
And if said help requires pulling thousands of ships off active duty to come in and help resolve said bad situation? Duties that were important and were now unfulfilled?

And you do of course!
For whatever reason, no one seems to stop and consider what happens AFTER you take millions if not billions of people from their world and try to resettle them and how this process would have to be repeated numerous times considering how often these things happen in Trek.

Depends. Are the dinosaurs sentient? Do the dinosaurs have a living culture? I wouldn't expect anyone to withhold help based on what "might" happen a hundred, a thousand or a million years down the road.
But the end result is that Humanity wouldn't exist.

"Don't save that toddler from getting hit by a bus! Who knows what negative ramifications it might have fifty years from now!"
By that logic, there was nothing wrong with Edith Keeler living.
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Old July 9 2013, 09:36 AM   #154
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Belz... wrote: View Post
The Prime Directive shouldn't prevent Starfleet from saving entire planets.
The caveat to that has to be, while the Prime Directive shouldn't prevent Starfleet from saving entire planets, often (even usually) other factors and priorities would.

If a technological solution could be applied then fantastic, if it can be done in such a way that the natives don't realize anything unusual happened than so much the better.

However if the natives attribute the "ending of the big earthquakes" with the blue fire that came out of the sky one day, too bad. They're alive to make assumptions.

Technically the natives (in a small area) have been contaminated, and their culture may be altered because of it, but they're alive to to make those changes.

In the case of a evacuation, first evacuating an entire planet's population will likely alway be out of the question, second the Federation simply isn't going to devote "thousands" of starships to the effort. They do what they can, with what they have availible.

Also, if a natural event was going to kill a large number of native, but would leave the majority of the native species untouched, then the Prime Directive would likely prevent the saving of the large number.

Anwar wrote: View Post
And I'm saying there are more consequences to going around saving every endangered world encountered than folks think about.
Realistically they not going to be saving every endangered planet.

And if said help requires pulling thousands of ships off active duty to come in and help resolve said bad situation?
If the use of "thousands" of ships is in fact a requirement, and the the employment of far far fewer ships can not effect the desired solution, then the bad situation won't be resolved.

... how this process would have to be repeated numerous times ...
It would not have to be repeated as a requirement, exercising an option would be a more acurate description.

BillJ wrote: View Post
Depends. Are the dinosaurs sentient? Do the dinosaurs have a living culture? I wouldn't expect anyone to withhold help based on what "might" happen a hundred, a thousand or a million years down the road.
But the end result is that Humanity wouldn't exist.
If the dinosaurs were sapient beings, then stopping the impact would have been the correct decision. Would the rise of Humans have been prevented? You're talking about the passage of a lot of time Timo.

"Don't save that toddler from getting hit by a bus! Who knows what negative ramifications it might have fifty years from now!"
By that logic, there was nothing wrong with Edith Keeler living.
There were options in that situation other than standing aside and watching her die, Kirk couldn't conceive of the alternatives, or choice not to attempt one.


Last edited by T'Girl; July 9 2013 at 10:02 AM.
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Old July 9 2013, 09:44 AM   #155
JarodRussell
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

If you're a biologist on a field trip, and you see a pride of lions attack a herd of zebras, do you interfer and save the zebras? Do you supply the animals with food and water when there is a drought in Serengeti?
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Old July 9 2013, 10:09 AM   #156
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
... do you interfer and save the zebras?
If the zebras were sapient beings then yes. However real zebras are just striped cows, so no.

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Old July 9 2013, 10:14 AM   #157
JarodRussell
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

T'Girl wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
... do you interfer and save the zebras?
If the zebras were sapient beings then yes. However real zebras are just striped cows, so no.

That's a pretty arrogant attitude, don't you think?

And as soon as some being happens to fit inside your definition of sapient, you have the right to interfer with a perfectly balanced ecological system? Killing lions in order to save zebras?
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Old July 9 2013, 10:48 AM   #158
Belz...
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
That's a pretty arrogant attitude, don't you think?
No, it's actually a silly question. Sentient beings > non-sentient beigns.
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Old July 9 2013, 12:27 PM   #159
T'Girl
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Killing lions in order to save zebras?
Who said anything about killing lions?


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Old July 9 2013, 02:10 PM   #160
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
... do you interfer and save the zebras?
If the zebras were sapient beings then yes. However real zebras are just striped cows, so no.

That's a pretty arrogant attitude, don't you think?

And as soon as some being happens to fit inside your definition of sapient, you have the right to interfer with a perfectly balanced ecological system? Killing lions in order to save zebras?

if there's a fire, and a Human being and a rabbit are trapped inside, do you think it's "pretty arrogant" to try to save the Human being instead of the rabbit?


I mean really, try to apply your argument to real scenarios and you'll see how silly it is.
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Old July 9 2013, 02:20 PM   #161
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Omission deeds are infinite - such as failing to save all sapient species/individuals.
As such, saving all of them cannot be, realistically, an obligatory requirement for one's morals.
But saving the ones you can save is morally salutary.
And saving the ones you can easily/relatively easily save (with little risk to yourself, with relatively little resource expenditure) IS morally obligatory.

Also - in detemining such actions, you must consider the individuals/species that exist NOW, not that may or may not exist in some ambiguous future.
And yes, sapience is the criterion - or, at least, one of the main criteria - for choosing whom to save. As Belz said, Sentient beings > non-sentient beigns.
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Old July 9 2013, 06:32 PM   #162
T'Girl
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
And as soon as some being happens to fit inside your definition of sapient, you have the right to interfer with a perfectly balanced ecological system?
Two different choices ...

A single lion is about to kill a chimpanzee, chimps are fairly smart, but don't meet my personal definition of "people." The most I'm going to do is turn my head and hope the little animal's death is reasonable quick.


A lion is about to kill a Human Being, now I don't know this guy from squat and he might be the next African Hitler, but he does meet my personal definition of "people." So I (in some way) prevent the kill.

If I can do so in such a way that preserves the lions's life too, so much the better.

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Old July 9 2013, 07:50 PM   #163
Kevman7987
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Always save the sentient beings first.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
If I can do so in such a way that preserves the lions's life too, so much the better.
Also, whenever someone says "so much the better," I can't help but hear it in Ricardo Montalban's voice as Khan in TWoK.
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Old July 9 2013, 07:54 PM   #164
Nightdiamond
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
Cosmic Plan, I guess Riker would love the Intelligent Design idiots.
Dale Sams wrote: View Post
Pen Pals opens up a dumb can of worms, so we can assume, probably (From The Drumhead), that SF looked the other way because Picard saved the planet...from a NATURAL disaster...and without contamination.
edit: I also find it hilarious that the only thing standing between aliens swooping down and solving all our problems for us, is that...no one has thought to ask.
One of the reasons i find the second season of TNG interesting is what you discover when you pay close attention to certain conversations.

You'd assume a discussion about saving an inhabited planet would involve resources, whether it would cause more damage and whether they can do it without any contact.

Instead they're using metaphysical words like "fate" "cosmic plan".

How did a (theoretical) concept like a cosmic plan get mixed up with the PD?

sonak wrote: View Post

if there's a fire, and a Human being and a rabbit are trapped inside, do you think it's "pretty arrogant" to try to save the Human being instead of the rabbit?
One argument for sapient over non sapient is that the sapient being is more likely to express gratitude for what you've done.
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Old July 9 2013, 09:12 PM   #165
Belz...
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Re: Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Kevman7987 wrote: View Post
Also, whenever someone says "so much the better," I can't help but hear it in Ricardo Montalban's voice as Khan in TWoK.
I have the same problem. In fact I use the phrase as often as possible precisely because of that.
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