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Old February 26 2009, 10:15 PM   #391
kv1at3485
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
kv1at3485

You may wish to look at the philosophical ideea of solipsism. I suspect you'll like the concept. Much too nihilistic for me.
Which doesn't address my point at all.
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Old February 26 2009, 11:14 PM   #392
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

rfmcdpei

About filmed material & novels.

Filmed material is canon. As for the novels - in order for our conversation to be able to reach some kind of conclusion - I propose that we only take into account relaunch novels.

Why? Because, for example, the rihannsu novels are partially contradicted by the vulcan's soul novels and god knows how many other older/obscurer novels.
The relaunch novels are consistent - intrnally and with the filmed material.

Taking wing doesn't establish that the remans have a fleet of ships, as you say - BTW, your link goes nowhere.
As for "Arena", the original script and unaired whatever can establish everything they want. In the aired episode - which is canon - the metrons specifically said that the loser's ship will be destroyed. Don't beleive me? Watch the episode yourself.

Now - could the romulans, tholians etc have thousands of Gandhi and Maria Theresa among them? On screen, they didn't make any appearance.
Given that they number in the billions, there must be many decent people among them. But they don't dictate policy. The government and the military do. And if they are in power, they must be supported by the largest part of their society.

Romulans.
In the first TNG episode in which they appeared, the telepath said about romulans something like "their belief in their own superiority goes far beyond simple arrogance". These are the guys who allowed an remanized human to reign over them. The reason for that must be truly extraordinary - not just something akin to the breen weapon from DS9.
Geordi detected the thalaron weapon (let's keep the name relatively short) when the weapon was dormant and thalaron was theoretical. He would have detected thalaron radiation when the weapon was charging. Any fed ship would have detected it and avoided the weapon.
And Shinzon's cloack would not have hidden the thalaron weapon while it's charging. I say this because the cloack was romulan-like. And romulan cloacks can't even hide conventional powered weapons. Shinzon's cloack was more advanced, but not omnipotent. If you want Shinzon's tech to be magical, then Shinzon could just snap his fingers, flashing Earth out of existence.

About the Typhons adopting one currency - you're right, a juge step. A strange one, considering that only 5 years ago, the member powers were behaving like medieval european countries. I'm curious how the novels will explain that away

PS: to quote - at the end, write [/quote] and at the beginning [quote]
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Old February 27 2009, 12:15 AM   #393
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
Given that they number in the billions, there must be many decent people among them. But they don't dictate policy. The government and the military do. And if they are in power, they must be supported by the largest part of their society.
Except for the Romulans, we haven't seen enough to know what their government and military are like to know what kind of people are in charge. Sure we've seen a few ships and individuals, but we really haven't seen any full on military engaements or government actions. At least not in any of the books I've read.
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Old February 27 2009, 12:17 AM   #394
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I just finished the novel last night. An enjoyable read! I thought the revelation of the hostile aliens now working together was quite original. However, since the topic seemed to be of pretty open discussion on this board (i.e. not spoiler coded), I guess I assumed that this wouldn't be the biggest reveal of the novel.

I liked the original perspectives of this novel with a unique protagonist. A descendant of 4 different species isn't something we've before. I only wish we could have seen a bit more of his Bajoran and Betazoid characteristics and how they contributed to his personality. I found the Vulcan and human aspects to be a bit more easily recognized.

In addition to doing a good job introducing the Typhon Pact, I thought the novel was also very effective at emphasizing the large scope and lasting effects of the Borg invasion. It will be very interesting to see where things go from here. I'm interested to see the next story will be a Voyager novel. I think my next goal is going to be to hurry up and try to finish the two Spirit Walk novels beforehand.
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Old February 27 2009, 12:59 AM   #395
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei

About filmed material & novels.

Filmed material is canon. As for the novels - in order for our conversation to be able to reach some kind of conclusion - I propose that we only take into account relaunch novels.
But, we can't, since the relaunch novels borrow very heavily on the Rihannsu series' on Romulan history, langauge, and culture. Even the Vulcan's Soul novels, which reconstruct early Romulan history to fit with the post-TNG filmed canon, continue to draw very heavily on the Rihannsu series for background information. The Enterprise novels likewise draw heavily on the Rihannsu backstory, to the point of nonizing the existence of i-Ramnau city.

As for the Gorn, that sort of material goes into the novelverse. Combine that with other Gorn appearances where they're shown as reacting either helpfully towards humans or defensively in reaction to Federation intrusion, and you can't say that the Gron as depicted in the novelverse must necessarily be aggressive.

The Gorn launched an overwhelming attack on Cestus III and then afterwards agreed to a peace that included their recognition of Cestus' transfer to Federation sovereignty; that's all that can be said.

Taking wing doesn't establish that the remans have a fleet of ships, as you say - BTW, your link goes nowhere.
Ah, broken link. Taking Wing does establish that the Remans have a secret fleet of horded vessels, some centuries old, but all armed and crewed and ready to fire on Romulus' cities. They use it to threaten the Romulans before Riker brokers the first Reman protectorate agreement, giving the Remans self-government guaranteed by the Klingons on the Romulan homeworld's Greenland-type continent. That's later revoked on accounts of friction with the locals and the Remans are resettled in the Klorgat system, as described in Articles of the Federation.

Now - could the romulans, tholians etc have thousands of Gandhi and Maria Theresa among them? On screen, they didn't make any appearance.
But they do--well, the Romulans do--in the novels, which, since we're discussing the novelverse, should go towards proving my point.

In the first TNG episode in which they appeared, the telepath said about romulans something like "their belief in their own superiority goes far beyond simple arrogance".
It's much more ambiguous than that.

TROI
They seem to be creatures of extremes. One moment violent beyond description, the next -- tender. They're related to the Vulcans but as each developed, their differences grew wider. They are intensely curious. Their belief in their own superiority is beyond arrogance. For some reason they have exhibited a fascination with humans and that fascination, more than anything else, has kept the peace. One other thing, they will not initiate. They will wait for you to commit yourself.
Doesn't a fascination with humans betray a certain xenophilic tendency?

The Romulans are complicated beings and theirs is a complicated, divided civilization, lurching from hostility towards Earth to alliances with the Federation and back again. The same tendencies are probably present in Romulan dealings with other cultures.

And Shinzon's cloack would not have hidden the thalaron weapon while it's charging. I say this because the cloack was romulan-like. And romulan cloacks can't even hide conventional powered weapons. Shinzon's cloack was more advanced, but not omnipotent. If you want Shinzon's tech to be magical, then Shinzon could just snap his fingers, flashing Earth out of existence.
Who has said that I wanted Shinzon's technology to be magical? I haven't.

All that I've said is that it has some clear advantages over the Federation state of the art that would allow him to successfully pull of a devastating first strike, like against a fleet (as the coup leaders may have believed) or against a planet (like Shinzon certainly wanted).

I do have some questions about your argumentation. You're arguing against content in the novelverse, including content justified elsewhere in the novelverse, by appealing to the filmed Star Trek content, including content that actually doesn't contradict the novelverse. I can understand why you'd disagree with me if I said that the novels demonstrated that the Romulans of filmed Star Trek actually spoke Rihannsu and longed for the days of Ael, etc., but I'm not. I'm actually arguing that nothing in filmed Star Trek precludes the Romulans of the novelverse from speaking Rihannsu and longing for the days of Ael, etc., and that's what I think others have been arguing. Am I mistaken?

Last edited by rfmcdpei; February 27 2009 at 12:59 AM. Reason: typo
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Old February 27 2009, 06:12 AM   #396
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
But, we can't, since the relaunch novels borrow very heavily on the Rihannsu series' on Romulan history, langauge, and culture. Even the Vulcan's Soul novels, which reconstruct early Romulan history to fit with the post-TNG filmed canon, continue to draw very heavily on the Rihannsu series for background information. The Enterprise novels likewise draw heavily on the Rihannsu backstory, to the point of nonizing the existence of i-Ramnau city.
And before I forget, the ancestor of the telecapture technology that we see in the Rihannsu series is used in the Enterprise novels, both bearing an interesting similarity to the Aenar-crewed telecapture weapon that featured in the show Enterprise itself.

There doesn't seem any reason not to include the Rihannsu novels in the novelverse despite their occasional differences from canon. The gist of the storyline of Peter David's 1990 Vendetta was included in Before Dishonour, with Delcara and Reannon Bonaventure and Borg-killing planetkiller and all. Other novels may have been grandfathered in as well--I think Carolyn Clewes' backstory novel about Saavik is one.
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Old February 27 2009, 10:28 AM   #397
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Sci wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
You argued that the star trek universe is as moral as our own. Ergo, a star trek example and a real vorld example have equal value.
No, I argued that the real world is more moral, and the Trekverse more immoral, than you were saying. I never said that they were equally moral; I made no claims one way or the other.
How fast you forget, Sci - when it suits you. You said
Sci wrote: View Post
Bullshit.
The Star Trek Universe is not somehow inherently more or less moral than the real one.
If the star trek world is neither more moral, nor less moral than the real world, than both worlds are equally moral.
Is there another possible conclusion I'm overlooking?
If it is, point it out.
If it isn't, your little talk about me jumping to conclusionns is meaningless.

About the MACO/Caeliar quote - i'm still waiting for those shades of gray.

Sci wrote: View Post
It was a specious argument. The Trekverse is full of horrific immoralities
So, the fundamental physical laws of our universe and the true nature of the trekverse are a specious argument when discussing these universes, are they?
Those immoralities from star trek are required to create suspense, to maintain ratings - are more often than not, to make a point about morality. 34 billion died in the borg invasion? Yes, 34 billion spear holders, and a few characters whose death was expanded upon, for emotional impact - all carefully fabricated to convey certain ideas and values. There are a lot of spear holders in fiction. Not a single one in real life.

About history.
"One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist".
Perhaps. That doesn't change the fact that this freedom fighter/terrorist put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people.

Bush supporters say that, southern apologists that other thing - it doesn't change the fact that the iraq and american civil wars - or whatever you wish to call them - happened. You can say whatever you want about the motivations, you can assign whatever value to the facts - the facts don't change.


Sci, what point are you trying to prove anymore?
That an optimistic attitude may be more constructive than a pessimist one? I already agreed to that.

Thar star trek examples and real world facts have equal value? In your recent posts, you admitted the contrary, proving you changed your mind.

Your argument has degenerated to saying that the fundamental laws of the unniverse are "specious" as an argument in a debate concerning the nature of the universe and that history is subjective and changes with the individual. And you go to these ridiculous extremes to try and prove - what exactly?
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Old February 27 2009, 11:06 AM   #398
ProtoAvatar
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

rfmcdpei

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei

About filmed material & novels.

Filmed material is canon. As for the novels - in order for our conversation to be able to reach some kind of conclusion - I propose that we only take into account relaunch novels.
But, we can't, since the relaunch novels borrow very heavily on the Rihannsu series' on Romulan history, langauge, and culture. Even the Vulcan's Soul novels, which reconstruct early Romulan history to fit with the post-TNG filmed canon, continue to draw very heavily on the Rihannsu series for background information. The Enterprise novels likewise draw heavily on the Rihannsu backstory, to the point of nonizing the existence of i-Ramnau city.
The enterprise/vulcan sous/relaunch novels may borrow from the rihannsu books in some parts, but they also contradict the books in other part. That's why I said that we should only include the relaunch novels - there are enough contradictions in filmed trek as it is, and including everything will prevent this conversation from ever reaching a conclusion.

I can understand why you'd disagree with me if I said that the novels demonstrated that the Romulans of filmed Star Trek actually spoke Rihannsu and longed for the days of Ael, etc., but I'm not. I'm actually arguing that nothing in filmed Star Trek precludes the Romulans of the novelverse from speaking Rihannsu and longing for the days of Ael, etc., and that's what I think others have been arguing. Am I mistaken?
Of course not. We all choose what to retain from star trek movies, novels etc.
We should not include in this conversation the part of the rihannsu (and other) novels that doesn't contradict canon because if we would, the discussion will last forever. And i didn't read the rihannsu books.

About taking wing - a fleet of ships - some centuries old - with weapons mounted on them is not enough to threaten the security of the romulan empire. If they are, then the romulans are pathetic.

The romulans may have a xenophilic facet. The romulan conspirators from Nemesis don't (exept Donatra). And Tal'Aura leads RSE.

As for the thalaron weapon being used against a fleet - I explained in detail in my previous posts why this isn't feasable.

JD

True. But what little we know is not encouraging.

kv1at3485

I mentioned solipsism because you seem interested in concepts like "nothing is sure", "nothing is real".

I have another one for you: If there are intelligent extraterestrial species, then we, and indeed, the entire universe, is probably merely a computer simulation.

As for your "point" - it's not constructive to think like that: "nothing is certain" etc. A person who thinks like that will never get out of the house because he's not certain he won't be killed in a car accident or by a brick falling on his head.
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Old February 27 2009, 12:07 PM   #399
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
You argued that the star trek universe is as moral as our own. Ergo, a star trek example and a real vorld example have equal value.
No, I argued that the real world is more moral, and the Trekverse more immoral, than you were saying. I never said that they were equally moral; I made no claims one way or the other.
How fast you forget, Sci - when it suits you. You said
Sci wrote: View Post
Bullshit.
The Star Trek Universe is not somehow inherently more or less moral than the real one.
If the star trek world is neither more moral, nor less moral than the real world, than both worlds are equally moral.
That's one conclusion you could draw. The other is that the Star Trek Universe is sometimes more or less moral than the real one, but not inherently so. I didn't go into more detail than to talk about the inherent moral character of the Trekverse (whose relative morality can, after all, change from writer to writer). It's certainly possible for the moral nature of the Trekverse to change from writer to writer, however. I don't think a reasonable person could argue that the Trekverse tended to be considerably more moral when Gene Roddenberry was writing it circa 1987 than it was when, say, Ronald D. Moore was writing it circa 1998.

Nonetheless, the Trekverse is not inherently more moral than the real world. It is dependent upon the writer.

Once again, you take a statement of someone and push it too far.

Is there another possible conclusion I'm overlooking?
If it is, point it out.
Already did.

About the MACO/Caeliar quote - i'm still waiting for those shades of gray.
I'm not sure what you're asking. I explained what my rhetorical intent was in talking about the MACOs and Sedin, and I explained how I would structure my argument if my intent was to draw upon the MACOs and Sedin to make a point about the fundamental nature of the real world. I explained that I don't believe in absolute morality, but neither do I believe in disregarding morality entirely. What, exactly, are you asking?

Sci wrote: View Post
It was a specious argument. The Trekverse is full of horrific immoralities
So, the fundamental physical laws of our universe and the true nature of the trekverse are a specious argument when discussing these universes, are they?
No, but arguing that a few incidents of "karmic justice" somehow indicate a "fundamental moral structure" to the Trekverse when the Trekverse is full of horrific acts and tragedies is. Such an argument ignores numerous pieces of evidence that strongly contradict the argument of an inherent moral quality to the Trekverse that somehow magically prevents immorality from being beneficial.

About history.
"One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist".
Perhaps. That doesn't change the fact that this freedom fighter/terrorist put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people.
Put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people, or engaged in a resistance campaign to alter public opinion? Put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people, or was framed by the oppressive government for the actions of another person?

Bush supporters say that, southern apologists that other thing - it doesn't change the fact that the iraq and american civil wars - or whatever you wish to call them - happened. You can say whatever you want about the motivations, you can assign whatever value to the facts - the facts don't change.
But the facts are in question. Is it a fact that the United States under Bush tortured people?

Sci, what point are you trying to prove anymore?
I think I've made it clear on numerous occasions in this thread that the conclusions of most of my arguments in our discourse has been that there are degrees of anything, and that it is important that we not take a few instances of something and then seek to interpret them in the most extreme, binary form possible. For instance, I have illustrated that point by noting that simply because the Gorn destroyed a Federation colony that the believed to be violating their territorial rights does not mean that the species is inherently aggressive, hostile, or expansionist -- the most that we can reasonably claim from that example is that they are likely to be territorial and committed to defending their territory before investigating why an incursion occurs.

This goal -- arguing in favor of degrees rather than absolutes -- grew out of the original discourse over whether or not the Typhon Pact could reasonably be concluded to be inherently hostile towards the Federation.

Thar star trek examples and real world facts have equal value?
I think I've made it clear that a Trekverse example can be reasonably used to make a point about an event that has or might happen in the Trekverse, and I think I've made it clear that it's fair to use a Trekverse example in conjunction with the real world if the goal is to make a broader point about real life.

To go beyond that, you're going to have to explain what "equal value" means. If you are referring to a Trekverse example's relative level of "realism," I think I made it clear that it depends on a given story how "realistic" that is -- but of course that also depends on how one interprets the nature of the real world itself.

Your argument has degenerated to saying that the fundamental laws of the unniverse are "specious"
You have a severe reading comprehension problem. I did not say that the fundamental laws of the universe are species, I said that your argument -- that is, your premise and your conclusion -- was specious because it ignored numerous counter-examples. And no, the fact that the narrative doesn't always dwell on those counter-examples does not mean that your argument is not specious, since your argument was about the moral nature of the Trekverse; all that a tendency on the narrative's part not to dwell on the numerous tragedies of the Trekverse proves is that the creators prefer not to tell those types of stories within the Trekverse.

In other words: Your argument would be valid if you were arguing about stories. You have not been, however; you have been arguing about the nature of the story's setting. That a given setting is presented in a given way in a given story does not mean that that same setting cannot be presented in another way in another story, and ergo a given presentation of a setting is not determinative of its inherent characteristics from story to story.

To be more concise: The Star Trek Universe is not inherently more moral or less than the real one. It may be portrayed as being more moral by one author, or it may be portrayed as being less moral by another. Further, even when the authors are consistent in how moral it is or is not, the ways in which this information is presented can change from author to author -- David Mack certainly likes to focus on doom and gloom moreso than Christopher L. Bennet, for instance. This does not have bearing on the relative morality of the Trekverse, however, anymore than a lack of reference to space being black means anything. All it means is that different creators present a setting in different ways, in the same way that, in theatre or in film or television, the same set can be re-lit different ways for different scenes. And finally, the relative flexibility in how the Trekverse can be portrayed does not inherently rule out the rhetorical validity of using the Trekverse to illustrate a point about the real world, because the real world itself is full of lots of different degrees of morality as well -- life for most people is probably much less morally ambiguous in the American suburbs than it is on the streets of Mogadishu, for instance. This doesn't mean that real world is being inconsistent with itself, it means that life is full of varying degrees of morality.

as an argument in a debate concerning the nature of the universe and that history is subjective and changes with the individual.
Ask anyone with a history degree, let alone a reputable historian, and they will tell you that history is subjective. I'm sure Christopher could go into much more detail than I, but a basic act of research into the subject of history will reveal that history is subjective. "History is the process by which a culture decides for itself the meaning of its past."

And you go to these ridiculous extremes to try and prove - what exactly?
I could ask the same thing of you, given the ridiculous conclusions you've been trying to peddle.
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Old February 27 2009, 02:40 PM   #400
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Sci wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
About "subjective" historical facts.
America did invade Irak.
"Iraq."
Not sure why this bothers me, but:

Since I doubt either of the two versions to write the country's name is the one used by Iraq/Irak itself, his version Irak (how it is called in German) is as valid as your's.
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Old February 27 2009, 02:53 PM   #401
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Defcon wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
About "subjective" historical facts.
America did invade Irak.
"Iraq."
Not sure why this bothers me, but:

Since I doubt either of the two versions to write the country's name is the one used by Iraq/Irak itself, his version Irak (how it is called in German) is as valid as your's.
No, it's not. In a given language, there are rules for how to spell a foreign name or what to call it. In German, the proper name for "Germany" is "Deutschland;" in English, it's "Germany." In Spanish, the proper name for the United States of America is "los Estados Unidos de América," and the proper name for "England" is "Inglaterra." Etc.

In English, the proper term for the country once ruled by Saddam Hussein is "Iraq," not "Irak." "Irak" may be proper in German, but it is not proper in English.
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Old February 27 2009, 03:24 PM   #402
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Beside the fact that I'm no fan of changing names of countries and cities in different languages, I think it's totally understandable if someone uses the way of spelling for a country/city s/he is using his/her whole life (granted, I'm just assuming ProtoAvatar is from a country with German as the official language), even if s/he is posting on a board in another language and I don't really understand why you choose to point out this "mistake" while you have no history of being so pedantic about more blatant typos or grammatical mistakes (I'm sure if you go through my past posts or only this one you would have more than enough chances to be a Grammar Nazi. )



BTW: I checked Wikipedia and the Iraqi name for Iraq/Irak is:

العراق or Al-ʾIrāq

ETA:Since on reread my posts sounded a tad hostile I just want to make clear that they weren't intended that way. It's more a matter of me being a bit surprised by your sudden impulse to correct other people on minor things.

Last edited by Defcon; February 27 2009 at 03:35 PM.
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Old February 27 2009, 04:53 PM   #403
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Sci wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Bullshit.
The Star Trek Universe is not somehow inherently more or less moral than the real one.
If the star trek world is neither more moral, nor less moral than the real world, than both worlds are equally moral.
That's one conclusion you could draw. The other is that the Star Trek Universe is sometimes more or less moral than the real one, but not inherently so.
Some more quotes:

Sci wrote: View Post
One word: Bullshit.

The Star Trek Universe is not somehow inherently more or less moral than the real one. It simply possesses political actors who are more dedicated to the principles of modern liberal democracy than most people in the real world today, from whose POV we see the STU. To argue that the Star Trek Universe "possesses a moral substrate" that the real world lacks is an absurd piece of nonsense
Sci wrote: View Post
What I'm saying is that the real world is far more moral, and the Star Trek Universe far more immoral, than you're portraying either as being. Both the real world and the Trekverse are full of moral ambiguities, and to try to claim that there's some fundamental moral constant that's different in one from the other is nothing more than a cheap tactic
So, no difference between the trekverse and the universe. Real world facts and star trek examples - the same thing, right?

Of course, later on you changed your opinion:

Sci wrote: View Post
Further, that argument is not necessarily making an argument about the real world. It does set up the playing field for me if I had chosen to return to that scenario and expand upon my statements in the course of making an argument about the real world, but if I were to do that, I would not solely rely upon the story of Sedin and the MACOs. If I were to use that story to illustrate a point, I would introduce evidence from the real world -- most likely evidence that the Bush Administration's torture policies have produced new terrorists where there were none before -- to support that argument.
So, at present, if you were to talk about the real world, you would use a real world example - good to know.
And this is also the point I made - than when talkinng about the real world, a real historical fact has more relavance than an dismissible star trek example.

As for the fundamental physical laws of the universe:
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
As for the real vorld vs the star trek universe.
The universe in not moral or imoral; it's simply indifferent. An electron will not collapse its wave function in a certain way because it's moral or imoral; it will follow probability - the roll of the dice.

Not so in star trek. There the roll of the dice is always counterfeit; the result will always favour the altruist, the main character, the moral of the story or simply the whims of the author. The main characters will die only when the actor's contract has expired or (in the novels) when they have become useless. Here, altrusm will always be rewarded in the long run.
When one talks about the nature of the universe, these fundamentals are ALWAYS relevant.
You think this argument is specious? Be my guest - but don't expect to be taken seriously.

Sci wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
"One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist".
Perhaps. That doesn't change the fact that this freedom fighter/terrorist put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people.
Put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people, or engaged in a resistance campaign to alter public opinion? Put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people, or was framed by the oppressive government for the actions of another person?
Regardless of the motivation, of the value given to the fact, of misinformation or propaganda, the fact remains: a person put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people - it's objective.

"History is the process by which a culture decides for itself the meaning of its past."
The culture may decide the meaning, put the past doesn't change - it's objective, non-changeable.
The culture may decide to "forget" or "change" some elements of the past, but history remains, waiting to be discovered behind all the lies.

What you are "trying" to prove:
Sci wrote: View Post
that there are degrees of anything,
I never said otherwise - feel free to check.
You were the one bickering that I see things in back and white and so forth - I ignored these declarations because they're unsupported nonsense and I was trying to be civil.
You're sour when you loose an argument, Sci. Did you know that?

About your next post - make it shorter, more concise. You said you are studying political science, right? It shows - interminable posts with little of substance.

Last edited by ProtoAvatar; February 27 2009 at 09:11 PM.
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Old February 27 2009, 04:56 PM   #404
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Defcon,

Thanks for pointing out Sci's unjustified intransigence.
And yes, in my native language, the country's name is Irak.
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Old February 27 2009, 06:20 PM   #405
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Defcon wrote: View Post
[/I]ETA:Since on reread my posts sounded a tad hostile I just want to make clear that they weren't intended that way. It's more a matter of me being a bit surprised by your sudden impulse to correct other people on minor things.
It's a function of Proto's pretensions of having a better understanding of history and politics than his rhetorical opponents, including myself. If you're going to claim intellectual superiority, you should at least have the decency of using proper spelling and grammar in whatever language you're debating in.

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
If the star trek world is neither more moral, nor less moral than the real world, than both worlds are equally moral.
That's one conclusion you could draw. The other is that the Star Trek Universe is sometimes more or less moral than the real one, but not inherently so.
Some more quotes:

Sci wrote:
One word: Bullshit.

The Star Trek Universe is not somehow inherently more or less moral than the real one. It simply possesses political actors who are more dedicated to the principles of modern liberal democracy than most people in the real world today, from whose POV we see the STU. To argue that the Star Trek Universe "possesses a moral substrate" that the real world lacks is an absurd piece of nonsense
What I'm saying is that the real world is far more moral, and the Star Trek Universe far more immoral, than you're portraying either as being. Both the real world and the Trekverse are full of moral ambiguities, and to try to claim that there's some fundamental moral constant that's different in one from the other is nothing more than a cheap tactic
So, no difference between the trekverse and the universe. Real world facts and star trek examples - the same thing, right?
No. I argued that there is no inherent or fundamental difference. That doesn't mean that there can't be a difference, but that the difference is not inherent. As I noted above, how moral or amoral the Trekverse functions can be a matter of which story is being told. As a fictional construct, the "moral structure" of the Trekverse is a flexible, mutable thing, whereas, if one can be said to exist for the real world, it is likely fixed.

As I've noted time and again, you have a habit of taking a statement of someone else's and then pushing it to make it say something that it doesn't actually say. It's getting damn irritating. Stop putting words in my mouth.

So, at present, if you were to talk about the real world, you would use a real world example - good to know.
And this is also the point I made - than when talkinng about the real world, a real historical fact has more relavance than an dismissible star trek example.
If that is the point you made, then I would suggest that you used poor language to make it. I will readily concede that a real, historical example has more relevance to the real world than an example from any fictional construct -- but your language seemed to be saying that a fictional example has no relevance whatsoever to the real world and that they could all be dismissed. I firmly reject that conclusion -- fiction, like any form of expression or argumentation, can be a powerful and deeply meaningful way of describing and expressing the world, as books like Night or Nineteen Eighty-Four, or as films like The Last King of Scotland or The Queen, prove.

As for the fundamental physical laws of the universe:

ProtoAvatar wrote:
he universe in not moral or imoral; it's simply indifferent. An electron will not collapse its wave function in a certain way because it's moral or imoral; it will follow probability - the roll of the dice.

Not so in star trek. There the roll of the dice is always counterfeit; the result will always favour the altruist, the main character, the moral of the story or simply the whims of the author. The main characters will die only when the actor's contract has expired or (in the novels) when they have become useless. Here, altrusm will always be rewarded in the long run.
When one talks about the nature of the universe, these fundamentals are ALWAYS relevant.
I never said they weren't. But you are inaccurately representing the fundamentals in the Trekverse. The roll of the dice is not always counterfeit, the result does not always favor the altruist, the main character, the moral of the story, or the whims of the author. Millions of altruistic Bajorans were killed in the Occupation. Billions of Cardassians were murdered by the Dominion. Seven million Humans were murdered by the Xindi (of whom only the Reptilians and the Insectoids were held responsible, whilst the rest of the Xindi Council went unscathed). We've seen main characters die plenty of times (perhaps most infamously in the TrekLit world in Wildfire), and the authors have made it clear on numerous occasions that they tend to find the creation of those stories to be deeply upsetting, not "a whim."

That is why your argument is specious: It presents the premise that everything always works out for the best in the end, and it ignores numerous pieces of evidence in the Trekverse that everything does not always work out in the end. It falsely represents the fundamentals of the Trekverse.

Sci wrote: View Post
Put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people, or engaged in a resistance campaign to alter public opinion? Put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people, or was framed by the oppressive government for the actions of another person?
Regardless of the motivation, of the value given to the fact, of misinformation or propaganda, the fact remains: a person put a bomb in a restaurant and killed X people - it's objective.
But that's not what history is about. History is about the meaning of that event, about the motives behind it and the forces that it unleashes and the ways it changes society. And all of that is deeply subjective.

"History is the process by which a culture decides for itself the meaning of its past."
The culture may decide the meaning, put the past doesn't change - it's objective, non-changeable.
The culture may decide to "forget" or "change" some elements of the past, but history remains, waiting to be discovered behind all the lies.
You are confusing the past with history. They are not the same concepts. The past doesn't change, but history -- which is our understanding of the past -- changes constantly.

What you are "trying" to prove:
Sci wrote: View Post
that there are degrees of anything,
I never said otherwise - feel free to check.

You were the one bickering that I see things in back and white and so forth - I ignored these declarations because they're unssupported nonsense and I was trying to be civil.

You're sour when you loose an argument, Sci. Did you know that?
Yes, that's right. I'm the one who's sour.

You are the one who began using very disrespectful, condescending language against other posters who expressed and logically supported their disagreements with you (such as in this post). You are the one who chose to make personal insults and slights, and who has consistently resorted to insults since. Don't be surprised when someone calls you on it.

About your next post - make it shorter, more concise. You said you are studying political science, right? It shows - interminable posts with little of substance.
Once again, resorting to insults rather than logically supporting your conclusions. (Though, of course, given your tendency to engage in unfair over-generalizations, that's not surprising.)
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