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Old June 10 2009, 10:07 PM   #16
JustKate
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Re: The Borg, a defence

I don't want to speak for the others, but I for one am not holding the Borg to human standards. I am holding them to the standards of civilized beings, of which there are many non-human examples in the Trek universe. Assimilation is not only contrary to human standards it's contrary to everybody's standards - even other Trek bad guys.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:08 PM   #17
Balthier the Great
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Re: The Borg, a defence

I could see them as somewhat more sypathetic if there was a reason that they started and simply couldn't stop. I see them as sort of sentience vampires, they simply can't survive unless they assimilate. Maybe some disease destroyed their ability to reproduce and assimilation was the only option at hand at that time. If that was true, while I would have some simpathy for their plight, I still wouldn't call their actions 'good' by any streach. It's desperation, and definately evil.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:23 PM   #18
john titor
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Re: The Borg, a defence

JustKate wrote: View Post
I don't want to speak for the others, but I for one am not holding the Borg to human standards. I am holding them to the standards of civilized beings, of which there are many non-human examples in the Trek universe. Assimilation is not only contrary to human standards it's contrary to everybody's standards - even other Trek bad guys.
Civilization is irrelevant. All other alien species are just humans with slight alterations to the nose, forehead or ears.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:27 PM   #19
Sci
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Re: The Borg, a defence

john titor wrote: View Post
You don't understand. The borg cannot exploit because exploitation is irrelevant to them.
Of course they exploit. Kidnapping someone, mutilating their bodies against their consent, engaging in mind control, and enslaving them? That's exploitation. They may not call it that or think of it as exploitation, but that's what it is. It's an act of domination and oppression.

The borg cannot violate rights or commit genocide because that is not what they are doing, they are expanding.
Yes it is. They are forcing people to conform to their way of life without regard to their right to self-determination. They routinely engage in the crimes of aggressive warfare, genocide, and enslavement.

By your logic, the Nazis didn't really murder millions of innocent people, they were just exterminating a sub-human species.

They are most in tune with the universe as a place where if something is deficient it is removed or assimilated and improved.
Who the hell are they to determine for other societies what constitutes deficiency or improvement? Who are they to decide that they have the right to violate another culture's sovereignty?

The Borg routinely violate the rights of others and engage in numerous crimes, and they don't care about the moral value of their actions. They are, as another poster noted, sociopaths.

ETA:

The most you can argue about the Borg is that they are not actually responsible for their own evil because they lack the capacity to actually choose their own behavior. From the canonical evidence, it is entirely possible that the Collective and/or Queen are controlled by some sort of sophisticated program that nonetheless denies them the capacity to actually choose their own behavior and motivations.

In that case, the Borg are the equivalent of a rabid dog or wild animal that threatens a person. Even if the animal is not responsible for its behavior, it is still malicious and has no right to exist.

For the record, the recent novel trilogy Destiny by David Mack answers, definitively, why the Borg behave as they do.



That explanation probably won't satisfy everyone, but it's the only explanation that accounts for all of the Borg's varying, contradictory behavior -- in particular the only explanation that accounts for why the Queen could actually argue with the Collective in "Endgame," and which accounts for the Queen's emotional, vaguely Snidely Whiplash-like behavior.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:27 PM   #20
Xerxes1979
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Re: The Borg, a defence

john titor wrote: View Post

Civilization is irrelevant. All other alien species are just humans with slight alterations to the nose, forehead or ears.

How are the borg different than Daleks? Intelligence harnessed soley for expansion and domination ultimately serves no purpose. What are a galaxy full of borg to do when they run out of victims? They have no interest in art or culture. Maybe they will just commit suicide.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:27 PM   #21
ProtoAvatar
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Re: The Borg, a defence

john titor wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
john titor wrote: View Post
You don't understand. The borg cannot exploit because exploitation is irrelevant to them. The borg cannot violate rights or commit genocide because that is not what they are doing, they are expanding. They are most in tune with the universe as a place where if something is deficient it is removed or assimilated and improved. This is what the borg do. The fed by contrast are stick in the mud conservatives who resist the inevitable tug progress.
Nonsense.

Do you know what the concept of "exploitation" means? The borg exploit everything and everyone. Their actions fit the notion of "exploitation" perfectly.

The borg's actions fit the notion of "genocide" perfectly. They do much more than merely "expanding".

The borg's nature fits the concept of "evil" perfectly.

Exploitation is irrelevant to them? Good and evil are irrelevant to them? Genocide is irrelevant to them?
So what?
A sociopath may not care about good/evil. That doesn't make him any less evil.
A genocidal creep may not care about his victims. That doesn't make him any less evil.

The borg are "most in tune with the universe"? The Federation people "by contrast are stick in the mud conservatives"?
You don't know what world/what universe you're living in!
You know what? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're joking - a very lame joke, that is.
You're so wrong . You see you're personifying the borg and giving it human qualities. The borg is growth. The borg is a hivemind but utterly different from human consciousness. It simply continues to improve and grow. Consequently, holding it to human standards is sophistry.
So, you were not joking. Unbelievable.

The borg is sentient - a giant consciousness. That means that the collective understands its actions and their consequences, that it has a free will. That means that the concepts of "good" and "evil" are applicable to him. And that means that the collective is completely evil.

Am I applying human morality to him? Of course I am!
But, as myself - and other posters in this thread - mentioned - this type of morality belongs not only to humans. It belongs to every sentient species that has learned to cooperate, that created a civilization - both in the trekverse and in the real world.
A species that has borg-like morality will never develop beyond savagery.

You're actually saying that human concepts are not applicable to the borg because they "improve and grow"?
MIGHT DOES NOT MAKE RIGHT, john titor.
It doesn't matter that they "improve and grow". It doesn't matter that they are stronger. They are still evil.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:28 PM   #22
JustKate
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Re: The Borg, a defence

John Titor wrote:
Civilization is irrelevant. All other alien species are just humans with slight alterations to the nose, forehead or ears.
And Borg are just humans with robotic prosthetics.

John, you can't have it both ways. Either we are talking in-universe, in which case the aliens are aliens and we have to accept their cultures and civilizations and ethics as they are introduced to us, or we are talking about TV shows and movies, in which case everybody is human, human being the species we have here on Earth that does most of the acting.

Either way, the Borg do not come across as nice people.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:35 PM   #23
john titor
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Re: The Borg, a defence

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
john titor wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post

Nonsense.

Do you know what the concept of "exploitation" means? The borg exploit everything and everyone. Their actions fit the notion of "exploitation" perfectly.

The borg's actions fit the notion of "genocide" perfectly. They do much more than merely "expanding".

The borg's nature fits the concept of "evil" perfectly.

Exploitation is irrelevant to them? Good and evil are irrelevant to them? Genocide is irrelevant to them?
So what?
A sociopath may not care about good/evil. That doesn't make him any less evil.
A genocidal creep may not care about his victims. That doesn't make him any less evil.

The borg are "most in tune with the universe"? The Federation people "by contrast are stick in the mud conservatives"?
You don't know what world/what universe you're living in!
You know what? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're joking - a very lame joke, that is.
You're so wrong . You see you're personifying the borg and giving it human qualities. The borg is growth. The borg is a hivemind but utterly different from human consciousness. It simply continues to improve and grow. Consequently, holding it to human standards is sophistry.
So, you were not joking. Unbelievable.

The borg is sentient - a giant consciousness. That means that the collective understands its actions and their consequences, that it has a free will. That means that the concepts of "good" and "evil" are applicable to him. And that means that the collective is completely evil.

Am I applying human morality to him? Of course I am!
But, as myself - and other posters in this thread - mentioned - this type of morality belongs not only to humans. It belongs to every sentient species that has learned to cooperate, that created a civilization.
A species that has borg-like morality will never develop beyond savagery.

You're actually saying that human concepts are not applicable to the borg because they "improve ang grow"?
MIGHT DOES NOT MAKE RIGHT, john titor.
It doesn't matter that they "improve and grow". It doesn't matter that they are stronger. They are still evil.
That aren't evil because its not relevant to them. You're still assuming that because they are sentient they must have human sentience, in other words they must possess the faculties which enable them to appreciate concepts such as good and evil. I'm arguing that their continual expansion is in tune with the philosophy of the universe, that they are at one with nature.


JustKate wrote:
John, you can't have it both ways. Either we are talking in-universe, in which case the aliens are aliens and we have to accept their cultures and civilizations and ethics as they are introduced to us, or we are talking about TV shows and movies, in which case everybody is human, human being the species we have here on Earth that does most of the acting.

Either way, the Borg do not come across as nice people.
But all the aliens can be human in universe, if you look at it in a certain way, remember the TNG episode where all the races share a common genetic ancestry? Which would explain why they all develop relatively similar civilizations, or in fact have civilizations for that matter.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:40 PM   #24
Sci
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Re: The Borg, a defence

john titor wrote: View Post
That aren't evil because its not relevant to them.
That only means that they are sociopaths, not that they are not evil.

I'm arguing that their continual expansion is in tune with the philosophy of the universe, that they are at one with nature.
The universe does not encourage continual expansion. In actual nature, a species that expands its numbers too much will find itself unable to perpetuate itself because of the exponentially increased consumption of resources, and experience a population decline -- leading either to stability, or to extinction. The Borg are playing Russian roulette with their continual desire to expand -- it promises only to antagonize some other species until someone figures out a way to destroy them all. And there are powers, such as the Q, Prophets, Organians, and Metrons, capable of just that.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:40 PM   #25
john titor
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Sci wrote: View Post
john titor wrote: View Post
You don't understand. The borg cannot exploit because exploitation is irrelevant to them.
Of course they exploit. Kidnapping someone, mutilating their bodies against their consent, engaging in mind control, and enslaving them? That's exploitation. They may not call it that or think of it as exploitation, but that's what it is. It's an act of domination and oppression.

The borg cannot violate rights or commit genocide because that is not what they are doing, they are expanding.
Yes it is. They are forcing people to conform to their way of life without regard to their right to self-determination. They routinely engage in the crimes of aggressive warfare, genocide, and enslavement.

By your logic, the Nazis didn't really murder millions of innocent people, they were just exterminating a sub-human species.

They are most in tune with the universe as a place where if something is deficient it is removed or assimilated and improved.
Who the hell are they to determine for other societies what constitutes deficiency or improvement? Who are they to decide that they have the right to violate another culture's sovereignty?

The Borg routinely violate the rights of others and engage in numerous crimes, and they don't care about the moral value of their actions. They are, as another poster noted, sociopaths.

ETA:

The most you can argue about the Borg is that they are not actually responsible for their own evil because they lack the capacity to actually choose their own behavior. From the canonical evidence, it is entirely possible that the Collective and/or Queen are controlled by some sort of sophisticated program that nonetheless denies them the capacity to actually choose their own behavior and motivations.

In that case, the Borg are the equivalent of a rabid dog or wild animal that threatens a person. Even if the animal is not responsible for its behavior, it is still malicious and has no right to exist.

For the record, the recent novel trilogy Destiny by David Mack answers, definitively, why the Borg behave as they do.



That explanation probably won't satisfy everyone, but it's the only explanation that accounts for all of the Borg's varying, contradictory behavior -- in particular the only explanation that accounts for why the Queen could actually argue with the Collective in "Endgame," and which accounts for the Queen's emotional, vaguely Snidely Whiplash-like behavior.
Saying the borg exploit makes about as much sense as saying that the universe exploits emptiness by expanding or that an asteroid which slams into a planet is committing genocide.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:42 PM   #26
john titor
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Sci wrote: View Post
john titor wrote: View Post
That aren't evil because its not relevant to them.
That only means that they are sociopaths, not that they are not evil.

I'm arguing that their continual expansion is in tune with the philosophy of the universe, that they are at one with nature.
The universe does not encourage continual expansion. In actual nature, a species that expands its numbers too much will find itself unable to perpetuate itself because of the exponentially increased consumption of resources, and experience a population decline -- leading either to stability, or to extinction. The Borg are playing Russian roulette with their continual desire to expand -- it promises only to antagonize some other species until someone figures out a way to destroy them all. And there are powers, such as the Q, Prophets, Organians, and Metrons, capable of just that.
That applies to less intelligent species.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:44 PM   #27
Sci
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Re: The Borg, a defence

john titor wrote: View Post
Saying the borg exploit makes about as much sense as saying that the universe exploits emptiness by expanding
Emptiness doesn't have a will of its own and a desire not to be part of the Universe's expansion.

or that an asteroid which slams into a planet is committing genocide.
Um, it is. It may not be responsible for its genocide, and it may not be doing it intentionally, but it is killing all members of a given species -- which is the definition of genocide. The term "genocide" does not always imply intent.

But the Borg do have intent. They are not natural phenomena that lack a will. They are either the equivalent of sociopathic sentients, or they are the equivalent of malicious animals. Either way, they have no right to behave as they do and deserve to be exterminated.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:44 PM   #28
RoJoHen
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Re: The Borg, a defence

john titor wrote: View Post

That aren't evil because its not relevant to them.
I have a feeling most evil people in the real world also don't find it relevant that they are evil. They are doing what they need to do to fulfill their own agenda. The Borg are sentient. Just because they may not recognize or they may not care that what they're doing is evil doesn't suddenly make it not evil. I'm sure their victims would consider them evil.

You say they're in tune with nature, but I just don't see it. Nature is about things happening naturally. Being abducted and then enslaved just so the Collective can get a little smarter is not natural. Do you get angry at a lion when it kills an antelope? No, because the lion needs to eat to survive. Do the Borg need to assimilate to survive? No, they don't. Hell, do they even need to assimilate in order to fulfill their goals? NO. They could, like so many other species, learn and grow by more traditional means.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:46 PM   #29
JustKate
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Re: The Borg, a defence

John Titor wrote:
But all the aliens can be human in universe, if you look at it in a certain way, remember the TNG episode where all the races share a common genetic ancestry? Which would explain why they all develop relatively similar civilizations, or in fact have civilizations for that matter.
John, sorry, but you just are not making sense. If we all have the same ancestry, then the Borg do too.

I think you are equating the Borg with a natural phenomenon - like an earthquake or a black hole. And I also think you are saying that just as an earthquake or a black hole is beyond goodness or badness...and just as an earthquake or a black hole has nor morality or mercy or justice, so the Borg are beyond all that, too.

But it just doesn't wash. The Borg are not a natural force. The Borg is a collective of people. They started out as a species, and they made themselves into the Borg we know. So unlike earthquakes or black holes, they had a choice - and they make that choice every time they chose to assimilate. And just as they have all the rights of people and can make choices like people, they also have all the same responsibilities.

Why you would want it any other way is a total mystery to me.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:56 PM   #30
john titor
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Sci wrote: View Post
john titor wrote: View Post
Saying the borg exploit makes about as much sense as saying that the universe exploits emptiness by expanding
Emptiness doesn't have a will of its own and a desire not to be part of the Universe's expansion.
True but the universe operates on the principle of exploitation. The borg are just a natural consequence of that.

Sci wrote: View Post
or that an asteroid which slams into a planet is committing genocide.
Um, it is. It may not be responsible for its genocide, and it may not be doing it intentionally, but it is killing all members of a given species -- which is the definition of genocide. The term "genocide" does not always imply intent.

genocide1. the deliberate and systematic extermination of a racial or national group.
2. an actor in this process. — genocidal, adj.

Asteroids aren't deliberate or systematic.
Sci wrote: View Post
Either way, they have no right to behave as they do and deserve to be exterminated.
See this is what Q was talking about, double standards.
JustKate wrote:
John, sorry, but you just are not making sense. If we all have the same ancestry, then the Borg do too.

I think you are equating the Borg with a natural phenomenon - like an earthquake or a black hole. And I also think you are saying that just as an earthquake or a black hole is beyond goodness or badness...and just as an earthquake or a black hole has nor morality or mercy or justice, so the Borg are beyond all that, too.

But it just doesn't wash. The Borg are not a natural force. The Borg is a collective of people. They started out as a species, and they made themselves into the Borg we know. So unlike earthquakes or black holes, they had a choice - and they make that choice everytime they chose to assimilate. And just as they have all the rights of people and can make choices like people, they also have all the same responsibilities.

Why you would want it any other way is a total mystery to me.
This would apply to alpha quadrant species. Note that not all species share this lineage, like the Q, the wormhole aliens and so forth. Choice is irrelevant to the borg, they are a program.
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