A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Brendan Moody, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Now, that's a gross oversimplification. Those nations have formed and broken alliances with each other many, many times over the centuries, whenever it was in their strategic interest to do so. You don't need "ethical maturity" to recognize that having allies against a common threat is a good idea. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is an ancient concept.

    That's a rather irresponsible generalization. Of course the people that a given culture are adversarial toward are going to see them as aggressive and xenophobic. The people of Iraq probably see Americans as aggressive and xenophobic, and plenty of Native Americans or surviving indigenous Hawai'ians would say that those have been American traits throughout our history. But that's not all we are. No culture is exclusively defined by a single attitude.

    Besides, you're making a huge leap to conclusions in assuming that a common currency is proof of any kind of shift in values or attitudes. Like the Pact itself, it's something they chose to do so that they would be strong and competitive in the face of opposition.


    We still don't know that the Tzenkethi started the war. You're assuming facts not in evidence.

    And the Iranian revolutionaries who took American hostages in 1979 were certainly aware that it could lead to war.

    Oh, come on, it's not a racial thing. You're stereotyping and making kneejerk assumptions without bothering to learn the facts. The Iranian government's problem is with secular states, and with good reason. The Shahs of Iran in the mid-20th century were secular rulers who brutally oppressed their people and whose corruption impoverished the nation. And yet America backed them because they were allies against the Soviets. In the '60s, when the Shah was unseated by a populist reform movement, the CIA overthrew the reformist democratic leader and put the brutal, corrupt autocrat back in power, betraying our own core principles in the name of geopolitical expediency. The Iranians have good reason to see America as a threat, and it's got nothing to do with being "occidental."


    "All their canonical contacts with the Federation" means "Arena." Period. Their only other canon appearance was in "In a Mirror, Darkly," and that was not a contact with the Federation. All we know about the canonical Gorn is that they fought back forcefully against a perceived invasion. We would do the same.

    And in the context of The Gorn Crisis, it wasn't the entire military caste that started the war, but a radical faction within it. You're making unjust blanket generalizations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  2. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    You do realize that you're contradicting yourself, right?

    How can aggressive and xenophobia be defining characteristics of these civilizations if they're able to come together in the space of three to five years and form a single state? Aggressive and xenophobic towards the Federation, sure, but that aggression and xenophobia does not seem to be uniform by definition.

    Let's go to the script.

     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the first thing I'd point out is that colonial wars of independence in world history have fairly rarely been built on false claims. I'm a firm believer that if the majority of a colony's populace favors independence, the "mother country" has a moral obligation to grant it, and has no right to keep that colony.

    Of course, we haven't seen the War of Martian Independence--or, as the MACOS in Last Full Measure called it, the Martian Freehold Uprisings. You are completely accurate in noting that it may have been much more morally ambiguous than that. But even if it was, that just continues to prove my point -- that societies' moralities can be ambiguous, shifting things, and that we shouldn't presume conflict and hostility from them because of those very ambiguities.

    You know that. I know that. This does not mean that all Romulans knew that. "In the Pale Moonlight" made it clear that almost half the Romulan Senate thought that, too -- the problem was that the "isolationists," so to speak, had a bare majority. That's why Sisko set out to convince Senator Vreenak, the leader of the isolationists, that the RSE ought to join the war.

    Either way, not exactly strong evidence on your part for hostile intent six years and four praetors later.

    That was part of it. And the other part was Donatra making it clear to Tal'Aura and the other Romulan supporters of Shinzon's coup that he was going to commit genocide. Donatra's language in her made it clear that neither she, nor the other Romulans, supported genocide. "A stain on us and our descendants," I believe, were her exact words, if they didn't stop him.

    The bit above where Donatra revealed to the other Romulans what Shinzon was doing and therefore argued he had to be stopped.

    No it's not. The Federation is constantly wandering around exploring unknown space. We've seen UFP starships get fired upon by aliens upon entering alien territory all the time. It's entirely plausible that the Federation could have sent a ship into Tzenkethi space and that the Tzenkethi could have reacted by believing the UFP was invading them and that its message of peaceful exploration were lies.

    And it's also possible that the UFP might have deliberately engaged in an act of aggression against the Tzenkethi. Maybe they were in desperate need of a planet with certain minerals needed to construct starships for their war against the Cardassians, and so chose to annex a Tzenkethi-claimed world and justify it by noting that it was uninhabited. The UFP does not always do the right thing, as evidenced by, for instance, its willingness to forcibly re-locate Federation citizens from their homes.

    No, it's not most probable. We don't have enough information to make any conclusions about what is or is not most probable -- not unless we default into a nationalistic, "the-Federation-would-never-do-anything-wrong" attitude, which, frankly, is no better than the kind of racist chauvinism of the Romulans or Cardassians.

    I don't doubt it. I don't doubt that Hugo Chavez hates the United States. But hatred does not equate to belligerence.

    No, it's called an unfounded assumption.

    1. A ducat is a form of pre-World War I European currency. Skrain Dukat was the Cardassian Gul who served as prefect of Bajor and, later, military dictator of the Cardassian Union under the Dominion.

    2. You say that, but you could just as easily argue that the Federation provoked the war. After all, it was the UFP that was constantly sending ships into Dominion-claimed space and into their backyard. It was the Federation that sent a huge capital ship into the Gamma Quadrant after being warned away, and which then sent in a warship after the capital ship was destroyed. It was the Federation that continued to send ships into the Gamma Quadrant after being told that the Dominion regarded that as deliberate provocation, it was the Federation that damn near overthrew its own civilian government so that it would have a better shot at militarism, it was the Federation that did nothing to stop the Cardassians and Romulans from engaging in attempted genocide, it was the Federation whose citizens harassed the Cardassians in Cardassian space, it was the Federation that amassed a huge fleet in the Bajor system after the Cardassians peacefully chose to join the Dominion in a show of hostility to Cardassian self-determination, and it was the Federation that mined the Bajoran Wormhole, thus impeding the free movement of Dominion ships across neutral space.

    I'm sorry, but the Star Trek Universe is not quite as morally simplistic as you're painting it as being.

    Yes. And that could easily be why other powers, like the Tholians, signed a nonaggression pact -- not hostility towards the UFP, or a desire to see it burn, but simple recognition of their own inability to defend themselves otherwise.

    Exactly. Even the Federation does bad things sometimes -- which is why it's not unreasonable to think that the UFP might have provoked the war with the Tzenkethi.

    That may be, but it doesn't change the fact that that belief -- especially as propagated by the fact that the Borg had only ever attacked with small numbers of ships before, and by the fact that Voyager had defeated them several times in the Delta Quadrant (including destroying their transwarp network and, apparently, Unimatrix 01) -- existed, and existed both within and without the Federation, and informed the policy decisions of foreign governments. Don't blame on malice what can be blamed on foolishness.

    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 you're introducing to try to prevent real-world parallels from being cited.

    And I never said that those states would renounce warfare and violence so completely as Europe has. What I said was, the past is not an automatic indicator of the future. Nothing more, nothing less.

    No. That's the problem -- you can't seem to acknowledge the distinction between the various grades of animosity. They were willing to risk an arms race, yes. They wanted a military build-up, and they wanted to increase their own power. That does not mean that they were willing to start a war.

    Politics is not an all-or-nothing deal. It's not a zero-sum game. It's not black and white. There are a lot of degrees of positions to take -- including the degree of wanting a military build-up, but not wanting a war.

    And we don't know that the Tzenkethi did.

    And bear in mind that Iran has engaged in numerous policy decisions that could easily have led to war if the United States government was less prudent and more impulsive than it has been -- from attacking the US Embassy to sending troops in to attack US forces in Iraq covertly.

    Wow. That's an incredibly racist statement that ignores the fact that, to start with, Iran has legitimate grievances against the U.S., including, as Christopher noted, Operation Ajax and the decades of oppression Iran suffered under the US-backed Shah. You're trying to reduce something to pure race hatred, when the reality is that it's much more complex than a mere ethnic squabble.

    In response to Federation violations of their rights.

    There's really no evidence for that. We have exactly one instance of actual Gorn aggression in almost a hundred twenty years' worth of story time, and that was when one radical faction of the military caste took power.

    And, as I said above, their actions in Destiny really aren't. Hell, the Cardassians were more reluctant to join Bacco's expedition than the Gorn were, but I don't see you arguing that the Federation needs to fear Cardassian aggression -- even though the Cardassians, unlike the Gorn, actually fought two major wars against the Federation in the recent past, and have a confirmed history of imperialism that the Gorn do not.

    Just a minor quibble: The Typhon Pact is an alliance, not a state. It's a closer alliance than most, given the common currency, but it's not a state in its own right, either, as Bacco made clear during her press conference. Think of it as being like the difference between the US and the European Union.

    Hm. Looks to me like the Romulans wanted a military build-up, and he then told them he would do one step more and cripple the Federation. Suran played at being placated by him, and then immediately decided to overthrow him. At this point, Donatra made it clear to them that she believed he would engage in a genocidal war against Earth, and that this was something incompatible with Romulan values.

    Thank you.
     
  4. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    True. During their history, UK France Germany Spain etc formed tranzitory alliances - two countries ally themselves to defeat a third, both knowing that, after their victory, the alliance will be over, that they may well jump at each other's throats.
    And true. You don't need "ethical maturity" for that.

    EXACTLY. Agression and xenophobia cannot be defining characteristics of species who come together in order to inaugurate an era of peace and understanding.
    And yet, cannon - and most books - establish that agressionn and xenophobia toward the Federation and toward each other are part of the make-up of most Typhon Pact members.
    Conclusion: Thr Typhon Pact only came together to give the Federation and its allies a bloody nose. Of course, after the devastation caused by the borg, they don't have the resources to start a war. A cold war, on the other hand, is all but inevitable.
    The members of the typhon pact were shown, in cannon, to be xenophobic towards everyone, including each other. Give me cannon examples of them being anything but xenophobic, if you wish to prove your point - and I'm not talking about a small faction with no power in their society; I'm talking about their policies and actions as a species.
    I never said - or implied - that it is. By "occidentals" I mean NATO in general and Americans in particular.
    Iran may have good reasons to hate the Americans - the point is, the hate is real.
    Just like the tzenkethi hate for the Federation is real, regardless of the reasons for it. As for who started the war - as I already said, the most probable scenario is that the tzenkethi started it.
    Donatra was the only one who had a problem with Shinzon crippling the Federation, by using his genocidal weapon. At present, she's empress of the IRS, a state friendly to the Federation.
    Suran&co were satisfied that Shinzon will complete his criminal plan in two days - I wonder, what did they think Shinzon will do with his weapon:evil:?They had a problem with the ""showing proper respect" thing.

    The Gorn.
    Correct. Let's see what happens in that episode.
    A federation colony exists on Cestus III, near uncharted space. The inhabitants have no ideea that the gorn claim the system as their own. They have no idea that the gorn even exist - and the gorn suspect that, at the very least!
    The gorn come and, by using overwhelming firepower, disable the colony's defenses. Then they kill EVERYONE IN THE COLONY - MAN, WOMAN, CHILD. They have the ability to comunicate with humans, as is established in the same episode, but they're not interested in communication. They don't tell the colonists to evacuate because Cestus III is a gorn planet. They dont't listen to the colonist's attempts at communication, they don't care that the colonists surrender. They kill everyone - well, exept for a badly wounded human.
    Then, they try to set a trap for Enterprise, by sending false messages to the crew, demonstrating how easily they could have opened a line of dialog with the colonists. Apparently, Kirk's ship is the only powerful Starfleet ship in the region. Once Enterprise is destroyed, all federation colonies from the region will be vulnerable - one can only imagine the carnage, if the gorn's plan had succeeded.
    And the gorn's justification: we killed invaders. Pfft!

    This is definitely NOT how the Federation would have responded in a similar situation. The Federates would have tried to communicate with the aliens, they would not have fired unless fired upon, would have stopped the attack as soon as the colony's defenses were neutralized, would have tried to spare as many lives as possible, regardless of the cicumstances, etc etc.

    The gorn make the klingons look tame!
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    See my comments above re: the United States. We practically invented the idea of a state dedicated to promoting peace and understanding, but we also have a history marked by extreme xenophobic aggression, including race-based slavery and genocide. It is unreasonably simplistic to assume that any entire civilization -- let alone an entire species -- is defined by a single set of traits. Humanity is fraught with contradictions, and the same is probably true for most other species as well, despite the tendency of TV Trek to reduce its aliens to monocultural stereotypes.


    You keep restating this even though it's been disproven. Reiterating a falsehood doesn't make it truer.


    Hint: If you want your arguments to be taken seriously, don't use the stereotypical misspelling of "canon."

    Romulans have allied with Klingons and the Federation in the past, and were willing to ally with the Dominion. Obviously their foreign policy is not defined by simple xenophobia.

    There is absolutely no evidence of Gorn xenophobia. They defended against a perceived attack on their territory. After that, they actually ceded Cestus III to the Federation and had no problem with them starting a colony there, so clearly they didn't hold a grudge for the events of "Arena." One radical faction of them assassinated the Gorn leadership and started a war of aggression, but it was brought down and the Gorn then became Federation allies against the Dominion. IDW's Alien Spotlight: Gorn shows a Gorn crew attempting to offer rescue and humanitarian aid to a crashed Starfleet shuttle crew; the misunderstanding and conflict in the story results mainly from the xenophobia of one of the humans. Marvel's Star Trek Unlimited had a story in which the Gorn defended against an incursion on a sacred cemetery world that had been defiled by a human archaeologist, but once Kirk showed respect for the Gorn's dead, they were willing to engage in more amiable relations. I don't recall ever seeing or reading anything that portrayed xenophobia as a Gorn trait.


    Which is a ludicrous use of the term, and one that grossly oversimplifies the issues involved.


    Americans had real hatred of the Japanese during and after WWII. Now we're allies. Just as it's foolish to assume that an entire civilization has only a single attitude across its entire population, it's equally foolish to assume its attitudes will remain constant over time.


    No, it isn't. There's no question that the Gorn are highly aggressive in the defense of their territory. But being different from the Federation doesn't make them evil monsters bent on the Federation's destruction. If you think that different automatically means evil, then you need to go back to the beginning of Star Trek and start over.

    Tell me, do you think the Horta are a xenophobic and militant species because of the mother Horta's take-no-prisoners actions in protecting her eggs? The situations of "Devil in the Dark" and "Arena" are highly similar (and conceived by the same writer).
     
  6. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Wait. You are actually saying that the universe where Picard can do no wrong, where Janewas solves every problem - ethical, sociological, etc - in the last 5 minutes of the episode through technobabble and where Sisko's ship is invulnerable through plotarmor is THE SAME AS THE REAL WORLD?
    Are you saying that the universe where deux ex machina Caeliar appear and stop an unstoppable borg invasion - through an completly moral and ethical solution, of course - doesn't follow moral laws much like the real universe follows physics? That the univese where the federates always come out on top isn't subjective?

    In that case, friend - I admire your optimism. NOT your realism.
    And I recomend you read more history books - real history books, that is. And use examples only from these books when you're talking about the world we all live in - people will take you more seriously.

    :guffaw:
    You really read my posts carefully, don't you? Well, Thanks.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No. 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 to avoid having to confront real-world examples that defy your ideology.

    One of the most regrettable trends in the world is the presumption that there's a conflict between realism and optimism. That presumption -- which tends to lead to the presumption of hostility on the part of The Other and to a belief that peaceful co-existence and compromise is not possible -- is the source of a great deal of suffering in the world. And, it's untrue.

    As President Barack Obama said in 2008, "We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics.... We've been asked to pause for a reality check; we've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope." That's true of the United States, and that's true of the world.

    No one ever accomplished anything worth a damn by being "realistic," which is nothing more than a euphemism for "pessimistic and paranoid"--the mindset of a Richad Nixon or a Dick Cheney. Realism means recognizing that the world is full of nuance, of moral ambiguity, of faction--and, therefore, that your enemy is not necessarily committed to your destruction, and that there are opportunities to bring your enemies in and convert them into your friends. It means recognizing that the world is not morally simple.

    I've read plenty of history books, thanks. Being educated doesn't mean sharing a unilaterally negative assessment of the world. (Though it does involve learning how to spell properly.)
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You know, I have a degree in history, and I think that Sci is showing a far better comprehension of history than you are.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Thankee much. It might be my political science degree-in-waiting showing through. ;)
     
  10. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    In that case, next time we speak about the real world, use your encyclopedic historical knowledge and give as examples events that happened in the real world, and not in a fictional utopic universe that sprang from the imagination of a few scenarists and writers.

    About my spelling, considering that english is not my native language, that I'm not trying to write a masterpiece (only a post on a forum) and that Dukat is not a real name, I am pleased with my performance:).
    And being educated involves refraining from insulting people, too.

    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.

    This doesn't happen in the real world. This didn't happen in humanity's history. Here, the best prepared, the most advanced, the smartest, the luckiest one won - not the altruists. History is full of atrocities - and more often than not there was no karmic payback of any kind.
    You said you read history books - you should know more than enough examples. Your own nation is one of the more obvious - as Christopher said, you "have a history marked by extreme xenophobic aggression, including race-based slavery and genocide" - and yet, today, you're the dominant power in the world, and you managed to sell values such as freedom to much of the rest of the world. 2000 years ago, the Roman Empire was built through conquest and genocide, yet today only his positive contributions are remembered. History is full of such things.

    PS - Your "optimism" can more aptly be described as wishful thinking - which is at odds with reality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  11. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    From the Federation perspective, sure. We know nothing about the Tzenkethi and very little about the Kinshaya, Tholians, Breen, and Gorn. What we do know about the Romulan Star Empire suggests multiple swings between Federation-friendly and Federation-hostile foreign policies, with the late 23rd century characterized for several decades by what looks like a Federation-Romulan alliance under Empress Ael.

    If four small interstellar states which enjoyed tense relations at best or near-war at worst were able to come together, why not six interstellar states which don't seem to have had hostile relations?

    Again, you've provided no proof of that.

    She was the only one who said that. The evidence seems to suggest that Tal'Aura and Suran thought things were rapidly escalating out of control, from militarist coup to war against the Federation to genocidal campaign against Earth. Proof? Donatra was allowed to leave Romulus with her ships.

    Attack Federation fleets? Destiny establishes that thalaron weapons work wonders against even large fleets.

    We also don't know when Tal'Aura et al. learned about the thalaron weapons. Weren't they Reman technology?

    So they adopted a scorched-earth policy in this case. And? We know nothing about the internal dynamics within the Gorn military and the Gorn polity that led to this outcome. Quite possibly they feared that Cestus III would be a base for expansion into their territory and thought that they needed to strike hard. Relatively democratic states have done worse.

    Later, we in fact see evidence, in the form of Cestus III's recolonization and eventual Member-State status, suggesting that the Gorn were actually ready to cede the planet.

    No, but that's because the Federation is in a position different from that of the Gorn. The Federation is a rapidly expanding and powerful federation of more than a hundred worlds with their assorted off-world holdings; the Gorn Hegemony is a relatively small power, arguably a great power only by courtesy.

    Again, there was only one Gorn episode. Drawing sweeping conclusions from a sample of one is a fool's game.
     
  12. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    I'd call it a state-like entity if not a state. For me, the kicker is the matter of the shared currency. As events in the Eurozone are suggesting, it's difficult to maintain a common currency without a common economic government. Mundell's writings on optimum currency zones are surely common knowledge by the late 24th century. With the Breen and Tzenkethi on one side of the Federation, the Romulans on another, and the Tholians and Gorn and Kinshaya scattered on the Klingon Empire's fringes, the Typhon Pact is going to need some very close cooperation if it's to avoid its new currency imploding.
     
  13. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, Proto you do realize that you are contradicting yourself here, first you're mad at the others for using real world examples, and now you are telling to use them. It is a little confusing.
    As for the real world vs Star Trek, there is a very major factor that you are not aknowledging, ST was created in the real world, and many of the races, and events are based on stuff from the real world. So looking at how things happened in the real world, really is the best way to look at how things might turn out in Star Trek.
    You're also making alot of assumptions based on very little evidence. Just because we saw a race act agressively in it's one or two appearances doesn't mean that that is the only way they act.
     
  14. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    First - You appear to be misunderstanding me - read my above posts, not sci's.
    I encourage the use of examples from the real world.
    I have a problem when sci uses examples from the star trek universe in order to make an "ethical or karmic" point about the REAL universe - as if star trek has the same relevance as real world history - it doesn't.
    When trying to say or prove something about the real world, star trek's relevance is limited - read my previous post for an in depth explanation.

    Second - Star Trek was created in the real word, was inspired from real world events? Sure, partially. But that doesn't make star trek a realistic universe. Children's tales were also created in the real world, inspired by it.
    When someone talks about the real world, he should use real historical facts, not the diluted star trek interpretations of these facts.

    Star trek's alien races represent diffrent facets of humanity (klingons - agression, ferengi - greed, etc). And star trek's humans represent only the better angels of our nature - with VERY rare exceptions. As for the tzenkethi, gorn - they had only a few appearances and their main traits were agression and xenophobia - these are proeminent among their established facets - they are a painting painted in broad strokes, they don't have characteristics we don't know about because they are sketchy species from a sketchy imaginary universe.

    When the novels develop these species further, they will, perhaps, add complexity to them - but this "complexity" should be compatible with what we already know about gorn, tholians, etc.

    Until then, according to everything we know about the federation and these aliens, the tzenkethi probably started the war, the gorn are probably highly agressive etc.
    You cannot speak in certainties because you don't have enough information to be certain about anything regarding these species.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  15. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Tal'Aura & co knew about the thalaron weapon from the beginning, when Tal'Aura used it to kill the ENTIRE Romulan Senate - she's all heart, isn't she?

    About the thalaron weapon's usefulness - take it up with Picard. He said that the weapon will be used to sterilize planets. My guess - the weapon is ineffective against fleets because, unlike planets, fleets are maneuverable - they can scatter or go to warp long before Shinzon's weapon was charged in X minutes.
    In "Destiny" the weapon should be effective against a fleet of borg cubes because the borg don't do "evasive maneuvers". And, perhaps, starfleet's weapon charges a lot faster than Shinzon's.

    Your interpretation of the text is coloured by your intent to make the romulan conspirators look as good as possible.

    My interpretation - which, according to Occam's razor, is correct:
    Donatra was allowed to leave with her ships because Suran & co were worried about spending time in the dilithium mines.
    And Suran sure wished Shinzon to complete his mission: "But can he complete his mission?".

    About the gorn.
    In "Arena", they killed thousands of men, women and children for no good reason.

    They scanned the colony - they knew they didn't need the element of surprise. They monitored federation communications - as evidenced by their use of transmissions to trap the enterprise. At least, they suspected that the federation didn't know about the gorn's existence.

    They sent no warning, no ultimatum, noting. They just killed everyone.
    This makes them extremly agressive.

    Of course, being different does not make one a monster. Just...different.
    But, you know, I have my own values, and according to them, killing thousands of people (including noncombatants) for a flimsy reason does make one monstruous.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Because no one should ever use a fictional story to illustrate a point about life, especially if that fictional story doesn't presume the same sort of bleak worldview you share. :rolleyes:

    Star Trek isn't all that unrealistic a depiction of life. You just have an unrealistically negative view of the world (which is surprisingly common for fans of a franchise that insists that the future will get better).
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    And so far, I have not anyone mention anything that does not include those elements. And just because we haven't seen certain characteristics doesn't mean they don't have them. After all absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
     
  18. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Sci,
    I understand what you're trying to say. I really do.
    You have faith that if you follow the principles of liberal democracy and your morals, in the end everything will be all right and good - so to say - will prevail.
    About faith - it has some good parts, it can really motivate someone. On the other hand, you should really read my signature.

    As for using examples from Star Trek - or any other fictional universe (dystopian or utopian) - to prove something about the real world, I think you'll agree that such examples have a limited relevance.

    JD,
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    But absence of evidence is not evidence of presence, either.
    And presence of evidence is evidence of presence - presence of agression and xenophobia in certain star trek races, that is.
    Cool:borg:.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    No, you really don't understand what I'm saying, as evidenced by your attempt to summarize it.

    I did not say that I have faith that if we follow the principles of liberal democracy and morality, in the end everything will be all right and good will prevail. The fact that you've decided that that's what I said, though, is indicative of a persistent, flawed pattern of thought on your mind. With the Typon Pact/Federation issue, you consistently came to the conclusion that only the extremes -- "Federation non-hostile, Typhon Pact hostile" -- were viable. Same thing with your descriptions of the alien species. And now, when talking about fundamentally different world views, you once again revert to describing things in the most extreme terms possible -- "You think that if you're good, everything will turn out okay." For all your talk of being a realist, you actually seem to have a very simplistic, unsophisticated, binary worldview, both in terms of morality and in terms of your understanding of other people's behavior.

    What I've been arguing, quiet persistently, is that the world is full of ambiguities and degrees. Shades of grey, and a whole spectrum of other colors, too. I have not been saying that things will turn out okay if we're "good" -- but I have been saying that it is irrational to presume the worst of the world, that a paranoid realpolitik worldview tends to create its own boogeymen and be self-defeating, and that accomplishing something means being optimistic. That's not the same thing as having faith that things will be okay and looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, in either the short term or the long term -- it's simply an acknowledgement that accomplishment does not stem from pessimism and that a conflict-is-inevitable mindset, looking at the world through blood-colored glasses, is irrational and self-defeating.

    The world is full of degrees. I'm considerably less pessimistic than you, but that doesn't mean I think It Will All Be Okay. I don't have faith. I have hope. And even if I'm wrong, life is too short and painful, and the world too full of good, to live in anything but hope. Because at least living in hope means you tried. That's all.

    Learn to see the specifics and degrees of what people are saying. Don't turn it into the most extreme position you can imagine, especially when it may not be true.

    I think it depends on the story. But your reading comprehension is questionable -- when I've been citing evidence from the real world, I've been using it to make points about the Star Trek Universe, not the other way around. I didn't cite the Typhon Pact to make a point about real life, I cited Venezeula to make a point about the Pact. When I have been trying to make a point about the real world, I've tended to cite both an applicable Star Trek scenario and a real-world scenario.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The whole point of Star Trek, or at least a large part of it, has always been to use fiction as an allegory for commenting on the real world. So to say it's not meant to be relevant to the real world, as ProtoAvatar is doing, is a grave misunderstanding.