Before Dishonour....seriously?!

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by sosolidshoe, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The fundamental misconception there is defining the Borg as "them," as if the Collective were a race of beings. It isn't. It's a single core consciousness that holds billions of individuals captive as its slaves. You don't defeat an enslaving, tyrannical force by killing off its slaves, but by liberating them. That's what Picard did for Hugh and the other drones in his cube, it's what Janeway did for Seven and other drones in "Survival Instinct," "Collective," and "Unimatrix Zero," and it's what the Caeliar ultimately did for all the Borg. Which pretty much makes it a proven success as a tactic.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Exactly. Individuality is a far more devastating (and at the same time humane) weapon than the virus ever could be. And unlike the virus, it's guaranteed to work.

    Not necessarily...

    Mac Calhoun, when he took the test, destroyed the Kobayashi Maru flat-out. He reasoned that either the ship was a plant, crewed by Romulans all along, or there really were passengers but they would have suffered far worse fates - torture and eventual execution - by said Romulans. So either way, Mac came out ahead, morally speaking.
     
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I think this is another important thing people forget to do when they get into these kinds of discussions. They don't think about how what they are talking about would relate to the themes and message of the franchise. The kinds of things you're talking about, and the things that S31 does, pretty much go completely against the whole concept of the entire Star Trek franchise.
     
  4. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In 'I, borg', Picard had a choice:
    - either use the virus (and Hugh) and stop the collective (Picard&co were pretty sure the virus will work in the episode - that was the subjective position they were operating on; what was not clearly established was whether the virus would actiually kill the drones or merely dismantle the hive mind)
    - or don't use the virus and condemn to death the billions upon billions the borg will kill and assimilate.
    In other words, there was no morally 'white' solution.

    But Picard&co would be in a clear state of self-defense (or state of necessity, if you consider the borg as not sentient, not endowed with free will, etc) when acting to stop the borg.
    BTW, if, hypothetically, a being who could not control his actions attacked you (or another person) and you killed her in defense, you acted in a state of necessity.

    Picard choose no to use the virus against the borg, condemning billions - enitre species, whole civilisations - to death.
    By acting thus, Picard became responsible, too, for the death of all the billions the borg killed between 'I, borg' and 'destiny', because he could have stopped all that horror and didn't, knowing what would happen.

    But as long as he didn't have to see all the billions dying, as long as he could say that they're not his problem, he could look in the mirror and not see all the blood staining his hands, he could pretend he's the morally white knight in shining armor.


    Similarly, in 'Endgame', Janeway had to choose between two options:
    - either destroy the transwarp hub, immobilising the borg for, at most, a few years (at most because the borg, with unlimited man-power, could rebuild the transwarp hub; or it could build slip-stream ships; etc), after which time the federation was to be destroyed by the borg (the federation having no chance in hell of stopping even a smallish borg attack - as seen in 'destiny')
    - or don't destroy the transwarp hub, keeping the federation a low priority target for the borg, the borg concentrating on other species.

    In other words, Janeway had the choice between her peeople and stangers - another situation in which there was no morally 'white' option.
    Janeway chose to sacrifice her own people, federation citizens she was sworn to protect - thus betraying her oath as a starfleet officer, to be loyal to the federation.

    Too late for that - Picard&Janeway already did such 'stuff', in the above mentioned episodes (and others).
    You just didn't get to see the billions who did the dying - it happened off-screen (until 'destiny', anyway).
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ No, I completely disagree that the virus was the only way to fight the Borg. As I said, there was no guarantee that it would work. Picard and crew were never certain that it would, and it was clear that the virus was only a last-ditch effort. At the end, Picard reasoned that giving Hugh back to the collective and letting his individuality spread would be a far more potent weapon - and he was right, as it turned out.

    Plus, he did not have to commit flat-out genocide to do it. Would you have advocated the successful use of the Section 31 virus to exterminate the Founders during the Dominion War? Do you believe that the blood of all those killed during the war are the Federation's responsibility because they did not use it? Or, to use more current analogies, do you think the Allies should have carpetbombed Germany with nukes during WW II? There are certain lines you just don't cross - certain rules that are absolutely inviolable. This is one of those times.

    The decision to not use genocidal methods during wartime does not mean that the subsequent casualties are your fault. It means that you kept your principles intact.
     
  6. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mr. Laser Beam,
    You seem to choose to ignore/misrepresent the situation set up in 'I, borg' - much like Picard willfully did, in order to delude himself that his choice was "moral":

    To reiterate - Picard&co regarded the virus as having a high probability of succes during the episode (watch 'I, borg'); when he made the decision, at least, Picard was very confident the virus would work*. What was not estaablished was whether the virus would actually kill the borg drones or merely destroy the hive mind.
    Picard knew with certainty that the borg was on a genocidal rampage, killing billions upon billions, and that every day that it is not stooped millions more die.
    Acting to stop the perpetrator/perpetrators of such horror (regardless of how many they are, of whether they are in control of their actions or not) is a VERY CLEAR case of acting in self-defense or state of necessity (if the perpetrators are not the masters of their own actions) - read criminal law for confirmation.

    Picard condemned the borg's future victims to death by his inaction; when he chose to stand aside, he, de facto, signed their death warrants - his hands are red with their blood:
    If you can save someone (with little risk to himself), but you callously choose not to do so in order not to harm the killer, you too become responsible for the victim's death; you shouting, 'I didn't commit flat out murder' is empty rhetoric that changes nothing to your monstruosity.

    If letting billions upon billions die is in keeping with his principles, then Picard's morals are those of a sociophat.


    About finding other ways to stop the borg - the borg assimilated thousands of space faring species, none of whom found a way to stop it.
    The 'I, borg' virus was a gift from the heavens, a ticket out of the cemetery for the federation and who knows how many others.
    To expect you can find something else to fight the borg is to expect to win the lottery two times in a row - and you do not base your decisions on the assumtion that you'll win the lottery tomorrow, yes, Mr. Laser Beam? That would be idiotic.

    *And nothing in this world has 100% chance of succes, Mr. Laser Beam.

    PS
    - the bombing of german cities during WW2 is a straw-man - you put the equal sign between 'one mind' borg drones composing the collective and individual humans; you also put the equal sign between the Allies' possibilities vs nazi Germany and the federation's impotence vs the borg.

    - the Founder virus is a straw-man, as well - the dominion was NOT commiting genocide on a daily basis, killing billions, nor was it at war with the federation when the virus was used; it's even debatable whether the great link is one mind or consists of different factions, not all of which have the same goals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  7. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    Picard chose the less genocidal route that, for all he knew at the time, would have the same effect of ending the Borg threat but without killing billions... and you're arguing he should have killed them all?

    Are you one of those people who thinks Batman should be put in jail for not killing Joker?


    ...what?!

    No. No no no.

    Janeway had no way of knowing that she wasn't simply crippling the Borg's ability to wage war from quadrants away. Even if she knew for a fact that she was making the Federation a primary target for the Collective, for all she knew at the time the Borg were a good seventy years away from threatening the Federation at conventional warp speeds, meaning the Federation would have seventy years to prepare for them.

    You can't blame Janeway for not knowing about the tunnels in the Azure Nebula. That's absurd. You might as well blame Jonathan Archer for Destiny because he let the Borg send a message to the Delta Quadrant in Regeneration. You might as well blame Sisko for not coming up with an innovative way to destroy the Cube at Wolf 359 and thus discouraging the Borg from further assaults on Earth.
     
  8. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Elias Vaughn

    About Picard - if you're talking about the 'individuality' thing, Picard&co considered it a long shot at best - as opposed to the paradox virus:
    Compare Picard's 'perhaps' filled speech about the individuality plan with Geordi&Data's presentation regarding the paradox virus.

    If you're talking about choosing to sacrifice billions of borg victims as oposed to ending the borg - this is supposed to be 'less genocidal'?:rommie:
    Picard choose to sacrifice billions of sentient beings merely so he could tell himself he made the moral choice.


    About Janeway
    As said - She knew the borg assimilated slipstream ('hope and fear') aka can build slipstream capable ships that can arrive anywhere in the galaxy within days.
    Again, as said - She knew the borg built the transwarp hubs and had virtually unlimited manpower - to reconstruct them (apparently, selective reading is your trademark, Elias Vaughn).

    Knowledge about the azure nebula tunnels is not requirted to know the borg will only be held back for a very short time by the destruction of the transwarp hub.

    PS
    "Are you one of those people who thinks Batman should be put in jail for not killing Joker?"
    Are you one of those people who would just stand by and watch how a killer murders people - because you don't want to harm the killer?

    "No. No no no."
    You remind me of the 'see no evil. hear no evil. speak no evil' monkeys.
    Just because you want the situation depicted in the episodes to be different doesn't make is so, Elias Vaughn.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  9. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Let's just say that Picard used a virus to kill off every Borg drone in the Collective. Then the general public find out that their assimilated relatives and friends could have been unassimilated just like Picard once was. They would demand that Picard be put on trial for war crimes and/or genocide. Innocent or guilty, he'd have to go into exile.

    And then perhaps the Borg Queen protocols adapt to the virus - and she starts assimilating new drones.
     
  10. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As said - It was not established whether the paradox virus would kill the drones - as opposed to merely shutting down the hive mind (the entire hive mind).

    Even if the virus would kill all the drones, Picard would have acted in a state of necessity/self defense - in order to save BILLIONS - aka he would be legally not guilty of any charge.


    Of course, in this discussion we attribute to Picard and Janeway reasons far more compelling for their actions than the ones they were depicted as having during the relevant episodes:

    For Picard - the primary reason he didn't use the paradox virus was because he didn't want to use Hugh, NOT because he would kill drones (watch the episode); and in order for him to believe himself morally pure, BILLIONS had to die - but as long as it happened 'out of sight', it was 'out of mind' (or is your argument that using Hugh is FAR worse than condemning billions?:guffaw:).

    For Janeway - the primary reason for destroying the transwarp hub was because she wanted to save 7 of 9's life, NOT because she wanted to isolate the borg from most of the galaxy (again, watch the episode).

    Yes - I see how moral their motivations/decisions were:guffaw:.
     
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Oh yeah? And how is this not a "war crime"?

    If that truly is your view, I find it hard to believe that you continued watching "Star Trek". On the day that episode first aired, we did not know that billions would die at the hand of the Borg. You are judging Picard due to 20/20 hindsight, something not available to him at the time he was making his (very difficult) decision.

    Again, you are judging Janeway due to 20/20 hindsight, something not available to her at the time she was making her (very difficult) decision. I'm wondering what you thought of her Tuvix solution, too, but not really game to ask.

    If it so offends you, why did you ever stick it out so long? Maybe you should have found a less offensive SF universe to enjoy after the airing of "I, Borg"?

    I'd still rather have Picard or Janeway as my captain than you. ;)
     
  12. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As said - Because Picard would have been in a state of necessity/self defense - depending on how you want to view the borg.
    And actions made in a state of self defense/state of necessity are NOT crimes.

    About Picard - the borg's ongoing genocidal campaign was already established by the time of 'I, borg' (established in 'Q, who', 'best of both worlds').
    About Janeway - pretty much everything about the borg was established, including it having assimilated slipstream, by the time of 'endgame'.

    Therin, the motivations of Picard&Janeway were directly established in the episodes - they're not a matter of 'view'.

    As for me - I'm posting on this site. Me having continued to watch star trek is not a matter of 'belief'.:p
    Every series has its stinkers; I simply ignored them as badly written episodes deserve.
    BTW, the reason Picard&Janeway were given motivations so contemptible for their decisions is that the scenarists simply didn't think things through.

    Of course, saying you ignore said episodes and claiming that the character's actions were anything approaching moral are two entirely different things. Proclaiming the morality of said actions is highly disingenuous.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Huh? Wasn't that the point of a moral dilemma in an episode? That there was no "correct" solution?

    So why do most of us not agree with your interpretation?
     
  14. From Wikipedia:

    The very existence of the Borg is an ongoing war crime, so if anything, all the actions taken to stop them is an effort to stop that ongoing war crime.

    Besides, one's oath to Starfleet and the Federation is not supposed to be a mutual suicide pact.
     
  15. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Oooh, god I am so tired of this. I'm done.
     
  16. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    Nope.

    But I'm also not the one saying Picard and Janeway should have left the Borg alone.

    "If we kill all the prisoners ourselves, the enemy won't be able to mistreat them anymore!"
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But the drones are the victims of that crime. They're people who've been enslaved and forced to serve the enemy. So how does killing the victims stop the crime? Again, the fundamental mistake is defining the Borg as a "them," as a nation whose individual members are responsible for the crimes in question. The Borg Collective is an "it," and stopping it ideally means freeing the drones it enslaves, not killing them.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Are not Borg Drones akin to "prisoners of war"?
     
  19. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    HAHAHA., Nicely done.
     
  20. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I never found Tuvix to be a "no win scenerio". I found it to demonstrate the show's lack of planning and Janeway's lack of imagination. She could have replicated the accident that created Thomas Riker in Sceond Chances by locking 2 confinement beams on Tuvix. Then split one signal while restoring the other. One man enters, three men leave.