Biggest 'Why don't they...' in Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by JirinPanthosa, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Apr 28, 2007
    Outer Graceland
    Go Warp 10, become salamanders, be home, and have the Doctor reverse it. Sorry if a repeat, haven't read 'em all.
  2. Printer's Devil

    Printer's Devil Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 29, 2009
    Maybe not for everybody. But for us fallible humans, it's certainly a huge temptation.
  3. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    I've had this discussion before.

    No man is impervious to temptation. We all have our breaking point. We are but mortal men in a universe far greater than us. This is not a fault, unless you think one should be as incorruptible as a Classical figure. But remember this: my Ancient Greek ancestors were no more or less human than I or any of us are. Don't base the truth of your life on the fiction of their literature.

    Man's fallibility, like his mortality, may make life more difficult but like most problems, it can be dealt with.
  4. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    I guess that’s sort of my point. Yes, humans have a capacity for being corrupted by power. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be dealt with. We may be tempted to abuse, and some people may even abuse, but that doesn’t mean that the society as a whole will.

    I mean, Star Trek already has some incredibly powerful stuff, most notably replicators, from which you can make almost anything. Yet, the Federation society we are presented with has not collapsed in on itself by everyone abusing the power. Although the show mostly “solves” this problem by ignoring it. We are never really told why humans don’t just live inside holdecks with their replicators and ignore the real world (which would really be a natural corruption of that power). It’s just a conceit of the show that humans have the power . . . but somehow don’t get corrupted by it.

    So, if we already feel comfortable with the idea that humans have not been corrupted by the powers they already have, why can’t we also incorporate new “powers” into the universe without having to explain why the humans are not corrupted by those as well? Is telekinetics (TOS “Plato’s Stepchildren”) or super speed (TOS “Wink of an Eye”) really all that more powerful or corruptible than [almost-]all-powerful replicators?
  5. King Bob

    King Bob Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    I think what Star Trek is trying to say is that people become easily corruptible when dealing with powers they aren't ready for.

    It's one thing to develop a device over the course of years and decades and then it slowly moves into the mainstream culture vs. having the power of god dropped into your lap overnight.
  6. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    ^ Also, I disagree with the notion that Federation citizens don't seek out wealth being that they already have it via the replicator. That's like saying rich people today don't care about money because they already have it. Oh yeah? Economic status denotes moral status?

    I think it's why I don't like the DS9 line that "it's easy to be a saint in paradise." No it isn't. That's the point. That's the difference between being a saint and being some schmo so preoccupied with his own paradisaical lifestyle that he's not hurting anyone else. That is, until faced with a dilemma that requires the choice of hurting someone else or not and really testing his morality. The Federation's accomplishment is that they have sophisticated, decent, vibrant citizens who take pride in setting and working toward such things as their goal. It's an idea still very much ahead of its time, I don't care how far ahead of bell-bottoms and beehive hairdos we've come.
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    The actions of the Platonians are proof enough of what would happen if Federation citizens got ahold of kironide and used it regularly. Power demands to be used. Look at what almost happened to Riker when he briefly got Q think about that for a minute. If you yourself became a Q, you'd use that power, wouldn't you? For whatever you wanted? Don't tell me you wouldn't.
  8. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 15, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I think that ascribes more nobility to humanity than we have. A simpler possibility: upon performing further analysis, Starfleet determined that kironide was radioactive or otherwise toxic to humans in large amounts. Kirk, Spock and McCoy suffered no long-term damage because their exposure was relatively brief (and Spock may have been more resistant to the adverse effects anyway because of his unique body chemistry). The Platonians would have suffered no damage because of their alien physiology. (How's that? :) )