decision regarding Rugal incomprehensible!

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Dal Rassak, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Were I the judge, I'd normally rule in the favor of the adoptive family. However, the fact that Rugal was kidnapped trumps all. If a child was kidnapped from a human family and 15 years later found living with another family, I imagine the biological parents have a claim on them.

    Because it was a wrong done to them.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Agreed. Kotan Pa'Dar is as much an innocent party to all of this as Rugal is. There is no real indication that Kotan would be an unfit parent, or that he wasn't hurt by what had happened. Kotan clearly loved his son and was devastated at being rejected by him.

    And Rugal was indeed kidnapped - used as a pawn by Dukat.
     
  3. prizzm

    prizzm Ensign Newbie

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    I wonder if Sisko may have sympathized with the biological father because, unlike Picard, he was a father himself.

    I too thought the boy should have been allowed to remain with his adopted family.
     
  4. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Well, I think that he was abused. There are different types of abuse, and these "parents," loving as they seemed, raised that boy to hate himself, and to practically carry around a hugely heavy guilt pretty much just for being born Cardassian.

    I felt so sorry for that child. What they did to him was wrong. They should have taught him what his people did, and that it was very wrong and that it should never happen again, BUT raising the child to despise his people and therefore himself was wrong on their part. Perhaps their hearts were in the right place, but it was clear that their hearts hadn't healed form what had been done to Bajorans (perhaps they couldn't heal), but that wasn't this child's fault...

    I think Sisko was right to give him back to the family, and father, that wanted him and that could teach him to have some self esteem in spite of the poorer aspects of his people's history.

    I don't think he should have stayed with them for reasons stated above, but I do agree that Sisko probably did make his decision in part because he was a father too. He knew how unhealthy that boy's upbringing had been and also how damaging it was to him. Just because his people did something very horrible didn't mean that he needed to suffer psychological abuse under the guise of loving intentions.

    Sisko was right.
     
  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Of course, a part of me worried about what sort of upbringing he'd have on Cardassia.

    Stay with loving but dysfunctional family or learn to be a Space Fascist.
     
  6. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    I would call his Bajoran family, loving, but dysfunctionally abusive. I thought about his Cardassian family too, and I don't think we can be sure that his father, and the rest of his family, were "Space Fascists." Not all Cardassians were like that, so that's stereotyping them, which is also an unhealthy practice.

    I like how the episodes regarding Kira's stereotyping of Cardassians in roughly the same way addressed this. Her "father," was anything but a Space Fascist. Far from it...
     
  7. prizzm

    prizzm Ensign Newbie

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    This episode slightly reminiscent of the Elian Gonzalez affair. I think the episode came first, though, didn't it?
     
  8. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    I feel like Godwinning here, however it would be relevant because said organization was an explicit inspiration for the Cardassians. The father, in question, seems like a loving man to his child--no question. However, he was a member of the occupation forces and a political rival to Dukat who was involved the genocide of 7 million Bajorans. Either way, they're reparating a child raised in both the Bajoran faith and Bajoran lifestyle to a totalitarian dictatorship with a hostility to that religion.

    This is before the Cardassian civilian government overthrows the military and at a time when arrest=guilt.
     
  9. vulcan redshirt

    vulcan redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It would have been interesting plot twist in S7 to have had news reach Sisko somehow that Rugal had been one of the many Cardassian victims when the Dominion turned on Cardassia. Therefore Sisko would have to deal with the hindsight guilt of knowing that if Rugal had been allowed to stay on Bajor, he would likely have not been killed (unless a bajoran nationalist got hold of him).
     
  10. QuarkforNagus

    QuarkforNagus Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Psychology tells us that this, in fact, is how you might react to someone who mistreats you. Particularly when their constant insults towards your kind have convinced you that you DESERVE this kind of treatment.


    This is not about ownership. The child does not have the maturity to make this kind of a decision. Particularly a child who has been told that his identity is "wrong".

    Pa'Dar does not have to own his child to make a decision in his best interest.


    I don't know that I would say that anyone ever has the intention to damage their children psychologically, but that doesn't seem to stop them from abusing them.

    I can't really speak to Cardassia or Bajor, but I don't know of any Canadian court that would return a child to abusive parents on the basis that they did not intentionally abuse their child.

    Kids don't want to do a lot of things. That's why adults make decisions for them. What the child wants in this situation is irrelevant. The adults are stepping in to make sure he gets what he needs.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. Kotan Pa'Dar may have lived on Bajor for a time, but he was one of the civilian politicians who ordered the withdrawal of Cardassian forces there. (That's the whole reason he and Dukat were at loggerheads.) We may have no idea what the Pa'Dar family was like at home, all we can go on is this episode. And all indications are that Kotan was a loving father, or at least wanted the chance to be one.
     
  12. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Kotan's intentions may not be relevant given the kind of environment around him.

    As for the "Cardassians are wrong" this may actually be a way of keeping Rugal safe. If he, a Cardassian, says he knows the occupation was wrong and what was done to the Bajorans was evil--that could save him a lot of grief.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In what way? :confused: Kotan is a politician, apparently of some importance in the Cardassian government. He is in a position to shape Cardassian policy, for better OR worse. And given he ordered the withdrawal, I'm inclined to believe the former.
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Kotan's career is over, either way, they indicated in the episode. Having left his child behind, Dukat's machinations aside, will permanently tar him in Cardassia's family obsessed culture.

    But no, honestly, I'm referring to the fact that parents are far from the only influences a child has. At 15 years of age, Rugal isn't a completely malformed ball of clay either.

    The ideas he holds in his head will be dangerous in a society like the Cardassians and they will attempt to either brutalize it out of him or simply imprison him if he attempts to act upon them.

    It's a parents worst nightmare but very true fact they can't control everything around their children.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think so. Whatever happens to Kotan's career, he would still hold considerable influence in Cardassian society. (Non-canon though this may be, in the novels the Pa'Dar family is portrayed as wealthy and of high social standing on Cardassia.) He would be in a position to shield Rugal from any Cardassians who try to hassle him because of his beliefs.
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I've never understood why the commanding officer of a Federation starbase had any authority in deciding a custody dispute between Bajoran and Cardassian citizens. Rugal was a Bajoran citizen and lived on Bajor; this dispute, from a Federation POV, should clearly have been kicked over to a Bajoran court to decide.

    Meanwhile, anyone interested in Rugal's story should pick up the DSN novel The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormack. It tells the story of Rugal's life on Cardassia throughout the remainder of the series.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, Sisko was the arbiter because both Pa'Dar and Proka asked for him to be. They considered him a neutral party.
     
  18. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not to mention I'm sure there's some sort of silly provision in Bajoran law that the word of the Emissary is law. Heck, they were willing to return to a freaking caste system on the say so of that artist guy who was Emissary for that one episode.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Irrelevant; the competing parties do not have standing to determine the state's jurisdiction. This is clearly a matter for Bajoran courts to determine, and Sisko should have kicked it over to them.
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Yeah yeah yeah, coulda/woulda/shoulda. But they didn't, did they?

    Besides, like R just said, Sisko *is* the Emissary. I doubt the Bajoran court system - if indeed it even had one so soon after the occupation - was much inclined to question his judgment.