How Powerful Are The Q / Continuum?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Harbinger, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Captain Captain

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    The Q are more powerful than we can ever imagine, be it due to biological / cognitive abilities or some outrageously advanced technology. Leave it at that.

    As Jackson Pollock said of his work: " Any attempt on my part to say something about it, to attempt explanation of the inexplicable, could only destroy it."

    (See: midi-chlorians).
     
  2. Harbinger

    Harbinger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    What if they are humans from the future?
     
  3. GENERAL_DS

    GENERAL_DS Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Interesting thought Harbinger. They might even be possible. Since they have, according to q, Unlimited control of space, time and matter it doesnt matter (pun unintended) when humans will be as powerfull since when you have the ability to timetravel without limitations you live free of the timeline.
     
  4. Captain Kronos

    Captain Kronos Cadet Newbie

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    While the Q are undeniably magnitudes more powerful than any other known faction in Star Trek I don't really think that they have unlimited power.

    For starters, the Q Civil War shows that not only can they apparently be killed but the way in which they kill each other, judging by the setting off of supernovae, seems fairly traditional- as in through the use of some sort of (highly advanced) weapons versus just blinking each other out of existence. Adding to that the word of Quinn - which even coming from a dissenter probably had at least some truth to it as these things usually do - and the fact that the relationship between the Q and the relatively unadvanced El-Aurians doesn't seem completely one-sided and I seriously doubt the Continuum has true omnipotence at their disposal.

    I'd question Q's claims of omniscience as well seeing as there appears to still be room for debate and new ideas within the Continuum and I also doubt the Qs' abilities to see their own futures.

    Personally I'm one of the people who dislikes how the franchise handled the Borg in later years (for me it wasn't really an issue of 'taking the mystery away' but rather the fact that they just seemed to take the Collective's teeth away almost entirely over just a few seasons) but I actually wouldn't mind them doing the same with the Q. To be honest I never liked the idea of the Q because I feel that any force that can completely alter time and reality at will essentially makes the importance of character actions and decisions moot and thus fictional worlds should avoid the inclusion of omnipotent beings altogether.

    Of course I have similar feelings about the use of time-travel but good luck separating that particular bushel of thorns from the Star Trek universe.
     
  5. QCzar

    QCzar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wouldn't say "any other known faction", but of course the vast majority. The Organians seem quite capable, as do the (ascended?) Ocampa, the Nacene, Nagilum, "God" and of course the Prophets/Pah'Wraiths.

    Are they equal to the Q? Well, despite the consensus of the thread, probably not. Not much less advanced though.

    To date we've not seen the Q interact with any other aliens of this type. IMO, this only adds to the idea that Q is at least partially boasting.
     
  6. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It could be argued that even if they were using some technology, they could still be considered omnipotent.

    OTOH, the Q might not be using technology at all.

    Some beings are shown doing powerful things simply with the power of their minds without using technology.

    The John Doe character from TNG evolved into some type of energy being, and did things with a thought. So did the Ocompa and maybe the Dowd.

    I remember when TNG was on, the Q were considered absolutely all powerful and awesome, and now, they're not as awesome, because they might be using some type of technology to do what they did.

    Like the wizard of Oz. Blame Voyager again :lol:

    So does the debate mean that if they used technology it makes them less godlike, or if it's totally natural it makes them more godlike?
     
  7. QCzar

    QCzar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    To be clear I don't think everyone doubting their supposed omnipotence is saying it's because of technology. That's unnecessarily reductive. There are just general doubts that Q has always told the truth about his peoples' power. It's due not only to Quinn (or even Voyager at large), but many small indicators (Amanda, Guinan, the persistence of other similar races that do not make such claims but possess demonstrably similar power), as well as the fact that we have only one Q's word.

    And that one Q is possessed of a rather acerbic, mischievous and mercurial personality.

    Remember Nightdiamond, the Cardassians are the Alpha Quadrant's most magnificent civilization...according to the Cardassians. Of course, because they're closer to humanity's level, we can clearly see that they are not. The Q ask us to trust, on faith alone, that they are basically gods and the only proof they offer us is a bunch of (admittedly frighteningly powerful) parlor tricks and the occasional wonder.

    As you may know, omnipotence is considered by most non-religious folks to be an immense paradox: if an omnipotent being can create a stone too heavy for it to lift, how can it be omnipotent; but if it cannot....and so on. The Q have already shown themselves vulnerable to death. Whether it is in their own nature or not is beside the point. If an omnipotent, omnipresent entity can be made to cease being omnipotent, then was it really ever omnipotent in the first place?

    This is why I and many are skeptical about his claims. It may indeed be in the Q's nature to "seem" vulnerable, such as getting punched by Sisko, while being in complete control of every situation that could ever possibly exist. But how do we measure this? By what laws of logic does the Continuum operate? Simply saying that it's beyond our "puny" minds is a cop-out.

    We don't automatically think, simply because we can't explain how the Prophets work, that they're omnipotent. Why does Q get the benefit of the doubt? His boyish charm?

    Super powerful? Obviously. Omnipotent? Doubtful. And to be honest I also doubt anyone on the Enterprise-D or Voyager ever truly believed this either.
     
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A point I made on here several years ago. They are masters of time and space, so why not our super evolved selves? And Q is some kind of guide to help us fulfill our roles of evolving into him. A temporal paradox of sorts.
     
  9. NeedleOfInquiry

    NeedleOfInquiry Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    [/QUOTE]


    This is why I and many are skeptical about his claims. It may indeed be in the Q's nature to "seem" vulnerable, such as getting punched by Sisko, while being in complete control of every situation that could ever possibly exist. But how do we measure this? By what laws of logic does the Continuum operate? Simply saying that it's beyond our "puny" minds is a cop-out.

    [/QUOTE]

    How so? That precludes the possibility that there are things that Humans simply aren't smart enough to understand, a rather arrogant belief. As for how we "measure" the Q, we can't. That's the whole point.
     
  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Based on the facts we've seen established in the series, we know the Q are energy beings and they are capable of taking a physical form. While in a physical form they are proven vulnerable in that form HOWEVER they have some kind of energy store that lets them protect themselves. When they are injured or drained of that energy they are trapped in whatever form they are in at the time and vulnerable as a creature of that form (Deja Q, True Q, Death Wish, Q And The Grey, Q2).

    Is that power source something internal to their being or something external, as in the case of Squire of Porthos? We do not know but it seems to be something internal.

    I would hypothesize that the Q powers somehow tap into that 'Space, time and thought are all one' stuff referenced in the sillier Wesley stories, and their powers are only as strong as the extent they can tap into that.
     
  11. QCzar

    QCzar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, the point is that we don't just have to take the Q, or Q specifically, at face value simply because he says so.

    The Federation may have advanced medical technology and could indeed make some rather bold claims about it. But if they claimed to be able to restore the dead to life, sure, a primitive people may not have the means to disprove this possibility, but nor would they be compelled to accept it either. The Federation made the claim so it would be up to them to demonstrate that it was true.

    What Q is asking us to do is accept that simply because he's big and powerful, that he is the biggest and the most powerful, and to accept it only on faith. On something that can pretty much never be demonstrated.

    Believing that something is all powerful/omnipotent simply because you can't prove that it's not is, quite simply, a leap of faith. It's the cornerstone of theology. That would very well make the Q nothing less than gods to those who believed it (a descriptor Q no doubt has no problems with). Since it doesn't matter what is true from the perspective of someone who cannot ever be shown that it is or isn't true, I choose to remain deeply skeptical about his supposed omnipotence.

    Considering Q is a manipulative, meddlesome, child-like prick with a depraved indifference to suffering (and truth telling), I'm going to keep on believing that he is exaggerating just a tiny bit.
     
  12. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always thought this was pretty obviously the case

    Encounter at farpoint has a number of things that hint at this idea.....If the Q know that humans are very powerful in the future (and we accept they can travel in time) then why travel back to ask these questions of humans....why not just ask the powerful humans of the future

    Unless.....the Q are the humans of the future and are interested to know how they became Q....what is it about their ancestors that led to this

    well, why not just go back and ask/interact with your ancestors
     
  13. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Are the Q omnipotent or merely immensely more powerful than the federation?

    Omnipotent - not; Quinn established that. Also, omnipotence generates paradoxes such as can omnipotent beings create a rock they cannot lift?

    Immensely more powerful than the federation - than any corporeals with limited consciousness? Indeed, so far above them, they're functionally indistinguishable from omnipotent? Definitely.
    What with the Q having complete control over time, space and matter, being able to create universes - complete with conscious beings - on a whim, etc. BTW, the only thing able to hurt Q are other Q or weapons made by the Q. Thinking that destroying the human form a Q inhabits even slightly inconveniences a Q is naive in the extreme.

    Are the Q arrogant, etc? O, yes.
    And they have the power to back their arrogance up - and more. If Picard manages to actually annoy Q as opposed to merely amusing him, Q may just decide to bitch slap Picard by removing the human species from existence with a snap of his fingers. He even did it once, in TNG: All good things.
     
  14. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That made me wonder.....What about having an IQ that allows them to defy the paradox? Who knows---create a copy of one's self that cannot lift a rock, except the original can lift the rock because he created the rock and the copy?



    In EAF when Troi sensed Q, she said that it felt like it was beyond what we would call a life form. The idea implied was that they were so advanced they were way beyond the simple measurement of alive and conscious.



    .

    True-- there's no need to kneel down in awe of Q when they may be simply operating in ways we yet don't understand.But what makes the Q different from the Prophets for some fans, is maybe that Q was shown doing things almost unheard--=even for an entity -- at a whim.

    Shrinking Voyager into the size of trinket, transporting it to earth, possibly in the past, and hanging it on a Christmas tree, was one of the wildest things. The Prophets, The Dowd, Organians can do interesting things, but this way off the charts in power displaying.

    Do we think the other entites can do things like that in real time space? So that creates the question, if the Q could manipulate matter and space like that, what the hell can't they do?

    Just for laughs, Q turned Beverly Crusher into a dog while she was nagging him--and she had no idea.:lol:


    From time to time, in some rare cases, even Picard was shown being awe of Q, but true, basically he was the main one to call Q a sham.


    It is interesting that in EAF, Q freezes a security guard when he reached for his phaser and then told Picard something like, "knowing humans as you do, Captain would you be so captured helpless by them?"

    Obviously the guard would not have been able to hurt him, yet Q's reaction was strange-- they always throw in strange scenes like that to make you wonder.
     
  15. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps the original direction that Gene wanted to go with TNG? Exploring the evolution of Human beings into god-like creatures. It makes sense...

    Introduce Q in the pilot, make reference to the fact that Humans may one day surpass the Q.

    Hint at Wesley being the next step of Human evolution in WNOHGB. That would certainly fit in with the idea of him being a "Mary Sue" character "He's a god!".

    Give Riker the option of fast-tracking evolution in Hide & Q.

    It was forgotten about a little until All Good Things where Q made reference to the fact that the adventure lies within, not without.
     
  16. MNM

    MNM Captain Captain

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    He said they werent. Thats not establishing anything, especially since Q has said the opposite in the past.

    Plus when pushed on that statement by Tuvock and asked what their vulnerabilities might be if they werent omnipotent, Quinn talks about a lack of manners and morality.

    Yet there is no evidence at all the the Q's powers are tech based.
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Good one.

    I'm going to say that the Q are Boltzmann brains that developed sentience ln/on the surface of the cosmological horizon. They really are the empyrean incarnate. From the wiki:

    Holographic theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure "painted" on the cosmological horizon.

    The Q operate in the reverse. They live on the brane and project inward to 3D.

    I'm going to call that their tidal pool. They exist as patterns. Imagine if you will the dyson sphere from relics, but with the world spanning abhoth creature from solaris on the inside surface, and how that pattern interacts leave a virtual image towards the center (3d space) A higher dimensional version of that--a living brane brain. That is what the Q are.
     
  18. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The way I understood "brane theory" is that we and all of reality only really exist on the "brane" and that our consciousness projects it into the 3D world that we are all familiar with. I'll have to read up on that. Or hope Prof. Brian Cox does a show on it (he can explain anything)
     
  19. alpinedigital

    alpinedigital Ensign Newbie

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    This isn't true. Quinn has a philosophical approach to defining 'omnipotent' as being 'invulnerable', and give examples of 'vulnerabilities' in his statements
    "Quinn: In a way, our vulnerability is what this is all about. As the Q have evolved, we've sacrificed many things along the way, not just manners, but mortality and a sense of purpose and a desire for change and a capacity to grow. Each loss is a new vulnerability, wouldn't you say?"
     
  20. alpinedigital

    alpinedigital Ensign Newbie

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    Quinn's statement:
    "You and your ship seem incredibly powerful to lifeforms without your technical expertise. It's no different with us. We may appear omnipotent to you, but believe me, we're not. "
    This is more about perspective of ability, not the manner in which those abilities are achieved. The Q can will a bronze sword into existence, and human's can create one as well, but this doesn't imply the Q need to forge one from scratch, nor can a human 'think' one into existence.
    With Quinn, he is more apt to using an abstract, philosophical perspective to undermine the defining quality of being 'omnipotent', which is in and of itself, a paradox:

    Can an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that it cannot lift it?
    If yes: the being has a weakness (being unable to lift the stone) and his power is limited, or becomes limited.
    If no: the being's power is already limited, since there is an action he cannot perform.
    Either way, the allegedly omnipotent being has proven not to be omnipotent due to the logical contradiction present in both possible answers.

    The bottom line is, yes - the Q, - by the writers submission of material - have unlimited control of space, time, and matter, as well as can be defined and presented in a manner which satisfies their story; They do not, for instance, create comic book demonstrations like blowing up entire galaxies.
     

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