Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Infern0, Feb 4, 2013.
But let us be serious for a moment here...
When Kirk fired that torpedo at an unshielded impulse exhaust port, he should've had no doubt that it would be a crippling blow (which we see as there are explosions in multiple parts of the ship). The design itself was a decade plus old at least, one of Starfleet's best engineers got the chance to study one up close and personal for three months and it's likely that Starfleet retrieved the remains of the one Kirk crashed into the bay and gave it careful study.
Anyone arguing that one Kirk's "fire everything" is anymore respectable than anothers is simply deluding themselves.
Hey, as I said, Nu Kirk's attack is/was no worse than Prime Kirk 's tricking Kruge's men into beaming over then destroying the Enterprise and giving them no chance to escape. Prime Kirk would have pulled the trigger on Nero too. Hell after nuking Vulcan, I seriously doubt that he would have even made the offer to save Nero's ass.
Of course, that's not what the audience would want to see.
Funny, I didn't find it particularly bloodthirsty behavior by Kirk, at all. Time was of the essence, and the obstacle needed to be removed quickly. Remember, the scene cuts back and forth between the battle and the assassin preparing to shoot as the president gives his speech.
I found Spock's reaction to Kirk offering to rescue Nero and his men far more out of character and bloodthirsty than the things Kirk did that are being discussed here.
In TUC, I'd think any surviving Klingons would've destroyed themselves and the ship rather than face the dishonor of surrender, anyway (and Kirk and Sulu probably knew that). After all, that's what the Romulans did in "Balance of Terror" after Kirk offered to rescue their survivors.
I don't find either action particularly blood-thirsty either.
But you have some folks trying to define the new version of the character as having a reckless disregard for life. They were both in situations where they could've called off the dogs but didn't.
Yeah. I guess I don't see it. In Nero's case, it really boils down to whether or not Kirk believed Nero could somehow still be a threat. It's a judgement call, at best.
After all, if someone believes he showed a reckless disregard for life, then why did he offer to try to save Nero and his crew in the first place? It may have been a perfunctory offer, but he still made it and would've been committed to it if Nero had accepted. That is, unless after Nero accepted, he said, "Hah! FU, Nero! I was just toying with you. I'm not going to save your sorry ass. Die, you bastard! Mr. Sulu, fire everything!" Now that would be reckless disregard for life.
That's not to say this younger Kirk isn't reckless. General recklessnes is part of the reason for the lecture from Pike, I'm sure.
I'd also think that someone with a reckless disregard for life would give signals and be singled out by Starfleet psychologists as unsuited for command.
I think it was this thread I said it in: Nu Kirk's reaction tracked to me more like a "Well fuck you too" to Nero's refusal.
And yet I am still right on both counts. Your claim contradicted Kirk's behaviour and my second sentence is what the vast majority of unbiasied viewers would obviously agree with.
There will always be some more minor issues we disagree with "society" about, but when it comes to the basics they tend to centre around conflicts between "the value of life" and "quality of life". While I often come down on the latter side, I think the concept that life has intrinsic value and that we shouldn't just extinguish it because we believe "normal objections" have been removed, has value. It is obviously safer for a start. Although I don't claim society is always right, I think the latter principle has been tested in the cauldron of experience that purely utilitarian philosophies may not take adequate account of.
No they don't but it helps to know what is being described so more precision would be helpful.
A) Those two words describe completely different states:
- Indifferent meaning: he doesn’t care if he lives or dies
- Resigned meaning: he isn’t necessarily happy with his death but has accepted it given his circumstances and decisions.
B) Nero’s state of mind is not "indifference to his death".
(but see later comments on this issue where you appear to be describing a third state of mind)
Of course even the above is a red herring from my point of view as I don’t see any way that another person's state of mind gives someone else a right to unilaterally decide if they die or not.
In the original scenario there was definitely no compulsion so I imagine you are referring to the crazy Romulan analogy. That one is irrelevant to the initial issue because not only is it not the case, but it tells us nothing about the actual situation. The latter part seems to be the bit you are missing.
No I'm not. I am not saying Kirk shouldn't pull the trigger because of a non existant Romulan rescue. He shouldn't pull the trigger because he doesn't have the state of mind you require him to have as I understood your requirement until recently.
Of course that recent clarification about your view of Nero's mind state, seems to make my counterfactual no longer relevent. This is obviously unfortunate as it was always clear I was objecting to the notion he was "indifferent to his death".
No because as above I am not arguing Kirk should hold fire because of a non existient “Romulan rescuer”, so I don’t require you to abstain from euthanising him on the basis of a situation that doesn’t exist. If your hypothetical told us something important about the actual situation, things might be different but I didn’t see you suggesting that or what it might be.
Sadly many of my responses are probably now only of historical interest to explain why you thought my reasoning was in error.
That’s fair enough. Quite right. However I don’t have a particularly good handle on you actual position (or at least the reasons behind it). Only two of the “rules” you have given seem reasonably general. The others don't appear to have any real bearing on such decisions.
Partly that’s due to my above admission, but I am not so much “inserting my ethical principles” as simply stating my position. As I previously understood your poistion, your defence of Kirk’s actions had already failed due to you not satisfying your own ethical criteria. Namely the requirement for Nero to be indifferent to his death (he isn’t). That seems to have now changed.
I’m sure you are right about that!
As per my comments above, perhaps we have sorted out that definition problem. I have to say that "indifferent" or "pro death" attitudes on the part of the potential victim made a certain amount of sense from a purely logical standpoint (still not enough in my opinion of course). However the idea that it is OK to kill someone A) whose death is imminent and inevitable and B) who would rather die than accept help from the person who is thinking of killing them, not so much. Even on purely practical grounds, your criteria takes no account of Nero's possible mental illness etc, for a start.
By the way, as a matter of interest, would Kirk have to hold fire if there actually had been a Romulan in a position to help Nero and Nero was willing to accept it? Sounds like you are saying he would. But that woudl open up its own can of worms (which I have no desire to get into!).
I may not be following your meaning here but at the risk of injecting my own values, I would not agree it leaves Kirk ethically compelled to do anything. But it would provide a defendable reason for doing what actually happened. Of course the traditional Star Trek plot would have them thwarting the bad guy at the last moment and at least not gunning Nero down in cold blood.
I can see that in terms of general philosophy, but I was thinking more of this specific situation. That, I suspect, they may have difficulty with.
I guess that would depend on what you value most about Star Trek.
Another brilliant misrepresentation of the actual situation. Ie. He seemed willing to Kill Picard and others in aid of his cause. I am not however defending the premise behind the movie in general. Ideally they should have saved him too but at least they didn't execute him out of hand. So if it wasn't quite in earlier ST tradition it didn't cross the line in my view.
The Chang business is clearly a fair battle on the part of Kirk and Sulu given the need for split second decsions. Three or four shots per ship (obviously not "fire everything") is what would be expected and the whole thing was over in about 10 seconds. It is just not comparable with Nero's situation (unless you are highlighting the differences).
Once they hit Chang the first time or two, they could've just as easily ordered a tractor beam without losing any time or the battle.
If you think there was time for that sort of mucking around have another look at the clip. The first Torpedo was just a marker. No guarantee how much damage it had done and since they needed to aim at the explosion as soon as possible, not Chang, each ship would have had to fire a (seemingly staggered) salvo (2+2 or 2+1 etc) to make sure enough hits were achieved to neutralise Chang as a threat. The only problem was both captains had the same idea and that may have over cooked things a little. At most that's an Oops! Or hard luck! Combine that with Chang's ship's limited defensive abilities and the result was inevitable.
There is no way either captain could afford to fire less that 3-4 rapid shots in that situation. Probably their instincts took over and prevented Kirk and Sulu from having a "conflab" about how they were going to handle things! To expect Kirk and Sulu to coordinate their attack so that the each fired only one shot alternately and then waited to find out the effect (They could have missed entirely), is ridiculous and obviously dangerous. Certainly not a chance they could take given the circumstances. There is clearly no problem here.
It doesn't 'contradict' his behaviour. And you can no more know what 'the vast majority of unbiased viewers would agree with' than you can know that Kirk believes Nero has no weapons. I can't stop you from claiming to know things you obviously don't know, but I don't have to take it seriously, either.
In narrative terms, the reason Nero doesn't fire any weapons is that our heroes have already pulled off their elaborate and daring plan. Having Nero continue to fire after that would undermine the impact of that sequence. But Kirk isn't some genre-savvy self-aware parody. He's given no information on Nero's weapons status.
The decision isn't unilateral. Nero was specifically consulted and, of the two options available to him, he chose death. Perhaps he prefers 'death by black hole' to 'death by photon torpedo'. But from the brief footage we see of him after the firing, it's hard to say he seems any more upset than he would otherwise have been.
If Nero isn't responsible for his decisions then there is no value in consulting him at all. All the possibility of mental illness does is remove any issue of consulting Nero; the rest of the situation remains unchanged.
Yes, obviously he would. In practice he would need to make it clear to any rescuer that Nero is wanted for genocide and must be detained and handed over to the Federation.
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. If Kirk's entire crew is endangered by Kirk not pulling the trigger and if fewer people will die if he pulls the trigger than if he doesn't, then Kirk is compelled to pull the trigger. That's all I'm saying.
I'm sure some would disagree, but I'm certain that many wouldn't.
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