Janeway's Decision to Kill Tuvix

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Godless Raven, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As long as Neelix travels aboard Voyager, and serves in any kind of official function among the crew (head chef and ambassador), then Janeway has every right to give him orders just like she would do to any member of the crew. Neelix is not just a passenger - he has jobs to do. That gives Janeway the right to give orders to him.
     
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sure, and Neelix has every right to say "You're nuts, I quit" and hop on his shuttle.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Perhaps. But like I said, as long as Neelix is on the ship (and I'm sure Janeway can keep him from leaving if she so chose, since she can keep his ship from exiting the shuttlebay), he is subject to orders. So is Seven, and she's not Starfleet either.
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And this is the problem with a single authority figure with no checks on them. Whenever they get some crazy idea in their head, like executing an innocent person against their will, there's no one to stop them.
     
  5. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Good point. I guess that Neelix and Tuvok would have been more ready to die.
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Janeway is the captain of a ship. That alone gives her the power - and the right.

    The real-world counterparts to this situation aren't just military, in fact. A civilian airline pilot also has near-absolute authority aboard their plane (I believe, although don't quote me on this, that if a passenger is causing enough disruptions, the captain may even order that person shot dead). And this has been the case even before 9/11.
     
  7. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    This conflates the issue, because it is the morality of the order, and the voluntary nature of it which determines its morality and legality.

    Janeway is not a dictator, and is not exempt from law. Her simply giving an order to someone does not entail the crew following it. The crew has a duty not to follow immoral orders (as the EMH demonstrates at the end of this episode).
     
  8. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The latter part of your example pertains to emergency situations. This was not an emergency.

    She is not a dictator or a god and has no standing in a non-emergency situation to arbitrarily decide life and death.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'll give you that part...

    ...but not that one. A crewmember under Janeway's (or anyone else's) command is not allowed to question orders simply because of morality. It's not their place to do so. A crewmember may refuse to follow an illegal order, but not an 'immoral' one; Janeway is clearly not violating Federation law when she performs the procedure on Tuvix, so that alone absolves her of any legal sanctions. The question of whether her actions were *moral* is another thing entirely; but the fact that they were LEGAL makes the crew bound to follow them.

    The EMH gets a pass, because he is also bound by his oath as a doctor. The rest of the crew, however...their oaths as Starfleet officers require them to follow all orders given them. As I just said, it's not the crew's place to determine morality. They must follow all legal orders, without question. Janeway's orders were legal. Therefore, by definition, they must be followed.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I think a huge problem with why this topic is going in circles is that people aren't arguing the main point.

    Stop arguing whether Janeway did the right thing or not. There will always be a difference in opinion.

    What should be talked about is whether Janway's actions meets the definition of murder. No matter how much you disliked Tuvix or wanted Tuvok and Neelix back, it was murder. Janeway took Tuvix's life away without his consent.

    You can think Janeway did the right thing (I don't), but she still murdered Tuvik to get her two crewmen back.
     
  11. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    So if Janeway orders a crewmember to fire photon torpedos at a school bus of innocent children he has to follow orders?

    Require them to follow all orders given to them? ---See Unification part 2 in TNG for this moral discussion.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    His consent is not required. Tuvix is still a member of the crew, and wanted to be treated as such. There are many instances where a military commander may order a subordinate to sacrifice his or her own life. Consent is not required.

    No, because that would clearly be an illegal order.
     
  13. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The bigger problem is the CATCH-22 proposed on here, that since Tuvix didn't want to sacrifice his life, he was not worth of life. Joseph Heller would be proud.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not true. Every Starfleet officer is worthy of life, but they may still be ordered to sacrifice themselves in the course of their duties. That doesn't make them worthless, it simply means they're doing their duty.
     
  15. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    So officers DO NOT have a duty to follow ALL orders which are given to them as stated above.

    So explain to me how arbitrarily ordering a crew-member to their death in a non-emergency situation is legal.
     
  16. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay alive. No one should be forced sacrifice his or her life for another.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, but like I said, officers are not obligated to follow illegal orders. Janeway's orders WERE LEGAL. You can debate till you're blue in the face if they're MORAL, but they are LEGAL. There is a difference.

    Because Janeway needs Tuvok and Neelix back.

    Not until they join the service, anyway (real or fictional). Then they most certainly can be forced.
     
  18. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Interesting you used the term "in the course of their duties."

    Going to sickbay and dying for two dead individuals is not a part of this person's duty, anymore than it would be ordering Tuvix to turn a phaser on himself, or ordering Belanna do donate her organs to the Videans.
     
  19. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You can debate if it was the right decision for her crew. (the utilitarian aspect)

    The morality of the act is not debatable----this is an obviously immoral act. This is the pre-meditated taking of the life of a sentient being.

    Legal. She thinks about it, considers it and orders the person to die.

    Lets look at the definitions of murder or manslaughter.

    Murder: unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought

    Manslaughter: intentional killing that is accompanied by additional circumstances that mitigate, but do not excuse, the killing

    A "need" for someone is not justification, legal or moral for her actions. For her actions to be lawful, captains would have to have the rights to decide life and death arbitrarily for their crew in terms of any need.

    For instance could trade Tom Paris to a slaver for coffee grounds.
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The only law on the books that ends in execution by the 24th century is daytriping to Talos IV.

    Any order that ends in murder is therefore not on the books.

    I suppose if you shot a volley from a phaser battery at another ship and 900 people die, it's just collateral that those 900 people died, and the Captain didn't order her weapons officer to kill anyone because there's a reasonable assumption that the opposing vessel can surrender or retreat before shit gets real.

    Kathryn spent a fraught night, a dozen hours awake, and almost as much having nightmares on the subject, worrying if she could kill Tuvix, and considering she spent so long contemplating, it's clear that the ship did not NEED Tuvok and Neelix for their skillsets they brought to the mission, it was about their right to live as people.

    And even then it was because Tuvok had a family and Neelix had Kes,the final conclusion was about how much family these two crazy kids had that couldn't stomach the blend.

    WouldT'Pel have accepted/frakked Tuvix had she been on site?

    I just want to remind you all that Kieko O'Brien was regressed into the body of her ten year old self, and still tried to have sex with her 40 year old husband. If Miles really loved his wife, he would have stood his ground and submitted to her adult and mature needs.