Section 31...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by 2 of 10, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I could swear one of the shows said Odo is only supposed to be a couple hundred years old and left in the Denorius belt as an infant and the Dominion is thousands of years old. Unless the Founders have an extra Orb of Time, a time-travelling Bird-of-Prey, or something, I'm pretty sure it means they have children.
     
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not necessarily.
    An alternative explanation (among several) is given in trek lit: as per trek lit, the founders are sterile; and Odo IS as old as any founder - he was just kept as a blank slate within the great link, until he was sent away.
     
  3. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And they also say Andorians must being going extinct becuase we didn't see them on two starships and a space station and starship in the whole of federation space that mostly focuses on the senior staff, a few quest characters, and the occasion small groups from a handful of starbases and starships aka a drop in the bucket that is the federation.
     
  4. EnterpriseClass

    EnterpriseClass Ensign Red Shirt

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    I'm sorry but i'm supposed to believe that a secret group with absolute power to do whatever they want to anyone is benevolent and selfless? This has never happened in the whole history of the world. The only thing that has ever come from people with absolute power is some of the most horrible and unspeakable crimes imaginable.

    .

    There was never a need to genocide the Cardassians. They were a second rate power that the Federation could have crushed if they wanted too. But the Federation isn't warlike and aggressive so they use the smallest amount of force that is needed.

    As for the Klingons and Romulus, no one said that section 31 goes around genociding any race that might be a threat. But when they think the situations calls for it they have no problem doing it.

    Just like how the founders don't go around genociding every race they think is threat, but they don't have a problem doing it when they think it is needed.

    This is what makes them the same thing. Two secrets groups that think they are justified in doing anything to safeguard themselves.
     
  5. EnterpriseClass

    EnterpriseClass Ensign Red Shirt

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    Strawman? Really? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    You can't seem to see anything beyond your own point of view, but I expect nothing less from someone who uses the "straw man" argument.

    From the founders point of view, they are the "good guys" who are justified it doing anything needed to survive. The founders and section 31 are two sides of the same coin. There is no difference or moral superiority between the two. They are both evil. Your attempt at trying to justify one over the other is both sad and scary. As Major Kira said, paraphrasing, "what is really scary is that people can find a way to justify anything no matter how evil."
     
  6. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah. Really.

    If you want to prove the contrary, you must actually come with counterarguments as opposed to repeating your straw-man (and yes, it is a straw-man - you liking it or not being irrelevant with regards to this; the amount of smileys you use also being irrelevant; etc). And coming with an ad personam (which, among other things, is also a logical fallacy).
     
  7. EnterpriseClass

    EnterpriseClass Ensign Red Shirt

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    :guffaw::guffaw::guffaw:

    Oh man I must have ESP, because I knew exactly what your response would be. I'm not going to engage in playing your games. Go use your "straw man" and "logic fallacy" and "ad personam" nonsense on someone else.

    I don't even know why I bothered responding to you. You're clearly one of those people locked in his own point of view and morally righteous opinion. Nothing anyone could ever say will change that.

    Waste of my time.
     
  8. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You don't even see the irony, do you?

    You're the one who comes with "You can't seem to see anything beyond your own point of view, but I expect nothing less from someone who uses the "straw man" argument" or "Oh man I must have ESP, because I knew exactly what your response would be" when you are the one who utterly fails to motivate his point - but keeps repeating it as if this leads any kind of validity to it.

    How cute.
     
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't understand what the anger in the last round of exchanges is about. Yes, in fictional universe terms, Section 31 is justified. That's not the issue. The issue is why we should give a shit.

    You could divide this into the question of whether the story, both plot and characters, are emotionally coherent and thematically consistent, what you might, objectively speaking, well written. Which is to say, something we can invest in. I don't think so, which is not surprising considering DS9 was Berman's first real series. But lots of people here like the series. In fact, much of the arguments seem to be motivated by an effort to defend the show's writing.

    But the other half of whether we should invest in the show has to do with how it relates to our lives, experience and worldview. In this realworld context, all the the eeeeeevil Founders and their supernatural powers are bullshit. It doesn't matter whether you can tease out a few lines suggesting that there may be innocent Founders. Once the Founders were conceived as the kind of menace they posed, an hysterics' nightmare, the argument for genocide is made. And it implicitly mooted the possibility for reality, especially since the overall storyline borrowed so much from realworld history. Whether you consider this grounds for rejecting the story depends on your esthetics, whether you deny that morality is irrelevant to art and/or entertainment.
     
  10. EnterpriseClass

    EnterpriseClass Ensign Red Shirt

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    :guffaw: this is priceless! Look you might as well stop, I'm not going to be drawn into your 'who has the bigger d$&@' argument. I'm not interested in playing that childish game.

    Bottom line is that somethings are inexcusable. Rape, sexual abuse of a child, genocide, organizations with godlike powers to do anything to anyone and be answerable to no one. These things are wrong. Period.

    If the Federation can't exist without violating its own morals and founding principles then it should just drop the BS and rename itself the Dominion.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    No, the Cardassians were a force to be reckoned with, they fought Starfleet to a stand still for decades, killed Federation civilians, forced Starfleet vessels to run away from them on occasion, and in the end maneuvered the Federation into a treaty that was to the Federation's disadvantage.

    Hardly a "second rate power."

    And how is this different from the way Starfleet operates "when they think the situations calls for it?" In I Borg, the crew of the Enterprise created topological anomaly number 4747 to destroy the Borg, the original intent was to destroy all the Borg. It wasn't used. Later Starfleet Vice Admiral Nechayev orders Picard to use it should the opportunity present itself again. This was a direct order which Captain Picard accepted from his superior officer.

    Starfleet and S31, one responsive to the Council, one not. When the Council learned of the cure S31 had developed, their instructions was to not provide it to the Founders.

    Important difference, the Founder act to preserve the Founders (and not the Dominion), S31 act to preserve the Federation (and not just themselves).

    Realistically, S31 isn't a group of people with "absolute power." While they can focus their efforts on certain objectives, likely their power is limited by whatever their groups size actually is.

    :)
     
  12. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    [​IMG]

    You're already a true believer.
    It's just that your beliefs are easily proven to be false by the simplest analysis.
    Of course, like any true believer, you REALLY dislike being shown that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Right. And in lieu of further evidence to the contrary, decency demands that one assume that if there may be innocent civilians within a species population (because there have been innocent civilians within a species population), that there are innocent civilians present.

    I'm astonished at the idea that the presence of a telepathic link among individuals would necessarily eliminate disagreement, dissent, the accumulation of greater power in the hands of some individuals rather than others, or simple differences in mental capacities to process (and therefore bear responsibility for) concepts and actions. Especially since we've seen indications of all of these within Founder society canonically.

    But let's set that aside.

    But let's assume that all Founders are, in fact, pretty much the same. That they are all party to and accede to the decisions made in the Dominion's name. That they are all, in essence, guilty.

    So what?

    Their species and their culture have a right to exist. Period. Nothing invalidates that. Ever.

    Presumably the same thing it means among us -- the decision to express and inhabit a certain set of traits culturally assigned to one biological sex or another. One need not have a sex to have a gender; just ask the many individuals in real life whose gender identity expression differs from their biological sex.

    I have no idea. But she seemed to be the one taking the lead in making decisions towards the Alpha Quadrant; there was a definite "first among equals" tendency, at least as far as AQ policy went.

    So how come Section 31 didn't use that leverage to get the Dominion to surrender long before the Battle of Cardassia?
     
  14. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I submit that, while disagreement can exist in the Great Link, membership in the Link means that all changelings are responsible for the decisions that the Link makes. A "civilian" would be able to say they aren't responsible for or involved in the decisions made, but in the Link no changeling can legitimately claim they're not involved with or responsible for the decisions. They might not agree with the final decision, but disagreeing doesn't make them "civilians". That's like saying a general who disagrees with his superiors is a civilian.

    Do they have the right to exist at the expense of the freedom of the Alpha Quadrant?

    It's more likely that gender doesn't mean anything among changelings, and the individual changelings just mimic gender when in humanoid form.

    I don't know. Maybe the S31 leadership, if such a thing exists, hadn't decided on the disposition of the cure. If they really were independent of UFP leadership, then the Federation's decision to not share the cure may not have factored into S31's final decision.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    By that logic, anyone who votes in a democracy is also equally responsible for what the government does -- even if their preferred candidate lost, or even if they disagree with subsequent government decisions.

    I'm particularly puzzled by the idea that a Founder who disagrees with the rest of the link on a given policy but is overruled bears equal responsibility for that policy. You compare the link to the military chain of command, but it looks more like a general election to me.

    False choice; no such dilemma exists. The freedom of the Alpha Quadrant can be secured without exterminating the Founders.

    Either way, it's a choice to express certain traits associated with biological sex, and therefore it is linguistically sensible -- and appropriate -- to use the gender a given Founder has chosen to express when referring to that Founder.

    Then why try to force Bashir to keep from developing a cure? Why try to stop him from distributing a cure when they believed he'd developed one?
     
  16. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I was imagining that the Great Link, as the governing body of the Dominion, was more akin to the U.S. Congress. Every member participates, but even if they're overruled or outvoted, they're part of the decision making. Or, as all military leaders are legitimate military targets, and the Founders are the final authority in the Dominion, including in matters military, they are legitimate targets in a war.

    I can't see how you would imagine there are changelings existing in the Great Link that somehow aren't involved in the decision making process. If anything, the Great Link is the most pure democratic body ever depicted in Star Trek. The entire population of changeling-Founders is able to voice their view and sway the decision-making of the Great Link. To imagine that there are Founders who are not making any decisions at all in the Great Link is inconceivable to me. What are they doing instead - watching TV? Playing video games? Picking their underwear out of their non-existent butt cheeks?

    For a society to have civilians, there has to be something for those civilians to do. What would civilian Founders do? They exist as an ocean of goo in constant telepathic connection with all the other changelings. Do you imagine they exist in some sort of imaginary mental world, where female Founders shop during a 9-5 imaginary work day, while child Founders are at imaginary primary school and the male Founders wear imaginary business suits while working in imaginary offices on imaginary accounts?

    The Founders can take humanoid form, but they are radically non-humanoid, and to apply all the rules of humanoid society to their alien society is ridiculous. You condemn the attack on them, fine, but don't pretend that you can understand a society where the entire population shares an intimate continuous telepathic connection, a congress more intimate than humanoid sexual intercourse that is simultaneously their primary form of communication.

    I don't know, and really it's less important than whether the Great Link is a legitimate target. The Section 31 agents, on behalf of the Federation (though without their consent) acted to deploy a weapon against the leadership of the Dominion. Would it have been preferable to use a spread of photon torpedoes rather than a virus? Do you object to the method, or to the attack in general?
     
  17. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm pretty sure he's objecting to the use of genocide, so no changing the method of a POINTLESS genocide would probably not make it better what with it being a freaking war crime.

    Especially since the federation got off damned lucky from this idiotic plan seeing as the Dominion could have responded by burning the entire Alpha Quadrant down in a massive revenge kamikaze attack.

    And no one incident where the Jem'Hadar group's inability to save the founder meant a mission failure (as in no victory no life) gives an accurate prediction of what would happen if all the founder's died.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    But not every member participates! It's very common for Members of Congress to miss votes, or to refrain from voting. What of Founders who do the equivalent of voting "Present?"

    And do you honestly hold all Members equally responsible for U.S. policy? Do you hold responsible Members who, for instance, voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq?

    You've argued time and again that I'm unreasonably applying humanoid social paradigms to the Founders, but I would argue you are doing the same. The need to preserve a species overrides the assumption that a military leader is a legitimate target when that "military leader" consists of an entire species.

    Very simple: I presume that some Founders are different than others, and that these differences occur across a spectrum of involvement -- from "actively involved" to "apathetic." It's completely plausible that some Founders are completely apathetic and do not voice any opinions whatsoever in the decision-making process. And we know, canonically, that there have been Founders who are mentally undeveloped as a result of youth.

    Recreational shapeshifting? Writing novels? Reading? Painting? They're Founders -- they can do anything they want.

    What do Federation citizens do all day?

    Do you really think that's all they do all day?

    I agree. Which is why any conclusions I've drawn about Founder society are taken from implications in the canon. And why I've rejected the idea of applying the "military leaders=legitimate targets" concept to them.

    It speaks to the plausibility of the idea of Section 31 infecting the Founders merely in order to extract concession and with no actual genocidal intention. You can't defend Section 31 by saying, "Well, they didn't really mean to commit genocide" and then say that a hole in that hypothesis is less important than the question of legitimate targets.

    :rolleyes:

    The attack in general, obviously. The Obsidian Order/Tal Shiar's plan in "The Die is Cast" and Garak's genocidal plot in "Broken link" are just as objectionable.
     
  19. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    So what if not every member participates? They're part of the membership, and have a responsibility and a duty to do so. Shirking it doesn't get them off the hook. If they're against an action, they have a duty to vote against it, not abstain from voting at all. The Founders, if any, who voted against conquering the Alpha Quadrant should've done more. If there were any who objected, they made their voice heard only in the Great Link, but no one outside of it knew. Did their morals prevent them from betraying the Great Link rather than save the Solids that were going to die as a result of their invasion?

    For one thing, this isn't about real life Congress or my political views. That's for Misc. and Neutral Zone. Real life is complex and nuanced, something even the finest fiction can never recreate. Fiction, for one thing, is hobbled by the need to be plausible, something reality has never had to be concerned with.

    We're discussing a fictional alien society and its decision to go to war with what amounts to the entire galaxy. Their goal was to control all the intelligent species in the galaxy, either by having them under their thumb or by wiping them out. Their only reason to do this was to protect themselves from persecution. So their fear of being bullied basically drove them to take over or wipe out every other intelligent species in the galaxy. But, when it comes down to it, the Federation is worse, because some rogue agents planted a virus among them. A virus, by the way, that apparently killed no one and provided leverage for Odo to convince the female Founder to surrender. It may have been a dirty tactic, but it was effective.

    Well, I'm sorry, but they are all leaders of the Dominion. The entire species is treated as gods by their subjects, something they forced their subjects to do at a genetic level. So, hell yes, they're not just military leaders, they're more than military leaders - they're gods!

    I am tired of the implication on your part that they're innocent victims of the Federation's warmongering and genocidal tendencies. Remember, they tried to blow up the Bajoran sun and wipe out the entire Bajoran system. If that's not a genocidal act, what is? If anything, Section 31 merely pulled the Federation down to the level of the Founders and made it fight in the mud with them. Wars are dirty and horrible affairs, but fighting them with one hand tied behind your back and prancing around trying to stay out of the mud isn't going to help you win it.

    (And no, let's not quibble about the timing of the genocides here. Granted, Section 31 infected Odo, who passed it on to the Great Link before the Bashir-changeling tried to sacrifice itself to blow up the Bajoran sun. But at the time, neither the Federation nor the Great Link were aware of any infection; the Founders were acting first as far as they knew, and definitely were acting on a larger scale, since their method for genocide had no "out", the way Section 31's did.)

    The only undeveloped changeling youths discussed in Trek were Odo when he was with Dr. Mora Pol (and therefore not in the Great Link) and the "infant" changeling in "The Begotten", who was also clearly not in the Great Link. Presumably Laas, Odo, and the infant were part of the Hundred. Do you have any other evidence that there were "children" present in the Great Link? The only children discussed were the ones specifically sent away from the Great Link. So even if there are children among the Link, the decision to send a hundred of them away callously doesn't make them out to be a society deeply concerned about their offspring, does it, Sci. They send their own children out into the galaxy alone, with no knowledge of what they are or why they're alone. That's cruel and heartless, isn't it, Sci? If they're willing to send them out to die amongst aliens, it's hard to believe they would care about whether or not their kids are protected from the effects of a war they started.

    Recreational shapeshifting, I can buy. But novels? They don't have books. They don't read, or paint. They'd have to be in humanoid form to do those things, and they don't like being in humanoid form. They had a "zen garden" for Odo to practice in when visited, but beyond that, they seem to spend their time as goo. What do they do as goo, Sci?

    Watch TV, play video games, and pick their underwear out of their very real butt cheeks.

    So, it was wrong of the Breen to attack Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco? Are the leaders of the Federation not legitimate targets? Who is a legitimate target in a war then? The lowly ensigns sent out to fight - it's OK to kill them, but not their commanders? Kill the army, but leave the leadership intact, because it's not sporting to kill the generals?

    I'm not defending Section 31. Hell, I'm not even certain they existed. As far as I'm concerned, they were just a delusion or invention of Sloan's, who managed to do most of his work with help he coerced. For instance, he had Bashir under his control, didn't he? Did Bashir want to be a Section 31 asset? Do you count Bashir as a Section 31 agent, Sci? Clearly Julian didn't, since he resisted Sloan at every step, and yet Bashir ended up helping Sloan pull off the very caper the good doctor was trying to foil, by trying to foil it. Frankly, Sloan was more than capable of running all of Section 31 on his own. So please don't count me as a Section 31 "defender", because I don't defend them at all, because I don't think they're real.

    And if the scale were smaller - would it have been ok if the virus was somehow made to target only Founders who voted "yes" on conquering the entire Alpha Quadrant? Would it be OK to kill them?
     
  20. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know before anyone tries to play the it was for the freedom of the Alpha Quadrant card again, I would like to point out that the Klingon Empire was in a position to fight a destructive war against the Federation that could have ended in a Federation defeat and enslavement of its people and the Federation didn't try to commit genocide against the Klingons.
     

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