Star Trek morality test - best and worst episodes

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Omission deeds are infinite - such as failing to save all sapient species/individuals.
    As such, saving all of them cannot be, realistically, an obligatory requirement for one's morals.
    But saving the ones you can save is morally salutary.
    And saving the ones you can easily/relatively easily save (with little risk to yourself, with relatively little resource expenditure) IS morally obligatory.

    Also - in detemining such actions, you must consider the individuals/species that exist NOW, not that may or may not exist in some ambiguous future.
    And yes, sapience is the criterion - or, at least, one of the main criteria - for choosing whom to save. As Belz said, Sentient beings > non-sentient beigns.
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Two different choices ...

    A single lion is about to kill a chimpanzee, chimps are fairly smart, but don't meet my personal definition of "people." The most I'm going to do is turn my head and hope the little animal's death is reasonable quick.


    A lion is about to kill a Human Being, now I don't know this guy from squat and he might be the next African Hitler, but he does meet my personal definition of "people." So I (in some way) prevent the kill.

    If I can do so in such a way that preserves the lions's life too, so much the better.

    :)
     
  3. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Captain Captain

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    Always save the sentient beings first.

    Also, whenever someone says "so much the better," I can't help but hear it in Ricardo Montalban's voice as Khan in TWoK.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  4. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One of the reasons i find the second season of TNG interesting is what you discover when you pay close attention to certain conversations.

    You'd assume a discussion about saving an inhabited planet would involve resources, whether it would cause more damage and whether they can do it without any contact.

    Instead they're using metaphysical words like "fate" "cosmic plan".

    How did a (theoretical) concept like a cosmic plan get mixed up with the PD?

    One argument for sapient over non sapient is that the sapient being is more likely to express gratitude for what you've done.
     
  5. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I have the same problem. In fact I use the phrase as often as possible precisely because of that. :D
     
  6. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    the "cosmic plan" thing seems to come up a lot in the post-TOS PD. It's their way of justifying inaction without just coming out and admitting that they don't want to do it.

    The "science" presented in "Dear Doctor" doesn't make any sense unless there's some kind of belief in a plan of a superior species and one "destined" for extinction or some such nonsense.
     
  7. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ It's the key difference between the TOS PD and the TNG PD: The TOS Prime Directive was concerned with avoiding harm to aliens and alien cultures. The TNG version is concerned with protecting some vacuous "cosmic plan," even if that means allowing aliens and their cultures to be harmed to the point of extinction. Basically, it's a "get out of jail free card" for cowardice and inaction.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    This post is spot-on. :techman:
     
  9. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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    I concur. One of the best examples of this cowardice is the fact that the UFP hid behind the Prime Directive to excuse their inaction during the occupation of Bajor by the Cardassians.
     
  10. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Bajor was formally annexed by Cardassia, which meant that the Bajoran Government at the time signed a formal agreement that turned the world over to the Cardassians. It was probably because they were threatened or bribed into it but it was all 100% legal under whatever Galactic Laws the Powers in Trek all agree to. The Feds couldn't interfere willy-nilly like that if it was all legal.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    er, "legal agreements" signed under duress are pretty much by definition not legitimate.


    putting a gun to some one's head to sign a treaty doesn't make it legal. Not to mention, the Cardassians would STILL have been in violation of whatever interstellar conventions on war crimes there are, as they routinely used slave labor and torture, which would have justified Federation intervention.
     
  12. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's no proof it wasn't legitimate though. I'm saying it was likely forced or bribed, but still with legal authorization with no one to say otherwise.

    And we don't know what the Galactic Laws are about annexed planets. The Romulans and Klingons likely did the same to their conquered planets but no one cared.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Add to that, any "legal agreement" entered into by the Bajorian government likely did not include slavery, interment camps, and stripping the planet of resources..

    Plus sovereign entities (assuming Bajor was still consideed one) can exit agreements as they see fit. Usually with simple notification.

    The Federation likely didn't just step in and end the Cardassian occupation because they themselves were engage in a long term conflict with the Cardassians. The Federation lacked the ability to make the Cardassian do anything at the time.

    Very doubtful Starfleet had access to Bajor.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  14. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not the reason Picard gave in "Ensign Ro." He indicated that it was just a matter of the principle of non-intervention.

    If they were already INVOLVED in a conflict with the Cardassians, you'd think it would make them MORE inclined to intervene in Bajor, not less.

    (look at how the Union army freed Southern Blacks during the American Civil War, or allied armies liberated concentration camps during WWII for example.)
     
  15. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Wouldn't Bajor's position have been more like a Soviet oblast, where there was formal democracy and constitutional government, which was then subverted by Moscow through collaborative Communist entities?
     
  16. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Most likely, the annexation agreement included them giving up their Sovereignty to the Cardassians. Since it was a conquest in all but name.
     
  17. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There is a moral question involved if the Federation was at war with Cardassia at the same time the occupation of Bajor was happening.

    There's that old saying about those that stand by and do nothing while evil happens....

    This would make what Keeve Falor said even more important;

    If they were at war and they knew the Cardassians were brutalizing the Bajorans, and the Bajorans were screaming for help, then why couldn't they help liberate Bajor.

    There has to be some inter-quadrant humanoid rights laws that all planets agree to in the 24th century :confused:

    Plus, the Cardassians were always plotting to 'return' if the Federation ever left, even though it was painfully clear the Bajorans did not want them around in any capacity whatsoever.

    If they returned, how exactly were they going to annex Bajor again so it would look legal?
     
  18. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Bajor is pretty close to Cardassia itself. Maybe it was more heavily guarded at the time and most of the fighting was elsewhere?

    Dunno, but the Klingons and Romulans have their own subjugated worlds and yet the Feds did nothing to liberate them and allow the Klingons and Romulans to continue to do so. Maybe there's some law wherein they all agree to allow the polities to do to their subjects as they wish, and the Bajorans would count as Cardassian subjects.

    Who knows? They're enigmatic spoonheads. Probably had something up their sleeves.