The Borg, a defence

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by john titor, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. john titor

    john titor Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    the universe
    The Borg aren't so bad. They're more logical and evolved than the federation. Example "your archaic and authority driven cultures yadda yadda." The borg are so advanced that they have grown out of the need for a direct hierarchy. We can regard the Queen, if we want to at all- seeing as the real borg was that shown in the TNG series, as a physical manifestation or managing node of the collective will.

    So in the borg there are no pretences to irrational belief systems, authority or exploitation. All that exists is a unified consciousness emergent from its component parts. While you may sacrifice your individuality you become part of a greater whole of which you are a part, in essence the greater whole becomes you as you aren't distinguishable from it.

    The problem for the borg was that they failed to understand that assimilation should be voluntary, although it was irrelevant to them. I would liked to have seen a star trek episode where people volunteered themselves for assimilation, like cult groups.
     
  2. ManaByte

    ManaByte Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    The problem with the Borg is that they went from being the best villain ever, to a slurpee cup enemy of the week in Voyager.
     
  3. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    But that's a big problem, right? It is in fact the problem. I mean, all kinds of choices are fine so long as you don't try to force them on someone else.

    That everyone should be Borg - that being Borg is the only viable and "relevant" option - is the essence of Borgness. If they didn't believe that, they'd just be an interesting cult, as you point out. And maybe not even all that interesting, actually. Groups that want absolute conformity are pretty much dime a dozen, aren't they?
     
  4. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    ciudad de Los Angeles
    If you wanted to be Borg then the Borg would not want you as you had nothing to add to the collective besides a body they didn't have to grow in their nurseries.
     
  5. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Location:
    Transporter buffer
    :lol: I really like that phrase! :guffaw:
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Logic is not a virtue in and of itself. The Holocaust was perfectly logical -- the Nazis hated the Jews and wanted a way to exterminate them without expending too many resources during wartime; starving them nearly to death in camps and gassing them was a logical solution to that "problem." Logic is only virtuous when it serves virtuous ends.

    And there's no such thing as being "more evolved." That's like saying that one building is "more built" than another. Evolution is not a linear thing with superior vs. inferior species; it is simply the process by which species adopt traits that benefit their ability to survive and reproduce. Intelligence is just another adaptation.

    And, yes, the Borg are so bad. Their entire "culture," such as it is, is built around violating the rights of sentient entities, engaging in the crime of aggressive war, conquest, and the invasion and subjugation of others' minds. Their entire goal in life is to gain power over everyone else rather than respect anyone's rights.

    Nonsense. If anything, the Borg are more authority-driven than any other culture we've encountered, because they cannot abide the idea of any species not under their control exists; everything either has to be assimilated or exterminated to their mind. They're the most megalomaniacal, power-hungry force in the entire Trekverse.

    The Borg are all about gaining "authority" over every lifeform they encounter, and assimilation is the perfect definition of exploiting someone against their consent. And, yes, the Borg even possess their own irrational belief system, given their reverence for the Omega Particle.

    Which would be fine if membership in that unified consciousness was voluntary; it is not. That emergent consciousness tends to force itself upon others, violating their minds and enslaving people without their consent. It's the single most authority-driven, slavery-driven culture in the entire Trekverse.

    That's a pretty damn big problem. That's like saying the Nazis were okay except for that war and genocide thing. It's a defining trait of theirs to disregard the rights of others in order to enslave them.

    It would have made for an interesting premise.
     
  7. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Actually no ...
    The Borg only assimilate/devour civilizations that are of sufficient technological development/interest (unless circumstances require a foothold in a region of space and you have to get rid of a weaker species first by assimilating them and gain drones in a hurried process that would expedite assimilation of the planet and begin production of vessels).

    They really don't discriminate when it comes to technologically developed cultures.

    Also ... who says that they failed to understand the concept of 'voluntary assimilation'?
    That's really absurd you know, because there are humans and animal species that portray a completely opposite behavior simply because it's in their nature to do so.
    The Borg aren't any different.

    From the Federation's POV, what the Borg are doing is 'wrong'.
    From the Borg's perspective, what they are doing is not 'wrong'.

    There are no universal rules really ... there are different perceptions of the world/universe you reside in (which vary from person to person alone ... let alone species to species).
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    [​IMG]

    That's nice. Going to write an apologia for the mass murders of the Argentine Dirty War while you're at it? Maybe you'll explain that the repression and murder of Idi Amin in Uganda wasn't all that bad. Or why no one should find the behavior of the Augusto Pinochet regime in Chile all that objectionable, since it's all about points of view. There's nothing really wrong with death squads, after all. Or why the enslavement of the Africans by European powers was just the Europeans following their own perception of right and wrong!

    Is there an empirical status of "right" and "wrong?" No. But there are some things that basic empathy should tell us are universal violations of the rights of others. If we actually care about others -- and we have to, because if we do not, then, ultimately, our ability to exist is imperiled -- we have to recognize that others have rights, too. The Borg would certainly not approve of someone invading their space, abducting their drones, and then forcibly enslaving their mind -- yet they do the same to others. It is the essence of aggression and power-madness, absolute megalomania. They are evil, and there is nothing good about their culture.
     
  9. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Well there is the whole stealing everybody else's technology for their own use thing. Q in "Q Who": "They simply want your ship -- its technology. They have identified it as something they can consume and use."
     
  10. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    Gamma Hydra Section 10

    What about the Voyager episode Unity? That voluntary collective was a hell of a lot better than the genocidal infighting that was destroying them.
     
  11. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Exactly. And put much better (and more succinctly) than it would have been if I'd said it. Whether there is or is not some ultimate right or wrong is indeed open to question. But simple application of the most basic logic and most basic fairness tells us that if we want others to respect our rights, we must respect their rights, too. But the Borg consider rights "irrelevant"...except their own, of course.
     
  12. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    The borg are genocidal sociopaths.
    They're sociopats because they know what right and wrong / good and evil is (they've assimilated billions who did) - but they just don't care about them. For them, killing and assimilating billions is what a good meal is for you.
    And they're genocidal - exactly how many TRILLIONS have they killed, assimilated? How many species and cultures have they destroyed?

    The borg are one of the few things that can accurately be desribed as absolutely EVIL.

    Are you joking me?

    Morality - good and evil - is not changing with the individual. Everyone may have an excuse for their actions - but that changes nothing to the fact that mass-murderers (for example) are EVIL.

    The borg are EVIL. THe concept of "evil" describes them perfectly.

    According to human morality, the borg are EVIL.
    And, I suspect, according to the value system of any intelligent species that built a culture and a civilization, that learned to cooperate, that moved beyond savagery.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  13. john titor

    john titor Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    the universe
    You don't understand. The borg cannot exploit because exploitation is irrelevant to them. The borg cannot violate rights or commit genocide because that is not what they are doing, they are expanding. They are most in tune with the universe as a place where if something is deficient it is removed or assimilated and improved. This is what the borg do. The fed by contrast are stick in the mud conservatives who resist the inevitable tug progress.
     
  14. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Nonsense.

    Do you know what the concept of "exploitation" means? The borg exploit everything and everyone. Their actions fit the notion of "exploitation" perfectly.

    The borg's actions fit the notion of "genocide" perfectly. They do much more than merely "expanding".

    The borg's nature fits the concept of "evil" perfectly.

    Exploitation is irrelevant to them? Good and evil are irrelevant to them? Genocide is irrelevant to them?
    So what?
    A sociopath may not care about good/evil. That doesn't make him any less evil.
    A genocidal creep may not care about his victims. That doesn't make him any less evil.

    The borg are "most in tune with the universe"? The Federation people "by contrast are stick in the mud conservatives"?
    You don't know what world/what universe you're living in!
    You know what? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're joking - a very lame joke, that is.
     
  15. john titor

    john titor Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    the universe
    You're so wrong :guffaw:. You see you're personifying the borg and giving it human qualities. The borg is growth. The borg is a hivemind but utterly different from human consciousness. It simply continues to improve and grow. Consequently, holding it to human standards is sophistry.
     
  16. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    I don't want to speak for the others, but I for one am not holding the Borg to human standards. I am holding them to the standards of civilized beings, of which there are many non-human examples in the Trek universe. Assimilation is not only contrary to human standards it's contrary to everybody's standards - even other Trek bad guys.
     
  17. Balthier the Great

    Balthier the Great Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    I could see them as somewhat more sypathetic if there was a reason that they started and simply couldn't stop. I see them as sort of sentience vampires, they simply can't survive unless they assimilate. Maybe some disease destroyed their ability to reproduce and assimilation was the only option at hand at that time. If that was true, while I would have some simpathy for their plight, I still wouldn't call their actions 'good' by any streach. It's desperation, and definately evil.
     
  18. john titor

    john titor Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    the universe
    Civilization is irrelevant. All other alien species are just humans with slight alterations to the nose, forehead or ears.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Of course they exploit. Kidnapping someone, mutilating their bodies against their consent, engaging in mind control, and enslaving them? That's exploitation. They may not call it that or think of it as exploitation, but that's what it is. It's an act of domination and oppression.

    Yes it is. They are forcing people to conform to their way of life without regard to their right to self-determination. They routinely engage in the crimes of aggressive warfare, genocide, and enslavement.

    By your logic, the Nazis didn't really murder millions of innocent people, they were just exterminating a sub-human species. :rolleyes:

    Who the hell are they to determine for other societies what constitutes deficiency or improvement? Who are they to decide that they have the right to violate another culture's sovereignty?

    The Borg routinely violate the rights of others and engage in numerous crimes, and they don't care about the moral value of their actions. They are, as another poster noted, sociopaths.

    ETA:

    The most you can argue about the Borg is that they are not actually responsible for their own evil because they lack the capacity to actually choose their own behavior. From the canonical evidence, it is entirely possible that the Collective and/or Queen are controlled by some sort of sophisticated program that nonetheless denies them the capacity to actually choose their own behavior and motivations.

    In that case, the Borg are the equivalent of a rabid dog or wild animal that threatens a person. Even if the animal is not responsible for its behavior, it is still malicious and has no right to exist.

    For the record, the recent novel trilogy Destiny by David Mack answers, definitively, why the Borg behave as they do.

    The Borg were created by a Caeliar (highly advanced lifeform comprised of billions of molecule-sized machines called catoms) named Sedin who was trapped in the Antarctic of a distant planet in the Delta Quadrant with a handful of humanoids trying desperately to survive. One by one, each was dying, and Sedin herself was losing power -- "starving" to death. Sedin's mind was degrading, leaving nothing but unending loneliness and hunger. She chose to forcibly merge with the humanoids, creating the first Borg drones, but her mind had degraded to the point where the Borg were forever more possessed by an unending hunger, a constant desire to assimilate new minds into their Collective because of a Sedin's underlying loneliness and hunger. But the hunger and desire for connection could never truly be satisfied, because the minds assimilated are also minds controlled; they were as Hegel's Master, seeking his Slave's approval, but unable to receive it because of the very nature of the Master/Slave relationship.

    That explanation probably won't satisfy everyone, but it's the only explanation that accounts for all of the Borg's varying, contradictory behavior -- in particular the only explanation that accounts for why the Queen could actually argue with the Collective in "Endgame," and which accounts for the Queen's emotional, vaguely Snidely Whiplash-like behavior.
     
  20. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    Gamma Hydra Section 10

    How are the borg different than Daleks? Intelligence harnessed soley for expansion and domination ultimately serves no purpose. What are a galaxy full of borg to do when they run out of victims? They have no interest in art or culture. Maybe they will just commit suicide.