The Borg, a defence

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

  1. SFRabid

    SFRabid Commodore Commodore

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    For me the Borg went into decline with the introduction of the Queen. That was a fundamental change in what made up the Borg. They were more interesting before there was a central authority figure.
     
  2. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Seeing as how the Borg are portrayed by people, given dialogue by people, and motivate themselves by going after people, I can't see why this is a bad thing.

    It seems like you're confusing the Borg for Galactus, frankly. I came into this thread expecting a defense of why they were good villains (at least in concept), not why their actions should be justified.
     
  3. roguephoenix

    roguephoenix Captain Captain

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    borg are not logical (then again logic can be very subjective). they like to think they are, but their actions speak otherwise. they are driven by emotion even if they don't know it because if they were driven by pure logic, they would be more powerful than they are now and they would own most of the galaxy.
     
  4. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll say that the Borg would have been vastly more interesting if presented in a more understanding light. They probably think about human rights in the same fashion that we think about, say, cats' rights.

    I own a cat and if she were a sapient life form, I should be hauled before a tribunal immediately. Seen in the most negative light, I falsely imprison her, I punish her for things she cannot be held morally responsibly for, I deny her conjugal visits, and I even plan on mutilating her reproductive tract. In order to continue to do these things, I am morally obligated only to maintain her physical existence and not be wantonly cruel to her.

    To the Borg overmind, our limited perceptions are objects. But as faintly sapient life forms, we deserve to be graduated to the Collective, even though we cannot recognize it, and kept generally safe so long as it does not threaten the Collective. Since my cat is sentient (she can feel), and I do actually love her, I do a lot more than I am merely obligated to--but she is not my equal, and she is not qualified to make decisions even when they affect only her.

    Imagine if you saw a bunch of retarded children playing on a cliff, and every now and again, one fell off, lost forever, briefly mourned by the other retarded children before they recommenced their reckless play. Shouldn't you try to stop them, and put them somewhere safer?

    We must look much like retarded children, dangers to ourselves and others, to an immortal, transhuman intelligence like the Borg.

    Now bear in mind this is all in an alternate universe where the Borg don't suck remarkably hard.
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This thread is a joke, right? I mean, I see how you can admire what the Borg try to achieve, but it is impossible to defend their methods. The Borg are essentially a lesson in absolutism.

    Can I just say, I love that smiley! :rommie:
     
  6. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    [Emphasis mine]

    You say that we are mostly a collection of algorithms, yet our programming still includes morality. Why does the Borg programming excuse them from having a morality when 'lesser' species nearly all have morality as part of their own?


    @Praetor: and yeah that is a great smiley :)
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Hey, john titor, I'm going to come to your house one day and steal all your stuff. And then I'm going to abduct you at gunpoint and force you to work in my fields, doing whatever I tell you to do. It's okay, though. It's not evil, because I don't think evil is relevant; it just doesn't occur to me. Also, I'm just being in tune with the universe by continually expanding my collection of slaves when I abduct you and force you to work for me; the universe works on the principles of exploitation, and so do I. And, really, I'm just improving you by putting you to useful, rational work instead of whatever illogical thing it is you do most of the time now.

    You don't mind, right?
     
  8. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think he'd rather go back to 2036.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Erm. 2036?
     
  10. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "The Borg" in Trek were usually nothing more than Commies in disguise. That's why so many posters here are working up murderous rage over a TV show villain. The witless Voyager episode Survival Instinct in particular exposes this. On one level, it also explains why, although the characters declaim in horror about the aggressiveness of the Borg, the show can routinely depict the Borg as allowing people to roam about their vessels until said wanderers show signs of aggression themselves. If you stop to think, that is truly bizarre. It must be that at some level, people know that socialist countries simply didn't constantly attack other countries the way the US or England or France or Germany did. The symbolic Borg therefore can be viewed as not attacking the way the Federation or Klingon Empire would.

    Since Survival Instinct also shows people escaping from the Collective when there's static on the Collective's PA system, that means the Borg are not the boogeymen of a Red Scare. That in turn means genocide of the Borg would be so grossly disprportionate as to be an appalling crime in itself. But, as I say, the Borg are a symbol of Communism. Neither conservative nor liberal imperialists think any crime too great to be needed in the AntiCommunist Crusade.

    On the other hand, it should be perfectly obvious that assimilation is not murder. Seven's father appears in Dark Frontier, though he may have been killed by the Federation. The assumption that assimilation is equivalent to murder may be easy. But what is its justification? Considering the seamless union of brain and computer, the mind, absorbed into the Collective's databanks, becomes immortal. Why, is it possible that the Collective's desire to expand originates in the minds of the members who wish to share this form of immortality with family, friends and pleasant-seeming acquaintances.

    Further, despite the ludicrous Survival Instinct, the notion of the Collective makes no sense unless the Collective is composed of everyone's continuous mental input. In a peculiar sense, the Collective is the most democratic government of all! Every mind makes its fair contribution to the Collective.
     
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Lemme guess, you hate them due to VOY depowering their threat (which was inevitable)?
     
  12. john titor

    john titor Captain

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    Thanks for articulating thoughts in my head which I couldn't get down here. You are enlightened people.
     
  13. john titor

    john titor Captain

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    Ok I'm going to break this down for you. Sentience can evolve in many different ways, it doesn't presuppose morality or a conception of it. Your anthropomorphizing intelligence, essentially you are going against your own argument of nature favouring diversity. Sentience is not some collection of qualities which are uniform throughout the universe. Fear of death is illogical, it has no objective basis. Ergo it is not by necessity a component of sentience, it is merely an evolutionary advantage. Ergo moral concepts which are not objective are not a necessary requirement for sentience to exist.

    I never once said the laws of physics change. I stated that biological lifeforms refine themselves as more complex expressions of nature.

    The borg would appear to be incredibly complex with the amount of species they have assimilated. This is not an if/or situation, it is possible to have a third way.
     
  14. john titor

    john titor Captain

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    No, my argument is impeccable. Ah but assimilation removes individuality or at least fundamentally changes it. What the borg are now is very different from that they started out from. I think the borg are a very unique program, sentient programmatically determined growth, essentially incomprehensible to our limited world view of what sentience is or has to be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  15. john titor

    john titor Captain

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    evolutionary divergence. Also many of those species share the same heritage on account of that TNG ep.
     
  16. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Sentience - in every shape or form - implies free will and the ability to understand one's actions. That implies responsibility for one's actions. That implies that moral attributes such as "good" and "evil" can be applied to every sentient being.
    The borg don't have morals, are sociopaths? That does not make them less evil - you seem to be unable to understand this concept.

    Every species - in the real world or the trekverse - that created a civiization has to have a moral code with similarities to human morality. A species that has no morality will never be able to cooperate, to evolve - that's another concept you seem unable to grasp.

    And fear of death is not part of morality.


    The borg are the complete opposite of the evolution of life.
    The evolution of life always creates diversity.
    The borg create uniformity - they take the diversity that exists in the universe and they erase it, creating a homogenous conglomerate. Every species assimilated by the borg becomes just a few borg drones, losing most of its defining/diverse attributes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  17. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    "People know that socialist countries simply didn't constantly attack other countries the way the US or England or France or Germany did.", "conservative nor liberal imperialists" - very "objective" POV, stj.

    First - be more specific - in which interview/behind the scenes minutiae was the symbolism of the borg established to such an ludicrous extent?

    Sometimes, an apple is just an apple.

    Second - even if you were able to give a reliable source (which is improbable), it wouldn't matter. Only filmed material is canon and relevant to this discussion - nothing else.

    Third - The borg both kill and assimilate.
    When they attack a species, they "erase" a significant quotient of the population - that's genocide - and they assimilate the rest - that's slavery.

    "Why, is it possible that the Collective's desire to expand originates in the minds of the members who wish to share this form of immortality with family, friends and pleasant-seeming acquaintances." Really? You should rewatch the borg episodes/movie.

    An assimilated person doesn't contribute to the borg's motivation in any way. His personality/motivation/morality are suppressed, replaced with the hive mind - only his knowledge becomes part of the collective. He becomes, essentially, a robot. That's slavery.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  18. john titor

    john titor Captain

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    1. Yes,
    2. not by proxy
    3. not by proxy

    result:

    You still using a human definition of intelligence which evolved under specific conditions, then claiming this as universal. This is a fallacy.

    A species that has no morals will never cooperate, again this is a fallacy if there exists a species which has no morals yet is able to cooperate due to property x y or z.

    You missed the point about fear of death. I said that morality has no objective truth just as fear of death has no objective truth. If neither have objective truth then they are not necessary components of intelligence, ie they are not universal axioms but products of natural selection under specific, note not universal, but specific contingent conditions.

    In relation to complexity and the borg, little of this is known but it can be argued that there is indeed a great deal of complexity extant in the hive mind, just as with the human brain but on a scale many orders of magnitude above it.
     
  19. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    john titor, please use the multi-quote feature. Four posts in a row is seen as spamming.

    Thanks!
     
  20. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    John titor makes an excellent point.
    What everybody else seem to keep missing is the fact that just because certain humans perceive something to be 'wrong', nothing in the universe apparently stops the Borg from doing any more 'wrongs'.
    The Q could easily obliterate the collective on the premise of their own 'superior morality' yet they do nothing ... the same 'superior morality' that Picard actually tried to counter when he asked Q about Amanda's parents (and failed because the Q thought they executed Amanda's parents for a good reason [from their POV] and pondering on doing the same to Amanda, while Picard did not).

    Rolling your eyes and applying human perspective to be the only 'correct' one on a universal scale is ludicrous.

    Mirror universe anyone?
    Humans in that universe could be categorized as some of you say 'evil' (which is an arbitrarily old description that stems from religion to begin with and is ultimately stupid) while in fact they are a simple opposite (or that was the intent) compared to the Federation humans.
    Our existence being in threat?
    Hello ... they killed each other to gain higher ranks, started fights as they suited them, expanded their empire and effectively every other major power had a large enough degree of sensibility to not cross them.

    The Borg consume and expand.
    As it was already stated, to them over 90% of human concepts are 'irrelevant' ... which actually holds true for real life as well.

    Also, do we have any concrete proof that there weren't some species that wanted to be assimilated voluntarily?
    No we don't.

    Intelligence harnessed solely for expansion and domination (not really relevant for them) ultimately serves no purpose?
    You just described it's purpose ... to consume and expand.
    When they have a galaxy full of Borg, what next?
    Go to other galaxies of course and seek out technologically advanced life-forms suitable for assimilation.
    Perhaps once they assimilate an entire universe (which might take some time btw) they will reach a higher level of existence ... who knows ... limitless possibilities.

    And btw ... the Borg can also use an approach of leaving pockets of resistance simply for harvesting new technologies at certain periods of time.
    Resistance low enough not to pose a serious threat, but ultimately a good way for them to assimilating new tech.
    Simple.