True or False: Dear Dr. is most morally bankrupt trek episode evar

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by ElimGarak, May 29, 2012.

  1. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    that's a silly all or nothing proposition. The Federation would still be limited in what it could do because of resources and pragmatism. This was a scenario in which they could have easily helped.
     
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why is the 'Dear doctor' pseudo-science so jarring?

    Because it is, in fact, eugenics pseudo-science that the episode disguises as real, legitimate science - biology and evolution.
    This is magnified by how this 'evolution has a predetermined direction' ideology led Phlox and Archer to cheerfully commit genocide in its name - which is presented as the correct, moral course of action.

    All you have to do is read 1900-1945 history to understand why this rings the alarm bells.


    'Tuvix' and a lot of other pseudo-science episodes never did this - took demonstrably false, harmful pseudo-science (as opposed to fairy-tale fantasy) and lobbied for it to be correct and legitimate.
     
  3. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But all it takes is a birth one single extraordinary Menk who would start seeing things in a different light. By himself, without needing an alien third party to enlighten him. It's far from impossible. And it's not even unlikely. Plus, I don't even think the Valakians would consider this man (or his movement) dangerous. They do not rule with an iron hand. Hell, strictly speaking, they do not even rule. They facilitate.

    Also, there's a chance the Valakian society itself would one day evolve far enough to start realizing the Menk potential. Valakians are far from evil. They're just misguided. And not in an evil, violent way.

    The Menk ARE evolving, despite the Valakians. The notion that they'd need Valakians wiped out to evolve further is imbecilic.
     
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Of course the Valakians rule the Menk...to classify disallowing/preventing education and depriving them of the right to live on Fertile soil as "facilitating" is outrageous.

    As far as all it would take is the birth of 1 extraordinary Menk, you could just as easily say all it would take to cure the Valakians would be one extraordinary Valakian. There already are extraordinary Menk, but, they are being kept down and oppressed.

    I haven't actually come down on one side or other about what the "Correct or Moral" decision is, my main argument has been that the oppression of the Menk by the Valakians is just as important as the Genetic defect of the Valakians. In actuality, I'm on the third side, that it wasn't Archer's decision to make. He should indeed have contacted his Superiors and let them make the call.

    I don't think there was really a right answer, I just think it's unfair to side with the Valakians whole hog and think nothing of the plight of the Menk
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Care to point out where the Valakians are withholding education of the Menk in the episode? Or are you just making things up to fit your viewpoint?
     
  6. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just skimmed through the transcript, and the word "Education" isn't mentioned anywhere. :D
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The episode is a clusterfuck of stupid. Phlox says it'll be another millennium, if at all, yet they already have language, the ability to work in hospitals and a seeming social structure in their compound. To me, that indicates they already made the leap.

    I don't trust Phlox at all in this episode because he comes of as a moron not a scientist if he misreads the Menk progress that badly.
     
  8. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I swear I remember them being deprived of education (Someone wanted to do something, and was denied, perhaps?), I'd have to watch it again to see exactly what gave me that impression, and my mom has my discs for another few weeks, but, it is clear they aren't encouraging education for the Menk, I have a clear impression from watching the episode,that the Valakians are deliberately keeping the Menk as ignorant as possible.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The episode doesn't play that way at all, I watched it yesterday. The only one who gives any type of objection to the relationship between the two is Cutler, who Phlox promptly shoots down.
     
  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not an either/or. Helping the Valakians doesn't mean hurting the Menk. Again, a Civil Rights movement may be just around the corner. Heck, Archer could give them the cure and THEN push for social reforms at the same time.

    It's another fake dilemma from a poorly written episode. It's presented as "taking sides" when it's nothing of the sort. It's just contrived, poorly thought-out crap.
     
  11. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    It is not explicitly mentioned but it is obvious from their jobs, their clothes and their life in lands which are not fertile that the Valakans do not educate them and rule them with an iron fist.
    You can view this issue like Phlox does and note that this form of coexistence is better than the annihilation of one species which would have happened on many other worlds. If that is your point of view the implications are clear, you are not allowed to disturb this balance and help either side.

    You can also view this problem like the humans do in the episode, claim that the Menk are exploited and then come to the conclusion that if you cure the genetic disease of the Valakans you also gotta help the Menk which implies getting involved in the affairs of an entire planet.
    Of course the anti-PD faction denies that this is necessary which reveals their lack of an ethical stance. Ethics are neither an abstract intellectual game, nor a pragmatic pick and choose issze, they have radical implications. You may is not ethical, you must is.
     
  12. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure you understand what "iron fist" means. It implies a rigid, extremely authoritative and cruel government.
     
  13. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    If you were denied education, property and forced into slavery you'd probably find harsher words than iron fist.
    Not that the Menk feel about themselves like we feel about them which is the heart of the issue.
     
  14. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I find it telling that the OP hasn't posted to this thread (or indeed, at all) since making their initial post.
     
  15. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    giving a cure is not the same as getting involved in the politics of a society. Just because you give humanitarian assistance doesn't mean you agree with a people's politics. We do this all the time today with other countries even if we disagree with their style of government.

    They could have either given the cure and gone on their way, or given the cure and suggested social reforms.

    Either would have been an ethical choice. The choice Archer DID make was not ethical, either by Human or alien standards and is indefensible without the racist pseudo-scientific eugenics peddled in this episode.
     
  16. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    You see Haratio, you just do the things that make you feel good about yourself and skip the icky parts.


    :guffaw:
     
  17. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    You cannot give humanitarian assistance to non-humans. You constantly ignore the fact that "we are not in Kansas anymore". If we were there'd be not dilemma.


    Yep, it's the equivalent of giving a homeless person a buck to be able to forget the problem, charity as an act of moral masturbation. Actual ethics have radical implications which many people are unable to bear so they disavow them.
     
  18. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    I don't...I can't even....I....uhharrrgggrumblarrrgghhhhackptaagghh!!!!

    That's how much I hate this episode. It sends me into the throes of incoherent rage babbling.

    I've resigned myself to the fact that most Trek fans (or even writers, for that matter) don't understand what makes the Prime Directive a good idea. It's not about the weaknesses of the "less advanced culture" in question. It's not because if you help them once you become eternally responsible for every part of their existence.

    In this thread, Christopher explains it beautifully:

    Most people seem to view it as "interference" having an adverse affect on the Feds, but that's not what it's about. It's about not screwing up less advanced cultures just because you can.
     
  19. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Yep, the Prime Directive is about humility, about not abusing your power, about not engraving your views on other folks and last but not least, to let people horribly and miserable die when there is a disease, a natural disaster or a devastating war.
    They gotta cope on their own. Trek's humankind wouldn't be what it is if the Vulcans had dig us out of our own shit in the second half of the 21st century. Just imagine our real-world history if aliens had landed here thousands of years ago and told us to get rid of our kings and queens, given us penicillin and so on. We'd have the maturity of children.
     
  20. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    I always thought "Piece of the Action" the best demonstration of the reasoning for the Prime Directive. It strongly implied that even the most minor of contact can be disastrous.

    "City on the Edge of Forever" also had a strong streak of, "you have no idea what will be the consequences of you actions."

    How has TNG messed it up? TOS said it loud and clear.