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

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

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But there's every chance that the Menk growth could be stunted if the Valakians die off. It's possible that the presence of the Valakians was what pushed the Menk to grow in the first place.

    A younger sibling trying to keep up with the older one.

    Social structures are fleeting. Once the Menk reach that point of being on equal footing, the society they live in will have to recognize that and adjust.

    Starfleet is duty bound to attempt to assist those that ask for it. They are not permitted to mess in the social structure of a given world because its values do not match up with Starfleet's. Nor is it Starfleet's right to attach societal changes as a condition of help.
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Does Phlox ever specifically say that the Valakians need to die out, or does he just say that curing them would alter the natural course of life on the planet?

    It has been quite awhile since I've seen the episode.

    In any case, I think Starfleet is obligated to investigate the circumstances of those who ask for help, not simply render aid blindly with no regard for what repercussions it might have.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    PHLOX: If the Menk are to flourish, they need an opportunity to survive on their own.
    ARCHER: Well, what are you suggesting? We choose one species over the other?
    PHLOX: All I'm saying is that we let nature make the choice.
     
  4. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    True, the Menk might e.g. have learned some of their linguistic skills from the Valakians. But at the present the Valakians rather inhibit them.

    I totally agree that Starfleet should not mess with societies it does not understand for precisely these reasons, there are too many unknowns. And that's where we face the other crucial question, is curing a genetic disease that literally causes your DNA to disintegrate something like a plague or not rather something more fundamental which constitutes a serious interference into Valakian and thus also Menk life? And how about Starfleet's perspective upon this issue a century after the Eugenic Wars and WWIII?

    I am not saying that we should follow Phlox' biologistic advice but rather take his insights seriously while viewing the issue in general more from a social perspective. Is this just a cure or is this an interference into their two-species-society?
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The place you want the Menk to have in Valakian society, they are going to have to earn on their own. To try and push the issue, is just going to lead to the Valakians resenting the Menk and probably not good for their long term development.

    Are you going to force the Valakians to rewrite their government to give the Menk equal power? Are you going to force the Valakians to give up factories to the Menk? Are you going to force an affirmative action program on them, that so many Menk have to be doctors, lawyers and engineers? That would just lead to disaster, Phlox himself says it could be a millennium if ever.

    The Valakians are facing an extinction level event and have asked for help, I have a cure. The Valakians get the cure. The cultural side of the equation is for them to work out.
     
  6. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    I think this worst PD episodes and puts the PD in a bad light. I think episodes like Patterns of Force and Who Watches the Watchers are episodes that put the PD in a positive light. Those dealt with the ideas of cultural imperialism and imposing your beliefs on another society. But saying a society should die out rather then have outside influence placed on it, seems contrary to Gene Roddenberry's ideals.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dear Doctor and Homeward are probably the two episodes that have damaged the Prime Directive the most.
     
  8. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    No, I'm not. You missed my point. The intention of the scenes may have been to show Phlox as enlightened, but that's not the message the audience received. All we saw (we in general) was Phlox using skewed logic to justify withholding the cure. If the logic was more persuasive, perhaps the message would have come across more clearly. I'm criticizing the execution of the scenes, not the message they were trying to get across.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It also would've helped if his views on the Menk actually matched what we see of them on screen. If a species is using language, organizational skills, hold down jobs and can learn new concepts quickly... they're probably already over the hump.
     
  10. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Are you sure, I worked in a mall during college and I'm sure few there would have qualified as intelligent, sentient beings. Plox's argument amounts to don't interfere with nature. Treating it as a divine action that mustn't be interfered with. I loathe that aspect of TNG era Trek.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:
     
  12. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    They can talk and showed their intelligence when one of them arranged the blood samples according to family or whatever. They cannot hold jobs and learn new stuff because the Valakians do not allow them to be free.
    All I am saying is that we cannot turn a blind eye to this when we deliver the cure.
     
  13. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Valkian society doesn't live up to your expectations, thus deserves to be extinguished. No playing god there.
     
  14. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    This Pagan logic of catastrophes serving a purpose is pretty alien to me and not a part of my argument. Try again.
     
  15. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    It's Phlox's argument. You apparently agree with him.

    You said it. They aren't living up to your expectations.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  16. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Aha so your expectations are that slavery is fine.

    Either you follow the Prime Directive and stay out of the business of other species or you help them and apply human ethics everywhere. Helping the Valakians with their genetic breakdown while not helping the oppressed Menk is playing pick and choose.
    So you favour discretion over rule and once this gets intertwined with economic interests you soon end up with imperialism.
     
  17. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    So, that's covered. They don't live up to your expectations and deserve to be extinguished.
     
  18. bluedana

    bluedana Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There is no Prime Directive in Dear Doctor -- that's the point. Archer doesn't know where the "come in and fix the situation" line gets drawn. Phlox has a point of view, which I gather T'Pol doesn't disagree with, since we don't see her argue otherwise (at least not on the cure issue; on the warp drive issue, she strongly counsels against sharing the technology), and I expect Starfleet would give Adm. Forrest's stock answer: You're out there, Jon, we're not; do what you think is best.

    You really can't compare the episode with TOS or later series, where there already is an established Directive.
     
  19. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    So letting billions of people die is morally superior then saving them because their society is doing something you think is morally questionable? You are making an either or argument and ignoring there is a huge middle ground between letting societies die and micro managing them.

    Plus you haven't proven the Valakians supposed mistreatment of the Menk was that harsh and even if it was, why should innocent women and children die because of something their government is doing?
     
  20. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    They're being kept enslaved and denied education to keep them ignorant enough to be enslaved. They are allowed no good land. Sure, there's no evidence of being beaten, or wholesale murdered, but, the treatment is harsh, nonetheless.