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

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

  1. Orac

    Orac Admiral Admiral

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    How exactly did the story of this episode misunderstand evolution? I remember a few episodes of TNG and VOY where whoever wrote them didn't seem to understand the theory but I didn't see those problems with this particular episode. It's been a few years since I've seen it so maybe I'm forgetting something stupid?
     
  2. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Were they happy with themselves? No. But did they take the time to seriously consider the implications of their decision? Not really.
     
  3. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How can an episode be morally bankrupt? And why do people assume the writers think the decision Archer made is the morally right decision?

    People watch movies in which people make morally wrong decisions all the time. Why is Star Trek different? Is it because we expect ST characters to be moral saints? It's a TV show, not a moral guideline to live our lives by.

    I'm sure you like to think you that you do, but I was actually referring to the OP. :p
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  4. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's Gene Roddenberry's fault.

    This aint no NuBSG.
     
  5. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Kirk had strong views and things he was passionate about, but he was no moral saint.
     
  6. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    But did they take the time to seriously consider the implications of their decision? Not really.


    We could go all the way back and ask, did Archer really give enough thought about the implications of saving the Valakians on the ship?

    A good chunk of the Prime Directive is self-defense, too.

    A warp capable species just might decide to show up and kill you.

    Conversely, how much of your resources are you going to spend on a species to keep it alive? Are you going to do the same for each and every species that asks for help? Where do you draw the line?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well it only took Phlox a couple days to solve the dilemma and there was no hint of any long term costs for Starfleet.
     
  8. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This may make his decision misinformed, but not necessarily immoral.
    Likewise, one could argue the decision Archer made was morally wrong, even if evolution worked that way.

    What I find interesting about Phlox is that he has very peculiar moral values. I believe that most human physicians would have feel obliged to cure those people because of their Hippocratic Oath. There has been one other example of this divergence, but I can't remember in which episode right now. It should be clear however that Phlox has a rather unorthodox approach to patient privacy and confidentiality compared to our standards.
     
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  9. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, wasn't that fortunate? Could have taken decades. I guess now the Enterprise should also create the 50 million doses to treat everyone? Stick around make sure eveyone gets inoculated against their genetic defects? Make sure there aren't any other defects they can cure?


    Meanwhile, the Valakians are begging for Warp Drive. Should Archer have given it to them? Maybe he should have just given them a few grams of anti-matter? Let them figure it out on their own?
     
  10. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What I find puzzling is that the episode that is about Sisko making a decision that is generally considered to be morally wrong is commonly considered to be DS9's best.
     
  11. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    What I find interesting about Phlox is that he has very peculiar moral values. I believe that most human physicians would have feel obliged to cure those people because of their Hippocratic Oath. There has been one other example of this divergence, but I can't remember in which episode right now. It should be clear however that Phlox has a rather unorthodox approach to patient privacy and confidentiality compared to our standards.

    Maybe his species never identified themselves as the center of the Universe? Didn't have centuries of delusions to that effect?
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Any time you stumble across a situation like this it'll break down into three components: ethics, costs and logistics.

    On ethics, is it right to allow an entire race to die out because they don't understand the nature of the universe around them? Should you allow a planet to be pulverized by an asteroid because the natives don't know about them? Should you let a child be hit by a bus because they don't understand the danger?

    On costs, what is it going to costs you in manpower and materials? This one is always tricky because you things don't always play out the way you intend them too. But there is no indication that the Valakians can't reproduce the cure themselves. And did you ever think of what happens to the Menk? Left with dangers they simply don't understand and hundreds of millions of corpses to clean up?

    On logistics, is it feasible to help? To save the Valakians, it's not going to take some great migration to save them.
     
  13. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    Saving a child standing in front of a bus is a very different thing than deciding to save a planet from an asteroid or genetic defects; because, the Bus, the Road, the poorly marked crossing, and a great many other things in that scenario were created by man. Not so the asteroid. Species die out all the time. Should Archer make sure there are no species facing extinction on every planet they visit?


    I could counter that the deaths of the Valakians inspire the Menk to create the most beautiful works of art and music the galaxy has ever known. How dare Archer deprive the future of that inspiration? Or 10 years down the road the defect mutates into something else that drives the Valakians to kill every single Menk.

    Often what it would boil down to is how god-like you'd want to pretend to be. How positive you'd be of the future that should happen and how righteous you'd feel about yourself for creating that future.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You become morally accountable to these types of situations when you put yourself on a starship and head out into the cosmos. You can't help everyone and no one has said otherwise.

    Plus, did you ever think of the possibility of scientific discovery offered by such a unique situation? That is the reason they're in those starships to begin with.

    By-the-by, you're playing God either way.
     
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  15. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    By-the-by, you're playing God either way.


    I guess if you see your presence as some sort of divine intervention.

    Otherwise, aren't you saying that every witness to a murder is just as guilty as the murderer?
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Think of it this way, if you wonder uninvited into a strangers home and they're choking do you have a moral obligation to help?

    This is exactly what the Prime Directive preaches. You're allowed to go into territory that is not your own to collect information in the name of "exploration" yet you feel no obligation to help combat natural forces that could destroy that civilization. It's a relationship where Starfleet takes advantage of lesser cultures for their own gain.

    If Starfleet isn't willing to help those they are exploiting then they simply shouldn't be in the business of exploration.

    But, in regards to Dear Doctor, this episode really wouldn't fall under the purview of the Prime Directive. Representatives of the Valakian government contacted the Enterprise and requested assistance and I agree with Mach5, who said that it simply wasn't Archers decision to make. This is an instance where he should have called Starfleet.
     
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  17. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    You're right, Archer should have contacted StarFleet before rescuing the Valakians.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He didn't rescue them...
     
  19. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    He should have contacted StarFleet before doing this.
    From the synopsis:

    On the bridge, the crew are discussing a pre-warp vessel they have encountered. It is not responding to hails, and has two weak biosigns on board. They dock the vessel in Bay 2 and take the aliens to their medical bay.



    Do you consider people who survive a flood responsible for the deaths of those who didn't?
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So you're saying Starfleet shouldn't offer aid to anyone? He should allow others to die just on the off chance their world might need help? Okay...

    Depends. Did they offer a hand to help those they could reasonably help or did they just watch them drown?