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

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

  1. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    that's an argument from consequences. You're saying "the consequences of believing in one ethical standard would be messy." First, that's a flawed reason for rejecting something, because it's based not on the merits of the argument, but unpleasant implications that you foresee.

    Secondly, I have no idea why you'd think it would lead to continual war. Just because Humans may disagree with the Klingons' values doesn't mean they'd be willing to fight a war for it. War has an element of cost/benefit analysis. And you overlook the possibility of peaceful persuasion. The Federation might be able to get many cultures to go along with it without firing a shot.
     
  2. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    No idea what this voodoo logic talk about bad consequences is meant to be about. If you shoot me in the face I die, if you eat unhealthy food, smoke and drink you die, if there are bad consequences to something it is bad.

    Universal principles have to be enforced, you cannot say that slavery is forbidden on paper but in practice tolerate it for practical reasons. Everything has a price. If you want democracy you need a bunch of Jacobins who got off the heads of the king, if you want to end slavery you gotta fight a civil war.
    We all claim to believe in universal human rights but who among us actually practices this very belief, who really implements human rights in the real world? I guess none or only few of us.
    Proper ethics have radical implications and we try to disavow them via empty, liberal feel-good-about-ourselves talk.

    You might claim that you believe that humankind has access to universal space ethics but in practice you are the same as me, a (interspecies) relativist. Peaceful persuasion is precisely what the Federation does, it is a club with certain principles and it wants to grow but it doesn't shove these concepts down anybody's throat.

    Once again, if you really believe that human rights are also universal life rights you have to enforce them everywhere in the galaxy. You cannot say that the poor folks who have jsut been conquered by the Klingons have bad luck, you have to do everything in your power to liberate them.
    If you pick and choose ethics propers soon merges with economic self-interests, becomes favourism and before you know it you have become an abusive power.
     
  3. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So... the British and French people who were opposed to slavery but weren't willing to fight a war with the Confederacy weren't really opposed to slavery?

    The pacifist abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wasn't really opposed to slavery because he refused to pick up a musket?:confused:

    Yours is an odd perspective-the only way to show your belief in a cause is to fight a war over it?

    Have you read about the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s?

    Or the women's voting rights movement?


    Just as it is with your argument for the PD, you seem to favor a rigid, binary, black-and-white approach to issues that doesn't really reflect the way things really are.
     
  4. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    People like Martin Luther King and Ghandi fought non-violently and paid for it with their lives. Few people are willing to put their lives on the line.
    But we are not talking about the real world where non-violent struggle is totally valid, we are talking about enforcing universal ethics everywhere. You tell me how to liberate a world which is occupied by the Klingons except with force.

    As I said, you might talk about universal ethics but you do not really advocate that Feds ignore the Prime Directive and actually do what you talk about, implement universal ethics everywhere.

    Let's get back to Bill's example of arranged marriage. Obviously it is a violation of human rights, a child is forced to later marry a person against his or her will. You claim that human rights are universal in space so the Vulcans violate these universal rights. Yet they are still not merely in the Federation but actually a founding member.
    Your view simply runs counter to what we actually see in Trek. I would totally agree with you if we talk about real-world issues, human rights are universal, but in the fictional world of Trek where different species live together we cannot proclaim that our absolute values apply for other lifeforms. For Vulcans their orthodoxy is an absolute as it a safeguard against reversing to the savage ways. People like Spock show that it might be too rigid but it is not our place to tell them to change and get rid of stupid rituals like arranged marriage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  5. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    Obviously?
     
  6. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    well, forced arranged marriage is a pretty obvious violation of choice. It'd be different if the arrangement was merely a tradition and a "strong suggestion," but either party could still refuse. But I agree with Horatio83 in his example, if not his actual point.
     
  7. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    In practice it is hypocracy...human rights in horatio's worldview are universal, but only for humans... :rolleyes:
     
  8. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Hypocrisy seems to be the word you are searching for and this is indeed my position and due to the Prime Directive and the toleration of Vulcan arranged marriage also the position of the institution whose name appears in your picture thingy.
     
  9. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    you know, that's an interesting point. Sisko in DS9 says that a return to a caste system would be a deal-breaker for Bajor joining the UFP. Yet Vulcan's arranged marriages from before puberty thing doesn't seem to be one.


    I guess being a founding member has its perks.



    Personally, I think that the cultural practices of each world should be their own affairs up to the point of serious violence or harm.(Things like ritual murder or slavery would obviously disqualify, but arranged marriages and traditionalist caste systems would not, even if they were unofficially frowned upon.)
     
  10. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Indeed, a caste system is obviously far worse than arranged marriage. But if the internal Federation principles are already weaker than human rights we can expect that the standards for dealing with non-Feds are even weaker.
    To stay with the Bajorans, the Feds do neither apply any pressure on them nor do they condition their help upon an abolition of the caste system. And it is not like we are talking about peanuts, a caste system means after all that entire society is built upon exclusion. It is antithetical to everything we believe in.
    Of course the Feds create incentives, change yourself and you can join our club, something which is similar to the behaviour of the EU, but this is not the same as setting standards for outsiders. And this slow expansion and soft convincing is the best way to give your values material reality in space. Lecturing other species on how to behave or not communicating with them because you do not like their ways will not make them change.
     
  11. Deimos Anomaly

    Deimos Anomaly Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think if I were the Valakian gov't, when Archer came down and claimed that his doctor couldn't find a cure, but then also said "no warp drive for you" I would immediately have been very suspicious.

    Dunno if I'd be suspicious enough to take the starfleeters hostage, but very suspicious nonetheless.
     
  12. ReedEnterprise

    ReedEnterprise Captain Captain

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    First I will say that I did not read everything posted about this topic.

    I am currently in an ENT rewatch and just saw this episode the other day. I have also had this discussion a few times. Here goes:

    Though I don't know if I could have done what Archer did, I think what he did do was right. He was smart enough to have a "prime directive" before there was such a thing. Maybe listening to what T'Pol had said in the past about interfering sunk in.

    I see both sides of the story but I would have sided with Phlox and Archer on this one.
     
  13. Deimos Anomaly

    Deimos Anomaly Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why? They made the most wrong decision it was possible to make. An absolute bullshit decision based on hokey pseudoscience.

    Evolution doesn't have a plan and doesn't have a goal. And you certainly can't predict the path it's going to take in the future.The Enterprise, Phlox and Archer are as much a part of nature and the universe, as the disease that was killing the people of Valakis.

    The argument for witholding the cure essentially boils down to "mother nature wants 'em dead" which is utter nonsensical horse shit and ought to have no place in a serious sci-fi show.

    Archer is a murderer.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Murderer is a bit strong, I'd describe it more as negligent genocide. :techman:
     
  15. naverhtrad

    naverhtrad Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with Deimos Anomaly (unsurprisingly). I think there may have been a good case for not helping the Valakians, but Phlox and Archer sure as hell weren't making it - as DA put it, their reasoning wasn't based on a principle of non-interference, but on a faulty understanding of evolution which resides somewhere between Pokemon and the other Saturday morning cartoons.
     
  16. bluedana

    bluedana Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think it is time for a gentle reminder.

    People are entitled to express their opinions, even if they don't hold the same opinion as you. While it is lovely that you can support your point of view with examples and arguments and colorful language, it still is, at most, your opinion. If you've already expressed your opinion, or your agreement with someone else's opinion, it is probably time to move on. You don't have to re-state your views every time someone makes a post that disagrees with you.

    Thanks.
     
  17. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    False, but only insomuch as it is actually tied with "Homeward" for most morally-bankrupt episode ever.
     
  18. I am Surak

    I am Surak Captain Captain

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    Shouldn't this be in the General Discussion or TNG forum now?
     
  19. apollo1984

    apollo1984 Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the whole point of this episode was about how starfleet did not currently have any rules on how to go about the universe. Future trek have the Prime Directive and this eposide probably went along way in establishing this.

    The dual moral of this episode was not only letting this 'less advanced than us' race die because they were not advanced enough to do it themseves (cure/Warp drive) but also did they have the right to effectivly halt development of another species in the process i.e. what gives starfleet the right to interfere and decide which species should exist.
     
  20. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You haven't read a single post in this thread, have you?