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

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

  1. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    Please explain whyyou think the show failed to properly show how evolution works? So far all I've seen is, "doesn't work that way" without referencing what was wrong. A genetic defect in the DNA of the Valakians is being re-enforced and passing on to later generations. The flaw is not fatal yet, but is bad enough to be making the Valakians sick. Everybody has the defect and the Valakians have no means to correct the problem. How is this screwing up evolution?


    Could you go into more detail about this Absolute One True Ethical Standard? From what I've seen so far it seems to be, "I know what I want to happen and anything I do to make that happen is ethical. Anything that makes me feel uncomfortable and doesn't result in what I want to happen is unethical !". Am I missing something?
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have to wonder how some of the people posting here would feel if an alien race visited Earth and decided that humans weren't ultimately meant to be the dominant species on the planet...and then took the actions that they felt would be most "ethical". Say the Probe in TVH had arrived in the mid-1990s; would it be "ethical" for the Probe to wipe out humans before humans wiped out the whales?

    It boggles my mind a bit that people can watch as many episodes of Trek as they presumably have and still think that humans have a right (or worse, a duty) to determine the course of societies they know almost nothing about.
     
  3. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I find it depressing that some people who ardently hate this episode seem to think that they are morally superior than the ones who "defend" this episode.

    That argument goes both ways in this case. Either way you're interfering. That's why it's called a dilemma; you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't.

    Ethical dilemmas should be solved based on "objective facts" and not on emotion-evoking analogies, as this episode shows.
     
  4. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    How is letting nature take its course interfering?
     
  5. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think "interference" is the proper term for allowing a planet's development to continue as it would have had you not arrived in the first place.
     
  6. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm confused, I thought -you- were calling it that, based on the analogy you were using. :confused:

    Anyway, the fact of being there is already interfering. You've become a "player in the game". All people involved have already changed by your mere presence. Additionally, the decision of not taking action has multiple implications, most of emotional ones as is shown by the responses to this thread.
     
  7. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    So flood survivors are responsible for those who didn't survive?
     
  8. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Where did I imply that?

    As I pointed out before, I try to avoid using emotion-evoking analogies in ethical dilemmas. Emotions tend to cloud reason.
     
  9. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    By claiming the Enterprise is interfering simply by avoiding the flood.

    The "Flood" in the case being the disease that is killing the Valakians. Your implication is that by simply witnessing the natural disaster the Enterprise has become a "player in the game" and is therefore obligated to fix it.

    By that same reasoning, anybody who survives a flood must have interfered with those didn't survive, simply because both of them were victims of a flood.
     
  10. Mach5

    Mach5 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not necessarily. A victim could be beyond saving, or it could be virtually unharmed (just stuck). Also, a car itself may, or may not be on a verge of exploding.

    It's all relative anyway. Minutes (hours) for the crash victim, years (or decades) for the Valakians... All the same.

    However, chances that another advanced species would visit them before they're all dead are astronomical, compared to that poor dude's chances of being saved by someone else.

    And I find it disturbing that some people actually don't even understand the basic concepts of morality and humanitarianism.
     
  11. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I did not make such claim.

    In fact, I have been arguing that there is no such thing as an universally right choice in this dilemma.

    You raised a good question when you asked sonak about the Absolute One True Ethical Standard he based his decision to interfere on, but you might ask yourself a similar question: what is evolution's rightful course?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  12. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Evolution has no rightful course. It's all random. The Valakians weren't sick because the Menk were supposed to rule the planet. They just got sick.
     
  13. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree. ;)
     
  14. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    The only way I can see how letting nature take its course is interference is if I believe that I am a direct copy of the creator of the universe and therefore possessed the knowledge of what that creator's ultimate goal was in creating the universe.

    Naturally, being a direct copy of the creator of the universe also means I have permission to do things that make me feel better about myself because ultimately that makes the creator of the universe happy.

    Obviously, the simple fact that I am there means the creator of the universe wants me to do something.
     
  15. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These big words are often misused by people who claim to know the Truth.
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I recommend rewatching the episode, or at least reading Jammer's review (http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ent/s1/deardoctor.php) The Valakians didn't "just get sick", they had a flaw in their genetic structure that was causing their illness. In that sense, they were destined by presumably indigenous factors to not be the dominant species on their planet.

    Archer curing the Valakians, in my mind, would be little different from the TVH probe wiping out humanity to save the whales. In both cases you have an external agency coming along and deciding based on its own ethical system what species deserves to survive.

    For all that ENT had its shortcomings, I think between this episode and "Cogenitor" that they at least weren't afraid to make a pointed case for how arrogant and, yes, immoral it is to charge into another culture's affairs on the grounds that -you- think what they're doing is wrong.
     
  17. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't remember anybody saying the Menk were supposed to be dominate. Just that by insuring the survival of the Valakians the Menk might never develop beyond their current level of intelligence.

    There is a serious danger the Menk might even die off when the Valakians do.

    That is just it. Nobody knows, but once you decide the Valakians must be saved you are also interfering with the Menks' evolution.
     
  18. Vassa

    Vassa Commander Red Shirt

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    My apologies if I've been conflating your statements with others.


    I think, "What would happen if I wasn't here" and see that as evolution's "rightful" course.
     
  19. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Does this mean that you'd argue that we should not interfere with genes and genetic defects in any circumstance?
     
  20. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would never argue that any principle should be applied without regard for the circumstances.