Was Picard wrong in I,Borg?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by indolover, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    I think Picard should have gone ahead with the plan to destroy the Collective.

    It wasn't just the Federation at stake, but the entire galaxy. I think making Picard very ethical was interesting writing, but I think Picard's moral nature got in the way here.

    Another thing is that the whole reasoning why it was a wrong idea came from Beverly, and I think her characterisation was often weak, since she always used to judge things from Earth/human morality. She could never be objective in her analyses of situations.
     
  2. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes. And Nechayev was correct. IMO, the blood of everyone killed by the Borg after that incident is (at least in part) on Picard's hands.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's no indication that Picard's original plan would have even worked. The Borg could have recognized that something was wrong and destroyed Hugh's cube before the 'virus' got a chance to spread.

    What they ended up doing was superior, IMHO. Hugh's individuality couldn't be sensed by the Borg - until it was too late. And it has the added benefit of not being genocide.
     
  4. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As Picard later said, "The moral thing to do was not the *right* thing to do."
    And how!

    As for Beverly, she didn't seem to be speaking so much in character as just essentially offering an opposing anti-genocide opinion.
    After all, in BOBW she was devising a plan to use destructive nanites against the Borg, which could have decimated the collective as much as the invasive program strategy.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I disagree with that statement, on general principles.
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, because their plan wouldn't have worked and may have made things WORSE if anything. Seriously, in all the millenia that the Borg have existed that couldn't be the first time someone thought of a virus to use on them.

    The Borg haven't launched a REAL attack on the Federation because they KNOW it's not a real threat to them. If the Feds used Hugh as a carrier, the virus not only wouldn't have worked but it would've alerted the Borg to the Feds' plan. This may have made them up the Feds to a real threat, provoking a REAL invasion. An invasion they'd never survive.

    So yes, Picard was in the right.
     
  7. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    The Borg don't care about threats as such. If they see a species they can assimilate, then they'll go after it.

    I think for this reason, Picard should have gone ahead with the plan. The Borg, as he said, he declared war on the Federation's way of life, and there was never any hope of negotiating a peace.
     
  8. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, for once I agreed with Nechayev. Picard's job was to safeguard the lives of Federation citizens. It doesn't matter if it would eventually fail, he still should have tried.

    As for Hugh's individuality being a more powerful weapon against the Borg. Yeah, that worked out real well. And are you going to tell me that everybody who had been assimilated up to that point had not possessed individuality? The whole concept of the Borg is that they conquer individuality easily.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Only when they assimilate people. In that case the Borg wipe out the individuality in the process. If an already existing drone becomes an individual, the Borg can't cope with that as easily.
     
  10. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    There is never justification for genocide.

    Picard did the right thing.
     
  11. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hold on there ^^^

    I get your point, but in ST fictional context...
    For argument's sake, say the Enterprise had the invasive virus weapon ready to unleash at the last moment of BOBW, with the Earth on the verge of assimilation.

    It would literally be...use the invasive program, wipe out the Borg genocidally -OR- the Earth is assimilated, followed by the rest of the UFP.

    Riker should have declined, it is wrong to commit genocide.
    Enterprise stands aside as the Borg cube begins assimilation.

    Is that what you're claiming? THAT would have been the correct course of action?
    (All fictional, I know)
     
  12. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But they re-intergrated him into the Collective. How is that any different than assimilation?

    It wouldn't have been genocide. The Borg are not a race. They're a group of automatons under the control of the Hive Mind.

    I'll grant that it would be more morally preferable to disconnect every single drone from the Collective. However, even if every single resource of the Federation was directed at this goal, I doubt they would ever be able to achieve it.

    In the name of self-defense, and self-perservation (not to mention the defense of countless alien races who would be assimilated in the future), I think Picard should have used the invasive program.
     
  13. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

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    Agreed...

    And someone just said we didn't really know if it would have worked or not anyway...so? What if it had? You are right; the blood of everyone who died due to the borg COULD INDEED..be rested at picard's feet.

    Rob
     
  14. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Would the program have really worked?

    The Borg must know pi, and they most likely stopped calculating it at some point.
     
  15. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It wouldn't have, and frankly that should've been covered in the episode itself. But I suppose they wanted it more simplified.
     
  16. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given the length of his career it is likely that Picard already had the blood of thousands on his hands, everything that happens under his command is on his hands.

    The blood of millions of Germans is on the hands of the allies, that does not mean fighting WW2 to a conclusion was wrong. The blood of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis is on the hands of those who launched those respective wars, again it does not inherently mean the decision was wrong.

    THere are thousands of examples where all choices are bad. That is why you NEED people of intelligence and moral character like Picard in charge of the Enterprise rather than letting the computer run it. He has to weigh these choices and make a decision.

    I for one think he was probably right - as others have pointed out the Borg would likely respond badly to attempted genocide, and if it worked he would kill billions of Borg - hardly a very "starfleet" thing to do.
     
  17. RegFan

    RegFan Commodore Commodore

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    I think they should have used the virus. The Borg are not individuals so it wouldn't be genocide.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I think this should be divided in two arguments. One, was Picard's choice the correct one for the time of its making? Two, was it the correct one in retrospect?

    Back in "I, Borg", Picard did not yet know that the genocide plan had no realistic chance of working against the Borg, so this shortcoming should not affect the evaluation of his decisionmaking. He probably believed that the weapon would work - unless he had some inside information from being Locutus.

    OTOH, back then, Picard did not know that the Borg might be a threat to the galaxy, either. As far as he knew, the Borg were only a local threat, one with a particular interest toward the UFP. He couldn't tell himself that he was doing some messianic deed for the good of quadrillions. Again unless his Locutus days had provided him with contrary data he wasn't sharing with the audience or, it seems, with Starfleet.

    Why not? A different set of murderous goons is in power (local or global) now than would have been if the wars had been cut short. Who cares? The amount of blood spilled still exists, still can be quantified, still can be solely blamed on those who pulled the triggers or dropped the bombs.

    In general, more blood is shed by the victor than by the loser. That's how one wins wars, after all. OTOH, the victor defines good and evil for the following few decades. All the more reason, then, to ignore his pious definitions and stick to that which universally works: the amount of suffering directly generated. By that definition, all total victories are undesirable, because a limited victory causes less suffering. This would most certainly have been true of WWII, where Germany was explicitly prevented from surrendering until all of Europe had been lost to the horrors of the war.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And what about those former individuals who were forcibly turned into Borg? Did they all deserve to die (before the Collective stopped the virus)?
     
  20. GeorgeKirk

    GeorgeKirk Commodore Commodore

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    One of the key tenets of Star Trek (especially TNG) is that 24th century man has learned how to get out of difficult situations without sacrificing their moral values. Granted, they kind of threw this out the window when they made the TNG films, so I can understand how someone who's too young to have watched the show when it first aired might have missed it.

    If you want stories about morally ambiguous "heroes" who have no problem committing crimes and atrocities as long as it serves a "greater good", then Star Trek really isn't for you. Go watch 24 or BSG or the Dick Cheney Komedy Hour.
     

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