Why Let Khan Live?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Praetor Baldric, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Trek is many things, but definitely not "ultra-conservative". :wtf:

    Kirk is many things, but DEFINITELY not "merciless"! Kirk has probably shown the MOST mercy out of any Trek captain, really.
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    ^Not to overstep my bounds, but you might think about putting the reference to Star Trek Into Darkness under a spoiler heading. Not everyone has seen the movie yet.

    --Sran
     
  3. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He couldn't resist I guess. I wasn't sure if it was merely to goad me on, desperate to twist things around until I give up my side of the argument because he might lose. Or, he's revealing a covert perspective about Star Trek he has been harboring that is rather paradoxical to the premise of the series.

    Just to clarify, Starfleet officers are expected to respect the laws of other cultures, but exceptions are permitted when warranted on a reasonable basis. Eminiar Seven did not disclose to the Enterprise that they are fighting a "theoretical war" and that the Enterprise is a target that could be "logically" hit. No, anyone in their right mind would know that for an outsider this must be explained as they'd instead expect a physical attack. This was never qualified by Anan. So the Enterprise was not truly explained the nature of the threat.


    Thank you. This is pretty much what I've been saying, but our debate adversary here is hell bent on continuing down that twisted dirty road of incongruity... all in the name of avoiding the phrase "Ah OK, you're right--good point."

    I'm glad to see that another TBBS veteran shares the same point of view. I've had one or two perplexing run-ins with Timo before, but this one "takes the cake". He will only give up a debate position if it's something incidental or not a key overreaching aspect. But something fundamental like the depiction of Khan... he chose a position and refuses to even budge, no matter how compelling the counter-argument. It is enough of an experience where I will now avoid debating with him in the future, because I don't want to risk the waste of time, going down a road that will not be productive to the enlightenment of Star Trek.
     
  4. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    As was said in Ruling In Hell, Khan & Co. would simply take over a rehab colony/penal settlement (especially the one that was in New Zealand shown in the 'Caretaker' episode of Star Trek: Voyager) and then find a way to get free by contacting outside society and snagging transport to break out of the rehab colony/penal settlement; then instead of Wrath Of Khan, it would be Revenge of Khan, with likely the same result or a similar outcome of Khan encountering the Enterprise and her crew and fighting with them again.

    The best way to deal with Khan and his fellow Augments would be to reform him and them with the device shown in the episode 'Dagger of the Mind' or with the technique mentioned by me previously as shown on Babylon 5, but neither exist in the general main continuity of Star Trek save for mentions in one or two of the early novels from Pocket Books (this also reminds me of what Arik Soong tried to do with some Augment embryos in the episode 'The Augments' of Enterprise by trying to modify them to be less 'Augment'-like.) So, we're stuck at square one about what to do with Khan & Co.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    :techman:
     
  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To the extent that the legal systems of recognized governments have jurisdiction over crimes committed in their territory. That's a LEGAL reality, not a Starfleet regulation; that would be binding on Kirk whether he was in Starfleet or not.

    Ironically, Eminiar Seven makes for a case study in the applicability in Federation law, since technically the accidental targeting of the Enterprise would constitute an act of war. Strictly speaking, the Enteprise destroying their battle computers would be an appropriate counter-attack in the Federation's participation in that simulated war, especially since the loss of the computer eliminates the Eminian's ability to wage simulated war and thus Enterprise can declare simulated victory.:techman:

    All the rest is just vandalism, for which Kirk probably received a bill and a reprimand from Commodore Wesley.

    Hell, I thought I was the only one. :shifty:
     
  7. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

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    Killing a megalomaniac and his followers who have a history of oppressing and killing others and who have shown intent to do so again would constitute killing "in the immediate defense of others" in my book. Sometimes human rights are revocable. Just ask a holocaust survivor what he/she would think about applying your philosophy to someone like Hitler. A wild animal cannot be reasoned with; sadly, the best solution is to have it put down. Khan is a defective mutation, an engineered virus to the body of civility. You don't protect a virus, you seek ways to neutralize and then annihilate it.
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Not necessarily. Viruses can be reworked to create vaccines. Allowing Khan and his people to live keeps open the possibility- however remote- that they could be rehabilitated.

    --Sran
     
  9. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

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    A sweet thought, but if after two hundred years in stasis, their first reaction is, "Hey, let's take over the universe" rehabilitation seems quite unlikely. Khan said it best himself in the episode:

    KHAN: Captain, although your abilities intrigue me, you are quite honestly inferior. Mentally, physically. In fact, I am surprised how little improvement there has been in human evolution. Oh, there has been technical advancement, but, how little man himself has changed. [my emphases] Yes, it appears we will do well in your century, Captain. Do you have any other questions?

    Not exactly the kind of guy who sounds open to rehabilitation.
    I do appreciate your position that all life should be protected, but I just don't think it is realistic when applied to people (whether real or fictional) like Khan. Thankfully, psychos of this caliber are in the very very tiny minority.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  10. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    ^Suppose Khan's kept in stasis long enough to meet someone like Julian Bashir. He was able to help Serena Douglas. If a similar procedure were developed for Khan to modify his personality, it's possible he could've been changed for the better. I'm not saying it's likely, but it may have been possible.

    --Sran
     
  11. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

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    Ok, fair enough. So let's say Kirk decides to put Khan and Co. back into stasis until the authorities can figure out some way to rehabilitate him. That still requires taking on an incredible risk that someone less ethical might find some way to revive Khan prematurely and try to use him as a weapon against the Feds (possible Klingon or Romulan black ops to free and finance Khan to destroy the Federation in exchange for a piece of the pie.) Why take any chances with these guys? They are very, very dangerous...WWIII dangerous! As unpopular as it may sound, getting rid of them permanently is the only safe bet. Remember, Kirk's error in dealing with Khan came back to bite him in the ass 20 years later in TWOK. I think TWOK makes the argument for me that Kirk made the wrong decision back in Space Seed. In the end, the Khan problem is solved by destroying him and his followers. They could have saved a lot of lives and time if they had just done away with him back in the 60s.
     
  12. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    The problem with this type of thinking is that it doesn't take into account the mistake by Reliant's crew in not recognizing Ceti Alpha V when they traveled to the star system in TWOK. Now, one could argue that there would have been no opportunity for a mistake had Kirk not left Khan alive, but that doesn't excuse the carelessness with which Reliant approached the situation.

    In any case, I don't know that a Federation citizen makes the decision to kill another being regardless of the risk he poses. Kirk could have destroyed Reliant once it was disabled, but he gave Khan a chance to surrender. That Khan still tired to destroy Kirk by activating the Genesis device fits your argument, but it doesn't change what Kirk was trying to do in the situation.

    --Sran
     
  13. Praetor Baldric

    Praetor Baldric Lieutenant Commander

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    The reason why Kirk's actions in Space Seed and then again in TWOK bother me; that is, the fact that Kirk keeps trying to give Khan a chance as you have pointed out quite rightly, is that it suggests that Kirk is somewhat thick. What's that expression? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
     
  14. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    That's the one. Now that you mention it, I'm surprised Spock didn't recommend that Kirk do away with Khan, either in "Space Seed" or The Wrath of Khan. Kirk's entirely human response to the situation may have precluded his taking the action on his own, but Spock's sense of logic should have enabled him to see a clear solution to the problem of how to deal with Khan once he was defeated. Moreover, why didn't anyone think to beam the Genesis device away from Reliant as soon as the battle concluded? Didn't the Federation want it back?

    --Sran
     
  15. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    ^Small thread hijack, but I just thought of an interesting take on why this didn't happen. Perhaps David was so concerned about his being found out before the Genesis device could be used that he didn't want to risk beaming it to the Enterprise. As Spock eventually died trying to save Enterprise from the Genesis detonation, it would explain why David later sacrificed his life to save him in TSFS.

    --Sran
     
  16. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not noticing a planet had gone missing is a pretty big oversight... even if it is a little surveyed area they knew enough about it to notice that one planet was now missing.

    It may have been a mistake in retrospect, Kirk likely wished he had done it differently, but there are a few variables which he couldnt have seen back in Space Seed namely another planet exploding and the Reliant not making the connection.

    Which is a defining element of Kirk's personality as he obviously planned to take who ever was still alive into custody no matter the risks. The same when it came to the Romulans in Balance of Terror or Kruge in TSFS.
     
  17. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    This. Starfleet would have removed Kirk from command and court-martialed him.
     
  18. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly. Hindsight is always 20/20, so it's not always fair to judge a decision years after it was made and argue that it was wrong. Decisions have to made based on the circumstances that exist at the time one's making them. Taking the future into consideration is important, but trying to take hypothetical scenarios into account is asking to much, IMO.

    Correct, though I'm not sure if a group of Romulans poses the same risk that Khan's people would. They'd certainly have greater strategic value. I wonder how Kirk would have handled the situation in "Rocks and Shoals." Sisko didn't like shooting the Jem'Hadar down, but he did it. Would Kirk have taken that step?

    --Sran
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Your book is wrong. If they are not in the immediate act of trying to kill you or someone else -- e.g., holding a gun on someone -- and they are already restrained and in custody, then they are by definition not an immediate threat.

    No, they are not. That's why they are human rights, not human privileges.

    Victims of violence are not in charge of determining punishment for the perpetrators, precisely because they are too close to the crime and thus prone to revenge rather than justice.

    No, Khan is a person and thus has the right to live.
     
  20. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Recall that the Reliant wasn't totally destroyed. It was severely damaged, but it could be repaired. Why destroy it and waste the vessel? Also at this point, for all Kirk and company knew, Khan was beaten and could no longer fight back.

    However, what did surprise me is that given the importance of Genesis, why didn't he think to immediately have the device beamed off the ship, just in case Reliant's condition worsened and risked explosion? This is even independent of the idea of Khan being able to still use the device.

    But what really annoys me about that scene is that when Genesis was activated, Kirk didn't even think to try beaming the device off the ship and then scramble the atoms--a very simple and quick solution to the problem. Then the transporter chief would radio back how they can't get a lock on it, and Spock says something technical like the energy field around it is scrambling the beams. THEN they make a run for it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013