Would curing the Phage be a Prime Directive Breach?

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by Guy Gardener, Feb 7, 2013.

?

Is saving the lives of billions of suffering dicks a PD violation?

  1. Yes it is.

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  2. No it isn't.

    14 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. Janeway doesn't care about the PD, and she'll do what ever she wants.

    7 vote(s)
    33.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This surely more than most anything else after the destruction of Caretakers Array would have changed the balance of power in the region immediate to season one?
     
  2. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If they make a request for aid, then no it's not.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Absolutely right. A lot of people don't understand this. The PD doesn't forbid any intervention under any circumstances. When dealing with warp-capable cultures, it only precludes unwanted intervention. You can't take sides in a war between two alien powers or a civil war within an alien society, but you can offer to serve as a neutral mediator. You can't force another culture to change its ways, but if the legitimate government requests Federation aid, then you absolutely can provide that aid.

    Sure, if the Federation had a cure and the Vidiian government had refused to accept it, then their hands would've been tied. But that doesn't seem likely, seeing as how the Vidiians were desperate to find a cure. We know that eventually the Think Tank provided a cure, and given their mercenary methods, it's one they surely would've withheld unless the Vidiians had agreed to pay their price. So since the cure was administered, that means the Vidiians must've accepted it, must've asked for it. And the Federation would've offered their cure free of charge, without demanding a steep price like the Think Tank presumably did. So there's no reason to think the Vidiians would've resisted the Federation's help, and thus there's no Prime Directive issue here.
     
  4. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So do you (the gentle reader) think that administering the cure into the water system when it had been refused by the government would be bad?
     
  5. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    but if they cured it then neelix would never have lost his lungs which was hilarious
     
  6. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Not for Neelix. :p
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If curing the Phage wouldn't be a Prime Directive violation, then neither would curing the Valakians in "Dear Doctor" (if there had been a PD at that time).
     
  8. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Valakians wern't warp capable....and yes, that is a stupid demarcation line.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher I would like to bring up Prototype.

    A warp capable society of robots in possession of technical level of sophistication that exceeded the Federation, who were incapable of reproducing, so were dying off as a "species". However it seemed they found salvation when B'Elanna Torres claimed that she could set them right and save these droids from extinction.

    Janeway saved the Borg from 8472, and Arturis' bunch got decimated and he took revenge on Janeway for saving the Borg.

    What you have to remember is that the Prime Directive is General Order Number in the Starfleet Rule book, not first stipulation on the Federation Charter, similar to how I assume that you are not constrained by the US Military Code of Justice. Of course Starfleet has to obey the dictation of the Federation Council who can answer aid requests from any one and then send Starfleet off to save the day... Chain of command? The Council orders the Admiralty and the Admiralty orders the Captains but a Federation Councillor or the Council et all can't order a Captain to do Jack shit? Imagine a Congressman assuming command of an Nuclear Submarine to impress his callgirl? But the Admiralty and/or the Coucil can repeal or supersede the Prime Directive by ordering/allowing humanitarian aid to "alien" factions which mere Captains have to stay to one side of unless they are on an "approved" list, and close to home like Picard's Enterprise was mostly, there would most certainly be a Denied list as long as any approved list that he was not allowed to make any contact with at all like how Christian Scientists won't take blood transfusions when they're dying.

    Janeway doesn't have any list of approved and disapproved states she can play with, but even when she's dealing with nice Aliens, the Prime Directive protects her from the culpability of unforeseen consequences, and what would these unforeseen consequences be in the case of the curing the Phage? Oh, that's right, how can you foresee the unforeseeable? THAT'S WHY THERE'S A RULE!

    Oh. Remember the Malon? Voyager offered them recying technology that would have stopped them from turning half the quadrant into a cesspit, but the garbage men weren't interested because if they couldn't haul garbage then they would be on the streets and living in incredibly clean gutters.

    Tom saved that Water "planet" by blowing up a power plant against the wishes of the local government, which Janeway agreed with, but still refused to hand Tom over to suffer at alien justice for acts of terrorism, which is similar to what Teacake suggested about forcing a civilization to accept Federation aid.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But the Valakians were aware of the NX-01 crew, made contact, and asked for their help.

    The question of whether a species is "Warp capable" is used by the Federation to evaluate whether or not to make first contact with an alien species. If another species does not have warp, but makes contact FIRST, it is clearly aware, and helping them would not be a PD violation (that I can see).
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If a culture doesn't know something you don't tell them. Let them figure it out for themselves and they'll be richer for the experience.

    Most planets without Warp technology think that they are alone or can't prove that they arn't alone and it would break all their economies and philosophies to rectify that belief.

    The Warp demarcation isn't really the line in the sand it's a question of awareness. Are they aware that there are ten thousand planets out there that are full of assholes?

    I'm sure there are plenty of planets without Warp technology who for one reason or another all know all about the aliens of the galaxy, and the Federation would legally be able to make contact with them as a trading partner.

    Good Lord, the Ferengi Bought Warp Drive!
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But that obviously did not apply to the Valakians, specifically. Even if they didn't have warp, they were clearly aware of life beyond their planet - in fact they went LOOKING for it. And they asked for help. That is enough in this case.
     
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I dunno, if they did offer the Vidians a cure and they said no, then another of their victims said "Help they're stealing my vital organs", I think Voyager would have to say "Okay, hold up a sec. Now you can either take the god damned cure or we blow you up you murdering bastards."

    Thanks to the TNG episode Pen Pals a majority of the writers started to interpret the prime directive in ways that had nothing to do with the way it was intended or the way it makes any god damned sense for it to be intended. No sane person would think that if one person is trying to murder another, preventing that murder is a serious ethical breach.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ But at the end, "Pen Pals" established that helping an alien race (no matter what its technological level might be) which ASKS for help, is by definition not a Prime Directive violation. Sarjenka's distress call made it legal to help her people. Same thing would apply to the Valakians, and the Vidiians.
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They had been visited before.

    The Valakians weren't just asking for a cure.

    They wanted warp drive too.

    Archer was hesitant about giving these people a cure, but with out constant earthican supervision, which would be resented, just like he resented the Vulcans, they would most likely frakk their planet before they could die out form their genetic disorder.
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You need to watch that episode again.

    Picard was guilted into breaking the Prime Directive.

    He made a connection with a deadgirl and couldn't let her die because he had feelings.

    Saving that planet should have lost him his ship.

    Although he saved the world in such a way that his interference was invisible.

    Isn't it odd that Nikki Cox was such a beautiful girl in her twenties but as she got older and her plastic surgery addictions ramped up, her choices seemed to turn her back into Sarjenka?
     
  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think Picard was in any danger of losing his ship, I think the Starfleet Admirals who reviewed the case would have the same reaction we do: "Anyone who thinks the prime directive means you can't save innocent people from certain death because of moral Butterfly Effect anxiety is a moron, case dismissed."

    Good interpretation of the prime directive:
    Vedek Winn is anti-Federation. Vedek Bareil is pro-Federation. Prime directive says, we do not intervene and try to install Vedek Bareil even though it would be in our political best interest. (In other words, screw you Henry Kissinger you sociopathic war criminal).

    Moronic interpretation of the prime directive:
    We could save this planet by pressing a button, we choose not to because maybe somebody on it will be the next Hitler.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    My personal opinion is a different matter from the letter of the law. All I'm saying is that according to Starfleet regulations, they couldn't deliver the cure if the legitimate government refused to accept it. However, as I said, that would not have been the case here, since the Vidiians desperately wanted the cure. I'm not interested in debating counterfactuals.
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What about the massive well armed Viddian fleet of privateers harvesting organs?

    If the Vidiians deconstruct that, all the races that they raped, are going to descend on Vidiia, sack that planet and salt the earth.

    Meanwhile why would the privateers give up the good life (as gods that arrive on low tech worlds and industrialize organ harvesting to the point of billions of cow like sentient beings standing in queues waiting orderly to be carved up in process lines.) just to join breadlines on Vidiia when they could knock over weak planets and set themselves up as kings?

    Hell just because they can't sell organs any more, they're still selling all the starships they "acquire" but now in stead of hanging the crew in meatlockers on hooks they're just flushed into space as superfluous. You would think that they have always made more money from selling Starships than kidneys?

    JinPanthosa.

    You don't lose your ship automatically. There's a board of inquiry where you have the opportunity to defend yourself, which could then turn into a court-martial where you really have to defend yourself. It was a possibility that he could have lost his ship over that decision, not a certainty.

    The Federation Council and your average Federation Citizen isn't bound to the Prime Directive. It's a Starfleet Rule, not a Federation Law. Once the Federation Council opens diplomatic relations with a World/Empire it changes the rules with how Starfleet is allowed to interact with that World/Empire and to what degree the Prime Directive impacts on their relationship.

    Besides Picard made it clear that the prime directive is a serious guideline with how they meet new species after the DISASTROUS first contact with the Klingons that kicked off 200 years of war which ran hot and cold... And then 10 years later Berman made broken Bow. :(

    It's not a new Hitler they're worried about more so than a new Klingon Empire.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And what if (It's not the biggist if in the world, ask the rest of Europe what they thought of Germany in 1945.)the 15 empires surrounding Vidiian space who had been picked raw by raiding parties for kidnies and livers said "No Captain Janeway we would rather you didn't "cure" the Vidiians. At this point we're glad they're dying off and we are relishing their final moments."

    It's even possible that the Phage was a weapon that was targetted at the Vidiians for a good reason, and whosoever that was might be miffed that Janeway is interferring in their best laid plans.

    It's not a question of permission, it's about the balance of power.
     

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