Would Q allow humanity or federation to be dstroyed?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by TheSubCommander, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Never heard that one before. Was he getting kickbacks from John W. Campbell, Jr. or something?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^No, Campbell's humans-first preferences in his fiction seemed to be an allegory for certain racial and cultural prejudices (at least, Asimov was uncomfortable enough with Campbell's politics that he wrote in humans-only universes in order to skirt the issue), whereas Roddenberry appreciated humans of all creeds and colors (though he had some problematical ideas about gender).
     
  3. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's true, he did.

    (I knew that about Asimov; that's where I learned about Campbell.)
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Andromeda
    (In that show, humanity was never that important a species, whether it be in the old Commonwealth or the new one.)
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    But Dylan is the main focus, and a character that is easy for a first time viewer to latch onto early in the series.
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ *A* human is important, yes. But in the grand scheme of things, *humanity* is not. After all, the Commonwealth was around for thousands of years before Earth even joined...
     
  7. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Q owes Janeway for raising that boy of his.
    Lets hope he saves humanity if needed for the debt to Janeway.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's true, Andromeda -- as conceived -- was one of the rare exceptions. Unfortunately, in execution, due to the really cheap budget and a makeup staff that lacked experience with prosthetics, their attempts to depict aliens didn't work out well and it ended up being much more human-centric overall.
     
  9. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think they would. They are far from protectors of sentient beings in the galaxy, if anything they have probably been responsible for several races going extinct--seeing as how they were going to eradicate humanity because they thought it necessary.
     
  10. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    C'mon... Q would save us... maybe not if it was just Earth, but if the entire race were faced with extinction... or maybe even the Enterprise-D/E. After all where would Q be without Picard to insult and Worf to needle?

    "Howl for me."
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Again: Q is billions of years old. From his perspective, the lifespan of an entire species, let alone a single humanoid, is just a brief moment. To him, the concept of saving their lives barely has meaning, because whether he protects them from an imminent threat or not, their lifespans will still be just momentary diversions for him. If you're having an enjoyable dinner, you may want to make it last and not leave the restaurant sooner than you have to, but you still know it's only for that night and no longer, so it won't be unbearable if something comes up and you have to skip dessert. For Q, having Picard live a few dozen years longer would be nice, but it would be optional, because it wouldn't make any real difference to him in the long run.
     
  12. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Except that Q has never acted that way. Q has, from the beginning, acted as though humans carry a special interest for him, and that our heroes -- particularly Picard -- carry a special interest. Q even told Picard, in what seems to be a moment of truth, that he is the closest thing he has to a friend. He cared about Picard enough to teach him a valuable lesson in "Tapestry," one which Picard said he owed Q a debt of gratitude for. And he cared enough about humanity as a whole to help Picard when the Continuum was apparently content to see them destroyed in "All Good Things..."

    It may not make sense when you think about the lifespan of the Q and what their attitude toward humans should be. But the on-screen evidence seems clear that Q is very interested in and concerned about humanity in general and Picard in particular.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, for now. From our perspective, mayflies that we are, it seems like the attention he's showing us is lasting. But our definition of "lasting" is fundamentally different from his. Even if Picard got rejuvenated and lived to be a thousand years old, that would still be a tiny fraction of Q's multigigayear existence. It's likely that Q is going to continue to exist for billions of years after Picard dies. And it's safe to assume that Q has had many, many previous "pets" over the vast span of his existence. Picard and humanity are his current hobby, and he throws himself into it wholeheartedly, but if you place it in the context of his entire lifespan, the unavoidable conclusion is that it's just a temporary phase. It will end, and he'll move on.


    Many of us have pets belonging to species that don't last very long. We care about them while they're with us, we do our best to keep them safe, but then they die and we get another one. I'm not saying he doesn't care at all; I'm saying there are limits to how important it really is to him. Losing your pet gerbil is sad, but it doesn't compare to losing your mother or your spouse of 40 years.
     
  14. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    But we would make the effort to save our pet if their life were in danger. Who wouldn't yell at their dog to get out of the street when a car is coming or seek medical attention if said animal sustains a life threatening injury. If the question is 'would they save us', I'm still thinking yes.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Again, I'm not making a black-and-white, all-or-nothing point here. I'm saying it's a matter of degree. We'd try to protect our pets, but wouldn't be likely to, say, risk our own lives to save a pet goldfish, or spend thousands of dollars on a kidney transplant for a sick bunny. There comes a point where most of us would put our pets to sleep and move on rather than go to the kind of extraordinary lengths we'd go to for a sick human.

    By the same token, while there are certainly circumstances wherein Q would help Picard or humanity, there are probably limits on how far he'd go. He's seen countless species live out their lives and go extinct; to him, it'd be part of the natural order of things. So there are probably circumstances where he'd consider "putting us to sleep" to be the most humane option, where his focus would be on easing humanity's inevitable end rather than keeping us alive indefinitely.

    And if screenwriters or fans want to anthropomorphize him and make him care about human life exactly as much as we do despite his profoundly alien perspective, I'd consider that to be illogical and out of character as well as a failure of imagination. A being that different should have a different perspective, whether we want him to or not.
     
  16. Nine of Four

    Nine of Four Commander Red Shirt

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    Just because Q has lived for billions of years doesn't mean time flows faster for him. What to us is a couple of days would seem just an hour or two to him, from perspective, I certaintly wouldn't say that a species entire "lifespan" would pass in a moment.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^That's not what I'm saying! It's an analogy! Come on, just try to imagine things from his perspective instead of trying to force him into ours. Heck, I'm sure he could speed up his perceptions enough that he could spend subjective days watching a soap bubble pop, but that's not the point. The point is that it still needs to be considered in the context of his entire past and future. By now he's seen countless individuals and entire species die. He's used to it. And he knows that humanity's time in this universe will also be finite. It's inevitable to him that we'll cease to exist eventually, or at least evolve into a very different form, and then he'll move on and find other species to play with. He's surely been through that more times than we can comprehend.
     
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    Evidence in the series itself supports Q not helping....When did he ever pop up in the last act of an episode to save the day?

    And my own perception of time has changed considerably as I've grown older....I can only imagine what it would be like for a being as long-lived as Q.

    Q is looking at a much bigger picture than we or the show's heroes are. His relationship with Picard/humanity has never been as simple as "I like these people, I'll help them out." When he "helps", he helps in his own way, on his own terms, for his own purposes.
     
  19. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    Tough crowd! :)

    I agree with your point on perspective. If you've ever seen a squirrel close up... everything about them seems accelerated. Would I save a squirrel? Nope. Still, I think Q (deLancie) has more than a passing interest in humanity and in All Good Things, he does in fact save humanity by leading Picard to the answer.

    I remember some fans wanting Q in movies back when Generations came out. IMO Q is small screen stuff. I don't think you can sell excitement and thrills on the big screen when the only question is whether Q will intervene. That's why they went with All Good Things as the final episode and the crossover plot for the film. Q is just too 'Deux ex'.
     
  20. Nine of Four

    Nine of Four Commander Red Shirt

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    In Q-Squared, by Peter David, Trelane, (The Squire of Gothos - TOS episode 17), is shown to be a member of the Continuum, as well as "General" Trelane's parents. Trelane's parents intervened at the last moment to save Kirk's life, when Trelane was about to run him through with a sword.

    The Continuum also took away Q's powers, (Déjà Q - TNG episode 61), because he had abused those powers with his "experiments".

    These examples prove that, despite their godly powers do not allow senseless killing.