Best ethical dilemma episode?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by FederationHistorian, Dec 11, 2020.

?

Best ethical dilemma episode?

  1. Dear Doctor

    3 vote(s)
    23.1%
  2. Cogenitor

    4 vote(s)
    30.8%
  3. Similitude

    3 vote(s)
    23.1%
  4. Observer Effect

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Damage

    3 vote(s)
    23.1%
  1. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Hi guys!

    Looking back on ENT, the show had several episodes that had an ethical dilemma involved. there was at least one per season. Those episodes tend to be considered among the best of Enterprise.

    Of the four below, which ENT episode would you say was best ethical dilemma episode of the series?

    "Dear Doctor" (S1)
    "Cogenitor" (S2)
    "Similitude" (S3)
    "Observer Effect" (S4)
     
  2. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Location:
    California
    Also the S3 one where Archer has to decide if he's gonna steal from Casey Biggs and strand them in space so he can continue to find the Xindi and stop the attack
     
  3. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    dupersuper and NCC-73515 like this.
  4. Emerald of Empire

    Emerald of Empire Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2020
    I believe they should have given the Vissians the medicine that was already ready. First they created a vaccine out of enthusiasm, and then they backed out because morale came around the corner. This is not a game of gods! You arrived, you learned about a serious problem, you were able to create a solution to this problem and save billions of lives. Saving the Vissians wasn't the same as killing the Menks. In the end, Phlox and Archer were duplicitous and disgusting, sacrificing billions of intelligent lives for the sake of ephemeral morality. This is the most hateful episode for me... I would have given the medicine!
     
    David Hanley and Court_Vince like this.
  5. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2020
    Cogenitor resonates with me, though I sometimes find others' perspective on it hard to follow.

    The Vissians were treating a sentient member of their own species in a horrible, shameful manner.

    Trip merely pointed out to that person how bad her life was.

    When Charles (the cogenitor) commits suicide to escape her miserable existence, Trip is considered more to blame than those enslaving her.
     
  6. Emerald of Empire

    Emerald of Empire Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2020
    The Vissians did not enslave anyone. This is their culture. This is a different culture and Trip had no right to condemn it and, moreover, to climb into a strange monastery with his own charter.

    Oh, I mixed up the Valakians and the Vissians...
     
  7. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2020
    Slavery was part of the culture of the southern states, in the mid 1800's. And, an essential part of their economy as well. According to your reasoning, the Civil War was an immoral act.
     
  8. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Location:
    London
    It was a tough one since it is not humanity's job to go around the galaxy telling other species what to do, which is one of the lessons that T'Pol was trying to teach Archer. Remember in season 1 when Trip thought a parent was abusing her child when all she was doing was trying to teach him how to breathe?
    Trip's intentions were good but his methods were not.
     
  9. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Location:
    London
    Kidnapping people and forcing them to work against their will plus all the other cultural abuse is one thing, being a member of a species with three genders where the other two gendars need you for procreation is another. But I agree the congenitor should be treated as an equal citizen and given a choice whether they help people to have a baby or not. After all men need woman to carry and give birth to babies but they cannot force them to do it. (in most cultures). If all women chose to remove their wombs no amount of sperm could keep the human race going.
     
  10. Oddish

    Oddish Commodore Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2020
    Many aspects of a cogenitor's life are necessary. Since there's only one cogenitor for every 16 couples, they have to move from family to family, and can't really be involved much in the raising of the children they help produce. The cogenitor must accept this, just as women must accept the difficulties of pregnancy and men must understand that parenthood is impossible for them without female cooperation (women can just visit the local sperm bank).

    But... illiteracy? Not letting them experience life? Not even letting them have a dish of ice cream at the party? That goes beyond the necessary and into the cruel.
     
  11. Emerald of Empire

    Emerald of Empire Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2020
    It was on the territory of one country. But no one has the right to interfere with the culture, rules and regulations of another country. Vissians are never human, in case you haven't noticed. Their rules are theirs alone. Trip was absolutely wrong in his emotional actions. Fortunately, this was noted in plain text.
     
  12. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Phlox initial refusal to administer the vaccine to the Valakians was based on the science of evolution over the course of two centuries. And Archer has to make a decision in the absence of a Prime Directive.

    Archer behaved the way he did in both “Similtude” and “Damage” because Earth is under threat of destruction. And the effects clearly took their toll on him by the time he returns home.

    Organians behaved the way the did, as it was the way they did their experiments, and had been the case for thousands of years. That they lost compassion over those thousands of years is understandable.

    Trip was impulsive, under the guise of benevolence. Unlike the other ones, Trip’s behaviour is indefensible, especially since he was advised by both T’Pol & Phlox to not do anything. Archer was put into a difficult situation due to Trip’s actions, when he just wanted to forge relations with a new species. And the Vissians were quite advanced compared to United Earth Starfleet. Plus cogenitors are rare on Vissia, and Trip may have ended up placing more stress on their reproductive practices and the general social structure on Vissia.

    How Trip did not get demoted, considering this was not the first time he had exhibited this behaviour, is a mystery.
     
  13. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2020
    :guffaw:

    Nothing about the reasoning put forth in that episode has anything to do with "the science of evolution". Down there with Author Author and Threshold on my list of least favourite Star Trek episodes.
     
    JaxsBrokenHeart likes this.
  14. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    If Dear Doctor's central debate was not about a remedying the disease (with Phlox saying he hasn't the information, resources, or staff to create one that quickly) and was instead centered around whether to give the Valakians warp technology (with lines suggesting that they have some familiarity with it), then it would be one of the better ethical dilemmas in not just Enterprise but Trek in general.

    Archer would have to face a choice of denying them a potential chance to find a cure off-planet elsewhere or giving them something that could very easily pose a real threat to both them and the unaffected Menk if mishandled. Rather than dubious notions of genetic destiny and a poor comprehension of evolution, it would be rooted in a very specific knowledge of a highly dangerous piece of technology that can destructive consequences if it goes even slightly wrong. His conclusion to not give it to them would maybe not be a choice everyone agreed with, but it would be an understandable one.