Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Jefferies, Sep 22, 2013.
And then the Federation was the villains
I hated this episode. The premise was stupid.
It's ridiculous to suggest that the only way the Menk could advance would be to shove the Valakians off a cliff.
It occurred to me that Phlox could have told the Valakians to step back and give the Menk room to develop independently.
The only thing wrong with "A Night in Sickbay" is it doesn't end with the whole cast singing an episode recap to the tune of "One Night in Bangkok", Bollywood-style.
The Federation doesn't have the resources to save every single non-warp-capable species out there from every disaster they can and will face, and even if they could, they would then be indirectly responsible for the consequences of their interference. If you do "the right thing" and save a planet of people who then become bent on conquering the galaxy, are you willing to take responsibility for cleaning up the mess you created?
The Prime Directive isn't about morality, and if it is, it's certainly not about -human- morality, nor should it be, because if there is a universal morality it most certainly isn't defined exclusively by humanity. It's about Starfleet trying to do what it thinks is for the best with regards to advancing civilizations on a galactic scale, and creating a policy that frees its captains from needing to make decisions that can't possibly take all of the variables into account. What's the longest we ever saw Our Heroes studying a pre-warp civilization? Do you really think that's enough time to understand all of the dynamics in play on an entire planet??
Given that we clearly see that Kirk's interference in ID -has- altered the evolution of that civilization, I think an argument could be made that in a sense they -have- died. Whatever they might have been is no longer what they will be. Is that better than being dead? Well, maybe, but it's clearly not as optimal a solution as them being saved without becoming aware of extraterrestrials.
Hell, how would we feel if aliens showed up on Earth one day and decided that dolphins were meant to be the dominant species...so they were going to actively give the dolphins a hand by wiping out humanity? Probably not so hot.
It's all well and good to say Our Heroes should interfere until you consider how the species that (inadvertently or otherwise) suffer from that interference might feel about it.
The way I see it is, Archer and crew were morally and ethically bound to help the Valakians. To willingly withhold a cure for a disease that you know is killing people is to become responsible for everyone who dies from that disease.
And in the end, the Valakians ASKED for help. So even if there had been a Prime Directive, that alone would have rendered it irrelevant. The PD allows one to render aid to anyone who asks for it. The Valakians may not have had warp capability, but they were already aware of Earth, and thus the PD goes out the window.
To withhold aid because the Valakians MIGHT one day become some kind of evil empire is just casting at straws. No one has any idea what that species will evolve into. The future is irrelevant; all that matters is the present.
This is also why I really couldn't give two shits what happens to the Menk. The Menk are not dying; they are not being struck by a deadly plague. They don't need help. The Valakians do. To deliberately allow - even encourage - the Valakians to die because the Menk supposedly deserve to live more than they do, is IN ITSELF interference. It's choosing one species over another. Archer is already intefering even if he does nothing!
It's like seeing a pregnant woman trapped in a burning building. To save her all you'd have to do is lift an object that's pinning her down before the flames get to her, with little risk to yourself.
With the Prime Directive not only would you not do it, but you'd call it the moral choice because that kid could grow up to be Hitler.
But then again, the bitch also gave Borg the means to assimilate Species 8472 and shifted the entire balance of power in the Delta quadrant and beyond... And never got court-martialed for it.
And for some reason I actually like Scorpion I & II.. Go figure.
I dunno...I guess I'm left feeling that whether or not it's okay to violate the Prime Directive is rather akin to the issues brought up in the Futurama episode "Godfellas".
Still love this line...it applies to playing God, but might just as well apply to violating the Prime Directive - "When you do things right, people won't be sure you did anything at all."
Hm... let's maybe please not use the "b-word", mmkay?
What do boobies have to do with this?
"Dear Doctor" is simply a terrible episode.
Phlox has made the determination that the Menk can't evolve with the Valakians around even though we see that the Menk have language, the ability to use logic and work in hospitals and even use touch screen computers.
Phlox came off looking like he had no idea what he was talking about and Archer blindly followed him.
Andre Jacquemetton should feel ashamed for actually writing this.
What if Phlox had discovered the exact same "science" about Denobulans.
I wouldn't have created a mess, whatever the species does in the future is not my responsibility, maybe they'll become bent on conquering the galaxy but maybe they'll find the magic formula and make klingons and romulans hold hands singing Kumbaya. Whatever they'll do some time in the future is absolutely and completely irrelevant, you cannot take an undetermined future into account.
Janeway said it herself: You have no idea what the consequences might be once you involve yourself.
And that's why it doesn't matter, maybe helping them will turn out to be the worst mistake ever but maybe NOT helping them will turn out to be the worst mistake ever or maybe it won't make a difference at all, you simply don't know.
When you're faced with the decision of saving peoples' lives there's only one thing you know for sure:
Do nothing, they die
Do something, they live
There's no question which one is the right choice, that this is even discussed in Star Trek is proof that the Prime Directive is a piece of shit policy.
About the example of into Darkness, who cares if they saw the Enterprise? Kirk didn't change the civilization's development because without him being there there would have been no civilization to develop further.
If the plan had gone the way it was supposed to have gone, the civilization would have been saved and its development would not have been otherwise altered (okay, I suppose well down the line someone might realize the volcano had been tampered with once upon a time...).
Kirk -did- change the civilization. Whatever they will become will not be what they would have become had Kirk not acted to save Spock. I don't think the fact that the entire course of a society was changed should be reduced to "Well they would have died otherwise..."
Indeed, I'd be curious to see the original discussion that led to the implementation of Spock's plan to begin with.
For all we know they did at some point. Phlox mentioned during the Augment arc they Denobulans regularly use genetic engineering.
What I like best about this episode is that it puts a harsh light on dilemmas inherent in the Prime Directive and it invites the kind of debate going on here. Whether I agree with the choices or not, as long as they make sense in-universe and in character, I'm all for dramatizing tough decisions that test and even alienate the audience.
About the Nibiru thing - far as I'm concerned, they're absolutely better off. So they worship the Enterprise? Big deal. At least they're alive.
Basically, The PD implies that a any civilization is better off extinct, than embracing religion.
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