Did Voyager open a can of worms with the Doctor?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Tribble puncher, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He did end up punishing himself for something he didn't really do (but possibly might have in similar circumstances?), though. It's kind of the point of the episode.
     
  2. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not sure about that.

    Moriarty was an accident, but hardly seems 'irreproducible', since all it took was a carelessly phrased command from Geordi to create an adversary capable of defeating data. (At least, in the case of the EMH, it took the greatest specialists in the Federation and years of work). Then, Moriarty gave his girlfriend the same kind of consciousness, so he certainly was capable of replicating the process. Or you'd have to argue that Moriarty wasn't really alive in the first place, but just a very sophisticated simulacrum, designed to fool us into believing he was self-aware. Doesn't look that way to me, though.

    The exocomps probably are self-aware and intelligent, and they look like they could be easily manufactured, and they themselves could probably even assemble new copies, if they so chose.

    So, TNG already opened that can of worms, but then avoided facing that kind of consequences, just like VOY did.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 9:50 AM
  3. SpyOne

    SpyOne Captain Captain

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    First, those are all good criticisms of my post.

    I concede that Moriarty was sentient, or at least appeared so. (As was mentioned in Measure of a Man, we haven't really figured out a way to tell if someone is sentient or not.)
    The Countess is a different issue: she never appears to be more than a holodeck character and I'm not sure Moriarty ever claimed she was. And regardless he had motive to lie: getting her off the holodeck was the motive to continue working on making holodeck things real after he faked having accomplished that on himself.

    His creation wasn't just a result of Geordi's instructions, though they laid the groundwork: in creating a character "capable of defeating Data" that made Moriarty aware of, and able to interact with, the holodeck arch. But whether that command alone is what made him sentient, or able to achieve sentience, is unknown.
    So whether his creation could be duplicated is debatable.

    Still, given the small device that was able to run his program in the end, giving him an android body seems totally possible.
    And it feels like I'm grasping at straws. "They never said it was duplicatable" seems like a weak argument, and the things I would use to bolster that are non-canon speculation (the Bynars modified the Enterprise computers to, among other things, create highly lifelike holodeck characters, and while they seemed to have undone those changes, perhaps Moriarty was a side-effect of those).
    They might have been able to mass-produce Moriartys, and they probably wouldn't be confined to holodecks. But there's no evidence that anyone even tried.
    Contrast this with Voyager which showed us groups of EMH-MkIs working in what looked like mines because they'd been removed from Medical duty listening to news about the accomplishments of the one of their kind who wasn't sentenced to menial labor for having an abrasive personality (not because he was friendlier, but because he was indespensable) but never seems to want to directly address the implication that those are sentient beings that Starfleet has enslaved.
    (And how does it make sense to have holoemitters fitted throughout your mine or maintenance tunnels or whatever? Why would the obsolete EMHs not have been simply deleted?)

    The Exo Comps were what I meant by reproducable, but not quite sentient. They are smart and self-aware, and seem quite likely to develop into Data-like sentience if left turned on for long enough, and it seemed like people were going to leave them turned on specifically to gove them that chance. But we never find out what happened.
    So we have a thing that can be easily made that seems like it might be the infant form of a sentient being, but maybe not.
     
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  4. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    He did. See this small part of dialogue:
    Though of course you are entirely right he simply could have lied about it.
    Perhaps, but there simply don't seem to be any other extraordinary circumstances in play: Geordi and Data are a bit bored, so they decide to spend some time on the holodeck. There's no alien influence or anything, as far as we know (as was the case with Minuette). So, yes, perhaps they couldn't duplicate it, but that probably would be rather due to missing knowledge of the exact set of circumstances that caused this accident. I like your 'remnant of Bynar enhancement' thesis though!
    Yeah, that was weird. Starfleet could probably have used far more efficient (but non-sentient) automated mining equipment given their general state of technology.