How many people before it becomes wrong?, Star Trek Insurrection

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by marsh8472, Dec 31, 2016.


How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong?

  1. 1 person

  2. 5 people

  3. 30 people

  4. 100 people

  5. 200 people

  6. 600 people

    0 vote(s)
  7. 1,000 people

    0 vote(s)
  8. 50,000 people

  9. 1,000,000 people

  1. marsh8472

    marsh8472 Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 31, 2016
    In Star Trek Insurrection, this question Picard asked the adminral was rhetorical but figured I'd pose it anyway. If the federation finds a planet that possesses the fountain of youth but it involves having to relocating the inhabitants in order to obtain it, how large does the inhabitants need to be before it becomes wrong?

    Could it be considered a crime against humanity by not exploiting those resources?

    DOUGHERTY: You're looking well, Jean-Luc. ...Rested.
    PICARD: I won't let you move them, Admiral. I will take this to the Federation Council.
    DOUGHERTY: I'm acting on orders form the Federation Council.
    PICARD: How can there be an order to abandon the Prime Directive?
    DOUGHERTY: The Prime Directive doesn't apply. These people are not indigenous to this planet. They were never meant to be immortal. We'll simply be restoring them to their natural evolution.
    PICARD: Who the hell are we to determine the next course of evolution for these people?
    DOUGHERTY: Jean-Luc, there are six hundred people down there. We'll be able to use the regenerative properties of this radiation to help billions. ...The Son'a have developed a procedure to collect the metaphasic particles from the planets rings.
    PICARD: A planet in Federation space.
    DOUGHERTY: That's right. We have the planet. They have the technology. ...A technology we can't duplicate. You know what that makes us? ...Partners.
    PICARD: Our partners are nothing more than petty thugs.
    DOUGHERTY: On Earth, petroleum once turned petty thugs into world leaders. Warp drive transformed a bunch of Romulan thugs into an Empire. We can handle the Son'a. I'm not worried about that.
    PICARD: Someone probably said the same thing about the Romulans a century ago.
    DOUGHERTY: With metaphasics, life spans will be doubled. ...An entire new medical science will evolve. I understand your Chief Engineer has the use of his eyes for the first time in his life. ...Would you take that away from him?
    PICARD: There are metaphasic particles all over the Briar Patch. Why does it have to be this planet?
    DOUGHERTY: It's the concentration in the rings that makes the whole damned thing work. Don't ask me to explain it. I only know they inject something into the rings that starts a thermolytic reaction. When it's over, the planet will be uninhabitable for generations.
    PICARD: Admiral, delay the procedure. Let my people look at the technology.
    DOUGHERTY: Our best scientific minds already have. We can't find any other way to do this.
    PICARD: Then the Son'a can establish a separate colony on this planet until we do.
    DOUGHERTY: It would take ten years of normal exposure to begin to reverse their condition. Some of them won't survive that long. Besides, they don't want to live in the middle of the Briar Patch. ...Who would?
    PICARD: The Ba'ku. ...We are betraying the principles upon which the Federation was founded. It's an attack upon its very soul. ...And it will destroy the Ba'ku ...just as cultures have been destroyed in every other forced relocation throughout history.
    DOUGHERTY: Jean-Luc, we are only moving six hundred people.
    PICARD: How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong? A thousand? Fifty thousand? A million? How many people does it take, Admiral?

    DOUGHERTY: I'm ordering you to the Goren system. I'm also ordering the release of the Son'a officers. File whatever protest you wish to, Captain. ...By the time you do, this will all be done.

    I found the events of Star Trek Insurrection similar to the events of episode TOS"The Omega Glory"

    These were quotes from that episode:

    Captain's log, supplemental. The Enterprise has left the Exeter and moved into close planet orbit. Although it appears the infection may strand us here the rest of our lives, I face an even more difficult problem. A growing belief that Captain Tracey has been interfering with the evolution of life on this planet. It seems impossible. A star captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive.

    TRACEY: Good. Direct, succinct. Answer. No native to this planet has ever had any trace of any kind of disease. How long would a man live if all disease were erased, Jim? Wu. (Wu enters) Tell Captain Kirk your age.
    WU: Age? I have seen forty two years of the red bird. My eldest brother
    TRACEY: Their year of the red bird comes once every eleven years, which he's seen forty two times. Multiply it. Wu is four hundred and sixty two years old. His father is well over a thousand. Interested, Jim?
    KIRK: McCoy could verify all that.
    TRACEY: He will if you order it. We must have a doctor researching this. Are you grasping all it means? This immunising agent here, once we've found it, is a fountain of youth. Virtual immortality, or as much as any man will ever want.
    KIRK: For sale by
    TRACEY: (to Wu) Out. (Wu leaves) By those who own the serum. McCoy will eventually isolate it. Meanwhile, you inform your ship your situation's impossible. Order them away. When we're ready, we'll bargain for a whole fleet of ships to pick us up. And they'll do it.
    KIRK: Yes, I suppose they would.
    TRACEY: We've got to stay alive. Let the Yangs kill us and destroy what we have to offer and we'll have committed a crime against all humanity. I'd say that's slightly more important than the Prime Directive, wouldn't you, Jim?

    "Omega Glory" did not have to face the dilemma in Star Trek Insurrection. Captain Tracy thought the planet provided immorality but it turned out the natives have long lifespans.
    TREK_GOD_1 and jaime like this.
  2. gamer1

    gamer1 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Dec 12, 2016
    Well in my opinion it's in direct ratio to how many it will save. Move 600 people to save billions? Absolutely.

    I must say this line is just weird "A star captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive."

    I mean really?
    CutieMcWhiskers, Lance and Tenacity like this.
  3. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

    Jul 14, 2016
    ^ Just that.

    Mildly screw over one guy who has exclusive access to a cure all, and this allows you to medically help billions.

    Oh, and the one guy still has access, just not exclusive access anymore.

    The Baku could have been set up with a identical village on a new world, and they could have still had access, just not exclusive access anymore.
  4. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    One person is when it becomes wrong. A planet is just like a country, it has a right to its own sovereignty. If any race or person wants access to the magic health benefits, they have to get permission.

    I don't care if a planet has this magical thing, or that fantastic thing, you don't get to just unilaterally invite yourself over against the will of the people or without their knowledge.

    I'm sure with time some arrangement could have been worked out -- they seemed like reasonable people, but instead they were forcefuly kidnapped, held prisoner, and were going to be re-located against their will

    And they put them on the map for the Borg, way to go.

    Let's compare this to an episode of "South Park", "The Return of Chef", that has its own fantastical supposed fountain of youth -- children. Yes, the child molestation group in it -- the Super Adventure Club -- say that children have thigns in them called marlocks, that keep you young, quote:

    Connelly (the SAC head): "And when an adult has sex with a child, the marlocks implode, feeding the adult receptive cavity with energy that causes immortality, so saith the ruler of Bethos."

    Okay, so now we have another fountain of youth but this time in children. So, how many children being raped to help billions is wrong? It's easier to say no here then when its a planet, but when the impact is immediate and personal, I bet nobody on the board says it's okay to do this.
  5. wayoung

    wayoung Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 17, 2016
    How many people before it becomes wrong?


    But you sure as shit should do it anyway, and then stand up and accept responsibility and punishment in a public court of law for it. That's what makes the action "noble", not just selfish, while still being wrong.

    The show 24 had a few examples of this. Bauer would do all sorts of illegal, reprehensible things with the purpose of saving millions of lives. Yet, while he'd (for the most part) succeed in saving those millions of lives, he'd also be punished for his actions - whether it's being tortured in a Chinese prison or grilled at a Senate hearing into his crimes by the Federations greatest President and bane to militarized, violent, machine like law enforcement officers everywhere, Red Foreman.

    Bauer never hid what he did. He never made up excuses for his actions or tried to hide behind technicalities. He committed crimes to serve the greater good and was willing to accept just punishment for it.
    USS Triumphant likes this.
  6. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

    Jul 14, 2016
    Turn it around.

    How many people before it becomes right?

    How many children saved, cured, enabled, before it became righteous for me to of stolen your magical ring of particles,

    How many of the eyes of the blind will need to see, the ears of the deaf to hear once more, when the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute can again shout for joy, until this act of thief my part conveys upon me the abilities to call my deed virtuous?

    How many before the greater wrong is to do nothing?

    While you lay settled atop your pile of gold like a greedy dragon of ancient lore?
  7. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 7, 2001
    On the run.
    The one who wants the stuff will always justify taking it. Doesn't mean that It ever becomes morally right to take by force.
    Lord Other and Balok's Decoy like this.
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2001
    Burlington, VT, USA
    It may or may not be wrong to move even one person against their will.

    It may or may not be more or less wrong for that one person to resist relocation knowing the benefit to others will be greater than the cost to themselves.
    Spot261 likes this.
  9. Spot261

    Spot261 Commodore Commodore

    Aug 16, 2013

    Framing the question purely in terms of the larger parties actions is missing the point. It is wrong to forcibly move someone, but that doesn't alter the fact they may well have been wrong not to cooperate in the first place.

    In INS the Baku were not given the opportunity, but had they refused to move whilst fully understanding the consequences, the moral questions would also have encompassed their behaviour.
    DamarsKanar and DonIago like this.
  10. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 19, 2013
    Let 1 000 000 people establish a settlement on the other side of the planet away from the Baku.

    Baku aren't affected and everyone is happy.

    Its not the Federation's job to protect 600 non-member people. They barely protect their own. Neither is its the Federation's job to exploit these people. So no destroying the rings or whatever but no stopping them from establishing a base on the other side of a "Federation" planet.

    Personally I think that if you have established a colony on a planet it should be basically yours but 600 is too low a number. You could get groups of a thousand nutjobs (religious cults and the such) establishing bases on planets and hogging whole planets.
  11. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 5, 2013
    SO many good little Nazis in this thread!
  12. wayoung

    wayoung Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 17, 2016
    ^The Nazi scientific experiments were pure evil.

    The people that fought them still used their data and put a lot of them to work under our ethical guidelines when the war was over.

    People involved in immoral acts should be punished. Throwing away the data acquired from the immoral act punishes everyone else.
    DamarsKanar likes this.
  13. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 3, 2008
    Interesting thing is, the biggest crime here isn't moving the Ba'ku, it's what they are doing to the planet itself:
    Not the Federation's finest hour :lol:
  14. wayoung

    wayoung Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 17, 2016
    Meh, one planet in a Galaxy of millions. The Federation has been terraforming world's all along. The only difference here is that instead of making a planet inhabitable to humans, they're making it uninhabitable to humans.
  15. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

    Jul 14, 2016
    It is relevant how the few came to be in possession of horde of treasure.

    Did they personally create it it? Did they toil through decades of effort to bring it into existence? Was it a product of their intellect or sudden inspiration?

    Or was it alway there and they merely the first beneficiaries, after moving underneath it in complete ignorance?
    The Baku fled their home world, in the interest of diversity people from all races were among the refugees.

    Oh wait, the Baku are all white, with blond hair and blue eyes.

    I guess Nazi's are part of this discussion.
    A Starfleet Captain was using the the Baku people, including their children, as Human shields. No, not the Federation finest hour.
    The crime would have been not removing the Baku, knowing what would happen to the surface.

    Even after Ruafo activated the collector, there would have been time to remove the remaining Baku on the surface. The effect would not have been instantaneous.

    The Enterprise was going to be back in orbit in only a few minutes.

    Ruafo: "In six hours, every living thing in this system will be dead or dying."
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  16. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

    May 12, 2001
    Peach Wookiee
    You had better explain what you mean by this post, TheSubCommander. Saying what you said can be interpreted as flaming.
  17. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 5, 2012
    Republic of California
    Key problem. Will whatever it was the Son'a were going to do work? If it didn't work, they not only would lose the effect, but also the planet, and thus any means of investigating the effect anymore. If it works, can it be recreated on another planet? Does it only work if it is in ring form? Will the Baku die in placed on another planet or just start turning into Son'a without the face stretching?
  18. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 5, 2013
    Do I really need to explain it, PW? Seriously? Think about what the Nazis did, which included dehumanizing people, stealing land, property, possessions, and livelihoods, and rounding people up and relocating them forcibly, in the name of the German people. I'm talking about the ends justifying the means, which I find distasteful, and really, makes my previous response all the more accurate. Even though we are talking about a fictional people and plot here, I find it is really shocking that there are actually people here who think it is OK to steal from other people, because it might benefit themselves\their own people. That is about as far away from the message Gene Roddenberry wanted to promote, as you can get. So, yeah, good little Nazis is quite accurate. I wasn't directing my statement at any single individual, but the sentiment that it is OK to steal from a people, or deprive them of their land or property and forcibly relocate them. If someone thinks I am referring to them specifically, maybe that's a guilty conscience talking. If someone is offended by that, maybe they need to look in the mirror and ask if that was done to them, would they still support it. Anyone being honest, wouldn't. And anyone who still would support it, ought to be ashamed of themselves, whether they are talking about something real, or hypothetical.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  19. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 5, 2012
    Republic of California
    What is the Vulcan saying? The needs of the many out-way the needs of the few. Or the one.

    Would the Vulcans think it logical to move the Baku if they believed the resulting medical discovery would benefit the many?
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    600 middle-class white people.

    A lot more if anyone else.

    CorporalCaptain likes this.