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

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

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

  1. 1 person

    48.5%
  2. 5 people

    3.0%
  3. 30 people

    3.0%
  4. 100 people

    3.0%
  5. 200 people

    3.0%
  6. 600 people

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. 1,000 people

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. 50,000 people

    9.1%
  9. 1,000,000 people

    30.3%
  1. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Commodore Commodore

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    I don't really believe the Federation is colonialist. I think they are very freedom conscious and respect other cultures. But as long as the dates stand, it looks like the Federation simply claimed a planet that was already settled on. And sometimes some of their behavior is suspiciously colonist at times.

    Setting up hidden labs and studying non fed cultures; turning over non fed systems that belong to cultures over to other powers; things like that.

    The "wicked" admiral was also acting like a colonialist in certain ways.
     
  2. SiorX

    SiorX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always thought INS would be so much better a movie if we'd seen the Ba'ku's mask slip. They consciously benefited from a resource that could help billions and kept it to themselves. They adopted Luddism that allowed them to shirk any moral responsibility or intellectual curiosity in investigating the rings themselves. They evidently raised the Son'a to be the upstanding paragons of slave-owning virtue they turned out to be.

    Imagine if Anij had come out and said out loud what's implicit in all this: we've got ours and the rest of you can suck it - we don't care about anybody else and we're not going to share or compromise. The dilemma about whether the Federation has the right to move them or not remains the same. But their utter moral bankruptcy would be part of the equation. That would be so much better a movie.

    (Still not as good as if the whole thing had just been Beverly's production of Pinafore.)
     
  3. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder whether Picard would have so staunchly defended the Baku if it had developed that they were directly responsible for the Sona's plight, rather than indirectly.

    "They staged a coup, so we exiled them and marked them with the evidence of their sins."
     
  4. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If I were one of those aliens, yes. As a resident of Earth, of course not, but the motives behind the humans in Avatar were not so evil. We are talking about a major issue on Earth here, not simply "we want it," and the lives of billions of people are at risk.

    Turn it around. Aliens come in orbit and they need a special kind of dirt that's under Jerusalem, Mecca, & Vatican City. They understand that yes, it would require destroying landmarks and offer to bargain for the rights to get that dirt. Among the things they offer are the cures to cancer and AIDS. They also will provide means to end world hunger.

    It's worth it. You also make a powerful ally that will help defend you when the inevitable attack comes from the Decepticons or the aliens from ID4.

    Most religions, at their best, would preach sacrifice for the greater good. The ability to help that many people would certainly trump even the most sacred temples or pieces of land. Rebuild it in another spot, and know that your holy place accomplished a miracle.

    This is actually a central part to why the villains weren't really villains--at least on the Federation side.

    "We got immortality, and the rest of the galaxy can suck it" should be their motto.
     
  5. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    I wouldn't know that. The Vatican might, perhaps, but the Vatican is not a place appointed by 'God himself' in some 'divinely inspired' scripture foundational to Christianity. It's "merely" the center of a lot of church history. It can be relocated without fundamental objections, as far as I know. It might be different for Jerusalem and Mecca, as these places are , AFAIK 'divinely appointed' in the foundational scriptures of Judaism and Islam, respectively. It might therefore turn out that no incentive of aliens is sufficient to sell those places given that selling those places might directly contradict the word of 'god' in the ears of (more orthodox) believers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  6. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think what you would find in that situation is the majority of the planet siding with the aliens.
     
  7. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Certainly. Myself included. Doesn't automatically include the people whose 'property' it actually is to 'sell', though.
     
  8. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Right, but they would lose that fight. The situation we have here is one where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. While Spock's saying isn't always true, when dealing with the fact pattern above, or the situations of Avatar and Insurrection, I believe that it is.

    We can change the facts to make it a little less sci-fi. Let's say the cure for cancer requires things that would require digging up the most sacred religious places on Earth. It would have to be done at any cost, even war. It sucks, but the benefits to humanity as a whole would outweigh the rights of the few people that say no.
     
  9. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well that's definitely a view Kirk was inclined to believe in. It's certainly a tempting and seemingly reasonable one but the main practical problem is if you do it you're very likely to, in later similar situations, increasingly think you should be able to get it while offering less in return, it's likely that you'll gradually think $3,000,000 is as much as you should offer before you turn to force, then $700,000, than $200,000, then $10,000, then $1,000 and then soon you're offering nearly nothing or absolutely nothing and think you should be able to just take what you need or want.
    In real life even a tremendously rich family wouldn't be willing to start with $1 billion offer even to save a life, they'd probably be willing to only highest-offer $20 million and even a government only $100 million to save many lives so it's a bit of a strawman to imagine someone else being so unreasonable as to refuse $1 billion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  10. EnderAKH

    EnderAKH Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Dallas, TX
    Understandable? Yes. Justified? No. If that were the case, people would be justified in stealing kidneys or pieces of liver from other people. You can live without it, and I will die without it. I am low on the transplant list, therefore I can take your unneeded organs.

    I am reasonably certain you can not tell the Christians to give up the site where Christ preached, had the last supper, and was crucified by going "Go build it somewhere else." I also am certain the Jews would not be all that thrilled with losing the sight of the Temple Mount, the Tomb of Solomon, the Tomb of King David, and go, "You can do that anywhere, right?" Now would the Muslims be willing to give up the site where Muhammad ascended to heaven to meet the prophets. And that is just Jerusalem. Vatican City is the site of St. Peter's grave. Mecca is the birthplace of Muhammad and the site of the revelation of the Quran. My back of the envelope calculation puts that at about 4 billion practicing Jews, Christians, and Muslims. I don't think they are going to give up their most sacred of sites as easily as you think.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Aug 26, 2003
    ...They already did, many times in history. The world didn't end much.

    Not that there'd be basically anything at stake for the Ba'ku. It's just a planet, and there are plenty out there. Losing it would not be comparable to losing a kidney, but a hangnail at best. And in the end, 600 silly fanatics (if the Ba'ku are that - we don't learn as much yet in the movie) aren't all that good a comparison for the four billion you mention (out of whom perhaps a million might actually care enough to grab a gun, and possibly ten thousand might manage to get hold of one, but that's a separate issue).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    We aren't talking bargaining here. The facts would be $1 billion. The point is that it would be something extremely valuable and reasonable that the vast majority would think is a fair trade. With a life on the line, you do what has to be done.

    I think the kidney situation is different though. You're now putting people in physical danger, which is not the case with Insurrection, Avatar and the aliens over the Vatican examples. I'm not saying there isn't a line, but a thing is not a person.

    True on all counts, but if the cure for cancer and other incurable diseases was the price for the destruction of these landmarks, the landmarks go. And if I'm a greater power, and I need those landmarks to save my planet, I take them by force as a last resort.

    This is back on track. Presumably, the benefits of the planet could be harvested and transmitted in a way that did not require you to be on the planet. Assuming that's possible, the Baku wouldn't need to give up their immortality--and the rest of the Federation would benefit from it as well.

    If 600 people stood in the way of that, where they get a new place to live, and a level of compensation, then what has to be done has to be done.
     
  13. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As part of the orginal hypothetical question was a initial offer to pay a billion dollar. I would imagine that quite a few people would sell you a kidney (and maybe a liver) for that much money.

    There was also nothing said about assailting, harming, or killing anyone to obtain what was wanted, "only" stealing something that would help you, or perhaps many.

    So, would you be justified in stealing something in such a way that would harm no-one and help many, after of course initaily offering to more than fairly compensation to the original owner?

    I would continue to say yes.

    It's never stated whether the Baku would continue to enjoy the benefits of the particles after they were moved, if eventually established in the Federation somewhere, I honestly think the Baku would have the same access as others in the federation.

    No less, and no more.
     
  14. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still don't think the operation was going to work as planned, and thus you not only displace 600 people, but also destroy the "Planet of Youth" for everyone, with the only actual benefactor possibly being the S'ona, and that is only if the particles themselves work at all when not in a ring, or injected right into the species (at which point the S'ona lied to the Federation and got away with it and remain a potential enemy).
     
  15. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Elsewhere Dougherty says: 'with metaphasics, life spans will be doubled', so that's probably the best that can be expected from the new treatment.

    The Baku would effectively be forced to give up their acquired immortality - at least, that's how I read the above lines from the Insurrection script. Perhaps some wrathful Baku souls would construe that as 'harm'?
     
  16. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    [QUOTE="It's never stated whether the Baku would continue to enjoy the benefits of the particles after they were moved, if eventually established in the Federation somewhere, I honestly think the Baku would have the same access as others in the federation.

    No less, and no more.[/QUOTE]

    And if that's the case, where is the REAL harm?
     
  17. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Let's see...

    Currently: Immortality.
    After the Federation relocates them: life span of 300 years (*).

    (*) that's assuming that the 'double lifespan' quote from Admiral Dougherty is correct, the Ba'ku get equal access, and that the Ba'ku have average 24th century lifespans in their natural state.

    Then again, that's apparently no REAL harm (from the Ba'ku perspective). By some reasoning I fail to comprehend.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  18. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    May I ask why you think this, I mean based on what? I think (a completely personal opinion) that the Federation Council would have had Starfleet verify the medical abilities of the particles independently, and the effects on the particles of collecting them.

    Not just tell the Sona "meh, go ahead."
    The amount of time some Baku had prior to arriving on the planet, then the time they had on the planet prior to being moved, then age normally to the end time for a Baku, then the average lifespan (double life) of a Baku on top of that.

    Those born on the planet would have a average Baku lifespan, then another on top of that.

    So, the Council needed to decide between immortality for 600, or a double lifespan for 1,000,000,000.

    The Council is responsible to their trillion bosses.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  19. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    ^yes, and perhaps it IS a defensible choice. I'm neither contesting nor promoting that.

    I'm simply trying to make the point that there is a small group that has legitimate grounds to claim real harm was done to them by forcedly relocating them. So this wouldn't be a case of 'stealing in a way that would harm no-one' in my eyes. That's all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  20. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The situation, as written, seems way too dodgy. Starfleet seems to not know how the particles work at all, can't figure out why they work, and are willing to strip mine their only source of the particles known in the entire known galaxy based on the say so of an aggressor species who has been helping the Dominion in their war against the Federation.

    If they don't know how the things work, how can they be sure that striping them from orbit will still allow them to work elsewhere, or at all. Is it the particles, or the specific radiation field from their orbital path combined with the effects of the Briar Patch they are within? There are too many variables to risk on a strip mining plan. Baku or no Baku, this seems like a bad idea.

    If the operation fails, and it seems likely to fail given how dodgy it sounds, the galaxy loses this fountain of youth, the Baku lose their home, and Starfleet has to run one more cover-up operation that can be used against them in Dominion propaganda holos.
     
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