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Joonatan Renel
Mon, Apr 5, 2010, 6:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Whenever we analyze tv shows or movies under the criteria of their morality we should always consider the message that an episode sends. And therefore that is really what's truly the most important thing. If a crewman wears the wrong insignia or we are left with another deus ex machina technobabble solution, then these things are just minor mistakes compared to the essence of an episode.

So let's view the message given to us by this episode. Essentially this isn't an episode about cultural non interference or giving weapons to some primitive society. It is about giving humanitarian aid to a people who are dying out. Now let's forget the prime directive(which doesn't really excist at this point anyway), let's forget about Phlox-s strange ethical code for just a second. Let's see how this would reflect a decision in the real world.

According this principle we shouldn't give any humanitarian aid to Africa because that would be intervention. So basically we'll let people die of diseases because well their civilization is inferior to ours. By all right they should be fine by themselves and if they're not then it's just evolution running its natural path. Furthermore if let's say in Palestine the Israelites would have a disease which only affected them and the palestinians would be free of it because of some genetic anomaly then we shouldn't give medicine to anybody because well we should just let them die out.

Let's take it even further, the prime directive meant that the federation could not attempt to free Bajor from the cardassian occupation because well their borders were drawn in that way

In the real world - In WWII it would've been "highly immoral" to liberate countries from the nazi regime because well the nazis said their border now runs from here. Basically nazi occupied Europe would've been an internal matter.

Also a derivative of this philosophy would be that the nazis would have had the right to murder millions and declare themselves superior because well they survived and they had guns and they conquered so essentially they would gain the evolutionary right to exist.

Now I truly hope that virtually all star trek fans have problems with such decisions and frame of "morality". Episodes such as "Dear Doctor" and "Homeward" were both written after Gene Roddenberrys death. I do believe that his prime directive was never intended to be something as despicable and vile as the writers have described it to be.

This episode disgusted me completely. The worst thing was that both Archer and Phlox ended in complete agreement of their actions - therefore there was only one conclusion to the viewer this was the absolutely right thing to do and it should be done again at all times. This is the essence of this episode and therefore it can only be concluded that morally speaking it has about as much value as a Hitler's speech
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