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Samuel Lawrence
Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 4:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

This would also explain why Goran'Agar and Bashir can't find an answer to the problem in the environment - the planet had nothing to do with Goran'Agar's ability to break the addiction. It was inside him all along, to use the cheesiest possible phrasing.
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Samuel Lawrence
Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

Love this one. Just a theory here which I think would be consistent with, if not proved by, the content of the episode - maybe all the Jem'Hadar actually need to do to break the addiction and produce ketracel white internally is to stop taking the drug externally. They might all have some internal system which produces the drug, which temporarily shuts down when they get it from an external source, or it may be that the Dominion supplies them with a higher level of it than their body needs, so they become dependent on that higher level. (Bashir says to Goran'Agar that his body is producing exactly the amount of white he needs to survive). Don't forget that while they are genetically engineered, they must have been bred from some other naturally evolved creature - maybe production and internal consumption of ketracel white is part of that creature's natural process that the Dominion found a way to produce externally, then they manipulated their use of it.

It's implied in other episodes that if denied access to the drug they tend to go insane and kill each other - it may be that the reason Goran'Agar didn't die is just because there were no other Jem'Hadar around to kill him. So the lethal factor in losing the drug is actually the horrible withdrawal symptoms causing the Jem'Hadar to go insane in the period before their body achieves its natural ketracel white balance.

Just a fan theory - but doesn't it seem like something the Dominion would do? Telling the Jem'Hadar that only the Dominion can supply them with this vital substance, when in fact their bodies can produce it themselves.
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Samuel Lawrence
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

Why does everyone assume that Changeling Bashir didn't attempt to save the baby Changeling in 'Begotten'? It could perfectly well be that he did all he could to save it, but was unable to. This is something that happens to real doctors all the time. People often point out that he didn't link with it, but maybe he simply knew that this disease was something linking wouldn't help with, in the same way that it wouldn't help a patient suffering from TB to give them a bone marrow transplant. Or maybe he found a way to link with it without the other characters noticing, but that couldn't save it.
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Lawrence
Tue, Jun 20, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

The reason the Borg haven't tried to assimilate the Dominion is quite simple. The Borg are in the Delta quadrant, whereas the Dominion is in the Gamma quadrant. Both are the dominant power in their respective quadrants and since they are in different quadrants of the galaxy, it is likely they have never met or come across each other.
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Lawrence
Mon, Jan 5, 2009, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

Jammer,

I see your point about the real world interaction with the Bajoran Prophets in a more concrete way vs. our world's interaction with God or the Divine in a more abstract way. The involvement of fantastic alien superpowers and technology certainly places DS9 in a different universe than BSG.

I guess DS9's way of dealing with faith (for me at least) presents a richer tapestry of diverse faith traditions where faith is not only centered on God or the Gods, but in a messiah figure (e.g. Emissary for Bajorans or Kahless for Klingons) or in a group of "superior beings" (e.g. the Changelings). BSG's way of dealing with faith is centered in the aftermath of the apocalypse or a cataclysmic event.

To me, it's no mistake that Ronald Moore was deeply involved in both series. Both series do attempt to raise extraordinarily profound questions about the nature of faith in God, Gods, or someone or something. Before DS9, Star Trek was rooted in the ideals of secular humanism. DS9 was able to examine the ideals of secular humanism in a broader context where other cultures had differing faith traditions.

For me, BSG does highlight very intriguing questions about faith. But I think what BSG does even better than that, is discuss the dichotomy between humanity and machines. Just as other sci-fi sagas such as the Matrix trilogy or the Terminator franchise (including The Sarah Connor Chronicles), we are presented with machines that evolve and grow with artificial intelligence to the point where they can approximate humanity. At the point where machines can perfectly approximate humanity, are they still machines? At some point, will intelligent machines and humankind merge into a single society--free from oppression (the Matrix) or free from constant war (BSG and Terminator)?

The advance of BSG over the other sagas is that we do see humanity beginning to accept the machines/Cylons as humans and integrating into a society. BSG may end by showing a post-apocalyptic society where humans and machines/Cylons are accepted on equal terms. The Matrix takes us to the doorstep of such a place and the Terminator franchise shows some teamwork between humans and machines (i.e. John and Cameron). But BSG goes beyond both. That, to me, is a very powerful idea that BSG presents and will prove to be one of the great achievements of BSG in my estimation.
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Lawrence
Fri, Jan 2, 2009, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

Brendan, I agree with you. Without concrete proof, it requires faith to even say Jesus physically walked this earth.

I guess my point earlier is that even though something may be corporeal, faith may still be a central issue because there can still be questions concerning the essential nature of the corporeal being. That's why I think DS9 does serve as an effective allegory. DS9 raises the nature of faith in an episode "Once More Unto the Breach" very well (http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/breach.php). Yes, Kor is flesh and blood. Yes, you can touch him and see him. Yes, he had amazing battles. But was he a legend? That, requires faith.

Or try "The Reckoning." Is Captain Sisko the Emissary or not? Should he sacrifice his son or not (by letting the Pahwraiths use Jake)? That requires faith. Or try any number of Kira/Odo storylines where Kira has faith in the Prophets, but while Odo does not, he can respect her belief in them.

Or look at Odo and Weyoun in "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" (http://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s7/treachery.php). Weyoun's faith is genetically programmed which is an intriguing notion.

To me, DS9 had a great way of discussing faith. Perhaps DS9's stories were told more from the micro-perspective as opposed to BSG's more macro-perspective. At the end of BSG, I agree with you Brennan: we will find the origin's of the God in the BSG universe to be based on something tangible, concrete, and scientific.
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Lawrence
Thu, Jan 1, 2009, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

Jammer, with all due respect (and you do have a lot of respect in many of your readers' eyes), I must take issue with your statement regarding religion and faith in the second paragraph of this review regarding DS9. For instance, take Christianity. For most people, Jesus was a tangible being, could be physically observed, and performed physically tangible miracles. For Christians, Jesus is God in flesh. For Muslims and others, Jesus is a great prophet but not the One.

In Christianity you have a figure that in the presentation of the story fits exactly the criteria by which you are dismissing the real-world resemblance and relevance of DS9 as it relates to religion as we know it. Many people accept the existence of Jesus as fact. The key question is whether or not they believe he is God-incarnate or whether he in the flesh embodies the essence of the Divine. And it requires faith to say he is God as opposed to a great prophet!

Added to that, DS9 actually strengthens the allegory to Judeo-Christian religion by naming Bajoran gods, the Prophets. Sisko is clearly the Christ-figure in the narrative, but the Bajorans accept him as the Emissary while Starfleet and other outsiders don't. The difference between the groups is their faith.

To be fair to your argument though, you are saying that in BSG, the existence of God cannot be proven. I am pointing out that there is no way to "prove" that God is incarnate. So although the domain is different, faith is still required. And I would argue that there is no real difference in domain because the question still involves the existence of God: whether God exist on the macro level vs. whether God exists in flesh or is incarnate on the micro level.
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