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Remco
Fri, Mar 19, 2010, 10:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

"@Remco: Wheather or not you'd "legally" be a murderer isn't really relevant to the moral debate."

What I was trying to convey with the "legally being a murderer" bit, was that this particular decision would be generally accepted as bad. Hence the law that says it's a bad decision. But yeah, legality does not always equal morality.

"@Matt, Nick, Remco & Stefan: Suppose you have the ability to bring dead people back to life. You find the corpses of two people who've met untimely deaths. You could easily restore them to life but decide instead to let them stay dead. Isn't that morally equivalent to murder? Aren't you just as evil as if you'd killed the two people yourself?"

Well, you're not *as* evil, but it surely is in the general direction of evilness. Doing nothing is not something that's always right. I can't think of something off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are situations in real life where it's illegal to do nothing. (Again, just to show that it's generally accepted as bad.)

I'm just saying that when you have a choice with exactly two options that are of about equal evilness, then you should let "fate" decide.

For example, if in your scenario the only way to resurrect someone, would be to take the life of another (think Carnivàle or Pushing Daisies), then the morality of resurrection becomes really questionable.
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Remco
Mon, Nov 2, 2009, 12:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

Luckily, I was still a baby during the 80s, so I didn't really get the gay metaphor. I only got a generic discrimination theme. Maybe that made me enjoy the episode more, because it rings true on its own terms. The way Vulcans react is believable because of some very good use of continuity. The storylines of the past season and a half set this episode up very well.
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Remco
Sat, Oct 31, 2009, 5:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

I just watched this movie for the first time. I heard someone say that Star Trek 11 is a lot like Nemesis, in that the main character is a Romulan seeking revenge. Another parallel might be that while both movies were fairly entertaining, they were also just stupid action movies.

The biggest difference between the two is that Nemesis bombed and 11 hit the jackpot. I don't see why though.
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Remco
Sun, Aug 23, 2009, 7:25am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

No, you don't have the right to clone someone against their will. But once that clone exists, you also don't have the right to kill him.

The same is true for 'normal' reproduction. You don't have the right to force a woman to have a child, but once that child exists, you're not allowed to killed it.

Say a woman was raped, and she becomes pregnant. She doesn't abort the child, but when it is born, she can't look at her without seeing the rapist. Does your logic allow the mother to kill the daughter?

How do you decide what's natural? Isn't everything that happens without your intervention natural?
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Remco
Sun, Aug 16, 2009, 7:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

Daniel, while I agree that death threats are absolutely disgusting, I have to disagree with much of what you say. Pardon me if the following is a little exaggerated.

Should those who do NOT enjoy Star Trek 11 feel shame, fear or self-loathing? Are they not allowed to disagree with the majority who did like the film? Everyone except a populist is a minority in something.

Why MUST this movie be enjoyed? Why CAN'T Abrams possibly do anything wrong?

Why do you feel the need to equate those who didn't enjoy Star Trek 11 with terrorists? Crazy people make death threats for all kinds of things.

In discussions all across the globe the people who didn't enjoy the movie are made out to be unreasonable fans who can only hate. Anyone who gives an overall negative opinion of the movie is a hardliner who makes real fans look bad. How can the movie possibly be bad if it makes so much money? Only Transformers 2 is better. ;)

All that said, this movie is enjoyable. It's deeply flawed, but it is like a Michael Bay version of Star Trek. Even though he'd try very hard to ruin it, some good stuff would still shine through. It's just a lot less than meets the eye, to paraphrase Jammer. :)

It's also that I didn't expect that from Abrams. I like all of his other work a lot better. Alias, Lost, even Cloverfield is smarter than this movie.
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Remco
Fri, Aug 14, 2009, 2:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

What makes someone 'supposed to be'? Isn't everyone supposed to be? In my opinion, the only criterion for who is supposed to be, if not everyone, is what happens when you don't interfere. That's the basis of the prime directive.

The continued existence of the person in room A depends on two deaths. Nothing can change that. The continued existence of the persons in room B depends on a murder. Nothing can change that.

There is no optimal solution. So there are two options:

1. Do nothing. Let the situation play out the way it would naturally do.

2. Play god. Make an active decision about who deserves to live and who deserves to die. That can be:

* The prettiest,
* The youngest,
* The familiar
* The smartest,
* The most,
* The richest,
* ...

If you take option 2, you'll have blood on your hands, whether you perform the act of murder yourself or not. If the decision happens to be that the people in room B should die, you won't legally be a murderer. If the decision happens to be that the person in room A should die, you'll be imprisoned for life. Except on Voyager, where people will forget about it after the closing credits.
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Remco
Wed, Aug 12, 2009, 8:39am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Multiple personality disorder can't be magically fixed. It is a long process of integration, and involves all identities. The prognosis is very bad. Usually the condition is managed instead of resolved. Multiple personality disorder is a destructive condition which often leads to suicide.

Tuvix was not destructive at all. He was a fully functional being, a perfect composite of two people. It's actually rather like an incredibly successful rehabilitation of a multiple personality disorder case.

Killing him was wrong on every level. It's like giving someone multiple personality disorder.

If you condone killing him on the basis that he "shouldn't exist", and that two other lives "should exist", then what would you do in the following arbitrary case:

You're in a torture chamber like in Saw. You are in room A. Another person is there, tied to a chair. A needle with deadly poison is on a table. There are two people alive in room B. In 5 minutes, room A will unlock and room B will kill the two inhabitants.

If you kill the tied-up person in room A, then in 5 minutes both room A and B will unlock and you're free to go.

So either you kill one person, or the room kills two persons. You are always free to go. Will you kill someone, or will you let the person who built the room be a killer?
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Remco
Thu, Jul 30, 2009, 6:01am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

You asked me about something that is fact, but your android is not of human-class intelligence. So that kind of intelligence is still hypothetical. We will eventually create something that equates or surpasses our own intelligence, but we will also at some point discover intelligent life, evolved here on Earth, or on a planet of Alpha Centauri. Those questions are relevant, whether they are hypothetical situations or not.

As for artificial life: if they won't be regarded as equivalents of human beings, you'll have a hard time keeping them enslaved. A fully functional AI will develop a need for survival and a moral system. Just like humans they will think about what it means to exist and what they want to do with their life. The only way to keep them in check is to destroy what makes them a human-class AI: limit or reset their brain if they become troublesome.

So either they will become real-life Cylons, breaking free and starting their own life, or they will be decimated at the first sign of trouble. I would protest against the latter.

What I'd do: Forbid mass-production of human-class androids. Create two androids and try to integrate them in society. Then take 20 years to learn from their lives and consider all aspects of what it means to be an android. After that, use that knowledge to build more, if that is appropriate.
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Remco
Wed, Jul 29, 2009, 7:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

I am assuming that the android is very primitive. I'd say it is some kind of scientific killing, like animal experiments. As long as it is necessary and humanely executed, that's generally accepted and not called 'murder'.

Of course, animal experiments are controversial in their own right. A group like PETA does not approve of animal killings. I would consider a primitive artificial brain of the same class as animals, regardless of whether I approve of those kinds of killings or not.

When the brain becomes more sophisticated, like humans, then it becomes generally unacceptable to dismantle it, yes. So only then it would be murder.

I have a question for you: would you consider killing an extra-terrestrial life-form with humanoid (or above) intelligence murder?

If yes: what if that life-form does not have a quaternary code such as our own DNA, but a binary code? What if its nerves are made of copper? What if its brain is made of silicon? What if its limbs are made of steel?

If no: what if that life-form represents a civilization proposing an interstellar trade agreement? What if it told humanity that the repercussions for killing him would be interstellar war?

Oh, another question: what would you do if an alien with an off-the-charts IQ proved that humans have not evolved from dancing amino acids, but have been artificially created 200,000 years ago by them, and made to look like monkeys? Would you grant him the right to kill humans for scientific purposes?
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Remco
Wed, Jul 29, 2009, 5:23am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Humans are also simply adaptive programs, so the only difference between humans and adaptive holograms is that humans are programmed in DNA and made of carbon, while holograms are programmed in C and made of photons. When we use our cerebral cortex, we're also not really going beyond our programming.
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Remco
Sun, Jul 26, 2009, 11:30am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Stefan wrote:
"This episode, along with Kes always defending the Doctor's rights and the Nothing Human episode, shows that the Voyager crew was incapable of telling the difference between a humanoid and a hologram. They are simply computer programs with holographic bodies."

This is not true. The Doctor hologram is not a traditional computer program. It has been given the ability to 'go beyond the programming', basically rewrite parts of itself as it gains knowledge. That makes it indistinguishable from a humanoid intelligence, apart from actually having a lot of benefits such as perfect memory and a lack of an expiration date.

As Data once said: "I *am* better than you."
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Remco
Wed, Jul 15, 2009, 6:15am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

"Terminate the Borg before it can become a threat? Possibly. But that certainly wouldn't be the human thing to do, and it most definitely isn't what Janeway is going to do."

I seem to remember a certain murder of Tuvix. That wasn't even a threat. Janeway just liked Tuvok and Neelix better.
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Remco
Sat, Jun 27, 2009, 4:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

"In my mind, the likelihood that Morn had actually been killed was about as probable as the likelihood of Bajor blowing up."

It would have been so funny if you had used Vulcan in this comparison instead of Bajor... :D
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Remco
Sat, Jun 20, 2009, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Alec,

The wormhole aliens don't really care about lives. At least not in the way that we do. To them, "time" is an artificial construct, not important at all. And that means that death is not an important event.
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Remco
Sun, Nov 30, 2008, 9:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

I don't really care about the cheese of the cheese. I like the fact that Voyager is essentially biologically alive. It can get sick. It makes sense to use biological neural parts in a ship, since it is very efficient. It's really hard to make traditional hardware that is as powerful. But I guess they need high-tech facilities to replenish those gel packs. Voyager was definitely not meant for lifetime trips.

But apart from this, the episode is an underwhelming season finale. There is no sense of development beyond the ship, whereas DS9 seems to be slipping into inter-stellar war at the same time.
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