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Tobias Schaechtele
Tue, Jun 6, 2017, 8:06am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I`d like to add something vital:

Archer himself brings up the fact, that he his judgement is not clouded by but lead by human compassion. He even bringt up the comparison with the Vulcan behaviour. For me, this was always the reason why the Federation worked so well, the Humans and their compassion and the Vulcans with their dry rationality outweight and balance each other.

But here Archer teams up with something entirely different, and I will never understand why: Phlox' Nihilism.
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Tobias Schaechtele
Tue, Jun 6, 2017, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

This episode left me puzzled at first look (which basically is a good thing). As I continued to think about it and to read comments on both this site and on videos from the episode on youtube, I grew more and more angry on the writers and those understanding and supporting Phlox and Archers decision and moral argument (which I feel is not such a good thing).

It is blatantly shown here that the life of millions or even billions depend on the subjective and maybe fundamentally twisted mindset of two people alone. The decision of interference vs. non-interference is really to heavy a burden for a greenhorn like Archer and Phlox, which is not even an evolution specialist, is he (let alone an expert on the valerian society)? I think it is really, really not Archers decision to make (and judging by the result, he failed, too)

Why did`t they ask Starfleet or someone else for any help? Why the is there nothing like an ethics committee debating such matters? A council consisting of experts or at least representatives of the civilizations diverse points of view (this would also have made a great predecessor for the federation council btw). This is a matter where something like a social consensus HAS TO BE reached. Imagine human rights activists (or better "sentient beings right activists", as star trek tends to stupidly pun on the word "human rights") hearing from the Valakians. There would have been an outrage over the Arbitrariness of this one Starfleet executive, would´t it?
Now some will argue "maybe this was actually done", as they surely reported all mission details back to starfleet - but that is not how the story sells it.

In my opinion, it would be even more realistic, and appropriate to the matter at hand, had they - after such an encounter- made a good portion of a season or at least a several episode-long story arc about a science team staying on the planet, calling for assistance, building a joined starfleet / vulcan operation with a spacedock near the Valakian home world.
But the writers decided to use the death of millions as a one episode plot device (not unlike a "Monster of the week", but more like "dying civilization of the week") - which I find distasteful. The interference vs. non-interference theme and all its implications and complications could have been easily the single main storyline of all Star Trek Enterprise. Instead, they relied on stupid xindi and nazi war stories and god-awful temporal shenanigans. But that is another story (And yes, when you think about it, Star Trek does this all the time, but that shows, although Storytelling evolved, Enterprise was pretty much lazy and tired).

The whole thing is based on so damn much speculations. You can`t just base the deception on the speculation of the menks becoming the master race. They state is almost as a fact (as Phlox explains, that evolution is a fact…), but I render this plain wrong under the presented circumstances and context.
As for Archer withholding warp technology. I give em that, this seems reasonable - we all know that a not so peaceful civilisation could use them to build antimatter bombs etc.
But literally no other variables where taken into account.
Just take a look of other not so unlikely things to happen:
- For crying out loud, the Klingons could well coquer the Valakian home world, because the Valakians are getting to weak to defend themselves, and the Menk are not yet capable to "help them out" / replace them (or in a slight variation: "…Oh look ….the Borg assimilated the Valakian Homeworld… there goes the Menks opportunity for "greatness").
- They are developing their own warp drive, so the Menk and/or the Valakians decide to move on to other planets, rendering the whole concept of "one race must die so the other can expand" useless
- The Menk and the Valakians may manage not only continue their peacefull coexistence in the next 200 years, but to overcome the 'apartheid' entirely. Sorry, I will be forced to use some racist vocabulary here: Imagine some Aliens landing in the US and looking down on the supreme white race oppressing the black community. They theorize the white master race is going to die out because of their decadence, thus enabling the black community to rise - not taking into account that the 'apartheid' on fine day some 200 years later will cease to exist.
See my point?

Let me add something: Even if you take some of Phlox and Archers esoteric mumbo jumbo "nature decides" BS into account, you also have to think about the technological evolution. They actually developed the technology to make contact with warp civilizations by sending ships out into space. So basically, the evolution of their brain enabled them to get the sciene right and to reach out and ask for help …. for crying out loud!
Which leads me to the whole PD concept of "non-interference with pre-warp civilizations" being like drawing a really, really arbitrary line in the sand (which is not the fault of Enterprise…). What tells us that a civilization is ready for first contact only because they can fly FTL? What if they instead develop subspace communication? Imagine the egyptians miraculously developing warp technology (which, in the realms of the star trek universe, would not be the most unlikely thing to happen…)? When exactly in earths history where humans morally fully equipped to deal with the rapid progress of technology? Surely not today, or in the mids of the eugenics wars. There is and should always be a moral struggle, even with making contact with warp-civilizations. And some of the pre-warp civilizations maybe far more ready to make contact with other species and getting help than the most of the feudal, conquering, slave-trading warp-civilizations we have seen so far.

BTW: I also despise the whole "Playing god" and "let nature decides" argument (which I feel are sides of the same coin). Citing a higher power is always a cheap way out of the "moral dilemma" presented here.
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