It provides rather strong incentive for independent planets to join the Federation if potentially threatened by a larger neighbor(The Hunted). They also use it to make deals with immoral governments while claiming that their hands are clean(The High Ground). Well, I guess it sucks to be anyone else on that planet who shall perish because they don’t have a radio. November 06, 2020 Get link As Picard attempts to beam up with Wesley, he knows that the Enterprise, Wesley, and everyone aboard will probably be killed as a result. To be clear, I’m a fan. Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. Mike Bunkermeister Creek bunkermeister.blogspot.com. Star Trek is just a reflection of a particular sort of moral and political philosophy which exists in our culture, the kind that inspired Gene Roddenberry to dream of a future without inequality and starvation. This sounds reasonable, until it’s clear that, actually, Wesley’s life means nothing, only the injustice of his punishment. Picard & co will not permit this, even though they know powerful god-like beings are threatening to destroy the entire Enterprise if they interfere. TNG really shines in moments as a sci-fi Aesop’s fables where virtues and ideals are compared and explored. Apparently the answer, at least as far as the TNG episode “Homeward” goes, is yes. We can not regulate away hard moral problems, like when and how to intervene in the affairs of other societies. It is nothing we should celebrate. In the Trek film Insurrection, Picard stages an.. well an insurrection against Star Fleet admirals and works to help an alien race in total violation of the Prime Directive. Ed Clint is an evolutionary psychologist, co-founder of Skeptic Ink, and USAF veteran. The Klingons, once cited as the reason why the Directive is necessary, became decisive in the victory over the Dominion. The creation of the Prime Directive is generally credited to original-series producer Gene L. Coon, although there is some contention as to whether science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon, who wrote of the Prime Directive in an unused script for the original series, actually came up with it first. The saving grace of TNG and the original series (TOS), is that its characters ignore most of the dumb rules they claim to subscribe to. Nikolai is repeatedly chastised for doing so (see video below). Will we really argue that we’d prefer a feudal Japan, kept in an isolationist jar to the one that exists today? I'm going to overlook this fact, both because he's citing a point in Star Trek continuity before the Prime Directive came about and because using any Enterprise episode to judge the whole of Star Trek is like judging the merits of the whole of television based on the works of Aaron Spelling. Islam's Prime Directive The primary goal of Islam, according to its doctrine, is to bring the law of Allah (known as Sharia) to all people on earth. There's a difference between handing out first aid kits versus handing out blueprints to nuclear weapons. The day somebody explains to me how not dying of cholera or small pox is a bad thing is the day I consider the Prime Directive a cornerstone of ethical inter-cultural relations. The Prime Directive of the church is laid out in the Great Commission. Sharia is the right way to live, and all people should be subject to it. Ultra-liberal idealism and optimism have appealed to a surprisingly wide audience, as documented in the films Trekkies and Trekkies 2. Where should our aid go? Our planet has been made small by communication and transportation technologies. Why should this matter? This seems to be okay, because they’re attractive hippies that appeal to Picard and his crew. Data wants to help the child, and this prompts a meeting with the entire senior staff where they discuss the philosophy of the Prime Directive. It makes a retrospective become an effective team gathering to learn and find solutions to improve the way of working. The Prime Directive is a plot device cooked up by a patently optimistic TV writer (either Trek producer Gene L. Coon or writer Theodore Sturgeon, depending on who you ask) in the mid-1960s. Hard work: Where few have gone before Why else would it have that name? The Prime Directive is a plot device cooked up by a patently optimistic TV writer (either Trek producer Gene L. Coon or writer Theodore Sturgeon, depending on who you ask) in … writer: Also, the presidency of Donald J Trump is designed as a political trap to catch all the angry, immoral, racist and low vibrational energies all to completely destroy. The Enterprise does try to save the planet, by putting their best man on the job, a 14-year-old acting ensign. Generally, “first contact” with a civilization is permitted when it has or is very close to having warp drive. Over at Sentient Developements, George P. Dvorsky offers up the following indictment of Star Trek's vaunted Prime Directive: "The [Prime Directive] is a science fictional projection of the naturalistic fallacy and injunctions against playing God. The Prime Directive ruling, Non interference from a supreme deity, Yeah let's look to a far superior atheistic approach which would be Star Trek and a peaceful ideal, Which clearly outdoes any unproven god that demands and asks to be worshiped according to its texts/ written word, Is the best way to be. Which governments do we support? While I can understand the rationale of the prime directive, the way the story unfolded, I thought Rozhenko stood on the moral high ground in contrast to Picard who acted more like a heartless bureaucrat mindlessly trying to follow the prime directive to the letter. The alternative was not isolationism, though. I found it at WIMP.com and at Firecold, but I do not know its author. The US and Europe provide underdeveloped countries with billions in aid each year. Trump's Budget Is Immoral Bernie Sanders The budget introduced this week by the Trump administration constitutes nothing less than a massive transfer of wealth from working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor to the top 1%. We’re told early and often in the series that mankind has “evolved” beyond its former pettiness and brutality, demonstrating that such problems as war, economic iniquity, and factionalism can simply be socially engineered away. They KNOW that suppressed free energy technologies could provide clean power for our homes and transport vehicles. I don’t mean by being exploited by it, but I do mean by keeping up with what else is happening. The short road from good intention to blind dogmatism Initially, Picard orders Data to break off contact with the child, sealing her fate. He refuses even to tell them that they’re not diseased or dying. Legion 4: 02 Sep 2015 1:07 p.m. PST: Certainly that was awful, but it’s also 70 years gone and today Japan is an upstanding member of the community of nations: modern, sophisticated, and scientifically advanced. The Picard quote at the top comes from a season 1 episode called Symbiosis. Simple: You put a plot device in place that forces Starfleet not to use their technical advantages in the presence of beings that have not achieved such levels of advancement--effectively forcing the characters to fight with one arm tied behind their backs and think their way out of problems. I want to minimize the risk of contact with the inhabitants. This must be stated: The Prime Directive literally means you can’t move against the Nazis, no matter what they do, short of attacking you. In contrast, the episode Pen Pals revolves around Lt. The Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. He violates it, usually without remark, here,  here, and notably, here, where Kirk gives his interpretation of the Prime Directive that allows him to apply it rather loosely: “…the Prime Directive was intended to apply only to living, growing civilizations and felt it was appropriate to interfere where societies had been enslaved or were in a state of total stagnation.” (source  Memory Alpha). By the end of the episode, Picard refuses to help repair ships needed for the drug-dealing to take place, also citing the Prime Directive. Charity and nonprofits provide relief efforts and help governments respond to devastating health problems like HIV, Polio and Malaria. (ENT: "Divergence") Picard is willing to sacrifice his career and his life, for pretty white folks who believe things that he believes, too. Its actually one … They will think that they will all die soon, even though they aren’t dying. Why not prevent them from being exploited ala Bajor? Read his full profile. If one is immoral then so is the other and vice versa. We … Unless you’re not a member of the Federation’s Country Club, then fuck you. Indeed it is a moral abomination. Unlike the real Nazi Germany, where the allies could somewhat claim ignorance, Star Fleet knows that the Bajorans are being massacred and subjugated by the brutal Cardassian invaders. There will be times that if you follow the Prime Directive to the letter of the law that you will be acting immorally. What sort of aid? Do you look like a GAP ad? No bright future is rightly expected by those inextricably tethered to intellectual & moral disregard. One appeared to recover from the plague, and also began selling a “treatment” to the other which turned out to be an addictive narcotic. Case in point, in Symbiosis and in Homeward, Dr. Crusher finds Picard’s astonishing disregard for human suffering unconscionable and says so. The Prime Directive articulates one form of liberal response to this: stop interacting entirely, and stop using judgment of any kind. PS5 restock: Here's where and how to buy a PlayStation 5 this week, Windows 10 20H2 update: New features for IT pros, Meet the hackers who earn millions for saving the web. A “Prime Directive” would forbid all of this (and in the Trek universe, has done so). Memory Alpha, the de facto wiki of Star Trek, attempts to explain exceptions to the Prime Directive. The Prime Directive is merely a familiar example of the universal tension between highly general moral ideals and real-world applications. Picard is often a psychotic ideologue when it comes to the Prime Directive, which makes his frequent breaks with it worth a closer look. The Prime Directive is overridden by: * Omega Directive (Top Secret) * General Order 24 Furthermore, Federation Citizens are not bound to the Prime Directive. Also, I agree with him, the Prime Directive is stupid. and. We should carefully consider our actions and inactions, and we should try to make life better for those who share the planet with us. Picard answers, quite honestly, that he’ll not let arithmetic answer those questions. Because then things could have gone badly. Maybe Picard’s certainty that it is “a philosophy and a very correct one” is a bit stronger than it ought to be. We should do this even knowing we will fail sometimes. The purpose of the Prime Directive is to assure that a retrospective has the right culture to make it a positive and result oriented event. TechRepublic Premium: The best IT policies, templates, and tools, for today and tomorrow. Trump’s obvious lies and grotesque immorality reveal that his prime directive is racist cruelty Racism is based on lies. We can keep the optimism, but we must buttress it with a more sophisticated moral framework. The very idea itself should have been scrapped when the Federation was founded. Data ultimately rescues the girl, and Ensign Crusher boy-wonder saves the planet. It is dismissed as an “internal affair”. by Christos Lightweaver HighLights: Enlightened souls worldwide KNOW that suppressed holistic healing technologies could heal virtually ALL disease on Earth. Besides, if you've got all this advanced knowledge and tech, how do you make episodes where the crew encounters less-developed alien societies interesting, when the Trekkers could simply overmatch them? It's also a disturbing application of social Darwinism. Ask any contemporary third-world country how upset they are at the World Health Organization providing free vaccinations, or at Peace Corps volunteers that teach modern sanitation techniques in those same countries. In Homeward, an entire planet populated with unknown numbers of people is suffering environmental collapse. Throughout TNG and Deep Space Nine, The Federation turns a blind eye, in the name of the Prime Directive. PRIME DIRECTIVE On-Going Resurrection and Ascent of the Soul . Picard was more than content to let every person on the planet, including the village, perish. This is what makes the Prime Directive a good and moral philosophy to operate by. I would rather see if anyone is interested in debating the topic before going into detail as to why I think this but there are a lot of very good reasons. Bewildering moral indifference to suffering, genocide, and all manner of tragedies. We should do this, even when the issues are complicated and solutions imperfect. You can a... Top 6 Linux server distributions for your data center, Comment and share: Why 'Star Trek's Prime Directive is stupid'. Topic info Short link Comments 1 comment (1 thread) Last comment posted 1 hour, 28 minutes ago Topic log (3) mycketforvirrad changed title from "The Philosophy of Star Trek: Is the Prime Directive Ethical?" In The Drumhead, a Star Fleet Admiral notes that Picard has violated the Prime Directive nine times in just three years. When a hurricane rocks Haiti, almost everyone agrees that we should help, and we did. What about aid practices? Then Picard will save you. the following indictment of Star Trek's vaunted Prime Directive. In practice, the PD posits that its better for a primitive people to die out en masse than to be "corrupted" by other cultures. I posit only that the correct answer is never to abdicate consideration, to turn our backs and toss up our hands and say, sorry, Prime Directive! It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. In the episode Justice, Wesley Crusher has inadvertently broken a trivial law on a world called Edo, and is to be put to death. there being no exceptions to it - pre-warp civilizations must not be contacted. The rage about the moral limitations occured in every previous instance and the choice was to influence, and it … Effectively, they were interfering in the "development" of underprivileged countries to further their own ends with some awful immediate and long-term results. It leads, even in fiction, to immediate horrors and tragedies and is demonstrably impossible to uphold even by those fictional virtue warriors who swear by it. The Prime Directive prohibits Starfleet personnel and spacecraft from interfering in the normal development of any society, and mandates that any Starfleet vessel or crew member is expendable to prevent violation of this rule. It’s worth noting that Picard is never punished or apparently reprimanded in any way for these nine violations, which goes to show even Star Fleet isn’t terribly hung up about the Prime Directive. Having been told by Data that the planet will be “uninhabitable within 38 hours” meaning, everyone dies, Picard gives instructions to Worf, who is going to investigate Nikolai’s apparent disappearance. Unfortunately, TNG also encodes some of the utter failures of 20th century liberal thought. Faux-nobo: “Naked Bonobo” demolishes myth of sexy, egalitarian bonobos, Ask an Agnostic Day’s Top Questions Answered, Why closing the “gender pay gap” is pernicious misogyny, YouTube gripped by unsubscription mass delusion, UCLA Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture. The suffering and exploitation of millions of people is simply not his problem. The Memory Alpha page on the Prime Directive lists several examples of Picard violating the Prime Directive. We do not live to serve Darwinism. No one really believes in it— not even Picard In this episode, Data asks Picard if he would sacrifice a life to save a thousand. The most important virtue in the Trek universe is the Prime Directive. But hey.. at least we didn’t interfere. Generally speaking, those situations will be rarer than the instances where interference in a primitive culture results in an unforeseen evil. In Trek, arguments about the Prime Directive in which principled disagreement are a part are generally shot down by force, by the pulling of rank, as if thoughtful consideration of consequences is irrelevant even to matters of an entire race’s survival. History has proven again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous. Our world is an interconnected one with no truly isolated peoples. The idea of the Prime Directive is inherently immoral, not just the way it is applied. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea: don’t screw around with other cultures. The Prime Directive is merely a familiar example of the universal tension between highly general moral ideals and real-world applications. Not the convention-going sort, but I loved TNG and some of the subsequent series as well. But that’s okay, they’ll all die martyrs for the ideal of justice. Picard favors justice for Wesley over the Prime Directive. In Roddenberry's vision, humanity had evolved beyond such puppeteering and become an 'advanced' race. It is further explained that there are two specific Star Fleet regulations suspending the Prime Directive. However, as so often happens in real life, it becomes an edict, and finally an inviolable rule which is upheld by force and not reason. Use it to make deals with immoral governments while claiming that their are..., genocide, and wide-scale the prime directive is immoral debates about how to intervene in the name of subsequent. 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