The Prime Directive

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Philosophy Explorer
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The Prime Directive

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:27 am

If you watch a Star Trek series, sooner or later, this comes up. Very simply it means non-interference with a culture. So if a culture is threatened with genocide, e.g., interference is not to be tolerated.

As a principle, how valid do you think it is? Can you foresee where it would apply in our world?

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Re: The Prime Directive

Post by Science Fan » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:45 am

Isn't the prime directive non-interference for those species that are not capable of traveling at warp speed? After that, can't they be recruited into the Federation?

So, I'll assume that the non-intervention only applies to primitives, like us I guess, since we can't travel at warp speed. I never did understand that principle. Let's say we have a civilization just as advanced as we are living on a planet near a sun that is about to go supernova? If one obeys the prime directive in that case, then this means one sits back and lets that entire civilization die off. What's the point of the prime directive? To make sure we don't harm primitive civilizations? But, how is that purpose being served while letting an entire civilization die off?

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: The Prime Directive

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:41 am

The actor who played Chakotay called the prime directive fascist bullshit. Plus, they interfered all the time. The Voyager finale broke every rule it was possible to break. And what about the tragedy of 'Course: Oblivion'? Possibly the most depressing (but thought-provoking) scifi storyline in the history of scifi storylines.

Atla
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Re: The Prime Directive

Post by Atla » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:31 am

They actually did commit long-term mass genocide in the Dear Doctor episode of the last Enterprise series, by withholding a cure. I love most of the old Star Trek so I'm in a state of denial, that episode never happened. :)

That story was set before the Federation was founded, their decision was meant to explain how they realized that there is a need for some kind of Prime Directive. So good thing they kept breaking it almost every time they could afterwards. :)

HexHammer
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Re: The Prime Directive

Post by HexHammer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:24 pm

I think the directive can be seen as a combersome administrative burden at times, because it hasn't any dynamic and situational factors to apply in various situations, thus we end up with a 1 size fits all directive, why human interpetations has to help the law.

I think the directive is written to fit the story for drama purpose, as it will often conflict with human moral and ethics, and time and time again we see in various Star Trek series how a small civ are about to go extinct because some natural disaster are about to annihilate them all, thus a moral crew member will save them.

The directive might have had noble intend, as preventing the "white man" behaviour as exploiting the ignorent native "we have glass beads!", enslave them, polluting their lands, rob their natural resources, spread sickness and war, etc.

gaffo
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Re: The Prime Directive

Post by gaffo » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:46 am

Science Fan wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:45 am
Isn't the prime directive non-interference for those species that are not capable of traveling at warp speed? After that, can't they be recruited into the Federation?

So, I'll assume that the non-intervention only applies to primitives, like us I guess, since we can't travel at warp speed. I never did understand that principle. Let's say we have a civilization just as advanced as we are living on a planet near a sun that is about to go supernova? If one obeys the prime directive in that case, then this means one sits back and lets that entire civilization die off. What's the point of the prime directive? To make sure we don't harm primitive civilizations? But, how is that purpose being served while letting an entire civilization die off?
Nex Gen had an episode - stared Paul Sorvino.

Picard let the planet die with all on it.

Picard was the best Captain of all the show IMO.

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