Sunday, January 23, 2011

SF Debris: The Case for Genocide Against Phlox & Archer

SABR Matt is at a professional conference, and I went on a pilgrimage this weekend, so I'm a little behind on our reviews. My apologies.

The schedule for this week will be as follows:

Farscape 1:12 - Rhapsody in Blue - Monday
V (2009) 2:3 - Laid Bare - Tuesday
B5 3:14 - Ship of Tears - Wednesday
House 7:10 - Carrot or Stick - Thursday
Farscape 1:13 - The Flax - Friday
DS9 5:4 - Nor the Battle to the Strong - Saturday (SABR Matt returns.)

I presume that SABR Matt will post two SG1 reviews next week to make up for the one we will miss this week.

In the meantime, here is a link to an article written in 2009 by the inimitable SF Debris regarding my least favorite ENT episode, Dear Doctor:

The Case For Genocide Against Phlox And Archer

"Nature" in this context, is for all intents and purposes no different than the word "God." It presumes that a decision has been reached, and mere mortals shouldn't interfere in it. Phlox's opinion is that they let "nature make the decision." This is an issue of metaphysics, but for simplicity it should boil down to this: if there is the possibility of a plan, and we are not told of what our purpose in that plan should be, and we have free will, then we have no recourse but to do what we would do even if there was no plan. What other choice would there be? We can no more know when we should act than when we shouldn't, nor could we know what natural events we should interfere with than those we should not (because all things not caused by us are natural, thus a disease is natural). If a doctor had found a cure for AIDS, but refused to give it because he felt nature had selected it as a means to keep homosexuals in check, would we as a society praise him for his choice? For all we know, the doctor could be correct, since we do not know "nature's" plan, yet I doubt many would be advancing that position.

If "nature" then does not have a plan, but is simply a descriptive human term applied to an abstract, than there is also no reason for us not to take action. All species interact with the natural world in one way or another, and those which are natural are not necessarily good. Some ants, by their nature, enslave other ants. It's natural, yet we as human beings see it as a moral evil - some go so far as to not wanting to use inferior species for our own benefits! Yet "nature" endorses slavery and exploitation. We instead have a moral code that is not in concert with that. In my original review, I unwittingly enraged someone by saying that evolution states that a man with bad legs or a with diabetes dies. What I was attempting to show was that while that may be what evolution states, that's not what humans accept. If a man has bad legs, we do not allow him to die of starvation, we interfere in the natural events and provide him with leg braces or a chair so that he can care for himself. If a man is diabetic, we do not let him just die, but provide him with medicine and treatment so that he can continue to live a healthy and productive life. We do not embrace nature, we resist it because we believe it is the moral thing to do, and we are rewarded by the presence of those others to enrich our society.

Whatever nature has set in motion is not justification to allow it to continue if it is in conflict with our morals. If that were true, nothing short of human-induced physical disability should ever be treated by a doctor, because the rest are all natural, from an allergic reaction to a birth complication to Wilson's Disease.


Star Trek: Enterprise was a prequel series within the franchise. It would be intriguing to find out what became of all of this. Imagine the damage if, say, the Romulans cured them of their condition and armed them with the knowledge that Starfleet was content to let them painfully die out... I don't think they'd be complimenting them on their compassion.

Thanks to that final line, I once again wish to commit fic.

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