Hi Tom.

I know skin of evil, but actually that was not the episode I was thinking of, afterall you could argue that the original series did the same thing in wrath of kaan where spok dies.

I was actually thinking of an episode in I believe the 2nd or 3rd series when warf takes an away mission down to an undergound cave on a planet with unstable gasses.

A gass leak kills a lady on his mission, and the rest of the episode involves Warf feeling responsable sinse she was under his command, and inviting her son to perform a Klingon ritual which symbolizes freeing her soul and freeing them both of guilt for her too.

As regards trek as a moral teacher, that's not something I'm quite as keen on, sinse generally I find the solutions trek provides to these questions are a bit instant and packaged.

For instance, there is one school of thought that states without emotions we would actually not be able to make value judgements at all, sinse our quick apprehention of decisions, and our ability to decide betwene two equally logically valid courses of action would not exist without emotions to catagorize the world differently or change our perception.

Clearly, this was not considdered when coming up with data, a supposedly emotionless android who not only exhibits emotions like empathy and liking, but even preference for leasure activities and seems to have a fully working sense of judgement which appears based on more than logic, ---- eg when he returned to the borg cube in best of both worlds to save Picard.

While I love trek for it's picture of a positive human future as you suggest, often I do feel it is not considdered enough to actually provide lessons.

then again remember I have been studdying philosophy for close to eleven years now and my main subject is indeed ethics, so my viewing of something like trek in terms of morality will probably be different to everybody else's.

I myself enjoy more the inresting conflicts and ideas trek throws up, and watching the characters either succeed or fail at handling them.

For instance look at the episode where the enterprise comes upon two planets. The inhabitants of one believe they suffer from a desease and pay huge somes to the other for a cure. their evidence is when they stop taking the cure they feel terrible. However their society is failing as a result of this, because the cure also effects their judgement.

Picard gives them the cargo he found from the crashed freighter, thus giving them what they wanted of the cure, but refuses to help repare their other ships, recognizing that this is an untennable situation where the drug will itself stop people from getting to the other world to obtain it, and the manufacturers of the drug will then no longer be able to prophit from this situation.

This is what I mean by judgement and the sort of thing I find interesting to watch, especially sinse not always are judgements so perfect and there are occasions when even Picard makes the wrong decision.

I must confess sometimes I do find startrek takes itself too seriously, which is why i've always been a doctor who fan, sinse the stories can be so eclectic, going from historical settings, to alien invasions or monster horror, to some that actually have a surreal and comical aspect.

then again as a slightly eclectic person myself this makees sense, and I do stil enjoy trek series to watch and books to read even though I'll probably never be as complete and total a trek fan as I am of dr. who or the works of tolkien.

Beware the grue!


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