The Ethics of Star TrekBook - 2000
A professor of philosophy examines the ethical issues of the twenty-fourth-century universe depicted in the "Star Trek" movies and television shows as seen through the eyes of the world's great philosophers.
Lwaxana Troi decides to please her Kostolain husband-to-be by wearing a traditional wedding gown at their service, even though her own orthodox Betazoid tradition requires her to go nude. At the last minute, she changes her mind and arrives at the ceremony wearing nothing but a smile. Her fiancé is shocked -- so shocked that he cancels the wedding.
If you were Lwaxana Troi, what would you have done? Is honoring your own tradition more important than respecting someone else's?
Though the world of Star Trek is clearly set in the future, its attitudes, politics, and culture have always reflected the mores of today. Perhaps that's why this phenomenal series has kept us fascinated, challenged, and inspired -- as well as entertained -- for nearly thirty-five years. From the original adventures of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to the present-day saga of Voyager, Star Trek reminds us that even in the brave new world of the twenty-fourth century, the deepest questions of morality must still be answered. The fundamental principles that have always guided our heroes are indeed powerful enough to provide direction in our own lives.
But what exactly are the ethics of Star Trek? Where do they come from? Are these principles always the same from series to series? What do they mean for us today?
Using episodes from all four Star Trek series, as well as examples from Plato, Aristotle, Sartre, and other great philosophers of the past, The Ethics of Star Trek explores the answers to these and other important ethical questions:
- Why is good stronger than evil?
- If the Prime Directive is so inviolable, why does Kirk always seem to break it?
- Would Nietzsche have made a good starship captain?
- What's more important, the intentions behind our actions or the results we get?
- Does absolute power really corrupt absolutely? What would you do with the power of Q?
- How would Kant's insistence on autonomous altruism have affected the Federation's dealings with the Borg?
- Are rational beings the only life-forms entitles to our respect?
- What would it mean if, deep down, everyone really were a Ferengi?
Join Dr. Judith Barad and Ed Robertson as they take the complex, intriguing, and often confusing subject of ethics and make it practical, understandable, and accessible -- for this century and beyond!
The author--a professor of philosophy--examines the ethical issues of the twenty-fourth-century universe depicted in the Star Trek movies and television shows as seen through the eyes of the world's great philosophers. 20,000 first printing.