How many people before it becomes wrong?, Star Trek Insurrection

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How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong?

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How many people before it becomes wrong?, Star Trek Insurrection

Post by marsh8472 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:28 pm

In Star Trek Insurrection, this question Picard asked the adminral was rhetorical but figured I'd pose it anyway. If the federation finds a planet that possesses the fountain of youth but it involves having to relocating the inhabitants in order to obtain it, how large does the inhabitants need to be before it becomes wrong?

Could it be considered a crime against humanity by not exploiting those resources?

DOUGHERTY: You're looking well, Jean-Luc. ...Rested.
PICARD: I won't let you move them, Admiral. I will take this to the Federation Council.
DOUGHERTY: I'm acting on orders form the Federation Council.
PICARD: How can there be an order to abandon the Prime Directive?
DOUGHERTY: The Prime Directive doesn't apply. These people are not indigenous to this planet. They were never meant to be immortal. We'll simply be restoring them to their natural evolution.
PICARD: Who the hell are we to determine the next course of evolution for these people?
DOUGHERTY: Jean-Luc, there are six hundred people down there. We'll be able to use the regenerative properties of this radiation to help billions. ...The Son'a have developed a procedure to collect the metaphasic particles from the planets rings.
PICARD: A planet in Federation space.
DOUGHERTY: That's right. We have the planet. They have the technology. ...A technology we can't duplicate. You know what that makes us? ...Partners.
PICARD: Our partners are nothing more than petty thugs.
DOUGHERTY: On Earth, petroleum once turned petty thugs into world leaders. Warp drive transformed a bunch of Romulan thugs into an Empire. We can handle the Son'a. I'm not worried about that.
PICARD: Someone probably said the same thing about the Romulans a century ago.
DOUGHERTY: With metaphasics, life spans will be doubled. ...An entire new medical science will evolve. I understand your Chief Engineer has the use of his eyes for the first time in his life. ...Would you take that away from him?
PICARD: There are metaphasic particles all over the Briar Patch. Why does it have to be this planet?
DOUGHERTY: It's the concentration in the rings that makes the whole damned thing work. Don't ask me to explain it. I only know they inject something into the rings that starts a thermolytic reaction. When it's over, the planet will be uninhabitable for generations.
PICARD: Admiral, delay the procedure. Let my people look at the technology.
DOUGHERTY: Our best scientific minds already have. We can't find any other way to do this.
PICARD: Then the Son'a can establish a separate colony on this planet until we do.
DOUGHERTY: It would take ten years of normal exposure to begin to reverse their condition. Some of them won't survive that long. Besides, they don't want to live in the middle of the Briar Patch. ...Who would?
PICARD: The Ba'ku. ...We are betraying the principles upon which the Federation was founded. It's an attack upon its very soul. ...And it will destroy the Ba'ku ...just as cultures have been destroyed in every other forced relocation throughout history.
DOUGHERTY: Jean-Luc, we are only moving six hundred people.
PICARD: How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong? A thousand? Fifty thousand? A million? How many people does it take, Admiral?

DOUGHERTY: I'm ordering you to the Goren system. I'm also ordering the release of the Son'a officers. File whatever protest you wish to, Captain. ...By the time you do, this will all be done.

I found the events of Star Trek Insurrection similar to the events of episode TOS"The Omega Glory"

These were quotes from that episode:

Captain's log, supplemental. The Enterprise has left the Exeter and moved into close planet orbit. Although it appears the infection may strand us here the rest of our lives, I face an even more difficult problem. A growing belief that Captain Tracey has been interfering with the evolution of life on this planet. It seems impossible. A star captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive.

TRACEY: Good. Direct, succinct. Answer. No native to this planet has ever had any trace of any kind of disease. How long would a man live if all disease were erased, Jim? Wu. (Wu enters) Tell Captain Kirk your age.
WU: Age? I have seen forty two years of the red bird. My eldest brother
TRACEY: Their year of the red bird comes once every eleven years, which he's seen forty two times. Multiply it. Wu is four hundred and sixty two years old. His father is well over a thousand. Interested, Jim?
KIRK: McCoy could verify all that.
TRACEY: He will if you order it. We must have a doctor researching this. Are you grasping all it means? This immunising agent here, once we've found it, is a fountain of youth. Virtual immortality, or as much as any man will ever want.
KIRK: For sale by
TRACEY: (to Wu) Out. (Wu leaves) By those who own the serum. McCoy will eventually isolate it. Meanwhile, you inform your ship your situation's impossible. Order them away. When we're ready, we'll bargain for a whole fleet of ships to pick us up. And they'll do it.
KIRK: Yes, I suppose they would.
TRACEY: We've got to stay alive. Let the Yangs kill us and destroy what we have to offer and we'll have committed a crime against all humanity. I'd say that's slightly more important than the Prime Directive, wouldn't you, Jim?

"Omega Glory" did not have to face the dilemma in Star Trek Insurrection. Captain Tracy thought the planet provided immorality but it turned out the natives have long lifespans.

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