Friday, July 27, 2012

Can Murder be Immoral in Star Trek III?

Well, you don't kill Captain Kirk that easy, Romulan filth.

Of course he gets out of the transporter booth. He just nuts it until the plasteel breaks.

He determines that his copy is on the mother, saving the world-wise, and knocks off for an early lunch.

His wife is pleased to see him back.

When New Kirk has saved the world, he takes the transporter home. Anticipating a certain frostiness at home, Spock and Scottie frig it so that only the disassembler works, and no new Kirk appears back on earth to spoil the happy reunion.

Do you notice what has just happened here? Captain Kirk has just saved the world by having lunch, and Spock and Scottie have just murdered him for his own good.

But the final state of the world is not terribly different from what would have happened had the transporter worked fine. There is a lunch missing. Captain Kirk doesn't remember how he saved the world. Those don't look like major differences to me.

So that is pretty much that for utilitarianism and indeed all forms of consequentialist moralities, I would say.

And maybe next time you approach a transporter booth, you will be a little bit worried?

Especially if you are Kirk. Romulan spies are everywhere.

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