This week I watched another stellar (pun intended) episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). I’m still new to TNG so most of these episodes are first timers for me.
Once again, I was stunned by the willingness of the writers to delve into questions that probe the very basics of humanity and morality. That’s something few movies or shows attempt to do today.
This particular episode (The Quality of Life), examined two important philosophical questions: how do we define life and is all life equally valuable? It may seem that these questions are better left to be discussed in the halls of academia. However, how you answer them can have crucial consequences in the real world.
Throughout history, the way societies have answered these questions have influenced views on slavery, civil rights, the equality of genders, and whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice.
Bravo to TNG for raising these questions for consideration. However, the way in which they answered them raises more questions than even they were prepared to deal with.
What is life and are all lives equally valuable? TNG answered both incorrectly. Let’s take a look. [Read more…]