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Old 23rd-December-2016, 08:51 PM   #1
Cognisant
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Default Are the Borg evil?

A cohesive society necessitates a degree of indoctrination, a locked door may be self evident but you can't lock everything. It's far simpler to teach people which side of the road to drive on than to invent and implement some sort of ratcheting mechanism so they can only drive forward on the correct side.

Having established that some indoctrination must occur for a society to function the question becomes what doctrine must be taught? I believe this depends upon the kind of behavior that is being sought, if for example we wish for a society that practices utilitarian morality the individual must be taught to sacrifice their best interests for the best interests of the society.

For example a fireman rushing into a burning building or a policeman confronting an armed criminal are putting their lives at risk, this is absolutely not in their individual best interests nor do they get to choose when these situations occur. However this is deemed a normal and indeed noble aspect of society, so why are the Borg so vilified for assimilation when having one's individuality subsumed ensures that it cannot be lost?

When a policeman dies while performing his or her duty the loss of the individual is tragic and rightly so, the thing that made that individual who they were (their memories) have been lost. However in the Borg collective the memories of individual are integrated into the collective, so that if an individual drone is lost there is no tragedy, at least no more a tragedy than losing a finger.

Is that not better?
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Old 23rd-December-2016, 09:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

Collective memories maybe a good thing, and this may sometime be possible. But the Borg do this at the cost of total destruction of individuality, and that means the memories of each individual are more or less irrelevant as the individual does not exist.

They also force there way onto other societies, and completely destroy said societies in the process. Although those individuals are not technically killed, the complete destruction of a society is little better than The Holocaust. I know, you could say they Integrate them rather than annihilating them. But we haven't seen any evidence that they keep anything of the cultures they assimilate. It seems to be little more than a form of breeding for them.
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Old 23rd-December-2016, 09:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

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Borg do this at the cost of total destruction of individuality, and that means the memories of each individual are more or less irrelevant as the individual does not exist.
Individuality is not a thing but rather the separation of things, what you call destruction is actually unification, the Borg is simply the next logical step in civilization, it's what society already would be if we were all telepathic.

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and that means the memories of each individual are more or less irrelevant as the individual does not exist.
But nothing is lost, everything the individual was comprised of is now a part of the greater whole or rather it is the individual who has gained the wisdom and insight possessed by the collective.

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They also force there way onto other societies, and completely destroy said societies in the process.
Change is either creative or destructive, depending entirely upon your perspective.

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Although those individuals are not technically killed, the complete destruction of a society is little better than The Holocaust.
Godwin's law.

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I know, you could say they Integrate them rather than annihilating them. But we haven't seen any evidence that they keep anything of the cultures they assimilate.
Because both the Borg and the individual are changed by the assimilation, it's just a lot more dramatic for the individual as the Borg collective has already undergone a lot of change.

Edit: A culture is already a collective of sorts, it's not so much that the culture is lost rather it becomes irrelevant. Why congregate in churches when you're already together and you know better than to worship a false idol?
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It seems to be little more than a form of breeding for them.
The Borg does not "breed", the collective is one.

If it is anything it is masturbation.
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Old 23rd-December-2016, 10:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

what is the borg?

sounds...serious
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Old 23rd-December-2016, 10:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

Breeding isn't necessary sexual. Seven of Nine does at one point mention Borg infants, and the boarding party finds then in TNG. So we know they have babies. I assume they use some form of artificial gestation. But that's beside the point - I said assimilation just seems to be adding to their numbers.

We also saw in Enterprise and First Contact a small number of Borg assimilate a larger number of people when separated from the greater collective and those individuals assimilated showed no evidence that anything of the former person was integrated, but rather the body was simply used and controlled. Now you could argue that the Queen was controlling them in First Contact (which still points to control rather than integration), but in Enterprise there were only 2 drones originally who assimilated a couple of dozen people, who should have overwritten the will of those 2 drones had it been a true collective consciousness. I would argue this is less of an integrative thing and more a complete surrender to authority. Which isn't a good thing for a society. Plus they have no ability of of innovation - just look at how poorly they handled Species 8472. I would argue that their society has entered a stage of stagnation due to this loss of individual thought. They can adapt, but we've seen no technological innovation from them at all. And with the new armour and weapons given to the Federation in Endgame the Borg will be essentially defenceless if they can't adapt. Which they may not, because although they can adapt to frequencies they don't seem to adapt to anything new.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 12:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

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I would argue this is less of an integrative thing and more a complete surrender to authority.
pretty much. The Borg make life surrender their consciousness to their collective programming. It's not a network of individuals coming together to share their knowledge and experiences and better understand each other and come to collective decisions together; it's the subjugation of the will to a higher order or authority. You become a drone that is unable to think past the collective authority.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 12:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

I'm glad we on the same page. Totally with you. Cool hat, dude.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 07:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

I was under the assumption that the Borg were fictional.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 08:28 AM   #9
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I was under the assumption that the Borg were fictional.
That's doesn't stop us discussing them. I've seen academic papers written on the Oxygen content of the air in Middle Earth and the economic effect of destroying 2 Death Stars.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 11:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

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I was under the assumption that the Borg were fictional.
So is religion and yet we never stop talking about it.

In the Star Trek universe the Borg are designated "bad guys" and thus doomed to fail, it's frankly ridiculous that they can't innovate and the Borg Queen was a weakness a real collective would never have. The writers have to keep inventing reasons for the Borg to lose and to vilify them in case we happen to forget we're supposed to be rooting for the "good guys".
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Old 24th-December-2016, 12:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

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So is religion and yet we never stop talking about it.

In the Star Trek universe the Borg are designated "bad guys" and thus doomed to fail, it's frankly ridiculous that they can't innovate and the Borg Queen was a weakness a real collective would never have. The writers have to keep inventing reasons for the Borg to lose and to vilify them in case we happen to forget we're supposed to be rooting for the "good guys".
The borg remind me of the ending to the main storyline of FFXIII.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 04:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

I disbelieve that individuality need be sacrificed in a shared consciousness.

Think of a shared consciousness like a themepark. You own all of the memories of everyone else but your inclinations will be to select from that themepark what you want at any given time.

The way we access such memories over a timeline will uniquely shape us among the rest of humankind. To the extent we are still individuals but wiser than we would have ever been before.

The problem with the locked door is human superstition and imagination. We waste valuable cycles on trying to manufacture a reason for the locked door in absence of a key. Most of the time it's a pointless exercise.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 06:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?

Evil is a choice to do evil because you want to be evil. The borg are not evil but what they do is against the freewill of others. The Borg are just robots following orders, the borg queen on the other hand might be evil? She knows it is against the wishes of others to be assimilated. She is very selfish I would say. She is a dictator and the borg are her slaves.
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Old 24th-December-2016, 07:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Are the Borg evil?



With something this right, how could it be so wrong?


----


I'll be honest, my Trek credentials expired sometime in the 90's when I gave up on the TV franchise portion (I've only seen a bit of DSN and Voyager and none of Enterprise, although I saw every TNG episode out there + old series as well).

I'm quite aware of who the Borg are (based on the TNG series depiction -- "I am Locutus!") but never saw the movie(s) where they appeared, so I'm a little behind on the intricacies.

Morality depends on your social ethical code and priorities. it also describes what you do in a situation where can make a decision. If you can't make choices, then you can't express morals; what's the point in calling a refrigerator "immoral" as an example? Are the Borg "evil"? Not by any universal standard. But perhaps by a human standard, or perhaps in comparison to what best enables life to thrive, or some other code that you have to specify before judging them.
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