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Are the Borg evil?

Cognisant

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#1
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?
 

Rixus

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#2
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.
 

Cognisant

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#3
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.

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.

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.

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

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?
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.
 

Rixus

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#5
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.
 

Reluctantly

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#6
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.
 

Rixus

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#7
I'm glad we on the same page. Totally with you. Cool hat, dude.
 

QuickTwist

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#8
I was under the assumption that the Borg were fictional. :confused:
 

Rixus

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#9
I was under the assumption that the Borg were fictional. :confused:
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.
 

Cognisant

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#10
I was under the assumption that the Borg were fictional. :confused:
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".
 

QuickTwist

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#11
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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#12
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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#13
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.
 

Jennywocky

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#14


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.
 

INTPWolf

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#15
So in such a collective gathering of minds, Borg or otherwise, would emotional capacity stack with each added mind? As an example we know the Borgs logical ability is that of millions of minds, would a more benevolent hive minded species have a similar increase in emotional fortitude?
 
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#16
I would propose a new conception of a 'collective consciousness experience'. For a collective consciousness to function without individuality, the collective should act without constituents of consciousness and be entirely coherent. The conscious experience is the same amongst all bodies. I have no idea wtf Borg are or what the crap you're talking about, but it is not villainy to assimilate new minds, because it is enhancing the conscious experience for the individual, even if the original will of the individual were different to that of the expanded consciousness, it only betrays what is then irrelevant to the individual and is no worse than myself changing my mind about what flavor icecream to buy from the supermarket. Without individuality, there is no slavery, and with individuality I'm afraid Cognisants argument for the borg not being evil falls apart. Therefore the queen's mind control if collective is fine, all good, but if individual then she's evil. So subjugation of will to a higher authority, yes, but no... unless there's individuality, upon which is the collective hive a simple awareness and the queen controls the orientation of the general intent, or goes beyond this and the conscious recognition of intent->action. If general intent is not the case, then the Borg are doomed to fail and are evil (well the queen). So is general intent possible? I'll figure this out later. The latter of which I just described would not be the case because it would eliminate the need for a collective mind.
 
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#17
General intent to a degree to sustain the conditions implied by the events desrcibed would be so great that the collective mind should therefore be implicitly cohesive. But there is definitely a distinction between the implicit and explicit. Implicit- the mind is not expansive, explicit- the mind is expansive. Implicit- general intent may cloud judgement, explicit-otherwise. Implicit- the queen has control, explicit-the queen is given authority, but if the catalyst, is responsible for such. So what seperates the two is whether the queen is simply a catalyst, and judgement is not clouded, or the queen has control, in which judgement is clouded. Due to the Borgs losing if I'm right, we can assume their judgements were clouded and therefore they were evil. Case solved.

Edited a bunch so chuck it another read, but this line of text marks the last edit so if you've already seen it don't worry.
 

sushi

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#18
we'll probably become the borg soon.

internet is collective consciousness, and the only thing missing is human machine intergration.
 
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