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  #21  
Old 12-11-2012, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
Okay there are a couple flaws here. Your assertion that Spock has abandoned logic or 'common sense' because he disagrees with the 'logic' or Kirk's argument is a reach carefully constructed for your own convenience. Kirk and McCoy are always invoking 'logic' against Spock; that doesn't mean their pathways of reason are necessarily more correct than his. If Kirk's argument is political, that doesn't automatically exclude Spock's counter-motivation from being so as well. It also doesn't follow that 'practical issues' don't matter to Spock because he disagrees with Kirk's logic; that too is a reach. And I don't see how you get from Spock's actual spoken words, which you've quoted, to him 'clearly saying' that he does not 'give a damn' about logic. He gives the humorously sarcastic/understated answer that he gives because he was just asked. It doesn't need to be whatever he (might have been) about to say before Kirk replied "I thought you'd like that."
If it is, as you claim, political or practical stuff Spock would have provided his argument like Kirk did. So why doesn't he give a rationale as he usually would and why his ironic distance? Precisely because he cannot say that he yearns to see the annihilation of the murderer of his mother and he also needs to distance himself ironically from what he has just said in order to still feel good about himself.

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I just got through making my "deny them their voice and shoot them like dogs" comment. Because it felt good in a gratuitous and rhetorical sort of way. Does that mean that's what I really believe? Can anyone say that's what I believe? When I don't even know myself? Am I required to be consistent? I expect when I die I still won't know what I really think about such issues as the capture and treatment of war criminals. Maybe I just don't even have an opinion on such things.
I frankly admit that I am not a total liberal, sometimes I am in a Jacobin mode and wouldn't mind purging violence. You mentioned the execution of bin Laden and while it was unlawful the little Jacobin in me does not have a problem with killing somebody who is obviously guilty without the involvement of a court.
But the liberal in me also know that since WWII the rules in our world are that you deal decently with POWs, put war criminals on trial and so on and that following international law isn't in general a bad idea.

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It doesn't become 'crystal clear' to me. Making a wry comment that is completely called for doesn't equate acting out one's desire for revenge. Nor does not suppressing your desire for revenge automatically equate acting out on it. And I have nothing but respect for a father or superior who has the wisdom (and trust) to recognize when the 'obvious' thing does not need to be said. Spock relieved himself of duty and confessed his feelings openly. That was enough to signal that "Okay, my son does not need his nose rubbed in it this time."
SPOCK: An anger I cannot control.
SAREK: I believe, as she would say, do not try to.


I would lose plenty of respect for my father if he told me something like that and all if he said it shortly after I nearly killed somebody while being enraged.
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  #22  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:01 PM
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I think that Sarek's point was that Spock's effort to control his anger toward Nero had been the cause of his lashing out violently at Kirk. Trying to internalize an uncontrollable emotion resulted in redirecting that emotion in an unhealthy way. I think what Sarek says essentially means that it's OK to direct his anger toward Nero.

This is a more subtle treatment of Vulcan emotion. Vulcans don't simply suppress emotion at all cost, but rather as Sarek said to young Spock they practice "the control of feelings, so that they do not control you." Sometimes even Vulcans have to realize they can't simply entirely suppress an emotion, they have to acknowledge it and deal with it.
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  #23  
Old 12-12-2012, 02:35 PM
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Well told, brobertsumc
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  #24  
Old 12-12-2012, 03:49 PM
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What do you think?
I think what happened was just fine. I mean, Kirk offered assistance but after Nero's reaction about how he would rather see the destruction of Romulus a thousand times than get help from the Enterprise, I think his point was made and nothing could be done. I don't think Kirk should have begged him or anything. His simple reply, "You got it." was awesome and not only did it show how he was somewhat still a cocky, pompous jerk turning into the gallant captain that we all know, it showed that this Kirk was not going to take crap from anyone.

I can just imagine this Kirk breaking up with someone who was mad at him. "Oh, James! How could you do that to me! I would rather die than talk to you again! Leave me alone!" "You got it." Hahaha!
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  #25  
Old 12-13-2012, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by brobertsumc View Post
I think that Sarek's point was that Spock's effort to control his anger toward Nero had been the cause of his lashing out violently at Kirk. Trying to internalize an uncontrollable emotion resulted in redirecting that emotion in an unhealthy way. I think what Sarek says essentially means that it's OK to direct his anger toward Nero.

This is a more subtle treatment of Vulcan emotion. Vulcans don't simply suppress emotion at all cost, but rather as Sarek said to young Spock they practice "the control of feelings, so that they do not control you." Sometimes even Vulcans have to realize they can't simply entirely suppress an emotion, they have to acknowledge it and deal with it.
Why is controlling anger supposed to be unhealthy? Suppose you are angry and imagine to kill whomever caused your anger. I guess most of us have already felt like this at once. If you are normal you don't act out this fantasy. Sorry, but advising someone to not control his anger is plain psychopathic.

So I already disagree in the case of humans and being a proponent of Vulcan orthodoxy I disagree even more strongly. Any other path leads you into nirvana (Sybok) or back into the dark ages when the planet boiled and nearly "tear[ed] itself apart". Gee, even the nasty guys who enjoyed the savage ways, "those who marched beneath the raptor's wings, started to channel their emotions into imperialism (plus authoritarianism as a dogmatic safeguard for this emotional velve; like Vulcan ideology it has to be dogmatic) after they left the planet.
Spock is the only known half-Vulcan who was able to slowly ease his suppression mechanism during old age and after decades of experience and life among humans. A young Spock is unable to do this and even more important, Spock senior definitely keeps a tight lid on his nasty emotions, he only lets "good" feelings out. So NimoySpock would also disagree with Sarek who basically tells his son to behave like an old-school Vulcan, an utter savage.
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  #26  
Old 12-16-2012, 04:31 PM
brobertsumc brobertsumc is offline
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The unhealthy part is denying the very fact that he is exepriencing anger. Spock was trying to "control" his anger by essentially pretending he felt nothing. This resulted in his redirecting and nearly killing Kirk.

Surely taking aggressive action against Nero was more justified than showing aggression toward his own crewmates?
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  #27  
Old 12-16-2012, 04:38 PM
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Indeed.....if you are going to direct anger, aggression, hostility, and other negative feelings as a result of things that happened that were beyond your control, then direct them at the cause of those things, not at your crewmates and friends.
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  #28  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by brobertsumc View Post
The unhealthy part is denying the very fact that he is exepriencing anger. Spock was trying to "control" his anger by essentially pretending he felt nothing. This resulted in his redirecting and nearly killing Kirk.

Surely taking aggressive action against Nero was more justified than showing aggression toward his own crewmates?
That's not unhealthy, that's the Vulcan way.
And most of the times it is also the human way. Showing your boss how angry you are is not particularly smart, you swallow down the anger and deal with it in another way. Is this unhealthy? Sure. Can it lead to neuroses. Definitely. But that's how culture works, you do not do it caveman style and immediately act upon all your nasty feelings but you control and suppression of raw emotions.
This leads to a whole lot of pathological distortions (One of Freud's books is called Unbehagen in der Kultur, Civilization and its Discontents or more literally translated, Uneasiness in Culture and one of his key insights was not that everybody is normal whereas his patients were freaks who did not make it but that culture as such is freaky and his patients are basically just the symptoms of social issues, e.g. Victorian sexual morality.) but this is still preferable to barbarism.

So in the case of Vulcan I would say that Vulcan orthodoxy with its ridiculous dogmatism and all the stupid rituals (arranged marriage, pseudo-religious priests) that are maintained in order to support this very dogmatism (if people can question arranged marriage what will prevent them from stopping question emotional suppression) is preferable to ancient Vulcan and its violence.
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  #29  
Old 12-19-2012, 01:22 PM
brobertsumc brobertsumc is offline
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Showing your boss how angry you are is not particularly smart, you swallow down the anger and deal with it in another way. Is this unhealthy? Sure. Can it lead to neuroses. Definitely. But that's how culture works, you do not do it caveman style and immediately act upon all your nasty feelings but you control and suppression of raw emotions.
We're not talking about Spock's boss (who, by the way, he had just beaten the hell out of as a result of his misidrected anger, hence the discussion about controlling anger toward Nero). We're talking about a war criminal and genocidal maniac. Hitler x 1,000.

This was not a normal everyday situation. Every expectation has its exceptions. Not acknowledging a desire to see somelike Nero destroyed is denying the inevitable.
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  #30  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:10 AM
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You obviously still don't understand that when it comes to matters of life and death being controlled by emotions is unethical for a human and suicidal for a Vulcan. Even if he pursues a noble goal, a Vulcan running amok is fu*king dangerous!

We don't lynch mass murders, we bring them to justice in a court. We don't unleash our collective hatred, we let the rational system of jurisdiction work. Of course there are exceptions but when you kill you are only allowed to kill out of love (I think the Greek word for Christian love, agape, would be more precise but let's not get into stupid semantics).
Let me explain this via an example. Suppose your best friend has done something so utterly horrible that cannot be forgiven. You kill him and not because you are angry but sad that the noble person he has once been is gone, you kill him because you love him and this try preserve his former uncorrupted self.
I claim the same is necessary in the case of something like a political assassination or political violence beyond the law in general with the only difference being that you do not love the person you kill but the people he has killed or the things he is about to undo.

When you are motivated by hatred or anger you can hardly claim to do something noble. Proper ethics are either connected with love or utter coldness, i.e. you are a sublime ethical monster that simply does what is necessary and without feeling angry or good about yourself or whatever.

Last but not least, all this applies even more strongly for Vulcans.
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