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TO WHAT END? Questions/thoughts on Situational Ethics

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on October 20, 2007

NOTE: It would behoove the reader to realize that you probably should be a TREKIE of some sort before procedding further. If you are, hopefully you’ll enjoy and get a laugh ……and if not, oh well


Has anyone ever seen the series “STARTREK DEEP SPACE 9”?

If anyone’s a fan of the show (as I am), there was one EPISODE entitled “In the Pale MOONLIGHT” that was highyly enjoyable……(http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/In_the_Pale_Moonlight , http://www.startrek.com/startrek/vie…ode/72359.html , which are simply links for reference to what I’m talking about and give a better summary on the subject…..and prayerfully I’m staying within the rule system with the links. If not, someone, please let me know!!!)

Regarding the episode, It deals with Captin Sisko’s struggles during the DOMINION War…. Going over casualty lists, Sisko realizes there is only one hope of winning the war and saving millions of lives in IMMEDIATE danger — the Romulans, who signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion— must be convinced to join the Federation/Klingon Alliance. Sure that the Dominion will eventually invade Romulus anyway, Sisko recruits Garak to discreetly obtain evidence from Cardassia that will bring the Romulans into the war.

Sisko soon learns that several Cardassians expressed a willingness to help Garak, but all were killed within one day of speaking with him. Undaunted, Garak suggests that he and Sisko manufacture false evidence (lying/deception) of an impending Dominion attack on Romulus, then call a secret meeting with a Romulan senator scheduled to be in the sector and present it to him.

Frustration with the war convinces Sisko to agree, and when Garak recruits a condemned prisoner named Tolar to create the crucial evidence, the scheme begins.

Throughout the episiode, as the scheme unfolds, he eventually gets to the point where he begins to compromise and up willing to do things he never thought he do/considered immoral (i.e. lie/cheat and bribe, trick others into fighting for him, risking their lives and even becoming an accessory to murder regarding those who won’t cooperate in helping save the lives of millions in War)….and though Sisko is upset to have lied and cheated…..all at the cost of his self-respect, with a possible victory finally in sight, he decides it’s a feeling with which he can live. Talk about Situational Ethics in action…..

I’d love to hear feedback……. but before responding, would everyone please check out the link first (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4u6BTMTA6s ) and then let me know what you think?

 That way, everyone would have a least a mental picture of what the situation is that Sisko was facing.

I pray no one immediately dismisses this posting……..for Yes, the post may seem silly!!!! (and I happen to be in the mode for craving silly discussions lately), but I sincerly think it may have some fun/intriguing things to add to the discussions here on the forum…….because when it comes to the BOTTOM LINE question regarding how far one should go in the preservation of life, One’s Worldview is KEY!!!!

Whatever are the basic assumptions/teachings or philosophy one adheres to is what will determine the conclusions/actions one will make about an issue. As a wise man once said (Neil ANDERSON), “People won’t always live what they confess, but they’ll always live what they believe”… ……….and I was just curious as to how someone who may be involved in a CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW would’ve handled a situation like that, as compared to one in a secular perspective.

Would they be radically different in their approaches? Would they be the same or would they agree on many points and yet still be distinct? If faced with a strong/difficult ethical dillemna, which one would bear up against the most scrutiny and, in the end, prove valid for ALL situations?

True, situations like the one in the episode may not be something we think on or even face every day. And, when I posed the question to someone else, they said:


I fear these mental gymnastics are interesting, entertaining, and challenging. However, they are often far to abstract to have serious application to real world settings that many (if not most) Christians are faced with. It is hard for me to imagine Christians being persecuted under Roman rule gathering around a camp fire in a catacomb (or other historically accurate situation) and doing an in-depth philosophical analysis of their moral choices in exquisite detail. I would suggest that many Christians might talk a good game about their absolute morals while actually living a situational ethics reality…that would be my guess.

Now, as valid as the statement may be, I do think that exercises like this are important…..because the situations like the ones in this DEEP SPACE 9 episode are reflective of MANY situations that do happen today. Situations like:

  • Being willing to decieve/lie in the Military/Intelligence Agency in order to protect a country.
  • Assinating a individual who may’ve been hindering a plan for a government that could potentially help many
  • Being willing to go against one’s morals if it meant saving the lives of many, as it is with many Christians in foreign countries who face persecution and are faced DAILY with ETHICAL DILLEMAS WE IN AMERICA NEVER EVEN THINK OF (SEEING THAT WE’RE NOT FACED WITH THE SITUATIONS……YET), such as denying one’s faith (whether it be by spitting on a BIBLE, going against a command of God like being forced into prostitution/a sexual act if it meant saving the life of a child in IMMEDIATE danger) in God or else watching countless Christian Brothers/sisters die………or being forced to steal/cheat in order to provide for their family members/loved ones, due to the fact that Christians are not protected where they live.

Whatever your thoughts are, I invite you to share your thoughts and question if you were in Captin Sisko ‘s shoes and had to wrestle with debating how far you would go to gain help in preventing the IMMEDIATE danger present to millions of lives, even if it meant losing self-respect, tricking others into fighting for you and even doing things you normally would’nt do in normal circumstances that you’d normally consider “Wrong”/”Immoral”, what would be your end decision be?

If the STARTREK clip/example doesn’t help, cool….one can also use similar situations like Rahab’s Lying to protect the spies in immediate danger, David stealing showbread to keep himself alive/others alive, and of course, the infamous Ann Frank scenario (and her lying/deciet to protect innocents) as a basis.

Also, if interested, here are some articles that may tie into the discussion….

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/535 (Specifically, this one deals with the issue of whether Rahab’s lying to protect others was justified or not……


http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2628 (Both of these deal specifically with the issue of SITUATIONAL ETHICS and whether or not it is justifiable in the Word of God)

Hopefully, people will respond……and I pray that they have fun/learn something when they do.!!!Blessings, and Later………


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