The Instigator
Cerebral_Narcissist
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Maikuru
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

Tuvix Was Murdered

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2010 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,186 times Debate No: 10907
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (5)

 

Cerebral_Narcissist

Pro

Preamble
The 24th episode of the 2nd series of Star Trek: Voyager is entitled ‘Tuvix' in this episode the crewmembers Tuvok, and Neelix are ‘merged' into a single being by a transporter accident. The resulting being subsequently takes the name of Tuvix. A method of separating the two is later developed and Captain Janeway performs the process resulting in the demise or destruction of Tuvix and the restoration of Tuvok and Neelix.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Resolution
Within the context of the story the destruction of Tuvix was murder.

Definition of Murder: Killing that is unlawful and/or immoral.

Contentions
1: Tuvix was a living, rational, sentient entity and as a result had a right to life.
2: Tuvix chose to live, and had the right to make this decision.
3: In choosing to separate Tuvix back into Tuvok and Neelix Captain Janeway assumes that she is protecting the rights of Tuvok and Neelix. However she assumes without evidence that this would be their desire, nor does she have the right to make such decisions.
4: Tuvix, is Tuvix and is Tuvok and is Neelix. As a result in the absence of a separate opinion from Tuvok and Neelix only Tuvok has the right to make life or death decisions concerning any of them.
5: Tuvix combined the abilities of both crew members, but would only require the resources and living space of one crew member in doing so he was far more efficient and useful than Tuvok and Neelix.
6: Though Tuvix was created by the ‘deaths' of Tuvoc and Neelix he was not responsible for them, his death was therefore undeserved.
7: It is not morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save or restore to life two innocent people. If the killing of Tuvix was morally permissible, then it would be morally permissible to kill a single innocent person against their will to harvest their organs for a number of terminally ill patients. If the latter is immoral then so too is the former.
8: The ships Doctor refuses to perform the procedure as it is a violation of the Hippocratic oath and his ethical programming, thus it is clear that by the standards of the Federation this act is murder.

NB: This debate purely concerns the moral dilemma within the context of the fictional story, rebuttals based on the massive plot holes and inconsistencies rife within Star Trek are not permissible. Thus it is not valid to point out discrepancies in the biology of Tuvix, the fact that Tuvix would not have been created, or the fact that it would have been possible, indeed far easier to restore Tuvok and Neelix without the destruction of Tuvix.
Maikuru

Con

As a big fan of Star Trek: Voyager, it's a pleasure to be discussing this topic.

I will be negating the resolution "Within the context of the story the destruction of Tuvix was murder." I accept C_N's definition of murder and shall be using the colloquial meanings of all other terms involved. Should clarification be necessary, I reserve the right to present and/or attack any other definitions presented.

::Rebuttals::

My opponent's 8 contentions can be grouped into 4 general categories, which I will refute in order:

1. Tuvix's decisions and right to life are paramount. [Contentions 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6]
2. Tuvix's destruction was impractical. [Contention 5]
3. It is immoral to kill one innocent to save two innocents. [Contention 7]
4. Tuvix's destruction was in violation of Federation law. [Contention 8]

1. The merging of Tuvok and Neelix was unintentional [1]. Each believed they would be transporting to their ship as healthy, intact, and distinct individuals. Neither was aware of the possibility of merging, let alone willing participants of such a transformation. Furthermore, following the eventual restoration to their former selves, neither man showed regret toward the separation or expressed a desire to be re-joined. Thus, it is clear that neither Tuvok nor Neelix wished to be or stay merged.

Therefore, Tuvix's refusal to restore the two men actively deprived two innocent and unwilling individuals of their rightful lives. The fact that he was self-aware does not negate his continued role in destroying the sentience of two others; his right to life ended when it necessarily entailed the death of his creators, each of whom possessed their own such right.

To claim that Tuvix had the right to speak for those he knowingly held hostage within himself is ludicrous. The intentions of Tuvok and Neelix were made clear by their actions both before and after the accident, specifically their choice not to re-merge (which was within their capability). Their inability to articulate these desires are due entirely to the actions of Tuvix. If he contained the knowledge and memories of the two, he would know they wished to be free and was thus continuing his existence at their expense. If he had no such knowledge, he could simply allow the separation and obtain their permission to recombine.

2. The argument that merged officers are more practical is incorrect and irrelevant. First of all, Neelix likely shared his quarters with his mate, Kes, meaning the living arrangements would remain static. Secondly, a starship with the incredible size and capacity of Voyager [2] would hardly notice an additional empty room. Lastly, given Pro's definition of murder, pragmatics won't affirm the resolution.

However, the loss of two of Voyager's most important officers does present a very real danger to the rest of the crew. Tuvok was the ship's head of security, tactical officer, and third in command [3]. Neelix was the vessel's chef, moral officer, navigator, and ambassador [4]. The combined obligations of these essential positions would inevitably tax Tuvix's capabilities and very likely endanger all on-board. This outcome is hardly morally preferable to the natural alternative of returning the original beings to their previous lives and duties.

3. Pro's claim that separating Tuvix was immoral completely neglects the circumstances of his creation. First of all, while Tuvok and Neelix were innocent throughout this incident, Tuvix purposely deprived the two of life for his own sake. While the transporter may be responsible for the initial merging, Tuvix's refusal to remedy the situation makes him guilty of the twos' continued destruction. Secondly, unlike Tuvix, the two men had histories, families, and essential roles on the ship. Keeping them unwillingly merged harms not only their loved ones but potentially the entire crew of the military vessel.

My opponent offers the analogy of stealing organs from one to give life to two others. Of course, the only way this comparison resembles this situation is if those organs originally belonged to the two in the first place! Tuvix's possession of their genetic material was not done with their consent, meaning his separation is simply restoring their rightful existence.

4. Pro overreaches with his claim that the doctor's decision mirrored Federation law. Overuse of his program (he was a hologram) caused him to develop a unique personality and the ability to both disagree with and disobey orders; throughout his tenure, the doctor has commandeered the ship [5, see: Renaissance Man], infected individuals with fatal viruses [5, see: "Critical Care"], shown favoritism amongst patients [5, see: "Latent Image"], and destroyed other holograms [5, see: "Flesh and Blood"]. Each of these acts demonstrated either a violation of Star Fleet law or behavior outside the scope of his original design. Thus, the doctor's decision does not suffice to show Tuvix's separation was unlawful.

::Case Summary::

At this point, none of Pro's arguments toward the illegality or immorality of Tuvix's destruction stand. In fact, given the accidental nature of the merging and the importance of Tuvok and Neelix to their families and crew, it was Tuvix alone who acted immorally. His end was not an act of murder, but rather the necessary restoration of two innocent men.

::References::

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://memory-alpha.org...
3. http://memory-alpha.org...
4. http://memory-alpha.org...
5. http://memory-alpha.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Cerebral_Narcissist

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for the quality of his reply, it is clear this is going to be a hard debate.

"1. The merging of Tuvok and Neelix was unintentional [1]. Each believed they would be transporting to their ship as healthy, intact, and distinct individuals. Neither was aware of the possibility of merging, let alone willing participants of such a transformation."

Though this is true, it does not appear to contradict Tuvix's right to life. As an innocent, sentient, healthy being, who desired life it is clear he has a right to life. Star Trek is littered with references to the concept that of sentient rights.

"Furthermore, following the eventual restoration to their former selves, neither man showed regret toward the separation or expressed a desire to be re-joined. Thus, it is clear that neither Tuvok nor Neelix wished to be or stay merged."

That may be true, however there was no realistic possibility of ascertaining the views of the two men. Tuvok followed an alien philosophical code, under his logic he may have deemed continued merger to be most logical. Neelix is noteworthy as a highly moral character he may not have been happy at the death of Tuvix to restore his own life. Though it may be true that neither men expressed a desire to be rejoined, this is not evidence that if they were able to ‘vote' for separation they would have done.

"Therefore, Tuvix's refusal to restore the two men actively deprived two innocent and unwilling individuals of their rightful lives. The fact that he was self-aware does not negate his continued role in destroying the sentience of two others; his right to life ended when it necessarily entailed the death of his creators, each of whom possessed their own such right."

Tuvix was created by an accident, he was morally culpable for his creation nor for the destruction of Tuvok and Neelix as separate entities. As a sentient being he still possessed a right to life, the opportunity to survive is intrinsic to such a right. This was forcibly denied him.

"To claim that Tuvix had the right to speak for those he knowingly held hostage within himself is ludicrous."

It is a tenuous claim, but in the absence of a strangely prophetic ‘living will' there was no legitimate advocate of the rights of a separate Tuvok and Neelix. As Tuvix was the sum of the memories, grey matter, personality and so forth of the two men and the current owner of the matter that comprised them he had the most insight into the minds of the two men, and rights of possession.

"The intentions of Tuvok and Neelix were made clear by their actions both before and after the accident, specifically their choice not to re-merge (which was within their capability)."

It can not necessarily be assumed that their lack of desire to re-merge is prove that would have chosen to separate if such a decision was possible. There is, at least potentially to them a significant moral difference between the two choices.

"Their inability to articulate these desires are due entirely to the actions of Tuvix. If he contained the knowledge and memories of the two, he would know they wished to be free and was thus continuing his existence at their expense. If he had no such knowledge, he could simply allow the separation and obtain their permission to recombine."

To do so would be to expect a healthy, sentient being that desired life to commit suicide, though the two men may have chosen to recombine this raises existentialist issues, would the restored Tuvix actually be the same person as the original Tuvix.

My opponent has failed to refute Tuvix's right to life, as a result his destruction can only be construed as murder.

"2. The argument that merged officers are more practical is incorrect and irrelevant. First of all, Neelix likely shared his quarters with his mate, Kes, meaning the living arrangements would remain static. Secondly, a starship with the incredible size and capacity of Voyager [2] would hardly notice an additional empty room. Lastly, given Pro's definition of murder, pragmatics won't affirm the resolution."

The attempt to pragmatics was in hindsight weak and inappropriate, that contention shall be dropped.

3. "My opponent offers the analogy of stealing organs from one to give life to two others. Of course, the only way this comparison resembles this situation is if those organs originally belonged to the two in the first place! Tuvix's possession of their genetic material was not done with their consent, meaning his separation is simply restoring their rightful existence."

I believe that it is still a valid analogy, it can not be argued that the accidentally possession of the physical matter of which you are born with does not comprise some concept ownership over said matter. Tuvok and Neelix may have been unwitting contributors of this matter, but they were dead. Tuvix was alive and had a right to live. As the analogy remains valid, and as Star Trek does not routinely murder healthy innocents to harvest their organs to sustain the live of others, then the destruction of Tuvix was a violation of Federation law and morality and the motion is carried.

"4. Pro overreaches with his claim that the doctor's decision mirrored Federation law. Overuse of his program (he was a hologram) caused him to develop a unique personality and the ability to both disagree with and disobey orders; "

"throughout his tenure, the doctor has commandeered the ship [5, see: Renaissance Man]"
Renaissance man is from series 7, as my opponent points out the Doctor becomes increasingly self-aware other time. In the second series it is to be expected that he is far more under the control of his programming, which does give us an insight into the medical ethics and laws of the federation.

"infected individuals with fatal viruses [5, see: "Critical Care"],"

This is again series 7, and he does so to save innocent life. Though strictly speaking it is a violation of medical ethics, it is done to correct a greater contradiction of medical ethics the person he infects is denying medical treatment to those who need it.
http://memory-alpha.org...

"shown favoritism amongst patients [5, see: "Latent Image"],"

In the episode in question the Doctor only has the time to operate on one patient, he has no choice but to risk the death of the other. The resulting death means that "The Doctor developed a feedback loop between his ethical and cognitive subroutines" causing his to become in essence insane. This incident shows that his ethical programming is still functioning.

"and destroyed other holograms [5, see: "Flesh and Blood"]."

Again this is series 7, and the doctor takes the life of a hologram in self-defence of others.
http://memory-alpha.org...

"At this point, none of Pro's arguments toward the illegality or immorality of Tuvix's destruction stand. In fact, given the accidental nature of the merging and the importance of Tuvok and Neelix to their families and crew, it was Tuvix alone who acted immorally. His end was not an act of murder, but rather the necessary restoration of two innocent men."

Tuvix was a rational, sentient, free willed entity that desired life. It is clear he had a right to life. The onus is on CON to refute this or to show how it can be negated.
Maikuru

Con

Thanks to Pro for his detailed reply. This is a lot of fun =D

::Rebuttals::

1. Pro believes Tuvok and Neelix would have opposed separation, offering only his own interpretation of their values as proof. However, these views are not supported by their actions; if the men were inclined to right any perceived wrong that occurred in the destruction of Tuvix, they possessed the technology, opportunity, and right to do so. Their choice not to act is the only appropriate indicator of their views on the matter. There is no feasible argument that suggests they would support separation after the fact but not before.

Pro goes on to claim Tuvix was not morally responsible for the circumstances of Tuvok and Neelix. In doing so, he ignores my argument that Tuvix's conscious decision not to restore their lives was entirely selfish, makes him responsible for their continued deaths, and necessarily forfeits his own right to life. Tuvix's existence alone does not guarantee him safety, as it is that very existence which prevents two others from continuing their own lives. If Pro finds the forcible removal of one's opportunity to survive immoral, he must be doubly repulsed by Tuvix's disregard for that opportunity in others.

It was also inappropriate for Tuvix to speak on behalf of the fallen officers. He held a vested interest in their deaths and could not be trusted to accurately depict their desires. On the other hand, Kes [1], Neelix's mate, and Captain Janeway [2], their commanding officer, were the only legitimate choices on the ship to speak for the missing officers. With both women agreeing to the separation [1, see: Neelix] and the intentions of Tuvok and Neelix already known, Tuvix's right to object diminishes.

2. Pro concedes his pragmatic contention but ignores by counter-argument. Merging two invaluable officers with essential roles in ship safety endangers them all. Their vessel was stranded in space and surrounded by hostile forces [3, see: Series Summary], making the loss of even a single trained crewman a heavy liability. The numerous responsibilities assigned to Tuvix would be beyond the scope of one man, inevitably resulting in either a critical mistake on his part or the reassignment and retraining of other needed officers. Either scenario risks the well-being of an already vulnerable crew and further demonstrates Tuvix's disinterest in the lives of others.

3. Pro cannot simultaneously defend Tuvix's right to life and ignore that right in others. The hybrid obtained matter that did not belong to him and which was necessary for the survival of its original owners. The fact that Tuvix also needed the material does not negate the fact that he wrongfully obtained it and thus held no rightful claim to it. Tuvix's ignorance of the theft does not excuse his responsibility toward those he harmed, even at his own expense. His refusal to return their lives is tantamount to killing two crewmen, leaving no reason to believe his death constituted murder in the eyes of the Federation. Indeed, the captain herself performed the act [4] and there is no record of her receiving any reprimand for doing so.

4. My opponent's attempts to rationalize these examples of law-breaking only demonstrate that the doctor, like any member of the crew, made decisions using his own circumstantial moral rubric. Pro also argues that these incidents were the result of program degeneration that occurred much later. However, the doctor's program had been active for roughly 1 year by the time Tuvix arrived [5, see: "Tuvix"], 6 times longer than its recommended maximum usage [5, see: "The Swarm"]. In fact, he required a memory wipe to clear his cluttered database only one year later! Clearly, the doctor's personality was well established by this point and his moral decisions were thus susceptible to bias and whim.

::Case Summary::

Pro's final claim is that Tuvix was a "rational, sentient, free willed entity that desired life." Indeed, the same can be said for the two officers who sacrificed their lives to create him. The crucial difference here is choice. Whereas Tuvok and Neelix were unknowing and unwilling participants in the incident, Tuvix purposely kept their stolen life-force to maintain his own. In doing so, he lost any presumption of innocence he held in their deaths and forced their immediate restoration.

::References::

1. http://memory-alpha.org...
2. http://memory-alpha.org...
3. http://memory-alpha.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://memory-alpha.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Cerebral_Narcissist

Pro

"Thanks to Pro for his detailed reply. This is a lot of fun =D"

Don't mention it, I would like to thank my opponent for the quality of his arguments and his detailed knowledge of Star Trek.

"1. Pro believes Tuvok and Neelix would have opposed separation, offering only his own interpretation of their values as proof."

My opponent is mistaken, I have not argued that Tuvok and Neelix would have opposed separation, rather that their opinion can not be established and this is a deficiency in the moral authority of the Captain to authorise separation.

In addition the post separation actions and opinions of the Tuvok and Neelix can not be retroactively extrapolated to ascertain their opinions prior to the separation.

"There is no feasible argument that suggests they would support separation after the fact but not before."

The morality of the two choices is completely different, to choose to separate is to choose to murder Tuvix, an innocent. To choose to rejoin is to choose to sacrifice yourself for a stranger.

"Pro goes on to claim Tuvix was not morally responsible for the circumstances of Tuvok and Neelix. In doing so, he ignores my argument that Tuvix's conscious decision not to restore their lives was entirely selfish, makes him responsible for their continued deaths, and necessarily forfeits his own right to life."

In actual fact I have addressed this point, but I will do again. My opponent does not question the concept that a sentient free willed being has a right to life, he has not attempted to contradict this under ‘our' legal/moral framework, nor that of the Federation. We can therefore assume he accepts this.

As Tuvix has a right to life it is unreasonable to expect him to commit suicide, he can not be morally or legally held responsible for the continued ‘deaths' of Tuvok and Neelix.

My opponent also fails to address a very important issue here, one that I only briefly touched upon and is admittedly not entirely consistent with every argument I have employed, that of existentialist doubt. My opponent is treating Tuvix, Tuvok and Neelix as three separate beings, failing to reflect on the fact that Tuvix is Tuvok and Neelix combined. Tuvok and Neelix are not dead, they are in a different form, they are in a differing state of personality, they are combined. By destroying Tuvix you do destroy one life, it does not truly follow that you restore two. Tuvix is Tuvok and Neelix.

"It was also inappropriate for Tuvix to speak on behalf of the fallen officers. He held a vested interest in their deaths and could not be trusted to accurately depict their desires. On the other hand, Kes [1], Neelix's mate, and Captain Janeway [2], their commanding officer, were the only legitimate choices on the ship to speak for the missing officers. With both women agreeing to the separation [1, see: Neelix] and the intentions of Tuvok and Neelix already known, Tuvix's right to object diminishes."

Neither your commanding officer, nor your girlfriend has the right to decide on the rights of life of your free willed sentient progeny. Therefore Neither Captain Janeway nor Kes possess the right to destroy the union of Tuvok and Neelix.

It surely stands to reason that a sentient being has greater rights over their life then people who knew their parents.

"2. Pro concedes his pragmatic contention but ignores by counter-argument. Merging two invaluable officers with essential roles in ship safety endangers them all.

Though I have conceded the pragmatic contention, I do not feel that this counter-argument has full merit. Neelix's duties were either trivial or redundant.

Chef, several crew members would be able to cook.
Morale officer, again hardly a unique skill.
Navigator, primarily handled by computers or those with proper training.
Ambassador, numerous crew members, including the Captain can act in this role.

As a result Tuvix could easily resume Tuvoks duties, and others could step up to fill the shoes of Neelix.

"3. Pro cannot simultaneously defend Tuvix's right to life and ignore that right in others."

If Tuvok and Neelix are held to be dead then they have no right to life, at least not one over and above a living creature.
If they are held to be alive in the combined form of Tuvix then again their separation entails the death of an innocent life, which is murder.

"The hybrid obtained matter that did not belong to him and which was necessary for the survival of its original owners."

The matter in question is the hybrid, the very substance of him, what he was born with. If it can not be argued that he has rights over that, then how can anyone claim to have ownership of anything.

"4. My opponent's attempts to rationalize these examples of law-breaking only demonstrate that the doctor, like any member of the crew, made decisions using his own circumstantial moral rubric. Pro also argues that these incidents were the result of program degeneration that occurred much later. However, the doctor's program had been active for roughly 1 year by the time Tuvix arrived [5, see: "Tuvix"], 6 times longer than its recommended maximum usage [5, see: "The Swarm"]. In fact, he required a memory wipe to clear his cluttered database only one year later! Clearly, the doctor's personality was well established by this point and his moral decisions were thus susceptible to bias and whim."
Then I am forced to retract this point and accept that the Doctor is only a ‘circumstantial' moral authority.

In Conclusion
If we regard pre-separation Tuvok and Neelix as dead, even if this is a rectifiable situation my opponent still recognises that Tuvix as a sentient being has rights. It can not be expected that Tuvix would choose to kill himself and as a result his forcible destruction is murder. Therefore only a vote for Pro is valid.

If however, we regard Tuvok and Neelix as not dead, simply transfigured and combined in the form of Tuvix then the issue is not two lives against one. To keep them combined is, in a sense to maintain the lives of three entities. To separate them is to destroy one being. To forcibly separate them without permission from any of them is murder. Therefore only a vote for Pro is valid.

The point also remains that irrespective of rights, or overlapping rights Tuvix was an innocent, sentient being that was destroyed against his will. This is surely murder, surely immoral and almost certainly illegal. Therefore I strongly urge a vote for Pro.

Thank you for an excellent debate!
Maikuru

Con

This has been a great debate and I thank C_N for making it possible. As this is the final round, I will offer only rebuttals and summaries, with all arguments based on previously referenced sources or contentions.

::Opening Statement::

Pro has admittedly presented us with inconsistent theories. Some of his arguments only apply if Tuvok and Neelix were killed in the accident, while others hinge on them remaining somehow alive within Tuvix. I'm sure my opponent would love to have his moral cake and eat it, too, but his latter claim simply doesn't hold water.

Regardless of how we define it, Tuvok and Neelix were not "alive" and well within Tuvix. The two lost their bodies and occupied no independent physical space. They lost all social and familial ties, as evidenced by Kes' rejection of Tuvix and his need to form new relationships with the crew. As for their mental states, the two were opposites in almost every way [1, see: Neelix]. Pro himself argued that Tuvok and Neelix had different mentalities, with the former relying solely on logic [1] and the latter using emotion [2]. The combination of these incompatible mindsets fundamentally altered them, discarding the unique selves of Tuvok and Neelix in the process.

Tuvix's behavior supports this theory. If the minds of the Tuvok and Neelix were truly available to him, he would have agreed to a temporary separation to demonstrate their consent to the crew. Even if he feared this brief "suicide," it was his last recourse once Captain Janeway ordered the separation. The preponderance of evidence suggests Tuvix did not act as a peaceful dwelling for Tuvok and Neelix, but rather that every moment of his existence essentially destroyed them. Pro's empty claims of Tuvix's innocence no longer stand, and thus separating him to save two true innocents was not immoral.

::Rebuttals::

1. Pro argued that a right to life necessarily assumes an opportunity to survive. Thus, Tuvok and Neelix had a reasonable expectation of continued existence, which, barring their permission, must be defended. The ship's captain and Neelix's mate were morally justified in saving them, especially in the face of one who would actively keep their lives from them.

Now, my opponent maintains that Tuvix's rights held priority over theirs. However, why would this be? Pro concedes that Tuvix had a vested interest in the deaths of the two men and actively denied them their right to survive. As all three were soldiers on a military ship, the decision rightfully fell to their commanding officer. In this case, her ruling involved preserving the maximum number of lives, returning ill-gotten property, and ensuring the well-being of the hundreds on board.

As for that decision's repercussions on Tuvix, Pro only states that the price was too high. Of course, given that he had no claim to his existence in the first place, this defense is irrelevant. His atoms, his cells, his very genetic make-up...everything Tuvix was belonged to someone else. Tuvok and Neelix did not willingly donate part of themselves to another or create a cell which eventually grew into its own, as with a child. Their entire beings were snatched away without reason or consent, leaving them helpless and wanting. Morality does not support Pro's theory of genetic finders-keepers, and Tuvix was obligated to return what he had wrongfully obtained.

2. Pro agrees that merging Tuvok and Neelix would require other officers to be retrained and reassigned to compensate. Not only would this further strain an already small crew, it would not eliminate the issue of overburdening a single officer. Neelix was the only man on board who knew where they were and what species they would encounter [2, see: "Caretaker"], meaning Tuvix would have to maintain navigator and ambassador duties on top of those of Tuvok. Pro has failed to demonstrate the moral superiority of endangering the crew in this way, despite having 3 rounds to do so.

3. Considering the issue of morality hinges most on this particular argument, I am surprised by Pro's lack of a defense. Once again, he relies on the fact that Tuvix was alive and the others were not to establish immorality. However, I could not claim moral superiority over those I had murdered just because I was still alive and they were not. Similarly, Tuvix must be innocent of any wrongdoing in the deaths of Tuvok and Neelix before his existence alone grants him the moral high ground. In this case, he certainly was not.

If one accidentally acquires stolen property but refuses to return it, are they innocent? Should the original owners be expected to forfeit what's theirs because its possessor has use for it? The fact that Tuvix was created with the property in question does not clear him of his responsibility to make amends. After all, Tuvok and Neelix were already born of the same substance and thus held a rightful claim over it. Tuvix, who was harboring this life-force against the wills of the crewmen and those who spoke for them, did not.

4. Pro has conceded that the doctor does not speak for the Federation. He also dropped my previous point that the captain was not legally reprimanded for separating Tuvix. These two concessions eliminate Pro's argument on illegality.

::Conclusion::

Pro's task in this debate was to show that, within the context of the story, Tuvix's end was either illegal or immoral. Having abandoned his arguments about the law, Pro's entire case rested on Tuvix's innocence (as the death of an innocent would be immoral). Fortunately, this claim was always an empty one. The only innocents in this scenario were Tuvok, Neelix, and the rest of the crew. As Tuvix's actions served only to destroy or endanger them, his alleged innocence is defeated and the resolution has been negated.

Thanks for reading. It's been a lot of fun!

~ Maikuru (Con)

::References::

1. http://memory-alpha.org...
2. http://memory-alpha.org...
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by hackett 1 month ago
hackett
I have just watched the Tuvix episode and it really was moving. I have not read all the wordy articles, I have a life!!, but I think it comes down to - they did not consent to being joined so they had to be returned to their original state. It was a very dramatic event. Which one of them played the part or was it a third person?

Happy watching I do not mid saying I cried" Darren
Posted by TdotSoul 1 year ago
TdotSoul
Maikuru, could you elaborate on why you felt Tuvix was being selfish? It kinfdof feels like you weren't really putting yourself in Tuvix's shoes.

- do you not agree that Tuvix came into being through no fault of his own, that it was a freak of nature?
- isn't it reasonable to assume that Neelix and Tuvok were essentially dead?
- if you agree with that, do you not then agree that he is innocent?
- do you agree that he became a sentient individual?
- don't innocent sentient individuals have a right to life?
- isn't it reasonable for someone to want to live?
Posted by critical-thinker 1 year ago
critical-thinker
I would like to see a better resolution on whether sacrificing Tuvik's life is consistent with ethics.
Posted by Maikuru 3 years ago
Maikuru
Thank you so much for your input, Tdot. This is one of my favorite debates and I wish it had more attention. If you're a Star Trek fan, I look forward to reading and/or participating in some of your own Sci-Fi debates.

Welcome to the site!
Posted by TdotSoul 3 years ago
TdotSoul
One last thing, and C_N touched on this vaguely, but since it was not implied that Tuvok and Neelix were somehow alive and being "held hostage" (a inappropriate word Maikuru used in his arguments to give it shock value) within Tuvix, it can be assumed they were essentially dead, and had no wants or needs, no oppinion on the matter. Janeway's decision, and the reason it was so wrong, was because she and the crew missed Tuvok and Neelix, not because they were in limbo somewhere hoping to get back, while Tuvix was alive, Tuvok and Neelix quite litterally did not exist as sentient beings, and you can't base life and death decisions on what a non-existent sentient being might want. Therefore the desires of the many ultimately overwhelmed the right to live of the one.
Posted by TdotSoul 3 years ago
TdotSoul
IMO Tuvok and Neelix were dead while Tuvix was alive, this was an accident, but in nature most things happen accidentaly, and that does not make the results any less valid. I feel that the rights of the living supercede the rights of the dead.

I think it is safe to say that if Tuvix could have contributed to the revival of Tuvok and Neelix without the ending of his own, he would have done so, so Mariku I think it was unfair of you to imply that Tuvix was selfishly depriving Tuvok and Neelix of their lives, or that he had stolen their genetic matter, or that there was even any theft involved.

You also talked about histories, and the rights of the family members, but these are trumped and irrelevant when considdering the rights of a heathly individual to continue living. Famillies must all inevitably deal with death at some point.

Regarding the importance of history, would you then say that a healthy newborn baby without any history should be sacrificed, if its stem cells could save an adult with a rich history? And don't talk to me about who the cells belonged to in the first place, I'm talking about the specific concept of the importance of history, if you want to use it as an argument, it must be able to stand on its own.

You talk about the rights of 2 vs. the rights of one, would it then stand to reason that if you could save two innocent people, children even by killing one innocent homeless person with a will to live, would that be ethical? Emotionally we would probably justify this, two promising young people vs. a dirty hobo, but would it be right?

The point is Tuvok and Neelix, died by accident, a sentient was created as a result, by no fault of his own. There was no theft involved, no deliberate act. It is unreasonable to sumise that Tuvix was being selfish or malicious by wanting to live, and thereby not innocent. It came down to one innocent being murdered for two innocents.
Posted by anon1234567890 3 years ago
anon1234567890
On a sidenote, I suspect that a lot of Star Trek fans might not vote objectively but based on their preference for Tuvok and Neelix. This could work against pro I suppose.
Posted by anon1234567890 3 years ago
anon1234567890
I can't vote because of phone verification, but I think that pro won the debate, although both parties had very good debating skills. I also think that Voyager was the worst Star Trek series ever. I really hate the self-righteous and moralistic characters of Janeway and Chakotay.
Posted by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
Excellent. You a Star Trek fan, L-M?
Posted by Logical-Master 4 years ago
Logical-Master
If I have the time, I shall read this debate some time tonight. Cheerio.
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