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What would you do in the situation outlined below?
Surrender yourself 30%  30%  [ 3 ]
Surrender the prisoner 50%  50%  [ 5 ]
No surrender and open fire! 20%  20%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 10

puddingmouse
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20 Sep 2010, 6:06 am

Imagine you are captain of a spaceship. A very advanced and very sadistic alien race appear within firing rage. They request that you surrender one person on board for them to perform weird experiments on and eventually kill.

You have one prisoner on board, who is locked up for trying to assasinate you. If you do not surrender one person, the alien ship will open fire and since they are so much more advanced, all 100 people on board will almost certainly die.

Which of these three options is more ethically sound?

1. Surrender yourself. It is your duty as a captain to ensure the safety of your crew. It's part of the job you signed up for.

2. Surrender the prisoner. That person tried to kill you! Who knows what else they will do if allowed to live?

3. Open fire on the alien ship. You will lose the fight, but it will be an honourable death for all on board. Who do these annoying superbeings think they are? Let's show them the human spirt!



Jacoby
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20 Sep 2010, 8:13 am

Surrender the prisoner

we should of killed him in the first place



puddingmouse
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20 Sep 2010, 8:28 am

Jacoby wrote:
Surrender the prisoner

we should of killed him in the first place


The prisoner is under the custody of the law (whatever it is in this hypothetical situation). You don't have the right order their death, even if they tried to kill you (and you are the captain).

Tbh, it was the response I first thought of, but then I went for the honourable death because I'd like the aliens to meet with some resistance, rather than just take what they want.



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20 Sep 2010, 11:29 am

http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Nagilum


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DeaconBlues
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20 Sep 2010, 11:31 am

I choose option 4. The aliens have only requested one person to perform hideous experiments upon, after all - as commander of the vessel, I deny their request. If these aliens are so "advanced", yet have made a request, this implies that they are sufficiently ethically advanced themselves as to not simply take someone; thus, it may be possible to talk our way out of this. There's no need to open fire just yet...

However, I will not surrender a prisoner for such a purpose, particularly one who has not yet stood trial for his crimes (perhaps he believed he had good reason for the attempted assassination; perhaps he didn't even do it, and is being framed by the true assassin; perhaps it wasn't even an assassination attempt, and the parplam stew had simply gone bad). If this means open combat, I will attempt to send a warning message to the nearest Terran facility, so that they can prepare for the apparently inevitable war.


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puddingmouse
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20 Sep 2010, 11:46 am

Ichinin wrote:
http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Nagilum


This proves it: there are no new ideas!



puddingmouse
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20 Sep 2010, 11:56 am

DeaconBlues wrote:
I choose option 4. The aliens have only requested one person to perform hideous experiments upon, after all - as commander of the vessel, I deny their request. If these aliens are so "advanced", yet have made a request, this implies that they are sufficiently ethically advanced themselves as to not simply take someone; thus, it may be possible to talk our way out of this. There's no need to open fire just yet...

However, I will not surrender a prisoner for such a purpose, particularly one who has not yet stood trial for his crimes (perhaps he believed he had good reason for the attempted assassination; perhaps he didn't even do it, and is being framed by the true assassin; perhaps it wasn't even an assassination attempt, and the parplam stew had simply gone bad). If this means open combat, I will attempt to send a warning message to the nearest Terran facility, so that they can prepare for the apparently inevitable war.


I admire your analysis of the situation with the prisoner.

This could be a test on the part of the aliens to see how you react. A really bad galactic joke., If I could edit the poll, I'd add the option to 'refuse the request and not open fire.' I think it was my hotheadedness that made me miss that possibility.

If this was like Star Trek, you could talk your way out of it. If this was like Babylon 5, you would shoot the ship, but there would be some deus ex machina aliens interfering on your behalf. :lol:



Last edited by puddingmouse on 21 Sep 2010, 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ichinin
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20 Sep 2010, 12:05 pm

puddingmouse wrote:
Ichinin wrote:
http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Nagilum


This proves it: there are no new ideas!


LOL.

I had the same epiphany when i released a mod for Morrowind a few years ago, a mod that would allow you to design your own house by placing out sections of the house in a large containercell. I posted it and the first post i got was; "Didn't some guy do something similar a week ago"? :P


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puddingmouse
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20 Sep 2010, 12:20 pm

Ichinin wrote:
I had the same epiphany when i released a mod for Morrowind a few years ago, a mod that would allow you to design your own house by placing out sections of the house in a large containercell. I posted it and the first post i got was; "Didn't some guy do something similar a week ago"? :P


I've never played Morrowind modded. I've not played it for a while, but I preferred it to Oblivion, despite its age.



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20 Sep 2010, 12:28 pm

DeaconBlues wrote:
I choose option 4.


Which one's option 4? I only see 3 options there.



DeaconBlues
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20 Sep 2010, 1:34 pm

Jono wrote:
DeaconBlues wrote:
I choose option 4.


Which one's option 4? I only see 3 options there.

Which is why I spelled out a fourth option in my post. "There are always alternatives, Spock said..." - J. T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.


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20 Sep 2010, 1:35 pm

DeaconBlues wrote:
Jono wrote:
DeaconBlues wrote:
I choose option 4.


Which one's option 4? I only see 3 options there.

Which is why I spelled out a fourth option in my post.

"There are always alternatives, Spock said..." - J. T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
(quoting Kirk because I don't recall Spock using those exact words)


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20 Sep 2010, 6:09 pm

DeaconBlues wrote:
Jono wrote:
DeaconBlues wrote:
I choose option 4.


Which one's option 4? I only see 3 options there.

Which is why I spelled out a fourth option in my post. "There are always alternatives, Spock said..." - J. T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

I remember Spock asked Kirk before his death "What do you think of my solution?" regarding the Kobayashi Maru test.


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ladyrain
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20 Sep 2010, 6:11 pm

puddingmouse wrote:
Imagine you are captain of a spaceship. ...

"A very advanced" - then presumably they can take what they want without asking.

"and very sadistic alien race appear" - sadistic - what does it matter whether they ask for one person or a dozen or a million - it's a game, a form of blackmail, and they are hardly going to say "Oh thank you very much, we'll just take our new toy and go away and leave you all in peace."
Quote:
1. Surrender yourself. It is your duty as a captain to ensure the safety of your crew. It's part of the job you signed up for.

That will not guarantee anyone's safety.
Quote:
2. Surrender the prisoner. That person tried to kill you! Who knows what else they will do if allowed to live?

What difference does it make if someone is a prisoner - if the prisoner had been killed as a defense against assasination, that's one thing, but to turn anyone over, even the prisoner, is to be complicit in their murder - so not exactly any kind of moral high ground.
Quote:
3. Open fire on the alien ship. You will lose the fight, but it will be an honourable death for all on board. Who do these annoying superbeings think they are? Let's show them the human spirt!

No surrender. You're not dead until you are, and then there's nothing to worry about.
Bullies are bullies, alien or not, and making unreasonable demands is part of their fun.
The only real question would be whether you shoot first, or try to escape/foil them in another way. And if all else fails, take them with you - standard sci-fi solution.



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20 Sep 2010, 8:16 pm

Surrender the prisoner.

ladyrain wrote:
"A very advanced" - then presumably they can take what they want without asking.

Not necessarily. Capturing people alive could be more difficult. Certainly there seems to be a contradiction in this statement and "if all else fails, take them with you", as presumably an enemy that can disable you to take what they want also could not be taken out by a kamikaze strategy.

Quote:
"and very sadistic alien race appear" - sadistic - what does it matter whether they ask for one person or a dozen or a million - it's a game, a form of blackmail, and they are hardly going to say "Oh thank you very much, we'll just take our new toy and go away and leave you all in peace."

They could, and certainly I think there is a higher chance of survival by sating them than not sating their demand. Heck, it could really be that they are doing this mostly to force that decision and desire you to live knowing that you did what you did.

Quote:
What difference does it make if someone is a prisoner - if the prisoner had been killed as a defense against assasination, that's one thing, but to turn anyone over, even the prisoner, is to be complicit in their murder - so not exactly any kind of moral high ground.

Ok, but the issue is that if you don't turn in the prisoner, you will certainly cause the deaths of 100 people. Even further, it isn't as if the prisoner is an ally, but rather an enemy, and it is difficult to say that killing an enemy in a position where their death increases your survival is highly evil.

Quote:
No surrender. You're not dead until you are, and then there's nothing to worry about.
Bullies are bullies, alien or not, and making unreasonable demands is part of their fun.
The only real question would be whether you shoot first, or try to escape/foil them in another way. And if all else fails, take them with you - standard sci-fi solution.

Well, right, but nobody wants to die, and none of your allies against this presumed sadistic race likely desire your death either. Nothing is accomplished by resisting when one's chances of survival can be easily increased by sacrificing an enemy.

I mean, perhaps sacrificing a prisoner lacks the idealistic vigor of the various forms of suicide, but honestly, surviving is a better tactic in most regards.