Nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche held that Western philosophers from Socrates onward have had a gigantic death wish in the form of philosophical escapism and denial of our nature as finite, embodied beings with our own uniquely individual perspectives, drives, and desires. Philosophers in the Q Continuum likewise seem to have a death wish, especially Quinn, the Q Continuum's greatest philosopher.
In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the philosophical and existential themes in the second-season Voyager episode "Death Wish." Although "Death Wish" is usually interpreted as a moral dilemma about assisted suicide—itself a hot moral topic since the 1990s—Zachary and Mike argue instead that "Death Wish" is a subtler but highly-developed example of Nietzschean philosophy of embodiment, perspectivism, and metaphorical self-expression.
Zachary and Mike also discuss the question of meaning as it relates to death, the finitude of human life, and the possibility of immortality—in the Q Continuum or in any form of the afterlife.
Initial Thoughts on Voyager: "Death Wish" (00:03:32)
Philosophical Overview and Examples of Nietzschean Philosophy (00:06:43)
Quinn: Genius or Madman? (00:16:39)
The Meaningfulness of Life (00:26:16)
The Problem with Perfect Being Theology and the Death of God (00:42:04)
Camus and The Myth of Sisyphus (00:43:18)
Existentialism and the Subjectivity of Fulfillment in Life (00:48:31)
Marcus Aurelius and the Question of Legacy (00:55:15)
How the Q Continuum is Depicted in Death Wish (00:58:49)
Comparing and Contrasting How Star Trek Depicts the Q Continuum (01:08:25)
Is All of Star Trek Escapist? (01:11:38)
A Few Final Questions About "Death Wish" (01:21:17)
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison
Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Mar Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)