Star Trek IV and Environmental Ethics.
In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling explore the issues of animal rights and environmental ethics in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In the wake of a recent announcement that Sea World is ceasing its captive orca (killer whale) breeding program, Mike and Zachary consider the possible justification for considering whales (and fire ants!) as beings entitled to moral consideration. From whale consciousness and intelligence, to whales' ability to feel pain, to whale pods and the ethics of care, Mike and Zachary have a whale of a time discussing environmental ethics down in Cetacean Ops.
Welcome to Episode 22 and Initial Thoughts (00:01:10)
Changing Sensibilities - Whale Shows and Breeding in Captivity (00:04:56)
Synopsis of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (00:10:00)
Whale Consciousness and Intelligence - Kantian Ethics (00:12:22)
Whale Pain and Pleasure - Utilitarian Ethics (00:22:27)
Whale Communication - The Turing Test (00:26:43)
The Environmental Movement and the Biosphere as a Whole (00:35:10)
Critiquing the Romanticism of Nature (00:42:03)
The Value of Nature - Intrinsic Value vs. Usefulness for Humans (00:46:12)
Whale Pods and Care Ethics (00:50:02)
Animal Ethics and the Burden of Proof (00:52:39)
Sentimentalism - Warm Fuzzy Whales vs. Fire Ants and Snakes (00:57:29)
Rewriting Star Trek IV - "Save the Fire Ants!" (1:02:48)
Final Thoughts (01:03:24)
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)
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