Info

Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast

Meta Treks is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the philosophical ideas found in Star Trek. In each episode, Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison take you on a fascinating journey into the inner workings of Star Trek storytelling, deeper into subspace than you've ever traveled before.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast
2018
July
May
April
March


2017
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: Category: Ethics
Apr 23, 2018

Good vs. Evil in Star Trek.  

We generally understand the meaning of "good," whether in the sense of following the rules or in the sense of minimizing the suffering of others. But, paradoxically, we understand the nature of "evil" to a far lesser degree. While Star Trek tends to shy away from making strict moral judgments, opting instead to humanize its villains by explaining the psychological motivations for their actions or the roots of those actions in past experiences, Star Trek does, however, explore the nature of evil in characters such as Armus from "Skin of Evil" (Star Trek: The Next Generation), the Borg Queen (Star Trek: First Contact; Star Trek: Voyager), and the Pah-Wraiths (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling discuss "good versus evil" in the Star Trek universe. Are these supposedly evil characters are truly evil, or are they off the hook because of their backgrounds and their respective sob stories?  

Chapters 
Intro (00:01:19) 
Initial Thoughts on Good and Evil (00:03:17) 
Pah-Wraiths and Evil in DS9 (00:08:43) 
False Dichotomies and Defining Characteristics of Evil (00:11:25) 
Enter Armus from "Skin of Evil" (00:18:09) 
Comparing Evil in Star Trek to Evil in Theology (00:28:52) 
The Borg as a Candidate for Evil (00:38:00) 
The Borg Queen vs. The Pah-Wraiths (00:50:39) 
Nietzsche and the Judaeo Concept of Evil (00:56:41) 
Khaaaan! (01:05:51) 
Final Thoughts (01:13:52) 
Closing (01:27:02)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
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) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Mar 12, 2018

The Conscience of the King.  

To what extent does a person remain morally responsible for his or her actions over time, even after many years or after changes in character and experience? Can people ever change who they fundamentally are inside, or do they merely become better actors playing different roles?  

In "The Conscience of the King" (Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1), Captain Kirk suspects the 23rd-Century Shakespearean actor Anton Karidian of actually being the (believed-deceased) former governor of Earth colony Tarsus IV, Kodos "The Executioner," notorious for having executed over 4,000 people. Is Karidian really Kodos after all? And if so, is Karidian now a different person, in a moral sense, than the person he used to be? Or is Kodos "The Executioner" still there just beneath the surface and under the guise of Karidian the actor?  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the philosophical themes of moral responsibility and personal identity over time in "The Conscience of the King," including the inspired use of theater-acting and masks as metaphors for personal transformation, or perhaps the lack thereof.  

Chapters 
Intro (00:01:20) 
Initial Thoughts about "The Conscience of the King" (00:02:30) 
Morality and Identity Over Time (00:10:31) 
Radical Conversion, Paul the Apostle, and Identity (00:16:31) 
The Sins of the Father: Lenore Karidian (00:24:26) 
Caesar of the Stars (00:26:46) 
Kodos and Eugenics (00:32:18) 
Not Very Human (00:41:03) 
Truman on Trial (00:51:29) 
Guilt and Culpability (00:57:10) 
Riley and Revenge (01:00:25) 
Closing (01:14:29)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
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) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Jun 5, 2017
Cardassian Virtue Ethics.  

Throughout the Star Trek universe, the various alien races serve as a mirror for the best and the worst of our own human natures, and the Cardassians are no exception. But which character traits do the Cardassians find most virtuous? And which characters in the Star Trek universe are the best candidates for the ideal or most virtuous Cardassians, based on the unique character traits that Cardassians themselves recognize as virtues?  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling discuss Cardassian virtue ethics and what we can learn about ourselves from a look into Cardassian culture.  

Chapters 
Intro (00:01:21) 
Cardassian Virtue Ethics (00:04:22) 
Next Generation Cardassians vs. DS9 Cardassians (00:12:11) 
Body Language and Projecting Values (00:18:14) 
The Cardassian √úbermensch (00:29:37) 
Tribunal and the Ethics of the Cardassian State (00:35:08) 
Industrial Design as a Reflection of Cardassian Values (00:48:50) 
Self Sacrifice vs. Self Service and The Philosopher-King Paradox (00:57:32) 
The Hero of His Own Story (01:07:35) 
Final Thoughts (01:08:28) 
Closing (01:15:20)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
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) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
Mar 20, 2017

Cloaking Devices and the Ring of Gyges.  

Invisibility has a long tradition both in fiction and in philosophy, from The Ring of Gyges in Plato's Republic to The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, from the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien to the Klingon and Romulan cloaking devices seen throughout the Star Trek universe. In this episode of Meta Treks hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling discuss the ethics of invisibility. Do these fictional invisibility devices reveal the true darkness of our inner nature, or is the power of invisibility a seductive and corrupting force that leads to a spiral of moral decay? Is it possible, through the cultivation of moral virtues, habits, and training, to shield oneself against the influence of the temptations of anonymity? And speaking of invisibility rings and cloaking devices, Mike and Zachary ask the deepest question of all: what exactly would Captains Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer do with unfettered access to a personal cloaking device or an invisibility ring?  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 62 (00:01:07) 
The Ring of Gyges and the Ethics of Invisibility (00:03:32) 
Romulan and Klingon Cloaking Devices (00:11:38) 
Star Trek VI - It Has to Have a Tailpipe (00:13:56) 
Klingon Honor - Don't Fire While Cloaked (00:15:59) 
Romulans - Thieves in the Night (00:19:12) 
Federation Cloaking Devices in TNG and DS9 (00:21:16) 
WWCD - What Would the Captains Do? (00:29:06) 
Does Invisibility Corrupt or Reveal Human Nature? (00:35:30) 
The Sonic Shower Stipulation (00:44:31) 
Just One Little Step - The Nature/Nurture Debate (00:50:12) 
Cultivating Moral Habits - Defeating Temptation (00:55:10) 
"The Pegasus" and "Equinox" - A Slippery Slope (01:03:49) 
Lightness, Darkness, and Privacy (01:09:28) 
Closing (01:18:02)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Kit Loffstadt (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Feb 27, 2017

Disobeying Orders.  

Starfleet officers generally respect the chain of command. When an order comes down the pipe from a superior officer or from the Federation council, that order is usually obeyed out of duty, honor, loyalty, and respect. But when is it appropriate for a Starfleet officer to disobey orders or defy the chain of command? When an unjust order comes from one of the many "badmirals" in the Star Trek universe? When the lives of your shipmates are in imminent danger? Out of friendship or conflicting loyalties? In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the ethics of rule-breaking and disobeying orders in the Star Trek universe and beyond!  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 59 (00:01:07) 
Initial Thoughts and Examples (00:01:48) 
Motivations for Disobeying Orders (00:06:42) 
The Chain of Command - Intrinsic Value vs. Pragmatic Value (00:16:40) 
Philosophical Justification for Following Orders (00:45:50) 
Inquiries and Courts-Martial (01:00:54)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Norman Lao (Associate Producer) Kit Loffstadt (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Dec 5, 2016

Scientific and Medical Ethics.  

In Deep Space Nine, we learn that the Bajoran scientist Dr. Mora Pol helped Odo achieve his full potential as a sentient, shape-shifting life form. Odo, however, carried deep-seated resentment for his initial treatment under Dr. Mora and for some of Dr. Mora's more invasive research methods. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss issues of scientific and medical ethics in Star Trek, including whether one is ever justified in causing harm to another living being for benefit of that being itself, for the benefit of other living beings, for a society's greater good, or for the sake of increasing scientific and medical knowledge.  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 51 (00:01:07) 
The Four Stages of Odo and Dr. Mora (00:02:25) 
Sentience, Suffering, and Informed Consent (00:05:21) 
Competing Ethical Theories on Scientific Research (00:13:56) 
The Cardassian Factor - Comparing Dr. Mora Pol with Dr. Crell Moset (00:24:46) 
Virtue Ethics - Clinical Detachment and the Ethics of Care (00:33:09) 
The Evolution of Dr. Mora - From Scientist to Loving Father (00:39:23) 
Emotionally Attached Doctors in Star Trek - McCoy and Pulaski (00:54:17) 
Comparison with Commander Maddox and Data (00:56:06) 
Final Thoughts (00:58:12)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Nov 21, 2016

Stoicism.  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison search for examples of stoicism in Star Trek. As an ancient Greek and Roman school of thought, stoicism emphasizes suppression of harmful emotions, recognizing the ebb and flow of the cosmos, the impermanence of all things, dutifulness and steadfastness in labor, acceptance of things beyond your control, acceptance of suffering as part of nature, and striving to make order where you are able. From Marcus Aurelius of Ancient Rome to Surak of Vulcan, Zachary and Mike examine the essence of stoicism, both inside and outside of the Star Trek universe.  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 49 (00:01:42) 
Meta Treks Feedback (00:02:22) 
Initial Thoughts on Stoicism (00:05:02) 
Stoicism and Cosmic Order (00:08:44) 
Steadfastness and Temperance (00:11:03) 
Are Vulcans Stoic? (00:15:36) 
Stoicism Quiz Show - Marcus Aurelius or Surak of Vulcan? (00:17:54) 
Tempering Emotions - "Gravity" and Young Tuvok (00:24:60) 
All Things End (00:27:15) 
The Kobayashi Maru - Military Discipline and Emotional Desensitization (00:29:40) 
Are Klingons Stoic? Is Worf Stoic? (00:30:45) 
Outer Stoicism vs. Inner Stoicism - Spock and Tuvok (00:36:42) 
Hyperbole in "Parallax" - A "Tense" Situation (00:38:28) 
Pragmatic Stoicism (00:44:58) 
Jean-Luc Picard - An Almost Vulcan Quality (00:47:19) 
Odo - A Need for Order (00:53:15) 
Final thoughts (01:04:36)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Jun 6, 2016

The Philosophy of Insurrection.  

Coming off the heels of the blockbuster success of Star Trek: First Contact, the next TNG-era feature film Star Trek: Insurrection returned to Star Trek's philosophical roots by focusing on a strong moral dilemma, social commentary, and character interaction. Although Insurrection is not usually cited as a fan-favorite among TNG-era Star Trek films, Insurrection is a classic Star Trek morality play containing an impressive number of philosophical layers, given its otherwise lighthearted tone.  

In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling explain their fondness for Star Trek: Insurrection and discuss its interwoven philosophical themes, such as the ethics of forced relocation and eminent domain, balancing the needs of the many with the rights of the few, civil disobedience and the responsibility to act on moral conviction, anti-technological social commentary, the themes of family and reconciliation, the Ba'ku Fountain of Youth and the meaning of life in the 24th Century, and the importance of finding joy in small moments, even in the face of great trials.  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 30 (00:01:32) 
Memories of Star Trek: Insurrection (00:03:36) 
Initial Thoughts (00:06:27) 
Relocating the Ba'ku - The Needs of the Many vs. the Rights of the Few (00:16:14) 
Comparing Insurrection and TNG "Journey's End" (00:26:04) 
Moral Conviction and Civil Disobedience - The Responsibility to Act (00:29:14) 
The Ba'ku and Anti-Technological Social Commentary (00:34:57) 
Reconciliation Theme (00:39:40) 
The Fountain of Youth and the Meaning of Life (00:43:07) 
The Human Condition - Finding Joy in Small Moments (00:51:31) 
Son'a as Prodigal Children (00:55:14) 
Are the Son'a in Thomas Hobbes's State of Nature? (00:59:39) 
Final Thoughts (01:06:25)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
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)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Apr 4, 2016

Vulcan Philosophy and Spinoza.  

Meta Treks hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss aspects of Vulcan philosophy, such as logic and IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations). Zachary and Mike examine the philosophical roots of Vulcan philosophy in the work of the Western rationalist philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza's greatest work, Ethics, contains many aspects of Vulcan philosophy, such as logical deduction from first principles and axioms, determinism (or faith that the universe will unfold as it should), infinity and diversity within one infinite and unbound substance, and the suppression of harmful emotions. Given the many connections between Vulcan philosophy and Spinoza, Zachary and Mike are left wondering, "How exactly did those first Vulcan visitors to Earth manage to snag a copy of Spinoza's Ethics to take with them back home to Vulcan?"  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 23 (00:1:07) 
IDIC in The Animated Series (00:02:07) 
Vulcan Stoicism (00:03:18) 
Star Trek VI - "Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not its end." (00:06:01) 
Spinoza and Vulcan Philosophy - Vulcan Rationalism (00:08:11) 
Faith that the Universe Will Unfold as it Should (00:15:55) 
Spinoza and Vulcan Philosophy - One Unbound and Infinite Substance (00:18:53) 
Pantheism and Environmentalism (00:22:09) 
Vulcan Diversity (00:24:43) 
IDIC and Deep Interconnectedness (00:27:05) 
Spinoza and Vulcan Philosophy - Suppression of Harmful Emotions (00:29:55) 
Determinism + Logic + IDIC + Suppression of Emotions = Spinoza (00:33:11) 
Leonard Nimoy Narrates the Spinoza's Ethics Audiobook (00:35:37) 
Mind/Body Dual Aspect Theory and Vulcan Touch Telepathy (00:39:10) 
Vulcan Cultural Enlightenment - Taking Spinoza and IDIC Seriously (00:46:33) 
Final Thoughts (01:08:00)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
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)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm  

Mar 14, 2016

Preemptive War and Star Trek Into Darkness.  

Star Trek has a long tradition of dealing with ethical, social, and political issues in the real world, and Star Trek Into Darkness is no different. One of the most important issues in the world today is how far a society should go to protect itself. What freedoms should we be willing to give up for sake of safety and security? Should a government be allowed to spy on its own citizens? And is it morally and ethically permissible to start a preemptive war with a real or perceived enemy? Star Trek Into Darkness tackles this last question head-on through Admiral Marcus's attempt to start a preemptive war against the Klingons. In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling examine the ethical issue of preemptive war as the principle ethical dilemma in Star Trek Into Darkness.  

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 20 (00:01:07)
Preemptive War and Star Trek Into Darkness (00:03:12)
The Portrayal of Khan (00:07:28)
Synopsis of Star Trek Into Darkness (00:09:38)
Star Trek Into Darkness and the Post-9/11 World (00:11:52)
Preemptive War - Consequentialism vs. Care Ethics (00:20:14)
The Trolley Problem, a.k.a. The Shuttlecraft Problem (00:28:27)
Preemptive War and Deontological/Kantian Ethics (00:38:08)
Militarism and Fear of the Klingons (00:40:34)
Final Thoughts (00:53:39)

Hosts
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling
 
Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm

Support the Network!
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm
Feb 29, 2016

Poker, Virtue Ethics, and the Prisoner's Dilemma.  

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, we see a lot of poker: from Commander Riker cleaning house, to Data learning how to bluff, to Geordi claiming not to cheat with his VISOR. But exactly why do we see so much poker in Star Trek? What important character traits or skills does the game of poker help instill in a young Starfleet officer? Can any important lessons in ethics or diplomacy be learned from playing poker? How are those character traits or skills different from those learned from playing other games, such as three-dimensional chess? And how does poker relate to game-like scenarios in ethics, such as the Prisoner's Dilemma? In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling tackle the philosophy and ethics of poker aboard the Enterprise-D. From virtue ethics to game theory, Mike and Zachary bluff their way through a discussion of the deeper significance of poker in the Star Trek universe. 

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 18 (00:01:07)
Intro to the Topic (00:01:19)
Meta Treks Reviews on iTunes (00:05:04)
Poker Episodes in Star Trek: The Next Generation (00:08:38)
Virtue Ethics - Does Poker Cultivate Desirable Character Traits? (00:27:15)
Game Theory and the Prisoner's Dilemma (00:46:55)
"Chain of Command" and the Prisoner's Dilemma (00:55:47)
Final Thoughts (01:02:23)

Hosts
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling
 
Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm

Support the Network!
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm
Dec 14, 2015

The Prime Directive and "Symbiosis." 

In the first-season TNG episode "Symbiosis," Captain Picard cites the Prime Directive (Starfleet's noninterference policy, General Order #1) as justification for his solution to the conflict between the narcotics-peddling Brekkans and the drug-addict Ornarans. Is the relationship between these two races a naturally evolved symbiotic relationship protected by the Prime Directive or a case of morally reprehensible exploitation calling for active intervention? In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison analyze the in-universe philosophy behind the Prime Directive, including its justification and its applicability to the moral dilemma in "Symbiosis." 

In addition to the discussion on the Prime Directive, Zachary and Mike discuss the drug Felicium (or "happiness pill") in light of the 1980s "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign, the use of Felicium as a consequentalist plot device in "Symbiosis," this episode's post-Capitalist economic message, and the significance of "Ornare" (Latin) and "Brekka" (Old Norse) as roots of the names of these two alien races. 

This episode also reminds listeners of the Meta Treks iTunes review content, running though January 15, 2016. And for your post-show entertainment, Zachary sings his rousing Felicium-themed rendition of "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." 

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 9 (00:01:14)
About the Review Contest (00:02:48)
Beginning the Conversation (00:05:03)
Summary of Symbiosis (00:05:59)
The Prime Directive (00:08:12)
Symbiosis or Exploitation? (00:45:31)
Post-Capitalist Economics (00:57:47)
Final Thoughts (01:10:17)

Hosts
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison
 
Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm

Support the Network!

Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

Nov 30, 2015

Klingon Virtue Ethics. 

For Klingons, the key ethical question is whether one's heart is truly Klingon. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison examine "Klingon Virtue Ethics," with virtue ethics being a distinctive form of ethical theory emphasizing desirable character traits over individual actions. Zachary and Mike debate the nature of essential Klingon character traits such as loyalty, duty, and honor. But unlike humans, who tend to remain in the middle-ground on many aspects of human nature, Klingons take their essential virtues and character traits to extreme levels (not to mention those terrible Klingon table manners and an endless but life-affirming thirst for blood wine). 

In their discussion, Zachary and Mike cover the Aristotelian notion of eudaimonia ("happiness," or "living well") and consider what living well, or rather dying well, means for Klingons. In addition, Zachary and Mike apply the virtue-theory notion of an "ideal individual" to the Klingon messianic figure Kahless, the individual viewed by most Klingons as the ideal Klingon to be emulated and revered. Finally, Zachary and Mike contrast the highly idealized (and sometime naive) sense of Klingon virtues embraced by the character of Worf with the more realistic character traits of other less-honorable Klingons. 

Chapters
Welcome To Episode 7 (00:01:25)
Discussing SacTrek  (00:02:48)
Overview of Virtue Ethics (00:11:26)
Traditional Virtue Ethics Theories (00:14:48)
Virtue Ethics In Star Trek (00:16:52)
Discussion of Eudaimonia (00:24:39)
Final Thoughts (01:07:29)
Zach's Recommended Klingon Episodes (01:10:53)
Mike's Recommended Klingon Episodes (01:11:26)

Hosts
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison
 
Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm

Support the Network!
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm
Nov 23, 2015

Consequentialism vs. Deontological Ethics.

In the Deep Space Nine episode "In the Pale Moonlight," was Captain Sisko justified in using less-then-honorable means to bring the Romulans into the war with the Dominion in order to end the war and save lives? Or were Sisko's actions unjustified because they violated universally valid moral rules and principles? 

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling analyze "In the Pale Moonlight" from the contrasting ethical theories of consequentalist ethics (or utilitarianism) and deontological ethics (or rule-based ethics). Mike and Zachary consider the applicability of different forms of consequentialism, such as Jeremy Bentham's quantitative approach to utilitarianism, John Start Mill's more qualitative approach to utilitarianism, and rule utilitarianism as a middle-ground between ethics emphasizing consequences and ethics emphasizing rules.

This episode of Meta Treks covers the crucial concepts of deontological/Kantian ethics, such as Kant's Categorical Imperative, the notion that some actions are intrinsically right or wrong regardless of consequences, and treating others as ends in themselves and not merely as means to your own ends. Mike and Zachary wrap up the conversation with a discussion of whether the justification for the Prime Directive is chiefly consequentialist or whether the Prime Directive, as the Federation's highest law or rule, is grounded in the intrinsic worth of the natural development of other worlds and cultures.

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 6 (00:01:06)
Discussing the CBS Star Trek Announcement (00:02:22)
Introducing the Topic (00:15:10)
Consequentialism (00:16:40)
Example - In The Pale Moonlight (00:19:31)
Utilitarianism (00:32:09)
Deontological Ethics (00:44:00)
Kantian Ethics (00:44:40)
The Categorical Imperative (00:49:00)
The Prime Directive (01:05:38)
Rule Utilitarianism (01:10:05)
Virtue Based Ethics (01:17:46)
Final Thoughts (01:20:06)

Hosts
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling

 

Production

Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

 

Send us your feedback!

Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm


Support the Network!

Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

1