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marcws
July 21st, 2007, 08:15 AM
sorry if this has been done before


I know this might annoy some people and i know the wraith are really evil but i want to get my point through.How are we any different from the wraith.

Look at it from my point of view.
Wraith kill humans to feed to survive they have to feed or they will die.
Humans kill cows,sheep,pigs for food and in fact we dont need meat we can all be veggies so we kill but we dont have to.
The wraith kill to survive they kill because they have to.In a way we are worse than the wraith we kill but dont have to.
The wraith kill because they have to.
Yes i know the wraith kill in big numbers and the way they do it is wrong and evil.
Look at it like this if you and a stranger were burning alive, and in front of you there was water but only enough for one person to use to get rid of the fire would you take it.
If you did take it that would mean the death of the stranger but if you didnt and the stranger took the water that would mean the death of you.
Thats the same as the wraith if they dont feed they die and if they do feed humans die.The will to survive is very powerfull most people would just use the water on themselfs and wouldnt care about the staranger.Thats exactly the position the wraith are in.
Any opinions/thoughts.

TheBigFlush
July 21st, 2007, 08:54 AM
That is all essentially true. But are you arguing that no one should fight the Wraith, and just allow themselves to be fed upon?

"Evil" is a subjective term. From the humans' point of view, the wraith are evil because they kill them. If there were a species that fed on the wraith, then the wraith would likely view them as "evil".

So, all things being equal, recognizing that "evil" is a subjective term and that humans aren't really any better than the wraith still doesn't give the humans in Pegasus cause to act/feel any differently towards the wraith.

Sirick
July 21st, 2007, 09:21 AM
That and humans are sentient. You try eating a cow when it’s begging for its life in a perfectly legible way, then your as bad as the Wraith.

WGAnubis
July 21st, 2007, 09:25 AM
The defining diffrence in my opinion is that we as humans dont have to live solely on meat from the animals we raise. I think its also clear that while the wraith view themselves as a superior form of life, they do reconize that humans are sentient, which no matter how you spin it, our live stock is not. Other wise the wraith wouldnt have human worshipers (not matter how much you choose to deny that one 15 second clip, it's there).

marcws
July 21st, 2007, 09:25 AM
no im not saying no one should fight them because humans have a right to defend them selfs and i know that a cow isnt as smart as humans and wraith but its still the same.killing a cow for food killing a human for food.but wraith are hated for what they do but they are only doing to survive and dont say that we kill cows to survive because there are plenty of other food's we can eat instead of killing animals.

marcws
July 21st, 2007, 09:28 AM
if you read the top were i said about the fire and the water and the stranger do you agree whith that if you do you must understand.

!!??
July 21st, 2007, 10:31 AM
if you read the top were i said about the fire and the water and the stranger do you agree whith that if you do you must understand.

That fire and water thing sounds very similar to what the wraith in "common ground"said. He said that if you were on fire would you settle for one drop of water or take it all. The difference like many others said is that cows,pigs,chickens arent sentient. If we eat dolphins or whales I would disagree because they have languages far more advance then any human language. I bet if dolphins or whales had the abillity to make things they would. I consider them somewhat sentient.

JoNzA
July 21st, 2007, 12:48 PM
The defining diffrence in my opinion is that we as humans dont have to live solely on meat from the animals we raise. I think its also clear that while the wraith view themselves as a superior form of life, they do reconize that humans are sentient, which no matter how you spin it, our live stock is not. Other wise the wraith wouldnt have human worshipers (not matter how much you choose to deny that one 15 second clip, it's there).

well you have a good point ther but as far as we know the only thing the wraith can feed on are humans and other wraith so IMO its obvius that the wraith feed on us if they did not they would die and I think that we humans would do the same if we had no other chooise

TheBigFlush
July 21st, 2007, 01:18 PM
wraith are hated for what they do but they are only doing to survive and dont say that we kill cows to survive because there are plenty of other food's we can eat instead of killing animals.

If one day you found out that plants had feelings, what would you eat?

Wraith_Boy
July 21st, 2007, 02:24 PM
If one day you found out that plants had feelings, what would you eat?

More plants! :mckayanime08:

Seriously though, I'm sure if Cows or any other animals could talk, they'd see us as evil for killing their kind. As humans, obviously you will see the Wraith as evil when they come for you or your family/friends.

Put it this way:

If some freaky aliens showed up one day & took your loved ones right in front of your eyes. Then decimated the planet. Is anybody on the planet actually gonna turn around & say it's cool because they need human meat to sustain themselves. Somehow I think not!

Wraith are bad because they haven't just culled people for food, they have also wiped out entire planets. Which why would you need to if you already have all the food you came from. Why the need to destory the whole entire world from existence. The same as when they found out the experiments that were done to Teyla's ancestors, it was only a small handful but when they found out about them, they returned & wiped out everybody they could find. They capture, torture, then hunt people on planets before killing tracking them down & killing them.

However humans are just as bad for some of the stuff that we have done, are still doing to this day & will always continue to do so while we are in existence!

If some breakthrough came out tomorrow that showed all animals were able to comprehend their lives, have feelings & all the rest that we pretend they don't, do you honestly think people would give up meat. Of course they wouldn;t. Some would, but lots more would probably take more enjoyment from this & the steakhouses & restaurants around the world would be busier than ever.

Creating mankind.....God's biggest mistake. Creating the Wraith.....Lanteans biggest mistake!

1DanielForMe
July 21st, 2007, 06:02 PM
The only thing we have to worry about with animals is that they do not suffer any unnecessary pain when killed for food and such. I don’t eat meat, for the most part, due to health issues, as well as I just feel odd eating something that walked around once, again, with exceptions, but It has been well observed that most animals do not have the ability to anticipate death or worry about their situation. I do not deny they have feelings, but as long as they are cared for properly while alive, they're not going to worry about what's going to happen to them later. A person who was locked up in a pen would certainly think something was wrong.

Humans have certainly done some awful things to other animals, though, as well as to their fellow man, but I do not feel they're as bad as the Wraith. Most humans recognise pain, fear, and comprehension of situation in others, and sympathise with that. We’ve learned from our mistakes, for the most part. The Wraith, however, even when faced with the obvious, that humans certainly understand about death, and that draining their life essence is quite painful, and even when given another choice, they still choose to kill humans in a most horrible way. There have been wraith who I think consider their actions, and I understand that becoming something other than what you’ve been all your life would not be easy, but if I knew that would mean a great many innocent persons could be spared a violent death, I would choose that route. Of course, they were not even given a choice, which I think was a mistake, as they can now use that against the Humans. I’m not so sure Atlantis could have convinced any wraith to try the enzyme, but I really feel it wasn’t gone about in the best way, regardless. In any case, I honestly am not so sure the Wraith are truly evil. They care about each other, to a point, anyway, and we’ve seen that they must learn to see humans as nothing more than sustenance, even that some wraith who've been taught this are, in fact, willing to help some humans, at least on the term of one good turn deserves another, but I think there is this sort of brainwashing, you could call it, that they go through in order to rationalise what they do, how they feed, which makes it much more difficult to get through to them overall.

Heffa
July 21st, 2007, 09:32 PM
remembering the fact that "sentient" is a term we made up. Who are we to judge what is and what isn't sentient?

marcws
July 22nd, 2007, 07:28 AM
let me just say something about cow's arent sentient thing thousands of years ago we werent sentient but we developed but if animals were given the chance in a thousand years they could become sentient.

BerrySciFi
July 22nd, 2007, 11:06 AM
I see no real difference between various species killing for food. It's all the same to me. I will sound like a looney tune for saying this but I hope that some day technology provides the answer ( a la the Star Trek food replicator devices). I would much rather eat replicated food than eat an animal or a plant.

rlr149
July 22nd, 2007, 02:16 PM
as we all know, the tau'ri are morally superior to all other races, except maybe the asgard ;) .............thats why we ARE better than the wraith.

Agent_Dark
July 22nd, 2007, 05:02 PM
humans look different.

Jackie
July 22nd, 2007, 05:52 PM
differences between wriath and humans:

Humans:

Have wide range of food sources.
Can choose what to eat.
Domesticated animals for food.
Do not eat animals that speak to us and beg for thier lives.
Have mastered the skill of BBQ
Have mastered the skill of fishing
Have supermarkets to go buy food
Likes to spend lots of money on foods that are not good for you, like twinkies, pies, cupcakes, soda, chips, ect


Wraith:
Have to hunt for food.
Eat food that can beg for thier lives
Do not have many food sources that we know of
Cannot digest "food" such as vegtables after a certian age
No need for cooking thier food
Has to keep food alive to be feed upon.



What we have in common:
Both species are arrogant
Both species face famine everday
Both speices are self aware and intelligent
Both species are willing to kill members of thier own species
Both species like fresh food
Both species live in communities
Both species have technology to aid in food gathering and processing

Last but not least, both Wraith and Human are capible of solving thier famine problems through science and technology but fail misreably to make sure everyone gets the food they need.

Vampyr
July 22nd, 2007, 05:59 PM
Dark: you didn't even read the first post did you?

Now, back on topic.

I believe that we're different from the Wraith in a few key details. One: for the most part, we try to keep the animals we slaughter for food in as little pain as possible, and even when they're killed we try to make the death as painless as possible. The Wraith have no such considerations (for the most part, I can't say I know the thoughts of every Wraith in Pegasus). Two: we don't kill beings that on their metaphorical hands and knees begging for their lives in words we understand. The Wraith however can obviously understand our speech and choose to disregard it, sucking the life out of us in a very painful process.

Agent_Dark
July 22nd, 2007, 06:20 PM
Dark: you didn't even read the first post did you?

I did just then! And my point still stands.

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 02:20 AM
let me just say something about cow's arent sentient thing thousands of years ago we werent sentient but we developed but if animals were given the chance in a thousand years they could become sentient.

If that where to happen I'm sure things would be redressed. However in a thousand years we may have all emigrated from earth anyway or come up with an alternative means of fueling ourselves meaning we don't eat meat anyway. A thousand years is a long time especially with technology advancing as fast as it is, I'm sure we will all be living in harmony with ourselves and all or nature before then!

Humans where designed to eat meat. Whilst it might not be totally necessary in this day and age, we have canine teeth for a reason. We are decended from chimps who whilst mainly being vegetarians do supliment their diet with meat.

Womble
July 23rd, 2007, 02:38 AM
If that where to happen I'm sure things would be redressed.
And the countless generations of cows would be un-eaten?;)

rlr149
July 23rd, 2007, 03:23 AM
don't mind replicated food as long as i don't get the "yellow ones" .............. sam thinks they're bad:sam34:

ciannwn
July 23rd, 2007, 04:16 AM
One: for the most part, we try to keep the animals we slaughter for food in as little pain as possible, and even when they're killed we try to make the death as painless as possible.

Maybe 'for the most part' is the key here. Even in countries which have laws against cruelty to animals there are still factory farms and animals used in medical experiments etc. This isn't the place to debate things like the ethics of animal testing in the real world but it is relevant to the SGA series.

The Wraith don't go in for factory farming as far as we know - all their food appears to be free range. They are perfectly capable of experimenting on humans, though (that's how Teyla's ancestral line acquired Wraith DNA) and the Atlantis expedition humans have experimented on Wraith (Steve and Michael).


Two: we don't kill beings that on their metaphorical hands and knees begging for their lives in words we understand.

The following link is to an article called 'THE EIGHT STAGES OF GENOCIDE'.

http://www.genocidewatch.org/8stages2006.htm

Stage 3 is -

DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder.

Stage 7 is -

EXTERMINATION begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” It is “extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human.

Genocide shows that many humans are perfectly capable of killing other humans even if they are literally on their hands and knees begging for their lives and speaking in a language which their killers understand. The above article explains the psychology behind it.


The Wraith however can obviously understand our speech and choose to disregard it, sucking the life out of us in a very painful process.

The major difference between Wraith killing humans and humans killing humans is that humans rarely eat the humans they've killed. (It has been known for humans to eat other humans, though.) Maybe the Wraith are able to disregard humans using speech and begging for their lives by considering them 'Not Wraith' in the same way as humans who commit genocide consider their victims as 'Not human'.

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 04:16 AM
And the countless generations of cows would be un-eaten?;)

It's all a part of the circle of life! :sam34:

TuesdayRain
July 23rd, 2007, 04:42 AM
remembering the fact that "sentient" is a term we made up. Who are we to judge what is and what isn't sentient?

If you mean made up as used only in Stargate, it's not a made up word. Sentient is in the dictionary and has been used since the 17th century.

rlr149
July 23rd, 2007, 04:45 AM
genocide i would say, is a systematic approach to exterminating a particular species to its logical conclusion = eradication, non left.

we don't kill all cows to extinction, we 'farm' them, like the wraith don't kill all humans, they leave some to re-produce.


One group denies the humanity of the other group.

that would be all very well if it weren't for the fact "we" are expressing an arrogance at saying "humanity" like it is the pinnacle of everything. cows aren't 'human' therefore we cannot apply human motives to them

we are (reasonably) intelligent animals, nothing more, "survival of the fittest" applies...................

and beef tastes good;)

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 04:52 AM
If you mean made up as used only in Stargate, it's not a made up word. Sentient is in the dictionary and has been used since the 17th century.

Heffa means it is a cnocept created by humans - not Stargate. It's a valid point though, how can we judge whether another species is sentient when there is no clear communication between them and us. There are certain obvious markers such as the concept of existance in the long term, but who can really say.

We freely acnowledge that Wales and Dolphins are intelligent but people still hunt them and we could do more to see that they don't get trapped in fishing nets but we don't.

ciannwn
July 23rd, 2007, 05:25 AM
genocide i would say, is a systematic approach to exterminating a particular species to its logical conclusion = eradication, non left.

we don't kill all cows to extinction, we 'farm' them, like the wraith don't kill all humans, they leave some to re-produce.

I wasn't saying that Wraith commit genocide. Seeing as humans are the only things they can eat they'd be really stupid to exterminate humans because they'd become extinct themselves.

I used the psychology of genocide as a reply to Vampyr's statement that "Two: we don't kill beings that on their metaphorical hands and knees begging for their lives in words we understand." The point I was trying to make is that humans can kill beings (fellow humans in this case) who beg for their lives in words we can understand and that members of our species do it by using a particular psychological ploy. Maybe Wraith use a similar kind of psychological ploy in order to ignore the fact their their food can beg for lives in words which Wraith can understand. If so, they are doing something which humans can do and it could come from the human part of their ancestry rather than the Iratus bug part.

We know that Beckett's rv can turn Wraith into amnesiac humans who have to be institutionalised in order to continue receiving 'treatment'. What we don't know as yet is whether it really is possible to come up with genetic alterations which would allow adult Wraith to eat ordinary food but remain Wraith in all other respects. (Appearance, hive society, memories intact etc.) If it's not possible, Wraith are stuck with the choice of eating humans or starving to death. If it is possible and Wraith know it they're in the position of humans who have a choice about whether or not to continue eating meat. If they continue to eat humans if they don't have to, though, are they any worse than humans who continue to eat other animals even if they don't have to?

I eat meat even though I don't have to. This is why I feel I have no right to point a finger at Wraith for eating humans irrespective of whether they're stuck with it or they choose to.


that would be all very well if it weren't for the fact "we" are expressing an arrogance at saying "humanity" like it is the pinnacle of everything. cows aren't 'human' therefore we cannot apply human motives to them

Some humans are only able to 'justify' things like genocide or experimenting on other humans (eg. Joseph Mengele) because our species tends to have this attitude towards other animals. If we didn't think "Other animals are inferior so we have the right to do whatever we like with them" it would be impossible for one group of humans to commit atrocities on another group of humans by regarding the latter as 'not human'.

rlr149
July 23rd, 2007, 05:42 AM
lets face it though, its only the radically religious and the real crazies that generally will kill despite the begging (ie:- jaffa=religious, gouald = crazy), i don't think they're crazy and theres no evidence of religion among the wraith, only the followers(crazy and religious;)).

there is no difference between us, we just have to go with our side

ciannwn
July 23rd, 2007, 05:56 AM
lets face it though, its only the radically religious and the real crazies that generally will kill despite the begging (ie:- jaffa=religious, gouald = crazy), i don't think they're crazy and theres no evidence of religion among the wraith, only the followers(crazy and religious;)).

there is no difference between us, we just have to go with our side

Turning Wraith into humans who don't have to be institutionalised isn't necessarily going to solve much in the long run. The humanised Wraith could eat ordinary food rather than humans but become followers of beings like the Ori/Goa'uld and carry on killing humans for the same reason as the Ori's human followers and the Jaffa did.

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 05:59 AM
lets face it though, its only the radically religious and the real crazies that generally will kill despite the begging (ie:- jaffa=religious, gouald = crazy

Not quite, there are people who are not religious radicals nor crazy who will kill people who are begging. In the UK we see news reports now and again of youths stabbing others or gangs of kids killing people for the fun of it. They are not religious or mad.

rlr149
July 23rd, 2007, 06:28 AM
lets face it though, its only the radically religious and the real crazies that generally will kill despite the begging (ie:- jaffa=religious, gouald = crazy), i don't think they're crazy and theres no evidence of religion among the wraith, only the followers(crazy and religious;)).

there is no difference between us, we just have to go with our side

i said generally, there are exceptions to anything.

this issue came up in the "help a mom" thread, letting children see acts of violence without consequence, enforces their belief that its not bad or it'll be "good for a laugh" I blame the parents for not adequately dispelling that belief. if you want to let your child watch, i'm not against that, they do have to be made aware its not real, and not just pay 'lip service' to telling them, you have to make sure they understand.

and anyone who says "you shouldn't generalize!!", you should wake up. theres far too much info in the world and beyond to know everything, hence i generalize to save space. ie:- china, Chinese people live there, i'm sure some live elsewhere and that some non Chinese live in china, but generally thats where they live;)

Jill_Ion
July 23rd, 2007, 06:32 AM
remembering the fact that "sentient" is a term we made up. Who are we to judge what is and what isn't sentient?

Your first sentence answers your question. :)

I don't think the point is whether we are different than the Wraith, though posts above make some very good distinctions. The fact is, the Wraith are trying to kill humans, so humans will do what it takes to keep themselves from being killed.

And if there was only water to put out myself or a stranger, he could take the water. I'll stop, drop, and roll.

Dutch_Razor
July 23rd, 2007, 06:52 AM
Noone said the Wraith are evil , we just have a... dfiference of opinion ;)

ciannwn
July 23rd, 2007, 07:00 AM
remembering the fact that "sentient" is a term we made up. Who are we to judge what is and what isn't sentient?


Your first sentence answers your question. :)

How does her sentence answer her question? The human definition of 'sentient' compares other species to humans. If we ever do get out into space and meet alien life forms they mightn't be anything like us in the way they perceive things because they evolved under different circumstances. This doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be sentient, though.

Humans are trying to creat A1s and, if we succeed, we'll be faced with questions concerning what sentience actually is. The STNG episode 'The Measure of a Man' addresses this issue. I'm giving a link to the Memory Alpha site's summary -

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/The_Measure_of_a_Man

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 07:17 AM
Noone said the Wraith are evil , we just have a... dfiference of opinion ;)

But in a way isn't that what we are saying? We define others how we define ourselves, after all we use our own world view and education to relate to those around us, so by our own morals and world view the Wraith would be evil. Not because they take life to live but, as others have said, because of how they do it. The torture and the hunting.

Yes we hunt as well but most would agree it's cruel and unneccesary. So at the very least the Wraith would be classed as cruel to play with their food.

Dutch_Razor
July 23rd, 2007, 07:28 AM
:indeed:, just as vampires might be conisdered evil.

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 07:50 AM
Aye, and cats.

(BTW I love cats in case anyone thinks I'm cattist! :jonas:)

AvatarIII
July 23rd, 2007, 08:02 AM
Not quite, there are people who are not religious radicals nor crazy who will kill people who are begging. In the UK we see news reports now and again of youths stabbing others or gangs of kids killing people for the fun of it. They are not religious or mad.
????

you think??
anyone that would kill someone for FUN!? is pretty mad in my book, even if it is a mob mentality thing, i'm of the opinion that mob mentality is not a sane behaviour.


just as vampires might be conisdered evil.

well the wraith are sort of sci-fi versions of vampires anyway.

ciannwn
July 23rd, 2007, 08:03 AM
:indeed:, just as vampires might be conisdered evil.

Why might vampires be considered evil? Do we see them as evil because they feed on humans? Would we regard them as evil if they just drank animal blood?

I think everyone's aware that Wraith are SGA's equivalent of vampires minus the supernatural elements. Saying they're evil because vampires might be regarded as evil, though, doesn't really answer any of the questions concerning whether humans are any different from Wraith.

PS: From 'The Pegasus Project'.

MORGAN LE FAY: When we first abandoned Atlantis all those millennia ago, the Earth was so harsh, its people so primitive by comparison, there was no hope of living among them as Lantians or rebuilding our society. So, instead we spread out to many lands, some of us planting a few small seeds of civilization among the first tribes of man.

In the Stargate universe, then, the vampire legends could have arisen from what the Lantians returned from the Pegasus galaxy told those first tribes of man about the Wraith. Feeding on this mysterious 'life force' (which has yet to be explained) would easily translate into vampires drinking blood. Wraith hibernating for periods of time might have translated into vampires lying dormant in their coffins during daylight.

This makes saying Wraith might be regarded as evil because vampires might be regarded as evil somewhat difficult if the vampire legends in the Stargate universe turn out to be based on the Wraith.

AvatarIII
July 23rd, 2007, 08:30 AM
maybe the wraith are evil because they don't try and hide the fact that they are coming to kill you, or atleast dont make it comfortable.
ie, in the movie soylent green, sure its made from people, but mostly people that want to die anyway, and they are atleast killed in a nice comfy way.
the wraith will chase you down and often kill you in a painfull way and probably enjoy the kill as much as the meal, at least humans stun animals that they are going to slaughter etc.

General David Niemi
July 23rd, 2007, 08:44 AM
We don't eat people!
They don't eat lettuce!

ciannwn
July 23rd, 2007, 08:58 AM
maybe the wraith are evil because they don't try and hide the fact that they are coming to kill you, or atleast dont make it comfortable.

Would they be less evil if they did hide the fact they're coming to kill you and sneaked around feeding on people in secret?


ie, in the movie soylent green, sure its made from people, but mostly people that want to die anyway, and they are atleast killed in a nice comfy way.the wraith will chase you down and often kill you in a painfull way

Yes, it's painful being eaten by a Wraith and they've evolved an enzyme which keeps the prey alive for longer. Wraith feed on a mysterious 'life force' (which has yet to be explained) so there's no way that they can feed on humans who are already dead. This could explain why the enzyme evolved - there was little nourishment to be gained from humans who dropped dead as soon as a Wraith started to feed on them.


and probably enjoy the kill as much as the meal, at least humans stun animals that they are going to slaughter etc.

Is there anything in the SGA stories to say that Wraith can successfully feed on stunned humans? For all we know, this 'life force' could be something to do with energy generated by strong emotions.

Not all animals are stunned before being slaughtered. For thousands of years of human history we hunted animals for food and didn't stun them before firing arrows into them, stabbing them with spears etc. Unless I'm badly mistaken, animals can't be stunned or anaesthetised before slaughter if the meat's going to conform to 'kosher' and 'halal' laws.

placid
July 23rd, 2007, 09:31 AM
at least humans stun animals that they are going to slaughter etc.

http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=agri_short

There's a full-length video available if you think you've got the stomach for it.

The difference between us and the wraith is that humans don't feed on sentient, intelligent life. However, that is not entirely true as there are small numbers of people that eat dogs, monkeys and other people. There are also people who chew lightbulbs and scapmetal, but presumably that's not their main source of nutrition. Considering that wraith have a biological imperative to feed, and their biology dictates that their food feels pain, however, will leave humans in poorer light... while we need to eat, we don't need to cause suffering to our food. Most people don't want to, and don't like to investigate too far into the hows and whys of the food on their plates, but we are not as gentle or "humane" as we'd like to believe.

jenks
July 23rd, 2007, 09:35 AM
http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=agri_short

There's a full-length video available if you think you've got the stomach for it.

The difference between us and the wraith is that humans don't feed on sentient, intelligent life. However, that is not entirely true as there are small numbers of people that eat dogs, monkeys and other people. There are also people who chew lightbulbs and scapmetal, but presumably that's not their main source of nutrition. Considering that wraith have a biological imperative to feed, and their biology dictates that their food feels pain, however, will leave humans in poorer light... while we need to eat, we don't need to cause suffering to our food. Most people don't want to, and don't like to investigate too far into the hows and whys of the food on their plates, but we are not as gentle or "humane" as we'd like to believe.

Dogs are intelligent? We eat pigs, they're more intelligent.

TuesdayRain
July 23rd, 2007, 09:47 AM
Heffa means it is a cnocept created by humans - not Stargate. It's a valid point though, how can we judge whether another species is sentient when there is no clear communication between them and us. There are certain obvious markers such as the concept of existance in the long term, but who can really say.

We freely acnowledge that Wales and Dolphins are intelligent but people still hunt them and we could do more to see that they don't get trapped in fishing nets but we don't.

Consciousness or sentience is not a concept created by humans nor is it something that can eventually be evolved or developed. You're born with a consciousness, a sense of awareness, and perception and feeling. If you believe in a god, then you can say you were created with a consciousness. If you don't believe in a god, then you can say it just is. Regardless, it is not a concept humans "created." Also, there are some things that will never become sentient no matter how long the time. A plant will not become sentient. The desk that you are using to type your posts on this forum will not become sentient no matter a hundred years go by.

Based on the definition of sentient, then we have some sort of standard to which we can say whether something is sentient or not and it clearly is not defined by whether communication exists between two different species. However, if the two species are human and Wraith, then there is clear communication. In the show, humans and Wraith have communicated and have clearly spoken in the presence of each other.

TuesdayRain
July 23rd, 2007, 10:08 AM
The original question was "How are humans any different from the Wraith?"

The one thing that makes us different from the Wraith is our willingness to put our own lives in danger and for some to give the ultimate sacrifice to help others, even strangers. Take for example firefighters and the military. Our military have given their lives to protect us and the values we hold dear. They do this for an entire nation of people they don't even know. A firefighter will risk his own life to save yours. Using the example about the bucket of water and the stranger next to you. Yes, that's a stranger next to you and I believe that's why such an example was chosen. Sure if it was your wife or your child, you would save them by pouring the bucket of water on them instead of saving yourself. But here is where we humans are different than the Wraith. There are some of us who would save that stranger. That is what makes us sentient. We have a conscious. We can make a choice and that choice does not necessarily mean choosing to save ourselves. We can see other's needs above our own. And can you live the rest of your life knowing that you saved yourself and watched someone else die? For the Wraith, the answer to that is yes. They can and have watched others die in front of their eyes as they suck the life out of a human being.

The overwhelming defense of the Wraith killing humans is that they need to survive. To me, that is not a defense. The Wraith also has a choice. Do you steal food because you are not able to pay for it? You are hungry. You need the food. Those of us with a sense of morality, will not choose to break the law to justify the end. The Wraith must find alternatives. They are supposedly technologically advanced, so much so that even the Ancients couldn't defeat them. With such technology, why haven't they found another food source in all this time? Maybe it's just the fate of their people.

jenks
July 23rd, 2007, 10:23 AM
The original question was "How are humans any different from the Wraith?"

The one thing that makes us different from the Wraith is our willingness to put our own lives in danger and for some to give the ultimate sacrifice to help others, even strangers. Take for example firefighters and the military. Our military have given their lives to protect us and the values we hold dear. They do this for an entire nation of people they don't even know. A firefighter will risk his own life to save yours. Using the example about the bucket of water and the stranger next to you. Yes, that's a stranger next to you and I believe that's why such an example was chosen. Sure if it was your wife or your child, you would save them by pouring the bucket of water on them instead of saving yourself. But here is where we humans are different than the Wraith. There are some of us who would save that stranger. That is what makes us sentient. We have a conscious. We can make a choice and that choice does not necessarily mean choosing to save ourselves. We can see other's needs above our own. And can you live the rest of your life knowing that you saved yourself and watched someone else die? For the Wraith, the answer to that is yes. They can and have watched others die in front of their eyes as they suck the life out of a human being.

The overwhelming defense of the Wraith killing humans is that they need to survive. To me, that is not a defense. The Wraith also has a choice. Do you steal food because you are not able to pay for it? You are hungry. You need the food. Those of us with a sense of morality, will not choose to break the law to justify the end.

Those of us with a sense of morality would not consider it a crime to do that. What makes you think that Wraith won't give their lives for other people also? What little evidence we've indicates that they will, actually.



The Wraith must find alternatives. They are supposedly technologically advanced, so much so that even the Ancients couldn't defeat them. With such technology, why haven't they found another food source in all this time? Maybe it's just the fate of their people.

Why must they? We don't have to eat meat, but we still do. We could easily decide to stop eating living creature but we decide not to, how are we any different?

Jill_Ion
July 23rd, 2007, 10:38 AM
How does her sentence answer her question? The human definition of 'sentient' compares other species to humans. If we ever do get out into space and meet alien life forms they mightn't be anything like us in the way they perceive things because they evolved under different circumstances. This doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be sentient, though.

Humans are trying to creat A1s and, if we succeed, we'll be faced with questions concerning what sentience actually is. The STNG episode 'The Measure of a Man' addresses this issue. I'm giving a link to the Memory Alpha site's summary -

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/The_Measure_of_a_Man

Her first sentence was that we made up the word and meaning of sentient. So, if we're making up the rules, then we have the right/duty/responsibility/whatever to play by those rules. If we define sentient, and that term seems to be evolving as we gain better understanding of the other beings on this planet, then we can decide what is or is not sentient.

Sentient is an adjective just like any other adjective. Blue is an adjective too and we humans have general rules about what blue is. So, there may be different shades of blue, as there are different interpretations of "sentient," but since we have decided what blue is, then we can say what is or is not blue.

Quite possibly, if we encounter other species in space, they may be more advanced technologically or farther along their evolutionary scale. They may see us not as sentient, if they have that term in their vocabulary, but that's OK because it's their definition. We have ours and will apply that to them too.

It's all good. :)

Jill_Ion
July 23rd, 2007, 10:43 AM
Those of us with a sense of morality would not consider it a crime to do that. What makes you think that Wraith won't give their lives for other people also? What little evidence we've indicates that they will, actually.

Why must they? We don't have to eat meat, but we still do. We could easily decide to stop eating living creature but we decide not to, how are we any different?

Good thing you put "living creature," because we have to eat things that were at one time alive, be it animals or plants. As TOOL says, "This is necessary. Life feeds on life..." Just watch any nature program. Something's gonna eat something else.

I think the Wraith bring out a primal instinct in us because we aren't the top of the food chain in Pegasus.

elbo
July 23rd, 2007, 11:10 AM
The humans are really different than the Wraith. Their are a lot of differences and here are few that pop in my mind right now:

1. We don't have telepathic abilities;
2. We don't have their strength or regenerative abilities;
3. Our diatery requirements allow us to spare the sentient beings;
4. We have different reproductive methods;
5. The humans respect the rights of each individual and don't use kamikaze tactics;
6. We don't have organic based techology;
7. We do not require hibernation;
8. We have found common ground with other species, etc.

The Wraith have been written like some specie, created from an unfortunate mutation, who spend their entire time either hibernating, either looking for food or means to make their food more consistent, in a constant hunt and war from when they awaken until they go to sleep. No other qualities and preocupations and hobbies have been assigned to them, and from here the question, for what they live for? We don't know if they have spiritual values, creative atributes or somethigelse to suggest that they have a higher purpose than to satisfy their most basic needs.

But yes we have things in common with the Wraith, things that don't make us alike but show that we are also organic beings so we must eat, dress, etc.(on the expense of other life forms), things that show that we want to live and consequently fight for survival of our race. Those are not only common ground with the Wraith, but fundamental requierments for creating a civilasation. If we don't want to survive, we cannot create a civilasation so we simply cease to exist.

The Wraith on the other hand are a fundamental enemy to humans. We can't speak about comparisons of the 2 civilasations, which is esentially better or worst, because their very existence is a threat to our survival and it must be eliminated.

I know that few characters in SGA tried to compare Wraith with humans, speculating and distorting the comparison on the common survival aspects of both species, but at the end of the day don't even matter how many things we have in common: either we kill them, either they feed or kill us, there is no middle way. They could be much better than us in any aspect (not the case), as long as we are just food to them, we still have to extinct them, in order to survive.

And BTW, different morality rules, or Geneva conventions and prisoner rights that we have here on Earth, COULD be blend to any extent in this war or other, with different predator species. Simply because this for specific situation we don't have morality rules in place; we have morality rules to deal in conflicts of ideologies, disagrements,etc. but not instinct; we cannot take that from Wriath so we cannot find commond ground and co-exist with them, consequently we cannot apply any of our moral laws to them; i guess we can, but with what finality? I think that applying our morality to the Wraith can be interpreted like a imoral act with regrads to our own kind.

But to came back to : "How we are any better than the Wraith?" over-used expression.

I don't see why the need to compare ourself to every specie that we encounter. Who cares who is better? And even if we reach the conclusion that we are better or worst or the same, what good will this do. Is not that if we think we are better this is a universal truth. The word "better" means something different form human to human, not to mention from race to race or specie to specie. And better from what aspect, better warriors, better musicians,etc.? This is what i call creating a artificial moral dilemma, unecesarely and irrelevant to the context.

At the end of the day, the Wraith only major flaw is their digestive system and huger that burn in them and the fact that their food source is much more resiliant than is a tomato for us. They are practicaly forced to hunt, unable to use their time in folowing other higher purposes. There is nothing to envy to them or their way of life and also not very much to blame (because of the lack of choise), so from my point of view any comparison of humans with the Wraith is ofensive and futile.

TuesdayRain
July 23rd, 2007, 12:16 PM
Those of us with a sense of morality would not consider it a crime to do that. What makes you think that Wraith won't give their lives for other people also? What little evidence we've indicates that they will, actually.



Why must they? We don't have to eat meat, but we still do. We could easily decide to stop eating living creature but we decide not to, how are we any different?

What makes me think that the Wraith won't give their lives for other people is the fact that they have already taken hundreds of thousands of lives without little regard. Anyone that has killed so many seem far from making any sacrifices to save others. And we have seen in the "Defiant One" and a Wraith Queen take the lives of other Wraith for their own surivival. These facts are what make me believe that the Wraith will not give their lives for others.

And why must they find alternative food source? Because if they do not, they will perish. Humans will continue to fight the Wraith and there may come a time when the Wraith will lose and when that happens, their human food source will not succumb so easily. Or, the Wraith will kill all the humans and there will be no human food left. What are they going to do then? So finding an alternative food source is for their survival.

crazylizzie
July 23rd, 2007, 12:39 PM
Good thing you put "living creature," because we have to eat things that were at one time alive, be it animals or plants. As TOOL says, "This is necessary. Life feeds on life..." Just watch any nature program. Something's gonna eat something else.

I think the Wraith bring out a primal instinct in us because we aren't the top of the food chain in Pegasus.


yes!! finally someone said this... because, really, when it comes down to it, it's who is at the top of the food chain. humans are so used to being at the top of the food chain, the big man, the one that no other species can harm, that when something (alien, in this case) comes along that is bigger, meaner, and has an appetite for them, they are immediately termed evil, because in the scheme of things, from the view point of humans, they are evil, they murder humans... that is a sin for all apparent moral purposes.

however, take it out of context, take it in the context of the world of wraith and there are some very interesting questions raised. for instance, unless i have missed something, the wraith do not farm humans. they cull humans, yes, go to worlds and "gather" humans for food, sort of like farming crops in a way, go and scythe the human population for food source, but there is no active farming of humans. they are no breeding farms, no hormones farms etc. now, it might only be a matter of time until the writers think of that and put that in there, but before they were woken from stasis by shep and his crew, the wraith visited planets on average every 50 years. this just sounds like good farming... let the crop grow, mature, and then harvest it. so... at the base level, how is that evil? because they are harvesting humans? but to them humans is merely a food source, something they eat.

and then there is the idea of wraith society. who is to say what is considered a sin in their society. do they kill one another? seems to me that they go to great lengths to NOT have their kind killed. there is a society there, with rules, and morals, the audience just has not been fully told about them.

anyway. i have blabbed. but in the end... it is just a matter of perspective. to the wraith, humans are food, sentient or not, thinking or not, they are a food source, and it just so happens that particular trait places them at the top of the food chain. to humans, it makes them evil, outside of the picture of human understanding, it makes them natural and no different than humans eating ANY food source.

placid
July 23rd, 2007, 12:43 PM
Dogs are intelligent? We eat pigs, they're more intelligent.

I mentioned cannibalism too, presumably you'd consider people to be smarter than both dogs and pigs?

ciannwn
July 23rd, 2007, 01:24 PM
5. The humans respect the rights of each individual and don't use kamikaze tactics;

We haven't seen any humans in SGA use kamikaze tactics. The word 'kamikaze' is Japanese, however, and 'kamikaze tactics' refers to the following -

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/kamikazes_and_world_war_two.htm

Kamikazes and the creed that went with the kamikazes in World War Two is usually associated with those Japanese pilots who flew into American warships in an effort to sink them. However, there were other forms of kamikazes such as the human torpedoes that the Japanese used in the Pacific.

At the end of World War Two, American Intelligence interviewed those who had joined the 205th and had survived – probably because their ‘turn’ had not yet arrived for a plane or attack. In these interviews it became clear that sacrificing your life for your country was perfectly acceptable in a Japan that had been dominated by the military for years.


I don't see why the need to compare ourself to every specie that we encounter.

We real life humans have only encountered the Wraith on TV. The Wraith are a fictional race created by human writers who obviously got a lot of their ideas from various real life human cultures/attitudes. Humans are capable of treating their fellow humans in the way that Wraith treat humans except that eating one's fellow human isn't a common policy. It has been known, though.


And better from what aspect, better warriors, better musicians,etc.? This is what i call creating a artificial moral dilemma, unecesarely and irrelevant to the context.

The episode 'Michael' was based on some of the issues we're talking about in this topic.

MICHAEL: So what are you saying, that-that being a Wraith is some kind of disease -- something you think you can cure? What gives you the right to do this to me?

Then there's -

TEYLA: You may not understand this now but making you human ... I believe this could make your life better.

MICHAEL (sarcastically): Really? Because from what I was told, you made me human in order to make your lives better.

(Teyla stares at him, unable to argue against that.)

MICHAEL: So tell me then: what makes being human better than being a Wraith?

TEYLA: They are evil. They kill us, feed on us, show no mercy, know nothing of compassion ...

MICHAEL: And humans are different?

TEYLA: Yes.

MICHAEL: So what you did to me -- that was done out of compassion?!

(Again, Teyla cannot answer.)

The Atlantis human characters have been presented with moral dilemmas concerning Wraith in 'Poisoning The Well', 'Michael', 'Allies', 'Misbegotten' and 'Common Ground'.

In 'Common Ground' Sheppard was faced with the moral dilemma of whether or not to let the Wraith go. The Wraith had behaved honourably in that he'd given Sheppard his life back and, earlier on, he seemed to think that his own weakened condition was jeopardising Sheppard's chances of escaping.

WRAITH: If I could just move faster ...

(Trying to speed up, it groans and falls to its hands and knees in exhaustion.)

SHEPPARD: We'll rest here a few minutes.

WRAITH: You should go on without me.

The dilemma, of course, was that allowing the Wraith to go meant that he was free to feed on other humans in the future.

Meanwhile, Kolya, a human, was using the Wraith as a 'torture instrument' in the hope of blackmailing Weir into handing Ladon over. In the process he was torturing both the Wraith and Sheppard, a member of his own species.


Maybe the whole point of presenting the Wraith as they are is to make viewers think about the way that humans (as a species in general) are capable of behaving towards other humans. Wraith hunt humans for sport while Roman citizens attended the Games where they could watch all kinds of atrocities committed on humans for entertainment purposes etc. etc. etc.

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 02:38 PM
[QUOTE]Consciousness or sentience is not a concept created by humans.

Who created it then it then? God, aliens. I know we are born with it but I meant humans have defined and categorised it not a TV programme


nor is it something that can eventually be evolved or developed.

Says who? I freely admit that I'm no scientist but how do you know. Do you just not watch all those episodes about the Ancients, episodes about a society that evolved into different plane of existance, a higher form of conciousness.


You're born with a consciousness, a sense of awareness, and perception and feeling. If you believe in a god, then you can say you were created with a consciousness. If you don't believe in a god, then you can say it just is. Regardless, it is not a concept humans "created." Also, there are some things that will never become sentient no matter how long the time. A plant will not become sentient.

Probably, but again how do you know, something could happen to change its genetic structure, most likely an outside influence, but it could happen


The desk that you are using to type your posts on this forum will not become sentient no matter a hundred years go by.

Yes I realise that, I'm not an idiot


Based on the definition of sentient, then we have some sort of standard to which we can say whether something is sentient or not and it clearly is not defined by whether communication exists between two different species.

Yes but these are all human definitions and whilst we have to react to things based on our understanding of the situation at hand, out in space things could be different and we have to be more open minded

Mousie
July 23rd, 2007, 02:43 PM
????

you think??
anyone that would kill someone for FUN!? is pretty mad in my book, even if it is a mob mentality thing, i'm of the opinion that mob mentality is not a sane behaviour.

I understand what you are getting at I just meant they aren't considered mad in the clinical sense, they just have no morals and don't care about the consequences of their actions. It probably closer to sociopathy which is a mental illness but it is different to madness.

jenks
July 23rd, 2007, 02:47 PM
I mentioned cannibalism too, presumably you'd consider people to be smarter than both dogs and pigs?

Yes. Point?

jenks
July 23rd, 2007, 02:54 PM
What makes me think that the Wraith won't give their lives for other people is the fact that they have already taken hundreds of thousands of lives without little regard. Anyone that has killed so many seem far from making any sacrifices to save others. And we have seen in the "Defiant One" and a Wraith Queen take the lives of other Wraith for their own surivival. These facts are what make me believe that the Wraith will not give their lives for others.

We've seen Wraith sacrifice their own lives for the good of the hive on many occasions.


And why must they find alternative food source? Because if they do not, they will perish. Humans will continue to fight the Wraith and there may come a time when the Wraith will lose and when that happens, their human food source will not succumb so easily.

So, nothing to do with morality then.


Or, the Wraith will kill all the humans and there will be no human food left. What are they going to do then? So finding an alternative food source is for their survival.

Why would they do that? Anyway, none of this has anything to do with your original argument, the one that tried to explain how Humans are morally superior to Wraith. I've never seen a race in Stargate that has committed acts any more evil than the human race has been know to do.

elbo
July 24th, 2007, 03:09 AM
We haven't seen any humans in SGA use kamikaze tactics.

I agree. But we saw Wraith. Their only defence in space battles are to use darts with Wraith Drones and Wraith Warriors like rocket interceptors. Also they use the same "living amunition" for suicidal missions like the one in "Siege", to destroy Atlantis with the darts, or to damage the city with their individual self-destruct. The ideea is that their society is totaly different than ours, anyone but the Queen is expandable and they have no fear of death.



The episode 'Michael' was based on some of the issues we're talking about in this topic.

MICHAEL: So what are you saying, that-that being a Wraith is some kind of disease -- something you think you can cure? What gives you the right to do this to me?

Then there's -

TEYLA: You may not understand this now but making you human ... I believe this could make your life better.

MICHAEL (sarcastically): Really? Because from what I was told, you made me human in order to make your lives better.

(Teyla stares at him, unable to argue against that.)

MICHAEL: So tell me then: what makes being human better than being a Wraith?

TEYLA: They are evil. They kill us, feed on us, show no mercy, know nothing of compassion ...

MICHAEL: And humans are different?

TEYLA: Yes.

MICHAEL: So what you did to me -- that was done out of compassion?!

(Again, Teyla cannot answer.)

I recall this and both are right in their own way. What is so hard to understand? Wraith and humans are 2 mutual exclusive species that cannot exist in the same time and space, cannot co-exist. No specie's morality can be applied to the other because of that.

The Wraith cannot be blamed, because they are driven by instinct, and we cannot be blame because we are driven by self-preservation. Apart from this common ground, which is survival, Wraith and Humans are 2 entire different species.

We cannot be expected to stay beside our own morality, because that morality was created in regards with beings that posess free will, not in regards with a instinctual/predator specie like Wraith, and also the Wraith cannot be expected to be faithfull to our morality when that morality contradict their own existence and survival.



The Atlantis human characters have been presented with moral dilemmas concerning Wraith in 'Poisoning The Well', 'Michael', 'Allies', 'Misbegotten' and 'Common Ground'.


In 'Poisoning The Well', someone suggest that we should apply Geneva convention to a Wraith prisoner, which we specificaly capture for torture and information in "Suspicion", which is a artificial dilemma, meaning that it has a refference in our own morality and principles and laws, but applied to the context is a non-sense. Insead of creating a dilemma in my mind, it only raised the question if some characters really are where they supposed to be!? Evaluating species, making decision that affect the mankind, playing like military tacticians and strategysts, issueing irrelevant moral judgements,etc.

The Michael experiment, again was never a moral dilemma. To be human means more than to look like one, because somoene mess with your DNA. The Wraith, like Michael said wasn't a diseas, but a already established specie. If you retract the phisical caracteristics you won't create a human (but a mutated Wraith), because that individual has no human concience to revert to, because he was born Wraith, and wasn't mutate in Wraith. Ronon was right. So not being human, you cannot apply human morality to him, he remains the same predator/instinctual driven individual with we are in war for survival with and we can experiment on him any way we deem necesarely, without creating artificial moral dilemmas about human rights and stuff.

We have the same artificial moral dilemma in 'Misbegotten' and 'Allies' and Carson is wrong when he says "Any way we rationalise we still allow that Wraith to kill humans" and "Wraith being and unnatural state". I think that this has more to do with not knowing the definition and meanings to "humans" and "specie", which is strange for an experienced doctor who delt with numerors alien orgsnisms.



In 'Common Ground' Sheppard was faced with the moral dilemma of whether or not to let the Wraith go. The Wraith had behaved honourably in that he'd given Sheppard his life back and, earlier on, he seemed to think that his own weakened condition was jeopardising Sheppard's chances of escaping.

The dilemma, of course, was that allowing the Wraith to go meant that he was free to feed on other humans in the future.

Meanwhile, Kolya, a human, was using the Wraith as a 'torture instrument' in the hope of blackmailing Weir into handing Ladon over. In the process he was torturing both the Wraith and Sheppard, a member of his own species.


In this case i agree. Because the Wraith in CG, was entirely different than what we knew about the Wraith so far: he accepted Shepp like an equal, trying to justify Wraith feeding instinct (unseen), show compassion by stopping the feeding process and as you said act honorably and truthfull to his word.

So you see, the only way to create a real moral dilemma, is when the individual you are trying to apply it, show few of our own moral values, because our morality code was created and exist only because our co-existence with other individual sowing a moral common ground. The morality is not unidirectional, but is heavily influenced by the extrenal factors. Trying to apply our morality in regards with beings thay don't share any of our values is always artificial and a waste of time.



Maybe the whole point of presenting the Wraith as they are is to make viewers think about the way that humans (as a species in general) are capable of behaving towards other humans. Wraith hunt humans for sport while Roman citizens attended the Games where they could watch all kinds of atrocities committed on humans for entertainment purposes etc. etc. etc.

This is a matter of evolution. While the Wraith are uniform evolved to a certain point in all Pegasus Galaxy, the different humans societies spread in 2 different galaxies are on different evolution levels. But the fact that we are not nothing like Wraith like a specie, make this a futile comparison. We can be cruel, compassionate, etc, but noone force those choises to us so we cannot be compared with the Wraith.

ciannwn
July 24th, 2007, 11:32 AM
But the fact that we are not nothing like Wraith like a specie, make this a futile comparison. We can be cruel, compassionate, etc, but noone force those choises to us so we cannot be compared with the Wraith.

What I was trying to say is that maybe the Wraith can be viewed in an allegorical sense when we're considering SGA as fiction.

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/allegory.html

Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy.

Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

Example:
Fairie Queen Spenser; Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan; Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Fairy Queen/Faerie Queen has a dragon like creature in it named Errour/Error. She is part woman and part snake but actually represents the Roman Catholic Church (according to many commentaries I've read) because this land of sorcerers, monsters, knights and spirits the story takes place in is a metaphor for Elizabethan England as seen by a poet of the period.

Another book which is regarded as an allegory is 'Gulliver's Travels'.

http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=marshall&book=literature&story=swift2

There are various scenarios in the story, one of them being a land ruled by horses "and a terrible kind of degraded human being their slaves and servants.

From that point of view, perhaps, the Wraith could be seen as certain forms of human behaviour disguised as human/Iratis bug hybrids.


Their only defence in space battles are to use darts with Wraith Drones and Wraith Warriors like rocket interceptors. Also they use the same "living amunition" for suicidal missions like the one in "Siege", to destroy Atlantis with the darts, or to damage the city with their individual self-destruct. The ideea is that their society is totaly different than ours, anyone but the Queen is expandable and they have no fear of death.

Wraith society is totally different to that of modern Western culture but Wraith using themselves as 'living ammunition' does reflect certain social aspects in Japan during WW2. Wraith tactics during 'The Seige' aren't so different from tactics used during the WW2 battle of Okinawa. Here are a couple of relevant paragraphs from an article about the battle.

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/battle_of_okinawa.htm

Alongside the land side Japanese defences, the Japanese high command put their faith in the kamikazes which it was believed would inflict such serious casualties on the Americans in Okinawa that they would retreat.

Kamikaze attacks were being experienced by the American navy anchored off of Okinawa. Out of the 193 kamikaze plane attacks launched against the American fleet, 169 were destroyed. Those planes that got through did caused a great deal of damage especially to America’s carrier fleet that did not have armoured flight decks – unlike the British carriers. However, the destruction of so many kamikaze flights did a great deal to undermine the potential for damage that the kamikazes could have inflicted.

Humans willing to blow themselves up for a cause aren't confined to Japanese pilots during WW2. These days we have the suicide bomber.

You used the word 'kamikaze' to describe Wraith battle tactics in an earlier post. As I said in my reply -

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/kamikazes_and_world_war_two.htm

Kamikazes and the creed that went with the kamikazes in World War Two is usually associated with those Japanese pilots who flew into American warships in an effort to sink them. However, there were other forms of kamikazes such as the human torpedoes that the Japanese used in the Pacific.

The Kamikaze unit was the 205th Air group.

Many young men volunteered to join. The only son from a family was theoretically barred from joining the 205th but appeals from families usually allowed an only son to join.

The interviews with pilots who never got used in kamikaze attacks reveal a number of different factors contributing to this Wraithlike battle tactic. Here are two which might be relevant to Wraith in the fictional Stargate universe.

"The real cause which compelled us to employ such an attack lay in the great discrepancy between the productive power of the two countries and in the lack of alternatives in fighting methods."

Maybe Wraith couldn't see any alternative fighting method. They opted for overwhelming the Lanteans with sheer numbers because that's what they could produce. As it had worked once they decided to try it again with the Atlantis expedition.

"We saw the poor war situation and believed that the Special Attack was the best method. We volunteered and determined to sacrifice ourselves so that our country could win a victory."

We can't say that sacrificing oneself for the good of the hive is an exclusively insectoid trait seeing as some humans are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of their country.

The Roman poet Horace came up with the line "Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori". From the Arlington National Cemetery visitors information site -

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/amphitheater.html

"DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI," a quote from Horace's Ode III, 2, 13 is etched above the west entrance of the Memorial Amphitheater. Translated from the Latin: "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."

Maybe Wraith would understand that outlook even if their own willingness to die for their hives is more related to the 'soldier castes' of some hive living insects than their human ancestry.

Wraith could have been presented as a 100% insectoid species which evolved sentience and the technical ability to build space ships. They weren't, though. They were presented as human/Iragis bug hybrids. Maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is 'What is a human?' rather than 'What is a Wraith?'. What forms of Wraith behaviour might have evolved from the human part of their ancestory? Humans also share certain things with every other species in the Stargate universe - the drive to survive, find food, reproduce etc. When it comes to the basics we'll have something in common with Iratis bugs even though we aren't related to them at all.

PS:

The Atlantis human characters have been presented with moral dilemmas concerning Wraith in 'Poisoning The Well', 'Michael', 'Allies', 'Misbegotten' and 'Common Ground'.


Insead of creating a dilemma in my mind, it only raised the question if some characters really are where they supposed to be!? Evaluating species, making decision that affect the mankind, playing like military tacticians and strategysts, issueing irrelevant moral judgements,etc.

All the 'moral dilemmas' which turn up in the SGA stories are there because the writers put them there. What were the writers trying to say? Is it 'humans can't apply their own morality to alien species' or 'we can't be responsible for an alien species' behaviour but we can still be responsible for our own ethics when dealing with them' or ' are humans and Wraith really all that different in certain respects' or a combination of all three depending on the story?


We have the same artificial moral dilemma in 'Misbegotten' and 'Allies' and Carson is wrong when he says "Any way we rationalise we still allow that Wraith to kill humans" and "Wraith being and unnatural state". I think that this has more to do with not knowing the definition and meanings to "humans" and "specie", which is strange for an experienced doctor who delt with numerors alien orgsnisms.

Maybe Beckett's confusion stems from the fact that his rv is designed to strip away the Iratus bug DNA leaving only the human DNA behind. Could he be trying to come to some definition of 'What exactly makes a human being a human?' Star Trek used Data and the Holographic Doctor as a means of exploring what a human being is and Battlestar Galactica uses the human form Cylons for the same purpose. Maybe Wraith are the Stargate universe's way of asking the same questions.

Oka
July 24th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Pigs can't fight back, we can.

TuesdayRain
July 24th, 2007, 11:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuesdayRain
What makes me think that the Wraith won't give their lives for other people is the fact that they have already taken hundreds of thousands of lives without little regard. Anyone that has killed so many seem far from making any sacrifices to save others. And we have seen in the "Defiant One" and a Wraith Queen take the lives of other Wraith for their own surivival. These facts are what make me believe that the Wraith will not give their lives for others.

We've seen Wraith sacrifice their own lives for the good of the hive on many occasions.

Specific examples please?

Quote:
And why must they find alternative food source? Because if they do not, they will perish. Humans will continue to fight the Wraith and there may come a time when the Wraith will lose and when that happens, their human food source will not succumb so easily.

So, nothing to do with morality then.

Why argue over morality when practicality seemed more prevalent.

Quote:
Or, the Wraith will kill all the humans and there will be no human food left. What are they going to do then? So finding an alternative food source is for their survival.

Why would they do that? Anyway, none of this has anything to do with your original argument, the one that tried to explain how Humans are morally superior to Wraith. I've never seen a race in Stargate that has committed acts any more evil than the human race has been know to do.

My original "argument" did NOT try to explain how humans are morally superior to the Wraith. I did, however, attempt to answer the original question posed: How are humans any different from the Wraith? My response was that humans are willing to sacrifice themselves to save others. If by that response you take it to mean that humans are morally superior, again, that example was not my inference that we are. Whether someone performs a sacrificial act and someone does not, does not make one more morally superior. It may, however, make one more cowardly or selfish but I never inferred that such a choice made one more moral.

jenks
July 24th, 2007, 12:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuesdayRain
What makes me think that the Wraith won't give their lives for other people is the fact that they have already taken hundreds of thousands of lives without little regard. Anyone that has killed so many seem far from making any sacrifices to save others. And we have seen in the "Defiant One" and a Wraith Queen take the lives of other Wraith for their own surivival. These facts are what make me believe that the Wraith will not give their lives for others.

We've seen Wraith sacrifice their own lives for the good of the hive on many occasions.

Specific examples please?


Darts intercepting nukes head on, Wraith warriors self destructing when captured, not to mention how all those darts attacked Atlantis kamikazee style in The Siege!

TuesdayRain
July 24th, 2007, 12:32 PM
[quote=TuesdayRain;6921570]
Quote:
Consciousness or sentience is not a concept created by humans.

Who created it then it then? God, aliens. I know we are born with it but I meant humans have defined and categorised it not a TV programme

You broke up my quote in which I did attempt to answer who created consciousness in the next sentence and which you attempted to answer with God or aliens. As for the word itself, yes, I dont' disagree that we defined and categorized it. But the thing, consciousness, is not something humans created.

Quote:
nor is it something that can eventually be evolved or developed.

Says who? I freely admit that I'm no scientist but how do you know. Do you just not watch all those episodes about the Ancients, episodes about a society that evolved into different plane of existance, a higher form of conciousness.

Again, you broke up the quote. If you kept the quote together, then you will see that my point was that anything inanimate like a plant or desk will not ever develop a consciousness.

Disregarding your question whether I've seen the episodes dealing with Ancients, the Ancients are (were?) sentient already. They went from one form of sentience to another. A plant or desk is not U]already sentient.

Quote:
You're born with a consciousness, a sense of awareness, and perception and feeling. If you believe in a god, then you can say you were created with a consciousness. If you don't believe in a god, then you can say it just is. Regardless, it is not a concept humans "created." Also, there are some things that will never become sentient no matter how long the time. A plant will not become sentient.

Probably, but again how do you know, something could happen to change its genetic structure, most likely an outside influence, but it could happen

And the inverse would be how do you know that it could happen?

Quote:
The desk that you are using to type your posts on this forum will not become sentient no matter a hundred years go by.

Yes I realise that, I'm not an idiot

Never said that you are.

Quote:
Based on the definition of sentient, then we have some sort of standard to which we can say whether something is sentient or not and it clearly is not defined by whether communication exists between two different species.

Yes but these are all human definitions and whilst we have to react to things based on our understanding of the situation at hand, out in space things could be different and we have to be more open minded

I don't disagree.

Elles
July 24th, 2007, 07:24 PM
That is all essentially true. But are you arguing that no one should fight the Wraith, and just allow themselves to be fed upon?

"Evil" is a subjective term. From the humans' point of view, the wraith are evil because they kill them. If there were a species that fed on the wraith, then the wraith would likely view them as "evil".

So, all things being equal, recognizing that "evil" is a subjective term and that humans aren't really any better than the wraith still doesn't give the humans in Pegasus cause to act/feel any differently towards the wraith.
Tee hee...

If vegetables/fruits were sentient, they'd probably be viewing herbavoirs as evil and carnivores as good.

ciannwn
July 25th, 2007, 01:38 AM
I'm now going to join in the part of this discussion which concerns sentience.

Humans have a certain form of perception and awareness. Humans are smart enough to put labels on things so we came up with the word 'sentient' to describe our form of perception and awareness. We've then used ourselves as the model for deciding if other animals are 'sentient' and came up with things like 'only humans make and use tools', 'only humans use language', 'only humans have art'. Anything which looked like tool using or art in the behaviours of other animal species were then dismissed as 'instinct - it can't be the real thing because only humans are capable of the real thing'.

Some scientists are now challenging the accepted view that humans have unique abilities.

This article concerns evidence that elephants could have enough self awareness to recognise themselves in mirrors. It also says "Humans, great apes, and dolphins are the only other animals known to possess this form of self-awareness. The word 'known' in this context is interesting - instead of making an emphatic statement on the lines of 'they are the only other animals', the sentence indicates that, at the moment, we don't know of any other animals which can do this.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/10/061030-asian-elephants.html

Here is an article about chimpanzees using tools.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1006_041006_chimps.html

This next article from the Jane Goodall Institute website illustrates how defining 'human' is no longer as simple as our species once thought.

David had been using the stem as a tool to "fish" for insects!
Soon after this discovery, Jane observed David and other chimps actually picking leafy twigs then stripping the leaves so that the twig was a suitable tool. This was modification of an object to make a tool — the crude beginning of tool making. Until that time scientists thought that humans, and only humans, used and made tools. Our species was defined as "Man the Tool Maker." That ability was thought to separate us from other animals more than any other characteristic. When Louis Leakey received an excited telegram from Jane describing her discoveries he made his now famous response: "Now we must redefine tool, redefine Man, or accept chimpanzees as humans."

http://www.janegoodall.org/chimp_central/chimpanzees/gombe/tool.asp

The next article is an interview with the neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran where he's talking about art and how it could have evolved. One paragraph is about bower birds.

Then I came across the Australian bower birds and then I said “my God, they are creating these amazingly beautiful bowers”. The male bower bird is a drab little fellow but as a sort of Freudian compensation he creates these amazing bachelor pads which have got archways, lawns and he decorates them with little berries, certain coloured berries grouped into the red berries in one group, blue berries in another group – there is symmetry, there is ‘grouping’, there is colour contrast - all the aesthetic principles which we deploy in our art, here’s a bird brain deploying the same principles. So not only are there aesthetic principles across cultures maybe even across phylogenetic lines, across species. That’s what I tell some of the art historians whose start arguing with me about, ‘how can there be artistic universals?’

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/mind/stories/s1358883.htm

Now we come to animal communications. Dr. Irene Pepperberg studies parrots and the article starts with -

What the data suggest to me is that if one starts with a brain of a certain complexity and gives it enough social and ecological support, that brain will develop at least the building blocks of a complex communication system. Of course, chimpanzees don't proceed to develop full-blown language the way you and I have. Grey parrots, such as Alex and Griffin, are never going to sit here and give an interview the way you and I are conducting an interview and having a chat. But they are going to produce meaningful, complex communicative combinations. It is incredibly fascinating to have creatures so evolutionarily separate from humans performing simple forms of the same types of complex cognitive tasks as do young children.

Now we come to the idea that humans are the only animals capable of knowing that bad things like death can happen to them. This, like all our behaviour and abilities, must have evolved.

Meerkats are "snack size" for a number of animals, so one always stands guard while the others forage or nap.

http://www.meerkats.com/info.html

Meerkats, like every other animal which can end up as food for something, have evolved 'cautious behaviour' so they're on the lookout for predators in order to run or hide if one should appear. Maybe our 'uniqueness' in this respect is that we can imagine all kinds of things going wrong and worry ourselves into nervous wrecks over disasters which might never happen. :D

Evidence keeps coming in that certain qualities which we've defined as 'sentient' or 'human' aren't unique to our species. It's a matter of degree throughout the animal kingdom.

Ouroboros
July 25th, 2007, 07:50 PM
I think it's worthy of mention that virtually everything "bad" the Wraith are accused of doing comes from their human side.

Think about it. Everything that they do that is bad is something humans have done at some point in the past, even eating humans!

To look at that and still say that they're more evil than the race they get this from, of which they are only halfbreeds, is ridiculous. There's not a single thing they do that humans haven't done as well and furthermore, there's plenty of evil things we've done, and still do, that they don't seem to.

Our species is way more bent than theirs in the overall picture, make no mistake. There's no way the villians of a pg rated TV show are ever going to come close to even matching, let alone exceeding, the sum total of all human depravity.

Mousie
July 26th, 2007, 01:24 AM
[quote=TuesdayRain;6921570]
Quote:
Consciousness or sentience is not a concept created by humans.

Who created it then it then? God, aliens. I know we are born with it but I meant humans have defined and categorised it not a TV programme

You broke up my quote in which I did attempt to answer who created consciousness in the next sentence and which you attempted to answer with God or aliens. As for the word itself, yes, I dont' disagree that we defined and categorized it. But the thing, consciousness, is not something humans created.

Quote:
nor is it something that can eventually be evolved or developed.

Says who? I freely admit that I'm no scientist but how do you know. Do you just not watch all those episodes about the Ancients, episodes about a society that evolved into different plane of existance, a higher form of conciousness.

Again, you broke up the quote. If you kept the quote together, then you will see that my point was that anything inanimate like a plant or desk will not ever develop a consciousness.

Disregarding your question whether I've seen the episodes dealing with Ancients, the Ancients are (were?) sentient already. They went from one form of sentience to another. A plant or desk is not U]already sentient.

Quote:
You're born with a consciousness, a sense of awareness, and perception and feeling. If you believe in a god, then you can say you were created with a consciousness. If you don't believe in a god, then you can say it just is. Regardless, it is not a concept humans "created." Also, there are some things that will never become sentient no matter how long the time. A plant will not become sentient.

Probably, but again how do you know, something could happen to change its genetic structure, most likely an outside influence, but it could happen

And the inverse would be how do you know that it could happen?

Quote:
The desk that you are using to type your posts on this forum will not become sentient no matter a hundred years go by.

Yes I realise that, I'm not an idiot

Never said that you are.

Quote:
Based on the definition of sentient, then we have some sort of standard to which we can say whether something is sentient or not and it clearly is not defined by whether communication exists between two different species.

Yes but these are all human definitions and whilst we have to react to things based on our understanding of the situation at hand, out in space things could be different and we have to be more open minded

I don't disagree.

I really can't be bothered to pursue this for a variety of reasons so i'll just be pathetic and say - Whatever, you are also not reading what I said properly.

And unfortunately I do find being told that a desk isn't sentient to be a bit insulting.

elbo
July 26th, 2007, 03:29 AM
I think it's worthy of mention that virtually everything "bad" the Wraith are accused of doing comes from their human side.

Think about it. Everything that they do that is bad is something humans have done at some point in the past, even eating humans!

To look at that and still say that they're more evil than the race they get this from, of which they are only halfbreeds, is ridiculous. There's not a single thing they do that humans haven't done as well and furthermore, there's plenty of evil things we've done, and still do, that they don't seem to.

Our species is way more bent than theirs in the overall picture, make no mistake. There's no way the villians of a pg rated TV show are ever going to come close to even matching, let alone exceeding, the sum total of all human depravity.

I think you are exagerating. I give you that Wraith are not a pure evil specie, after our definition of "evil". But then again they CAN be more evil that we are let the impression of, because we don't have any insight in their society. We only saw Wraith in relation with humans, which they either feed, either destroy, for survival. We also have info that the Wraith are feeding eachother for survival: "Defiant One", "Submersion".

And what evil things we humans do? Especially in SG universe? Trying to stay alive? This is evil?

What we've done in the past ... good or bad (not evil), was a stage in our own evolution. We could only better ourself by experiencing both bad and good things, so we can learn from them. The result of our evolution is quite acceptable in SG universe, our good facts overwhelm any bad ones that we do from time to time.

And BTW, the Wraith took nothing from us. Everything that they are and do came from the iratus bug; we have been simply asimilated on a similar proces like the Borg asimilation.

At the end, i don't consider that a instinctual specie like the Wraith are superior to overhall us, in any aspect. Why should anyone consider this? Because the humans are not all alike? Because some people are capable of evilness, we should judge our entire race after them? Be serious, we cannot be good if we didn't previously learn what bad is. All these states came in package with the free will, which the instictual species don't have.

tauriprivatesoldier
July 26th, 2007, 04:20 AM
if the wraith are supposedly so advanced in biotech how come they can't come up with a substitute for the human ''life-force''?

ciannwn
July 26th, 2007, 09:22 AM
But then again they CAN be more evil that we are let the impression of, because we don't have any insight in their society. We only saw Wraith in relation with humans, which they either feed, either destroy, for survival. We also have info that the Wraith are feeding eachother for [I]survival: "Defiant One", "Submersion".

And what evil things we humans do? Especially in SG universe? Trying to stay alive? This is evil?

You're right in that we know little about what goes on in Wraith society. We don't see much of what happens in ordinary Earth human society either because the stories revolve around the SGC and the Atlantis expedition. We do see other human societies, though. The Genii, for example, are as concerned with being 'The top dog' as they are with survival when it comes to the Wraith and they've expended a lot of resources on internal power struggles.


What we've done in the past ... good or bad (not evil), was a stage in our own evolution.

The Japanese used their kamikaze tactics five years before I was born. It's not ancient history or something that our hominid ancestors did millions of years ago. Suicide bombers are still with us along with wars, murders and every other crime you can think of. These things have been going on throughout human history and we haven't evolved past them yet.


We could only better ourself by experiencing both bad and good things, so we can learn from them. The result of our evolution is quite acceptable in SG universe, our good facts overwhelm any bad ones that we do from time to time.

We know that countries on Earth in the Stargate universe have military organisations and weapons which humans themselves developed. They were already in place before humans started using the Stargate - they weren't invented afterwards to defend the planet from alien threats. In 'Phantoms', Sheppard relives a war experience he had when he was out in Afghanistan. Earth humans in the Stargate universe haven't evolved out of aggression and wars where other Earth humans are concerned.

If the stage of human evolution in the Stargate universe is acceptable because we're still learning, the same could apply to the level of evolution which Wraith have achieved so far.


And BTW, the Wraith took nothing from us. Everything that they are and do came from the iratus bug; we have been simply asimilated on a similar proces like the Borg asimilation.

If everything that they are and do came from the Iratus bug, how is it that a study of human cultures and history show that humans have done and still do many of the same things? 'Instinct' makes it quite clear that human DNA played a major part in Wraith evolution. The Borg deliberately assimilated others but Iratus bugs just mutated because of the human DNA.


At the end, i don't consider that a instinctual specie like the Wraith are superior to overhall us, in any aspect.

And humans aren't driven by instinct?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/tv/humaninstinct/programme1.shtml

Human Instinct TV Programmes - Programme 1 - Born to Survive

Every one of us possesses an armoury of instincts which keep us alive. We are often barely aware of them, but they act every day to protect us from danger and keep us fit and healthy.

Here's another article about human instincts.

http://www.tvfactual.co.uk/human_instinct.htm

What drives a happily married man to fantasize about pretty, slim young women seen on a tube train? Why does a seriously injured, semi-conscious and dehydrated mountaineer battle against impossible weather conditions, refusing the comforts of sleep, to spend three days crawling down to the safety of base camp? How is it that so many thousands of people spend their week entirely focussed on whether their team will win their next crucial match? What stimulates that urge to press the pedal as hard as possible at traffic lights to make the fastest getaway? And how is it that so many people still hold religious views when the notion of an all-powerful being is irrational? All of these impulses are driven by our human instincts - sexual drive, survival, competition, aggression and our search for knowledge.

Few people have a problem with the idea that humans are descended from apes. But while people believe that our general shape and structure are derived from other creatures, few consider, let alone accept, the psychological implications. Man not only looks, moves and breathes like an ape, he also thinks like one. It is back in our primeval past that we find the first clues to the understanding of our human instincts.

It's also debatable as to how much of our behaviour is due to free will in other ways.

http://www.forensic-psych.com/articles/artGoode.html

"Ask the average social scientist why people become criminals, and the answer is apt to center on poverty and abuse, not brain structure and neurochemicals.

But in a new study, appearing in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers report that 21 men with antisocial personality disorder, a psychiatric diagnosis often applied to people with a history of criminal behavior, and a history of violence had subtle abnormalities in the structure of the brain's frontal lobe."

It's also possible that what we actually think of as free will is really an illusion. Here is an article about this by Susan Blackmore - Waking From The Meme Dream.

http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Chapters/awaken.html

The most obvious (and scary) conclusion from modern neuroscience is that there is simply no one inside the brain. The more we learn about the way the brain functions the less it seems to need a central controller, a little person inside, a decider of decisions or an experiencer of experiences. These are just fictions - part of the story the brain tells itself about a self within (Churchland and Sejnowski, 1992; Dennett, 1991).

We have all become used to thinking of our bodies as biological organisms created by evolution. Yet we still like to think of our selves as something more. We are in charge of our bodies, we run the show, we decide which ideas to believe in and which to reject. But do we really? If you begin to think about selfish memes it becomes clear that our ideas are in our heads because they are successful memes. American philosopher Dan Dennett (1995) concludes that a "person" is a particular sort of animal infested with memes. In other words you and I and all our friends are the products of two blind replicators, the genes and the memes.


Why should anyone consider this? Because the humans are not all alike? Because some people are capable of evilness, we should judge our entire race after them? Be serious, we cannot be good if we didn't previously learn what bad is. All these states came in package with the free will, which the instictual species don't have.

There is plenty of evidence to show that Wraith have different personalities and a certain amount of free will (all supposing that free will as we tend to define it actually exists, of course.) Wraith policy is to prevent human civilisations from becoming technologically advanced but the Commander in 'Condemned' came to a private deal with more than one Magistrate for mutual advantage. Ellia, who was raised by a human, hated having to feed on humans and took Beckett's first retrovirus without his knowing because she was desperate to become human herself. The Wraith in 'Common Ground' has a definite personality as well.

From what we know so far, the major instinct which drives Wraith is hunger and a desire to feed. From the first article about human instincts.

Without food we die. But can our instinct to eat explain why we all crave fatty, often unhealthy, food? Like all our instincts, our appetites were formed millions of years ago. In this uncertain world, laying down fat was the perfect way to ensure against times when food was scarce.

Our ancestors who craved food which was high in calories and rich in fat lived and passed on their genes to their children - those who didn't, died and left no descendents. Gradually, over millions of years, that craving for calories became instinctive behaviour.

If the above is correct, we're driven to crave the kind of foods which which were beneficial millions of years ago. These days a high calory, high fat diet can create all kinds of health problems because we're no longer living the same lifestyle. We've only just realised this but it's proving very hard to get everyone eating more suitable foods. Wraith are driven to eat humans but there's no evidence to show that they're sticking to a diet which was suitable earlier in their evolution but is no longer appropriate for them.

Comparisons between human and Wraith are made in the SGA stories themselves. The retrovirus and human DNA is one method but conversations between characters is another. Michael was used to ask the question 'What makes humans better than Wraith?". In 'Allies' he's drawing the viewers' attention to instincts (because the scriptwriter intended him to).

MICHAEL (to Teyla): The last time I saw you, I really was going to feed on you, but it was not a matter of choice. It was ... instinct.

(Teyla looks at him, her face emotionless.)

TEYLA: That is what you have come here to say?

(Michael sighs.)

MICHAEL: You have given me a very rare perspective among the Wraith. Few of us have ever come to know the humans we are going to feed on as anything more than a means to survive -- and still, I would do what I had to do. But what you did to me ...

TEYLA: We did the same -- to survive.

MICHAEL: I thought you were trying to help me.

DEX: What's your point?

MICHAEL: We're not as different as you think.

TEYLA (angrily): We are nothing like you.

(Michael laughs.)

MICHAEL: You are a lot more like us than you allow yourselves to believe.

TEYLA: I will not argue with you, Michael. It is pointless.

MICHAEL: If we are to make this alliance work, we must both overcome the instincts that define us. (Teyla and Ronon look at him.) We will not meet again.

It seems that the point of this conversation is to show that humans, as well as Wraith are driven by a survival instinct. We also learn in 'No Man's Land' that Michael genuinely believed that the Queen was trying to form an alliance which indicates that he also believed what he was telling Teyla.

A Wraith can't be turned into a pure bred human just by suppressing the effects of the Iratus bug DNA. What the rv story arc has shown us, though, is just how much influence human DNA has had where Wraith evolution is concerned.

SGA stories have raised the question of "Are we really all that different to the Wraith?" on more than one occasion. Maybe the point is to make viewers feel uncomfortable if we consider that many of the characteristics we regard as 'evil' in Wraith can also be found in our own species as well.

My personal interests include psychology, neuroscience, the nature of consciousness and memetics. Perhaps that's why I don't turn a hair at the thought that Wraith and humans could be very alike because (a) Wraith evolution was heavily influenced by human DNA and (b) humans share certain instincts with every other animal on planet Earth. On the other hand, maybe I'm just strange. :D

garhkal
July 26th, 2007, 02:37 PM
And what evil things we humans do? Especially in SG universe? Trying to stay alive? This is evil?

Willfully hide things from one another, go to war just cause we want somethingyou have, willfully try to move other species off of their ancestral land cause we want ore there. GO to other planets and tell them that they are wrong for doing/believing something (like in learning curve)...



Suicide bombers are still with us along with wars, murders and every other crime you can think of. These things have been going on throughout human history and we haven't evolved past them yet.

Then you add in all the other crimes we perpetrate on one another... rape and theft come to mind... i don't see much evidence of that amongst the wraith.

Ouroboros
July 26th, 2007, 07:50 PM
I think you are exagerating. I give you that Wraith are not a pure evil specie, after our definition of "evil". But then again they CAN be more evil that we are let the impression of, because we don't have any insight in their society. We only saw Wraith in relation with humans, which they either feed, either destroy, for survival. We also have info that the Wraith are feeding eachother for survival: "Defiant One", "Submersion".

And what evil things we humans do? Especially in SG universe? Trying to stay alive? This is evil?

For examples of humanity's evil you need only crack a history book. The "only trying to survive" thing is much more applicable to the Wraith than to human kind. Humans take life for far far far stupider reasons than "I needed to eat so... I ate him..."

We've got people in our species that hunt, lure and kill children because it gives them some sort of deviant personal pleasure. We've got people who kill others by the thousands, or millions for being a different religion than them. We've got people who do the same because people had different political ideas and we've got people who will generally, kill, ruin or maim others for their own selfish gain. The Wraith have got.... people that are un nice to people who waltz into their territory univited, and now a new civil war we're largely responsible for starting. They've also enjoyed a period of galactic wide peace with their own kind for 10,000 years, where as we can't even come close to having peace on one miserable little planet for a fraction of a fraction of that time.

For the Wraith to even begin to look as evil as the human race the entire show would have to change to be a much more mature and violent atmosphere.


And BTW, the Wraith took nothing from us. Everything that they are and do came from the iratus bug; we have been simply asimilated on a similar proces like the Borg asimilation.

They have human like intelligence, human like bodies, human like behaviours and human DNA. The only reason they're an intelligent species at all is because the irratus bug integrated human traits into itself. Those are also the same traits which govern their intelligence, which in turn governs their behaviour, which is what everyone uses to call them evil.


At the end, i don't consider that a instinctual specie like the Wraith are superior to overhall us, in any aspect. Why should anyone consider this? Because the humans are not all alike? Because some people are capable of evilness, we should judge our entire race after them? Be serious, we cannot be good if we didn't previously learn what bad is. All these states came in package with the free will, which the instictual species don't have.

I don't buy into the idea of any species being inhearently evil myself, I just get tired of listening to the chorus of people saying how evil the wraith are while completely ignoring the fact that human history is full of things that would make even the most evil Wraith look like a schoolyard bully. They'll happily ignore that though, and go on whining about how evil a species is for not wanting to intentionally starve itself to death for our benefit.

I'm not personally singling you out or anything, so don't take any of this personally, I've been reading this sort of stuff for years here and I doubt it will stop soon.

Dr. Selene Ankarres
October 8th, 2009, 12:29 PM
as many have stated before, wraith must eat, and humans are on the menu. their hunger is painful and unbearable... are they truly evil ? in order to survive, if one human killed another, would they too be evil ?

define evil ? something we do not agree with ? or something we merely don't understand ?

General Jumper One
October 8th, 2009, 03:13 PM
ex) species, destroying any human population that gets to advanced, and leaving their eaten scraps on the ground.http://forum.gateworld.net/picture.php?albumid=1608&pictureid=17856:wraithanime11:

ciannwn
October 9th, 2009, 06:18 AM
and leaving their eaten scraps on the ground.:

This is very different from humans who leave their uneaten scraps on the ground. Well, they do where I live - they eat half of a takeaway and then just drop the box containing the rest on the pavement. :p

Dr. Selene Ankarres
October 20th, 2009, 11:41 AM
one small question, that someone may simply answer and make me feel stupid, but why do the wraith think emotions like compassion ect. are a weakness ? things like comrade-ship and loyality. does it only appeal to certain people, like their own kind or something ?

jelgate
October 20th, 2009, 04:13 PM
How are humans any different from the wraith?

We don't murder sentinent specices because of consumption

Jimmylad89
October 25th, 2009, 09:03 AM
our skin isnt green/blue and we dnt feed with our hands, we just use them :bratac13: