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View Full Version : Carson: From healer, to bringer of death



dasNdanger
October 17th, 2008, 08:20 PM
I liked the episode okay, but I think it raised many ethical questions. Already a thread has been started regarding John's behavior, but what about Carson. Wasn't he a doctor once? Wasn't he responsible for saving lives?

I am very disturbed by the coldness of his actions. A healer should look for ways to save, not to destroy. The fact that he destroyed the Wraith's medical data is upsetting enough - who knows what good it could have brought to human and Wraith alike. In this, Carson reminded me of an American doctor in Iraq who only saves Americans, and not wounded Iraqis. If we heard of such a thing on the news, we'd be outraged - a doctor is supposed to save hero and criminal alike - he is not supposed to make moral decisions of who lives, and who dies.

So, Carson has turned into a bringer of death. I knew this long before the episode (it was a give that Michael have treated him with the hoffan drug), but to see him being so ruthless about it…well, I expect such behavior from Wraith, but not from self-righteous humans.

I have long said that the humans act more like Wraith than the Wraith do - and I think Carson just proved it.

And before you go all 'but they're Wraith', blah, blah, blah' - like I've said before - the Wraith are not hypocrites, they are what they are. But the humans preach life, while delivering more death than the Wraith ever have.

Let's do a body count. In this episode, maybe one human died at Wraith hands (that we can be fairly sure of). But how many died at human hands? Well, I don't know what happened to the first group of humans delivered to the Wraith by the other humans. If the Wraith killed them, it is really the humans who are responsible. Then, the humans (Sheppard & the villagers), killed another half-dozen humans in the explosion, maybe more. And many Wraith. Oh, and Carson killed a Wraith.

So, by the looks of it, the humans were responsible for the deaths of several dozen Wraith and fellow humans in this episode, while the Wraith maybe killed one human. Do the math.

das

Earthgate Ricky
October 17th, 2008, 08:27 PM
Carson did tests on others and himself but he KNEW that he can take his own risk if his test fail, he get courage to dare the wraith to feed on Carson but Carson realized that it works successfully as the wraith fell and died by toxins from him. Now It will be Todd's turn...


( Grab Carson and run.)

Livestick
October 17th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Carson really didn't have much choice. If he hadn't killed the one Wraith, the Wraith would have killed hundreds, maybe thousands of people.

Briangate78
October 17th, 2008, 08:40 PM
I have to disagree. A rather interesting debate I must add. Carson once again was willing to sacrifice himself to save others in this episode. He was not going to help with the research so he took a chance in hoping he could escape with Mckay and save the rest of the people on the planet and in the galaxy. Rodney basically hit the nail on the head when he says to Carson "You cannot solve all the problems of the Pegasus Galaxy in one day".

It's a very moral issue, and gotta say this is the kind of episode that make the show have so many levels and gives the characters a more 3D feel to them.

the fifth man
October 17th, 2008, 08:43 PM
I have to disagree. A rather interesting debate I must add. Carson once again was willing to sacrifice himself to save others in this episode. He was not going to help with the research so he took a chance in hoping he could escape with Mckay and save the rest of the people on the planet and in the galaxy. Rodney basically hit the nail on the head when he says to Carson "You cannot solve all the problems of the Pegasus Galaxy in one day".

It's a very moral issue, and gotta say this is the kind of episode that make the show have so many levels and gives the characters a more 3D feel to them.

I totally agree with you:)

The6thRace
October 17th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Everyone gets blood on their hands in the Pegasus galaxy. Except for Mister Woolsey. Mister Woolsey is still without sin.

Pandora's_Box
October 17th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I am very disturbed by the coldness of his actions. A healer should look for ways to save, not to destroy. The fact that he destroyed the Wraith's medical data is upsetting enough - who knows what good it could have brought to human and Wraith alike. In this, Carson reminded me of an American doctor in Iraq who only saves Americans, and not wounded Iraqis. If we heard of such a thing on the news, we'd be outraged - a doctor is supposed to save hero and criminal alike - he is not supposed to make moral decisions of who lives, and who dies.

So he was supposed to leave the data there for the Wraith to find and use? It is very clear what the outcome would have been in that case; the Wraith would have found all those immune, killed them, and then gone on to cull indiscriminately.

I understand the whole, "Wraith are only doing what their physiology dictates" and I am sympathetic to it. But it also undeniable that, perhaps unlike Todd, these Wraith were not keen on the whole "let's find an alternative feeding solution" idea. Their only interest was to find those immune and eliminate them from the feeding pool.

In which case, providing them with that data would have been a surefire way to ensure the deaths of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of more people.

Carson made the choice he believed would do the least harm. That's all anyone can do.



So, Carson has turned into a bringer of death. I knew this long before the episode (it was a give that Michael have treated him with the hoffan drug), but to see him being so ruthless about it…well, I expect such behavior from Wraith, but not from self-righteous humans.

Are you referring to him being ruthless with the Wraith he killed by convincing him to feed? That Wraith had kidnapped Rodney and himself, was holding them hostage under the threat of death for the hundreds of people on the planet below, and you're saying Carson should have gone easy on him? Wraith or human, I do not sympathize with a being willing to barter lives.



I have long said that the humans act more like Wraith than the Wraith do - and I think Carson just proved it.

That argument....has never made any sense to me.



And before you go all 'but they're Wraith', blah, blah, blah' - like I've said before - the Wraith are not hypocrites, they are what they are. But the humans preach life, while delivering more death than the Wraith ever have.

Sure. Some of them are intelligent, rational beings (a la Todd) willing to see both sides of the coin and willing to negotiate a scenario where all sides may ultimately be happy.

And some are evil sociopaths willing to kill hundred of lives in order to eliminate the risk of danger to themselves. They don't hold true to their words and kill those that help.

And some others use human beings as slaves and runners.

In other words, there are varying types of Wraiths just as there are varying types of humans; some are more good than others while some are just plain evil.

As for humans delivering more death? You sure about that? The Wraith have been alive longer than this present evolution of humans has had modern civilization and the vast numbers we have today. And they've been killing a heck of a lot longer.

But if you're referring to only during this war, I suggest you rethink those calculations.



Let's do a body count. In this episode, maybe one human died at Wraith hands (that we can be fairly sure of).

Please note that he died because the Wraith you hold in such high esteem broke his word of safety to him.



But how many died at human hands? Well, I don't know what happened to the first group of humans delivered to the Wraith by the other humans. If the Wraith killed them, it is really the humans who are responsible. Then, the humans (Sheppard & the villagers), killed another half-dozen humans in the explosion, maybe more. And many Wraith. Oh, and Carson killed a Wraith.

So, by the looks of it, the humans were responsible for the deaths of several dozen Wraith and fellow humans in this episode, while the Wraith maybe killed one human. Do the math.

Please do take into account the type of Wraiths we encountered here. You honestly think that they would have let anyone live?

The one Wraith commander had already proven what kind of Wraith he was by failing to keep his promise to that man that had done him a service, why then would you assume that he would have kept his word to not kill anyone else?

Why are you automatically assuming that these Wraiths are sooooo much better beings than the humans?

I understand that it's a "cool" stance to take - the Wraith defender - but why do it so indiscriminately?

Like I've said, what was Sheppard to do? Leave the whole village to die or use those few men to lure the Wraith away so more people could live?

Unsavory yes, but let's not pretend like the Wraith would have just walked away from a potential culling ground when they got those few immune humans.

dasNdanger
October 17th, 2008, 10:06 PM
So he was supposed to leave the data there for the Wraith to find and use?

Who's to say what good that research could have served. Just because it was in Wraith hands doesn't mean it couldn't eventually help humans - like the Replicator data.


In which case, providing them with that data would have been a surefire way to ensure the deaths of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of more people.

Betcha Rodney and Daniel killed more humans in a day by activating that Attero device. Look - bottom line is this - the Wraith kill, yes - but the humans have probably been responsible for more human deaths than the Wraith have since waking (between the Replicators, Michael, the hoffan drug, Attero device, etc, etc, etc...). Can't put everything on the Wraith while ignoring all the human lives lost because of the Lanteans (I HOPE this is addressed next week, but somehow I believe they will be justified in the end. As always.)


Carson made the choice he believed would do the least harm. That's all anyone can do.

Perhaps. But he is still a doctor. It's not so much that he killed the Wraith, it's how he did it, without conscience. He egged the Wraith on into a confrontation, then used his medical knowledge to kill him. He - Carson - was the instigator, and he used his medical knowledge as a weapon. That is what disturbs me.


Are you referring to him being ruthless with the Wraith he killed by convincing him to feed? That Wraith had kidnapped Rodney and himself, was holding them hostage under the threat of death for the hundreds of people on the planet below, and you're saying Carson should have gone easy on him? Wraith or human, I do not sympathize with a being willing to barter lives.

We can go on and on about this - from the humans kidnapping and poisoning Steve, to murdering Bob in a cell, to holding Todd captive - a Wraith who offered his trust - until he nearly starved to death. The humans have been extremely cold-blooded and heartless to the Wraith, another sentient species, and NOT out of necessity, but because they feel they have the right to judge the inhabitants of a galaxy they have just invaded. They have deceived the Wraith, they have tortured them, they have experimented on them, they have slaughtered them - male, female and child - though unprovoked (The Hive, for instance - a classic case where the humans attacked Wraith without cause, but out of hate and prejudice). Sure, the Wraith feed - and kill - in order to sustain themselves, but the humans, especially the Lanteans, kill just because they have set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner.


That argument....has never made any sense to me.

See above.


And some are evil sociopaths willing to kill hundred of lives in order to eliminate the risk of danger to themselves. They don't hold true to their words and kill those that help.

1. How can they trust humans who make deals with them - the Wraith have been double-crossed far more often than the humans, from the episodes I've seen.

2. We slaughter hundreds, even thousands, of our livestock because of hoof and mouth disease, hundreds of thousands of chickens because of bird flu - we do it to protect our food supply. How are we different from Wraith who are merely doing the same - protecting their food supply.


In other words, there are varying types of Wraiths just as there are varying types of humans; some are more good than others while some are just plain evil.

I agree - there are a few individual Wraith who are 'evil', but for the most part, they are just thousands and thousands of very hungry bugs, trying to find enough food to survive.


As for humans delivering more death? You sure about that? The Wraith have been alive longer than this present evolution of humans has had modern civilization and the vast numbers we have today. And they've been killing a heck of a lot longer.

But if you're referring to only during this war, I suggest you rethink those calculations.

One Wraith needs only about 6 humans a year to survive. They also hibernate for hundreds of years at a time. They kill primarily to eat, though they do also kill to keep civilizations from advancing. Still...humans kill, too. They murder out of hate and jealousy and fear. The Lanteans alone have been responsible for hundreds of thousands - maybe millions - of human deaths by now - as I mentioned above.


Please note that he died because the Wraith you hold in such high esteem broke his word of safety to him.

Yeah, well...lemme see - we've got Michael. If we want to start talking broken words, we should start there.


Please do take into account the type of Wraiths we encountered here. You honestly think that they would have let anyone live?

I can't say for sure. The commander killed the man because he was poisoned (food safety issue). Would he have culled the village? Perhaps. Depending on how hungry is hive was. But at least they would have been killing for food, and not for 'sport'.


Why are you automatically assuming that these Wraiths are sooooo much better beings than the humans?

Because, I know human nature. And, I watch the news. Humans have the capacity to do things far worse than feeding on a species considered inferior.


I understand that it's a "cool" stance to take - the Wraith defender - but why do it so indiscriminately?

It has nothing to do with being 'cool'. I truly believe that - in the fictional realm of SGA - the Wraith took better care of their galaxy, and especially of their human herds, than the Lanteans, who have stepped in and screwed everything up. At least under Wraith dominion, most civilizations had hundreds of years of peace, with some (according to RepliWeir) even becoming advanced societies, right under the Wraith's little green noses.


Like I've said, what was Sheppard to do? Leave the whole village to die or use those few men to lure the Wraith away so more people could live?

Oh, lemme see. ALL of the humans could have hidden in the caves (seems the Wraith are clueless about caves), while Shep and Co. lured the Wraith away from the gate. Many ways they could have done this...including making it appear that the villagers had travelled to point A...say, by setting up a fake campsite...so that while some went to investigate, the Lanteans could have taken out those at the gate and evacuated the humans. That is just one simple option.

There were options for everyone here, except - maybe - the Wraith...seeing as they still have that pesky need to feed thing going on.


das

DragonLadyK
October 17th, 2008, 10:10 PM
So he was supposed to leave the data there for the Wraith to find and use? It is very clear what the outcome would have been in that case; the Wraith would have found all those immune, killed them, and then gone on to cull indiscriminately.

*standing ovation* Destroying medical data to keep it from falling into the hands of hostiles is a medically ethical thing to do.

Let's also not forget that it's a lot easier to engineer a plague than a retrovirus that makes aliens human. Eliminating the species barrier was the quickest plan with the least loss of life.

Unlike Ronon's plan: extermination.


I understand the whole, "Wraith are only doing what their physiology dictates" and I am sympathetic to it. But it also undeniable that, perhaps unlike Todd, these Wraith were not keen on the whole "let's find an alternative feeding solution" idea. Their only interest was to find those immune and eliminate them from the feeding pool.

I'd also like to point out that at no point in the 10,000 years since the Ancients left have the Wraith made any attempt, much less succeeded, to get off sentient feed -- even with pet Wraith Worshippers to chat with and humans smart enough to kill them or blow them up. Todd is the most level-headed Wraith around and even he admitted that getting the general Wraith population to accept non-sentient food would be difficult even with possible starvation on the line.

The Wraith are happy with the status quo, which disolves the "physiology dictates." Their actions are a choice, unfortuneately a choice that makes war inevitable.

And a final point? If the Wraith could, they would come to Earth and happily much on human and Jaffa alike. They tried three already. Which means, Wraith Defender Folks, that if this was reality-land you'd be on the menu even with Doctor Retrovirus over there.

DragonLady

DragonLadyK
October 17th, 2008, 10:18 PM
2. We slaughter hundreds, even thousands, of our livestock because of hoof and mouth disease, hundreds of thousands of chickens because of bird flu - we do it to protect our food supply. How are we different from Wraith who are merely doing the same - protecting their food supply.

Yes, but our food supply can't speak our language, use our weapons, invent their own weapons, and blow s**t up. The Wraith have talked with the Lanteans, talked with their Wraith Worshippers, made deals with random humanoid inhabitants, stolen and appropriated human technology (ZPMs, if you count Ancients in with humans since they're both edible and they look alike) and yet, still, the Wraith are down with eating people.

That's not an imperative. That's a choice.

Also, Wraith may NEED to feed on only 6 humans a year just like a human only NEEDS to feed once every other day or so. But how many people do you know choose to eat that rarely if they can get more? Cullings happend too quickly and take too many people for the Wraith to be fasting.

DragonLady

Pandora's_Box
October 17th, 2008, 10:38 PM
Betcha Rodney and Daniel killed more humans in a day by activating that Attero device.

Difference being that they didn't know that was going to happen. The Wraith know very well what will happen every time they cull and feed.



Look - bottom line is this - the Wraith kill, yes - but the humans have probably been responsible for more human deaths than the Wraith have since waking (between the Replicators, Michael, the hoffan drug, Attero device, etc, etc, etc...). Can't put everything on the Wraith while ignoring all the human lives lost because of the Lanteans (I HOPE this is addressed next week, but somehow I believe they will be justified in the end. As always.)

I really, really doubt that. But it can't be proven one way or the other so the point is moot.



Perhaps. But he is still a doctor. It's not so much that he killed the Wraith, it's how he did it, without conscience. He egged the Wraith on into a confrontation, then used his medical knowledge to kill him. He - Carson - was the instigator, and he used his medical knowledge as a weapon. That is what disturbs me.

I would think that the Wraith threatening to kill hundreds of lives if Carson didn't cooperate was the instigator. By killing him, Carson saved those hundreds of lives. Now what were you saying about humans causing more deaths?



We can go on and on about this - from the humans kidnapping and poisoning Steve, to murdering Bob in a cell, to holding Todd captive - a Wraith who offered his trust - until he nearly starved to death. The humans have been extremely cold-blooded and heartless to the Wraith, another sentient species, and NOT out of necessity, but because they feel they have the right to judge the inhabitants of a galaxy they have just invaded.

As DragonLady pointed out rather masterfully, the Wraith have had 10 000 years and enormous amount of tech at their disposal to find another way to feed. They chose to keep feeding on humans.

We humans, at least some of us, have chosen to find alternatives to eating meat when our physiology dictates that we should.



They have deceived the Wraith, they have tortured them, they have experimented on them, they have slaughtered them - male, female and child - though unprovoked (The Hive, for instance - a classic case where the humans attacked Wraith without cause, but out of hate and prejudice).

And how exactly did the Wraith-sensing Athosians come into existence? Through some anomalous genetic mutation? No. They were kidnapped and tortured and experimented on. The Wraith are hardly as blameless as you would like to portray them.



Sure, the Wraith feed - and kill - in order to sustain themselves, but the humans, especially the Lanteans, kill just because they have set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner.

They kill to survive, to protect their families and their ways of life. Much like those villagers you claimed to have been murdered for attempting to do exactly that.



1. How can they trust humans who make deals with them - the Wraith have been double-crossed far more often than the humans, from the episodes I've seen.

Ah yes. Because the humans have never been double-crossed by the Wraith. Virus on the Daedalus anyone?

And Todd has never offered assistance without some ulterior unshared motive. No, of course not. [/end sarcasm]



2. We slaughter hundreds, even thousands, of our livestock because of hoof and mouth disease, hundreds of thousands of chickens because of bird flu - we do it to protect our food supply. How are we different from Wraith who are merely doing the same - protecting their food supply.

We have come up with alternative for those humans interested enough to put them to use. There are vegetarians and vegans among us. Show me a Wraith who has done as much in over 10 000 years of existence.



I agree - there are a few individual Wraith who are 'evil', but for the most part, they are just thousands and thousands of very hungry bugs, trying to find enough food to survive.

A quaint, romantic notion.



Yeah, well...lemme see - we've got Michael. If we want to start talking broken words, we should start there.

And the Wraith have the Athosians and whomever else they experimented upon.

Glass houses?



It has nothing to do with being 'cool'. I truly believe that - in the fictional realm of SGA - the Wraith took better care of their galaxy, and especially of their human herds, than the Lanteans, who have stepped in and screwed everything up. At least under Wraith dominion, most civilizations had hundreds of years of peace, with some (according to RepliWeir) even becoming advanced societies, right under the Wraith's little green noses.

You mean hundreds of years of living in constant fear. Yep, that's an awesome way to live. I totally can't see why everybody doesn't want that for their children.



Oh, lemme see. ALL of the humans could have hidden in the caves (seems the Wraith are clueless about caves), while Shep and Co. lured the Wraith away from the gate. Many ways they could have done this...including making it appear that the villagers had travelled to point A...say, by setting up a fake campsite...so that while some went to investigate, the Lanteans could have taken out those at the gate and evacuated the humans. That is just one simple option.

Dead Wraith are easier to fight and pose less of a threat than diverted ones.

Ruffles
October 17th, 2008, 10:51 PM
Who's to say what good that research could have served. Just because it was in Wraith hands doesn't mean it couldn't eventually help humans - like the Replicator data.

Carson kept the data from the Wraith by destroying it, but he had already finished the research. That's how he knew he had the virus. Now, all he has to do is reproduce what he learned. The data is not lost to all, simply to the Wraith.


Perhaps. But he is still a doctor. It's not so much that he killed the Wraith, it's how he did it, without conscience. He egged the Wraith on into a confrontation, then used his medical knowledge to kill him. He - Carson - was the instigator, and he used his medical knowledge as a weapon. That is what disturbs me.

Carson used the Wraith's nature against him. If that Wraith hadn't felt the need to "punish" Carson's defiance, he would still be alive. Besides, how stupid was he to not consider that the doctor working with survivors of the plague might have it. Oops.


Oh, lemme see. ALL of the humans could have hidden in the caves (seems the Wraith are clueless about caves), while Shep and Co. lured the Wraith away from the gate. Many ways they could have done this...including making it appear that the villagers had travelled to point A...say, by setting up a fake campsite...so that while some went to investigate, the Lanteans could have taken out those at the gate and evacuated the humans. That is just one simple option.

There were options for everyone here, except - maybe - the Wraith...seeing as they still have that pesky need to feed thing going on.


das

The problem was the number of Wraith. It's why the original plan was scrapped. They couldn't kill/lure enough Wraith away to make an escape.

Keep in mind why the Wraith came to the planet to begin with. They were the instigators. They wanted to experiment on the Balarians (at least that's why I assume they were going to take them to their "new home" on the hive. The humans weren't seeking a fight this day. They just finished it.

Brain_Child
October 18th, 2008, 01:35 AM
Your just grabbing at straws now.

Carson did what was best. He killed wraith (since when has this become a morally bad thing to do???) and saved a large group of people, around 700.

And your far to near sighted. Yes, for this particular episode the humans win the body count, about a dozen to the wraith's single kill, but this episode was only around 24 hours in PG. What about the weeks afterward? if carson had developed the testing program properly, the wraith would have killed tens of thousands.

you forget to mention this little fact in your original argument.

Long term, they did what was best.

Heaven
October 18th, 2008, 05:15 AM
all those wraith human comparisons are stupid
there is no such thing as universal morals or ethics
murdering your own kind is only immoral by human standards.
you can't make that judgment for other races. there are many species who kill their own kind merely in competition for anything from food to mates.

to humans the wraith are an enemy, and humans are their prey, if you don't kill them they'll kill you. it's us or them, nothing wrong with killing every last wraith in the galaxy.

to wraith the humans are food or threat, just like we'd kill a fish for food or murder a bear to survive. killing humans is wraith nature.

and Carson using his medical knowledge to kill the wraith - why not?
medical knowledge is just knowledge there is nothing holy about it.

MCH
October 18th, 2008, 05:48 AM
all those wraith human comparisons are stupid
there is no such thing as universal morals or ethics
murdering your own kind is only immoral by human standards.
you can't make that judgment for other races. there are many species who kill their own kind merely in competition for anything from food to mates.

to humans the wraith are an enemy, and humans are their prey, if you don't kill them they'll kill you. it's us or them, nothing wrong with killing every last wraith in the galaxy.

to wraith the humans are food or threat, just like we'd kill a fish for food or murder a bear to survive. killing humans is wraith nature.

and Carson using his medical knowledge to kill the wraith - why not?
medical knowledge is just knowledge there is nothing holy about it.

Some people take issue with Carson actions as doctor take an oath (can't remember the name of it) anyway the oath is to do no harm.

Carson Shepherd, the villagers all took decisions that are morally ambiguous and that most of the humans will all have to live with those decisions those human that lived.

The Wraith need very quickly an untainted food supply not so sure weather they would even think about the morals of the situation. They have never even had to think about looking for a new supply of food in the past 10,000 years.

This is a clash about food, nothing more and nothing less. One the Wraith needs food, the other humans doesn't want to be at the end of the Wraith food chain. But the starting point of this clash is not so pure and simple and the view of it is many shades of moral grey

Remember one man's hero is another man's terrorist

MCH

Nitegate
October 18th, 2008, 05:48 AM
i didn't read any of the posts, just putting what i think.

this carson is not the same carson, if you noticed in the kindred part 2, he shot those 2 men in the back with no hesitation, he is the complete opposite.

i like it, cause it shows how carson goes to the darkside a bit, like not caring as much as he did cause of all the crap he's been through with michael.

i also see the wraith kinda scared of the atlantis expedition, just like how the goa'uld became scared of earth and refused to attack after anubis's ship got blown out of the sky. why i say the wraith is scared of them is they defeated the replicators which they couldn't and they've had several attacks on atlantis and they've failed.

Ouroboros
October 18th, 2008, 05:59 AM
Carson "genocidal bioweapons" Beckett quoting "do no harm" made my friggin' sides split.

Heaven
October 18th, 2008, 06:03 AM
I think the do no harm is intended for your patients not people who are trying to kill you

MCH
October 18th, 2008, 06:17 AM
I think the do no harm is intended for your patients not people who are trying to kill you

I agree with you Carson was under threat, and although this is Carson with all Carson original memories, this clonewent through what Michael did to him. Wonder if the real Carson would have done what he did on the ship.
As for to the do no harm oath not everybody else will agree with Carson actions as doctors generally are seen as being there to help and heal.

MCH

AlphaWox
October 18th, 2008, 06:50 AM
Carson did lead the commander to feed, but in the end, wasn't it the commander's choice to put his hand on Carson's chest? I'll agree that Carson manipulated the situation to present the option. The commander was the one who chose to take the option. He could very easily have ordered Carson sent to a holding cell and kept him separated from Rodney (I've never understood that about the Wraith, they obviously have multiple holding cells on hive ships, yet they herd the whole team and whoever's with them into one single room -- yeah, easier to guard, but easier for the team to come up with an escape plan).

aretood2
October 18th, 2008, 08:14 AM
all those wraith human comparisons are stupid
there is no such thing as universal morals or ethics
murdering your own kind is only immoral by human standards.
you can't make that judgment for other races. there are many species who kill their own kind merely in competition for anything from food to mates.

like people?
Saying that someone else's opinion is stupid is not the best way to express your views, unless its completely out of reason. And this may not be that case.


to humans the wraith are an enemy, and humans are their prey, if you don't kill them they'll kill you. it's us or them, nothing wrong with killing every last wraith in the galaxy.

that may be true if there is no third option. Carson is free of guilt imo, just wanted to make that clear. But if there was another option and Carson ignored it, then he would be the monster that the OP claims he is. In "our" case, there is a third option. The third option is Keller's miracle pill that allows the wraith to process food.


and Carson using his medical knowledge to kill the wraith - why not?

once again to make my self clear, I agree due to the situation. Had there been a third way out then this would be wrong from my POV.


medical knowledge is just knowledge there is nothing holy about it.
This is where I disagree. To me Medical knowledge is a divine gift, if you will.
Running around and hiding a cure for a dieing people is wrong. Running around with said plague and making sure everyone in that group gets it is also wrong. The Lanteans have a third option for the Wraith on the table. It is not Humanity's fault that the Wraith choose to ignore it.

That said I agree with pretty much everything that Pandora's Box said. Carson had no other choice. Many Doctors have to either save one life while killing another on a daily basis, think birth complications. What Carson did was not that much different in this one specific isolated situation.

Reiko
October 18th, 2008, 10:00 AM
I'm inclined to agree with Pandora, and it's not just because I'm one of Carson's biggest fans. However, I do see where the opposing arguement is coming from and it's certainly justifyable. But we are talking in terms of human lives here, and, naturally, they will always come out on top of the Wraith for many reasons -- because our protagonists are human and the Wraith have had options to look for other food sources for years.

I'm quite happy with the ethical arguement this episode has produced -- it shows we still have complex characters. (Erm, potentially complex characters.) I have not seen this episode yet, but from what I hear there should have been scenes surrounding the characters' actions, no?

Heaven
October 18th, 2008, 10:06 AM
that may be true if there is no third option. Carson is free of guilt imo, just wanted to make that clear. But if there was another option and Carson ignored it, then he would be the monster that the OP claims he is. In "our" case, there is a third option. The third option is Keller's miracle pill that allows the wraith to process food.

I disagree, I think it's entirely within the rights of every human to kill a wraith
whether there is a third option or not.
it's the natural order of things, and any other solution is an artificial one.
mercy is a luxury not a right.

aretood2
October 18th, 2008, 10:58 AM
I disagree, I think it's entirely within the rights of every human to kill a wraith
whether there is a third option or not.
it's the natural order of things, and any other solution is an artificial one.
mercy is a luxury not a right.
But mercy is a virtue.

It is also the Natural order of things to let the weak to die, yet we have hospitals and programs to help the weak...

Just cause something is natural, it doesn't always mean that it is good.

Heaven
October 18th, 2008, 11:39 AM
But mercy is a virtue.

It is also the Natural order of things to let the weak to die, yet we have hospitals and programs to help the weak...

Just cause something is natural, it doesn't always mean that it is good.
yes provided they can pay for treatment or make a contribution to society.

good is subjective.
by helping those people you may save lives - a "good" thing, but you also fail to eliminate the weak genes that caused the weakness in the first place and ultimately continue this cycle of pain and misery - bad.
virtually all "good" things are tied with "bad" consequences in some form.

doing the most "good" won't always lead to the best outcome. you have to aim for balance. this is what nature is all about.

Earthgate Ricky
October 18th, 2008, 11:50 AM
Your just grabbing at straws now.

Carson did what was best. He killed wraith (since when has this become a morally bad thing to do???) and saved a large group of people, around 700.


Peachy!
But Carson concerned about his health and DNA/clone cells as he check up if his cells were not degenerated as Wraith got killed by feeding on toxin. I think that he is fine.

Look, Rodney did killed more wraiths than Carson. We know that the clone Carson don't attend medical college as original Carson did, but the clone got DNA, memories, expressions, etc..from original Carson. Carson told lot of stories about Rodney in funny ways as Rodney felt that Carson is Carson, not original or clone as Rodney never give a damn.

If I am one of SA crew, I would invisit Carson for dinner.

Nemises
October 18th, 2008, 01:12 PM
what would you have him do ? hand over the solution to the wraith so they can continue there feeding without fear of getting killed themselves.

quite a strategy you've got there to save lives.

Arica15
October 18th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Maybe what this goes to show is that it's not a case of the 'right' and 'wrong' answer, maybe it's just the less bad.

Ripple in Space
October 18th, 2008, 02:59 PM
It's kind of funny you brought this up in this episode discussion because Carson actually talked about reconciling the best way to act to save the most lives...

A for effort, but you don't have a leg to stand on because he outright said that he took the course of action that he believed would save the most lives.

Orion Antreas
October 18th, 2008, 03:18 PM
I have to disagree. A rather interesting debate I must add. Carson once again was willing to sacrifice himself to save others in this episode. He was not going to help with the research so he took a chance in hoping he could escape with Mckay and save the rest of the people on the planet and in the galaxy. Rodney basically hit the nail on the head when he says to Carson "You cannot solve all the problems of the Pegasus Galaxy in one day".

It's a very moral issue, and gotta say this is the kind of episode that make the show have so many levels and gives the characters a more 3D feel to them.

I agree 100%. You summed up exactly what I felt.

prion
October 18th, 2008, 07:17 PM
If Carson had done what the wraith wanted, they would kill every single plague survivor, then happily nosh their way through the galaxy without a worry about 'food poisoning.' Carson stated that he wasn't going to be complicit in that kind of action, so instead offered himself up, knowing that he would be poison to the wraith.

the whole episode was rife with morally questionable choices, and our heroes made them, for better or worse.

Earthgate Ricky
October 18th, 2008, 08:21 PM
If Carson had done what the wraith wanted, they would kill every single plague survivor, then happily nosh their way through the galaxy without a worry about 'food poisoning.' Carson stated that he wasn't going to be complicit in that kind of action, so instead offered himself up, knowing that he would be poison to the wraith.

the whole episode was rife with morally questionable choices, and our heroes made them, for better or worse.


Amen!

Quadhelix
October 19th, 2008, 06:08 AM
I'd also like to point out that at no point in the 10,000 years since the Ancients left have the Wraith made any attempt, much less succeeded, to get off sentient feed -- even with pet Wraith Worshippers to chat with and humans smart enough to kill them or blow them up. Todd is the most level-headed Wraith around and even he admitted that getting the general Wraith population to accept non-sentient food would be difficult even with possible starvation on the line.

The Wraith are happy with the status quo, which disolves the "physiology dictates." Their actions are a choice, unfortuneately a choice that makes war inevitable.
It simply might not have occurred to the Wraith that they could adapt themselves to stop feeding on humans.

As such, I am willing to accept the argument that the Wraith have a "biological imperative" (the need to eat) to kill humans, at least for the purpose of food.

However, such a biological imperative on the part of the Wraith implies a biological imperative on the part of the humans to exterminate every last Wraith in existence, from the oldest Queen to the smallest infant. Indeed, many prey animals such as the Rhinoceros, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus have had weapons built into their body to turn the fight against their attackers.


The very fact that Carson's "anti-Wraith retrovirus" turned the Wraith into humans instead of killing them showed that the Hippocratic Oath is, indeed, a defining aspect of his character, that he would go so far as to apply it to something that would eat him (in a very sadistic fashion, I might add).

Todds worshipper
October 19th, 2008, 07:14 AM
We can go on and on about this - from the humans kidnapping and poisoning Steve, to murdering Bob in a cell, to holding Todd captive - a Wraith who offered his trust - until he nearly starved to death. The humans have been extremely cold-blooded and heartless to the Wraith, another sentient species, and NOT out of necessity, but because they feel they have the right to judge the inhabitants of a galaxy they have just invaded. They have deceived the Wraith, they have tortured them, they have experimented on them, they have slaughtered them - male, female and child - though unprovoked (The Hive, for instance - a classic case where the humans attacked Wraith without cause, but out of hate and prejudice). Sure, the Wraith feed - and kill - in order to sustain themselves, but the humans, especially the Lanteans, kill just because they have set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner....

....Oh, lemme see. ALL of the humans could have hidden in the caves (seems the Wraith are clueless about caves), while Shep and Co. lured the Wraith away from the gate. Many ways they could have done this...including making it appear that the villagers had travelled to point A...say, by setting up a fake campsite...so that while some went to investigate, the Lanteans could have taken out those at the gate and evacuated the humans. That is just one simple option.

There were options for everyone here, except - maybe - the Wraith...seeing as they still have that pesky need to feed thing going on.


das


I completely agree with das (and not just because of my love for Todd). The Atlantians went from wanting to help the wraith change their ways (which was a promising way to curb their eating habits without exterminating their species) to "oh bugger it, let's slaughter them all" a few days later. In reality, if humans like that were in charge on our planet, the nightly news would be a million times more gruesome than it already is.

Jackie
October 19th, 2008, 07:55 AM
If cows, pigs and chickens suddenly developed to the point where they could talk to us, rationalize that they were going to die to feed us, make weapons and shoot back in effort to save themselves, how would we react?

Would we continue to keep them in pens and butcher them accordingly? Our food service industry would be turned on its head. Not everyone would just gladly become vegetarians--even though we can live without meat.

With our own scientific knowledge, I think we would start creating artificial meat to be honest. While other people would still insist on eating the real deal. We could be in for a civil war if our food supply was disturbed in any way, shape or form.

Of course, if livestock could talk we would have a new meaning to "animal rights."

Humans are hypocrites but at the same time, we are far more adaptive than the wraith. The ability to adapt is key to any species survival. If a species doesn't adapt it will die out! Rule of nature.

If the wraith cannot adapt and find an "alternate food source" now their food source has been cut short they will simply die out.

I always liked how layered the wraith are in character but it always dumbfounded me that they couldn't follow the basic laws of nature...even with spaceships and advanced tech. Their food chain has now changed and they will either die or adapt.

Pandora's_Box
October 19th, 2008, 08:42 AM
It simply might not have occurred to the Wraith that they could adapt themselves to stop feeding on humans.

So for all their tech and scientific advancements, they're either just plain stupid or they're evil enough that they don't care that their food is talking back and asking for mercy.



As such, I am willing to accept the argument that the Wraith have a "biological imperative" (the need to eat) to kill humans, at least for the purpose of food.

However, such a biological imperative on the part of the Wraith implies a biological imperative on the part of the humans to exterminate every last Wraith in existence, from the oldest Queen to the smallest infant. Indeed, many prey animals such as the Rhinoceros, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus have had weapons built into their body to turn the fight against their attackers.

And such is the cycle of life and the way of it. So to rail against the humans for fighting for their own survival (and the fact that they're willing to do whatever it takes) is odd to me. Especially when we're talking about biological imperatives and nature.

No prey animal takes its death lying down. The vast majority of them do have defenses and have been known to fight back and take down their predators. Why not humans?



The very fact that Carson's "anti-Wraith retrovirus" turned the Wraith into humans instead of killing them showed that the Hippocratic Oath is, indeed, a defining aspect of his character, that he would go so far as to apply it to something that would eat him (in a very sadistic fashion, I might add).

Some would argue that to be the same thing. That turning then into humans did, effectively, kill them.


I completely agree with das (and not just because of my love for Todd). The Atlantians went from wanting to help the wraith change their ways (which was a promising way to curb their eating habits without exterminating their species) to "oh bugger it, let's slaughter them all" a few days later. In reality, if humans like that were in charge on our planet, the nightly news would be a million times more gruesome than it already is.

So if a particular species had been killing your people for about 10 000 years, you'd be able to let go of all suspicions against them? All belief that this may all be a plot to divert your efforts and energies away from the war so they may take you by surprise?

Point me in the direction of whatever galaxy you're from because it sounds like it's populated by saints.




Would we continue to keep them in pens and butcher them accordingly? Our food service industry would be turned on its head. Not everyone would just gladly become vegetarians--even though we can live without meat.

That's the funny thing. We actually can't.

There are fats and proteins etc... only available through the meat that our bodies need in order to function properly. There are countless studies pointing out the dangers to the human body of starving it of these nutrients. And to an extent, we've overcome that obstacle with supplements and modified foods.

So if we can do that, and our food doesn't talk, then what was stopping the Wraith?



I always liked how layered the wraith are in character but it always dumbfounded me that they couldn't follow the basic laws of nature...even with spaceships and advanced tech. Their food chain has now changed and they will either die or adapt.

Well said!

Thunderbird 2
October 19th, 2008, 09:43 AM
I am beyond the point of debating the actions of either Dr Beckett, or Clone Carson. Although the fact thety are two different people makes a difference. For the record, - its my opinion that both versions of the character have broken the oath! Dr Beckett by intention. (The retrovirus) Clone Carson (from what I have read) through coertionan, programming by Michael, and circumstance.


However for those interested, here is a link to Wiki's entry on the Hypocratic Oath.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocratic_oath

Celesto
October 19th, 2008, 09:58 AM
for me it s totally understanding. Carson was catched by Michael quiet a long time. Who knows what he did to Carson (the the Clone :)). I would be kind of nerved of a Wraith. But maybe they bring light in the dark, why he himself gave the virus. I mean, there s still no solution for keeping Carson as Clone alive anyway. I hope they solve the problem before the Season 5 Finale.

garhkal
October 19th, 2008, 11:47 AM
What got me, was he had no issues making the retrovirus, no issues working on michael, and no issues working on the hoffan drug knowing what it was able to do, but he has issues now... seems strange.

Ouroboros
October 19th, 2008, 02:26 PM
I am beyond the point of debating the actions of either Dr Beckett, or Clone Carson. Although the fact thety are two different people makes a difference. For the record, - its my opinion that both versions of the character have broken the oath! Dr Beckett by intention. (The retrovirus) Clone Carson (from what I have read) through coertionan, programming by Michael, and circumstance.


However for those interested, here is a link to Wiki's entry on the Hypocratic Oath.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocratic_oath

I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath.[/quote]


To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

Maybe he thought they said hypocritic oath?

dasNdanger
October 19th, 2008, 11:08 PM
I am beyond the point of debating the actions of either Dr Beckett, or Clone Carson. Although the fact thety are two different people makes a difference. For the record, - its my opinion that both versions of the character have broken the oath! Dr Beckett by intention. (The retrovirus) Clone Carson (from what I have read) through coertionan, programming by Michael, and circumstance.


However for those interested, here is a link to Wiki's entry on the Hypocratic Oath.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocratic_oath

Thank you for posting that.


What got me, was he had no issues making the retrovirus, no issues working on michael, and no issues working on the hoffan drug knowing what it was able to do, but he has issues now... seems strange.

Exactly.


Maybe he thought they said hypocritic oath?

LOL! Too true, too true!

das

JadedWraith
October 21st, 2008, 02:29 PM
yes provided they can pay for treatment or make a contribution to society.

good is subjective.
by helping those people you may save lives - a "good" thing, but you also fail to eliminate the weak genes that caused the weakness in the first place and ultimately continue this cycle of pain and misery - bad.
virtually all "good" things are tied with "bad" consequences in some form.

doing the most "good" won't always lead to the best outcome. you have to aim for balance. this is what nature is all about.


Any bad gene can turn into a good gene if environmental conditions change. That’s the main error of eugenics. One weakness may be your strong point in different circumstances. If you take variety out of the gene pool, the species won't survive. And nature finds its way to balance with many ripples.

As for Carson’s actions, well, although I call Atlantis the land of the ethically challenged (e.g Misbegotten), this time I don't have much of a problem with them. It was reasonable to try to preserve the legacy of the Hoffan drug to the humans, as it was justified for the wraith to try to counter act it. Survival vs survival. No one was innocent and no one was a true villain.

FallenAngelII
October 22nd, 2008, 08:42 AM
das, I think you're just too biased of a Wraith-lover. They are at war, the Wraith are their enemy. The medical data was not going to be used for anything other than to hunt down every living survivor of "the Plague" and then kill them.

What possible use could that research have had? All it did was allow you to detect whether or not they had been subjected to the "plague".

There have been plenty of healers throughout the ages who at the same time have been warriors. Also, I do not think this is the first time Carson has fired a gun (I could be wrong).

They are at war and this was a combat situation. This Hive was clearly hostile and out to kill innocent people. They probably already had (the Belarans they captured). What Carson did was not optimal, but it was not wrong, either.

Contrary to popular belief, the Hippocratic Oath also does not state that doctors cannot do any harm whatsoever, just that they can't using their medical knowledge.

Silverwings
October 22nd, 2008, 04:18 PM
Interesting. I never noticed the abortion bit before.

Also, when one's life (or say, thousands of others) are on the line, who exactly does "do no harm" apply to? Is it a numbers game?

Edit: This is interesting:

Contrary to popular belief, the Hippocratic Oath also does not state that doctors cannot do any harm whatsoever, just that they can't using their medical knowledge.

So Keller shooting the Genii punk in Missing was OK, since she doesn't use guns for surgery? That seems a bit... semantic to me, but sure, I'll roll with it. Self-defense or standing in the defense of others would seem to me to be a higher moral obligation than the H. oath.

Jill_Ion
October 22nd, 2008, 05:39 PM
While we're talking about Hippocratic Oaths, let's remember that the Commander was trying to force Carson to harm his own patients by working on a way to overcome the Hoffan drug.

If Carson had completed the work and turned it over to the Commander, Carson's patients would've been killed. Carson and Rodney would've been killed. Based upon past actions by other Wraith, the entire village would've been wiped out, thereby also taking out the Team. Then, the Commander would've taken the research and killed anyone who had survived the Hoffan Plague.

Then, the Commander and his Hive would've continued their traditional feeding process on humans.

I also want to point out that Daniel and Rodney had no choice about activating the Attero device. They were forced to do it. They asked for more time to figure out the negative side effects of the Attero device, but were not allowed by the Badsgard.

Finally, Carson and Rodney were stunned, kidnapped, and forced to work on the research against their will. Not only their lives were threatened - the lives of 700+ people on the planet were threatened unless they cooperated. The Commander was the enemy. Carson and Rodney were under no obligation to cooperate with him.

The Commander would not have let them go upon completing the research. No help from Atlantis or the planet was coming. Rodney and Carson had to save their own lives. To save their lives, Carson and Rodney needed weapons and to take out the Commander, so the Hive would be without a leader and possibly hesitate in their attack on the planet. Also, they needed to kill the Commander as he was driving the research (y'know, the research that would cost the lives of thousands?). The Commander would not stop even if they asked nicely.

Like the Wraith. Love the Wraith. Sympathize with the Wraith. Bake them baby cakes. That's all cool.

But this Wraith - the Commander - was the enemy. Carson used the best weapon he had to defend himself, Rodney, the Team, 700+ villagers, his patients, and thousands of lives on other planets.

Lythisrose
October 24th, 2008, 09:04 AM
Carson, or Keller for that matter, may not have taken the Hippocratic Oath in it's original form. Most US docs take a more modern version, I'm not sure what they do in Scotland?
See this website (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_today.html)
Here is a modern version:


Hippocratic Oath—Modern Version

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.


Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.

Interesting that it specifically points out the physicians's duty to human beings, wonder if they knew about Wraith???

Jill_Ion
October 24th, 2008, 09:38 AM
That is interesting, Lythisrose. I wonder what doctors and other professionals who service humans and have oaths or doctrines would do if faced with another sentient being? Would it matter if they were trying to kill us? Would it matter whether they lived on Earth or not?

Actually, I might mentally (or visually) go back and see if any SG-1's have dealt with this subject. I can't recall any right offhand, but my brain is just getting started today.

garhkal
October 24th, 2008, 09:50 PM
Also, would the tennants of the oath apply in the pegasus galaxy> I mean if that applies, so should doc patient confidentiality which would have come in with the research done on the sear.

Lythisrose
October 24th, 2008, 10:17 PM
Also, would the tennants of the oath apply in the pegasus galaxy> I mean if that applies, so should doc patient confidentiality which would have come in with the research done on the sear.

Also, I hate to say it since I'm not a big McKeller fan, but it doesn't mention anything about not having relationships with your patients...

FallenAngelII
October 25th, 2008, 10:58 AM
So Keller shooting the Genii punk in Missing was OK, since she doesn't use guns for surgery? That seems a bit... semantic to me, but sure, I'll roll with it. Self-defense or standing in the defense of others would seem to me to be a higher moral obligation than the H. oath.
The Hippocratic oath states that's it's wrong to, say, deliberately harm someone using surgical skills. For one thing, if a rapist is sent to the hospital, the Hippocratic oath states that you have no right to deliberately botch the operation or refuse to treat him (the 2nd part I'm not so sure about).

If it's in self-defense, then you bet ya' it's OK to kill someone using scalpels and whatnot. And Carson wasn't randomly killing Wraith for fun. He was acting in self-defense and in the defense of others (Rodney, the Belarans and the villagers).


Also, I hate to say it since I'm not a big McKeller fan, but it doesn't mention anything about not having relationships with your patients...
No, but modern societal laws have problems with romantic relationships between doctors and their patients.