PDA

View Full Version : Protagonist Centered Morality



D Toccs
March 22nd, 2011, 07:24 PM
I understand that all TV shows work on the system of protagonist centered morality, but this episode kinda annoyed me at the end.
Wray and Greer both exposed the bodies of Covel and Michaels to lethal amounts of radiation, despite Telford telling them not to and explicitly saying "you're not in your own bodies." Then when Covel is quite justifiably angered by the situation and tries to save himself, everybody including Rush treat him like the jerkass to end all jerkasses. Young even says to him that he has no choice but to go back and that he has no right to help himself to Greer's body, what about Greer having no right to sacrifice Covel's body?
I understand it was a difficult situation, but if it had been reversed and one of the crew was in Covel's shoes, then doing what he did would be seen as the right thing to do and Greer would have been viewed as the jerkass. Also where does Rush get off taking the moral high ground, he would have done exactly the same thing in Covel's place.
End of rant.

DigiFluid
March 22nd, 2011, 07:27 PM
Well, they were already exposed to a lethal level before there was a chance to save the two bodies they were inhabiting. And protagonist-centric morality or not, I can't see any of the show's heroes ever permanently stealing someone else's body.

Makenshi
March 22nd, 2011, 07:31 PM
From what I understood, Wray only decided to go after the bomb when she knew they were condemned de to radiation levels (geiger counter). That's when she went like: "These pops are dead already, better find that bomb while these bodis still have hair and skin".

They didn't choose to harm other's bodies; they were put in that situation. Covel, however, deliberatedly tried to steal bodies, like that would work (both ends of stones die). It was the typical "avoid 4 deaths if it can be reduced to two".

MattSilver 3k
March 22nd, 2011, 07:32 PM
Well, they were already exposed to a lethal level before there was a chance to save the two bodies they were inhabiting. And protagonist-centric morality or not, I can't see any of the show's heroes ever permanently stealing someone else's body.

That.


From what I understood, Wray only decided to go after the bomb when she knew they were condemned de to radiation levels (geiger counter). That's when she went like: "These pops are dead already, better find that bomb while these bodis still have hair and skin".

They didn't choose to harm other's bodies; they were put in that situation. Covel, however, deliberatedly tried to steal bodies, like that would work (both ends of stones die). It was the typical "avoid 4 deaths if it can be reduced to two".

This.

D Toccs, you did, you know, watch the episode in full, right? Like, the whole thing?

D Toccs
March 22nd, 2011, 07:37 PM
Well Greer and Wray did essentially permanently steal Covel and Michael's bodies. Everybody in or around the Pentagon had been exposed to the radiation, the majority of them got out and will presumably get medical treatment. Greer and Wray not only stayed inside, but moved further in to be right beside the bomb thus negating any possible rescue all the while fully aware they were killing the host bodies.

In earlier episodes the use of other people's bodies has been treated as a moral issue, Eli got angry at Amanda Perry for getting romantic with Rush while in Ginn's body, the moral issue of Young torturing Telford while in Rush's body and the subtle montage of Amanda Perry having fun running around while Wray suffered in the crippled body. Yet in this episode sacrificing someone else's body is good and if the person is angry then they are bad.

carmencatalina
March 22nd, 2011, 07:47 PM
Everybody in or around the Pentagon had been exposed to the radiation, the majority of them got out and will presumably get medical treatment. Greer and Wray not only stayed inside, but moved further in to be right beside the bomb thus negating any possible rescue all the while fully aware they were killing the host bodies.


Did you not watch the episode?

They tried to leave, but they find their way is blocked by the rubble. It is only after they find the Geiger counter and Wray (correctly) interprets the readings as saying they have already been exposed to a lethal dose that they know that the bodies they are in will die. Given that they think the bomb is going to kill potentially thousands of people, they decide to try to defuse it, since the people they are inhabiting are already going to die.

Did you miss the part where they were trying to leave? Where they radio Telford and tell him the way is blocked? Did you miss the giant pile of rubble?

DigiFluid
March 22nd, 2011, 07:49 PM
Well Greer and Wray did essentially permanently steal Covel and Michael's bodies. Everybody in or around the Pentagon had been exposed to the radiation, the majority of them got out and will presumably get medical treatment. Greer and Wray not only stayed inside, but moved further in to be right beside the bomb thus negating any possible rescue all the while fully aware they were killing the host bodies.
No they didn't.

They moved in to disarm the bomb--to save millions of other people. They had no idea that they'd lethally poisoned the bodies they were in till it was too late to do anything about it.

Also:


Did you not watch the episode?

They tried to leave, but they find their way is blocked by the rubble. It is only after they find the Geiger counter and Wray (correctly) interprets the readings as saying they have already been exposed to a lethal dose that they know that the bodies they are in will die. Given that they think the bomb is going to kill potentially thousands of people, they decide to try to defuse it, since the people they are inhabiting are already going to die.

Did you miss the part where they were trying to leave? Where they radio Telford and tell him the way is blocked? Did you miss the giant pile of rubble?
^ This excellent post.

jelgate
March 22nd, 2011, 07:50 PM
Hinsight is 20/20. They had no idea where the bomb was and did not even though they were exposed until they found the Geigher counter. By then it was too late

Makenshi
March 22nd, 2011, 07:52 PM
They didn't stay in by their choice, the were f***ing buried there due to falling debris. Greer didn't hold her to keep her in the building, but to prevent her from disconecting the stones - and even then, not to steal bodies, but to prevent the owners coming back in the middle of chaos. In fact, I believe HE would try to lead Wray out of the building (remember the stone room in inside it, so SHE didn't want to leave the buillding, probably thinking it would be faster to just disconect).

After they woke up, they looked for a way out, which led to them to the place were they found the geiger conter, where they discovered they were doomed; that's when they decided "these two are dead, maybe even us with them if conection ain't cut - let's stop the bomb, it's the least we can do".

Telford's torture wasn't exactly torture - it's was the Jaffa Ritual to break brainwash, and this was an exceptional, desperate situation. I'm not saying it was right, but was the only way.

Wray on Perry's body, she new what was coming (so did Vanessa Janes, but she couldn't handle the pressure as Wray did); who can blame Perry for enjoying a few moments of health after a life of suffering? It's not as if she stole the body, or stalled her work to stay a bit more. When the time came, she gave it back.


EDIT: ninja'ed by carmencatalina... T__T

D Toccs
March 22nd, 2011, 07:56 PM
Did you not watch the episode?

They tried to leave, but they find their way is blocked by the rubble. It is only after they find the Geiger counter and Wray (correctly) interprets the readings as saying they have already been exposed to a lethal dose that they know that the bodies they are in will die. Given that they think the bomb is going to kill potentially thousands of people, they decide to try to defuse it, since the people they are inhabiting are already going to die.

Did you miss the part where they were trying to leave? Where they radio Telford and tell him the way is blocked? Did you miss the giant pile of rubble?

There's no need for attitude, of course I saw the pile of rubble, but they never said that was the only way out they explicitly said that it was the closest way out. Telford told them to look for another way out but after hearing that the bomb squad couldn't get in in time, Wray made the descion to go for the bomb rather then find an alternate way out.

This is all beside the point anyway, my issue is not with what Wray and Greer did as I said I am fully aware it was a messed up situation. My issue is with the demonizing of Covel who was completely justified in being angry and was also reacting to the messed up situation.

Makenshi
March 22nd, 2011, 08:02 PM
No it wasn't, he knew his body was doomed and tried to steal that which belongs to others. The senator was not as coward and dumb. A person who doesn't know how the stones work could use those excuses you said, but not him: he knew he would die ANYWAY, yet chose to die in Greer's body when could die on his own and let Greer live.

And even then, it would still be wrong to steal another person's body when he knew they were not responsible for the situation. Understandable, but not justifiable: you don't steal another persons organs to replace your own; why would stealing an entire body be acceptable?

D Toccs
March 22nd, 2011, 08:06 PM
No it wasn't, he knew his body was doomed and tried to steal that which belongs to others. The senator was not as coward and dumb. A person who doesn't know how the stones work could use those excuses you said, but not him: he knew he would die ANYWAY, yet chose to die in Greer's body when could die on his own and let Greer live.

And even then, it would still be wrong to steal another person's body when he knew they were not responsible for the situation. Understandable, but not justifiable: you don't steal another persons organs to replace your own; why would stealing an entire body be acceptable?

Covel did know full well how the stones work, and he theorized that Amanda Perry's body only died because it was to weak to sustain the shock. Given that he is a scientist on par with Rush, his theory should not be considered just random speculation.

morbosfist
March 22nd, 2011, 09:07 PM
It's not random speculation, but it is the desperate justification of a man who doesn't want to die. He knows better. He just wouldn't accept it.

senilegreen
March 22nd, 2011, 09:36 PM
I've long had a problem with the "stones", especially in SGU where they become the means for sex and other relationships. At best it bespeaks of an immorality gap in the writers' consciences, and at worst to an intentionally lazy way of forcing plots and disregarding morality.

D Toccs
March 22nd, 2011, 09:41 PM
It's not random speculation, but it is the desperate justification of a man who doesn't want to die. He knows better. He just wouldn't accept it.

I wouldn't be to quick to disregard his theory.

We don't fully understand what happens when someone dies using the stones. Both Ginn and Amanda Perry's minds end up inside Chloe next time she uses the stones.

morbosfist
March 22nd, 2011, 09:56 PM
I wouldn't be to quick to disregard his theory.

We don't fully understand what happens when someone dies using the stones. Both Ginn and Amanda Perry's minds end up inside Chloe next time she uses the stones.Yeah...Except they're pretty much ghosts and by all indications will be "dead" by episode's end. Either that or uploaded into Destiny's computer.
He was just trying to justify body theft on the spot. He knew it was flimsy.

D Toccs
March 22nd, 2011, 11:25 PM
Yeah...Except they're pretty much ghosts and by all indications will be "dead" by episode's end. Either that or uploaded into Destiny's computer.
He was just trying to justify body theft on the spot. He knew it was flimsy.

No, because they are both still present in Chloe as of the episode after next, Seizure.

Fact is, we have only seen death using the stones once, and the extremely fragile nature Amanda Perry's body could potentially be a factor in what happened.

Wayston
March 22nd, 2011, 11:55 PM
No, because they are both still present in Chloe as of the episode after next, Seizure.

Fact is, we have only seen death using the stones once, and the extremely fragile nature Amanda Perry's body could potentially be a factor in what happened.

But it's not appropriate to test that very biased hypothesis (from the science dude) out in the field like that. He came across as the desparate guy trying to take a final lucky shot.

D Toccs
March 23rd, 2011, 12:31 AM
Fair points brought up by people. I am certainly not trying to say that Covel was right in what he did, all I am saying is that the entire situation was messed up and I feel that he was demonized a bit too much given what had happened. Certainly Rush has done just as bad and worse when he has been painted into a corner and I believe with all my heart that Rush would have done the exact same thing so especially seeing him taking the moral high ground annoyed me.

Imagine the situation was this : Scott and Chloe have stoned to Earth and then there is an accident on Destiny. The people in Scott and Chloe's bodies are the able to fix the problem, but doing so would be a death sentence.
I would expect to see ranting from Young about how you can't make those descions in someone else's body. If Scott and Chloe found out what was happening and got angry, they would not be seen as desperate cowards but as righteously pissed. The two people in the bodies would be the ones demonized because it would be main cast members who were threatened. Covel was demonized and Greer and Wray were heroes because Greer and Wray are main cast and Covel is a one shot character. That is the definition of protagonist centered morality.

KEK
March 23rd, 2011, 01:32 AM
I'm not sure what difference it makes. They couldn't escape, so it was a case of either staying where they were and being vaporised with thousands of other people, or disarming the bomb and limiting the fatalities to themselves, or should I say the bodies they were in.

thekillman
March 23rd, 2011, 04:48 AM
there is a certain dose at which point nothing can help you because of genetic damage. Wray doesn't know much of radiation but you don't need to be a scientists to see that the far end of a geiger counter means "bad" if not "lethal". why make a geiger counter capable of detecting radiation that would insta-kill a human?

they were dead before they knew it. Wray decided to make use of the situation in stead of sobbing. hell, even if they were beamed out, Wray would've opted to be sent back due to the radiation and the fact that they recieved the lethal dose several times over. plus that death from extreme exposure is always better than lethal exposure. death by radiation poisoning is hell.

D Toccs
March 23rd, 2011, 06:09 AM
Yes, but as I've said many times in this thread. I am not complaining about what Wray and Greer did. My issue is with the way Covel was portrayed as a jerkass coward when realistically any of us in his situation with the information he had would be more then a little pissed at the person who was in our body.
Does that give him the right to try and remain in Greers body? Probably not. But as they severed the connection and sent him back to die, to see Rush of all people looking at him with a look that says "Shame on you" when Rush himself has done far worse things, THAT annoys me.

morbosfist
March 23rd, 2011, 06:55 AM
Fair points brought up by people. I am certainly not trying to say that Covel was right in what he did, all I am saying is that the entire situation was messed up and I feel that he was demonized a bit too much given what had happened. Certainly Rush has done just as bad and worse when he has been painted into a corner and I believe with all my heart that Rush would have done the exact same thing so especially seeing him taking the moral high ground annoyed me.

Imagine the situation was this : Scott and Chloe have stoned to Earth and then there is an accident on Destiny. The people in Scott and Chloe's bodies are the able to fix the problem, but doing so would be a death sentence.
I would expect to see ranting from Young about how you can't make those descions in someone else's body. If Scott and Chloe found out what was happening and got angry, they would not be seen as desperate cowards but as righteously pissed. The two people in the bodies would be the ones demonized because it would be main cast members who were threatened. Covel was demonized and Greer and Wray were heroes because Greer and Wray are main cast and Covel is a one shot character. That is the definition of protagonist centered morality.A flawed comparison. Wray and Greer had little choice but to end up risking their lives. There was no way out. They could only go back, and they could not have known about the situation. The only way your scenario would be fair is if Scott and Chloe's bodies were put in the same position.

magictrick
March 23rd, 2011, 08:10 AM
A flawed comparison. Wray and Greer had little choice but to end up risking their lives. There was no way out. They could only go back, and they could not have known about the situation. The only way your scenario would be fair is if Scott and Chloe's bodies were put in the same position.

Well we can just assume the scenario he mentioned is the same. They're locked in a room on Destiny exposed to radiation yet they fix the problem but are exposed to lethal amounts at the same time.

I agree. Most people in that situation would try to do something. I mean you pretty much had a glimpse of your death, knowing 100% that its coming and there is nothing you can do about it. That's pretty much as bad as it gets. You can't totally blame the guy for trying. I know its not right, but realistically, a lot of people would do the same thing.

I think in the Scott and Chloe scenario, Young would rant but ultimately see that there is no real choice. Two lives sacrificed in order to save everyone else on board the ship.

The more interesting scenario would be if those two people chose to sacrifice "themselves" knowingly But for the same reasons - to save everyone on board.

NormaN
March 23rd, 2011, 08:14 AM
No, because they are both still present in Chloe as of the episode after next, Seizure.

Fact is, we have only seen death using the stones once, and the extremely fragile nature Amanda Perry's body could potentially be a factor in what happened.

Actually Vala died when the body she was inhabiting in Sallis's body.

Rylor
March 23rd, 2011, 08:22 AM
The situation was definitely complicated. Who is the owner of a body in a world where minds can be swapped? I doubt there is even a law covering that in the Stargate Universe, so legal issues aside, it seems wrong to steal someone elses body. Even more so if you consider the fact that they would all have died if Covel and Michaels would have stayed in their host bodies.

But the situation is a lot different if Covel's theory turned out to be right. I admit, it looked like the desperate idea of a dying man trying to save himself, but let's assume for a second he was correct. What then? Covel's and Michaels' bodies were irradiated through no fault of their own. Sending them back would be a death sentence. You could of course argue that the original owner of a body has "priority" in such a case, but considering the fact that no such law exists it seems like an arbitrary choice for whoever has his hands on the off-switch.

Needless to say, it's a very complicated issue and I am not sure what would be the "right" thing to do in this case.

blackluster
March 23rd, 2011, 08:38 AM
Well, if the issue is demonizing someone for a perfectly human reaction, then fair point. Just bear in mind though, characters getting on their high horse because someone they knew more personally is threatened is a very human reaction as well. Considering that, I wouldn't really lambast the situation for being an example of protagonist centered morality, I'd rather look at it as getting the wider range of understandable human reactions.

Perelandra
March 23rd, 2011, 08:59 AM
Covel's anger and panic and desire not to return to his body is an understandable and even very human reaction, however, by sabotaging the stones and staying in Greer's body he would have subjected Greer, on the other side, to an agonizing death by radiation poisoning in (Covel's) body. I don't think he had the right to make that decision without Greer's consent.
I assume that by "stoning" over to the Destiny in the first place they(Covel and Michaels) have to realize they are taking a big risk in the first place.
My understanding was that Wray and Greer already realized the(bodies they were in) had been exposed to lethal radiation and couldn't get out so the only thing left to do was go back and try to diffuse the bomb to prevent many more deaths.

thekillman
March 23rd, 2011, 10:00 AM
survival isn't a choice, it's genetic. people do not want to die. it's natural

Ben 'Teal'c would WIN!!' Noble
March 23rd, 2011, 11:38 AM
there is a certain dose at which point nothing can help you because of genetic damage. Wray doesn't know much of radiation but you don't need to be a scientists to see that the far end of a geiger counter means "bad" if not "lethal". why make a geiger counter capable of detecting radiation that would insta-kill a human?

they were dead before they knew it. Wray decided to make use of the situation in stead of sobbing. hell, even if they were beamed out, Wray would've opted to be sent back due to the radiation and the fact that they recieved the lethal dose several times over. plus that death from extreme exposure is always better than lethal exposure. death by radiation poisoning is hell.

Correct me if I'm wrong but even at those high levels of radiation the shorter the you are exposed the better your chances are. However because of the bomb I think Wray made the right decision. I did feel for them characters after Wray found out before they themselves found out as they had recieved a death sentence and didn't even know :(.

garhkal
March 23rd, 2011, 11:41 AM
Well, they were already exposed to a lethal level before there was a chance to save the two bodies they were inhabiting. And protagonist-centric morality or not, I can't see any of the show's heroes ever permanently stealing someone else's body.

Very true. With the levels of radiation they had most likely received by the time they got the geiger counter, they were gonna die a slow and painful death. PLUS the body was already damaged (leg)..
Personally i smack telford for NOT encouraging them to disarm the device... They were an asset in that regards.


They didn't choose to harm other's bodies; they were put in that situation. Covel, however, deliberatedly tried to steal bodies, like that would work (both ends of stones die). It was the typical "avoid 4 deaths if it can be reduced to two".

But even he must have realized his weakened body on earth, cause of the radiation, would have harmed his chances of surviving (assuming he was right on Ginn/perry)..


Covel did know full well how the stones work, and he theorized that Amanda Perry's body only died because it was to weak to sustain the shock. Given that he is a scientist on par with Rush, his theory should not be considered just random speculation.

BUT with all the other evidence (Rush-telford, Vala, Daniel, Dr keller) we have seen that death/injury on one side DOES transfer to the other, his theory was wrong.



they were dead before they knew it. Wray decided to make use of the situation in stead of sobbing. hell, even if they were beamed out

I am actually surprised no one on earth thought to beam out all survivors who were still trapped.. Unless the radiation prevented it.


Actually Vala died when the body she was inhabiting in Sallis's body.

Technically twice... And it was only the sending of the device into the "Kawoosh" that stopped it from completing..


But the situation is a lot different if Covel's theory turned out to be right. I admit, it looked like the desperate idea of a dying man trying to save himself, but let's assume for a second he was correct.

BUT if his theory was right, then he was WORSE off, since the radiation damage to his own body would weaken it just like with amandas..

morbosfist
March 23rd, 2011, 12:47 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but even at those high levels of radiation the shorter the you are exposed the better your chances are. However because of the bomb I think Wray made the right decision. I did feel for them characters after Wray found out before they themselves found out as they had recieved a death sentence and didn't even know :(.There's a point at which any exposure, no matter how short, is undeniably fatal. The little meter read about 0.5 SV, or 50 rems, and that's continuous exposure.

Rylor
March 23rd, 2011, 12:51 PM
BUT if his theory was right, then he was WORSE off, since the radiation damage to his own body would weaken it just like with amandas..

I thought his theory was: "If my host body is healthy I might survive in it if the person on the other end is killed". According to his theory Ginn's body died because Simeon killed her directly and Perry's body died because it was in a weakened state. If someone had killed Perry's body instead, Perry would have survived in Ginn's body because she was healthy (at least according to his theory).
Applying this theory to "Alliances":

Greer's body gets killed -> Both die, because Covel's body is weakened by radiation (I assume that's what you were referring to)
Covel's body gets killed (by radiation or otherwise) -> Only Covel's body dies, while Greer's healthy body survives with Covel's mind inside it (that's what he was hoping for).

Or did I somehow misunderstand his theory?

garhkal
March 24th, 2011, 12:50 PM
I might have miss 'read' his theory..

Aurora24
March 24th, 2011, 12:58 PM
Covel assumed that he would survive in Greer's body because both he and Greer were healthy. He believed that Amanda Perry's weakened pysichal condition was what caused her to die as well as Ginn. I'm not sure if that would be the case, because with two minds linked that closely together I don't know how you could determine whether or not even being in peak physical condition would be enough to save you from the shock and possible feedback of the person on the other end of the stones being disconnected.

smart
March 26th, 2011, 04:46 PM
Both Camille and Greer made the right decision, considering that while the connection was active, their lives were also at risk . Furthermore, there was no other option, given that the debris had trapped both of them in the confine of the building. By attempting to turn off the bomb, they atleast gave both themselves and the bodies they were in , a chance t at survival as opposed to a definite demise. Also, there were more lives than just the two bodies being occupied at stake The lives of those surrounding the compound, who were attempting to evacuate the premises had the potential to be sated, should the plan to deactivate them bomb have transpired successfully. Essentially, it made sense for both the protagonists, the bodies being occupied as well as those in the surrounding area for the occurrence of a safe deactivation.

mjwalshe
March 30th, 2011, 12:12 PM
Did you not watch the episode?

They tried to leave, but they find their way is blocked by the rubble. It is only after they find the Geiger counter and Wray (correctly) interprets the readings as saying they have already been exposed to a lethal dose that they know that the bodies they are in will die. Given that they think the bomb is going to kill potentially thousands of people, they decide to try to defuse it, since the people they are inhabiting are already going to die.

Did you miss the part where they were trying to leave? Where they radio Telford and tell him the way is blocked? Did you miss the giant pile of rubble?

from memory it was a 80MT device Hiroshima was 13Kt - its sort of implied that they where in Washington (the buildings look right)

so an 80MT device would kill Millions and not 1000's

KEK
March 30th, 2011, 04:19 PM
TELFORD: Intelligence suggests it's a weapons-grade naqahdria device with a probable yield of fifty to seventy megatons.