I watched the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation today. Other than being a trip down nostalgia lane, it was thought provoking. The villain in the story, “Q”, lost no time in putting humanity on trial. He demanded that the crew of the Enterprise answer for the actions of humanity committed throughout history. Picard’s reply was, “Test us. We are not the same as them.”
Although we all want to be part of a group and have friends, in the end we don’t want to be lumped together and judged. Do you feel that you need to answer for everyone else’s actions?
The actions of humanity haven’t always been commendable throughout history: War, genocide, rape, murder, terrorism, creating the TV show Family Matters. However, humanity on trial isn’t feasible. None of us are the same. Each of us react different and have distinct moral standards. There are many folks that murder and many folks who render first aid. Movies like Surrogates and Gamer suggest that man will devolve into his basest instincts and drives if there are no consequences for his actions. An example of this is porn. Porn is a kind of surrogacy. You can’t have sex at that moment so someone else is doing it for you. The porn industry does bring in billions of dollars so it is safe to say many people are filling a void with digital pixels of sexual images. Does this mean that people will always choose basic instincts if no consequences are involved?
I won’t deny that giving in to those drives are appealing. However, if you give yourself over to them you may find that you become a slave. (In the voice of Yoda) Nothing more than a beast you may become.
Being human is more than giving in to an inner drive. We have an ability that other creatures do not have. The ability to choose. We have the ability to do good and evil, but that doesn’t mean we automatically choose evil. So, although Nero may have done terrible things, I didn’t. I chose a different path.
Let us all be judged on our own merits. (That is, if we’re ever judged by “Q”.)