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Who was the greater hero?

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Created by: 3 of 12


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Report this Jun. 11 2011, 7:24 pm

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Have you read Asimov's robot novels? The Three Laws are one of the first things programmed into a robot's positronic brain (yes, even Data's brain was also taken right from Asimov's writings). The 10 Commandments are a choice for humans, The Three Laws are part of a robot's/Data's being. One has to wonder how much was genuine choice on Data's part, and how much was what he was compelled to do by his basic programming.

How Data died was not the point of the thread...more heroic? Saving Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D itself as Data did, or saving Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D as well as the population of a neighboring planet as Kirk did?

Love Asimov's work.

As I said before, Data was programmed with the 3 laws of robotics. He was also programmed with morality and ethical subrouties. But Data could tell a lie. Data killed Borg. Data was about to kill Fajo (The Most Toys) but was transported to the Enterprise just as he fired. This shows that Data made these decisions and surpass all his programming.

The thread is who is the greater hero. If you go with Kirk it's because of his life time of heroic deeds. Data also had many heroic deeds during his life time but the last one is greater then anything Kirk did. Same thing for Spock (Wrath of Khan). Both Data and Spock knew their actions would killed them but would save others. It's not about numbers of lives saved it's about the act!

So Kirk had to die in order to be "great" or a "hero" in your reckoning?


Did he not do just that? In both cases in ST:GEN, Kirk died (both presumed and for real) saving for the most part people he didn't know and ships named Enterprise that weren't his. Plus in his real death he saved an entire populated planet. And Kirk knew and expected his whole life that as a Starfleet Captain it could be required of him to give his life to complete a mission. There is no real difference.

When people go in to battle they know that there is a possiblity of dying. Kirk knew his actions might get him killed. Data knew his actions would certainly kill him. In todays military Kirk would recieve a bronze or silver star medal for his action. Data's action would most likely recieve a medal of honor. A much higher award then Kirk. Both were brave but Data's was well above the call of duty.

I don't know how Data's death was so well above the call of duty much more than Kirk's or Spock's or that criminal guy on VOY.

I didn't realise that it was certain death for Data when he scooted across in NEM. Mostly Data survived these things, afterall he defeated the Borg queen. He had just as good a chance of surviving as he had in FC. In fact I don't know why Data didn't take two of those beam across things with him in NEM either.

I still think that of the three of them only Spock knew he death was certain.

Yeah, I'll have to watch it again, but did Data really know he was going to die?  When he gave the tranporter thing to Picard and used his phaser, of course he did.





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Report this Jun. 12 2011, 1:21 pm

Kirk, the way he took all those hits from the dead tribbles falling out of the storage bin. Truly heroic my friends.


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Report this Jun. 13 2011, 6:48 am

Data's death was as bad as Kirk's

The climax builds as Data disobeys orders and enters the vacuum of space to board the other ship.

He then saves Picard with a trick device that sounds impossible even by Trek standards.

Only to die in an explosion.

He would have Sent Picard back set the ship to explode and exit the ship prior to explosion.

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Report this Jun. 19 2011, 11:39 pm

Quote: rocketscientist @ Jun. 11 2011, 7:08 pm

Quote: 3 of 12 @ Jun. 08 2011, 10:53 pm

Quote: Ghostmojo @ Jun. 08 2011, 1:27 pm




>Data isn't a hero - he's a machine. He's a very interesting machine of course - amusing, confounding, inspiring etc. - but still a machine.

>To be heroic you have to be aware of what you will lose if you fail ...


In the TNG episode "The Measure of a Man" Data is put on trial for this very idea. Starfleet wants to experiment on Data and argues that he is the property of Starfleet and not a sentient being. Commander Riker is appointed the prosecuter. Captain Picard is his defense counsel.

During the trial Data's career at starfleet is reviewed. Medal of Honor (with clusters),Decoration of Gallantry,Legion of Honor and the Star Cross are some of his awards for bravery.

Starfleet argues that Data does not meet all the criteria for being a sentient being. Intelligent and self-aware but not conscious. Picard asks anyone in the court to show a means of measuring "consciousness". With no one able to answer this, Judge Louvois acknowledges that neither she nor anyone else can measure this in Data (nor in any other person present) and, as such, Data, as a matter of law, is a sentient being. She therefore rules that "Data has the right to choose." Upon the court's ruling, Data formally refuses to undergo the procedure.

So you see that in fact Data is a sentient being. He can make decisions. Yes he was programmed to protect human life but he was also programmed to protect his own life as well. So he had to make a choice of his life or saving the lives of his shipmates. That is a hero.

Kirk dying in battle he is also a hero but not to Data's level. Starfleet medals recognize various degrees of bravery. That is the case here.

First, the judge asked if Data had a soul, not whether he was conscious.  Sentience is self-awareness.  That's really what the question was. 

Second, I'd really like to hear your rationalization on why Kirk wasn't a hero to the degree of Data.  He could've stayed in the Nexus.  Instead, he left, fought, and died for the lives of millions of sentients he'd never met as well as the crew of the Enterprise D.  Data, on the other hand, has admitted to being programmed to preserve human life.  Was he really brave?  How can he be if 1.  He doesn't have emotion to experience fear and 2.  If he's programmed, like the aforementioned Asimov robots, on which Data was based?



1. The judge in her verdict ask the question "Does Data have a soul?" She answer her own question with "I don't know if he has." "I don't know if I have." "But I have to give him the freedom to explore that himself."

2. I have answer this in my other posts. Data's death was the greater act of bravery because he knowingly sacrificed his life to save others. Kirk died during combat. Military criteria states what medals are given for various degrees of bravery. Data's action would meet medal of honor criteria (the highest award). Kirk's would not. Awards for bravery are given for acts of courage not if the person knows fear or not. Data was programmed but are not humans also programmed by their parents and society for behavior and morals?

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Report this Jun. 20 2011, 7:06 am

I'm not geting into the whole "is data alive blah blah" stuff, his act was an act of heroism

But the point of this poll is to see who is the greater hero

In which I voted for kirk

"I do not believe it is justified to sacrifice one life-form for another."-Data


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Report this Jun. 20 2011, 12:13 pm

Data cannot fear death.. or anything. To have courage one must overcome fear. So he really didn't have any courage, he just made a logical choice. Starfleet can grant him the medal of  honor but that does not mean he was really 'brave'. Maybe they assumed if he was human he still would of made the same choice of brave self-sacrifice and overcoming the related fears. But we will never know that.

So imo Data is disqualified. That leaves Kirk and other. And I cannot think of any other more heroic. Therefore, Kirk wins for me.


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Report this Jun. 20 2011, 1:37 pm

Oh all of this Datadevotion is just twaddle.

It is obviously Kirk.

Human beings are susceptible to fear - they are also prone to feel agonising pain. We also worry about our mortality and what comes next.

Data had none of these concerns.

If you prick him would he not bleed? No - he wouldn't - he would launch into his quizzical routine ...

to boldy go where no man has gone before

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