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THE ETHICS OF STAR TREK

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Here’s an ethical question that never comes up in any Star Trek episode: What if a certain editor asked a certain writer to review a certain book about the moral philosophy behind a certain sci-fi TV phenomenon? What if this book — penned by a professor at Indiana State University who actually teaches a course on the subject — went on for 356 pages, with sentences like ”Responding to a science colony’s distress call on the planet Triacus…” sharing chapter space with sentences like ”Of course, in any Platonic type of philosophy, the concepts of ‘being,’ ‘truth,’ and ‘goodness’ are all considered different aspects of the same reality…”? Would it really be so wrong not to read every word? Would skimming violate the Prime Directive? Those who adore Kirk and Kierkegaard in equal measures will undoubtedly relish searching for the answer in this insanely scholarly exegesis. For the rest of us earthlings, though, it has pretty much the same effect as a Vulcan nerve pinch. C