General Question

ragingloli's avatar

If a Starfleet Officer dies, and is reincarnated as a member of a pre-warp civilisation, but retains all memories of her/his previous life, does the Prime Directive still apply to him?

Asked by ragingloli (43049points) September 11th, 2017

Legally and morally.

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12 Answers

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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The Prime Directive doesn’t seem to matter to those in the current non reincarnated Starfleet members. So no. However the Temporal prime directive might apply . I wonder about my own reincarnation If giving the lotto numbers to someone would f up the planet. Luckily I don’t have that great of a memory so I don’t have to worry. I tried once to get the winning lotto numbers and the ticket vanished. So think of what you will. Some asshole is in charge putting everyone in their place. So maybe one day I can live a perfect life so that I am granted the freedom to make more changes to the thread.

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Patty_Melt's avatar

Only if he become a member of a fleet again. He could be a civilian adviser, and be okay.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I would think so. Because if he retains memories (and specifically the prime directive) than those have to be followed, regardless of the incarnation that he happens to be in.

Basically the mind and the body, in this case, are totally separate. The body may be in a pre-warp civilization, but the training, learning, and adherence to the PD should be governing the behavior regardless of the physical being.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Legally, no. Morally, of course.

Zissou's avatar

If the PD is a universally applicable moral maxim (which is debatable to say the least), then it applies to any rational being who can comprehend it.

If the PD is binding only on those who have sworn to uphold it, then it would depend on how you construe that oath. Arguably, the oath applies only for the remainder of that particular incarnation. As a wedding vow is “til death do us part”, and not for all eternity, likewise with oaths of allegiance to political entities or ideologies.

Those who believe in reincarnation posit some sort of meta-soul or “real self” that transcends the temporary persona that is attached to a particular incarnation. I think they would say that the “real self” is not necessarily bound by promises made by a persona during a particular incarnation (unless maybe Enlightenment was achieved during that incarnation prior to making the promise).

Edit: on the other hand, if they believe that retribution may be due in one life due to wrongs committed in a previous life, maybe they would consider an oath to be binding across incarnations if the new persona remembers making it. But I don’t think that holds up under scrutiny. I’m sticking with my wedding vow analogy.

flutherother's avatar

Introducing the concept of the Prime Directive to a pre warp society could itself be considered a breach of the directive. If PD applies it should therefore not be applied. If PD doesn’t apply the officer can follow his or her conscience.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. There should be no exceptions to the directive.

give_seek's avatar

An ethical obligation cannot be usurped by the space-time continuum or transmigration.

Zissou's avatar

^Paying debts is an ethical obligation. If you die owing $5000 to a credit company, and you are reincarnated as a human being (to simplify the question), will your next incarnation come into the world owing that debt (plus interest, if applicable)?

Then there is still the question of whether the PD is an absolute ethical obligation, or even a relative one for that matter. I’m sure that’s been debated elsewhere, so I won’t get into it.

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