The folks over at Wisecrack have done a series of videos on the philosophies behind different TV series and comics heroes, including Daredevil, Deadpool, and The Joker. They recently turned their cogitation to Star Trek, and did a great job exploring the ways the shows and movies have turned supremely nerdy thought experiments into entertainment. While their primary focus is on the Kelvin Timeline, they also dip into TOS and Star Trek: The Next Generation often enough to show how ST’s core philosophy has evolved over the last 50 years. The most interesting part, as Wisecrack points out, is that “Instead of strongly espousing one philosophy, it dives headfirst into moral ambiguity.”
People love to quote Spock’s line “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” which is the essential idea of the philosophy of Utilitarianism. But if you follow German philosopher Hannah Arendt’s critique of Utilitarianism to its (heh) logical conclusion, you’ll see that pure Utilitarianism leads straight to the Borg.
Of course, as Wisecrack points out, Star Trek found a neat solution to this problem: “If you want to sacrifice one life for many, sacrifice your own fucking life.”
Watch the whole video below!