Aggressive Vulcans

Administrator V’Las of the Vulcan High Command.

The Vulcans in Star Trek have always been known for their peaceable natures and their commitment to logic and a philosophy of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (IDIC), which advocated for tolerance and even acceptance of differing belief systems and practices. It came as somewhat of a shock to many Star Trek fans when the Enterprise series portrayed Vulcans as being far more militant than they’ve ever been shown before. The Vulcan government in the series was shown fielding starships designated as Vulcan D’Kyr-class combat cruisers, engaged in covert spying of nearby species (Andorians) as well as acting as Big Brother to humanity. Most shocking of all was the Vulcan governing body known as the High Command was willing to fire upon and kill those that disagreed with its policies, actions hardly congruent with the traditional Vulcan philosophy of IDIC. The Vulcans were justifying these actions using logic, but logic without reference to the morality of their founder, Surak.

We later discover that the Vulcans had strayed from their society’s founder’s core tenets and beliefs and eventually the Vulcans of the Enterprise series (22nd century) would morph into the peacenik Vulcans we know and love of later Star Trek series (23rd and 24th centuries).

It’s an object lesson to us that all societies change, but that we must be careful to look to the intentions, to the morality behind our laws when we go about changing them or creating new laws. Sometimes we get lost in the wording of our laws and lose sight of the intent behind them, and inevitably we marginalize viewpoints and perspectives that are abhorrent to the majority but sacrosanct to the minority.  Even scarier is when we adopt the language of a law whose intent was to marginalize the minority (whether racial, religious, ethnic, or other) and apply it to our entire society, without realizing that discriminating intent. We must be ever mindful of the intent behind our laws, for we are all affected by them whether we realize it or not.

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