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Dissing Delenn

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Re: 15 cycles as a satai: remember that Delenn had been serving as a de facto member of the Council due to the illness of one of the Religious Caste members. that could indeed have been going on for some time.

    Re: the unattractiveness of the Minbari as a people: I agree that they are less attractive as one looks more closely at them. Delenn tells Sheridan in "Matters of Honor" that to accuse a Minbari of lying will result in a "fatal response," which we can assume is true, but such a response is of course designed to hide the fact that Minbari DO lie (and the Minbari in question WAS lying). It was in effect the announcement of the Minbari pattern of murdering people who told the truth about a Minbari trait about which they did not want the truth revealed.

    Some of the other "Great truths" that the Minbari told themselves about themselves proved to be flasehoods as well: "Minbari do not kill Minbari;" the wisdom of the Grey Council; their "racial purity;" the "prophecies of Valen;" etc.

    They turn out to be not nearly so wise and "advanced" as they appear on the surface, and I think that this is just another example of a whole subtle subtext JMS put into the story and left for us to discover on our on.

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  • Radhil
    replied
    Originally posted by saori
    I don't look at whether it is right or wrong, just as whether it might be possible to reproduce what nature does naturally with a created process of our own. That process could include a biological womb that is supported by the right physical sustenance for the foetus' survival. That to me seems reasonably possible in this world of research and invention. I'm not here to argue the moral or other criticisms concerning whether we should let this happen, just whether it is a physically possibility or not.
    Yeah, but that kinda separation of thinking seems to be a little hard for everyone to come up with. Probably for good reasons too. One implies another, after all. You could possibly argue that those with overriding physical defects might have their "own" child this way, but I think the ick factor of the original racks-of-test-tube-babies thought gets in the way.

    Everything's possible, given energy and time. That's why that question is far less interesting.

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  • saori
    replied
    I don't look at whether it is right or wrong, just as whether it might be possible to reproduce what nature does naturally with a created process of our own. That process could include a biological womb that is supported by the right physical sustenance for the foetus' survival. That to me seems reasonably possible in this world of research and invention. I'm not here to argue the moral or other criticisms concerning whether we should let this happen, just whether it is a physically possibility or not.

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  • Jan
    replied
    My personal opinion is that it would be a mistake to cause or allow our species to become dependent on technology for our reproduction. All it would take is the futuristic equivalent of a 'power failure' to wipe out our ability to sustain ourselves. Bad move, evolutionarily speaking.

    Jan

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  • DeMonk
    replied
    It's not because be can, that we should!

    Originally posted by saori
    That may be the case now, but we can't know that it won't be possible in the future. At one time it seemed impossible to fly to the moon, but now we know that it is possible, because we have a greater understanding of the way the world is and can design technology to make it happen. To me, it seems reasonable that this will also happen gestation and birth.
    In my opinion, this doesn't compare. Going to the moon is just a matter of technology. It isn't life. Nurturing and sustaining life is quite a different league. We may one day get there, but do we want to turn out babies out of machines? Would that be the best for the child? After all, that is what one wants for his child.
    Besides, what reason would be good enough to do it? No stretchmarks?
    It would be expensive. Now it grows for free. What health-insurance company would even consider paying for it? Everything comes down to economics these days.

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  • saori
    replied
    Originally posted by DeMonk
    That won't work. No one nows how, but somehow the brain of the child in the womb needs the connection with the mother. That is why a baby of a brain-dead mother has very slim chances of survival or a normal life

    Life needs that connection for it to be a full life.
    Even after birth, if children are only given care... they die.
    There has been at least one such experiment. NONE OF THE CHILDREN SURVIVED THE FIRST YEAR.
    That may be the case now, but we can't know that it won't be possible in the future. At one time it seemed impossible to fly to the moon, but now we know that it is possible, because we have a greater understanding of the way the world is and can design technology to make it happen. To me, it seems reasonable that this will also happen gestation and birth.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
    I didn't find Delenn or Lennier to be likable characters. There was something...sanctimonious about them, like the vision of the anointed that they propagated was the ONLY way.
    "the anointed"? Who/what was that? I certainly don't remember them doing any proselytizing at all, though I remember them answering questions about their beliefs.

    Jan

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  • DeMonk
    replied
    Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
    I didn't find Delenn or Lennier to be likable characters. There was something...sanctimonious about them, like the vision of the anointed that they propagated was the ONLY way.
    I don't quite understand why you say that because they didn't do that.
    They refused to take sides in "Believers". In matters of belief, they do not interfere.
    So, they don't think that their way is the only way, they clearly respect the belief of others.
    And sanctimonious? Watch Delenn confront the thug that promised: "I am the face you are going to wake up to in the morning." (Meditations on the Abyss)
    Most un-sanctimonious!
    Last edited by DeMonk; 12-10-2005, 11:56 AM.

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  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    I didn't find Delenn or Lennier to be likable characters. There was something...sanctimonious about them, like the vision of the anointed that they propagated was the ONLY way.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Nicely said, DeMonk...very nicely said.

    Jan

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  • DeMonk
    replied
    Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair
    With that in mind, I fail to see why we should hold the Minbari religious caste to a higher standard, either individually or collectively.
    And before anyone jumps on me ... I am speaking as someone who has been a Christian his entire adult life.
    It's not that we should hold the Minbari religious caste to a higher standard as such.
    But I feel that for Delenn it is what drives her. Her beliefs are not just words on a page, or words to be mouthed: it is expressed in actions.
    • She goes in to care for the Markab, not knowing if she will make it or not (Confessions and lamentations)
    • she offers her life for Sheridan's (Comes the inquisitor)
    • Forgives the soldier who killed Dukhat (A late delivery from Avalon)
    • She confesses to G'Kar and begs forgiveness (Ship of Tears)
    • She can say of humans who caused her much suffering: "They are better than they think and nobler than they know."


    These are all very difficult things to do. Things not done automatically.
    Simply look at the way AIDS-sufferers are treated, sometimes even by their families.
    Most people react out of fear, avoid difficult stuff.
    And forgiveness... OK in theory ... but not the one who stole from me, not the one who raped me, not the one who killed my loved one drunk-driving... and so on.

    For Delenn, it isn't theory, it's practice, whatever the cost.
    And luckily for us, it is for a lot of people too.
    JMS just shows us what we all could be, challenges us to aim higher.
    That's why I like Delenn very much... She sets me a challenge I want to meet. One I do not want to fail to meet.

    OK, she fails at the start of the Human-Minbari war.
    So what? We all make mistakes, sometimes huge ones. The point is to pick yourself up and try again... and again.
    For me, that just makes it all the more believable.
    Last edited by DeMonk; 12-10-2005, 10:49 AM.

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  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    Just to step back to Delenn for a moment ... I come from a planet where the pursuit of religion has accounted for significant bloodshed, death and near-genocide systematically over many centuries. Just imagine what the crusades would have been like if fought with Minbari level technology.

    With that in mind, I fail to see why we should hold the Minbari religious caste to a higher standard, either individually or collectively.

    And before anyone jumps on me ... I am speaking as someone who has been a Christian his entire adult life.

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  • DeMonk
    replied
    Study

    Originally posted by Jan
    DeMonk, do you have any links to that study you refer to? I've heard of studies where the children aren't cuddled, etc. but I don't think they went further than noting that the infants didn't thrive and gain weight properly.Jan
    I don't remember the particulars, only the general story, because it really made my hair stand on end.
    It was in a manual on children's psychology I read over thirty years ago, reminding us that children need more than just food and general care.
    There may have been a link to this story:
    In 1211, Frederick II, Emperor of Germany, in an attempt to discover the natural "language of God," raised dozens of children in silence. God's preferred language never emerged; the children never spoke any language and all ultimately died in childhood (van Cleve, 1972).
    Last edited by DeMonk; 12-10-2005, 06:17 AM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    I was right with you until that last sentence, Andrew. The exit is still exactly where it was, it's the legs that are used/ bent differently from four-legged animals. I'd love to see a medical diagram of what you're talking about because, as Bester would say...anatomically impossible. Er...Tab B could not go into Slot A if there were a 90 degree bend. To say nothing of exiting children. But that's okay because they wouldn't be there if there was a 90 degree bend.

    DeMonk, do you have any links to that study you refer to? I've heard of studies where the children aren't cuddled, etc. but I don't think they went further than noting that the infants didn't thrive and gain weight properly.

    Jan

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    There are possible improvements - the birth channel could go over the bone rather than through it. The womb in human females was designed for a 4 legged creature with the exit at the back. It has been patched to exit at the front, basically by putting a 90 degree bend in the tube.

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