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Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
For additional meanings of "Ethics", please see Ethics.

In philosophy, ethics were the study of morality. Every society had a different set of social values and mores that defined what was ethical and what was not; in some cases, two cultures' ethics could be so radically different that conflict was inevitable. In cases where one's ethics was reversed, it was known as moral inversion.

In general, the United Federation of Planets, and particularly Humans, considered the preservation of life paramount to all other things. Starfleet Academy offered at least one course on ethics, Interspecies Ethics. A course entitled Moral and Ethical Issues of Command was also taught. (DS9: "The Ship"; VOY: "In the Flesh")

Vulcans were particularly known for being ethical. (DS9: "Bar Association")

Thy'lek Shran felt that Captain Jonathan Archer was easy to work with because unlike Tellarites he understood ethics and tried to live by them, even if he was not always perfect. (ENT: "United") Archer previously once noted that he admires the Vulcan ethics. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident")

Chief among guiding principles of Starfleet was the Prime Directive, though according to Chakotay, there were "many times when Starfleet personnel have decided on strong ethical grounds to ignore it". (VOY: "Prime Factors")

In 2259 of the alternate reality, James T. Kirk protested Spock's moral objections to USS Enterprise's mission to kill John Harrison, saying, "I'm not going to take ethics lessons from a robot!" (Star Trek Into Darkness)

While attempting to procure dilithium crystals from the Halkans, James T. Kirk noticed the similarity between Halkan and Federation ethics, in that they would rather die as a race than allow anyone to take even one life with the power of the crystals. Later, when mistaken for mirror Kirk, Tharn refused them again for the same reason, but with more certainty. (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

Jean-Luc Picard was interested in ethics, evidenced by his bringing a copy of Ethics, Sophistry and the Alternate Universe along with him on his vacation. (TNG: "Captain's Holiday") Q expressed his distaste for Picard's ethics when the captain refused the temptation to visit Tagus III, which would break Taguan law. (TNG: "Qpid") Picard later debated ethics with Moriarty when the latter wished to give consciousness to the hologram of Countess Regina Barthalomew. Picard argued that the moral and ethical implications of creating another sentient holographic character deliberately were vast; Moriarty countered, asking if it was morally acceptable to deny him his beloved to ease the captain's conscience. (TNG: "Ship In A Bottle")

Artificial lifeforms such as Data and The Doctor were programmed with ethical subroutines to allow them to make moral choices. (TNG: "Datalore"; VOY: "Equinox, Part II")

In 2369, while Keiko O'Brien was on leave on Earth, Miles O'Brien took charge of her school on Deep Space 9. One of the homework projects he assigned to the older students was to write an essay defining what ethics was. Nog claimed Vulcans had stolen his homework as the Ferengi did not have ethics. (DS9: "The Nagus")

Quark had a low opinion of Human ethics; nevertheless, he once confided to his mother that prolonged exposure to Humans was developing his conscience. (DS9: "Ferengi Love Songs")

Branches of ethics[]

Business ethics[]

To redeem the Federation's cut of the Iotian's ill-gotten gains, Kirk suggested that it be used towards promoting ethical development on Sigma Iotia II. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

When Deanna Troi confronted Devinoni Ral about his unethical usage of his empathic abilities from his secretly quarter-Betazoid heritage to negotiate the Chrysalians' rights to the Barzan wormhole, he countered by asking her if she revealed her abilities to every enemy the USS Enterprise-D encountered. According to him, having an edge in a business deal was less serious than a life-and-death situation. (TNG: "The Price")

The Ferengi valued profit, and the ethical standards (or at times lack thereof) in their society reflected this. For example, when Quark was selling the vacuum-desiccated remains of the entrepreneur Plegg, Odo found Plegg very much alive; rather than pressing charges or expressing outrage, Plegg found this amusing. (DS9: "Body Parts") One of the Rules of Acquisition stated "Treat people in your debt like family: exploit them." (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "The Darkness and the Light")

One method of demonstrating one's distaste for unethical business practices was a boycott. In 2372, while observing various individuals as they passed by Quark's, Julian Bashir asked Miles O'Brien which side of the strike he thought a Vulcan science officer would support, O'Brien guessed correctly that she would choose labor. (DS9: "Bar Association")

Political ethics[]

Professor Natima Lang, a member of the Cardassian dissident movement, was a teacher of political ethics. According to her students, Hogue and Rekelen, "her teachings will change the future of Cardassia." It was for these teachings on political ethics that Lang was wanted by Cardassian Central Command. (DS9: "Profit and Loss")

Educational ethics[]

Cheating on a test was considered a violation of the Starfleet Code. In 2258 of the alternate reality, Cadet James T. Kirk was accused of violating the ethical code of conduct by cheating on the Kobayashi Maru scenario. (Star Trek)

Medical ethics[]

Denobulan medical ethics had the will of the patient at its core, rather than the necessity of providing a cure if possible. (ENT: "Bounty") Doctor Phlox summed this up with the statement "Hippocrates wasn't Denobulan." (ENT: "The Breach") The Doctor also shared this ethical belief. When Seven of Nine's body began to reject her Borg implants, he told Janeway that if a patient asked him not to treat them, he would be obligated to comply, whether or not their life was in danger. (VOY: "The Gift")

Later, an irate Phlox asked Fer'at where his medical ethics were upon learning that the Vulcan had lied about his area of expertise. (ENT: "The Expanse")

In 2151, Phlox expressed his concerns that curing the Valakian people of their disease would not be ethical, as it would be interfering with their natural evolution. (ENT: "Dear Doctor")

In 2152, Malcolm Reed complained about Phlox's treatment of his foot, saying "It can't be ethical to cause a patient this much pain.", to which Phlox replied, "It's unethical to harm a patient." (ENT: "Dead Stop")

The protocols of the Vulcan Council of Physicians stated that anyone accused of ethical misconduct was entitled to a hearing before the ranking medical officer in the province or territory where the accusation was made. In 2152, Jonathan Archer reminded Oratt of this when T'Pol was accused of misconduct after contracting Pa'nar Syndrome from an involuntary mind meld. (ENT: "Stigma")

In 2153, Archer asked Phlox to revive a dying alien to so he could question him. Phlox responded by saying that keeping someone who was dying a painful death conscious was unethical, leading Archer to respond that they were "going to have to bend a few ethics." Phlox complied. (ENT: "Harbinger")

A violation of medical ethics was one of the factors that could lead Starfleet Medical to pursue a formal inquiry into a medical staff member's actions. Dr. Beverly Crusher was the subject of such an inquiry when she performed an autopsy on Dr. Reyga, Ferengi death rituals aside. (TNG: "Suspicions")

In 2372, when Quinn wished to end his life, Janeway reminded Tuvok of the double effect principle of assisted suicide, which stated that relieving one's suffering could be ethically justified even though to do so would result in death. (VOY: "Death Wish")

In 2375, the crew of the USS Voyager struggled with the ethical implications of allowing a hologram of the notorious Cardassian "doctor" Crell Moset to assist the EMH with the treatment of B'Elanna Torres, primarily because the knowledge the program used was derived from cruel medical experiments performed on Bajorans. (VOY: "Nothing Human")

While attempting to dodge The Doctor's ministrations in 2376, Lewis Zimmerman threatened to report him to the medical ethics board. (VOY: "Life Line")

In 2381, one of the training drills the crew of the USS Cerritos was put through involved Medical Ethics. (LD: "I, Excretus")

Scientific ethics[]

According to Saavik, every ethical scientist in the galaxy deemed protomatter "dangerously unpredictable". (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

According to Vash, Sovak aided Professor Samuel Estragon primarily in less than ethical situations. (TNG: "Captain's Holiday")

Ethical texts and teachings[]

Ethical topics[]

External links[]