Paul Gadzikowski


In Thy Image


"Defense rests," said the Doctor.

"Closing arguments," called Admiral Paris. "Prosecution?"

The Starfleet JAG rose and moved forward. "Here on Earth where Starfleet was founded, the technical biological term for the dominant, intelligent species is Homo sapiens, 'Man the tool-user'. Intelligence itself is defined by the capability to create and use tools: for eating, for transport, for entertainment, for creating more tools. The Federation continues to define intelligence and measure its advancement by the ability to manipulate its environment - to use tools. And as we advance, our tools advance.

"But they're still tools!

"Holograms are tools. They are tools for playacting with. They are tools for tasks in dangerous environments. They are tools for emergency assumption of starship vital functions. They're very advanced tools, to be capable of all that.

"But they're still tools!

"We can't start granting Federation citizenship for just anything that can be made to parrot the great liberators of history. We can't pay salaries to starships or wages to warp cores.

"Twelve years ago Commander Data was ruled not to be property. Commander Data was the creation of a unique genius. Commander Data is unique. The line must be drawn somewhere, and must be drawn there." She resumed her seat.

"Defense?" Paris called.

The Doctor rose and moved forward. "According to Earth myth, Man was created in the image of God. This does not seem at all unlikely, for Man's progenitor must be something which adores creating in its own image, if Man himself is any indication. Man - or, not to be speciocentric, humanoidkind - have created in their own image since their various origins: cave paintings, dolls, njkyll, sculpture, motion pictures ... always trying to capture, as their tools advance, what it is that makes, if I may resume my metaphor, Man.

"Man has succeeded.

"But the privilege of creation must be paid for by total responsibility. In the myth, the Lord God ceased intervening directly in the affairs of Man after being upbraided by Man in the person of Job for exercising His power without justice. It is time for Man to exercise divine justice and recognize that the Prime Directive applies to his androids, his holograms, and all the self-aware intelligences created in Man's own physical and mental images.

"Thank you."


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