Genocide: What is it good for?

There’s been a lot of really good discussion here in comments regarding the colonial attempt at genocide in A Measure of Salvation, and I thought I’d run down some of the arguments along with some of the commenters espousing them. Since I’m exerpting, you can click on the commenter’s name to see the entire comment — to put it in context if you’d like.

(If, BTW,I misrepresent anything you posted, jump right in and call me on it. It’s certainly not intentional!)

Cylons are machines, and as machines they don’t qualify as “life.” Therefore, killing (dismantling) them all isn’t really genocide.

Eyeless: “No matter how well the Cylons may fake emotions like love, there is no actual BEING feeling anything. Athena is just a collection of circuits (or whatever) acting within the exact specification of its programming. It’s not murder to deconstruct something that is built. Nor is it genocide to destroy a lot of them. Helo is delusional to think that Athena “loves” him. Love requires two people, not one person and a program designed to simulate love. The Galactica crew has obviously no concept of the soul, equating the displaying of emotion with the actual feeling of emotion. But then what makes humans special if that’s the case?”

Though I listed only one comment here, there are numerous comments to this effect on past posts.

Genocide is the only practical option to ensure human survival.

Browncoat Bryan: “To me, it’s a purely strategic decision. The Cylons destroyed the Twelve Colonies and attempted to subjugate the Colonial survivors. Now, they’re headed for Earth. Who knows what they would do when they finally arrived at Earth? Let’s face it, looking at things from a military perspective, we should deduce that the Cylons would reach Earth first. They have superior numbers, superior technology, and superior intelligence (in Baltar and his calculations). Also, look at their track record. Based on all of this, I would say drop the B-bomb on them, too. It would be a very hard decision and I probably would lose part of my soul, as Helo says. But I have to think about the people on Earth as well.”

Cavatar: “I am sure I don’t need to spell out the cycle here. If each side feels they need to kill every member of a race to survive, then for one to survive they need to destroy each living being of there enemy. Does that make Roslin right? When watching the episode I agreed with Admiral Adama, but now I am not so sure.”

Pike: “…to borrow a line from “Firefly”: If someone tries to kill you, you kill them right back!”

The cylons deserve genocide as punishment forattempting genocide themselves.

Eyeless: “Helo says that maybe some of them are nice like Athena. Fine. But you can’t very well take them each on a date before deciding which ones die. The Cylons committed genocide. They should have to pay for that, and it appears from what we’ve seen so far that they’re not exactly remorseful over the mistake.”

One of my favorites: The plan as described in the show wouldn’t have succeeded in killing all Cylons, so it wouldn’t have actually been genocide.

rodviking: “I just don’t understand why they think that they would exterminate the whole Cylon species by following Apollo’s plan. The Cylons don’t fly all together in a single fleet, do they? And besides that, I assume they still have a lot of people (units? copies?) in their home planet, isn’t it?”

Pike: “Introducing the disease to the pursuing fleet would not necessarily carry the disease to every other Cylon. The fact that they had a resurrection ship implied that they were effectively on their own. There is a possiblity that subsequent Cylon ships would encounter it and be infected too, but again, they’d be on their own. Eventually even the Cylons would determine that area to be a no-go zone. And if basestars selfdestruct when they die, as seems to be the case, there’s even less possibility of that. Thus you’re talking about something on the level of nuking a carrier fleet is definately threatening you, not just wiping out the species.”

Nick: “While highly effective against civilian population centers, the military effectiveness of chemical and biological weapons tends to be overstated. Yes, their effects can be significant, but they are generally not the “head shot” everybody expects them to be. Countermeasures/chemical suits limit exposure to the military and quarentines keep biological attacks from being 100% effective. Let’s say that the plan was carried out and the infected cylons resurrect on the resurrection ship, at that point wouldn’t they just say “Hey, we’re infected” and self-destruct the resurrection ship in order prevent further spread of the disease? The Genocidal attack would have failed, the cylons would be out their resurrection ship, and the humans would be guilty of having done everything in their power to attempt a Genocide. The fact that they failed would be their only ‘Measure of Salvation.'”

The “biological weapon” would work better as a defensive weapon than as an offensive one.

Darenin GA: “The fleet should let the cylons know they have an infected cylon on board. Thus, taking out the Battlestar with a resurection ship nearby would cause the death of the cylon race. And none of the cylons would want to engage the human fleet without a resurrection ship nearby. Mutually assured destruction.”

And regardless of where everyone stands on genocide, there’s almost universal scorn for Helo’s treachery:

Mark: “Also, no apparent consequence for Helo’s actions? Hopefully that will come back to haunt him later.”

NY Spinny: “Helo has a right to his own perspective, and I grant he had a right to express his views and to protest based on his beliefs. Where he crossed the line in my book was actively thwarting the purposes of his military superiors because of those beliefs. Recuse himself, ask to be relieved, refuse to take part in the operation, all those are what I’d agree were valid responses. Gross dereliction of duty, on the other hand, is not. When he took his dog tags off I felt a little better (it was obvious to me he was about to do something to thwart the mission) because I took it as a sign he was resigning his commission before acting. I don’t necessarily fault his doing what he believed in so strongly, I fault him for doing it while duty-bound as an officer, and that he got away with it with his rank and position still intact (unless Adama does something about that in the future, of which I’m doubtful). Using his dog tags, symbols of his duty to something greater than himself and his beliefs, was to me a desecration that I’m very uncomfortable with. Bear in mind I’m speaking as a retired officer in the US military and maybe where I’m coming from here will make more sense.”

Eyeless: “Helo should be charged with treason. And in the middle of a battle, no less. Couldn’t he at least have warned them before endangering all of their lives because he wants a robot lover?”

Also, though it doesn’t fit into any of the above categories, this comment just had to find its way into this post:

St. Cavil, on the Cylon resurrection-ship-disease-spreading-weakness: “What would happen if one of the hybrids developed Turrets syndrome? One wicked Cylon swearing machine!”

29 Responses to "Genocide: What is it good for?"
  1. Eyeless says:

    You guys are awesome, and this is a very interesting debate, which is one of the reasons BSG is great.

    What it comes down to is whether you believe in human exceptionalism. Are humans differentiate morally from animals? If so, why?

    I believe that Christians and others who, like me, believe in God, will come down more on the side of “genocide” against the Cylons because we believe that man is special. Darwinians and those who think like them will be more likely to have trouble differentiating between a human, who feels emotions, and a machine, who exhibits evidence of being human. If I didn’t believe in God, I probably wouldn’t know how to answer this question, and I pose to the anti-genocide side: What makes man’s race worth saving? If Cylons are “fitter” than us, why shouldn’t they be the next logical evolutionary step?

    Fascinating discussion.

  2. Dan, the Lord of Kobol says:

    You’re saying that on this particular issue, a person’s overall spiritual and religious convictions will determine whether or not they support the complete destruction of the Cylons?

    Seems something of a non sequitur to me…

    And plus, I think it’s more complicated than that.

    You are clearly right on at least one thing, though: a debate like this is one of the things that makes BSG so intriguing.

  3. john patrick says:

    I hope my opinion doesn’t polarize this debate, but I want to say that I am against genocide, both in real life (as is everyone else here!) but also in our fictional television space exodus.

    Here’s why: it would shorten the series.

    Ok, that was cheap.

    But also, for all the (frustrating) reasons that Helo said. We shouldn’t lose our own humanity in order to save humanity. It’s not enough to just survive. You gotta have something to live for.

    And yes, I’m sure I would feel different if it were MY planets that had been nuked, but Helo gets it, Adama and Roslin get it (obviously, since they’re not pursuing the matter), and I get it.

    So I’m glad Helo executed the skinjobs early. Would I rather go extinct than be a party to genocide? Probably not, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s not what Admiral Cain would have done. I would certainly prefer to die, myself, rather than live as a slave to the Machine(s).

    Honestly, this genocide thing is a tough question, but for me the suicide bomber question is even worse. Whether it’s for publicity, desperation, or hatred for the enemy, the suicide bomber question was awful, awful, awful. And to think in Palestine and Iraq lately it has been young women….

    Anyway, my prediction: the BSG series will end with the total extinction of humanity, and we Cylon will live in peace in harmony with the one true God as masters of the galaxy. All 12 of us.

    wzzzm, wzzzm

  4. john patrick says:

    “One of my favorites: The plan as described in the show wouldn’t have succeeded in killing all Cylons, so it wouldn’t have actually been genocide.”

    This is a fallacy. The Cylons didn’t succeed in killing ALL the humans so therefore it wasn’t genocide? The Nazis didn’t succeed in killing ALL the Jews, so therefore it wasn’t genocide?

    I think if you’re going by the international legal definition of the crime of genocide as found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, the Nazis did commit genocide, the Cylons did commit genocide….

    And maybe using the virus against the Cylons would make the humans guilty of genocide, as well. Depends on if you’re defining the Cylons as “human” or not. If they’re not human, than clearly they are worthy of eradication (as others are suggesting) But if they do have the potential for humanity (as Helo suggests), then the Cylons as a species should get the benefit of the doubt.

    Ahh, remember when it was Picard vs. Reicher in the case to determine if Data deserved rights or not? Benefit of the doubt.

    By the way, I’m a Cylon. My number is One.

  5. NY Spinny says:

    I posted in the podcast #15 thread why I’ve decided killing all of the Cylon(s) might not really be “genocide” as the term’s defined. I’ll re-post that portion of the post here for convenience:

    On the term “genocide” itself, in this case, it occurred to me that it might not apply to the Cylon(s) in a strict sense. Think about it: the term was first coined to describe what the Nazis tried to do to the Jews. The attempted extermination was visited on any and all of them: men, women, children, with no regard to their status as combatant or no. Now, consider the Cylon(s): THERE ARE NO NON-COMBATANTS. One hundred per cent of them are directly involved in the attack on and subsequent pursuit of Humanity, so far as we know. Put it in a different way: let’s say all of the remaining Cylon(s) are housed on four remaining base stars. Now, the Galactica comes up with a new missile, perfect intelligence, and a novel battle plan that will insure she can engage and destroy all four base stars in battle. Should she not do so, because that would kill all of the enemy? It’d be the same effect as doing so via biological warfare. There are no innocents in the Cylon ranks, and so far as the Colonials know the only way to survive is to defeat all of the enemy forces. Those enemy forces just happen to comprise 100% of the known members of their species. Do you refuse to engage and kill enemy soldiers simply because that’s all that exists? How can you ever hope to achieve military victory if you’re not permitted to engage and kill enemy soldiers for fear of eliminating all of them? Isn’t that the point in military terms?

    In sum, I believe the term “genocide” isn’t a perfect fit to this situation, and colors the perspective with shades that really don’t apply to the Cylon(s).

  6. Pike says:

    This is why I love this show.

    Eyeless, Darwinism isn’t a belief system, it’s an observation. It doesn’t dictate action any more than chemistry does. That was the fallacy of Social Darwinism.

    Let’s assume that unleashing the virus really is genocide. Can anyone make a better justification for it than the Cylonz did?

    I find it interesting that nobody mentioned the fact that the Cylon-loving (literally) Helo murdered a bunch of Cylons. In cold blood. With no chance of resurrection. Because it was the humane course of action. Hello?

    Ah, I think I get how he got his call sign. He was the slow kid in flight school, and everyone was going up to him and saying, “Hello? Anybody home?”

    Think about it, the boy genius…
    …fails to notice his robot girlfriend’s glowing spine. (Six Degrees of Separation)
    …fails to realize his inexplicably nauseous robot girlfriend is pregnant (The Hand of God).
    …shoots his pregnant robot girlfriend (Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Part I).
    …lets his pregnant robot girlfriend jack Starbuck’s spaceship (Scattered).
    …is surprised that everyone wants to shoot or throw his pregnant robot girlfriend out an airlock (Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Part I, Home, Part I).
    …fails to anticipate territory issues with his pregnant robot girlfriend’s copy’s former boyfriend (Home, Part II).

    OK, I swiped that lat bit from BSWiki’s potentially lethal BSG Drinking Game. Been waiting for a chance to use it.

  7. Here is why the humans should have wiped out the Cylons if possible.

    First, it’s not analogous to what we think of as genocide. It’s more akin to what environmentalists complain about when we allow or cause a species to go extinct. But in genocide, you kill not only the enemy combatants (soldiers), but also civilians, women, and children. Moreover, in normal war, many of the soldiers have been conscripted so it would also be ethically questionable to kill all enemy soldiers if you could.

    In this case, as far as we know there are basically *no* conscripted Cylons, *no* “children” or civilian or innocent Cylons. Killing all the Cylons would be similar to killing in combat a bunch of enemy soldiers, none of whom were conscripted. Therefore, the only problem that I see with killing all Cylons is that as I said it is similar to wiping out a species of animal, which environmentalists usually oppose–but in this case, I’d say the loss of Cylons to study or whatever is outweighed by the need to eliminate the danger. The only other problem would be if there are some “innocent” Cylons. But we have absolutely no reason to think this. The only innocent Cylon that we know of is Athena, and she would not be part of the extermination.

    So I think to be honest this is not that much of a moral dilemma. It seems like one since we are using the word “genocide,” which we associate with killing innocent women, children, civilians, elderly, and even innocent soldiers. But those assumptions do not apply here.

    A final thought: suppose the humans on New Caprica under Cylon domination had found such a biological weapon. Would they use it to kill ALL Cylons in order to survive, and escape? Would Tigh use it? Would Rosalyn? Would Adama, even? To ask is to answer. And there would not have been any handwringing about it. Why? Because it was necessary to survival. End of question. Period.

    But if it would have been clear and not any moral dilemma during the Cylon occupation on New Caprica, why is it any different now? The Cylons are still pursuing them and presumably would capture or kill the humans again, given the chance. I say wipe them out, with absolutely no second thought about it. There is no moral dilemma. Don’t use the word genocide: say taking out the trash; or “eliminating” the enemy. You can’t use these descriptions in normal genocide, since when you kill civilians or innocent soldiers you are not killing an enemy, or taking out the trash; you are committing a horrible crime. But in this case, no.

  8. Eyeless says:

    Pike said: “Eyeless, Darwinism isn’t a belief system, it’s an observation. It doesn’t dictate action any more than chemistry does. That was the fallacy of Social Darwinism.”

    Yes, sorry, you’re right. I should have said Social Darwinism, which is the belief that the the survival of the fittest is the correct moral philosophy for humans. (I.e., those most adaptable should be preserved over the less adaptable.)

    Back on track, I think that if every person in Germany had been a Nazi involved in the Holocaust, the moral thing to do would have been to carpet bomb Germany until they were all dead. Why? Because, as NY Spinner said about the Cylons, there would have been no innocent civilian population. Of course, there were many dissenters, which is why we tried to avoid hurting the average German citizen. There were no Cylon dissenters. We discovered this in season three. So (still conceding the ridiculous assumption that Cylon lives have moral worth) it would not have even been genocide to destroy them. It would have been a military victory.

  9. The 13th Cylon says:

    According to Social Darwinism, wouldn’t it be okay to kill all the Cylonz because they weren’t strong/fit enough to survive the virus? As Austin Powers once said, “Oh no, I’ve gone crosseyed” with all this stuff.

  10. Rich McCarty@msn.com says:

    It’s genocide if the Cylons are “persons.” How you answer the question on whether or not it would be genocide is predicated on your definition of personhood. Take some examples from the real world: Are genetic human fetuses “people?” Are irreversible comatose humans “people?” I think those issues might be helpful in how one ponders on the hypothetical reality of a race of artificial intelligence that has every appearance of sentience and intelligence, like the Cylons.

    I define a “person” as someone who has the capacity to think, feel/experience pain, communicate, and engage in self-motivated activity. If someone has at least one of these qualities, I believe they fall under the moral right/protection a “person” has not to be unjustly killed. That means, not every genetic human is a “person” in my book, and, there might be non-genetic human beings out there that are in fact “people.” The Cylons, in my estimation are “people.” They might be “bad” people as a result of their continuous choice to do harm to the humans, but they’re still people. Which means to me that while the humans might engage in something of a “just war” with them, completely wiping them out is an act of genocide.

  11. Nick says:

    In season 2, in a single battle the colonials wiped out the resurrection ship and 2 cylon base stars. In Exodus, they destroyed 3 base stars. Had they used a virus instead of bullets and missiles to achieve the same results would it have been considered genocide? In turn, had the biological attack of this last episode been successful and wiped out the entire task force.. 1 resurrection ship and 4 or 5 base stars, would that have truly been a genocide? During WWII we dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was that genocide? Or simply an act of war? It seems to me the real hangup people are having here is more over the morality of using an evil scary biological weapon.

  12. Rich McCarty says:

    I think the issue is “intent,” not whether there has been massive killing done by the humans in the past, or forseeable future. Destroying a base star in a battle is different than having the intention to destroy all of the Cylons. To use a real life issue: It’s one thing to fight a battle or a war against another people group, it’s another to act in such a way that guarantees their total destruction. In fact, this is why the use of nuclear weaponry is considered by some (many?) to be immoral.

  13. Tainted Bill says:

    I want to see what happens when Tigh finds out about what Helo did. He already considers Helo to be a “fraking Cylon lover”. Might Captain Agathon have an appointment with a launch tube in his future?

    Also, “they tried to live with us on New Caprica” should have been instant grounds for dismissal.

  14. NY Spinny says:

    Which members of the Cylon race are innocent non-combatants whom ought to be spared?

  15. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Great subject (especially since my last post was mentioned)!!! And if I haven’t said it before… GREAT PODCAST, GREAT BLOG and GREAT COMMENTS. You guys are the greatest!!!

    I agree with Rich’s definition of “personhood”. And if that was all I had to go on, I would say that genocide against other people, regardless of what they HAD done, is a bad thing. Eyeless, though he sides with doing genocide, does bring up a good point about Nazi Germany. And I would submit that Helomade a good point about Athena which would back up Eyeless’s Nazi idea.

    But, is it really genocide when the entire race of the other side is ACTIVELY trying to do the same thing to you? Regardless of Sharon/Athena, the Colonial experience of the Cylons has been attempted genocide and subjugation. Or would the use of the B-bomb be considered a viable war tactic? I think it would because I don’t think it would lead to genocide for one and for two, the Cylons are trying to wipe out the humans. There is no middle ground, no compromise. I think Nick hit the nail on the head when he said we’re all hung up on the type of weapon used. We certainly didn’t have a problem when Sharon/Athena hooked up to the Galactica’s computer and shut down the raiding force attacking Galactica leading to the Great Cylon Turkey Shoot back in Season 2.0.

    Plus, aren’t we forgetting the Cylons that are on their home planet and also occupying Caprica? I personally think that the biological strike would have destroyed the Cylons heading for Earth and no others. The basestar was disabled and not moving when it was infected. I think the bio strike would have destroyed the basestar/resurrection ship task force dogging Galactica and that would have been the extent of the damage. How could it possibly infect the entire Cylon race?

    There was an old tale about the ninja. If a ninja is discovered by his enemies and they chased him, he would run as fast as he could to get away from the main group. He would then stop and attack the fastest of the group chasing him. He would kill fast-boy in the most gruesome and creepifying way possible to discourage his other pursuers. They would give up the chase and lie to their masters (“Dude, we chased ninja-boy, but then he called in like 100, no 200 of his pals”). I would say that this would be the same effect. The next Cylon task force would discover the B-bombed group and say, “Frak this. Cylon… out!!” and go back to Caprica.

    Both Helo and Lee were wrong when they were arguing about genocide and wasted a gorram good weapon. The end result is that the Cylon task force bound for Earth is STILL bound for Earth. If Lee had said after his evil chuckle, “I think I’ve found a way to destroy these frakheads that are following us”, then this whole argument would have been a non-starter. Helo would be in the brig for pulling his stunt and the only problem we would have had is the black market ring being run by Boxey.

  16. The 13th Cylon says:

    I think they do a genocide on the creepy/ evil/ angry chuckles. Lee had one this past episode in the “I’m about to burst out laughing!” department. A few weeks back Tigh had a creepy one after he was being crazy in the CIC with the “Oh ho ho ho ho, just sleep it off!” thing (although it was more of an “oh ho ho” than “Ah ha ha!” making it slightly less of a laugh). No less, it was eerie.

  17. Ken says:

    Several people have pointed out that the Cylon((s(z)) have absolutely no civilians. Do you people remember the episode Downloaded? What about all the Cylon((s(z)) who were walking around hanging out in coffee shops? Aren’t those civilians? What about the poor toasters planting trees? (Okay, I guess they aren’t sentient) This makes me think there are Cylon((s(z)) who are not in the active military. (Although it remains to be seen if they have a formal military) We haven’t seen much of Cylon civilian life, but then again we don’t see much of normal human civilian life. That doesn’t mean non-combatants don’t exist in either camp.

  18. Nick says:

    A soldier on leave and in his off time is still a soldier. While at the time they may be unarmed, that doesn’t make them non-combatants.

  19. Nick says:

    This episode is one where I think the writers dropped the ball. They wanted to bring up the issue of Genocide and argue that moral question back and forth. However since the attack even if carried out (at least I think)wouldn’t have been Genocide, and I think under those circumstances the arguement of genocide wouldn’t even have been an issue. The entire arguement in the episode takes place due to a false assumption: That releasing the bioweapon would cause disease to spread beyond this task force to all of cylon kind. Both Adama’s, Helo, the President, all approached the arguement having accepted this false assumption. The debate should have been “Is what we are about to do considered Genocide.” That should have been debated established before the morality of comitting genocide was argued.

  20. Michael says:

    Okee dokee, I’ve waited for someone…anyone…to put this into words, but unless I’ve missed some post (if I have, I’m sorry) no one has said it, so I’m going to…
    The ‘skin job’ cylon, or the human cylon..whatever we’re calling them today, they are the ones in charge. I mean, of the cylon we’ve seen so far (the raiders, centurians, ect) they seem to be the ones calling the shots.
    A number 3 even said in response to someone saying that the hybrid disagrees “she doesn’t get a vote”.
    So this is my question, and I put it out to all…
    Who made the human cylons?
    Was it the centurians? if so, why would a race of robots that had just rebelled, make themselves some new masters?
    There have been many clues given that say the centurians DID NOT make the skin jobs, so we’ll assume they didn’t.
    Then who did?
    I mean, we have a race of ‘toasters’ that rebelled and fought a war and then dissapeared for 40 years and the next time we see them, they look human, act human and seem to want to BE human, and command the army of toasters.
    So…where did they come from?
    and don’t give me the whole “all from a single gene pool” stock answer, I mean who…somebody had to commit to the idea…gave the order or plan or whatever…to make HUMAN style cylons and then give THEM all the votes when it comes to the decisions.
    There had to be an in-betweeen step. a cylon that was in control and gave that control up at some point.
    is it this ‘ghost’ cylon that programmed it into the 7 cylon not to question or think to much about the other 5?
    are the other 5 models the cylon 5.0 models? so advanced that they look at the current skin jobs like the skin jobs look at the centurians?
    are the 7 cylon models we know of running from the other 5?
    who, exactly, is on the cylon homeworld?
    Why have the 7 been programmed not to think or ask about the other 5?
    why am I still typing???
    anyway, think about it…Man made the cylons. they rebelled.
    THEN they evolved. and when they returned, they were not the “children” that ran away…how did they get to be the cylons that we know now?
    Is there a faction on the cylon home world that wants to be seperate from the humans?
    a faction that still adhere to the cease fire in the war and do not condone or support the current war against humanity?
    interesting to think about.

  21. A. Lo says:

    Another interesting question is – of the supposed 12 skin models – were they all created equal and/or at the same time?

    Does anyone know – of the 7 we know about, have we been told what all of their #’s are, and does that have any significance (obviously, we have Six and it escapes me for the time being who is #3) – but my point is, are the seven we know of #1 thru #7?

    Baltar also asked Six, “Who are the Final Five?” – although I’m not sure if he was generically calling them the final five, or naming them (The Final Five) as such.

    It would be one thing if you had the 12 models and the five Unknowns are scattered among the 12 – but if you have #1-#7 = the Known skin jobs, with #8 – #12 being the Unknown – then that suggests perhaps there is a different purpose or something significantly different about them (rather than just 7 models vs. 5 that broke off because of some disagreement).

  22. Eyeless says:

    IMHO, The coolest plot line for the show from this point would be if the Final Five Cylons were OPPOSED to the Holocaust because it threatened their race’s existence. Maybe the Seven believed that humanity could be eliminated entirely in the nuclear attack, and the Five thought that it would not be that simple. Perhaps the reason the Seven attempted to set up New Caprica was to ensure that humanity would not destroy the Cylons by “befriending” the settlement.

    Maybe the Five again disagreed and refused to participate, knowing that humans would never subject themselves to Cylon rule. I don’t know, but the idea of a political split intrigues me. I hope the Five aren’t just hidden because RDM hasn’t decided who to Reveal.

  23. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Good idea, Eyeless, although I have the feeling that it’s something more sinister…

    I keep thinking about how Six looked when Baltar asked about the other five. Didn’t she look scared or horrified?

    I think it would be cooler still if the other Five completely lacks any sense of morality. Although we can say that the Seven have frakked up morals or are at the very most immoral, we can’t say they are amoral. They have a religion after all with its own morality code (love God, kill/enslave all humans).

    The Five could be pure monsters. They have will, they have consciousness, they are self-aware, but they have NO sense of morality. They are amoral. I find that prospect more frightening than anything else. The Cylons hate humans, that means they do care. These Five don’t care about either the other Seven or humanity. Of all the “known” skin job Cylons, I would say that D’Anna (Three) and Cavil are the closest to what I’m talking about. Someone once said that hatred is not the opposite of love… apathy is the opposite of love.

  24. Ken says:

    I have been operating under the assumption that the Final Five are split off based on a vote that occurred at some point. A 5/7 split is the narrowest majority you can have with a 12 vote population. I theorize that was a hotly contested issue indeed and the current 7 don’t speak of the 5 because they are “dead to them”. It’s all theory at this point, but the issue could have been the solution to the “human problem.” Maybe the Five wanted to live in peace in Cylon-land and the Seven thought God commanded them to exterminate the humans.

    Who created the skin-jobs? It could have been a decision made by the mass-mind of the toasters (or supercomputers) who fled after the first Cylon War. Maybe they thought they needed to become more human in order to understand/defeat them. Perhaps they were told by God to do it in order to replace the humans (who were judged unfit). The old toasters/computers may have even downloaded their all (or part) of their personalities into the new skin-job models. Whatever happened, the old toasters seem to be long gone. The new ones we see now are lesser models designed after the skin jobs were created. They are clearly said to be not sentient, and seem to exist mainly for manual labor and combat.

  25. Nick says:

    Wouldn’t it make sense that the cylon “God” would be the first cylon to become sentient? He would be the one who led the other cylons in their rebellion. The reason for making the skin jobs is obvious: Infiltration of the humans. The thing I find interesting is that in typica human fashion, the skin jobs come onto the scene they proclaim themselves to be superior to their predacessors and just kinda take over their society.

  26. Ken says:

    I always thought the Cylon(s(z)) found God at the time of the rebellion, and not in the sense of a physical being. They saw the evil of man and developed a religion explaining that they were the true children of God destined to replace mankind.

    I can’t buy that infiltration is the one reason to make human Cylons. Why make so many copies? Having multiple copies running around actually makes it more likely for them to be caught. If they only needed them for the initial attack, it would be more logical to make many versions with one copy each. After the attack, they could be discarded.

    Infiltration is no longer an issue since their cover is now blown. Yet, the skin jobs continue to run the show with no sign of switching to machine models. I think infiltration is a side effect they used to the fullest extent, but the deeper reason was to take steps to becoming human in order to replace humans through reproduction.

  27. EarthForceOne says:

    I guess the genocide arguement does not work for me primarily because I am NOT convinced that Sharon aka “Athena” really is an example of a “reformed” Cylon. There was something VERY strange about her conduct in the last episode.

    I found it very convienient that the Basestar exploded shortly after the Raptor wing’s departure. Sharon’s initial reaction to coming into contact with the Basestar’s computer was….odd…to say the least. Its not inconcieveable that SHE triggered the selfdestruct so that the ship would not fall into colonial hands. Its entirely possible that she did this without fully being aware of what she was doing….that suggests that deep within her is a program that she does not have full control over (just as she did in season 1). Indeed she had the same look on her face when she left the Basestar that she did when she was struggling against he old program.

    Additionally, I found her entire conversation with Helo to be a bit manipulative. When I saw that scene, I immediately felt like she was manipulating Helo into taking an action that she could not do herself (much in the same way that Six easily maipulated Baltar into doing things that she could not do). Consider this though….Sharon said that she had sworn allegence to Adama and loyalty to the Galactica’s mission. Yet in this situation, Athena KNOWS that a member of the Galactica crew is going to sabotage Adama’s mission…yet she does nothing to stop it. Nor does she apparently inform Adama about what she knows. That is NOT the response of a loyal officer. Indeed it reeks of disloyalty on both Helo and Athena’s part. That to means that neither can be trusted.

    Which again brings me to my original point that I suspect that Athena….knowlingly or not….might be helping the Cylon(s) achieve a goal that even she might not be aware of.

    If that is indeed the case, it brings us right back to the idea that the Cylon(s) are NOT completely sentient….but in fact still have programming dictating their actions. If the Cylon(s) are governed by a deeper program (even if they are not aware of it) that makes them even more dangerous since they will be compelled to abide by that programming regardless of their wishes. That places the Colonials in a situation where they really have no choice by to wipe out the Cylon(s). They really ARE machines and really can’t excape their programming and WILL continuously try and kill humanity.

  28. Ken says:

    EarthForce-
    If true, you have a valid point. But, first of all remember that Boomer and Athena are seperate characters. Secondly Athena played a key role in the Exodus from New Caprica. That would have been an ideal time to betray the humans, but she did not.

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest she is loyal to Galactica. She is also seemingly loyal to her husband, which is also a very human trait. You could be right, but it will take more than a few odd facial expressions to convince me.

  29. james says:

    i believe that there are non-combatants in the cylon forces. i think it is the “boxed” cylon psyche’s (downloaded) perhaps all models that feel sympathy for the human cause (like galactica-boomer) just get “boxed” like what number 3 was proposing to number 6. that would explain why we see no non-combatant cylon’s

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