It's Independence day in the US and it happened to be as I was listening audio segments from Star Trek TNG and Voyager today. I just love how many deep issue the series dealing with. Independence and slavery for instance just to make some sense for this article... :)
So today happened to be listening a great Captain Picard speech from Season 2 from the episode The Measure of a Man where Stafleet deciding to examine Data, disassemble him to help create more of them. Picard and his crew of course didn't like the though of loosing the android and after speaking with Guinan, Picard pointed out "How we treat a new race, our creation of genious determines who we are!" Creating a whole new race just to slave them for our needs as we don't want to risk our life in dangerous situations or simply we don't have the need to do is just not the right way of dealing with this issue. Off course at the end of the episode Data been "saved" and they gave him the freedom of choosing.
After that I was listening an episode from Voyager (yes, actually listening as I had to work.. :) called Life Line from Season 6, where we have an insight on the life of Luise Zimmerman. He had a disease and he was dying and his only chance was the Doctor, the Mark 1 program. Without going deeper in the storyline there was a point where Luise said to the Doctor: "Every Mark 1 EMH was converted to be a technical hologram to clean plasma conduits."
After realizing the moral implications of this episode... this has similarity with the case of Data in a sense. Well, I know we can argue on the fact as Data has grown as a "person" and only the Doctor was the one who had the same progress through the years. Although the point still stands... "treating the creation of our genious". We converted a whole "holographic people" to do what we don't wan to do... so my question is, where is the problem here?
Well they decided to not to duplicate Data because in this way they can create a whole "amry of expandable people" and they will serve, they won't get hurt etc... But at the same time they have done this with an entire holographic population. Why do an android has the right and holograms doesn't? Why we treating this subject differently?
In a way the two episode connects, the two issue connects and still it has a sort of dilemma behind the lines. Do we have the power to decide what we treat as a "person" and what not? Do we really play God as we were the creator? Off course the Doctor had his voice heard in the episode Author, Author from Season 7 when he created a holo-program about how difficult a hologram's life is. That made a silent debut in the Alpha Quandrant as it reached the old Mark 1 population. Would be interesting to know what happened with them after the Voyager reached home and the Doctor has spoken with Starfleet...
...sadly we only have our imagination to find out this matter, but who know maybe one day it will be a episode from it or an official explanation. Till then if you have an opinion about this feel free to let me know, make a conversation about it. :)