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Thread: The ethics of the Protocols.

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    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    The ethics of the Protocols.

    Watching the second season of a fascinating show on Netflix called Travelers. Don't stop. This isn't a "TV" topic. It really is about ethics. Without boring anyone with too much detail about the program, basically it is kind of a twist on Quantum Leap. People from the future send their consciousnesses back to now, to be hosted by people here. To prevent paradox, trvalers only come back to hosts at the moment of their deaths, to minimise changes to the existing timeline, outside of specific changes that are determined to create a better future than the one from which the Travelers come.

    Now, first, this very idea carries with it, it's own paradox. After all, would not every person that the no longer dead host interact with actually constitute an alteration of the timeline? After all, they were supposed to be dead, and would never have interacted with those people.

    But, let's put a pin in that for a moment. The following are the protocols for Travelers:


    • Protocol 1: The mission comes first.
    • Protocol 2: Never jeopardize your cover.
    • Protocol 3: Donít take a life; donít save a life, unless otherwise directed. Do not interfere.
    • Protocol 4: Do not reproduce.
    • Protocol 5: In the absence of direction, maintain your host's life.
    • Protocol 6: Do not communicate with other known travelers outside of your team unless sanctioned by the Director.


    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these protocols contradictory, and impossible for someone to follow? I mean, Protocol 3, for instance. As I pointed out, doesn't their very presence, since the person they are inhabiting are now interacting with people they, otherwise, never would have.

    And, what about Protocol 4? I mean, if the person you jumped into happens to be married, and they were trying to have a kid, in order to keep protocol 3, doesn't that mean you would have to violate protocol 4?

    Wondering what you guys think. (Yeah, I know...I think way too much about the shows I'm into.)
    Thanks from johnflesh

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    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Oh, well. I thought it might have been an interesting ethical discussion. Guess maybe I was wrong.

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    So if they are not permitted to make changes other than the specific ones they seek, are the hosts whose lives were saved then killed to prevent further upsetting the timeline?

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    SWED Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    I need to watch that show. If it would help I'll start it this weekend and come back and comment. Really cool topic on it's face.

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    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    So if they are not permitted to make changes other than the specific ones they seek, are the hosts whose lives were saved then killed to prevent further upsetting the timeline?
    No. Therein lies the problem. In the show, itself, there is one host who is a married FBI agent, and another who is a 17-year-old kid. While performing their duties, they are continuing to interact with the individuals in their lives. This is part of my problem. I understand the idea of using hosts who are dying, to minimise the "footprint" of the travelers, but, that seems to be rendered meaningless, because they still continue to live out their lives. In fact, the 5th protocol dictates that they do this. Wouldn't that, itself, cause them to do things that would affect the timeline? After all, these are people who, originally, were supposed to die, and would have had no opportunity to interact with any of the people they are impacting.

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    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    I need to watch that show. If it would help I'll start it this weekend and come back and comment. Really cool topic on it's face.
    Look forward to your input. The show really makes one think about questions of ethics, and consequences of choices.

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    I just added it to My List, though I do not know when I will be able to check it out.

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    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Not sure what it has to do with ethics.

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    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    Not sure what it has to do with ethics.
    Hypothetical. The ethics of time travel. Assuming that we ever achieve the ability of time travel, what ethical restrictions should accompany its employment? And how would those restrictions be implemented?

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    Hypothetical. The ethics of time travel. Assuming that we ever achieve the ability of time travel, what ethical restrictions should accompany its employment? And how would those restrictions be implemented?
    Would it really be ethical though? I mean its more designed not to upset the time line right? That doesnt necessarily mean ethics but rather necessity. Its necessary to not undo the time line, or the future will be affected. Do I make sense?

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