The Measure of a Man
Star Trek TNG, Season 2
- MADDOX: Ever since I first met Data ... I have wanted to
understand it. ... As a first step I must disassemble and
- PICARD: Commander Data is a valued member of my bridge crew.
- DATA: Why are not all human officers [similarly] required to have
their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants [given their superiority]?
- PICARD: He has rights.
- JAG (PHILLIPA): All this passion over a machine?
- MADDOX: "When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes." Is
it just words to you, or do you fathom the meaning?"
- DATA: The substance, the flavor of the moment could be lost
[in the memory download/upload]. ... I don't believe you've
acquired the expertise to preserve the essence of those experiences.
- MADDOX: Your response is emotional and irrational.
You are endowing Data with human characteristics because it looks
human. If it were a box on wheels I would not be facing this
- PICARD: Data is a valued member of my crew. He's an
outstanding bridge officer.
- Key Question
- MADDOX: Would you permit the computer of the Enterprise to
refuse a refit?
- JAG: But the Enterprise computer is property, is Data?
- MADDOX: Of course.
- JAG: Based on the acts of Cumberland passed in the early
21st century, Data is property.
- RIKER: I consider Data my friend.
- DATA: Captain, I have complete confidence in your ability
to represent my interests.
- The Hearing: Riker's presentation: it's a human made machine
- RIKER: What are you?
- DATA: An android.
- RIKER: Which is?
- DATA: "An automation made to resemble a human being."
- RIKER (having presented
evidence of Data's inhuman mental capacities and physical strength and
ariticiality (removing it's hand & shutting it off). Pinocchio
is broken. His strings have been cut.
- The Hearing: Picard's Presentation: he's a sentient
- PICARD: [Rikers points that Data is a machine and humanly made
- We too are machines, just machines of a different type.
- Children are created from the building blocks of their
- DATA: (commenting on the image of Tasha): She is special
to me. We were ... intimate.
- PICARD: Is it your contention that Lt. Commander Data is not a
sentient being, and therefore not entitled to all the rights reserved
for all life forms within this federation.
- MADDOX: Data is not sentient, no.
- PICARD: Could you enlighten us, what is required for sentience.
- MADDOX: Intelligence, self-awareness, consciousness. [NOTE: highly nonstandard definition of
"sentience". Standardly defined, sentience is the capacity for
experiencing feelings such
as pleasure and pain. Sentience is generally held to be something
distinct from intelligence and self-awareness and something more
widespread among animals than intelligence and self-awareness.]
- PICARD: Is Commander Data intelligent?
- MADDOX: Yes, it has the abilty to learn and understand and to
cope with new situations.
- MADDOX: [You are self aware] because you are conscious of
your existence and actions, you are aware of yourself and your own ego.
- Data demonstrates his
intelligence by his grasp of the proceeding and the stakes for him in
- PICARD: A single Data is a curiosity ... but thousands of
Datas ... isn't that becoming a race. And won't we be judged by how we
treat that race?
- PICARD: You see he's met two of your three criteria for
sentience. So what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even
the smallest degree? What is he then? I don't know.
Do you? ... Well, that's the question you have to answer.
... Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him to
servitude and slavery. Star Fleet was founded to seek out new
life. Well there it sits ... waiting!
- JAG: We've all been dancing around the basic issue.
Does Data have a soul? Do I have? ... I have got to
give him the freedom to explore that question himself. It is the
ruling of this court that Lt. Commander Data has the freedom to choose.
- MADDOX: He's remarkable.
- JAG: You didn't call him "it."