A question in morality


I have always wondered, and now that we have this lovely tool called the internet, I can properly conduct my little poll. I have been playing the Wind Commander games since 1990, and for the first five years or so I was used to fighting and killing Kilrathi. I watched them slaughter friends and even kill my woman in WC3. So, how did you feel about having to escort the Kilrathi around in WC4? How did you feel about fighting along-side them in WC Prophecy? Did you hate it? Did you agree with Hawk and kill all the cats you could in Prohpecy? I am curious to read different opinions....to see who harbored anger against the cats, and those that believed that the war was truly over and that the Kilrathi could be trusted.
Certain kats could be trusted and others were beyond hope. Kirah, Murragh, Vaka Jukaga, his right hand kat whose name is eluding me (taught the later baron about humans through abraham) and also many others from the karga's cadre.

There is a section in the beginning in FA that sort of talks about this question when Kirha comes to see Hunter and friends at the Vacuum breathers bar and a intellectual gets in an argument about hatred and war costs...someone with a copy handy should throw up the apprioate quotes.
Paladin: Sit yourself down, lad, an’ have a drink. There’s a question that’s been troublin’ me… The cats hae shown nae mercy to our people. But if we win this war, wha’ will we do to them?
Knight: What do you mean, James?
Paladin: Genocide, lad. If we dinna destroy them completely, this war may never end. An’ if we do kill them all, how are we different from them? If we lose this war, I dinna care what happens, ’cause I won’t be alive to see it… but what if we win?
I would trust the cats. Remember Hobbes' Holomessage Explanation: Kilrathi do not surrender, nor do they betray. Having a cat on your wing is probably one of the best things that can happen to you in WC. Excellent and loyal warriors indeed.
In Prophecy I usually refrained from killing the Kilrathi because I prefered to have a stellar record, but I was always tempted to "Let the fur fly!" as Hawk put it. That probably comes from playing so many games against the Kilrathi like you said.
For all WC-related questions of morals and ethics, refer to the good old ethics thread...

Apart from that, I adjusted to the ethics of chivalry - the Kilrathi were flying good fighters and came in superior numbers most of the time, so fighting with them was a matter of skill and equal chances (erm, depending on the difficulty setting, I admit).

Away from the battlefield, I always admired the depiction of Kilrathi culture, even as contradictory and incomplete as it is in the games and books. It is alien logic and values, but there is a system behind it that makes their actions coherent.

I never "hated" them, but all the games' and books' actions toward political solutions always felt so inadequately human to me. There is no compatibility between the two cultures, so peaceful coexistence (or even defeat) was unthinkable for me. Even now, I sometimes wonder what became of the remaining cats. Drunk into self-loathing, I shouldn't wonder...
They'll move up and out. There's nothing tying them to their homeworlds anymore.

Some charismatic leader will emerge with the message of 'hegira'. :)
I love loading up the mission in Prophecy in which Hawk switches off your flight recorders. There's something about the way he says, "You're the best wingman I've flown with since your father," that almost makes me proud that I just dusted those Kilrathi.
Yeah, you're right. Flying with them in Prophecy was pretty cool, too. I loved listening to the comms chatter as the bugs and kats insulted each other.

Bug - "You pathetic weakling."

Kat -"Pathetic wretch!"

That was funny stuff. I know they were just generic comms, but I thought it was awesome.
I killed the Kilrathi in WCP, I would have killed them in WC4 if I could have and continued the game. They're Kilrathi, enough said.
That is exactly the kind of response that I was looking for. I am curious to see which players hated them, even after the war, and which ones felt as though they could be trusted.
I don't have the same experience with the Kilrathi as most of you have, I have only played five of the games, and only the ports of Win Commander and Secret Ops and the Playstation ports of III and IV. Wing Commander IV was my first game, and my only prior WC experience at the time was the animated series. And since this is true I harbor no hatred for the Kilrathi, only for the things that they have done because of Thrakath and his grandfather, the Emporer. So in Prophecy first I saved them, then I went back and fried their asses later just to see what happened.
I started with WCIII, and I never trusted the cats in WCIV. I somewhat tried to save them, but like Hawk said, I didn't risk my neck for them. It would be different if the first and later encounters with the Kilrathi were peaceful and loving, but the Kats consistantly showed themselves to be hateful. I see Angel as a sort of Martyr, and some of her last words pop into my head "The Kilrathi do not co-exist". I would treat them in a similar way to how they were treating humans. I would move them to slave labor camps. I would separate men from women and keep them on different planets so they couldn't reproduce. I might let some of the better (morality wise, not necessarily physically/mentally/etc.) Kilrathi reproduce just to protect them as an endagered species in addition to giving them an incentive for good behavior. The newborn Kilrathi would be separated from their parents at a young age, given adoptive human parents, and raised in a loving sheltered environment that taught them to co-exist (if possible for their nature). As far as fighting with them, I haven't played WCP yet (I actually prefer to call it WC5, but no one seems to call it that), so I'm not sure exactly what I'd do while fighting alongside them. I certainly wouldn't trust them. I would hope they would be under human command. I would also let them go into the fray first and take most of the hits- I also wouldn't be in a hurry to save them if they get into trouble.
The enemy was not so much the Kilrathi as a race, but the empire. Some Kilrathi did fight with Confed, and there's no reason to think everyone of them turned out to be a traitor. It's a cultural thing, as it can be noted by how much the Kilrathi cared for this stuff. But the point is that one should not hate a Kilrathi just because of what other members of his race/clan did.
Well it's a tough call and I can appreciate your view Delance. I believe in trust with verification, and I haven't seen any verification- so perhaps more study of their nature and potential would be called for. There's a saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I tend to think "Fool me twice shame on you and Fool me three times shame on me"- kind of a turn the other cheek sort of thing. From what I've read in manuals and seen in the game, trusting the Kats would seem like "Fool me once/twice/three times/four times/ etc. shame on you." Why would the Kats want to rid the galaxy of Nephilim much more than they want to rid it of Humans? From my experiences in WC3 and from what I've read, it seems the Kats would just as well team up with an alien race to destroy the humans before turning on that alien race- whatever deception it takes to ensure their domination.
Hate is an emotion caused by something that violently disagrees with your values. So if somebody tries to destroy what you hold dear - be it physical (like your world/carrier/team mates) or psychological (like your values/beliefs/morals), then you can react with hate - trying to destroy what threatens your frame of reference.

And that's exactly my point: The Kilrathi have a different frame of reference - so trying to dominate them (or even to adjust them to human ethics) is something they will not understand.

So hating them - in a purely philosophical sense - is pointless. They don't accept coexistence, so they won't accept subjugation to a winner in a conflict either (this is hypothesis - maybe someone with quotes can help out here).

The only solution I'd see in *solving* a conflict with them is to move them somewhere, cut off the jump routes and let them exist on their own. Either they'll come back some day to fight again (and meet a more developed adversary), or their frame of reference changes, and they develop another concept of existence (or coexistence).

On a smaller scale, in an individual meeting, I'd just react. If they attack, they'll get an appropriate response - even in their own frame of reference. If they don't attack, they act outside their value system - and that's why I never shot at them when flying with Hawk. They *wanted* to change their ways - and somebody needed to show them understanding.