There’s a moment in “The Immunity Syndrome” that always strikes me as odd. After Spock reacts to the death of the 400 Vulcans on the Intrepid; and Kirk sends him in for a check-up with Bones; Bones puzzles over Spock’s ability to feel the suffering of only 400 Vulcans. Spock marvels at the way that Bones- and all humans by extension- can be horrified at the deaths of millions, and yet justify the death of one.
I can’t decide. Is that true? I’m inclined to think the opposite is true- that we are more affected by the death of one person than by the death of millions. Don’t get me wrong, we can be horrified by the number of people who die in a holocaust, or a genocide, but we mourn the death of one person at a time.
It’s all about who we can feel- who we relate to. We don’t feel numbers, as weighty as they may be. We feel names. We feel faces. We feel stories. We feel people.
On the contrary, Spock. I think we can easily justify a war that kills millions, but not the story of one child who died in the crossfire of that war. It’s one of those messy paradoxes of humanity.
Spock was right about one thing, though- if we were able to feel the deaths of others like Vulcans do, it would make our history “a little less bloody”.
I still don’t get why they played the goofy, banter music at the end of that scene. Afraid of getting pegged as hippies, maybe?