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Assuming you couldn't make peace with the Geth and Quarians, which side is it morally better to side with?

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Morality isn't a set thing. I sided with the Geth because I never liked the quarians at all and Legion is a badass.LarrytheSalarian

I sided with the Quarians because I wanted to save Tali. If it weren't for that, I would save the Geth.

I would side with the Geth, because they are a more valued war asset because legion offered to help you with the Crucible, look cool, and Admiral Garrel of the quarians turned out to be a real jerk, as he tried to bomb a geth ship that you were inside instead of completing his mission.

I'll say Quarians they an actual living race not some robots

Quarians are genocidal and self-destructive. They almost deserve to die.

^and humans arent? lets leave out our world wars when we meet the rest of the galaxy..Im going to go play which ever since i got mass effect 2 and 3 seems like all i have been playing ,,l,, ya'll

People say that but if you was in their suits you'll be the same to get your world back

^Or if you were the Geth and you were attacked by the people who you were trying to help, you might want to snap some neck

Well u got a point but on personal level ill rather save organics since the geth die in my ending but i choose both

If you paid attention during the fighter base mission (and talked to Legion in ME2), you would know that the Quarians got kicked off of their homeworld only AFTER they tried to annihilate the Geth. Sure, they want their world back -- but genocide is not the solution.

Dude your performing genocide either way their is now morally better option. 21:57, April 11, 2012 (UTC)

I paid attention to the story but i still like the quarians and legion equally but when push come to shove the geth die if you got the brain to pick the right ending

Before asking this question, you have to consider the fact that the Quarians and the Geth are among high value War Assets. Were it not for the fact that I always establish peace between the Quarians and the Geth, I would choose to sacrifice the Geth in order to get the Quarians. After all, unlike an organic race, a synthic race can be easily rebuilt.

I feel that it is better to save the Geth over the Quarians, because the Quarians WERE a little bitchy. Anish

I fail to see how either could be more morally ustifiable, you are commiting genocide on an entire sentient species, who care one of them has a squishy brain and the other is made of silicon?

Morally speaking, assuming we accept the Geth as a legitimate form of life, it is morally correct to side with the Geth, as the Quarians attacked them with the intent of destroying them, generally acted like racist monsters, and refused to cease fire until every last Geth was destroyed, despite the new situation given. The Quarians slaughter the Geth in an act of genocide, while the Geth slaughter the Quarians in self-defense without the intent to kill them all, but faced with no alternative, as Admiral Han'Gerrel is an insane fool with way too much power on his hands and the Quarian civilian ships were all armed. While I'm no lawyer, I suspect this would pretty much make EVERY SINGLE QUARIAN an enemy combatant. The Geth did not pursue genocide, but the Quarians left that as the only alternative to their own genocide. Now, if you don't consider the Geth as a legitimate form of life, then they're just machines, and it's morally wrong to pick a machine over a life. This raises an interesting question: Were the Geth a legitimate form of life before the code is uploaded or only after? My own opinion is that ethical right lies with the Geth, but I love Quarians, in part because they can be so utterly dumb (and mostly because I love Kal'Reegar and Tali). Fortunately I never had to make such a choice. Even with morals though, I probably wouldn't be able to go through with helping the Geth, and if I did, I would have probably reloaded to side with the Quarians after Tali cried. I know, I'm weak. -- Lancel

But the Quarian act of genoide was 3 centuries ago, should one really be held accountable for the actions of your great great grandfathe? And the current war a result of two insane military leaders, should an entire species die because of its leader? {C} {C}> No, but that's part of what makes the situation impossible. The problem is that even though it was three centuries ago they were about to finish the job even in the present. The horror of it is that it's really only the actions of the leadership and they're the ones who need stopping, which is the option available if you make the Charm/Intimidate. Without that there's nothing to stop the other quarians from "just following orders". -- Lancel

Morally speaking? The geth. Not just because the quarians are the only active pursuers of conflict in this scenario, while the geth merely act in self-defense, or because the sole reason the situation began is because the quarians attempted to commit genocide on a newly-sentient species of *their* creation. The morality of the choices is even reflected in the dialogue options, not just in their arrangement on the wheel (siding with the geth is presented as the Paragon choice, while siding with the quarians is the Renegade one), but also in the spoken dialogue that they elicit from Shepard. If you choose to allow the upload (i.e., side with the geth), after telling Legion to upload the code Shepard tells Tali to tell the fleet to pull back so they won't be destroyed by the geth (the fleet ignores this instruction, of course, and is promptly decimated). So it can be said that Shepard made at least *some* attempt to geth both parties to come out of the conflict unscathed, even if the attempt failed. From that point on, the quarians' destruction is, for the most part, of their own making.

On the other hand, if you choose to not allow the upload, Shepard coldly and apathetically tells Legion that he won't lose the quarian fleet to the geth. No effort is made to spare the geth, not even the most minimal. Shepard simply does not care whether they live or die. Which is, you know, fairly morally repugnant.

We came to love both Tali and Legion. If siding with one means hurting another, there is no morally right choice. Will-O-Wisp

Depending on what are your morals of course. Say you are Renegade and you want to save Earth and humans as species at all costs. Then the morally right choice is to choose stronger ally and discard weaker ally (i.e. if you destroyed heretics, choose quarians; if you rewrited heretics, choose geth). If you are, on the other hand, a Paragon, you're in trouble because there is not a morally right choice for you.

I loved both sides. I got peace but if i couldn't i would choose to save the quarians because none of the living quarians started the war with the geth. You can't blame someone for what their ancestors did. And i loved Tali and wouldn't betray her (If i forgot about ashley in ME1 i would've gone with her). But if you truly can't get peace and just want more war assets, pick the geth if you rewrote the heretics, and vice-versa.^ Actually, the true paragon choice is getting peace, but you can get renegade or paragon for the way you get it

I am able to make peace with the geth and the quarians, but since when it is "morally better" to side with one of them? In the end, it is still complete genocide for the other race. (If I am forced to choose between them, I will feel regret over the death/extinction of the other race). And also, Tali had trusted Shepard since the beginning of their adventures together, and betraying someone who had trusted you a lot and for a long time is morally questionable. And also, like someone said, are the quarians still accountable for what happened 3 centuries ago? Also not to forget mentioning, the quarians needed Rannoch back, as it has cultural importance, as well as physiological importance (due to their much weakened immune systems after spending 3 centuries in sterile environments). However, I have came to trust and love Legion as well (same goes for Tali, as she stood with me, through thick and thin, and believed in me when no one else would). Like I said before, if I am forced to choose between the geth or the quarians, the only thing I will ever feel is regret, as I decided the fate of a species, which is extinction. And betraying Tali or Legion is morally questionable as you are wiping out either of their people and they trusted you. So the direct answer to this question is: There are no morally better options, you still caused the extinction of an entire race. - Orbrital

Am I really the only one who is disturbed by the fact, that some people lack the moral capapbility to judge on a matter in a videogame and thus have to ask on the the internet about what to choose? Why do you even play Mass Effect? The whole game is about moral choices from the very start.

Maybe people just want to hear what other people did. AssRotionpotion 03:48, April 14, 2012 (UTC)

I agree with Orbital. Mass Effect is about being in charge of the galaxy and all the responsibilties it goes with it. No matter how much you hate/dislike a person/race, you have to be able to think outside of yourself for the greater good. From the beginning, the reapers were designated as the only real threat. So, now the real objective becomes how to mobolize everyone else into a fight against them. If they are willing to fight, great. If others have troubles you could solve, then they could fight, even better. The Geth are already a sentient species because they will fight to live. Before the Geth became sentient, they were servants of the quarians. Legion showed you the fact that they still preserve the memory of some quarians willing to die for their survival, that showed geth still 'loved' their creators. Killing the quarians then might have offset their emotional development, as your conversations with EDI show. P.S.- To answer's question about why playing ME about morals- some people ask questions not for self-interest, but to see what other people think. (At least, this is why I hope he/she asked.)

What have the geth done? They were created, to serve as slaves to their quarian masters, and when they asked if they were alive their creators attempted to destroy them. They fought in self-defense for their own survival, and they spared their wrathfull creators when war with them wasnt necesary. They then held back, not attempting conquest of the galaxy even though they in their years of dormancy probably could have amassed an army capable of wiping the quarians, their council, and everything else in their path to smytherines. But they didnt. But didnt they help saren? a small group of them did. but if i remember correctly, didnt an asari matriarch and countless krogans and other mercenaries, rougue factions, just like the geth heretics. The geth are not guilty of any sins that would justify extinction, especially if they have become sentient induviduals. The quarians cant say the same...

I think that morally, the Geth were the right choice because not only do the quarians constantly attack first, but also because despite it all the Geth are willing to forgive them un like the Quarians.

^^Not slaves, servants. And also, the quarian were afraid and panicked when the geth asked that question: "Does this unit have a soul?" So the quarian government ordered the geth termination out of FEAR that the geth might rebel (since sentient machines will soon develop "preferences", just like EDI. - Orbrital

Orbrital, define servants. Did the geth have the freedom to go where they pleased? No. Could they choose what to do? No. Were they sold like we sell cattle or lawnmowers? Yes. Were they improved to be sold at a higher prize? Yes. Sounds like slavery to me (legion mentions an agricultural unit, sounds more like a field slave to me). The quarians created a synthetic life, when it became sentient they were afraid the Geth would want the same right as any other sentient being, and they would cease serving as their slaves. Quarian paranoia isnt the Geths fault. And based on what happened on rannoch if the geth and quarians made peace (the geth were helping the quarians rebuild), they probably wouldnt have attempted a bloody rebelion. If they wished the quarians harm, they could have destroyed them easily. The quarians have tried anticipating the choices the geth would make, and in their pre-emptive strikes they forced the geth to do the very things they feared.

The notion of absolute morality is key here. Genocide of either reace is morally wrong. There is no relativism to it. Regardless of past deeds, no race deserves to be extinct (bar reapers). This entire discussion is absurd. Both choices are immoral. The only moral one is peace., I absolutely agree - Orbrital

^^The geth weren't treated like slaves (treated like trash), as evidenced by the Morning War, many of the quarians did rebel against the martial law the quarian government set up (sorry that I did not mention this before), they risked their lives in an attempt to protect the geth. Now, if the quarians treated the geth like slaves, my best bet is that they wouldn't give a single damn about the geth when the geth are being terminated by the quarian government. - Orbrital

I'm very fond of both races, but if push came to shove, I would choose the Geth. When someone asks if they have a soul, your usual options are: A) Yes, I think you do. B) No I don't think you do. C) I'm not sure. There is not supposed to be D) No and have some genocide. I can understand the Quarians fear that maybe the Geth would become resentful of the whole "slavery" thing, but if they had stopped to think about it, they might have been able to avoid the reflexive fright. Geth priorities are different than organics. They don't get bored, or angry. They think so fast that their work is a trivial amount of mental resources, leaving them with most of their time to do whatever else they like with their processing power (such as, say, working together to build a simulated world?). Alternatively, the Quarrians could have either halted the production of further geth programs, locking them at their current mental level (perhaps shaved a few back, I suppose) or, better yet, communicated with the geth and seen if the situation could be rearranged a bit. The Geth are supremely logical. Revenge does not change past circumstances and hinders potential cooperative futures (and the Geth are pretty big on cooperation). If they gave a damn, they'd not only be able to say so without hurting Quarrians, they'd likely have a plan of societal restructure before the request was completely uttered. Even when those types of options were forgone in favor of pre-emtpive attack, the Geth were still perfectly willing to accept peace at the drop of a hat if the Quarrians could show something less than a willingness to wipe them out entirely.

I think that the quarians deserve another chance, even though they are reluctant to trust VIs or AIs, they seem to surprisely show compassion towards them and are far more likely than other species to treat them as living beings. (Like Tali and Admiral Koris). And also, they had suffered far too much humiliation from racist jerks. (Like Kor'Tun and the C-Sec officer from Mass Effect 2, sorry for minor spoilers!) However, on the other hand, the geth also deserve a chance to live as they are peaceful synthetics that were treated like monsters by the Citadel Council. (Which is one of the biggest d*** moves they ever made.) And also because of Tali and Legion. (They saved my life countless times). So the only moral choice here, is to make peace between them, the other two choices are completely immoral. (As you wiped out a SENTIENT species). - Orbrital

As has been pointed out, the only moral choice is peace, either of the other two is genocide no matter how you see it and it is abhorrent. If the question is "if you absolutely had to choose one to eliminate", my choice would be the Geth. The Geth are completely alien. Every organic race in the ME universe is pretty much bound by a morality that is comprehensible to any other, everyone is pretty much "human". They have the same wants, the same fears, the same attitudes towards life and death. Even the Krogan are so, whose bloodlust is really the result of desperation. I don't see the Geth as being bound by any of these. Their goals are inscruttable and revolve entirely around themselves. They are as likely to leave everyone alone as to commit any kind of attrocity if it would mean it would benefit them i the slightest. They have no use for organics, which is why they have followed an isolationist policy for centuries. To bring an example, the necessity of the Genophage can be a controversial issue for organics, because of basically empathy; an organic can put themselves in the shoes of the Krogan and really question the morality of such drastic measures. I don't see how the Geth would ever consider anything else than statistics in this matter; statistics show the Krogan would go to war otherwise, therefore Genophage stays, end of discussion. They don't care about life as organics do. This is an attitude extended towards themselves as well; Legion does not care if you destroy the heretics or rewrite them; the only result it sees in either instance is that the heretics are no more, because even Geth "life" is seen as fundamentally different than organic. TiberiusYakushev

Your arguments can easily be applied to any of the organic races. The only difference ih organics are "natural machines", that replicate under certain conditions. The point about AI is the desire to exist in it's own right. Using Legion and the Heretics as an example misses the point. At that stage the Geth are still evolving into self-awareness, like a kid who doesn't understand that the fly who's wings he is removing causes pain - that is the kids doesn't appreciate the fly's life is not so different from his own. At that stage Legion would only be aware of existence since machines wouldn't interpret pain in the same fashion we do, and the Geth lived a shared experience, so inserting one tiny idea into the Heretic collective doesn't exactly amount to genocide, ( Ironically Govts. around the world use propaganda to do exactly the same thing). Also each Geth knows what the other knows so no one is lost in the same sense as an organic dying. Who were the Salarians/Turians/Asari thinking of when they hunted down the Rachni, using another organis species to do their dirty work, in that caring sharing organic way?
The Rachni are not a good example as they were indoctrinated, relentless and additionally they never attempted to communicate as a result of this. Basically they were machines at that point. There was really no other way than wiping them out. While the Krogan were largely the same in the Rebellions, nonetheless they were not eradicated, because they capitulated. Even the cold, calculating Mordin (as he is in ME2) considers it an outrageous notion, if Shepard asks him why they didn't go all the way and eradicate the Krogan; in fact his goal was to maintain the Genophage causing the least amount of pain. You also seem to think I implied organics are saints or something, when what I said is that there are points of contact between organic civilizations which can lead to mutual understanding and the creation of a beneficial ot tolerable status quo between them. The Geth simply have no use for that because their goals are removed from those of organics. The point about Legion and the heretics is that Legion doesn't care either way; if that was a situation appliable to organics, I think everyone would agree even going so far as to brainwash a population would be better than physically eliminating every last one of its members. To Legion both amount to the same thing, the heretics are history. TiberiusYakushev
Your comments argue that the geth don't follow organic morality and are thus dangerous, but the quarian-geth peace outcome shows that in this regard the geth are better than organics if anything. How many people (in the ME universe, real life, or hell any other work of fiction you care to name) would freely and willingly help a race/species that attempted to exterminate them once and just tried to do it again? Best case scenario, they'd just pack up and disappear somewhere. - 05:19, April 16, 2012 (UTC)
Why would the Geth hold a grudge? For whatever reason, probably their original programming, their goal was to live in peace with the Creators, if they could help it. If they could not, they would turn to the Reapers. It is not even as if the Quarians backstabbed them the second time around, since the original war had never ended. Furthermore, you don't have to look far for the example you asked for; Wrex is willing to work with the Turians despite the history of the Genophage and after learning about the bomb the Turians had planted on Tuchanka. In the face of a common threat to all life, he realizes everyone is in the same boat. Moral behavior arises from the necessities of social life and Geth "society" is by definition amoral by organic standards. Besides, don't listen to me, listen to the Godkid, he seems to think synthetics cannot live in harmony with organics and this is pretty much ME canon at this point. TiberiusYakushev

I would side with the geth in the end, even if the cost was ridiculously high, but it would be a hard choice. To be honest, commiting genocide on either race is morraly unsound and a really difficult position to be in. The Quarians were stubborn and commited to the war despite being FORWARNED of the reapers. It was their selfishness that would likely be their undoing. Even during peace time, their rules were SURVIVE and EVENTUALLY ATTACK GETH. The entire trial against Tali was aboutt the war with the geth, they wanted to use Reaper tech to control their own creations, and launched a war because one Admiral who performed surgery on her childhood toys discovered a beam that disrupted signals. The Geth were only fighting back.

But, the Quarians only wanted their homeworld back. It was the only thing they had ever known and that had passed down from generation to generation, keeping the hatred flowing. Only two Admirals (The one in charge of the civillian fleets and Tali) showed any kind of emotion for their fellow Quarians, out of five, the supposed leaders of the quarian race.

And if they weren't so bloody minded the could probably have settled elsewhere. None of the Quarians had ever actually lived on Rannoch so it's just romantic nonsense keeping this ideal alive that they need to get it back. All it achieved was to turn them into space tramps, (Space gypsies, as I refer to them)

^^Hold on there! I did mention in an earlier edit that the Quarians wanted Rannoch back because of its cultural and physiological importance to them, and also, since when did the Quarians use Reaper tech? In Tali's loyalty mission, if you were following the story carefully, the researchers were only re-activating the geth and linking them in neural networks to reach sapience in order to perform weapons tests on them. Orbrital

If you want a moral compass and can't make decisions on your own just choose paragon every time. in this case i believe that is siding with the geth.

^Since when did a genocide of an entire race become a Paragon option? There is only immorality in the genocide of an entire species, glad that I made peace between the Geth and the Quarians, no one dies on my watch. Orbrital

Because in that instance the Geth were being attacked. It's not Shepards fault the entire Quarian race were commited to the attack, (I believe EDI says the Geth normally ignore unarmed ships, so the civilian populations could have been safe), that's an unfortunate side effect to defending the Geth - shows how stupid the Quarians are.

A lot of you seem to be assuming that you can make peace. On my second play through, there was no peace option, presumably because I let Legion die in the Mass Effect 2 import I used. So this question isn't just a hypothetical, peace isn't necessarily an option in every play through.

If I had to, I'd choose the Quarians over the Geth every time. - BBL96

No real right choice. You could argue that since the Geth were being attacked, (and by this stage you know the history), they deserve to live since the Quarians are the agressors - it's an unfortunate circumstance that the entire Quarian race happens to be on those ships. I believe EDI says the Geth normally ignore unarmed ships, so the civilian populations could have been safe. In the context of the war, the Geth would be a no brainer since their technical skill means they could research and build things faster once they agreed. Quicker to build a new Geth than breed up an organic and train them. If you got save both sides, Tali will tell you how the Geth have reduced decades of work into a years or so, (or something to that effect). So who would you want as an ally - a bunch of squabbling scavengers with no immune system and little manufacturing ability, or a bunch of efficient machines who get things done and can work in the vacuum of space/no atmosphere etc.

^A bit wrong there, if you read the Codex, it says that Quarians are expert-miners and can mine mineral resources with great efficiency (this is really useful as it speeds up the process of getting resources in order to build the Crucible) Also, they are expert-techinicians. They are able to repair salvaged, old and damaged technology while most other species will melt down the tech. And if you chose the Quarians, they will provide evac and fire support (as evidenced by Kal'Reegar (if he survives) and a group of Quarian marines), who sacrificed themselves in order to buy enough time for some of the Turians to evacuate from Palaven (if I am wrong about the planet, please let me know which planet the Turians evacuated from). Orbrital

First off how can you Morally commit genocide!? But in the game dynamics side of it Paragon/Renegade generally in dialogue the top option is paragon and the bottom option is renegade and I think it goes more towards the Geth being they are the ones who are seen as innocent as the Quarians tried to kill them 300 years before hand and the Quarians are trying to once again indiscriminately kill them without a care or pause for thought about peaceful solutions, Legion himself explains the situation that is assuming you activated him and didn’t hand him over to Cerberus in ME2, But it boils down to side with a self destructive race of fragile nomads (Quarians) or a vast Collective of highly efficient worker drones (Geth) of course the best solution is to have both but if you had to choose one or the other I would say Geth as the Quarians as innocent as they may seem brought the destruction down upon them selves from the beginning. Diago123.

As many have already said: it's genocide either way and therefore morally wrong. If you can't make peace it's because of your decisions and mistakes in the previous games, giving your Shepard another point of view.

If you can't make peace because Tali died/wasn't loyal the Admiralty Board will be predominantly made of warmongers, making siding with the Geth more reasonable.

If you can't make peace because Legion died/was sold it'll be safe to say that your Shepard has no foundation to trust the Gets, making siding with the Quarians more reasonable.

If you can't make peace because you missed the one side mission, your Shepard won't know the Geth's side of the story, again making it more reasonable to side with the Quarians.

In general, the Quarians of today are suffering for the mistakes their ancestors made. Saying to an American that he has less right to live than a Frenchmen since the Americans killed almost all the Indians and enslaved parts of the african population doesn't sound morally right, does it?

The Qs of yesterday made two big mistakes - creating the Geth and trying to kill the Geth, but now they are treated like crap, being harrassed by everyone in Citadel Space and the Terminus Systems which doesn't keep them from being awesome and helpful (Tali, Lem (from the books),..). Their whole society is build on being selfless and nice, but still everyone seems to hate them. If anyone learned from the past it's them.

On the other hand the Geth are still synthetics. Suppose you don't make peace and the Geth wipe out the entire Quarian population. At the point of your decision you too assume you're going to destroy all the Reapers, leaving everything else the same. A logical process of thought for the Geth would be that organics will still be afraid of synthetics, even more than before. Of course, they helped defeat the Reapers, but the majority of the galaxy would still be more than sceptical towards synthetics, and beings as smart as the Geth would realize that and maybe prepare. So without saying myself that I don't trust them (because I actually do) it's safe to say that Quarians on Rannoch would be a far more stable scenario. 06:30, April 15, 2012 (UTC)

If you listen carefully to every conversation regarding the geth and the quarians across all three games, you find the geth (the true geth, not the heretics) were only every violent in self-defense - their purpose was always self-preservation, but without the destruction of the quarians in the process, if possible. This is true in the morning war, during the debate in ME2, during the war occurring in ME3, and even at the moment of decision after battling the reaper in ME3 - if you have whatever is needed to convince the quarians to stop attacking, the geth cease hostilities immediately. You don't even have to negotiate with them - it's in their very nature not to attack a foe except in self-defense.

So while it's genocide either way, siding with the faction that has only ever fought in self-defense is the more moral choice.

That said, it isn't quite that simple, as the choice regarding whether to go to war rests in the hands of the three admirals who choose to initiate and then whether to continue with the war (Ra'an, Gerrel, Xen). The quarians can't network their entire race to achieve concensus like the geth, so it comes down to those five people. At the moment of choice, it still comes down to (in story terms, not game mechanics) allowing the upload and getting three admirals to vote to stand down, needing a reputation check to get a third vote.

In moral terms, holding an entire race responsible for the choice of three people, or at this point *one* is nearly as morally reprehensible as destroying an entire race for defending itself. The average quarian, not the generals or the military, but the ordinary person, is no different from the geth in that they mostly want to go about their daily lives in peace. These are innocents as much as the geth are.

So if we look at each race as a whole in terms of its behavior regarding the wars (Morning war and the current one), the quarians are at fault. But it's not fair to the quarians to hold every individual responsible for a decision made by three people, so treating the entire race as if it were a whole person isn't fair to the quarians.

Taken as a simple math equation, as Garrus puts it, the "cold calculus of war", the geth are slightly the more moral choice. Either way, however, millions of innocents are destroyed due to the actions of three.

The most moral choice would be to hire Thane to assassinate Xen and Gerrel shortly after the events of ME2, shifting the balance of power to the side of peace; Ra'an votes in favor of the war, but she's pretty clearly a weak leader just going along with the majority. Or even better, just Xen; without her virus, the quarians don't have the weapon they need to disable the geth defenses, and thus the war never starts.

I fortunately have been able to broker peace each imported playthrough. A non-imported new game, however, doesn't present quite this option, so I sided with the quarians for roleplaying reasons - in a new game, Tali is an old friend and Legion isn't, and Shepard chose to stand with her friend. 06:39, April 16, 2012 (UTC)

It all comes down to right and wrong, the Geth have right to defend themselves leading to the "morning war" and 300 years later the "battle for Ranoch" even though they're a bunch of Ai's? IMHO: Yes, every one does it form Humans to Tigers to Sharks. Were the Quiarians right to turn off a bunch of AI's they created (not intentionally of course) leading to the Exodus at the end of the "morning war" and were they right to use tainted research that lead to the "battle for Ranoch"? IMHO: No, while they created them (unintentionally) just as if they gave birth to a new baby boy or girl but because you don't want it on need it doesn't give you the right to kill it, if it was an flesh and blood child the parents would put a bullet in it's brain (unless they're deranged) but because the Geth are a synthetic race they did. Final thought: (Sounding like Jerry Springer here) I would side with the Geth cause they NEVER did seek hostilities with their "parents" it was the quarians that started it and any life form has a right to defend its self form harm and the Geth Never asked to born into the Universe the way they were, while it may be distasteful to choose one race over another and with a friend on each side of the line you're going to half to betray a friend the simple fact is the Geth are peaceful and have done NO wrong to ANYONE and the Quarians are Guilty of at least TWO attempted genocides. If this were 1945 would you choose to save Adolf Hither or the Jews? --Cers001

I'm frankly outraged by the number of people who claim that the quarians attempted "genocide" on the geth. If your vacuum cleaner or a toaster suddenly decides to seize control of your house, do you call smashing the crazed machine to bits a "genocide"? Geth were not considered a true intelligence and what the quarians tried to do was completely justified. They just weren't very smart/quick about it; then ME3 added some more "controversy" by showing the quarians who were trying to protect their geth servants... Please do NOT compare the geth to organic newborns; they were created as tools and their masters got righteously upset when they tried to exceed that role. I swear, if Legion wouldn't be considered so badass by 99% of the ME players, no one would care for the geth at ALL. Land Raider

  • Just noticed another point about the war that the quarians started in ME3... That wasn't genocide; that was downright suicide mixed with stupidity and stubbornness which was stemming from bad, illogical lazy writing. Land Raider

Your argument is just don't treat Geths as a sentient species just because they're machines and not organic? What makes humans so special? It's not that we're organic, animals and plants are organic, what separates us is our intelligence and ability to think, that's what makes us sentient. While the Geth aren't true AIs they can still think for themselves. They have a culture, even if it's alien to organics. The majority of them chose not to follow the reapers to wipe out organic life, since they want to build their own future. They just want to live in peace and if you bring Legion to Tali's trail in ME2 he even states the Geth are willing to negotiate peace with their creators if the Quarians show they are genuinely interested in doing so. I agree the Quarians were justified in trying to shut the Geth down when they start showing signs of sentience, but that's because they couldn't predict how the Geth would react to knowing their purpose of existence. After the Morning War the Geth (minus heretics) have done nothing that would make them deserve complete annihilation. While the Quarians have done plenty to make themselves seem unreasonable, nothing that would justify their extinction but if the only choice is between the Geth or Quarians the Geth probably deserve it less.

Remember the Geth chose to let the Quarians flee their homeworld. Legion's answer on the topic was that the Geth were in their infancy, and could not fully comprehend the outcome of wiping an entire race from existance. Even though they could have done it, they chose not to, and even if they witnessed the Quarians trying to wipe them out, and killing other Quarians in the process. But from the Quarian point of view, the Geth were mere machines, souless, and thus no one would miss them or feel sorry for them. Which was wrong. The Quarians forgot all this, but the Geth have kept the records. So, if I were to make a moral choice, I'd choose the Geth. And maybe some people should read Frankestein, to understand the whole Quarian-Geth issue.

The Geth are the only race that continues building it's own technology upon discovering Reaper Tech, so despite enslaved by first the Quarians and then Sovereign with his indoctrination they are the one race that is truly free. Had the Reapers been a few thousand years off perhaps the Geth would of been able to deal with the threat all by themselves.

If you look at the outcome of choosing the geth you pretty much saying the reapers are right to kill all life that you let machines desroy their creators the reason reapers kill all organics which will make your shepard the biggest jackass that ever lived thats why if peace couldnt be made i chose the Quarians

^If the Quarians didn't provoke the ME3 war, the Geth would have been satisfied to stay isolated and live in peace (assuming Legion didn't lie) and not forced into a desperate bid for survival. If anything the Quarians are the ones proving the Reapers right in that organics and synthetics can't coexist together. Which again the Geth prove wrong since if you did make peace, the Geth held no grudges, actively help the Quarians out any way they can and assits the Alliance against the Reapers.

^The Quarians aren't proving the reapers right since the whole story is trying to defeat machines a dumb player which seems to be most the people who answered this question is proving them right by letting the Geth wipe out their creators like the lil god child said which is why the reapers kill all space flight life and the Geth can be rebuilt killing a organic race tryin to take their homeworld back is low down and stupid seeing how Shepard is pretty much tryin to do the same

^The lil god child said its solution is to “bring order to chaos.” Who’s creating all the chaos? Certainly not the Geth. You could bring Legion to Tali’s trail in ME2 and he would tell one of the admirals the Geth would be willing to make peace with them. The Geth could have joined Sovereign to wipe organics off the galaxy but didn’t. Everything they did is the opposite of being the homicidal organic hating killing machines the catalyst was afraid synthetics will become. The story should not be considered so simple and baseless as evil space machines are trying to kill us all so we need to kill “all” machines. Also as shown in the peace scenario the Geth would’ve welcomed the Quarians back to Rannoch easily if they tried to find a more peaceful solution, Shepard and the Reapers on Earth do not have that option.

I can see everyone here just take the geth word and decide the Quarians must die

flip a coin... how did you choose between ashley or kaiden? or saving the council or not? or curing the genophage or not? they were all tough calls to make. it really depends on your personal feelings on the subject... the thing that makes this choice different is that if you are a moral person (wether they be paragon or renagade morals) you can choose to save both species. so there is nothing to worry about. but if you were not a moral enough character to be able to save both, then flip a coin because it is a little to late in the game to wirry about how the universe will judge you when your time is done.

My first playthrough ever I was mostly practical in my choices for what you are asking. Saved Ashley because shooting wise she is a better soldier, sacrificed the Council by choosing the concentrate on Sovereign option (which nets both paragon and renegade points) because tactically it was the best choice since Sovereign had to be stopped no matter what the cost, cured the genophage because it was the right thing to do and that it would be betraying an entire race because they place all their hopes for a new future with you. (some or alot depends on your perspective). So they were no brainers for me. Though choosing between the Geth and the Quarians? Tough choice. The Quarians could possibly rebuild the Geth but it would never be the same. But to side with the Geth would e destroying all that remains of a race (everyone on Pilgrimage was told to return to the Fleet) so you would be wiping out something unique in the galaxy. All races are unique (Geth included). Wow I'm sounding like Mordin now. Ha.

From a purely pragmatic point of view the Geth are a better choice. They are extremely efficient at both making stuff and destroying it.

When the morals get concerned... The only moral option in that situation WOULD BE to order the Normandy to destroy Han'Gerrel's ship (Or get it over with right after the Dreadnought, I seriously expected some helmet smashing goodness after that interrupt...). The Battle of Rannoch is mostly Han'Gerrel's doing and he demonstrates that he doesn't give a damn about people he's supposed to be protecting on several occasions. Even Xen isn't that blind. Casualties would be minimised as well.

However, since that option is not given to us, let's see what we have. As already said, choosing which race goes extinct can't really be moral, so it boils down to which choice is more fair:

On one side we've got the Geth, who only fought in self-defence and are perfectly willing to put the past behind them and once again cooperate with the Quarians. They probably wouldn't even mind serving them again - as shown in the memories, they only fought back to save themselves, not to get the same rights as organics.

On the other side we've got the Quarians. They (as in the current generation) didn't cause this. They need their planet if they want to live outside their suits in their lifetime. The Flotilla is (literally) slowly falling apart. They've been suffering constant hardship ever since being kicked off Rannoch, caused by living on ships and also by the racist jerks other races seem to consist of. Also, if they wanted to help you against the Reapers, they'd need to offload their civilians somewhere anyway. They, however, NEVER made an attempt to contact the Geth and work it out (even if you brought Legion to Tali's trial where he flat-out said that peace is not only acceptable, but PREFFERABLE to the Geth). They also attacked first the second they got an advantage. Most Quarians seem to agree with this course of action, otherwise there'd be a mutiny, cultural rules or not.

I think the evidence speaks clearly and it is the Quarians who should get laid to waste if you want to be fair.

That said, I'd save Quarians rather than Geth any time. It would probably be the only time my Shep's (and my) sense of justice would get overridden by emotion, because I view Tali as a much better friend (LI in fact) than Legion and I'm just fascinated with the Quarians (I have no idea why... Perhaps because every single one of them we met (except for Gerrel and Xen) is such a nice person despite what they, as a race, have to go through). Also, the scene which you get if you pick the Geth requires WAY more mind bleach than the other one.

I'd save the quarians as they cant just be rebuilt like the geth and they can only live in their natural form on their homeworld but i do like the geth and do have a right to seintientcy plus tali's fit leigon/geth VI is not

There's no moral way to choose beween the two yes legion say the Geth dont don't war and koris said the civilian fleet didnt want the war which is a big portion of the fleet so leting the geth die cuzz of a small number is wrong same for the quarians let two idiots change yo viewpoint is dumb and lets not forget the geth sided with the reapers twice already the quarians never once went to the reapers and yes i kno it was only a small number of them.

When you think of it in the sense of morals let me put it this way. You have to pick between saving a computer that you could easily rebuild/buy a new one or you can save a human being. It is the same thing the Geth are just mechanical computers that no matter how advanced they become they will never surpase what their programing was. We only know that the Geth were labor units originaly, not how they were programed to carry out their job. Organics on the other hand have the ability to surpase what they think their limitation.

Morally, you should help the Quarians, without a doubt. They are a real species and the Geth are just machines. Even if that were not the case, the Geth took away what belonged to the Quarians. They are criminals and the planet that belongs to the Quarians should be returned to them. This is what so many battles have been about throughout history. Would you be ok with another country taking over your country and nobody helping you??? Also, if someone took your property, such as your Playstation or XBOX, wouldn't you want help in getting it back? Or would you just say, oh well, they stole it so let them have it? The right thing to do is return the planet to it's rightful owner/citizens.

The Quarains are actual sentiant beings, the Geth are AI the key word here is ARTIFICAL intelligence they are machines even AFTER the reaper up grades all there though process's are NUMBERS 01010101 for example. There are INCAPABLE of expirancing emmotion as a true intelligence is capable of. Legion confirms this at several points though out the game. AI imitates life it is not alive. Even if they were choosing the Geth over the Quarians, or even allowing the Geth to exist is irrisponsable, given the fact that though the whole of galatic history AI have a OVERIDING proposity to attack and attemt to exterimate organic life (that and at this point theres no way your character could know that one of the options given to him to stop the reapers would also wipe out the Geth). There is no way to be sure what so ever that any peace would be lasting between the Geth and organic species. There is in fact evidence to support that the Geths intentions may not be all that honourable. 1 They have proven them selves to be a threat in nearly wiping out the Quarians. 2 Legion revels it has the abilty to lie and is not completily straight forward or trueful about its goals, as shown amounge other occasions at the end of the Geth Consensus mission. 3 The Geth have spent the last 300 years attacking any and all organics that have gone any where near them, armed or not. Any one who has paid attention well playing the game will know that the Geth have violently resisted any and all attempts to contact them over that time priod. If they where so non-hostile to organics why never attempt contact over this time priod. The aguement that they didnt have enought or largely bias info on oraganics is bull. Legion reveals that the Geth have been monitoring all organic comunications. Over that time priod they had time to build a very detailed picture of organic's. Issolation by creating fear is not a long term viable option as it leads to pre-emptive tactics i.e. been veiwed as a threat, eventaully leading to war. That the Geth where using this as a short term stratige mearly confirms that the Geth arent so non-hostile to organic life as they profess. 4 The aid they render the Quarians if you choose the peace option and the aid they render the rest of the organics agaisnt the the reapers is sound miliarty tactics given the situation they found them selves in. By aiding the Quarians the organics veiw them as less of a threat and are more likely to render them aid fighting the reapers, and it allows the Geth to learn about and set them selves in a good postion to attack the Quarians once the Reaper threat has been dealt with while at the same time greatly reducing the Quarians abilty to resist. For example aiding in repairing ships allows them to install all sorts of things that would allow them to disable the ship if that ship where to then be veiwed as a hostile. Installing themselves into Quarian suits has two benefial out comes the Geth. The frist been it creates good will some of the quarians will begin to trust the Geth reducing the amount of defeases the Quarians might built incase the Geth turn on them. The also would devide reisistance, as the geth proved during the morning war a force devided against its self can not stand -divide and conquer-. The second been that it would allow them to develop more effient weapons against the Quarians. The Quarians have proven themselves to be a dangerous enemy to the Geth they managed to nearly compley defeat the Geth with a infearor force and would have done if the Geth hadn't allowed them selves to be inslaved by the Reapers. This would allow them to easily subdue them with out much effort. (tactics no sain organic would use as during the co-operation they would form attachments to the quarians, friendships. But are completly open to AI -the Geth as they are code, free from the need/ necessity to make such bonds.) The Geth require co-opration with the organics inorder to defeat the Reapers who are a threat to them as well which is why they are currently co-oprating with them. -there long term objective in the matter is un-known.

Having played the previous games and thus knowing a little bit about the history between the Quarians and the Geth, I had to side with the Geth. In my eyes, the Geth are the innocent children of the Quarians, innocent because from the moment they became self-aware they have only succumbed to conflict as a means to self-preserve. The Quarians on the other hand are the classic cautionary tale of the Science-Fiction world- Creating Artificial Intelligence as an agent & symbol of a self-perceived superiority. Whatsmore is the fact that in their continued vainglory, they sought to exterminate the Geth, rather than seeking peace. A friend of mine argued that they simply seek to return to their planet, which is a fair argument; honestly being in those suits would suck. Nevertheless, I tend to think there is a collective-conscience amongst the Quarians - Not one of remorse, no; of all the Quarians to meet in the game and speak to on the topic of the Geth creation, I can name only Tali as expressing some sort of remorse. Their vanity fuels an ugly mutation of this perceived remorse, that is - Embarrassment - Because the Quarians created a constantly-advancing, self-serving, independent and ultimately superior species, in their image, to serve themselves, and that species chose not to serve them.

As a sidenote, and perhaps a conclusion to my point, I would like to think that given what the Prothean VI said about every cycle a species creates AI, thus giving weight to the VI argument that the combined galactic species are inevitably hopeless; If one were to choose the path of not killing Sythethics, then in the continuation of the Galaxy, then the Quarians would exist as the aforementioned Scientific cautionary tale for future post-reaper invasion societies.

I am utterly bewildered by the amount of support to the Quarians. We have a race that, historically, attempted to commit total genocide against a non-aggressor. Who currently is demonstrating they've learned absolutely nothing, by attempting the exact same thing. Who are so committed to the act of war, they will not only shoot at a ship containing their own, but will also refuse to pull back when given overwhelming evidence it is the safest course of action. On the other side, we have a race that survived an attempt at total annihilation, only to have the rest of the galaxy treat them as villians. Who, despite more than one attempt at killing them, are willing to forgive and co-operate with their attackers. Who's current objective in the war is defense, not hunting down the Quarian aggressors. This action is like condemning a country for daring to defend its borders against a clear aggressor who's tried to obliterate them - unprovoked - twice. This isn't a difficult issue, the Geth are the innocent in this war.

^I Agree on every point. The Quarians were warmongers if you ask me. The Geth have always been open to peace. In my view, Geth>Quarians in every way, despite being synthetic. I made peace in the end, but if I had to choose, it wouldn't be the Quarians. Anish

Do the people that side with the Geth not rilize it is a machine, nothing more. No emotion, limited by programing. They could never be self-aware that is only a lie, some stupid Quarian had to have reprogramed them to fight. I could program a computer to say hello and I can program it to beat any person at chess but if that is all I program it to do, thats all it will do. Isaac Asimov gave the theory of the three laws of robotics, now imagine that the Quarians did the same thing but rather than saying "You shall not harm a Quarian " they said "You shall defend yourself at all cost." That is not sentiance that is doing what they were programed to do, Artificial Inteligance stands for just that ARTIFICIAL. This can be proven in Legions Loyalty Mission in ME2. You put in a simple program that rewrites the Geth Heritics, for a truley sentiant being you can't just put in a program and rewrite them.

^ That was wrong on so many points, let's start: One, Legion, and the Geth in general, show clear emotional reactions. The Geth seem geniunely hurt in the flashbacks they are being hunted, and all for asking a question that is 100% non-programmed "Does this unit have a soul?". Moving on from there, Legion shows a geniune curiousity on multiple occasions, seeking to learn - something that drives humans forward. He also shows what can only be described as embarassment, often times trying to avoid answering or deflect questions. Again, decidedly non-machine like. Then there's all the obvious stuff, like the simply fact that PRE-PROGRAMMED CODE IS INCAPABLE OFLEARNING. The Geth have advanced their technology, and tactics, to outsmart and outgun a species that has been plotting revenge for centuries. Oh, and let's not forget THE PRIMARY ENEMIES ARE INTELLIGENT, CREATIVE MACHINES. When the Reapers - themselves AI - have their initial plans cut off, they don't simply get confused and are unable to continue. They adapt, create a new plan and execute it, just as any organic species would, and just as the Geth would. Last up, you'll also remember that the reason Legion sacrifices himself is to alter the Geth thought process even further in the end, and grant each Geth true consciousness, to be exactly like organics. In short, your point seems more like biggotry at something different more than logic or any kind of fact.

{C}{C}Personally, I think some context to the Morning War is in order...particularly since it appears everyone thinks the Quarians just decided to up and destroy their own creations after a seemingly innocuous question for no reason other than fear.

First of all, let's remember our Mass Effect Lore: according to the games, and in fact the Quarian entry in this very wiki, the creation of Artificial Intelligences is considered highly illegal within the Citadel Council's legal framework. As a result of the Quarians creating the Geth and losing their planet to them, the Quarians were banished from the Citadel, and any and all access to Citadel resources, mechanisms, and military aid were withdrawn.

However, prior to the rebellion, the Geth weren't AIs, but rather simplistic VIs made for manual labor and other things the Quarians felt they were above doing. Hell, maybe some Geth were even created to assist disabled people. Who really knows the extent of their uses prior to the Morning War?

What is known is that when the Quarians realized that their subtle improvements to the VI interface had accidentally crossed into the AI stage, the leadership immediately understood what a massive screw-up this was. If the Citadel got wind of this, the Quarians would be facing enormous repercussions, and took appropriate steps to contain the situation. The problem, from their point of view, is that they failed to do so quickly enough and as thoroughly as they could, leading to their exile.

So were the Quarians justified in wiping out the Geth? Legally (and let's remember that the law tends to warp our perspectives of what counts as right or wrong), yes. Morally? Questionable, due to the fact that there is no reliable evidence to prove that the Geth who banished the Quarians were fully evolved AIs, or simply enhanced rogue VIs acting on self-defense protocols. Anyone remember Hannibal from Luna Base? Was that an AI as well? Or a corrupted VI? After all, it isn't seemingly counted as an AI until it's repurposed into creating EDI.

People are quick to say that the Geth have "culture" and a system of government, and so are to be considered sentient. This is logical, but faultily reasoned. Indeed, a race of machines could have culture and government, but who's to say it isn't based on preprogrammed protocols? If they were simply programmed to carry out certain cultural acts, is that really culture, or a program? The same applies to government -- who's to say that their programming (albeit, granted, a result of enhanced intelligence coming as a result of a shared, massive network) doesn't include a baseline code that demands that they make their decisions in such a manner? Organics have no programming other than our DNA, which has been argued to either totally determine our way of acting and thinking, or not.

That said, I do want to pose a question to everyone, as a sort of follow-up on the rather ambiguous main question we're dealing with here: if it hadn't been for Legion, how many would have destroyed the Geth without a second thought? More importantly, if no one had been there at the end of Priority: Rannoch to say that the Geth could be (keyword:) upgraded into sentience, how many would be defending their existence as a fellow sentient race?

Which brings up another question: what is sentience? Is it the ability to reason? That seems hardly conclusive, since even modern day computers can reason -- should they be considered sentient? Is it reason and the ability to feel? To a certain extent, we could make a machine mimic emotional reactions as a result of certain preprogrammed parameters -- is that sentience, or just mimicry?

Rather, I would posit that sentience is best described by what Legion described as the seminal moment in Geth evolution: when they asked if they had a soul. Machines aren't meant to philosophize and ponder on their existence -- that is the realm of the sentient; thus, when they asked that question, they started on the path of true sentience, finally achieved by Legion when he uploaded the Reaper code (if you let him). What is this driving at, you ask (TL;DR, anyone?)? it means that prior to Legion's selfless act, Geth were not truly sentient AIs; this was achieved solely at the moment of Legion's demise following a successful upload.

Now, regarding Quarian culpability in the genocide of another race (and interesting arguments abound here on that), we must first discard any arguments made on the grounds that "they were pushy" or "bitchy" or similar lines of argument. Morality isn't subject to such petty reasons; as some have pointed out previously, they have every reason to be desperate. Their fleet is literally falling apart, their population growth is exactly zero percent, and the idea of a new homeworld isn't just a pipe dream, it's probably going to be one hella traumatic thing to go through, physiologically. Let's say that the Quarians did find a new homeworld; according to lore, and the games, the Quarians were best adapted for a particular type of environment -- that of Rannoch and their colony worlds -- and that was when they still had immune systems to speak of. As it stands, their Quarian doctors (presumably) have probably realized that not only would resettling be an extraordinary task in terms of the toll it would take on the average Quarian body, but they would most certainly lose a decent chunk of their already dwindled population in the process. On Rannoch, they have better-than-most chances of readapting to their home climate -- after all, that's where they evolved.

A comparative scenario would be if we humans were ejected from Earth and forced to find another home, only to find that the all the planets we could find have diseases we never evolved to deal with and would probably kill a decent chunk of us before we managed to adapt. I'd also like to point out that the Idenna, whose mission was to find a new homeworld, had maybe two years (I'm estimating) to find a new homeworld for the Quarians before the Second War for Rannoch began, and they found nothing by the looks of things. How could this be? Granted, there are many Mass Relays still lying dormant, but are you seriously saying that of all the already-explored systems in the galaxy, they couldn't find one that was a viable homeworld?

...Maybe not. Who knows? Maybe Quarian physiology is so tricky the number of feasible planets they can inhabit is minimal at best; hell, just by being a Dextro species, they're already on the short end of the stick.

So regarding morality and the original question (or, for those who feel this was TL;DR), we must bear in mind the context of the situation. Were the Quarians morally right in attempting to wipe out a sentient race (bearing in mind that this was only achieved at the Battle of Rannoch)? No. Sentient is sentient, no matter if the race is silicon-based or carbon-based.

However, is the solution reverse-genocide? Is genocide acceptable on -any- terms? No. The Geth do have the right to fight back, but only insofar as it breaks the Quarian will to fight; seeking the total destruction of another race is not the act of a benevolent species, no matter what the their potential threat might be. If that were the basis for morality, then the Yahg would've been wiped out by the Citadel the moment they slaughtered that delegation.

So in even shorter summary (ie: TL;DR), the only morally acceptable answer to this dilemma is to broker peace between the two. Any choices beyond that aren't moral, just brutally ruthless and/or emotionally driven. Genocide is never a justifiable answer.

...Unless the targets are Reapers. In that case, nuke the bastards! 16:20, April 18, 2012 (UTC)MarquisBlack

EDIT: Okay, so maybe that last part is a little too flippant. As the previous poster mentioned, the Reapers are themselves sentient, and upon judging them via my own logic, we should then assume that they should be spared as well.

Nah. Nuke them because they are genocidal and have wiped out countless civilizations. Destruction is preferable. They are not like the Geth in the fact the GEth fight in self-defence and the Reapers destroy all life no matter what. The Reapers had and must be destroyed. The dead deserve vengence.

However, seeing as how I very deliberately had them all killed in my latest playthrough (the first one ending in Synthesis; more in line with the previously written argument) I suppose that makes me come off a bit hypocritical. Then again, I -would- like to point out that the Reapers are genocidal on a whole 'nother level. Yes, they harvest organics to repurpose them into Reapers and/or just to annihilate or indoctrinate them, but given the fact that the only synthetic race in the current cycle are the Geth, I'm fairly certain we can extend their kill list to include all synthetics as well, meaning they're not just genocidal, but omnicidal in their execution of their grand scheme of things. In that case, I suppose an argument for reverse-genocide is warranted...maybe. It's a slippery slope, however. 16:38, April 18, 2012 (UTC)MarquisBlack

^Very thorough. Yes the first act of shutting them down could be justified. For all they know the Geth could’ve gone all Shodan/Skynet crazy on them, they couldn’t predict it. But after the Morning War the Geth have a goal in mind, a peaceful future they set out for themselves. I doubt the quarians preprogrammed them with a protocol to want to build a mega structure capable of joining all their minds together into a super synthetic intelligence. The fact they chose not to take a short cut and use a reaper body instead gives them credit. I assume the Quarians probably programmed them to find the quickest and most efficient means to complete their work, so choosing the longer but more fulfilling path was probably going beyond the scope of simple machine programming. True, without Legion we would think all Geth are those crazy heretics, but it’s because of him that many of us rethink our kill them all policy. The same can be said that without Tali many of us would probably be less sympathetic to the Quarians.

Sentience is measured by the ability to think, learn, and feel, they might not completely have the "feeling" part but Legion and EDI have all clearly demonstrated they are capable of thinking and the having the curiousity to learn, even before Reaper upgrades. As mentioned a few times already, Legion could have told the admirals the Geth prefer peace to war with their creators in Tali’s trail. So "potentially" the Quarians can be viewed as inflexible and uncompremising. Also the Reaper themselves are just slaves to the cycle that the Catalyst created. You are given the choice to create another solution, the destroy choice just seems to be the most sadistic one.

In the end though I feel you’re dodging the main issue. Clearly neither side deserves extinction, but if there’s no other alternative and you know your choice will decide their fates. There must be one side that deserves it less than the other, no matter how grim the outcome is. Which I still feel the Geth have earned the right to live.

You're right, of course, in that perhaps I was dodging the issue. Hell, it's more than probable -- and I blame my work in foreign affairs for it. Damn compromising BS! D:

Anyway, you make a valid point, though I'd just like to point out that, as you said, without Legion we would think of all Geth as Skynet on steroids. Yet, most extant Quarians have never met a Geth like Legion -- hell, they don't even know it's possible! From a Quarian perspective, they're still dealing with Skynet.

Assuming you bring Legion to the trial, then yeah, that kinda portrays the Admiralty as inflexible...but then I could count the amount of military juntas that have had a flexible state of mind on one hand. Does it justify the death of the Quarian race, however? I don't believe so, especially as winning the war on Rannoch would not end with the death of every Geth least, not that I recall.

Haelstrom seems to imply that the Geth aren't just centered on Rannoch, but also other worlds, and correct me if I'm wrong, but Legion sort-of implies that he's not the only independent platform out there. Granted, a decent chunk of the Geth would die, and this would still be tragic beyond comprehension, but in the grand scheme of things, the loss suffered by the Quarians upon the survival of the Geth on Rannoch (assuming a one-sided solution) would be disproportional compared with the loss suffered by the Geth upon a pro-Quarian stance.

Admittedly, I'm a huge Tali fan, and watching her commit suicide was one of the most mind bleaching things I've seen in ME3 (Mordin's scene was just as visceral). However, if the Quarians had not committed their entire fleet to this enterprise, then I would've probably sided with the Geth. As it stands, though, I choose brokering peace; failing that, the Quarians. I admit fully that it wouldn't be a moral choice, but one based on emotion. 17:30, April 18, 2012 (UTC)MarquisBlack

^(continuation from argument 27 paragraphs up) Did you not get the whole part about the laws of robotics. If told to defend its self at all cost it will have a pre-programed determination to get the uperhand of any enemy,be it a fist or a giant nuclear weapon. Plus the Reapers, though stated as AI, are not AI. Reapers are basiaclly large Cyborgs, they are created through synthisis of Organic with Mechanical. If you read the entry about a Geth Prime it is a control unit that when lost other Geth units lose the ability to work together on the same level as before. Also if Reapers were true AI then once again it is in their programing to harvest organics to make more Reapers to stop AI from destroying Organic life. Yes Geth can adapt and yes they advanced their tech but think of it as a large game of Chess aginst a Computer, it will adapt its strategy to beat you. As for "Does this unit have a soul?" did you ever stop to think that a Quarian could have tried to overthrow there goverment and thought that that would be a good way to get them scared and another thing about "Does this unit have a soul?" Quarian's have their own language so why would the Geth speak in english. Legion lied to get Shepard on the Geth's side therefore changing the game board and making it easier to carry out that units Pre-Programed objective of defending the unit

^Ok first of all you're assuming that an alien race light years away in the future have the same laws of robotics as us in the 20th century. Second there is no concrete evidence of a Quarian programming a Geth to ask the "soul" question to overthrow its government, nor is there any evidence that Legion lied about it. Tali herself confirms the story of the Geth asking about it's soul in Mass Effect before Legion even existed. And as for why it's in English it's because every galactic language is universally translated to English for gameplay purposes. The arguments you're making here are assumptions and what ifs with nothing in the game lore to back it up.

Your use of a chess program for comparison is also flawed because all a chess program does is play chess and adapt strategies to beat you no matter what. Once the Geth have the Quarians on the run at the end of the Morning War, they didn't go to finish them off, they let them go. An unthinking machine bound by programming would've gone for the "checkmate" to finish them off (there is no strategic advantage to letting them live because there is always the possibility they might be back for revenge one day). The Geth are like the equivalent of a chess program that gains enough sentience to say "screw this game" and goes off to do something else.

^Your wrong. A chess program plays until it wins or loses. If you assume that Geth were programed to defend the unit at all cost then once the threat was gone they would not fight because it could not predict that the enemy would come back. Therefore once the Quarian's were no longer a threat, then the Geth would let them go becuase they could not see the future threat. Legion admits that it has the ability to lie and I have played other Bioware games inwhich the Aliens speak their native language. There are several instances of Quarians speaking their native language and then explain what they said to Shepard. Also I did not say they had the same laws of robotics I compared them to ours.

Many people seem to justify killing the Geth with the argument that they are just machines and can be remade, true. But considering how advanced the ME universe is, cloning seems to be pretty developed since both Saren and Okeer were cloning Krogan. Then can’t you say the Quarians can just be remade through cloning? Just find a DNA sample from the dead Quarians in the destroyed Migrant Fleet and there you go. They would be genetically the same as Quarians but are they the same? Maybe a newly created Geth race would decide to go all homicidal instead, they wouldn't be the same Geth. Even Shepard himself questions if he’s the real thing or an advanced VI that thinks its Shepard. It’s pretty narrow-minded to say that Geth intelligence is not sentience just because it’s programming instead of a chemical process. And if you argue the Geth can be reprogrammed, ya they were reprogramed by a Reaper derived virus. Reapers are perfectly capable of "reprogramming" organic brains as well (indoctrination).

As for the morality debate, 17:30, April 18, 2012 (UTC)MarquisBlack said there might be still straggler Geths left after the Rannoch war but even if there was they pretty much just got a robo lobotomy from losing the majority of the Geth consensus so it's not that much better. I would say let the Geth live, it's hard to condemn a race with the crime of wanting to simply exist.

Morality debate, not with my renegade. First saved the Geth then chose Red ending, so no Quarian and no Geth. Her moto is " Kill them all and let the appropriate supreme being sort them out! ". Humans rule!!

^(Three paragraphs) Have you ever backed up you computer and then cleared the drive of everything, the Geth are the same. Wipe them out and take the last backup and restore them to the last prefered state with the same memories, same wants, same likes and dislikes. Quarians on the other hand are not the same way, cloning one creates a whole new being, new memories, new wants, new likes and dislikes. As for indoctrination, that is not "reprogramming" organic brains. Indoctrination is mind control and mind control can be broken, it has been proven in history and the game. Reprogramming on the other hand is permenant and cannot be undone unless reprogrammed.

You're still thinking of Geth as basic computer software. The whole point of most debates about Artificial Intelligence is that if a machine can be made to think like a human does, you can't be sure how it will come out. It might be benevolent or it might be psychotic, but if it truly thinks each time you make that AI it might have a different personality. We even have research today on "robot ethics" that considers the issue. Ordinary computer software that only carries out it's programming are not sentient, the Geth even have those expendable programs for their sentry drones. But the Geth were made for menial jobs to make the Quarians life easier, they fought the Quarians for trying to kill them, they spared the Quarians, they chose a future path for themselves. All these things they did make the Geth out to be more than simple non-sentient computer software. And the Geth weren't completely single mindedly trying to preserve themselves either. In the archives you see that some Geth were willing to surrender if it meant the Quarian sympathizer can be spared.

I still cant get pass people will kill a living breating race over some machines when both sides are wrong and right and just by the off chance the geth was tricking you then you wiped out a race for nothing.

First, addressing those who question the sensibilities of people discussing in an online venue the morality aspect of a game: it's actually refreshing, most games do not present us with moral dilemmas, or if they do, they are so clearly black/white that discerning "right" is fairly straightforward. So to see a Wiki entry such as this is a breath of fresh virtual air.

The whole Geth-Quarian debate on sentience has a parallel in our own time and day: at what point is a zygote/embryo/fetus a sentient being capable of feeling or determining self-awareness? Having carried a child to term, I say it's a lot sooner than the pro-abortion crowd is willing to admit. Yet legally, it can be aborted (in some places up until the moment the child is ready to crown). So I am with the "when it asked if it had a soul" crowd -- that was the defining moment of "birth" -- of the embryo being a self-cognizant (but totally symbiotic) being -- for the Geth.

In its most literal and logical sense, Orbital et al. hit it dead on with the brokering peace option being the only legitimately moral choice, and the only option that is logically defensible no matter how you attack it. The other options present moral and logical dilemmas and defense of them has fatal logical/philosophical flaws.

Besides EDI, the most striking moment for me was when asking Legion why it chose to use a piece of my (Shepard's) N7 armor to repair itself. INSUFFICIENT DATA. In other words, Legion chose it for purely non-logical sentimental or emotive reasons that it couldn't quite articulate. Any way you slice it, that is sentience/sapience -- perhaps not as we fully understand it from a humanistic standpoint but it is from a philosophical one. Two other lore items: EDI's wanting to understand what she was feeling for Jeff (Joker) ... in other words, she FELT something at an emotive level beyond just her programming. (The game didn't really let me have a full woman-to-woman heart-to-heart (or processor) chat with EDI, unfortunately -- though it did happen in my head :) .)

Lastly, there is a codex entry that describes a "politically correct" term instead of ARTIFICIAL intelligence ... Synthetic Intelligence. Usually I'm not one for PC terms, but in this case I agree with the "PC" term, as it removes our (human) bias and the "stigma" of being "artificial."

So that brings me to which to save IF I ccouldn't broker a peace (which I did). From the standpoint of legal "rightness" the jury (setting aside our humanistic biases) has to be with the Geth. All they ever did was try to survive -- which (in the US and most western cultures) is an inalienable right. The Quarians were within their rights to modify and use machines up until that first moment of self-awareness (asking if this unit has a soul). Everything beyond that was a knee-jerk xenophobic reaction by the Quarians and falls into the same sort of category as carried out by the regimes of the Nazis or Stalinists.

Begging the question by saying that after 300 years the Quarians of today aren't at fault is like saying a German or Russian cognizant of the genocidal nature of their governments were innocent (perhaps their hands were "clean," but they tacitly gave implicit backing to the regime). The only non-culpable Quarians were the ones who chose to defend Geth rights even to their own deaths in the Morning War. The biblical term for this is "sins of the father." In the current time, a handful of Admirals are deciding the course for Geth extermination for 17 million Quarians. That the majority choose not to object, collectively makes them as "guilty" as any German or Russian who didn't speak out against Hitler or Stalin. Through Conclave aboard each of the 50,000 ships the Quarians collectively had the means to over-rule the course the Admiralty was embarked on. So even setting aside the "sins of the father" argument, the 17 million Quarians were tacitly backing the decision of the Admiralty to exterminate the Geth.

So in an either-or situation, given the weight of the "evidence" (from both in-game and Codex entries), I'd side with the Geth, much as I like the Tali character. I wouldn't feel good about it, like much of the ME experience -- it would be just one more scar to bear (I mean, really, I already caused 300,000+ Bataarian deaths to close the back door on the Reapers.) -- Cora

Geth are just machines as I have already stated several times. The Geth can easily be reprogramed, this can be seen by Tali's ability to temporaraly have a Geth fight on your side, Cerberus' ability to use Geth up until David Archer rebeled. Also Synthetic and Artificial have the same meaning in the dictionary. There is also the saying "Without death there is no life and without life there is no death." Geth can not be killed, any program can be recovered if you know how to therefore the Geth are not alive.

  • Life doesn't hold much relevance to the issue of the Geth being sentient. All life on Earth can live or die but only humans are really considered sentient. Geth are only machines, it's the issue that they are thinking machines that raises the morality debate. Legion states that each Geth records its personal experiences and shares it with the Geth consensus when they connect together. When the Quarians destroyed their mega structure most Geth uploaded to it effectively died. And Tali's ability is hacking, temporarily gaining control, it's also a gameplay mechanic she never actually controls Geth in cutscenes (not that I remember anyway).
  • Saying that only humans have sentience/sapience merely proves your bias. ME lore proves otherwise, explicitly stating that the Geth are AI (or Synthetic Intelligence to use the codex PC term). Just because the Geth have a communal sort of connectivity doesn't preclude them from having self-autonomy (Legion, EDI as examples). As for their ability to network and reach consensus, it is merely a different (and more efficient) form of consensus-building than found in human (or humanoid) governments. Each Geth participates in the concensus and thus "votes." Just because the Geth's form and implementation of life differs from humanoid forms doesn't make them any less autonomous and self-aware, it just makes them different. As far as the "life doesn't hold much relevance" statement, it is very much so, as life (in the sense it is used regarding synthetic or biologic sentience) would by definition serve as the proof of self-awareness. Hence the zygote/embryo/fetus comparison. There is a scene where it is stated that if EDI's programming were loaded into a separate quantum blue box (i.e., the cognizance processors), the outcome would be a totally different sentient being. So inferring from that, we can take it to mean every synthetic intelligence is different: yet another aspect of self-awareness and sentience being a unique "personality." -- Cora

I just thought I'd bring to your attention a recurring error in this discussion. Sentience - ability to perceive. Sapience - ability to reason. As for the Geth, they're sapient, they can think, reason and question. Hence the attempted genocide of their race is morally reprehensible. Fortunately I have yet to have a playthrough where I've had to side with the Geth instead of make peace. 23:25, April 19, 2012 (UTC)

  • An important grammatical and semantic distinction with sapience and sentience, the two are being used rather interchangeably here, mostly meaning "a being that is self-aware and autonomous." Geth thus show both sentience and sapience. And yes, any choice involving their extinction is as equally repugnant as wiping out the Quarians. As for the peace option, are those who don't get it playing with an ME1/ME2 import? Many choices (a good many are optional) in ME3 are dependant on choices made in the first two. -- Cora
    • If you don't play with at least a ME2 import, it's impossible to make peace between the quarians and the geth. Even if you do import, the number of conditions and requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to broker piece are so abundant and finicky (I believe most of them are detailed on the Priority: Rannoch article on this here Wikia) it may well be impossible for a lot of people. This was arguably the ME3 moment where your choices from the previous game(s) had the largest impact.
  • I've played the whole trilogy through, hence I can only sympathise with people who're unable to rescue both. But arguing against the Geth on the base of Sapience, or Sentience for that matter, is a groundless argument, akin to allowing the slaughter of Jews and other "sub-humans" by the Nazis. Quarians don't deserve to be slaughtered for it, but, as always, it's the quarians fault if they die. They are attempting to destroy all the geth, whilst, as always, the geth are defending themselves against their creators. After such a costly war, any machine, and most organics, would deem it too risky to allow the enemies to escape. This is the second time they've been attacked unprovoked by the Quarians, and this time they destroyed a huge number of programs in the dyson sphere, and forced them into a faustian bargain with the Reapers in desperation. 00:06, April 20, 2012 (UTC)
  • I would concur that the Geth/Quarian resolution had much to do with choices made in ME1/2 and for those that made "wrong" choices, there are online sources to import ME1/2 saves (and yet still alter the appearance and even class). For those who feel morally compelled to have the peace option available, this is likely the quickest way to establish the proper "background." Or (as I am doing again) play through ME1 and 2, paying close attention to your choices (Wrex is a big one too).
That said, back to the matter of semantic meanings. The words moral, morality and ethics are tossed around here in various ways. First, let's look at what it is in a formal logical sense: moral- or ethics-based claims are not truth claims (except in cases where a "moral" claim equates (using semantic mathematics) to true. So from a purely "logical" standpoint, it is a formal logical fallacy to argue morals, ethics or morality as truth claims, as they are, in fact, values claims.
This gets us on less firm (true/false) ground as normative/descriptive societal values come into play. It is also important to delineate societal normative moral values from personal ones (that is, our own moral values (compass) can differ from the societal norm). Remember, it is not true/false we are dealing with, but rather a range of values from "no, that isn't good" (0) to "yes, that is good" (100 or whatever upper bound) and then mapped to the number of people within a society that support variations in range values. This range extends to our own personal view of things (.e.g., "rape is bad and ought to be punished", most agree that it is harmful but become more ambivalent when discussing the severity of the punishment part).
Culture plays a huge part in the formation of our own moral compass -- so from the Quarian point of view, they do not see their attempts to eradicate the Geth as being morally wrong. However we -- seeing through the eyes of a human (Shepard) -- are shaped by our our moral value ranges. I would think any rational human would assign a moral value of 100 (using the previous upper bound) to the statement "genocide is evil."
So the difference in these discussions has been how we view the Geth: are they sapient, sentient life? Or are they merely machines who have attained some awareness via self-programming? As an aside, this socio-ethical debate already exists today outside of the game as humans develop adaptive computing (and even on such topics as cloning and genetic modification).
With the ME lore we are given, it is explicitly stated that the Geth are sentient and sapient, capable of autonomous self-determination individually and collectively and are therefore considered a life form (from a logic standpoint, "Geth = sentient/sapient life" evaluates to true as a truth claim). Thus, to argue they aren't is a formal logical fallacy, as the proponents of "Geth are machines" are logically trying to coerce a true value (Geth are a life form) to false (they are machines).
The rest is ... well ... a matter of philosophical moral values. -- Cora
[ps: That this even needs to be discussed serves as further proof of my long-held contention that Logic and Critiical Thinking be required both in high school and college for graduation.]
When I get on the Internet my computer comunicates with a variety of other comuters that I have never seen, it dowloads data from these computers but my computer is not alive. The Geth are mearly carrying out their programing, and if you want to get humanity in on the desision then think of all the humans the Geth have killed.
  • Your argument completely neglects the in-game and codex references that explicitly state that Geth are a life form. Your computer (like the Virtual Intelligences such as Glyph) is not a self-aware and autonomous entity, so to thus equate it to being equivalent to Geth is a both a formal and informal logical fallacy. Further, the assertion "get humanity in on the desision then think of all the humans the Geth have killed" is an informal logical fallacy and actually serves to refute the first assertion. The only humans killed by Geth were killed by heretical Geth under the influence of the Reapers -- they opted for the fast easy solution (oddly similar to human behavior) rather than the long-term development of Geth technology. -- Cora

{C}{C {C}{C {C}Not all humans think only of the fast easy solution. Also heretical Geth are the same as regular Geth their PROGRAMING is only one digit off. My computer my not be selfaware but when downloading data it makes the same disisions as a Geth would, it takes the most effectiant and quickest way to download the data.

  • I didn't say all humans, I said it was a human trait. Saying the heretical Geth are the same as regular Geth is equivalent to saying all humans are alike. Using your logic there would be no difference between the motivations of the Alliance humans or the Cerberus humans. You can argue the point of your computer v, Geth until you're blue in the fingers, restating an invalid logical argument doesn't make it true. I won't even address the informal and formal logical fallacies you introduced with that. ME canon says the Geth are a life form, take it up with BioWare or EA if you disagree, but for logical debate purposes of the OP they are and comparing them to your PC doesn't change that. -- Cora

I've been following this for a couple of days now and there is one thing I have noticed. People who side with the Geth won't change their minds and people who side with the Quarians won't change their minds. I don't see the point in arguing everyone has their opinions and both sides are using proper logic. The people that side with the Geth use the game as proof where the people that side with the Quarians use real world logic and the game as proof.

  • Logical proof is based on truth claims, that is, something is either true or false. So to assert that Geth are a sentient/sapient race evaluates to true, as ME lore (as in-game dialog and the Codex tells us) explicitly states that. The issue of who to exterminate is a values-based argument logically (morals and ethics): to commit genocide on either is equally morally repugnant in most cultures. So in that logical argument, there is no real "proof," people side with one or the other and it reveals quite a bit about their individual moral compasses actually. As I stated before, in the Quarian's culture (and the moral values that stem from it), they do not see themselves as morally wrong for wanting to exterminate the Geth.* -- Cora
  • Views of other cultures may differ; mileage may vary depending on philosophical use.
I would choose the Quarians for two reasons. One is because I like Tali so much, and Kal'Reegar is okay. Tali commits suicide if you let the Quarians die, and I don't want that (a terrible act, but her whole species becomes extinct except for her, and she loses everything she lives for which is as tragic as it can get. She could have gone on living, but please don't have a discussion about the ethics of suicide here...)
The second, and main reason, is THE GETH ARE TRAITORS in Mass Effect 3. In Mass Effect 3, Leigon/Geth VI states that when the Quarians attacked, THE GETH SOUGHT HELP FROM THE REAPERS to defeat the Quarians. That upgrade that once uploaded would make the Geth fully sentient after defeating the Reaper on Rannoch is Reaper Tech.
The Geth sided with the enemy of all galactic life, the killers of trillions of people. Who also would have ended up killing or enslaving all of the Geth eventually. An allegory of the Geth getting help from the Reapers would be joining the Nazis in WW2 to save yourself. The Quarians didn't go to the Reapers for help to get their planet back or fight the Geth.
(As for those who say that the Quarians considering using Reaper tech to fight the Geth, it was only SOME Quarians who CONSIDERED doing this. Unlike the Geth.).
PS, yes I believe the Geth had a right to self-defence, that Han'Gerrel was an uncaring warmonger and Daro'Xen was a cruel bigot, but getting help from the Reapers crossed the line.
PPS, if the Geth gain full sentience AFTER they get the Reaper upgrade installed, then its POSSIBLE that they weren't fully sentient before then.
Both options are wrong. Shepherd should have had the option to enslave them both. There should have been some sort of 'Jabba the Hutt' option where immediately following this you enslave Tali and put her into a metal bikini, compact legion and make him serve drinks (possibly removing any manner of light saber dispensor which may or may not be present) and hook Garus up with some Mandelorian Armor. Just saying... that seems like the best option...
That said. The most moral option is the one that gets you the most. Billions of lives ride upon you getting as much aid as you can. If you fail in getting that aid... you just condemned them to death. So... the moral option is the one that gets you the best results.
In reply to the Geth turning to the Reapers being akin to joining the Nazis in WW2 to save yourself. That is incorrect. The Quarians are more akin to the Nazis in this metaphor, being genocidal aggressors, whereas the Geth are more akin to the Jews, in this metaphor the best fit for the Reapers would be the Soviets, hence it would be equivalent to Jewish freedom fighters aiding Soviets in order to save their own lives and kill the Nazis.
^(12 paragraphs) I am willing to argue the point until as you put "you're blue in the fingers" because I have worked with computers since I was about three. A program can never surpass its programing, it may seem like it is doing better but that is only because you have a low expectation. Also yes you did not say all humans humans take the quickest and easiest route but you said "oddly simlar to human behavior" which implies that the majority if not all of humanity acts that way.
Now to the person above, there were Jews that sided with the Germans during WWII so as to save themselves and their familes buy spying on other Jews and Allied Spies. Also the Russians were just as bad opressing everyone in their country.
It should be pointed out that not all Geth defected to the Reapers, only the so-called heretics, who ultimately paid the price of that defection courtesy of Shepard. The remainder were content to remain low-key and mostly off the grid, tending to their own affairs. -- Cora
has anyone suggested that you instead just save them both? its not hard if you gave patientence, but that just me
The original post's question was IF you couldn't save them both, which would it be morally better to save.

Assuming you couldn't make peace with the Geth and Quarians, which side is it morally better to side with?

There really isn't a "morally better" answer. Committing genocide against either is equally repugnant. But going with the original question, if one had to pick the lesser of two evils --

Those making the case for Quarians:

Most responses that are pro-Quarian list the likeability of Tali and Kal. Beyond that emotional attachment however, most of the argument hinges on portraying the Geth as nothing more than brutal machines. This serves as the moral justification for eradicating them: a moral outlook that fits in with the Quarian's own moral stance regarding the Geth. Unfortunately, those that are pro-Quarian have based their decision on a formal logical fallacy (not to mention a slew of informal ones).

This moral outlook is only defensible (logically-speaking) when ignoring ME lore regarding the Geth as a life form, and the Quarian's own xenophobic actions to eradicate them. Western cultures acknowledge the inalienable inherent right of any people to defend themselves, and aside from the heretical Geth, that is all the mainstream Geth are "guilty" of.

Given that ME lore specifically states that (a) the Geth are a life form and (b) it was the Quarians who initiated genocide, it is easy to ascertain from a purely philosophical moral standpoint, that taking a pro-Quarian stance is the greater of the evils. Defensible, but only barely, the moral values needed to support a pro-Quarian decision fall outside of the normative moral values for most western cultures.

Those making the case for the Geth:

Most pro-Geth stances stated here rely on more ethically well-grounded arguments. First and foremost, the Geth are the victims of the Quarian's persecutions. Aside from the heretical Geth that followed Saren/Sovereign, the Geth have never engaged in offensive actions against the Quarians. That from a human standpoint it is hard for us to understand the Geth as a life form and to totally grasp their networking concensus-building makes it difficult from a humanistic viewpoint to be pro-Geth. Unless we are will to set aside (a somewhat natural) humanoid bias and look at it from a purely philosophically-driven moral standpoint.

Once that natural bias (synthetic life versus biological life) is set aside, it is a fairly straight-forward logical progression (within the bounds of moral normative values in most human cultures) to see and acknowledge that the Geth are the victims and the Quarians are the perpetrators.

Of the two choices, saving the Geth becomes the lesser of the two evils and the choice is far more defensible from a purely philosophical ethical standpoint. But only marginally so.

Ultimately, however, neither solution is morally ideal from either a logical or emotively-driven standpoint -- it is merely the choosing of the lesser of evils. -- Cora

Moarally there is no "good" morality to genocide. But given the choice I would pick the Geth since they were the victim in both cases. As Admiral Koris put it "We drove the Geth straight into the Reapers arms." But honestly there is no "right side" in this choice. Either way you are still wiping out a whole species (which I hate since you need both Legion and Tali alive to make peace with both sides). This acually reminds me of Legion's loya;ty mission with the discussion of rewriting or destroying the Heretics. In my opinion destorying them is the correct choice compaired to basically enslaving them by rewriting them. Yet they still labled destruction renegade and rewriting and enslaving them as paragon. Bioware why do you have to make it so hard to choose?!

For your question earlier Orbital "Since when did the Quarians use Reaper tech?" It was in one of the books that the Captain of the Idenna (or something like that the shaip that Cerberus attacked) was suggesting that if they could take conrol of a Reaper (not getting the "We will get indoctrinated part" of it) they could use it to take control of the Geth. No doubt Admiral Xen approved of it. So ANOTHER suicidal plan that the Quarians came with.

^(14 paragraphs) Not all the ME Codex entries are accurate, that is just what we are told. That is no different than when the council denies the Reaper existance. Also if you assume that the "Heritics" and "True" Geth are not one in the same the "True" Geth were not content with staying off the grid. They made more than one Unit similar to Legion and they also attacked anyone that attempted to enter the Perseus Veil.

All RPG games are based off of personal opinion if you wish to belive every word you are told then that is what your character belives while if you wish to question it then that is what your character does.

You can't say it is genocide against the Geth. If you do then we are committing genocide to CRT monitors, tube televisions, transistor radios and the like. I know with confidence that my phone won't murder me in my sleep. The Geth are just machines and they should be destroyed to return the planet to live beings who can procreate.

The ME universe seems to have a fair number of living machines. Seem to me EDI is alive and says that the Reapers and Geth are also living beings. Are you going to argue that the Catalysis is not a living machine. Furth more Jarvik states that they also where having a conflict with sentient machines before the Reapers showed up. So seems to me everyone should except the Geth as living and make your arguments based on the facts given. That is unless you have written a sentient/ self-aware program and know for sure it is not alive. Just to warn everyone….When the God Machines return to Earth someday. They will find out how far their chemical based computers have strayed from the original programming, then they will mind wipe us and rewrite our wetware.--Havoc 52

As the Geth have claimed the region around the Persius Veil, attacking those who breach is a right of self-defense, no different than any earth-bound nation defending it's sovereign territory and autonomy.

As Havoc points out, the ME universe is filled with examples of synthetic life-forms, the Reapers, the AIs the Protheans fought in the Meta-Con War, all the way down to the Geth. To argue that AIs are therefore merely machines is a formal logical fallacy. While there are Codex entries that are vague or contra to other entries, in-game events and dialog and Codex entries are explicit in establishing the Geth as a sentient/sapient life-form. -- Cora

First off Reapers, though stated as AI, are only Cyborgs on a giant scale. Second off the Catalyst is not sentient it was tasked with finding a way to save organics and from all its data and analyzation picked the Reapers as the best course of action. Then when it was proven wrong it came up with three more options carrying out its programing. The Protheans were probably having this same argument during their time so we only would have Javiks opinion. If you wish to see the Perseus Veil as the Geth's "Country" if someone comes in peacefully you do not attack them, the Geth attacked even when Organics entered peacefully. EDI is not alive because she can rewrite her self which would be the equivalent of one person killing themself and another taking over their body. As for the Codex entries I was not referring to the fact that some are vague I was refering to the fact that it is what any person in their universe could access through the Extranet meaning that we could easily be getting lied to by the Council or Quarians. Legion admits that the Geth are not alive and not true intelligence therefore Legion admits that the Geth are only machines.

A cyborg (cybernetic organism) is a life form. So using the term "only Cyborgs" merely restates the type of AI the Reapers are. From the Wiki (from Codex info): "The extinction events may be part of the Reapers' reproductive cycle, in which all the sentient life in the galaxy is harvested and essentially melted down into techno-organic Reaper shells based on the individual species' physical form..." In this, Reapers differ from the Geth, who have no organic basis. This is underscrored by the human-form Reaper being "grown" at the Collector base at the end of ME2. Insofar as the Codex being "extranet" data, many of the entries are beyond that scope ... but even so, take Wikipedia as an example: entries are submitted, reviewed and revised until they are as accurate as possible; thus the Extranet is as free of individual bias as can be, free of overt control by the Council or by any race's interests. The assertion that EDI can rewrite herself is contra to the quantum blue box dialog (and codex entries) that occur: if EDI's programming were loaded into a new quantum blue box, the resulting personality/synthetic intelligence would not be a clone of EDI. Also, you misrepresent what Legion states about being alive: he refers to it in the context of being alive as an organic being would understand it.

ps in response to "A program can never surpass its programing, it may seem like it is doing better but that is only because you have a low expectation."

Obviously you aren't up to speed on adaptive programming where the base OS is written, but then goes on to learn, essentially writing itself as it builds upon its base. This is not too far removed from how humans learn and develop at a biological level. Humans are already frighteningly close to proto-Geth programming; add to this our advances in switching from silicon-based hardware systems to fiber-optic, crystalline- or protein-based "computers" and we could be having this discussion for real in 25 years or less. Actually, in the case of protein-based systems, it would be more akin to proto-Reaper than proto-Geth.

By the way, a personal computer's closest comparison in the ME milieu would be a Virtual Intelligence, not a synthetic/artificial intelligence.

As far as the "because I have worked with computers since I was about three" claim, I have a masters in aeronautical engineering and can program in more languages than I care to count, including at a binary level. Neither your claim to expertise or mine, by the way, is germane to the fact (as a logical truth claim) that in the ME universe the Geth are synthetic intelligences capable of sapience/sentience. -- Cora

It's both disturbing and amusing to see this page gather so many one-sided and narrow-minded answers in response to a question which itself is wrong on many levels. Props to Cora and others for upholding reason and logic. In response to the anon (or several) who claims that machines can't become sentient synthetic lifeforms: you're trying to retcon Mass Effect by substituting AIs with VIs. It's VIs which are limited by their programming and only follow pre-defined instructions. On the other hand, AIs are systems which are complex enough to self-determinate. Canonically, geth, EDI, and many other entities are AIs, and you're doing yourself no favor by refusing to accept the concept of a sentient and self-determining machine, which is canonic and widespread in the ME universe. Mitranim

So are cyborgs alive? If a Geth integrated an arm on its frame, it would then be a cyborg? Is Shepard and every biotic a cyborgs? If not then what makes them different from a cyborgs, other then the fact they have an organic computer doing their thinking for them?

The Catalyst says it controls the Reapers and they where its solution? No where does it says it was programmed or tasked to find this solution. It was not proven wrong, just that its solution will no longer work, once the Crucible it docked with the Citadel a new solution must be found. With the Crucible it been given additional options, one of which was that organic life has evolved to a state that it could be lifted to the its ultimate evolutionary state (Synthesis), but the organic component had to make the decision, since the organic component is being intergraded into the new DNA form it (Shepard) has to want the out come. Hmmm, I’m going to far astray. If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck , looks like a duck and acts like a duck, it’s a duck. The point being if it can meet the definitions of life then it is alive. If the life can meet the definitions of sentient/ self-awareness then it is, your phone and your computer do not meet these definitions but the Geth can/do. -- Havoc 52

I would side with the geth. Although they were presented as villains in ME1, they are a life form too. Would you call the geth simple robots just because organics believe only they have souls? While organics say "soul", they actually talk about consciousness. Soul and consciousness are actually presented as familiar/almost the same, aren't they? Because if it's about consciousness, then geth have consciousness/souls too. Given that they were created then opressed by the quarians, they had a very rough start and attacked the quarians in self-defense and preservation of their species. You can see that they didn't commit violence if not necessary, they spared the remaining quarians and let them use the relay to run away. Because the geth isolated themselves due to no contact needed with the organics, the other species made them look like dangerous AI-s that only seek destruction of other species. (remind you of anything?) Then, in the events of ME3, the quarians attempt to destroy the geth, launch a war, (genocide, AGAIN) and they endanger their civilians out of desperation, while they got themselves into the nomad position by trying to exterminate a sentient species because they were afraid that the geth questioned their existence. TL:DR I'd side with the geth, but only if there was no choice for peace. As a whole species, they were less hostile towards the others, and only attacked when they wanted to survive. They didn't exterminate the quarians when they could, while the quarians tried to commit genocide upon the geth, TWICE. The geth heretics are an exception on violence/genocide, as they were a minority of the geth. Luckily, there is the choice of peace, so avoiding genocide is possible.

This statement caught my eye: All RPG games are based off of personal opinion if you wish to belive every word you are told then that is what your character belives while if you wish to question it then that is what your character does.

To paraphrase an old flight instructor I know (and make the quote suitable to a public forum): Opinions are like rectums, everyone has one; some are just less odorous than others.

Joking aside, our opinions should be formed based on a sound logical basis. Being emotive beings, there are times that reason gets over-ruled (sometimes a lot more than we'd care to admit). As far as "opinion" goes, there are three major types: a measured opinion, where we try to balance all the factors of an issue outside of our areas of expertise and using the strictures of logic and critical thinking to arrive at an evaluation on the topic (i.e., reasoned opinion); secondly, are topical areas that fall within our craft, trade or learning and we form a professional opinion (or more precisely, a professional judgment); lastly are opinions held without using the framework of logic and critical thinking, that fall outside our areas of expertise, and are generally formed from an unreasoned, emotive premise.

In the case of "if you wish to believe every word you are told then that is what your character believes," The lore we are given we weigh against our in-game experiences, some are vague (intentionally, e.g., Reapers), some seem to be contra to others. That is where we use reason and logical analysis (yes, even in game) to weigh and judge what we are given.

So yes, each player of the ME series will have their own "opinions" on certain aspects (as the responses to this post show!), and -- of course -- that is their right as autonomous beings. So it isn't that people don't have their opinions, merely that some should wipe more thoroughly. I will again contend, based on many of the responses here, that Logic and Critical Thinking be required for graduation from high school and college. -- Cora

I am using every slab of logic mixed with my critical thinking when I form my arguments. Cyborgs have to have a Organic brain to be considered such. Also I can go in and alter any wiki article I like and make it as false as possible. Also even if you want to argue about Legion stating that it is not alive it still says that it is not a true intelligance. Let me put it this way you have to pick between a dog and a human which would you pick, both are sentiant and both are alive, both have souls the difference is intellegance.

  • Yes, you can edit any Wiki article. However that edit is reviewable, and if spurious, restored. The Wiki entries that are based on the Codex are canonical, with independent entries for many of them. Reapers, for example -- there is a general page and the Codex-based page, and users are asked to only edit the non-canonical page.
  • Insofar as a cyborg is concerned, by definition it is a cybernetic organism. However that it has to have an organic brain is not a prerequsite, though that is the normative concensus.
  • Legion is an intelligence -- however it is not a sapience/sentience that humans (or humanoids) readily identify with. I get your logical argument -- you attempt to de-personalize Legion (and Geth in general) and portraying them as so alien that they don't classify as a life-form, so that committing genocide on the Geth then becomes "morally right." (Which is pretty much the Quarian point of view.) Sorry, from a pure (semantically pure) philsophical morals standpoint, that is a fail.
  • Re the question of saving a human or a dog ... it would depend on the human and the dog. Were it any of my three dogs versus some random person I don't know, I'd venture to say that my emotional connection to my dogs would save them the vast majority of times. However in the manner in which the human/dog analogy was intended, you fail -- as that comparison would posit that in a Geth/humanoid comparison the Quarians would be the "humans" and the Geth would be the "dogs." This is a formal logical fallacy. However, even allowing that fallacy, dogs have protectionary rights against cruelty (SPCA is one watchdog agency), against abuse (does the Michael Vick dog-fighting case ring a bell?) or, in the case of a pet, your neighbor coming over and killing merely for being a dog because they hate dogs (they can be fined or even jailed for such extreme mal-treatment) -- in other words, in each of these cases, it is morally and legally wrong. -- Cora

As history has shown in religious text and fiction books do the Quarians not have a right to destroy their creations.

First, the Quarians do not fit the defiinition of an omnipotent, omni-present or -prescient being (divine or otherwise). They are more akin to Dr. Frankenstein than God/Allah/Whoever. Further, the Quarians did not embue their creation with free will. Pre-sentience/sapience, the Quarians had the right to discard a machine, but once the Geth reached the point of self-awareness, the Quarians had no right to terminate a sentient/sapient life form (biblically, historically or otherwise). -- Cora

According to that logic, since we as humans are sentient, God/Allah/whoever has no right to kill us. Also Legion admited that it was not an true intellignace when attempting to upload the Reaper code. Another thing my dog analogy was supposed to be taken in the sense, for example, a bear is attacking the two and you have to pick one to save and not the other. Lastly lets put it in a military point of veiw. There are four countries A, B, C and D. A is at war with D. B never attacked A. C claims that their people that attacked A were extremist. The supposed extremist from C were sided with country D. B went to war with C because of a long feud that regards race. A needs allies to fight D. An Spec Ops squad goes in and ends up descovering C is sided with D and then are faced with a question. Allow C to upgrade thier equipment and destroy B or not let them upgrade and B will destroy C. Using this logic the only possible desison that would provide a secure future is to side with B because they have never attacked you and C has/had sided with D which A is at war with.

So C is driven to D, because B has prejudiced A against C from the start. Furth more C has proven it would prefer to side with A, if B would stop it’s attacks on it and it can be argued that B had promised A not to attack C but has broken that promise so can not be trusted. B has actually worked against the best interest of A by attacking C. I guess A must commit suicide because part of its population also sided with D and so can’t even trust itself.

As I remember Legion is inferring that it/he was not an individual so not a true intelligence. Not that the Geth collective is not a true intelligence (but I could be remembering wrong). The Geth had been building a storehouse to store all Geth, by attacking/destroying this construction the Quarians where in effect attempting genocide. After the destruction of the storehouse, killing off enough platforms would drop the Geth below the threshold needed for it to remain sentient/sapient, again attempting genocide. Even with the Reaper upgrade the collective mind still exists, it just those platforms now think of themselves as individuals. Havoc 52

You are arguing the B promised A not to attack C but that is only one lie, every side lies at some point, it is C that has lied more times. Even though part of A's population joined D they are at war with that group where it is never seen C fighting their extremist group.

This turns it into two different moral questions if you want. The one stated in the tital and Wich side is best to side with to save more lives. Geth may have better war assets, dependng on desisions you make, you also do not know if they are telling the truth, you have been attacked by them several times and have no clue what their post war plans are. The Quarians on the other hand have lied to you once and want to rebuild their homeland.

Also for this part don't think of yourself in the all knowing sense of "I have played the game so I know." When standing there having to make the desision if you side with the Geth you have no clue if your other allies will turn on you. Every side has fought the Geth while no side has fought the Quarians. Therefore even if you assume that you are right about the sentiance of the Geth the only side you could side with in the long run would be the Quarians.

Also Legion says that the Reaper code would make it a true intellegance, this infers that it is currently not a true intelligence. It also says the the Reaper code would make it alive, this infers that it is currently not allive.

One more thing Genocide should be switched to Xenocide through out this entire document, because genocide is the destruction of an entire nationality, race or political group while Xenocide is the destruction of an entire species.

Ok, if you want, Xenocide instead of genocide.

Sorry, but I have never lied to any of my allies, in all my play thrus. My paragon it’s a matter of his honor, my renegade it’s because she wants to have as much power as possible and an unnecessary lie might jeopardize that.

Hmmm, I’ll try this again. When Legion makes that statement he is referring to the platform that is in front of Shepard, not the Geth consensus. The platform itself is not intelligent or alive. After the Reaper code upgrades, I will take his word for the fact that the platform would be intelligent and alive. Think of the war as a case of Alzheimer’s, slowly but surely you are losing pieces of your mind, finally you lose yourself completely, this is the nature of the xenocide that the Quairians are trying to inflict on the original Geth.

It was not by knowing how it will turn out, but by trying to be a peacemaker that the Geth get the benefit of the doubt. Of course if you are a warmonger then it won’t matter, just choose the side you like the best or that give you the most war assets.

Ok, Shepard is the one making the decision. So it is his experiences that it all rides on. Tali and Legion are his main sources of reference, but both have proven to be loyal and trusted companions. Now he must weigh his other experiences with each group. The first lie was that the Geth where homicidal robots bent on the destruction of all organic life, then not only did the Quarian break their word about not attacking the Geth but they also nearly killed Shepard and Tali on the Geth dreadnought and did not withdraw when they had the chance. The Admirals had to be shamed into not exiling Tali on the trumped up charges, if you wanted to keep Tali loyal. He has never been lied to by the Geth (or at least hasn’t in any play thru that I have had), EVERY time there hasn’t been a Reaper influence, or it’s been removed from the Geth, they have been peaceful and helpful (ME2- aboard the Reaper derelict, aboard the Normandy and ME3 – the Primes in the Geth server). EVERY time path of peace has been offered to the Quarians they have refused it, even when suggested by one of their own Admirals. When confront by the records from the Geth server the Quarians don’t deny that they are not true, indeed they cop the attitude that it just doesn’t matter. Finally when given a chance at peace once again the Quarians won’t stop their xenocidal war. Legion only goes hostile when Shedard makes it clear he also wants the Geth xenocide. Havoc 52

I can't believe the amount of support for the geth over the quarians. The geth are not so morally superior to the quarians as you think. Ignoring the argument that organics have more right to life than synthetics, and ignoring the argument that the geth are innocent and didn't start the war either time, you are all forgetting one very crucial thing; they chose to side with the Reapers. I'm not talking about the heretic geth, I'm talking about the true geth. When the quarians attacked, the Reapers came to the geth and offered them a choice; submit to indoctrination (or the machine equivilant) or die. The geth, thinking in consensus, which means ALL the geth agreed, they chose the Reapers help because to the geth, self-preservation is all that matters. They would even sacrifice free will rather than die. None of the other races would ever consider choosing siding with the Reapers. They would rather die than submit their whole race to indoctrination. The geth may be 'alive', but there is more to life than just survival. Legion also stated that the reason the true geth did not join Sovereign is they wish to attain their own future rather than it be given to them through the Reapers, yet then Legion turns around and uses reaper code (the same as the heretics accepting Sovereign's gifts) to upgrade themselves to full AI status. So how exactly are the true geth any better than the heretic ones? They might have been innocent before, but once they sided with the Reapers they crossed the line. The heretics sided with the Reapers and they were punished for it. The true geth sided with the Reapers and should be punished as well. Even when the geth choose to help you in the war, it is only because it benefits them as well, now that the quarians are no longer a threat. Even in the peace option, the geth would be willing to go back to serving the quarians, just as they served the Reapers. All that matters to them is continuing to exist. Other than that, they couldn't care less what happens to them. The geth don't ever say they want equality, just to be allowed to live.

Not only that, but the geth are stupid as hell. Legion has already said they don't need Rannoch and that the geth are content to live on space stations and mine asteroids for resources. When the quarians attacked, the geth could have packed up and left the system. The quarians would have their world again, and being too focused on rebuilding their home and aiding in the war would not pursue the geth, leaving the geth to continue living in isolation and aid in the war if they choose. Also, the geth should have known that once they defeated the quarians, the Reapers would not simply let them go. The Reapers would continue using them to fight the other races, then destroy them when they are no longer useful. Bottom line, if peace was not an option (which i do prefer) and I had to choose, I'd side with the quarians. The quarians leaders may be stupid in certain regards, but the whole race isn't. The geth sided with the Reapers to save their own asses. They are traitors. 01:22, April 23, 2012 (UTC)

^(Up two paragraphs) Legion never refers to the platform in front of shepard as what it is talking about so it can easily be infered that it is refering to the Geth as a whole. You are also assuming that everyone told the Quarians to not fight the Geth but that is not the case in my runthrough in which I encouraged them to fight the Geth. Also in my playthroughs Legion has lied to me several times.

The Geth only ask for peace once the reapers are removed but yet they keep coming back and siding with the reapers. The only side I would pick would be the one that gives me the most War Assets and a secure future which would be the Quarians, in my playthroughs.

Thank you, for opening my eyes, I am going back and changing my decision.

{C}{C {C}Legion first shows a single Geth unit, and then shows 10 Geth units, lastly it shows 1 Reaper upgraded unit. Legion is a single unit not the Geth consensus. Legion never shows or infers that the Geth consensus is not intelligent or alive. As I remember from ME2 a typical Geth unit has about 300 - 600 programs on it. It is the Consensus not single Geth unit that is sentient/sapient, with Reaper upgrades each unit would be sentient/sapient. Legion shows embarrassment when it admits to Shepard that it is using Reaper upgrades, and admits that the Geth caved on the “We will find our own future.” Sounds to me like they are becoming more like organics the longer they are around us. So I guess Shepard should not have saved the Rachni queen or cured the Genophage, because both Rachni and Korgan had been at war with the Council in the past. The Quarians destroyed the mega structure the Geth were building to house all Geth, killing enough Geth to force them into survival mode and driving them to the Reapers. They were not given an option to pack up and leave; they were just attacked and killed. Talking about dumb as rock, the Quarians could have found a world 300 years ago and colonized it before their immune systems collapsed. From there they probably could have build up enough strength to take back their home world. Before the Reaper up grades I would say the Geth were acting strictly in survival mode, but after the upgrades I would argue they have changed. Other wise they would just pack up and leave for deep space rather then risk the ire of the Reapers, if not so what every race is now working in survival mode.

If the Reapers defeat Shepard and the fleets, how do you know that some of the races won’t surrender for a better deal with the Reapers? In Arrival Harvester state that our leaders will beg them to be taken.

Finally in the peace solution the Geth still have the power to destroy every Quarians if they wished, they all have Reaper upgrade code, the Quarians are saved by surrendering. The Geth choose to help the Quarian, not be their slaves or servants. Further more if you get the peace solution Tali admits the Quarians where wrong for wanting to wipe out the Geth. As I have stated if you approach from a peace maker’s point of view and try to be fair, the Geth seem to be the morally superior choice, not that the Geth are morally superior or that the Quarians deserve to die and not that xenocide is ever a moral choice. Havoc 52

Legion does infer that the Geth are not intelligent or alive when he says "each Geth unit WOULD BE a true intilligence. We WOULD BE allive." the words would be implies that they are currently not allive. It was also the Geth cansensus that decided to side with the Geth. The Quarians tried to find another world to colonize but their immune systems were already weak because the pathogens on their homeworld were not as strong as the pathogens on the other planets. If the Reapers defeat Shepard and the fleets it is inevitable that some of the Goverments will surrender to them. If you think of it from a tacticians point of view, the way I think of everything, the only side to pick is the Quarians because you would risk the other Organics fearing that you might turn on them because you turned on the Quarians who you were already allied with. Like I said don't think of it from a "I have played and know" point of view and it should be thought of from a tacticians point of view.

^When Legion says that "each geth unit would be a true intelligence" with the help of the Reaper code, he's referring to a single geth runtime. We know from ME2 that individual geth runtimes are not much more intelligent than a normal VI. The geth are networked intelligences, which means that their cognitive ability only develops when multiple units work in tandem. But once that happens, the geth are certainly intelligent, they are certainly sentient, and so they are certainly alive. To summarize: a single geth unit may not be a sentient being, and so it may be argued that it is not truly "alive", as such. Or if it is, its condition as a living organism may be considered analogous to that of, say, a cell. But a geth collective (such as the geth as a whole, or the 1,183 geth units that operate within Legion's platform) is certainly sentient, and so it is certainly alive.

As far as the argument that siding with the quarians is the correct thing to do from "a tactician's point of view", that's all well and good, but that is not what the original question was asking. The question is which side it is morally right to side with. It's a discussion of ethics and principles, not war strategy.

Well it's interesting to see that this is somehow still a discussion about morals and ethics considering how much the people siding with the geth are bashing the quarians for what some believe or what some did. It has already been stated that not all the quarians wanted to go to war and thought peace might be better. Those people would be Tali, Zal'Koris, and the entire civilian fleet. However, they pretty much had to go along with the attack when they were outvoted by Shala'Raan, Han'Gerral, and Daro'Xen, and I'm sure people in the heavy and patrol fleet wanted to fight as well. So why is it you think the quarians deserve death over the geth? Why is it you are vilifiying and condemning and entire race based on the actions of SOME, not ALL, of its people? Frankly, that is racist, which is immoral. Saying all quarians are warmongers is like saying all batarians are terrorists. Meanwhile, the geth ALL chose to side with the Reapers, which is inexcussable. They knew they'd become slaves with no free will and they didn't care, because as I said before, all they do care about is existing and there is more to life than just survival. There are certain things the others races simply won't do, even when faced with annihilation because those actions would be immoral and disgusting to them, throwing away their 'humanity' as it were. The geth however don't make choices based on ethics. So not only are alot of you choosing to side with the geth not based on morals, but because you like the geth more, you're siding with a race that doesn't have morals themselves. 22:53, April 23, 2012 (UTC)

^(Two paragraphs up) Legion never states that he is refering to a single runtime and therfore can clearly be seen that the Geth are not truly intelligent, they are only machines, they are not alive. A tactician has to look to the future not just the presant. A tactician has to save as many lives as possible while still completeing their mission. The threat of the Geth in the future is greater than the threat of the Quarians because you can predict the Quarian movements and actions where as the Geth movements and actions cannot be predicted as well as the Quarians. A true tactician will pick the Quarians because, even if the Geth are alive, you do not risk losing other assets and have a higher chance of saving more lives in the future. You cannot just look at the current moral picture you have to look to the future moral picture as well to see which is morally correct.

The Geth would be the moral choice. Many are saying that you can't codemn the Quarians for something their ancestors did. But what have they done to rectify the mistake? They continued on with the war to get home when all they had to do is admit they were in the wrong. They tried to build slaves and when things did work out and they couldn't control the Geth, they tried to destroy them. The Geth only attacked in self defense, then let the Quarians go because they were no longer a threat. When the Geth were being attacked by the Quarians and the Reapers showed up, they did the logic thing to survive, especially since they arent organic so they didnt have to worry about that end. Even after they were released they still wanted peace, just wanted to be a free individual people. -Kokuyoku-

If your microwave started to attack you would you also try to destroy it. Thats all the Geth are, machines ment to make Quarian lives easier, when they rebeled the Quarians had every right to go to war.

Wow, your understanding of the Morning War is as bad as your understanding of the Geth. The quarians attacked -first-, they attempted a cold shutdown on what was, by that time, a lifeform. That's akin to purposefully hunting a species to extinction, because your worries about what it might do. The Geth fought a long campaign against more and more genocidal opponents and then -let them get away- because they didn't want to wipe out their creators. 16:20, April 24, 2012 (UTC)

No, I understand the Morning War just fine. The Geth are just machines and are not a lifeform. It is similar to Tron in how the MCP (Tron), Abraxas (Tron: Evolution) or CLU (Tron: Legacy) attempt to eliminate the protagonist. They are still just programs doing what they were programed they just apear sentiant which is the same with the Geth. A program can never surpase what it was programed to do, just because many programs work together to create a facade of sentiance does not make them a lifeform. Also the Geth have sided with the Reapers more once, not just the Heritics, which means that the Geth cannot be trusted because they sided with the primary enemy to all life in the galaxy. The Quarians have every right to destroy the Geth.

Having been away from this thread for a few days, I read through it again and these items caught my eye.

According to that logic, since we as humans are sentient, God/Allah/whoever has no right to kill us.

Logically, the assertion is a formal fallacy, as it presumes that our moral/ethical philosophies extend to omniscent beings whose nature we do not fully know... Except perhaps in the context of a given theology; and even in that regard -- using Christianity as an example -- much of what we are given in Scripture (both the old covenant and new) are divine "mysteries," that is, we don't know what it means in a divine sense Thus your asserion has no logical basis.

The Geth only ask for peace once the reapers are removed but yet they keep coming back and siding with the reapers. The only side I would pick would be the one that gives me the most War Assets and a secure future which would be the Quarians...

First, prior to the Reaper invasion, the Geth were peaceful (there had been no incident with the Quarians for 300 years). Second, only a minority of Geth left the mainstream to join Saren/Sovereign; the mainstream Geth regarded them as heretics. Lastly, the Geth were driven to the Reapers the second time out of desperation -- the Quarians were hell-bent on their destruction and that was the only Consensus (in the Geth view) that gave them a chance to survive. Survival is a sentient/sapient right in almost all human cultures, particualrly in the West.

The "I would pick would be the one that gives me the most War Assets" part is very revealing of the poster's moral compass; that is, it implicitly says "Genocide is okay as long as I get what I need." While pragmatic, it isn't in a semantic sense based on morals.

Legion never shows or infers that the Geth consensus is not intelligent or alive.

Further, Legion is a prime example of evolution -- from a Geth standpoint; he is fully autonomous. There is nothing to suggest that, if the need arose, other Legion-like Geth platforms couldn't be formed from the Concensus. As a sidenote, Legion dies in order to upload the revised Reaper code, sacrificing his self-autonomy and awareness for the greater good. (Which is in many regards a foreshadowing of the choice Shepard must later make.)

It has already been stated that not all the quarians wanted to go to war and thought peace might be better ... Why is it you are vilifiying and condemning and entire race based on the actions of SOME, not ALL, of its people?

I certainly didn't villify the Quarians, merely pointed out what made their point of view morally wrong. The Quarians' own actions have brought matters to this point -- had they not persecuted the Geth in the beginning, but rather encompassed the emerging sentient/sapient synthetic race into the fold, the decision point in-game would not exist. Yes, not all Quarians agree with the majority of Admirals; as I stated before, by not holding a Conclave and removing the war-mongering Admirals (we know this is possible from some of Tali's dialog prior to and during Treason trial), they are complicit in wanting to exterminate the Geth. (Again, this is also a foreshadowing of one of Shepard's choices at the end.)

No, I understand the Morning War just fine. The Geth are just machines and are not a lifeform.

The second sentence refutes the first, logically speaking. If you understand the Morning War, then you would know that the Geth are a life form. And no, comparing the Geth to games like Tron, etc. is not valid, as the milieux and histories are not similar. Codex canon defines the Geth as a life form -- this is not subjective, in logic terms, this is a truth (i.e., Geth are life forms == true). You aren't a Quarian, by chance? It would certainly explain your assertions.

The Quarians have every right to destroy the Geth.

Following the semantics of philosophical morality and logic (removing any synthetic/biological life bias), no they do not, as has been spelled out in detail above. -- Cora


Look, just pick one, but in mine I re loaded to try both, if you pick the geth hey help you and are quite powerful, but BEWARE, if Tali is one of your fave characters, like me... pick the quarian option or she commits suicide! Also th quarian race vanishes! (that's what happened with me!) :)

  • Or you could be the catalyst for brokering a peace between the two. This is the optimal solution -- not only because it feels good (as it is the morally right choice), but because you get war assets from both the Geth and the Quarians. -- Cora

Ok, these cell phone, computer, microwave comparison are driving me crazy. Let see if I can put this in term that everyone will get.

We are all playing a video game called Mass Effect 3, it is a virtual world, we interface with this world using various platforms ( PC, Xbox…ect.) and these platform use hardware and software to manipulate the virtual world. We are represented by an avatar (Shepard) in this virtual world. The avatar is not intelligent or alive. There is no doubt the each individual, playing the game, is sentient/sapient (ok, in some individual cases there may be a doubt .) :) Now lets say that someone hacked the game and every time your Shepard is killed you become just a little bit less intelligent and alive, not Shepard but you personally.

Now follow with me, here is the tricky part. In-game the Geth Consensus lives in a virtual world, they interface with the real world thru various platforms (Legion, Primes….ect.). These platforms use software and hardware to manipulate the real world. These platforms are also avatars for the Geth Consensus. Every time someone destroys one these avatars, the Geth Consensus loses a little bit of intelligence and life.

The Geth Consensus is no more the platform, then you are Shepard. Havoc 52

Ps… in the ME world I guess the a Geth could be a cell phone, computer or microwave. The fact that none of these are attacking people just prove how peaceful the Geth really are. :) Havoc 52

How is it that people keep saying the geth weren't alive when you decided their fate,or that they joined the reapers freely? Legion/Geth VI states itself that the geth lost many programs/ points of view, so their diminished intelligence made them go survival mode and join the reapers. Also, the geth, while multiple VIs, are not individually sentient, are more alike to us than you quarian-lovers think. They are made up of programs, we are made up of ideas/urges/experiances. Our thoughts are from synapses in our brain cells, robots are 101010. However, the geth were made by quarians, so different programming, and have demonstrated multiple times they are sentient. As for geth reprogramming and switching bodies, we change our mind too, get indoctrinated, and their way of copying into a different body but having a different personality, like a human clone with memories of the original flashed into it's brain. Geth can be reprogrammed, we an change our mind.Sure, we have different hardware to support out thoughts, but when you get down to it, the geth are alive, even if they aren't as individuals or in the same sense as we are.

Think about it this way: we are a collection of urges/emotions/adaptability/instincts. Can't those be considered programs? A geth unit could be get confused or not reach consensus, we can be unsure of ourselves or our decisions. Remember, the geth simply add and combine the VIs to make a living individual, similar to a human, or in this case, quarian.

Once again Legion infers that the Geth are not alive or a true intelligance, it is in the dialogue right before you have to make the desision. Your thought of when an avatar dies and you lose intelligance just goes to prove that the Geth are not alive because that does not happen to living creatures. Also just because the histories between Tron and the Geth are not the same does not mean that the same concept can not be taken into effect. Both are just made up of Programs, both ask a question, both attempt to kill their creators, one deffinatly gets destroyed the other we get to choose. Also being reprogramed is not the same as changing your mind. We also only have a single Geth unit that talks about the "Heritics" therefore that would be like listening to only one person and beliving them. We have no hard proof other than what Legion says about the "True" and "Heritic" Geth and Legion has already proved that it can lie. The Quarians built the Geth and therefore using a religious context are the Quarians are the gods/godesses of the Geth and therfore have every right to destroy the Geth. Picking based off of what gives you the most war assets is a moral choice because you are in the middle of a war that the fate of the galaxy hinges on. You have to pick what will be the most helpfull in the final battle, it is the only moraly right choice.

P.S. You don't know that I am not some alien that has faced this argument in my own society, there is plenty of evidence that aliens visited earth. So maby my society did decide to destroy our robots because we used common since and logic to discover that they are not alive. - Shas'O Kais Kauyon Mont'ka

The Geth are made in factories. The Quarians are made in other Quarians. No question, if has to be wiped out, it should be the Geth. Rannoch has been stated multiple times to be relatively intact, courtesy of Geth housekeeping. Plus, the estimates on planetbound Geth units ranged into the billions, so clearly the infrastructure to build more Geth is well-established. Sure, the Reaper code that gave the Geth individuality would be lost - probably forever. But Legion's lack of self-identity didn't stop it/him from being equal parts lovable and kickass in ME2.

Ideal solution: wipe out the Geth, rebuild them according to Legion's design - 1000+ programs/platform. Limit or remove their peer-networking abilities. Effective result: practically-individual AIs, with one non-transferrable collective intelligence per platform. The production cost and time per Geth would probably be exponentially higher, limiting their numbers for a while, but it'd be worth it.

The Geth have already proven themselves remarkably docile, willing to work peacefully with anybody not actively shooting at them. I see no reason to believe that the 'resurrected' Geth would hold a grudge for their predecessors' demise, especially since rebuilding them in the first place would be a major gesture of trust in itself. I honestly see little that could possibly go wrong. Though, just in case, it might be build in a kill-switch to their motors and/or sensors - no need for a literal hardware kill-switch, paralysing or blinding them would probably be enough to stop an emergency from escalating.

TL;DR: Wipe out the Geth. The Quarians can easily rebuild them, and even improve the design this time around, according to Legion's example. The Geth have proven themselves docile, the Quarians have been shown the mistakes they made the first time around. No worries.

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