9

While humans are selfish and profit-oriented, they occasionally do things that lead to losses out of love for children, for the spouse, for parents, for family and even for the country.

It is hard to imagine Ferengis sacrificing profit. They look like a highly irritating species. Are there episodes, if any, in Star Trek that show Ferengis behaving like humans in this aspect? I would like to watch it.

  • 2
    I'd be surprised if there wasn't some exception, given that the Ferengi population is likely in the billions (perhaps trillions). An exception will almost always be found. Heck, there was even a member of the Q who desired to become an enfeebled mortal (for some bizarre reason). Now, whether such a Ferengi (besides Nog, who has already been mentioned) has been shown in canon is doubtful. – Ham Sandwich Dec 16 '16 at 4:39
  • It also depends on how you define profit. I don't know much about Ferengi marriage customs, but the women are not (originally) able to work outside the home and acquire financial gain. So there must be value in getting married outside of monetary profit. – miltonaut Dec 16 '16 at 4:53
  • 2
    In every interaction between Rom and Nog it's clearly shown that Rom loves his son unconditionally. In the alternate universe episodes both Quark and Rom support the Terran rebellion for moral reasons. In The Magnificent Ferengi there is a Ferengi psychopath who just wants to murder people. Quark has an episode where he falls in love. Even in The Next Generation there's a Ferengi who wants to kill Picard out of revenge (I think Picard was responsible for his son's death), not for profit. Almost every Ferengi episode shows a non-typical Ferengi. – user45485 Dec 16 '16 at 14:40
16

The DS9 episode Profit and Loss basically features Quark making one bad business decision after another as he tries to rekindle his relationship with Natima, a Cardassian who was stationed on DS9 during the Occupation.

  • We learn that Quark sold food and medical supplies to the dying Bajorans on the station. In DS9: Body Parts we learn that he sold it at nearly no profit to himself(!)

NATIMA: I admired your courage. It was a brave thing you were doing selling food to the Bajorans. I thought you were a man of honour.

  • Quark offers to give up his bar for her at a moment's notice

NATIMA: What about the bar?

QUARK: I don't care about the bar. I'll turn it over to Rom. He'll run it into the ground in a month, but it doesn't matter. I have to be with you.

  • He ends up giving her his cloaking device, despite there being zero profit in it.

QUARK: Exactly how much latinum are we talking about? No, forget I said that. I don't want your money. Consider the cloaking device a gift.

REKELEN: I'm surprised. Ferengis aren't known for their generosity.

  • good answers, Quark matures as a character throughout the series, this could become a list question soon ;) – NKCampbell Dec 16 '16 at 18:52
17

Quark's nephew Nog joined the Starfleet in clear defiance of stereotypical Ferengi values. In fact, his character throughout the series is rather counter to what one may usually expect of a Ferengi.

Conversation from Deep Space Nine: Heart of Stone

Nog: I want to join Starfleet. I want it more than anything I've ever wanted in my life!

Commander Sisko: You're a Ferengi. Why would you want to be in Starfleet? Where's the profit in it?

Nog: I don't care about profit!

Commander Sisko: Then what do you care about? Come on, Nog, tell me! Why is it so damned important that you get into Starfleet? Why're you doing this?

Nog: Because I don't want to end up like my father!

Commander Sisko: Your... father?

Nog: That's right, my father. He's been chasing profit his whole life. And what has it gotten him? Nothing! And you know why? Because he doesn't have the lobes. And neither do I.

  • So...does this imply a "sour grapes" attitude? – Spencer Dec 16 '16 at 14:23
  • 1
    @Spencer Probably not. He seems fairly self-aware here. – Misha R Dec 16 '16 at 14:30
6

Reyga was a Ferengi scientist who, in the TNG episode Suspicions, invented a metaphasic shield technique that allowed a starship to enter a star's corona.

In order for his work to become recognised by the scientific community (this is explicit in the episode), this Ferengi had to overcome the negative prejudice that other species had regarding Ferengi selfishness, which is exactly the sentiment in your question. Of course, also with a little help from Dr. Crusher.

  • I don't see an example of a sentimental action taken at a loss in this answer. – DCShannon Jan 12 '17 at 0:40
  • I disagree. On Earth in the 21st century, when a scientist presents his/her work to the scientific community without filing a patent, they abandon commerical rights to it. Before the episode 'Suspicions', Reyga was at the Altine Conference. At a minimum, regardless of the 24th century patent law situation, Reyga would have in fact given away his ideas by participating in the conference as a scientist. He would not be able to profit from his invention as others would be able to build it. – rnoodle Jan 16 '17 at 0:07
  • I am convinced that due to Federation technological socialism, patent law would not exist. And, in addition to his un-quenched scientific pursuit of knowledge, he paid the ultimate price (loss). His invention was ground breaking. – rnoodle Jan 16 '17 at 0:09
  • If there's any evidence that presenting this finding somehow prevented profit on the discovery, then that should be added to the answer. As it is, it's not even implied. – DCShannon Jan 17 '17 at 19:41
  • I'm going on existing patent law in the 21st century i.e. if you do not patent your invention before disseminating it into the public domain, then you no longer have patent rights. Reyga wouldn't have patented it because there is no such concept of patent law in the federation - it is a utopian socialism. But if you keep something secret, then you can use it. In Descent pt. II, the Enterprise already had its shields modified by this tech - i.e. it was public domain, even if patent law existed. Thus Reyga was selfless. – rnoodle Jan 23 '17 at 17:32
2

In the TNG episode "The Battle", a Ferengi by the name of DaiMon Bok gives Picard the USS Stargazer for free (despite objections by Bok's first officer). We later learn that Bok's motivations for doing so were personal and not at all about profit. Bok returns in the episode "Bloodlines" and behaves in a similar fashion.

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