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If a Q or the entire Q Continuum, decided to destroy the Universe, would they be able to?

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    Not an answer, but in the book I, Q the Q certainly don't try to stop the end of the Universe. In fact, their response is to hold a party! Jun 25 '19 at 9:27
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    This is a fascinating subject - but you're asking more than 1 question here. "what are the limits to their power?" is a little vague and open-ended, you should probably just remove that. and "can 1 Q destroy the universe?" is a very different question from "can all the Q destroy the universe?". could you pick one? or post them as separate questions?
    – LevenTrek
    Jun 25 '19 at 9:52
  • I'm having troubles not VTCing as opinion based. The question can be obviously reworded so to not being opinion based, but as it is now it's mainly the incipit of a discussion.
    – motoDrizzt
    Jun 25 '19 at 14:04
  • In the EU novel QandA, we learn that the universe's existence is entirely dependent on a single planet remaining untouched. Q could snap his fingers and destroy it in an instant, indirectly resulting in the destruction of the entire universe "“But what is this place? What is Gorsach IX?” “Weren’t you listening?” Q snapped. “It’s a construct that holds back entropy, that keeps the universe from collapsing in on itself.”
    – Valorum
    Apr 24 at 17:42
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It depends...

The universe is - per defintion - all of spacetime and everything within that. However in Star Trek, there seem to be things beyond spacetime itself. So the question is if the definition of universe had to be expanded is left open as far as I know.

Qs per se can exisit out of time. This is seen in "All good things..." (TNG S07E25/26). Here, Q more or less tricked Picard in several points of time to create anti-time which - if letting it come to conclusion - would annihilate with time an as thus spacetime itself. (Nonsense from our physics point of view, but in ST-verse the accepted theory and confirmed by Q as a paradox that can exist.)

So even Federation technology is capable of annihilating the universe and Qs are clearly beyond that.

However Qs do have limits as that Qs have been imprisoned by other Qs like Quinn. They can be made into any species and stripped of their powers by other Qs. They can be killed by other Qs like Amanda Rogers parents and they can be harmed by humans that have been enabled to enter the Q continuum and equipped with Q "weapons" as seen during the Q civil war.

Just how far their powers actually go is never exactly explained, but unmaking the universe as in unmaking spacetime is possible. If they can unmake what they are themselves however, which a new definition of "universe" should also entail, is never stated.

6

No

The word universe literally means absolutely everything. This would include the Q continuum. In the episode the The Q and the Grey they show the Q continiuum is embroiled in a civil war. If any given Q could wipe out the entire universe they could logically take out all of the Q they consider to be an enemy. The civil war proves they can't do that.

If unopposed a Q might be able to wipe out all of what would be considered our part of the universe - all of the planets, stars galaxies etc. as they claim to be omnipotent and omniscient. However it is unlikely they would be unopposed as there are other omnipotent beings in the Star Trek universe such as the Douwd and Trelane who would presumably block the Universe being wiped out.

The limits to their powers would be whatever someone else, possibly another Q, doesn't prevent them from doing.

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  • Your "civil war" and "other omnipotent beings" points seem to contradict each other. If other omnipotent beings could block the Q doing something why do you find it unreasonable that the Q could block other Q from doing something?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jun 25 '19 at 9:15
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    @TheLethalCarrot Sorry, I must not have gotten my point across correctly. The civil war shows that no single Q can just wipe out all the others instantly. If they could do so then the civil war would be over in an instant with one Q just wiping out their opposition. If they can't take out the rest of the Q continuum then they can't take out the universe since it would require taking out the rest of the continuum as part of doing so. Jun 25 '19 at 9:45
  • There are multiple universes, not just one
    – Valorum
    Jun 25 '19 at 10:38
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    I'm not sure your civil war logic makes sense -- perhaps the Q who is contemplating destroying the universe simply doesn't see that as a viable option because it would destroy everything including him/herself (i.e. it's not selective enough). I haven't dropped a nuke on my annoying neighbor yet for the same reason - cost of collateral damage is too high... doesn't mean I couldn't.
    – A C
    Jun 25 '19 at 21:40
  • @Valorum By definition that isn't true. The uni part of universe means one. You could talk about parallel realities or dimensions, but there is only one universe. Jun 25 '19 at 23:01
2

Yes, they could.

As shown in various episodes, the Q have the power to create new dimensions, alter the very fabric of reality in any way they see fit and they can even hurt and kill themselves and each other and bring untold destruction on their own continuum.

In Qpid (TNG S04E20), Q creates a temporary pocket dimension based on the story on Robin Hood, with the officers of the Enterprise playing Robin Hood and his Merry Men, much to the dismay of Worf. Q is able to create this dimension, give it an end time and even prevent himself from being able to interfere with it or know what's going to happen.

PICARD: We will no longer share in this pointless fantasy of yours.

Q: Fine. stay here and do nothing. By midday tomorrow, your crew will be safely aboard their ship. Of course, you will have to accept the consequences of your inaction.

[...]

PICARD: Q, I ask you to put and end to this before someone gets hurt.

Q: Oh, that's impossible. You see, I've given this fantasy as you call it, a life of its own. I have no more idea what's going to happen than you do. But of one thing I am absolutely sure. If you dare come to Nottingham Castle, blood will be spilt.

In Deja Q (TNG S03E13), we learn that the Q Continuum decided to strip Q of his powers, due to his repeated shenanigans and his ignorance of Q laws, showing that several Q are able to overcome the power of one individual Q.

Q: I haven't the vaguest idea what you're talking about and I have a much more serious problem. I'm no longer a member of the Continuum. My superiors have decided to punish me.

PICARD: And punish us as well, it would seem.

Q: They said I've spread chaos through the universe, and they've stripped me of all my powers. You don't believe me, do you? Do you think I would humiliate myself like this?

RIKER: If it served your purpose, yes.

Q: It's the truth. I stand before you defrocked. Condemned to be a member of this lowest of species. A normal, imperfect, lumpen human being.

TROI: They made you human as part of your punishment?

Q: No, it was my request. I could have chosen to exist as a Markoffian sea lizard or a Belzoidian flea. Anything I wished as long as it was mortal. And since I only had a fraction of a second to mull and I chose this and asked them to bring me here.

The dialogue shows that there is a hierarchy of powers in the Q Continuum, confirmed later in Q2 (VOY S07E19) when Q's son passes in judgement in front of three Q Judges and is condemned to remain human for his actions. Q appeals of the verdict and later explains to Janeway that he had to come to an agreement with the judges.

JANEWAY: So, the Continuum crumbled like a Gelbian sand sculpture?

Q: Yes. Some of them even got on their knees and begged me to stay. It was pathetic. If you must know, I had to agree to a few minor conditions.

JANEWAY: Oh? Such as?

Q: Eternal custody of the boy. Wherever the little brat goes, I go with him.

JANEWAY: I hope he won't spoil too much of your fun.

Still in Deja Q, Q suggests that the crew alter the gravitational constant of the universe in order to move a moon in a safe orbit. Something he could apprently easily do if he still had his powers.

DATA: Can you recommend a way to counter the effect?

Q: Simple. Change the gravitational constant of the universe.

LAFORGE: What?

Q: Change the gravitational constant of the universe, thereby altering the mass of the asteroid.

LAFORGE: Redefine gravity? How am I supposed to do that?

Q: You just do it. Where's that Doctor, anyway?

There is also the case of Amanda Roger's parents, killed by the Q Continuum for having a child despite being ordered not to procreate when they decided to abandon the Continuum to live as humans on Earth (TNG S06E06 True Q), Quinn the suicidal Q who was prevented from killing himself by being imprisoned in a comet for the rest of eternity, until Voyager inadvertently broke him free (VOY S02E18 Death Wish), and the Q Civil War (VOY S03E11 The Q and the Grey) where we can see many Q, including the one we know best, be injured by their own weapons in the illusion based on the US Civil War.

Thus, the Q could very easily destroy the universe, every dimension there is, and themselves, if they so wished.

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    none of these examples indicate a power to destroy the universe itself, and some of them rely on taking deLancie Q's word at face value, which is a dubious proposition
    – NKCampbell
    Jun 25 '19 at 13:53
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    Well, if we can't use inference and witness statements, I'm not sure what proof could exist beyond their actually destroying the universe. Jun 27 '19 at 3:51
-1

A lot of decent answers are here, but I will add one possible interpretation that was not covered:

We obviously cannot know for sure if they could destroy the universe, there is not enough information to make a solid judgement. We can however speculate on the matter.

As far as individual Q, such as the Q (John De Lance) that we know from TNG, probably not. He seems to have a sort of "nigh-omnipotence" and/or at the very least high tier reality warping. That said, those powers appear to be overshadowed by the Continuum itself, and possibly some other individual Q's powers.

Now however looking at the Continuum as a whole, I would argue probably yes. If you think of them in the way of the Borg, in that working and utilizing their powers together, you get something much greater than any individual could accomplish. Thus, this would magnify their already massive power to an amount unfathomably higher than that. This would allow for some very "Omnipotent-Like" powersets, and likely the ability to do whatever they wanted with the Universe.

Basically that's it, given what we have seen so far in Star Trek canon, I believe this to be true. Mind you, it is always possible that there exists something even greater than the Q, and while they might be able to destroy the universe, this greater faction/entity might not allow it. I find that unlikely however as the Q Continuum have been fairly consistently shown as the top power in the Star Trek universe.

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    Can you cite any sources or evidence for this?
    – DavidW
    Apr 24 at 16:33
  • @DavidW On which points? Most of it is very straightforwards, and "we can speculate on the matter" covers a fair bit of the rationale. As far as specific references for individual Q, in episode Deja-Q Q is stripped of his powers by the Continuum as a whole proving they are more powerful. Given that one Q can do almost anything as called for, and the Continuum is that much more exponentially powerful, I believe it stands to reason this fits my answer. As for further instances of proof, I'd just say at that point "watch the series again".
    – Viscosity
    Apr 24 at 19:08

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