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The question is exactly how it sounds: is murder allowed if it is for the purpose of profit in Ferengi law?

For most of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Ferengi culture is entirely based in profit, with the Rules of Acquisition serving as their constitution. I don't remember every rule, but I know that the Rules of Acquisition encourage (metaphorically) treading on others to gain profit. I also know that in the first season on DS9, Rom attempts to kill Quark for the sake of profit, and it doesn't seem like any charges were filed. Does this indicate the legality of murder in profit-based situations?

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    I thought DS9 was under Bajoran law. – Jeeped Aug 28 at 23:44
  • It was, or at least some combination of Federation and Bajoran law, but I think the OP is asking whether it's legal under Ferengi jurisdiction. – Alarion Aug 29 at 0:20
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    “the Rules of Acquisition serving as their constitution” — do they serve as a constitution? Or are they more like the Ten Commandments in archaic earth religion Christianity? – Paul D. Waite Aug 29 at 10:48
  • One relevant character might be Leck, a Ferengi assassin for hire. He appears to insist on his clients contacting him via secure channel, but it is not clear if his primary reason why he is so cautious is indeed Ferengi law enforcement indicting him for murder, if he is worried about other threats or if he just wants to weed out unprofessional clients. – Philipp Aug 29 at 11:31
  • Ditto @PaulD.Waite's question re: the assumption that the RoA are a truly political document rather than socioreligious – NKCampbell Aug 29 at 17:27
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Murder is a crime on Ferenginar, just as it is in most of the civilised galaxy, at least according to senior Trek producers/writers Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

With both individuals being strongly involved with writing backstory for the Ferengi on the DS9 TV show, it seems likely that this is as close to canon as we're liable to get.

The following article appeared on the front page of the Ferengi Acquirer on Glorpober fifth, 18,083.

GOUGE-MINING MAGNATE ESCAPES DEATH. WIFE CHARGED IN MURDER ATTEMPT

...

Shortly after his rescue, FCA liquidators arrested the victim’s wife, Jubbletta, and charged her with attempted murder. It seems Jubbletta had struck her husband over the head with a bar of latinum, stuffed his unconscious body into his skimmer, and then programmed its autopilot to crash into one of Squeeb’s own gouge mines.

DS9: Legends of the Ferengi

Given attempted murder is a crime, it stands to reason that actual murder would also be a crime.

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    However, Ferengi society is extremely misogynistic, with women not being allowed to earn profit. Therefore, taking into account Aziri's answer, it may be that Jubbletta was charged because she couldn't profit from that death. – Renan Aug 29 at 13:26
  • @Renan - The FCA also investgated his accountant for the same crime but determined that he wasn't involved. Again, if it's not a crime, why would they have investigated at all? – Valorum Aug 29 at 13:28
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    possibly they didn't know whether the accountant had profited from the crime? He wouldn't disclose, so as to still have clients after the deed. Once the FCA found out he made a buck out of that, he was off the hook. – Renan Aug 29 at 13:30
  • @Renan - He most certainly profited (or stood to profit). His innocence was resolved due to his lack of direct involvement in the crime. Again, he wouldn't have needed to provide a defence if he could simply point to profit as his motive – Valorum Aug 29 at 13:52
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    "Given attempted murder is a crime, it stands to reason that actual murder would also be a crime." That logic doesn't necessarily hold up. After all, there are some places where attempted suicide is a crime, but no one has ever been prosecuted for successful suicide. – Acccumulation Aug 29 at 21:49
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Based on the list I've found (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Rules_of_Acquisition), which is based on references made in both Deep Space 9 and Voyager, I would say that yes, murder is legal if it is for profit. I cite rule 18 "A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all" for a defense of self-preservation/self-defense. I would also say that rules 34 ("war is good for business") and 76 ("every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies") suggest violence is quite acceptable in the pursuit of profit, though perhaps not against Ferengi. There are also two sayings which, while not technically officially rules, seem generally accepted- "when the messenger comes to appropriate your profits, kill the messenger" and "a distracted policeman is an opportunity." I think the real question would be: did you get the money? If you did, the murder is legal. If not, you might be on sketchy ground. Of course, if you got the money, I'm sure you could pay off whatever judge hears your case anyway.

  • I'm sure that most Governments would claim that there is a difference between "War" and "Murder". On the other hand, a lot of Ferengi culture seems to be built around cheating... so perhaps Murder is illegal - but only if you get caught! – Chronocidal Aug 29 at 15:04
  • While the rules of acquisition are sacred to the Ferengi, they are not the legal system. We do know something about other laws: memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Ferengi_Trade_By-Laws – Harabeck Aug 29 at 21:23
  • Yes, the question of legality of murder for profit is rather a grey area, given a lack of specific laws either for or against it, but you must admit that even if the Rules aren't the legal system, they certainly create the impression that violence for the sake of profit is acceptable. I would argue that such a grey area proves murder for the sake of profit is, at very least, not strictly illegal, and in a society that firmly places personal gain over interpersonal morality, I doubt there would be many prosecutors willing to press it. – Aziri Aug 31 at 1:55

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