In the DS9 episode "Business as Usual" Quark's often mentioned but rarely seen cousin Gaila convinces a down on his luck Quark (who lost his business license to Liquidator Brunt) to go into business as an arms dealer with him. Quark later turns on Gaila when Gaila and his boss Hagath accept a contract from a crazed warlord who wants to wipe out the population of a rival's planet with a genetic weapon. Quark turns on Gaila, Hagath and the Warlord and rationalizes that he's lived among humans too long.
I've always liked this episode but it always left me with one nagging question. How would a typical Ferengi react in this situation where going through with a business deal ends with billions of people dead and lots of profit for the Ferengi involved?. Ferengi are usually not particularly bloodthirsty (Daimon Bok being an exception I guess).
Would a typical Ferengi have zero problem facilitating the deaths of billions for profit or was Gaila just an extreme example? Or was Quark an extreme example in the other direction in that he didn't put profit above genocide?
I've always seen the Ferengi as selfish but not really evil. But Gaila's not a typical Ferengi right? I can't see say the waiters at Quarks doing something like that or even the Grand Nagus. Is Gaila the worst of the bunch of just as bad as everyone else?
Rom tried to murder Quark a few times so he would inherit the bar in the early seasons, didn't he? Of course they softened his character and I think they softened all the Ferengi as they went. Would a typical Ferengi kill for profit? I suppose it's a risk/reward question. Most of them would probably be too cowardly to take the risk. Genocide would be a greater risk because it would attract more attention, so I would think most of them would shy away from it.
Morally speaking, would they be bothered by it? Some probably would. Didn't the producers say that the Ferengi basically represented 20th century humans, as opposed to the morally superior 24th century humans?
So if they are us, then some would be willing and others would not. But what seems like extreme greed in humans was typical for all Ferengi, so they were a little morally skewed.