Zeus

Summary Justice

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Summary Justice

Once there was a very ordinary, but quite rational and civilized, space alien of tremendous power who happened upon Earth. The space creature was truly amazed and aghast. He spoke to the humans with a kind of low-key, fiery indignation, disgust, and horror: "You humans invented t'v's, computers, space rockets, and nuclear bombs -- yet you still believe in god, self-sacrifice, and socialism?! What the hell is wrong with you? You people are diseased! I've got to cleanse your solar system! You animals are so fundamentally corrupt and inherently evil that you constitute a danger to intelligent life everywhere!"

So he turned the planet out of its orbit. Earth began to listlessly drift away from the sun. It was 100 million miles away on Day One. 107 million miles on Day Two. 114 million on Day Three. Etc.

The good people of the earth -- the men of reason and civilization -– passionately appealed to the superior being to only terminate the bad Earthlings. Or at least to save the good ones. But the alien replied:

"No. You should have controlled and eliminated your evil-doers better. You yourself -- altho' not like your monstrous, subhuman brothers -- must yourselves be broadly, profoundly, intrinsically evil. Initially, to have both allowed the others to come into existence in the first place; ultimately, to not have quickly and overwhelmingly defeated them."

So the good people of Earth -- like all the others -- had no choice but to live the remaining tiny portion of their lives as best they could. They roundly, bitterly, furiously denounced the irrational, illiberal, inhuman beasts and monsters in their midst. And they even killed a wide swath of them on general principles. Why not? They doomed all of humanity!

But mostly the good guys just lived by their rational, liberal values, and as happily as possible, while their decaying world got ever colder, bleaker, and blacker.

The End

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Summary Justice

Where is the justice in condemning good individuals for the actions of other people who happen to belong to the same collective (species).

Where is the justice in destroying good people because of the bad free-will choices and errors of knowledge made by other people which the good people may have had no knowledge of nor, if they had, did not have any way to control?

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Where is the justice in condemning good individuals for the actions of other people who happen to belong to the same collective (species).

Where is the justice in destroying good people because of the bad free-will choices and errors of knowledge made by other people which the good people may have had no knowledge of nor, if they had, did not have any way to control?

Good questions, Betsy! :) But in the story, the virtuous alien passes overall judgment upon mankind. This is certainly a common motif in sci-fi (such as episode 1 of Star Trek: the Next Generation featuring Q).

This quick, simple act of moral judgment and self-protection could, no doubt, be seen as collectivism or over-generalization -- and thus an act of injustice rendering the rational, liberal, civilized, superior space creature significantly less so. Mankind today desperately needs to hope superior space aliens are not collectivist!

Still, if current humanity, in all its huge numbers and growing power, constitutes an objective threat to alien species -- what do we expect them to do? They may not have the time, or want to expend the effort, to separate the human wheat from the inhuman chaff -- the irrational, illiberal predators from the innocent victim prey. It may truly be in their rational self-interest to destroy us all! :)

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Still, if current humanity, in all its huge numbers and growing power, constitutes an objective threat to alien species -- what do we expect them to do? They may not have the time, or want to expend the effort, to separate the human wheat from the inhuman chaff -- the irrational, illiberal predators from the innocent victim prey. It may truly be in their rational self-interest to destroy us all! :)
yet you still believe in god, self-sacrifice, and socialism?!

You're equivocating between inept self-destruction and a powerful war-force on an interstellar scale.

Alien travelers with the power to destroy man by any means--much less change the orbit of a planet--are not remotely threatened by a few socialistic backwater countries.

You'll also note that in this sci-fi trope, the aliens destroy earth because of its technology and because of man's selfishness--not the opposite.

Whether you intended it or not, this story grants undeserved moral cover to such collectivist parables.

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Still, if current humanity, in all its huge numbers and growing power, constitutes an objective threat to alien species -- what do we expect them to do? They may not have the time, or want to expend the effort, to separate the human wheat from the inhuman chaff -- the irrational, illiberal predators from the innocent victim prey. It may truly be in their rational self-interest to destroy us all! :)
yet you still believe in god, self-sacrifice, and socialism?!

You're equivocating between inept self-destruction and a powerful war-force on an interstellar scale.

Alien travelers with the power to destroy man by any means--much less change the orbit of a planet--are not remotely threatened by a few socialistic backwater countries.

You'll also note that in this sci-fi trope, the aliens destroy earth because of its technology and because of man's selfishness--not the opposite.

Whether you intended it or not, this story grants undeserved moral cover to such collectivist parables.

Exactly. Besides, if the earthmen were "intrinsically evil" (which is literally impossible to volitional consciousness) they would destroy themselves in no time.

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