Re: _Mission to Mars_ (trying to change an unfair world)

From: Brent Allsop (
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 17:38:47 MST

Robert J. Bradbury <> replied:

> It is hardly likely (unless you are Buddhist), that when sweeping
> out the cobwebs in the corner of your house and sucking up a spider
> into your vacuum cleaner, you view yourself a an evil-doer the likes
> of Stalin or Hitler.

        I believe (but don't YET know for sure) that the lowest level
of life forms like plants, or perhaps the bacteria in our digestive
systems, are mere non sentient, non feeling mechanical robots. It is
no worse to kill them than it is to switch off a computer. But at
some level (we'll know this some day when we know what
consciousness/sentence really is) you cross a sentient threshold.
When you get to animals like fish and cows... while I don't think it
is as bad as Stalin or Hitler, I still think killing them is is bad.
I will forever feel guilty for being such a "mass murderer" until I am
powerful enough to some day pay them back, perhaps by resurrecting
them into a perfect "cow heaven" which I would think would include

> If, you are of a mind that values species diversity, as has been
> discussed in other threads, then you are of a mind that "evolution"
> is good, that *death* is good, because without death, you have no
> way of selecting for the better genes that allow the evolutionary
> clock to slowly lift us up out of chaos and drive back the evil
> entropy.

        Like eating another animal in order to survive, though it is
good since it is better than not surviving, it is still bad or simply
the lessor of two evils. It would be much better to find some way to
survive without eating an animal. In the past, survival of the
fittest was the only way to achieve diversity and growth. But now
that we have grown to the point where we can grow without primitive
and bad "survival of the fittest" we should hope that we can some day
stop all extinction, and eventually all death. And again, some day
restore all sentient beings that have died in the past.

> If you argue, that the ETs should save us from evil, then you should
> *also* argue that when we have the capabilities, *we* should uplift
> and make immortal every creature on the planet.

        Yes! Definitely. (At least for all sentient or feeling

> Then since everything would be (relatively) immortal, we would have
> to stop all evolution as soon as we hit the material and energy
> resources (*very* quickly).

        As long as there are limits to resources, we have to make
trade offs. In the past people could either kill animals to eat and
not die, or die. If we don't have the resources to resurrect and
uplift all cows that have ever given their lives to feed man, then
we'll just have to keep hoping that some day we'll have enough power
and resources to some day achieve this to pay them back and live and
suffer with our guilt until then. If something even remotely close to
Tippler's omega point is possible, we will eventually easily be able
to do all these kinds of things.

> The only way out of this that I can see, would be for uplifted
> people/animals/plants to "discover" that they are unworthy

        This is no way out! There is no way out. Just because some
animal was unlucky enough to be born before there is no longer any
death is a horribly unjust way to determine "worthiness". If we make
it to the time when we become immortal and supper beings, you think we
would be the ones that are "worthy" for such!? Now Way! In reality,
each of our ancestors worked and made the world a little better place
when they left than when they came into it. They are the real
creators of us and this glorious world in which there is about to be
no more death. They are the ones that more or less freely gave all
this to us. If anything, we should resurrect them, and give all that
we have to them, and kill ourselves if need be, since they are the
ones that created all that we have. They deserve it much more than we
do since they are the ones that created it in spite of having almost
nothing to work with.

> If the ETs don't disturb us it is because the natural process of
> evolution works.

        As I said, evolution does work, but there are infinitely
better and faster ways to do what evolution is doing.

> If the authors of "Rare Earth" are correct, and higher life-forms
> are rare, then it is no surprise that the machinery of evolution,
> that some of us view as evil, is allowed to persist.

        I must not understand, this makes no sense to me. Just
because higher life-forms are rare has nothing to do with whether or
not evolution is bad, and whether or not we can hope there are much
better ways...

> The value of what some view as evil, to those observing may well be
> incalculable.

        I certainly hope not! I hope we can find infinitely better
way so accomplish whatever it is you guys are arguing can only be
accomplished by such frustration and suffering.

                Brent Allsop

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