Anton Sherwood (
Mon, 15 Sep 1997 18:43:39 -0700

Eliezer writes--
: There's no way I can be sure. If I'd grown up [...] in the beginning
: of the 19th century, I might think slavery was a fine idea. There's
: no *instinct* that acts against such ideas. Quite the contrary.
: Even I am not arrogant enough to assume that I, through sheer logic
: and innate moral superiority, could duplicate a hundred years of
: hard-earned experience.

Yeah, I remember as a child (before my meme-antibodies were mature)
thinking, secretly, that eliminating or repressing the inferiors
seemed like good sport.

But what *experience* cured us of such notions?
How did slavery change, to persuade us that it's a bad thing?

: Someone once tried to tell me that killing was inherently abhorrent.
: Another quote I ran across, from "Mindkiller", stated that too many
: people of the video generation are convinced they have what it takes
: to kill in cold blood.

And you're sure it's not a pose, like "vampire" makeup?
Or conventional antihumanism, inspired by Christianity (Man is Fallen
and Depraved) or statism (Man is too dangerous to be let loose) or
environmentalism (Man is a cancer on the flesh of Gaia) ?

: Perhaps I'm from the video generation, then, but it seems to me that
: civilization is a thin veneer over basic human nature, and basic human
: nature has no problem with killing at all. I hope I never need to
: kill anyone, but if I have to, I don't think that doing so would be
: either difficult or traumatic. Uncouple civilized restraints and
: killing would barely ripple the emotional surface of the mind.
: Still, I could be wrong. With luck, time will never tell.

Some say that cold-blooded killing usually requires a sort of
self-hypnosis with the idea that the Enemy is not human.

: If genocide were inherently abhorrent, it wouldn't happen so often.
: It took the Holocaust, which is inherently abhorrent,

[begging the question!]

: to create our modern taboo against it.

It took a war in which THE LOSERS were guilty of genocide.
To kill Nazis, Allied soldiers had to be taught that Nazis are inhuman.
When it came out that the Nazis had a program of genocide, it was easy
to make the association that genocide is inhuman.

: Perhaps that very taboo is responsible for our refusal to acknowledge
: the lesser genocides. Still, we do try to stop them - although not
: with enough force.

Wanna know what made me sick? Seeing Harlan Ellison (a Jew) on
_Politically Incorrect_ defending one of the FBI's famous recent
slaughters of the differently-opinionated.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*