Re: Future Technologies of Death

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 26 Dec 1997 15:39:57 -0800 (PST)

> OK, I'll bite: How would the pursuit of standards of cultural
> nonviolence limit growth or evolution? and, How do you support your
> contention that violence is a necessary prerequisite of evolution?

Pursuit of non-violent means would not limit anything--I only
question whether unquestioning avoidance of violent means might be
Violence is not a prerequisite for evolution, but /selection/ is.
Differential success of mutating replicators. Selection requires
both a criterion (which ones are selected?) and a means (how are
those selected given future advantage?) I'm all for using support
of non-violent cooperation as a /criterion/ for selection; those
are the kinds of beings I want more of in the future. So how do
we then ensure that those beings flourish and violent ones do not?
And can we be free and effective in creating new kinds of beings
if we don't risk failure (i.e., creating a violent one)?

> Please refer to my previously posted essay in answering,
> because it sets forth the exact opposite case: that choices
> involving violence impose limits on growth and evolution, and
> therefore act as a source of entropy.

Your essay makes a good case that narrow-minded focus on
single means leads to bad solutions. I wholeheartedly agree.
That's why I'm also unwilling to narrow-mindedly focus on /only/
non-violent means. I'm perfectly willing to admit that it is
possible that all the predatory people in our society who
necessitate violent restraint might have been prevented from
becoming such by different societal systems, medical treatment,
economics, education, or other means. It is even possible that
we may find technologies to non-violently protect ourselves
from them as they are today. But since it is most definitely
the case that violent restraint of them is necessary now, I
cannot rule out the possibility that it will be necessary in
the future as well, or that we will have to find other ways to
deal with malevolent beings.

For much of my life until my late 20s, I was a LeFebvrian
pacifist. I've never thrown a punch, and I hope I don't have
to. But I am no longer willing to believe that all lives are
equally valuable. My life is worth more than Geoffrey Dahmer's
life, and if I have to end the latter to protect the former, I
have to do so, and take responsibility for it. If I can
prevent it from happenning in the first place, that's even
better. But sometimes we don't get that choice.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC