Re: Future Technologies of Death

Kathryn Aegis (
Fri, 26 Dec 1997 18:41:16 +0000

Lee Daniel Crocker, in his last posting, clarifies his thoughts on
the dynamics of the spectrum of violent<--->nonviolent alternatives
to defense against violent attacks, and the prevention thereof. I
find myself in agreement with most of his comments, except for when
he seems to slip into the underlying assumption that one must choose
definitively between a violent or a nonviolent set of options. I
tend to approach this with more of a sliding scale, with a commitment
to explore less deadly options first, but accepting deadly force as a
necessary thing in some cases, and with a full awareness of the
gravity of that course of action.

Or, in the more poetic words of Lao Tzu (as translated by Stephen
Weapons are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint...His enemies are not demons, but
humans like himself. He doesn't wish them personal harm. Nor
does he rejoice in victory...He enters a battle gravely, with
sorrow and with great compassion, as if he were attending a funeral.

David Musick's posting on self-defense, as well as a few of the
follow-up postings, apply this scale on a personal level.

Of course, our highest goal would be to avoid the necessity of having to
engage in physical or armed conflict altogether. It is eminently
possible for every human to develop a skill base that will enable
each person to determine when something is going wrong. We still
carry those instincts from our ancient beginnings, and we must learn
to trust them to tell us when danger is imminent, so that we can
remove ourselves from the situation or warn others. This set of
skills can operate on a personal level or on a national level, as
Chung-ho chi wrote centuries ago:

Deep knowledge is to be aware of disturbance before
disturbance, to be aware of danger before danger, to be
aware of destruction before destruction, to be aware of
calamity before calamity. Strong action is training the
body without being burdened by the body, exercising the
mind without being used by the mind...By deep knowledge of
principle, one can change disturbance into order, change
danger into safety, change calamity into fortune.

However flawed our present system of conducting international
affairs, if you take the broad view from the beginnings of our
history, humans are on the course of developing more effective
preventative measures that continue to reduce the occurrences of war
globally. In keeping with this broader view, I direct your attention
to a poem by Eon currently in residence on Natasha's Transhumanist
Art site (, called
'posthuman germinate'. It is a sort of past-future history of
human. The first stanza highlights the limited scope of our
relations and perceptions at the beginning of our history:

In the beginning was man and the creature gods
who dominate at the will of the slave.
Drumbeat on the horizon announces intention
while eyes shift from spear to shield
for trade or war, no other use known



Kathryn Aegis