Humanity or Joe Is A Big Fat Hypocrite

In my fist post, I made fun of blogs being generally pretentious and up their own asses.  In this, my second, I’d like to take a moment to talk about philosophy, humanity, and values.

I just finished reading a philosophy-laden (and really good) science fiction short story by Yudkowsky. Here’s a link. If you follow it, you may detect coincidence; it’s philosophy on a blog. For real, you guys.
By the way, if you’re going to read it, then be warned: spoilers ahead. And you should read it. But you’re going to read the spoilers first anyway, even though I just said you shouldn’t, aren’t you, Steve?

I’m going to ignore most of the story and cut right to the interesting part, which is near the end.  It’s a first contact story, and a ship of humans from the future has met these aliens who have engineered themselves to feel pleasure all the time.  Actually that part of the story is kinda funny – the aliens love to have sex, and talk to each other by fucking, which they assume is the case for us as well.  Their first contact message is along the lines of “We are super happy fun-fun aliens and we want to have sex with you,” along with a video of a man, a woman, and a tentacle alien engaging in “diplomacy.”

The aliens are alarmed by the fact that humans suffer, and refuse to allow it to continue.  They don’t offer a choice, and they’re badass enough that we can’t fight them.  They tell us that they’re going to get rid of our “bodily pain, embarrassment, and romantic troubles.”  Sounds great, right?  But, the human captain of the human ship takes this to mean that the aliens will “transform us into something not human. …  No, let’s be frank.  Something less than human.”

At first I thought this was


One Response to Humanity or Joe Is A Big Fat Hypocrite

  1. Ben says:

    Humanity isn’t hypocritical, you’re just in a definitional argument with them (us?) and they don’t know it.

    Humanity values itself as the Ultimate Manifestation of Being solely because it helps the species survive. Valuing “humanity” in the sense that Yudkowsky’s hero does is a misfiring of this preservative impulse.

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