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Comment by meagen on Epilogue: Atonement (8/8) · 2009-07-06T12:52:00.941Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

What gets me the most about the story is how vague the Future!Human ideology is. Eating babies is bad... especially if they suffer... but destroying a whole culture to remove their suffering is bad... and we'd never want anyone to do that to us... 'cause... y'know, just 'cause.

At first they seem to be all humanitarians and inclusivists. They also seem to be highly rational, and attempting to describe and account for all emotional and cultural bias in their decision-making argument. They're authoritarian... because that's what works best... but the leaders always try to get the feel of what the majority thinks... and the people who are there to make sure things stay sane and rational are not actually leaders... but still have extensive moral authority.

People raise objections to humans reforming the Baby-eaters, and they raise objections to having us reformed by the Superhappies, but (in stark contrast to the excessive self-analysis everywhere else) nobody really gives a clear reason other than "it's just bad". It's like they're afraid to even put their own beliefs on the table, in the form of "we hold these truths to be self-evident, and the majority of us will act on them. we are willing to accept that some or all of them may be wrong, but you will have to convince each of us separately". Or possibly the author is afraid of making the humans as dogmatic as the aliens, so instead makes them all wishy-washy.

The words "freedom of self-determiantion" never appear (except in the comments). The mentions of non-consensual sex and of races being mixed together gives an impression that the Future!Humans value peace and getting along higher than personal freedom, in which case it's hard to see why the Superhappy proposal is so bad for them.

So the moral of the story is, "sure, maybe humans are capable of killing millions of their own kind in the name of vague ideology, but at least we're not baby-eaters or writhing masses of tentacles that do nothing but reproduce". Uplifting, I guess.