Monday, 29 December 2014

On Cain

Copied from Poul Anderson's Cosmic Environments, 28 Dec 2014.

On Cain, why did the dominant species, the Yildivans, suddenly attack van Rijn's traders, then back off?

Per's and Yuschenkoff's Theory
The Yildivans feared that the traders were the spearhead of an invasion. However, when the traders treated prisoners decently and used stunners instead of blasters, they realized that they had been mistaken.

Manuel's Theory
Because the Yildivans must struggle to survive, they value courage and combat skills above anything else. Therefore, they despised human beings who used machines and weapons that killed at a distance. However, they changed their minds when they had experienced how terrible human beings are in warfare.

Van Rijn's Explanation
The Yildivans are intelligent wild animals with no idea of a tribe or an army, therefore no fear of invasion. They accepted human beings as their equals until they saw other traders taking orders from Per Stenvik, then concluded that all but Per were equivalents of their Lugals, intelligent domesticated animals. Then Per introduced the idea of God, a master above Per, making Per also a Lugal. Finally, he denied that he took orders from God or from anyone else, making him a wild Lugal, the equivalent of a wild dog.

They changed their minds because they saw Per's men disobey an order, which no Lugal would have been able to do, and also act with restraint, which no wild Lugal would be able to do.

Corollary About Religion
Yildivans have no gods because, as wild animals, they acknowledge no masters.

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