Thursday, 3 March 2016
The dilemma goes: either you kill a lot of people now or you do nothing in which case many more people, maybe even including those that you would have killed, are instead killed by someone else. What do you do? I responded to one fictional example here.
How often does anyone face such a dilemma? How could anyone be sufficiently certain either that there were only two choices or that these were those two choices? In Larry Niven's and Jerry Pournelle's The Mote In God's Eye, Admiral Kutuzov sterilizes a planet in order to prevent a sector rebellion. Although the Imperial Parliament and Navy approve his action, surely Kutuzov is guilty of war crime and genocide by any civilized standard? What value is there in a peace bought entirely through force and intimidation? The Empire has surely forfeited its right to any loyalty from the population of that sector?