Sunday, 14 August 2016

Ethics And Aesthetics

When Ginny has nearly been seduced by an incubus, Steve Matuchek says:

"'Let me alone till I decide if I want you back!'"
-Poul Anderson, Operation Chaos (New York, 1995), p. 113.

An appalling response. I believe that human beings are not naturally monogamous. If we were, then "infidelity" would be impossible as with one alien race imagined by Anderson. See here. If I were Matuchek and had wanted to be with Ginny before the incubus incident, then I would still want to be with her after it and would want to assure her of that. Instead, he risks destroying their relationship. Nice one, Steve!

Matuchek is a more reliable guide when he describes sensory experiences:

"You don't really know the world till you've explored it with animal as well as human senses..." (p. 101)

If we had access to animal senses, then we would have to explore the world that way to know it better. As a wolf, Matuchek:

sees "...a dazzle of moonlight..." (p. 114);
smells dust, sage, cactus, kelp and salt;
hears bat sonar and a rabbit scuttering;
tingles with other sensations for which there are no words;
feels no human emotion;
is merely carnivorous.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think you were being too hard on Steven Matuchek. Yes, I agree his words to Virginia were harsh, even too harsh. But, I would point out how hard it is for most of mankind to master any of the virtues. And that goes back, I believe, to how we belong to a FALLEN and imperfect race. Also, I'm reminded of what St. Paul said about how there seems to be two opposing laws in us, of how hard it is do the good we desire, etc.