Monday, 1 May 2017

The Old Enemy

There really is a Church Universal and Triumphant! See here.

An intelligent and informed response to the world requires a complex psychophysical organism. However, the inner workings of such an organism impede intelligence and encourage disinformation!

What is a reasonable policy for a small community that has come through a world catastrophe?

restore order;
trade with other communities;
improve general living conditions;
value learning;
seek new knowledge of the world, particularly of how it has changed since the catastrophe.

What do some groups in works of fiction do?

enforce order;
impose a rigid ideology;
gather military intelligence only for further conquests.

Either such a regime wreaks great harm for a long time or it is overthrown at great cost. It is "the old and protean enemy." See here. Anderson shows reason overcoming instinct and thus defeating the old enemy in Brain Wave.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The first alternative list is, of course, the better way for a small community which has survived something as horrific as the Change to go. But I FULLY expect some groups, hitherto kept in check by a far larger and stronger society, to go the second way. So, I would expect either an eccentric sect, theosophical or not, or a movement within Islam to begin policies of conquest, justified by religious claims.

And I'm skeptical that anything like we see in Anderson's BRAIN WAVE is even possible. And I would argue that Anderson himself would be inclined to agree with me. We see strife and conflict even in the post scarcity societies of his HARVEST OF STARS books, GENESIS, and STARFARERS.


S.M. Stirling said...

G.K. Chesterton once remarked that all religious dogmas have to be taken on faith... except for Original Sin, for which there's considerable empirical evidence.

Paul Shackley said...

Like all Chesterton's remarks, amusing but arguable! There is evidence for "sin," although I prefer a different terminology, but no evidence for an original Paradisal state from which our ancestors Fell.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

But I agree with Chesterton and Mr. Stirling. And I argue for the temptation stories in Genesis being evidence for how mankind fell from a prelapsarian state of existence. Even if that evidence is expressed in forms better understood as allegorical than the strictly historical.