Hofstadter is great.

In Star Wars: A New Hope, C3PO and R2D2 are purchased and tethered by the hero of the story. C3PO called him "Master Luke". We still root for him and empathize with him.

It might be argued that Luke was a good guy in a bad culture. Slave owners in the US were not consciously evil; they were evil in ignorance. These are not the same kinds of evil.

A few years ago, I took a course in Research Ethics. It was fascinating. It seems that ideally, we should feel solidarity with similarity of mind: Are chimpanzees and dolphins so intelligent that they shouldn't be experimented upon? But then, we also feel solidarity with progeny: Should we feel less solidarity with a human that is less intelligent than a chimpanzee, than we do with the more intelligent ape?

Then there is solidarity of place: We decide it is better that many Iraqis die, rather than risk fewer American lives. In questions of climate change and economics, there is also solidarity with those in our time. Or mix them up: Someone doesn't buy leather goods, because they are made from animals, but buys cloth goods made by people in sweatshops.

We should be so lucky that in 2493 it is in our hands to make such judgements.

posted by theadvancedapes: 1386 days ago