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From: matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 16:01:10 +0100
Subject: Re: (urth) TBOTSS and colonialism

On 23/05/2002 17:20:17 Michael Straight wrote:

>On Wed, 22 May 2002, Alice K. Turner wrote:
>> The interesting point, to me, is whether the inhumi can really be
>> "evil." In a debate, I'd enjoy taking the side that they are not. And
>> Wolfe shows the humans, who do not have their needs and nature, as more
>> evil.
>At the least, I'd say the inhumi are evil in the sense that a thing might
>be called evil (atom bombs, torture devices, pornographic movies, crack
>coccaine, a computer virus).  That is, something that harms people or
>evil because of way it was made.

I don't agree with you.  This suggest that evil can be inherant in an
object.  I don't believe that it can: evil may in the intent of those who
created such things or those wo employ them but not in the inanimate and

The inhumi as animals should not be capable of evil.  It's only after
acquiring the ability to make moral judgements that evil becomes possible.

That might also raise the question of whether it is justifiable to judge
inhumi in *human* moral terms.  But since their ability to make choices is
aquired *from* humans then human moral terms are the only ones applicable.
 In this they differ from such as the Neighbours who presumably would have
a moral framework native to themselves (although I see little to
illustrate it being different from the human).

>On the other hand, I think its implied that the inhumi are as much
>as chems.  Their souls may be derivative, but they are real, and they
>to be capable of making real choices to do good or evil.  I think their
>nature makes it very difficult to do good, but not impossible.  Is
>view of humanity much different?  If the book seems to imply that the
>inhumi are incapable of redemption, isn't it only to the extent that
>society is incapable of redemption?

If the inhumi have souls would it not be due to the actions of their

Having souls they're capable of "evil", and presumably similarly capable
of redemption. But unlike humans the concequences are imediate and
deleterious.  It's like original sin with added catch 22.

Also there's another proximity - each inhumu/inhuma's ability to make
moral choices is the result of it's progenitor's actions - as if each
generation were Cain and Abel - and their actions involve the next. To
refrain from the "evil" of attacking humans would be to reduce their
offspring, would that not be another evil?

So I would suggest that the inhumu would be capable of redemption but are
trapped into circumstances where they can neither attain it nor would it
benefit them if they did.



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