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@fox_news I think about him a lot. How dirty the USSR did him. Today I'm wondering if he chose wrongly; if maybe he should have let the world destroy itself.

Are we worthy of healing, if all we as a species will ever do is squabble and despoil the commons and limp along until something finally kills us?

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And no, I don't know that for certain. But you have to admit, even a cursory glance at the history of the world is decently compelling evidence.

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Genocide after holy war after mass famine after plague after invasion after enslavement after nearly melting the crust into trinitite, with some occasional kindness thrown in for spice and contrast. Tell me I'm wrong. Genuinely please.

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Anyway what I guess I'm saying is definitely don't let me end up with the power to allow the world to be destroyed.

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Anyway what I guess I'm saying is ashcans and unobtainable dollars, young men weeping in the armies, old men sobbing in the park.

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I think a lot about the fact that few people know who Norman Borlaug, or Dowager Empress Cixi, or Shaka Zulu, or Robert Kaguja, or Abu Ali al Hasan ibn al-Haytham, or Gerhard Domagk are.

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The most evil person in the world might be Henry Kissinger, and only needs know of him and what he did.

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No one knows of Karel RaΕ‘ka, either, and we have him to thank for the end of smallpox.

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@fox_news I wish I could provide some comfort here. I really do.

But if the universe has an 'off switch' and I ever find it with a mindset even remotely like I have now... well, what would happen next would no longer matter.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@Kyresti @fox_news But if the universe itself gets destroyed, doesn't that destroy all the stuff that humans have been in danger of messing up, too?

Like, humans totally ruining everything doesn't even come -close- to if the universe had an off switch and someone pulled it.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@IceWolf @Kyresti It's not just humans. It's a universe indifferent to our suffering into which we came totally by accident and so help me I will optimize it, destroy it, or die in the attempt, and I don't care if there's a difference.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@fox_news @Kyresti Yeah, absolutely, the universe is indifferent – but we'd be -way- more freaked out if it somehow cared.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@fox_news @Kyresti It's a universe, it's not like it's supposed to think.

Which means we do what we can to make it a better place ourselves, or at least a not-terrible place.

But even if it were terrible... at least for us, that's better than not existing at all.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@IceWolf @Kyresti There are worse fates, Horatio, in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@fox_news @Kyresti Are there though?

I mean, there's [triggering stuff that we don't want to think about]. But fortunately that's not on the radar...
(<someone> yet.)
yet. And certainly not a consequence of anything about the universe.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@IceWolf @fox_news @Kyresti I think part of the thing here is, we're coming at this with the viewpoint that existence is inherently valuable. Being a person is inherently valuable. The thought of not existing kinda scares us.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@Ylfingr @IceWolf @Kyresti It's not, because nothing is. Valuation is not inherent to the universe.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@fox_news @IceWolf @Kyresti Oh, sorry. Not inherently valuable -to the universe-, but inherently valuable -to us-.

We'd like to keep existing.

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@fox_news @IceWolf @Kyresti That's honestly the main reason we'd fight against any attempt to destroy the world.

Consent.

It should be up to /you/ whether you get to keep existing or not, not somebody with a universe off switch.

re: philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@Ylfingr @fox_news @IceWolf ...You're gonna hate my ass for this, but do you eat meat, or even things like eggs or cheese?

philosophy, hypothetical world destruction 

@IceWolf @Kyresti The universe, the laws of physics and mathematics, the lack of limits to suffering: these permit arbitrarily large amounts of different kinds of pain. I'm not going to talk more about this because it'll trigger you.

@fox_news I believe we know of Shaka Zulu and Dowager-Empress Cixi, but I would be interested to be enlightened as to who the others are!
-F

@Felthry Borlaug: figured out modern wheat strains to improve crop yields, feeding millions. If Koch and Snow slew Pestilence, Borlaug slew Famine.

@Felthry al-Haytham/Alhazen: mathematician and founder of the field of optics.

@Felthry Domagk: discovered the sulfa class of antibiotics, massively improving health outcomes.

@fox_news Ahh, I knew al-Haytham's name sounded familiar, we have heard of them before, just a rather distant memory
-F

@fox_news Well that's someone who deserves more respect than they get

...why do people know about fritz haber, a literal nazi whose development of the haber process only incidentally led to better fertilizer, and not borlaug?
-F

@Felthry Because no one cares if you save billions, but they're impressed if you kill millions.

@fox_news @Felthry I'd probably heard the name but not stored it because this work is stuff I've seen before.

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