The Rules of Engagement

In response to Sean’s post: “Are Cylons More Human than Human?”

It’s obviously true that the Cylons have shown no compassion, restraint, or respect for human rules of war when fighting humans. I’m not sure the Cylons have no rules of war- that is, they probably have rules that say they shouldn’t destroy their own people, for example. And, at least some of the Cylons seem to be operating on a religious, monotheistic sense of righteousness in their cause.

But I still stand behind the idea that human principles and values are what make us human, not merely being alive. A bacterium in my yogurt at breakfast is alive, but humans have self-consciousness, emotions, dreams, desires, curiosity about the world, creativity, religion, science, the ability to learn from others’ experience… we have humanity. I’m not saying the humans in BSG should just lay down and die if they can’t have exactly the kind of full lives they desire. But if the entire race could exist only as slaves to Cylons, and without any of the qualities that make us human beings, I think we’d be better off dying in the process of protecting our humanity than relinquishing it in order to simply stay alive.

Maybe that’s romantic, the kind of talk that comes from someone with the leisure to think about it from a position of safety. But as they say, there are worse things than death. I think the death of the spirit is at the top of that list.

One Response to "The Rules of Engagement"
  1. Sean O'Hara says:

    I would wholeheartly agree that there are worse things than death for a person. But for a race, survival is the first responsibility. Values and principles, these are concepts that are not made useful by dead people. What good is art, music, honor and love if there is no one left to experience or teach them to?

    The Human Race as a whole, must first survive.

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