Is Survival Ethical

IN A SPEECH BEFORE THE graduating class of midshipmen at Anapolis (which I could swear was printed in Analog in 1971, but everybody says it was 1974), later given the title “Channel Markers,” (and then was printed in Expanded Universe as The Pragmatics of Patriotism in 1980-ish), Robert Heinlein exposited his thesis that patriotism is the highest ethical behavior possible for a human being — ethical being defined as that behavior which tends to promote the survival of the species.
And he took a troop of baboons as his — so to speak — text, pointing out the facets of their division of labor in aid of the security of the troop in illustration.

The New York Times wants you to defend the eating of meat as ethical.

Well, Dolly, if it were me, I’d accept their premise — that it’s not — and the consequence — starvation — and tell them “You first.” But that’s just me.

Yes. It is, innit? And this is moi: they obviously have mistaken me for someone who actually believes there is no such thing as a stupid question. I also wonder what they think of Heinlein’s thesis.

And, by the way, I did not know that totse (Temple of the Screaming Electron) was still online. I would have thought the site would fall victim to PATRIOT act suppression of “dangerous” knowledge. Apropos of almost nothing at all.

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