Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Culture that is Britian

A quote from the last David Tennant Doctor Who episode:

The Doctor: You had that gun in the mansion. You could have shot The master there and then.
Wilfred: Too scared, I suppose.
The Doctor: I'd be proud. If you were my dad.
Wilfred: Don't start. You said you were told, he will knock four times and then you die. Well that's it then. The Master. That noise, in his head. The Master is going to kill you.
The Doctor: Yeah.
Wilfred: Kill him first.
The Doctor: That's how The Master started. It's not like I'm an innocent. I've taken lives. I got worse—I got clever. Manipulated people into taking their own. Sometimes I think the Time Lord lives too long. I can't. I just can't.

In the previous episode, the character Wilfred (a former soldier) is told he has never killed anyone. He takes it as a point of pride and not shame.

I think that this really is something that we (as a species) could use more of. A ideal that the use of violence is a last resort rather than the opening gambit. This moral code (admittedly from a TV show) doesn't rule out the use of violence, but it sure makes it seem sad and tragic.

I was similarly impressed with the morality in Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat (which i think competes with any science fiction series for best ever). Consider:

Cold-blooded killing is just not my thing. I've killed in self-defence, I'll not deny that, but I still maintain an exaggerated respect for life in all forms. Now that we know that the only thing on the other side of the sky is more sky, the idea of an afterlife has finally been slid into the history books alongside the rest of the quaint and forgotten religions. With heaven and hell gone we are faced with the necessity of making a heaven or hell right here. What with societies and metatechnology and allied disciplines we have come a long way and life on the civilised worlds is better than it was during the black days of superstition. But with the improving of here and now comes the stark realisation that here and now is all we have. Each of us has only this one brief experience with the bright light of consciousness in that endless dark night of eternity and must make the most of it. Doing this means we must respect the existence of everyone else and the most criminal act imaginable is the terminating of one of these conscious existences.

Once again, violence is never ruled out but always deeply tragic.

No comments:

Post a Comment