Good God Learners

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Thu 19 Feb 1998 - 00:09:50 EET

David Cake:

Me>>And it was a bad idea, why? They only exchanged two goddesses around.

> Weren't there some rather bad consequences afterwards? Fruit not
>ripening, that sort of thing?

So? There's a lot of bad consequences from the Manhatten project.
Does that make Oppenheimer, Teller and Feymann _wrong_ when they
worked on it?

>>Nonetheless I dislike this revisionism that all the bad deeds of the
>>God Learners are somehow done by people who were not good guys. Were
>>the people who worked on the Manhatten project _evil_?

> That was not my intent. Most of the bad deeds of the God Learners
>were done by people who thought they were doing the right thing. Its just
>that I think the God Learners themselves were far from agreeing on the
>wisdom of all their various projects, so you would find many individual God
>Learners who deplored the Zistor project, for example, yet enthusiastically
>created shrines to Tanian.

The problem with your take on it is that you somehow have these
disagreeing God Learners surviving to point fingers and say 'I
told you so'. If these God Learners had a valid points then they
would have been listened to.

>The God Learners (taken to mean the group of
>people capable of God Learner magic) were far from unified, politically or

They were unified both politically and intellectually. They had
universities which churned out degrees by the thousands and they
all owed allegiance to the Middle Sea Empire.

> But the vast majority of them thought that THEY were doing the
>right thing.

We're approaching epistemological debate here. IMO the God Learners
_knew_ from their philosophy that they were doing the right thing
and had no _credible_ reason that they were wrong in doing so.

> The Manhattan Project is actually a perfect example of what I think
>went on a lot - it seemed very important at the time, and many people
>(including some of both those directly involved and others of their nation)
>later thought it had been a very idea. I like the idea that the God
>Learners had a few Oppenheimers, deploring the uses to which their theory
>was put, after devoting their life to its creation.

Your take on the God Learners required people to have opposed the
Manhatten Project before it left the Drawing Board. That is what

I am objecting to.

FWIW there were good reasons for pursuing the Manhattan project and
they are still true.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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