Monday, September 9, 2013

252: Bioconservative Ethics

ENTRY 252: Bioconservative Ethics

“Finally we have the technologies to build a utopia, but almost a third of the human population is at or below the Sustainable Energy Consumption Index. Millions of egos reside in digital limbo, cut off from the human experience, because of the selfish desires of others, who want nothing more than to force more junk into their bodies, or to change morphs at their whim, rather than devote the time and resources to alleviating the suffering of infomorphs. They cast aside their humanity in favor of becoming Other, and so they should be treated—and when at last their systems break down, and they are too far gone to look back, we who preserved our forms will still be here.”
- August Jo Vern, Jovian Republic pundit

“There is nothing wrong with you. You are perfect just the way you are. There is no one like you. You are unique and special. Are your friends really your friends if they ask you to change that? Don’t give in to peer pressure. Stand up for yourself. Say no to augmentation.”
- Kyle Mantra, Vo Nguyen spokesperson

“Some believe we are created; I choose to believe we evolved. There is nothing sacred in our forms—only millions of years of practical refinement. Why throw that away for a process or piece of technology that has only been tested for a few years? The governments on Mars won’t let hypercorps sell landspeeders without years of testing; but genetic enhancements are approved in as little as six months. Do you really think they have worked out the bugs in six months?”
- Amana Milos, Anarchist bioconservative

“Treat others as you want to be treated. We all live in different systems, but that does not mean they have the right to tell us how to live our lives, any more than we have the right to tell them to live theirs. We do not try to rip the implants out of their flesh, or force them back from their robotic shells; do not let them tell you what to do with your own body and mind.”
- Ja Ja Jones, mother of six plus one

Using Bioconservative Ethics

People can justify any set of beliefs, and they do. In Eclipse Phase, it’s very easy to paint the bioconservatives as the strawmen of the setting, in no small part because their positions and beliefs are presented through the lens of the people that fundamentally disagree with them. That doesn’t mean that all of their beliefs are stupid or that none of them can muster up arguments (rational and otherwise) to support them; it is entirely possible for there to be disagreements where both sides have valid points, and when those arguments hit the table they can lead to some very rich roleplaying possibilities. That does not mean that players or gamemasters should write lengthy tracts about various bioconservative vs. augmentation arguments and read them aloud at the table. Instead, sit down and really think about the subject, make your best arguments, and try to work them in when things make sense to do so. Intelligent NPCs that can justify their beliefs are generally more interesting than caricatures spouting about the divine purity of the human form.


  1. Other entries on this blog have been more evocative, more imaginative, and more original but this, I think, is the most important. As you say, no one is going to show up to their gaming session with a fresh treatise but thinking about stuff like this is what really enhances the setting of Eclipse Phase. All of these quotes are by characters that are not only NPCs I'd like to drop into my campaign but also potentially PCs I'd like to play.

    My hat is off and my appreciation is immense, Bobby.