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Under an orange sky (Solar System, #1)
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Under an Orange Sky > 4. Do you think Irene's decision was correct?

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John Seymour | 1904 comments Mod
4. Do you think Irene's decision was correct? Or should she be considered a traitor to the Earth?


message 2: by Tania (last edited Oct 02, 2017 06:48AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tania (tmartnez) | 105 comments There is always an inner voice that tells you in your heart what should you do, what path to take, if remain silent or speak up... if Irene was in earth defending a being from other; we could say that her humane and moral conscience is showing up. I think she remained loyal to her words and promises... she keep her "humanity". The difference is that she doesn't discriminate any type of life.


Fonch | 1264 comments I totally agree. In my opinion Irene took the right decision. She could not take other decision, without being opositte to the moral. Other decision it would have meant the genocide of other specie. In my opinion the dialogue between Steve and Irene is crutial, and it is the best of the novel. In my opinion the author was right when he gave the name of Irene to the main character of the story.


message 4: by Manuel (last edited Oct 02, 2017 11:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Manuel Alfonseca | 1515 comments Mod
Fonch wrote: "In my opinion the author was right when he gave the name of Irene to the main character of the story"

I suppose you all know that Irene in Greek means Peace.


Fonch | 1264 comments Manuel wrote: "Fonch wrote: "In my opinion the author was right when he gave the name of Irene to the main character of the story"

I suppose all of you know that Irene in Greek means Peace."


Of course for this reason i published this comment. There is a beautiful greek statue of the master of Praxiteles Cefisodoto Allegory of Peace and Wealthy.


John Seymour | 1904 comments Mod
Absolutely, Irene made the only possible correct decision. In order to be a traitor one has to have a duty that is violated. Needless to say, no one has a duty to aid in the commission of xenocide.

I disagreed with Irene when she insisted that the Martians were human - I think of humanity as a specific species. But later in the book she referred to them as persons, and I thought that was correct. But these sections do raise the question - what does it mean to be human - is that designation restricted to the species homo sapiens. Can beings from a different planet with a completely different biology really be said to be "human?"

I think the question of personhood is different and here completely agree with Irene.


message 7: by Manuel (last edited Oct 03, 2017 04:01AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Manuel Alfonseca | 1515 comments Mod
John wrote: "I disagreed with Irene when she insisted that the Martians were human - I think of humanity as a specific species. But later in the book she referred to them as persons, and I thought that was correct..."

You are right, it is a question of term definition. If we define "human" as "a member of the Homo sapiens species", then the Martians cannot be said to be human. However, I have seen sci-fi authors using the term to refer to every intelligent species in the universe. But I agree that "person" is better in this case.


Fonch | 1264 comments John wrote: "Absolutely, Irene made the only possible correct decision. In order to be a traitor one has to have a duty that is violated. Needless to say, no one has a duty to aid in the commission of xenocide...."
I agree with John about the topic of human. The aliens are lived being with right to live freely, about Irene despite her lie it was absolutely necessary to save an specie of the genocide, because the human being would have comitted a genocide with them with all security. Following the Jesuit Casuistic it would be a oficious lie. In some ocassion it is not sin. In the case it was it would be a very soft sin to prevent a bigger evil. There are some theologist, that they say that you can not say a lie, even although you want to save the world, but i think that if you can not choose between good, and evil. You must choose the less evil option. There is an story abot Sapkowki "The last wish", where the main character the witcher Geralt de la Rivia must choose the smallest evil.


Fonch | 1264 comments About the Irene`s decision, and the point of view of Steve, it reminded to me the scholastic theries of Salamanca School, which was debating the colonization of America. There was three theories the model of Gies Sepulveda, who defended to the encomenders, and the explotation of America, and the natives. The position of Bartolome de las Casas, who defends the give up America, and the model of Francisco de Vitoria, which was the pioneer of the international right, whih Hugh Grotius. Who defended a similar positions to Irene a Steve, and it is the position of Alfonseca, who defends the use of the earth and some resources, with causing damages to the martians inhabitants.


Manuel Alfonseca | 1515 comments Mod
Fonch wrote: "Irene despite her lie...Following the Jesuit Casuistic it would be a officious lie. "

Irene never lies. She just conceals information. It is not the same thing.


Tania (tmartnez) | 105 comments Lying and concealing are pretty close to me.


Mariangel | 561 comments I agree that not volunteering information is not the same as lying.

Irene knows that if the Earth goes ahead with a plan that will kill the martians, they will not fight back. Nobody on Earth had even imagined this possibility, hence nobody asked her, and she just did not bring this up.


Fonch | 1264 comments Manuel wrote: "Fonch wrote: "Irene despite her lie...Following the Jesuit Casuistic it would be a officious lie. "

Irene never lies. She just conceals information. It is not the same thing."


I was thinking meanwhile i was writting, i had doubts that she was lying, or hiding information with the intention that it was missunderstanding, and confuse the enemies. In this case Irene would be not saying the truth. It would not be a sin, but it could provoke damage, however she did it to protect the aliens, that they need especial protection, because his code of values avoid employing the strength against his enemies. Sometimes you can not do the thing which, benefit to your partner, country, or world, you must do the fairest, although it was impopular. Precisely the interesting of the Alfonseca`s stories is the moral dilemma. One of his favorite novel is Unlimted Orbit, by Poul Anderson because has important dilemmas. I wish my friend cheer up to read Fred Saberhagan, and Gordon R. Dickson.


Manuel Alfonseca | 1515 comments Mod
Remember that the eight commandment tells us "you shall not lie," rather than "you shan't conceal information."

Those who think that both things are the same or similar, think about this: during a time of religious persecution, we are not compelled to denounce ourselves as Christians, thus becoming martyrs. Rather we are commanded to conceal that information until someone asks us the question directly and officially.

John, being an attorney, can explain better why hiding information is never the same as lying.


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John Seymour | 1904 comments Mod
Manuel wrote: "Fonch wrote: "Irene despite her lie...Following the Jesuit Casuistic it would be a officious lie. "

Irene never lies. She just conceals information. It is not the same thing."


I was going to say the same thing. Concealing information is only wrong, sinful, if you have a duty to reveal the information to the person you are keeping it from. I would argue that not only did Irene not sin in concealing the Martians' true motivation, but that she would have sinned if she had revealed the information. At that time she had a duty of care and confidentiality to the Martians. To the extent she owed a duty to humanity, wouldn't it be the stronger duty to prevent them from committing the huge sin of xenocide? (I prefer this term coined, I think, by Orsen Scott card, for the killing of an entire alien species.) As long as that duty could be fulfilled by careful, even, perhaps, Jesuitical answers that were truthful, I think Irene not only didn't do anything wrong, she did great good.


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John Seymour | 1904 comments Mod
Manuel wrote: "John, being an attorney, can explain better why hiding information is never the same as lying."

:-)

I think the key is to think of there being a duty of truthfulness, but it not being owed to all people everywhere, and a duty of loyalty. As an attorney, my duty to my client is not only one of truthfulness, but of loyalty. So if I am aware of information that would assist my client, I must, in most situations, provide it to them. If however, I know information that would help the adverse party, my duty of loyalty impels me to keep it to myself, so long as I can do so without violating my general duty of truthfulness. In adversarial proceedings the law insists that questions be answered truthfully, but there is no duty to volunteer information, to answer questions that haven't been asked.

To take the concept of duty further, a philosophy professor at a seminary once told me that a lie is a failure to tell the truth to someone to whom we owe the truth. The example he gave was this: You are in Amsterdam during WWII, you are hiding a family of Jews in your attic and the Nazis are conducting a door to door search of the houses on your block looking for Jews. When they knock on your door, the SS officer asks you: "are there any Jews here?" What is the Christian answer?

His position, and I think it is the right one, though it takes some thinking, is that the only correct Christian answer in that situation is an immediate, forceful and sincere denial. In that situation the SS officer has no reasonable right to expect a truthful answer and you have no duty to tell him the truth. In fact your duty is to conceal the truth from him to the fullest extent that you can. In saying "no, no Jews here" you are telling an untruth, but not lying.

The difference between this and Manuel's Christian persecution is, I think, that we have a duty to declare Christ to the whole world and a duty not to deny him that is owed to ourselves, to God as well as to the whole world, including the persecutor who seeks to harm you.


Manuel Alfonseca | 1515 comments Mod
John wrote: "The difference between this and Manuel's Christian persecution is, I think, that we have a duty to declare Christ to the whole world and a duty not to deny him that is owed to ourselves, to God as well as to the whole world, including the persecutor who seeks to harm you."

Right. But I meant something different. During the persecution at the time of Marcus Aurelius there was a rule, that Christians shouldn't be prosecuted unless someone had denounced them. There were cases where some Christians denounced themselves because they wanted to be martyrs. The Christian hierarchies forbade this action, considering it almost equivalent to suicide. Therefore they were commanded to conceal information unless directly asked.

Of course we are also commanded to act in the world as a Christian should, and in normal circumstances we shouldn't conceal our beliefs.


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John Seymour | 1904 comments Mod
Manuel wrote: "John wrote: "The difference between this and Manuel's Christian persecution is, I think, that we have a duty to declare Christ to the whole world and a duty not to deny him that is owed to ourselve..."

Agreed.


Fonch | 1264 comments John wrote: "Manuel wrote: "John wrote: "The difference between this and Manuel's Christian persecution is, I think, that we have a duty to declare Christ to the whole world and a duty not to deny him that is o..."
I want to congrats for the philosophical discussion that you are doing. In my opinion the final resource that Alfonseca employs when Irene confesses to Steve the authentic nature of the aliens. We can see a partof a fortunate, and skillful literary resource, as a confession. In this ocassion we have not a priest, but Steve that he is the most perfect character is the closest to the priest. He is a friend a future boyfriend of Irene an evidence of his love is that Irene chooses him to tell the secret, because she knows that she can trust in him, and thanks to this we discover the authentic nature of the martian, and they are moraly better to the mankind.

About Tarkov, i hope that Alfonseca i do not think that i am saying that he is inspired in these character. When i read firstly Under an orange sky i remind that he said that he reminded to the soviet director Tarkovski, and i also thought in the Flash Gordon`s scientist Zharkov. I have the impression that Tarkov is so good designed and his doubts are very reasonable, or believable. Although he is not right.


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