Oh, goody, here's a moral system.

Try on based entirely on survival of the species. You know, save the children, but you HAVE to survive, you should be polite (so people don’t kill you), that sort of thing. Why not suggest rules for this system and try to support them, or just argue against rules, or the system entirely, or insult me (I know you want to).

How about this rule: women and children first. I like it. It’s simple, most people will agree with it, and it goes along with the basic concept (species survival, women have a greater tendancy to be pregnant than men and men have a greater tendancy to be big, ugly, and carrying a weapon).

Ummm … say that again?

I read this THREE fucking times.


When you reduce a moral system down to a single imperative such as survival of the species, the resulting culture is likely to be pretty heartless. Such as:
Kill the weak, the sick, and the mentally defective. They consume more resources than they produce.

Kill 3 out of 4 female babies. The 28 day estrus cycle and 9 month gestation period ensure that a single female can produce 15 to 20 offspring during the childbearing years. Otherwise, females have little Darwinian value, and consume a disproportianate percentage of resources.

Breed males as workers or warriors. Strong workers maximize the production of resources to support the army.

A warrior society can acquire resources from weaker adversaries. Conquered cultures will be enslaved to produce resources, or consumed as food in times of shortage.

Government would be absolute dictatorship to ensure that no dissent alters the prime focus on the production of resources. To this end, religion would be worship of the emperor as a living god.

Non-productive pursuits like music and art would be prohibited. Literacy of the rank and file would be punished by death.

Sounds pretty harsh, huh? Well, all are practices drawn either from nature (where survival of the fittest is the order of the day), or from the most successful cultures of the past 6 thousand years.

Fortunately, the purpose of a moral system is to elevate humans above the beasts, to add meaning to life beyond survival. Anything less would be, well, uncivilized.


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

Well. Thufferin, you said it much better than I could.

That’s why I said, “What?”

Good points. Excellent points in fact. Hmm. Maybe it wouldn’t work. Actually, it definitely wouldn’t. I’m glad that, at the least, one person really took the trouble to respond, and I should stop posting at one in the morning (sheepish look).

Why? Wouldn’t you want as many females punching out babies as possible? Surely, monogamy would be out of the question in this * 1984 * style world, so males could impregnate as many females as they could get their hands on.

Actually, after some consideration, I think the warrior society I proposed would probably kill all of the female children, and simply enslave captured females for procreation. This would eliminate the possibility of incest in a society without monogamous marriage. Or maybe female infants would be used exclusively for sacrifice; living gods can be so demanding!


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

Is that you Praetorian?

This has been dealt with in literature by Frank Herbert in the Dune series: the fremen were a culture built entirely around the survival of the culture because their environment was so harsh (both geographically and politically, with a planetary government trying to exterminate them).

You’re taking a very harsh line, Thufferin, that I don’t think is necessary. The only reasonable prohibition I see for women in such a society is that they’re not allowed to fight in wars except as a line of last defense, in order to preserve breeders. In fact, rather than have a surplus of men, you would want a surplus of women. One man can impregnate many women, while one women can only be pregnant once at a time. As long as the man was fertile, he could make his contribution regularly. Think of it as a factory: you don’t have one machine and eighteen workers, you have one worker tending eighteen machines.

In fact, the fremen in Herbert’s novels practiced polygamy (one man, many wives) because it pinpointed infertility: if four women sleeping with the same man all fail to get pregnant, the culprit is obvious; likewise, if one woman out of those four fails to get pregnant, you know it’s her fault.

Moreover, women, pregnant or not, can handle the multitude of domestic tasks, including raising children and keeping the hearth.

As I think about it, such a culture would be much more harsh on men. You would want women to be safe and preserved, generally, since you’re preserving your capacity to breed replacements. The men have a minor contribution, and one could serve many women, so some breeding males are kept around. The rest are kept largely as warriors and for heavy lifting, and such a society would work best when the number of men competing for women was small.

The best way to accomplish a high women:men ratio would be to subject male children to intense and life threatening competition to weed out weak males and leave only very strong and warlike males around.

I’m unsure whether the men or the women would dominate such a society; I suspect the dominant role of cultural preservation would be handled by women, since they would be responsible for the daily acts of preservation and propagation. It would be a warlike, matriarchal society, much like a colony of bees.

I think the misconception that men would dominate and enslave women is a tribute to male ego, rather than an ideal of cultural preservation.

Never attribute to an -ism anything more easily explained by common, human stupidity.

The fact that no society as described has evolved naturally (though some have come close) is an indication that it is probably not optimal.

Certainly, a dictatorship is the least survivable form of government because even if a single powerful person can hold the reins of power for his entire life, his succession is often the cause of bloody civil wars. Bloody civil wars interfere with production and also can lead to the death of the civilization.

Also, the warrior society can easily overreach itself, the best example of which is probably Athens. In fact, everyone interested in this thread should go spend some time reading about Athens history. They experimented with just about every known type of government at one time or another, rose and fell in power in great waves and generally laid the foundation for pretty much everything westerners think about the world. Its somewhat relevant to the discussion.

In fact, rather than have a surplus of men, you would want a surplus of women. One man can impregnate many women, while one women can only be pregnant once at a time.


This presumes that rapid procreation equals survival; however, if a society consisted primarily of females in various states of fecundity, it would consume resources at a an unsustainable rate and be a target for more aggressive societies. The object is to reproduce at a sustainable rate, while maintaining an army of expansion, and a worker base to produce resources.

Bear in mind, this is not my idea of an ideal society, just a proposal of one that might succeed within the parameters of the OP.


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

Just remember, your offspring and your siblings carry half your genes. (Half-siblings would carry a quarter of your genes.) If you die saving the lives of 2 of your kids, 2 full-siblings, or 4 half-siblings, you have preserved exactly as much of your genome as if you had lived.

Personally, I’d just rather be gifted with immortality.