"Think like a dinosaur"

I am referring to the Outer Limits episode based on the story originally written by James Patrick Kelly called "think like a dinosaur.

I had seen this a few times before, but it was recently on “SyFy” (hate that name) and while I did not rewatch the whole episode, it made me think about this story’s issue and similar star trek tech

It was a morality tail with dinosaur looking aliens that provide us a sort of transporter technology to visit other worlds and the earth has become somewhat wasted. A key point of the episode is that the transporter tech is really more like a duplication technology so the original must be destroyed once they have arrived at their destination. Now there is more to the story about a particular incident, but that is not the focus of my post.

What I want to know is thoughts on if people would really essentially agree to routinely kill people that had duplicates “beamed/reformed” on other planets. It is referred to as balancing the equation in the story, but I really don’t see how people would fall for this. Would people kill the original when a duplicate was created at the destination? Also who would be stupid enough to really want to use this technology?

In the story while the aliens manage the technology, they require humans to be the ones to press a button that “balances the equation.” This is because they want humans to essentially prove they are “smart/advanced” enough to be provided advanced technology from these aliens.

Any thoughts?

I didn’t see the show but I’ve read the story. Very good - I know comparisons have been made to “The Cold Equations”.

Personally, I think it could happen from a moral standpoint. People are good at rationalization. We’d simply define the duplicates as non-people and then not think about what happens to them. Which I think was Kelly’s point - he wasn’t as much disturbed by the deaths themselves as he was by the general refusal to think about the deaths.

yes I think you are right in that the story did put a focus on the absence of concern about the deaths in general, and clearly it was a mental justification. I guess the big question is how do you get to that point though. It may become commonplace after a while IF you continually do it, but at first surely someone would have qualms. How does someone explain this technology?

Oh we are going to send duplicates of humans to other planets, but the orginal needs to be killed after transfer. Now of course the point of the story is that they word it differently, but the facts do remain the same. Who would even want to be transported using this tech, as supposedly they went though training explaining the process before they jumped?

I’ve got a list of people that I swear have used this technology and have duplicates on other planets. Really. Trust me. We need to balance the equation.