Loss of Humanity

There is a lot of mention in both Wild Seed and Clay’s Ark, of losing one’s humanity. Through the process of the Patternists and the Clayarks evolutions while some attributes are clearly gained others are lost, and outside of the obvious identifiable changes, there is a certain un-nameable something that is also lost and seems to hold the key to whatever makes humanity in the eyes of the characters. One of the main signifiers of losing one’s humanity in both books seems to be a lack of regard for human life. But, if you have evolved into something that is no longer human, can you truly have regard for something you are not? Wouldn’t having humanity be contradictory to your new nature? Think of the way the general population treats animals. We wipe out whole animal habitats to make room for our own communities. We take animal lives by the millions maybe even billions to fill our bellies. Do we stop to think about how cruel it is to uproot an animal family? When we sit down at the dinner table, does eating an animal that might have been someone’s mother give us a pause? For most people, most humans, these are non-issues, because we consider animals lesser beings — less than human. So wouldn’t it follow as natural that when we evolve beyond human, to be human, will then be less than. And shouldn’t we expect that our humanity will be given no more thought than we currently give animal nature? Won’t it be natural for us to lose our humanity?

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