Stellaris

The Ethics of a Hivemind

stellaris 8 - The Ethics of a Hivemind
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With the zeitgeist nature of a collective consciousness, it doesn't really have ethics. A collective consciousness has no need of ethics, as it has no need of a government. The purpose of a government is to provide stability and law in order for a society to function. With a collective consciousness, there is no need for society or law as the entire species is under the control of the hivemind. It's an entirely different animal than a disparate species like Humanity, completely alien in its mindset and nature. This doesn't mean that it won't develop ethics of its own following contact with a disparate alien species.

Imagine that you're going for a walk in the woods. While exploring a part of the woods where you've never been before, you see someone from a distance off. Being lonely, you decide to approach and see if they're friendly, maybe strike up a conversation and continue exploring. When you get closer, however, you find that the "person" is something far different than you expected.

Instead of being one organism, they are made up of multiple organisms, each with its own mind. Most of them are working together, but just barely. At the best, they argue amongst each other. At the very worst, some of the organisms are actively fighting and killing the others, and they are responding in kind. In the face of something so alien, you can only stare in horror and bewilderment.

Between xenophobia and xenophilia, a hivemind is more likely to go with xenophobia upon meeting a disparate species, both for the reasons outlined in the previous paragraph, plus for the disparates' own response. Depending on how things go between them and the disparate alien species they come across, it might be possible for the hivemind to learn to appreciate what the "disparates" have come up with sans a shared consciousness. I think this would be unlikely however.

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Between militarism and pacificism, it would be situational. As long as the hivemind has plenty of habitable planets for it to expand to within its own borders, it would likely prefer to stay behind them and focus on internal development. It would keep a strong defense force, however, to protect from alien invasion. When squeezed for new living space, however, it would most likely resort to aggressive actions against its neighbors in order to continue its growth and expansion.

Between materialism and spiritualism, I think a hivemind would be more likely to focus on research and acquiring resources, especially food. I think it would be possible for a hivemind to have a religion, but it would far different from religion here on Earth or elsewhere. Religion is one of the many basis' for a community, and a hivemind wouldn't develop the idea of community thanks to its nature as a collective consciousness.

Between authoritarianism and egalitarianism, there's no question: A hivemind would opt for authoritarianism. In a hivemind, there is no room for individualism. Deviancy cannot be allowed, period. The hivemind's commands are absolute, and all must obey, lest chaos and then extinction threaten all.

In summary, a hivemind's ethics are fanatic authoritarianism with either materialism (most likely in my opinion), militarism, or xenophobia added in. Thoughts?

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