Arthur Clarke has been reported to say that Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories. I find that in most sci-fi works there are lot of food for thought, be it the message given by Star Trek back in the 60s about common values of the mankind going beyond the exterior differences in race or sex, or be the capital letters warnings issued by Blade Runner in the 80s about a looming dark future.I just bought the first season of Battlestar Galactica and started watching episodes. The background is about a robot rebellion and the attempt of a bunch of survivors to seek for a new home while escaping the continuous attempt of the machines to destroy them.
So the scenario is this, the humanity has been mostly wiped out, billions are dead, there are just 50 thousands, grouping and recovering. The freshly named president is trying to figure out what are the best chances for surviving. Time for harsh choices, she has just opted to leave behind those aboard of starships not able to perform faster than light travel.
In the fleet there is a prison ship with 1500 convicts on board. Supplies are scarce and rationed, so the commander of the prison ship is asking what to do about his passengers. There could be plenty of good reason to save food, air, water and fuel. The president reads the requests, seems to ponder it for just a split second, and promptly dismisses by stating – No. We’re not going to start doing that. They’re still human beings. Tell the captain I expect daily reports on his prisoners’ well-being and if there are any “mysterious” deaths, the Astral Queen may find herself on her own and without the Galactica’s protection..
I think this is a profound message, we are all humans and we all deserves the same rights and duties. It is just sad to split humanity in those better and those worse purporting that the first has more rights than the latter.