FOM: Foebe and Robin

Reuben Hersh rhersh at
Wed Mar 18 18:48:09 EST 1998

One thing I have learned on this list is that philosophers think
it's OK to argue by making up fantastic stories about extraterrestrial
folks.  So I made up a little story.  It's much less fantastic.
Almost pedestrian, in this "day and age."  In case it appears to
have nothing to do with FOM, it's a parable.  An allegory.

Foebe is an astronaut, the first to fly solo to the moon.

Robin is her handler at ground zero in Houston.

Tragically, Foebe suffers an unpredictable cerebral "accident"
en route to the moon.  She retains her vision, hearing, speech, use of
limbs, but has completely lost her memory of everything before her
trip.  She remembers nothing about Earth.

I will indicate their lines by their initials, F. and R.

F:  Oh my God!  How beautiful!  That perfect blue-green sphere
floating there in the sky!

R:  That's the earth, Foebe.  That's where I am.  That's
where you came from.

F.  You're there?  You're there on earth?  Oh, how  lucky!
How beautiful it must be where you are.

R.  Well, I'm in Houston.  It's not that bad, but it's
got a few problems.

F.  What do you mean?

R.  Oh, just crime, pollution, politics, corruption, race
hatred, poverty, homelessness.  It's pretty nice, but
there are a few problems.

F.  How can that be?  From here it's perfect, timeless, floating
like an insubstantial ideal.

R.  Well, Foebe, I feel sorry for you when you come down,
you'll be in for a nasty shock.

F.  Come down?  Why should I come down?  Why should I give up
this perfect view, and come down to your nasty ugly little

R.  You can't stay up there, you're an earthling like me, you
don't belong on the moon.

F.  Oh, you think I'll listen to  you?  You relativist
bomb-throwing terrorist dumb-downer (RT), you plagiarizing comedian (SR),
you IRRELEVANT (NT), you non-problem (MD),  you shot through with
elementary blunders (VP), you multiculturalist postmodern afrocentric (SS).

R.  Goodbye, Foebe.  Too bad it had to end like this. 

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