Ten years ago a powerful alien race appeared in the skies above humanity’s major cities.
These aliens are so far in advance of our technical abilities that they have what seems to be magical powers. Remember Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” These aliens, who call themselves the Oodat, claim to have experience all over the universe helping species like humans reach their full potential and in fact to reach a state of “perfection”. They’ve helped millions of species. If you accept them at their word, you have no reason to doubt that they know whats better for you than you yourself does.
To receive their aid, all you have to do is do what they say. Because of their unique history, they have many customs for you to follow. For example, they have a large digital archive full of advice and stories from their past that they require you to read from every day. They require you to gather together with other like-minded individuals and read from this archive together and listen to others expound upon what they think this archive means to you. The Oodat require you to hold them in…something even more than esteem and appreciation. Maybe the right word is reverence.
The most important part of the Oodat’s requirements is this: you must reject the any ideas that could possibly be construed as not agreeing with what they’ve taught you no matter what the outside evidence. Not only that, you must also reject any people who aren’t living up to the requirements the Oodat have set out for you.
After awhile, it becomes apparent that many people who follow the Oodat actually are happier. Of course, it isn’t possible to know whether they are actually on the way to perfection, but the evidence for some people is that their lives are better.
On the flip side, some people actually seem to be worse off. There are conflicts on the edges between people who follow the Oodat and those who don’t. Even people who are happier under the Oodat’s tutelage lie, murder, and steal just like other humans.
Would you follow the Oodat?
Say you knew that the Oodat were legit, and actually had raised people of many species to “perfection”. Would you follow them?
What if you realized that your idea of perfection wasn’t the same as the next person contemplating following the Oodat?
What if you realized that the Oodat’s idea of perfection was different from your own?