But someone raised the interesting of what extraterrestrials would do if they visited us. Is conquest such a cultural and biological imperative that we can expect only a War of the Worlds scenario?
Was America Founded By Genocide?
if we ever come into contact with extraterrestial life most probably all humans will become targets of a genocide. big fish eat little fish that's nature. we just think we're above it all because we can reason, but we don't want to admit that life is all there is.
C. R. C. says:
"if we ever come into contact with extraterrestrial life most probably all humans will become targets of a genocide. big fish eat little fish thats nature."
Really? You can't envision any other way? So why did we stop Saddam from gobbling up Kuwait?
What's interesting is that we KNOW there's another way--and we think extraterrestrial life is most probably sufficiently evolved to adopt it. That's how we represent them in popular culture: Take the movie 'Contact' for example. The extraterrestrials send us earthlings the blueprints for a radical new form of energy in order for us to be able visit them. They don't SELL it to us, they GIVE it AWAY to us--so they're obviously not capitalists!
In Independence Day, earth is attacked by a vastly superior military force from outer space. One of the heroes of the movie is a guy who flies a suicide mission into the enemies mothership--a suicide bomber, in other words. But we roundly condemn suicide bombing as a strategy when used on earth against superior military force, don't we? See that disconnect between what WE'D do if our backs were against the wall versus what we think OTHERS should do in the same predicament.
Excellent point about the suicide run in Independence Day. It applies to any attack by humans against alien invaders. For instance, Spielberg's War of the Worlds.
Did we stop to think whether the invading ships might've held innocent alien colonists--the equivalent of civilian women and children--on board? No, we didn't. We did our best to kill the invaders before they killed us. In war, sometimes you don't have the luxury of taking your time to distinguish between military and civilian targets.
Of course, you have to try to assess the situation if you can. Did we have time to pursue other options besides firebombing Germany, nuking Japan, and invading Iraq? Yes, yes, and yes. Did we have time to prevent the collateral deaths of civilians during the D-Day invasion at Normandy? No, probably not.
What would Kirk do?
Anyway, if you concede that the Star Trek approach to first contact--i.e., the Prime Directive requiring no interference--is valid, then you must concede the Euro-American approach to subjugating the Western Hemisphere was wrong. Right?
If you were wise, you'd not only concede that it was wrong, but that the people doing the subjugating knew it was wrong. It's not that we've gotten smarter in 500 years, it's that we've gotten better at listening to the voices of dissent.
For more on the subject, see Genocide by Any Other Name....
P.S. I fixed a few minor mistakes in these postings. Learn how to spell "extraterrestrials," people!
Below: A colonizing ship with innocent female and young settlers aboard?