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SavoirFaire's avatar

Would you support interspecific marriage if we encountered intelligent aliens?

Asked by SavoirFaire (20203 points ) December 13th, 2011

Suppose we were to encounter extraterrestrial life. In this scenario, assume that we are confident that these beings are intelligent and capable of making their own decisions. They have their own civilization, and perhaps they are even technologically advanced enough to have found us before we found them.

If a human and an alien were to fall in love, should they be allowed to get married? What factors are relevant to you in deciding whether or not interspecific marriage should be allowed in any given case? Would it matter how humanoid the aliens were? Would it matter whether or not the couple would be able to reproduce?

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36 Answers

chyna's avatar

I’d have to check out their probes before I could answer.

babybadger's avatar

I think it would depend on how humanoid the aliens were, but I don’t think reproduction would be something to worry about. It’s like with gay couples – adopt. I think understanding each other’s race is superduper important, and we’d have to be of even or slightly different intelligence…. the more similar the race, the more relationships would work I think. I mean, many animals including people tend to selectively breed – as I learned in Bio today, taller men tend to marry taller women.

PhiNotPi's avatar

These aliens would most likely not observe the practice of marriage, abolishing it in favor of something more efficient.

lillycoyote's avatar

Why not? You can’t stand in the way of love. Being able to reproduce shouldn’t be a determining factor in whether or not people can marry, I don’t think.

blueiiznh's avatar

I think I already did.
Been there, Done that!

Pandora's avatar

Yes if there are no children allowed. They may come here just to get knocked up and then experiment on the hybrid babies. I mean, once they go off in a spaceship, who is going to go after them? How do you get your kid back?
What if they are just horny aliens that go around knocking up women of diffent species and then fly off into space. Again. Who is going to chase them? Then you have all these alien children that we have to support.
Or what if the plan is to knock up the women and the alien babies eat their mothers and any human near by.
I think a lot would have to be answered before I would think this was ok.
Now, if they are like Spock. Then I would think it was ok. Pointy ears and logic would be a plus to our race. LOL

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Pandora How would you know if they were going to fly off with a child before someone had a child with one? And again, we’re talking about a human and an alien falling in love.

janbb's avatar

But are they Jewish?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@janbb Now wouldn’t that be something?

lillycoyote's avatar

@janbb LOL. Yes, good question. Talk about a diaspora! And how would they raise the children? That should certainly be discussed and agreed upon before marriage.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The question of alien religions is too good to pass up. See my new question here.

Coloma's avatar

Maybe we’re already alien spawn? lol

Sure, especially if it lends itself to advanced intelligence, “God” knows, we could use some interbreeding with a more enlightened species.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

If they are capable of consent, fine.

judochop's avatar

Perhaps, I doubt it though. I think that Aliens would be looked at in the same light as animals. Humans do not sleep with animals that they love (yeah, yeah make your jokes). So I doubt that folks would be wanting to bed down for erotic adventures.
On the flip side… If they look like that Alien from Mars Attacks, I’m down to get down.

Coloma's avatar

@judochop

If aliens arrived on earth they would be far more advanced than we are, sooo, I don;t see how we could compare them to animals other than in the most rudimentary biological sense.

CWOTUS's avatar

It would totally depend on her hotness, and how she looks in a bikini… or whatever. It might have something to do with how many mouths she has. Hell, it might even come down to whether she has a cookbook for me or not… and how she’s interpreting the word “for” in that sentence.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t feel it is my job to tell two intelligent individuals what kind of relationship they may or may not have. Indeed. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business.

Under the Orange Tree.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@judochop Remember, though, that the aliens might look as “normal” as Vulcans. That’s an open question as far as this question is concerned. Would that make a difference to you?

everephebe's avatar

Sure. Assuming that they are of our intelligence or greater. Why not? If that’s what tickles the fancy.
I mean especially if they are attractive beings. Pointy ears? I’m cool with that. What are your mating rituals space alien? Ok.. ok, I’m kidding here but why not really?

Brian1946's avatar

Given the conditions in the first paragraph of your details, I would support interspecific marriage regardless of gender.

Ayesha's avatar

Of course!

Blackberry's avatar

Of course. It may actually be beneficial, as we could merge cultures and send some humans to their planet to learn and experience there.

ucme's avatar

This already happened didn’t it?
Err, hello…....David Gest & Liza Minelli.
Argue amongst yourselves as to which was the alien.

Pandora's avatar

@SavoirFaire I don’t know. But thats the point. We wouldn’t know anything about these aliens. The prudent thing would be to understand them first. I mean are these the type of aliens to rip your face off after they concieve? Maybe they will seem nice at first and then plan to kill all humans. If they are so advance, why would they be interested in backwards us in the first place. Is it they need some new blood because their species is dieing or do they just want some new land? Do they even know what love is? Or do they mimic us to get us to put our guard down?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Pandora Look at the question description. We do understand the aliens. We know enough about them to have determined that they are sentient and sapient, and contact has existed long enough for a human and an alien to fall in love. This isn’t a first contact scenario.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Actually, @SavoirFaire , @Pandora has a point. It’s not covered in the details that the aliens are benign within the context of mixed relationships. I’d have a little problem supporting the idea if it turned out that devouring the partner was part of the mating ritual or somesuch.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@JilltheTooth My response doesn’t say they are benign. It says we know them well enough to have determined that they are sentient and sapient. That is covered in the details. My point is that we aren’t as ignorant as @Pandora pretends (i.e., it is not the case that “we wouldn’t know anything about these aliens”).

In response to your point, however, it seems that whether or not they are benign is only a good reason to support or oppose any particular relationship. It does not seem a reason to support or oppose interspecific marriage as such. I don’t want my sister marrying anyone who wishes her harm, but that’s not enough for me to discourage her from dating or marrying altogether.

Pandora's avatar

@SavoirFaire In this scenario, assume that we are confident that these beings are intelligent and capable of making their own decisions. They have their own civilization, and perhaps they are even technologically advanced enough to have found us before we found them
Does not mean that they are incapable of having an ulterior motive.
Your asked a question (which I assume was in fun) but I answered honestly.
As it is, I barely trust my own species. Why on earth would I trust a species that I’ve only known a short while. When I say a short while, I mean within my life span.
After all if they are so smart than why do they even bother with the emotion of love. Its not something that is necessary to everyone. I would think they would’ve just evolved to some sort of dna reproduction. BTW, if they are so sage, than they wouldn’t even have bothered with us at all. On an evolutionary scale we would seem like monkeys to them. So unless they are freaky aliens I don’t see how they would fall in love with us.
Thats what always amused me about sci fi shows. Some of the aliens always end up having human emotions and then no longer see us as being below them.
But whatever. You got my answer. I would not approve.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Pandora I got your answer, but I’m looking for reasons. And more specifically, I am looking for good reasons. General misanthropy does not strike me as a good reason to oppose interspecific marriage, especially if you do not oppose intraspecific marriage. I have not said that the aliens are in any way transcendent relative to us. Technological advancement is not the same as being emotionless robots or more evolutionarily advanced.

And no, I did not ask this question for fun. It is a serious question that has ramifications that I have purposefully not made clear.

Pandora's avatar

I think mistrust is a good reason. But I suppose your looking to objection in the physical aspect. It would be like mixing two different species. For ourselves it would probably be a step up in the evoutionary scale so in that sense I would not object. But they would still have to be extremely similar to our genetic make up. A lot closer than monkeys.
If the physical difference is large than I would probably feel love between the two species isn’t really love and they would probably feel the same.
We have taught monkeys to sign and they can have affection or feel territorial over their human friends but I would think such a union as being vile. So since you are attatching human feelings to this alien I would suppose that they equally would find a union with us, equally as vile and against their own nature.
Even the dumbest animal tries to mate with another healthy animal of their own species to have a healthier and stronger animal. I would think they would do the same. I would assume it would also be in their nature to improve and be attracted to their own species.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Pandora Mistrust is not a good reason to be against interspecific marriage as such. It would only be a good reason to be against particular relationships (as I noted in my response to @JilltheTooth).

Are you saying, though, that you couldn’t love someone who looked different than you? Does that extend to people of different races? And since you mention evolution, what if the two species were not capable of having offspring? Would that lead you to oppose interspecific marriage in that case? Do you also think that infertile couples should be forced to divorce?

lillycoyote's avatar

Are we talking about making interspecies marriages illegal or just talking about, as a society, saying that these marriages might be ill advised? It should always be up to the individuals involved, I think. Who are any of us to say that those individuals are not capable of weighing the pros and cons of these relationships and capable of making their own decisions in these matters? Unless the scientific community or society at large has some real evidence that these relationships and marriages could truly be detrimental in some way, it seems like it should really be up to the individuals choosing to marry.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@lillycoyote I’m asking whether it should be legally allowed, not whether any particular union might be advisable. Not all unions between two humans are advisable, so I certainly would never assume that all unions between an alien and a human would be so.

JilltheTooth's avatar

No, @SavoirFaire , if you’re going to pick at it, let me rephrase, I would have trouble supporting it if it turned out that devouring the partner was part of the mating process. Is that better? Being sentient, sapient and intelligent and civilized does not mean that they would not be alien, and therefore very likely have an entirely different set of physical and philosophical standards. I wouldn’t condemn any pairings on moral grounds, I might reconsider the wisdom of such pairings based on the danger quotient to either species. You’ve made it very clear what answer you want us to give, I get that, but the details were not inclusive enough for that to be completely obvious.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@JilltheTooth I’m not looking for a specific answer. Honestly, I’m not. What I am looking for, though, is reasons—specifically, what reasons that make sense to the general case (and not merely particular cases). The reason you’ve just given, for instance, is exactly the kind of thing for which I am looking.

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