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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Upon extraterrestrial contact with a technologically superior race, we discover they value and promote concepts that challenge human norms. Would we judge them as bad, or convert ourselves to their way of being?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (28323 points ) 3 months ago

So the aliens land and make friends with humanity. They promise to share their technology to our benefit. No more disease. No more famine. No more natural disaster. No more death, for they have a technological solution for eternal life. No over population because they can transport anyone to any planet in the universe with a blink of an eye. Consider anything else you can think of that would benefit the world.
_________

But in order to receive these “gifts”, the human race must accept and adopt the ways of the alien race, which are considered antithetical to human philosophies and cultural norms.

The short list:

Within seconds of delivery, human children are removed from their birth parents and become agents of the collective. You’ll never know them. They won’t be harmed. In fact, they will be genetically altered for mental and physical superiority.

Animals are illegal to own as pets (for whatever reason). The ones you have shall be exterminated.

All handicapped children are killed at birth.

It is no longer permitted to own anything.

Free speech against the aliens is a death crime.

The aliens are telepathic. Thought crimes are as valid as physical crimes. All punishable by death.

Anything else your imagination can think of…
____________

I hope you can answer this question from two different perspectives.

1 – Would you personally make the trade?

2 – Would you expect world government leaders to make the trade, as a decision for the greater good of all, despite what your personal position was?

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37 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Why would they kill handicapped children at birth, when they have the ability to erase/prevent any sort of birth defect with ease?

In any case, you can be guaranteed that such conditions would preclude any sort of deal. You can also be certain that with such a culture, they would not become friends with humanity. They would be seen with disgust and distrust, as well as a threat of such proportions the likes of which is unprecedented in human history, and their technological superiority would only make it worse.
And because of the point of not being allowed to own anything, even the ruling political and corporate elite would not agree to this.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

OP edited to include thought crimes…

@ragingloli Do you not think that the political and corporate elite would at least consider trading the ability for ownership, riches, and power, for the option of eternal life?

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
Maybe for a second, until they realise that eternal life without power and possessions would be hell for them. Power and possessions is their raison d’être.

ragingloli's avatar

And it gets even worse: Because the aliens are telepathic, the elites could not even think about subverting the aliens’ power to achieve galactic dominance.

talljasperman's avatar

Sounds like what the Europeans did to the indigenous natives by forcing religion on everyone .... I would kick their collective asses back to there home world. We can discover these things on our own… thank you very much.

Seek's avatar

Thoughtcrime is punishable by death?

Nope. They might as well wipe us out in one stroke. We human animals are incapable of filtering our thoughts before they’ve been thought. If that makes sense.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Short term annihilation for thought crime would be just that, until the genetically altered children grew up. They don’t suffer the same troubles as us “human animals” do.

elbanditoroso's avatar

What makes you think we could ‘convert’ them?

I would not trade human nature for some possibly ‘ideal’ society. Humans are good because of their fallibility.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Didn’t say we could convert them. Asked if we would convert to their ways.

Seek's avatar

We wouldn’t make it the requisite nine months to bear the first post-assimilation offspring without every single human being aware of the situation to be executed for thinking something negative about our alien overlords.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli “And it gets even worse: Because the aliens are telepathic, the elites could not even think about subverting the aliens’ power to achieve galactic dominance.”

How is that “worse”?

bolwerk's avatar

The aliens will be Glenn Beck acolytes?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr The genetic alteration doesn’t occur at inception. It occurs after delivery, when they take your baby and kill you for being vengeful about that.

Seek's avatar

If I’m aware they’re going to take my baby, I’ll be vengeful long before that baby ends up outside my body.

Coloma's avatar

They can communicate with all animal species and translate, facilitating a huge leap between human/animal communication.
Ya know, we already deal with ALIENS, in the form of the creatures of the planet.
Forget space, I’d just like to really be able to communicate with other creatures. haha

Jaxk's avatar

It’s the “Bird in a Guilded Cage” syndrome. You get some neat stuff but your still in a cage. Count me out. Hell, we’re already too close to this.

filmfann's avatar

@Jaxk We are NOT too close to this.
I would never take the deal, as wouldn’t anyone I know. You are giving up the joys of life for more joyless life. It’s a silly proposition.

ETpro's avatar

If these aliens are as powerful and seemingly single-minded as the OP indicates, I don’t know why they would take no as an answer, but since they were kind enough to ask, I would say no. I’m with @Jaxk on this. You’re way more in a cage with telepaths who deal out the death sentence for thought crimes than any cage we’re in now.

ibstubro's avatar

Would I personally make the trade? No. Eternal life sounds, so…tiring.

Do I think world leaders would go along? Yes, if the aliens were willing to “grandfather them in” as ‘resident aliens’.
Allowed the faults of Mankind but granted the benefits of Alienship.

How is this justified?
“Short term annihilation for thought crime would be just that, until the genetically altered children grew up. They don’t suffer the same troubles as us “human animals” do.
i.e. “For the good of our children”

In short, I think the human elite would broker a deal that allowed them an Eternity to subvert, corrupt and otherwise pervert the alien ideal. And I bet the humans would win in the end.

ETpro's avatar

@ibstubro Well, it’s clear human conceit knows no limits. It’s not clear that telepathic aliens wouldn’t discern their thought process, though.

ibstubro's avatar

“grandfather them in” as ‘resident aliens’.

Is my key, @ETpro

kritiper's avatar

We would judge them as bad since they would want us to convert to meet their demands OR ELSE!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Ok folks, there are enough answers here (thank you) to reveal the true intentions of this thought experiment. This is actually a God and heaven question, not an alien question. I was hoping for more theists to reply.

Theists want to go to heaven. But do they understand the ramifications of such a thing? Is the heaven they imagine really the heaven they would get?

Put the list in context of heaven and the eternal afterlife.

The list again:

human children are removed from their birth parents and become agents of the collective. You’ll never know them. They won’t be harmed. In fact, they will be genetically altered for mental and physical superiority.
Forget about having, raising, or caring for children in the afterlife. None of the traditional societal concepts would apply in heaven. Won’t happen.
____________

Animals are illegal to own as pets (for whatever reason). The ones you have shall be exterminated.
Forget about having pets in heaven. The soulless creatures will be left behind uncared for to die. They will simply poof out of existence. Terminated.
___________

All handicapped children are killed at birth.
Ok, sorry. I should have clarified Mentally Handicapped people. My bad. But I speak of those who cannot accept Jesus as their personal savior. The bible does not speak on this subject, and it’s always bothered me that it makes no special mention of this. Christians will claim Psalms 18:27 (in some versions of the bible) as mention of saving the afflicted. But it does not speak of an afflicted person. It speaks of “afflicted people”, as in, and specifically, persecuted and faithful believers. I do not accept this as proof of eternal heaven for the mentally afflicted who cannot accept the grace of the lord upon their own will.
________

It is no longer permitted to own anything.
Well, what will you own in heaven?
________

Free speech against the aliens is a death crime.
Just ask Lucifer what happens when you speak against the will of heaven. The ultimate fate is to be cast into the eternal pit. A fate worse than death? For the thought crime of pride.
________

The aliens are telepathic. Thought crimes are as valid as physical crimes. All punishable by death.
Ditto above comment, plus add Jesus warning that thoughts such as lust and greed are equal to the actual acts of rape and stealing.

kritiper's avatar

Oh, geez… You should have specified that since I am an Atheist and have no beliefs in God or any of that sort. Next time you might address your question to the Theists.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

Getting back to the original question before you went all religious on us – the first thing we’d do is send missionaries from the major religions to them to convince them they’re wrong and we’d try to convert them. Once converted, we’d offer them foreign aid whether they needed/wanted it or not. By then, they’d be totally convinced we’re a bunch of wacko religious nutjobs and would leave.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Christianity is a faith-based religion, it’s strange to have concrete visions of an afterlife or even of Heaven, it’s basically a concept rather than a ‘place above the earth’. Let me know if you have more questions, we have quite a few theists here who would happily answer serious questions, perhaps via PM.

bolwerk's avatar

What religion isn’t “faith-based”? Even cop-out faiths like Deism treat something that can’t be demonstrated ( the existence of a creator of the universe) as a core truth.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk Native Americans & Wicca worshipping natural elements/ nature, etc…I suppose.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah!

I win:
“In short, I think the human elite would broker a deal that allowed them an Eternity to subvert, corrupt and otherwise pervert the alien ideal. And I bet the humans would win in the end.”

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Great question. I was wondering if that wasn’t where you were going with this. Knowing your intent, my answer stands. If Heaven is managed by the thought police as the Bible says, then I agree with Mark Twain, “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” I can stand a lousy climate as long as I am in good company.

@KNOWITALL The thing is they deified what they worshiped. They felt that nature was infused with spirit and it was the Great Spirit being worshiped, not a rock or a tree. In the end, their idea of deity was every bit as abstract as the Christian’s.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

ET-”...I don’t know why they would take no as an answer…”

In the case of all religions that I know of, we all meet the same fate. “No” is not an option, unless accompanied by death or eternal torment.

As for children being taken away, I only have what the bible says in Luke 20:27–40 to go on, where the Sadducess tested Christ with a question about who’s wife a woman would be in heaven after becoming a seven time multiple widower.

Jesus claims:
“those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons[b] of the resurrection.”

I got no problem with that, if that’s how heaven works. Doesn’t make sense to me that traditional mortal family concepts would translate to eternal life. Each person would be an individual soul with a binding relationship only to God, not to one another. So if that holds true for marriage, then it must certainly hold true for children as well.

I don’t think heaven would look favorably upon anyone who clung to their own children as more important than the children of another person. A person would literally be forced to give up any familial ties. Now don’t take me wrong. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, in the context of an eternal heaven. I’m not judging it. Just pointing it out.

I think a lot of Christians have this concept of translating their earthly existence upon an imagined heaven, possibly believing that it will be very similar to current life, but without the hardships. I actually had a pastor once tell me that you would know and relate to all family members the same way as you do now. But you’d never even remember the ones that didn’t make it into heaven. Okay, so not only is religious heaven run by the thought police, but they also brainwash you to forget?

Well, everyone knows I’m a hard theist. I just don’t accept the religious depictions of eternity.

ragingloli's avatar

Well, everyone knows I’m a hard theist. I just don’t accept the religious depictions of eternity.
Why not?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Because linquistics and info theory, I believe, reveal much more realistic concepts of how the “heavenly” realm actually is. Traditional religion, as I’ve been taught, seems to be the biggest lie ever told to humanity. But when studying the same religious texts under the envelope of Word principles, an entirely new understanding is won.

For me.

And don’t misunderstand me please. I don’t know of anyone on the planet who thinks the same as I do about this. Some come close though.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli Good question.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I thought everybody knew that Brahman laid that out in the Chandogya, Kena, Aitareya, Kaushitaki, Katha, Mundaka & Taittiriya Upanishads long before the life of Jesus.

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
So, you still believe, without any evidential support, that these religious texts are accurate reflections of the supernatural, you just reinterpret them with a special filter, which you assume the actual authors of said text used, even though you have no factual grounding to assume that they actually did.
From where I am standing, you are no different from any other religious person that cherrypicks and/or twists their holy texts in an effort to reconcile the texts’ flawed factual claims and abhorrent moral imperatives, with both current scientific knowledge and their own secular morality, under the baseless assumption that the texts must be infallible, instead of applying Occam’s Razor to come to the conclusion that the texts are simply, and evidentially, wrong.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Laid what out @ETpro? Principles of the Word? Although I have read the Gita’s, and studied them to a degree. They say nothing of Word Principles. And I have not studied the Upanishads enough to know what it says about that. The closest I can think of is the concept of OM, which to me relates principles of vibration, not the word. As far as I understand it, they concentrate more on posture, mind control, and cessation of senses. But I know nothing of their proclamation of Word principles. I haven’t studied them enough to know. Have you?

Not until Bhartrihari came along 500 years after Christ, did he present the Sphota Theory of Language. A linguistic principle which is still recognized and accepted by modern phonology, where meaning only arises at the word level, and intentions at the sentence level. An author and philosopher, Bhartrihari’s ideas are considered a major innovation beyond previous religious Hindu scripture. Or so I’ve gathered.

Bhartrihari is considered a philosopher of religion. But I don’t know of any religions that began because of his work. Sphota is considered a language theory. Not a religion. I consider Bhartrihari the first modern linguist.

I’d very much like to know of any Word Principles in the Upanishads. Please share.
________________

@ragingloli ”...instead of applying Occam’s Razor…”

Actually, here, here, and here, in our past discussions, should confirm for you that I put my entire philosophy of this subject on the edge of Occam’s Blade. That is the rule that forces me to be a Linguistic Theist.

Now let’s be honest here. When you say, ”... the texts are simply, and evidentially, wrong”, are you suggesting that every word in the ancient scriptures are completely wrong about everything? Is there no redeeming value to anything said in ancient scripture?

But more importantly, do you really think you have a complete idea where I’m coming from on this? I ask that, because of your assertion that I am ”...no different from any other religious person that cherrypicks and/or twists their holy texts in an effort to reconcile…”. Consider the differentiation between myself, and those you liken me to. Nothing I believe is based upon faith. What I believe is based upon the Information Sciences. Nothing I believe has anything obvious to say about morality or ethics, though I do philosophize about those elements on a personal level. The only thing I know is that there must be a non physical afterlife, and there must be a creator author being.

Now we can debate and ponder about the ethics and morality of any ancient scripture you like. And judging them in the light of modern ethics, I’ll probably agree with you on many things. But that’s nothing to do with what the science I know teaches me about the “heavenly” realms. I can’t help it… literally, it’s not my fault… that biblical principles of the Word, and Bhartrihari’s Sphota just happen to coincide with what the sciences forces me to acknowledge.

mattbrowne's avatar

Suppose they are a Type 2 Kardashev civilization willing to share their knowledge. It would almost instantly make the human norm of needing money to buy stuff obsolete. Banks would disappear. Shareholders would disappear. Humans would become explorers.

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