Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

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Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #1

Post by William »

For example - if you were leader of an Extraresstrial race of sentient space-faring beings and had the technical ability to show the human race how to get out of its current predicaments, would you give the order to do so?

If "yes" or "no", why?

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #21

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to William in post #21]
What is it that enables crime? Can it be eliminated politically or is something more drastic required?
I don't think there is any simple answer to the first question. We have many laws against crime but that only deters some people. Others have motivations for committing crimes that take priority (for them) over the penalty for getting caught for the crime, and/or they think the chances of getting caught and suffering the punishment are sufficiently small to risk it. Their motivations could be a wide range of things (money, property, sex, revenge, power, etc. etc.).

I'd assume these people are enabled by their motivatioins, and eliminating those motivations may never be possible due to the nature of human beings. If laws and their enforcement don't work, then what alternatives are there? If someone is willing to kill for revenge or another reason, and ignores the laws (and morals) against that, I don't see how any political changes could stop them. We've had thousands of years of human civilizations around the world, and no solutions have stopped humans from comitting crimes.
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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #22

Post by William »

DrNoGods wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:54 pm [Replying to William in post #21]
What is it that enables crime? Can it be eliminated politically or is something more drastic required?
I don't think there is any simple answer to the first question. We have many laws against crime but that only deters some people. Others have motivations for committing crimes that take priority (for them) over the penalty for getting caught for the crime, and/or they think the chances of getting caught and suffering the punishment are sufficiently small to risk it. Their motivations could be a wide range of things (money, property, sex, revenge, power, etc. etc.).

I'd assume these people are enabled by their motivatioins, and eliminating those motivations may never be possible due to the nature of human beings. If laws and their enforcement don't work, then what alternatives are there? If someone is willing to kill for revenge or another reason, and ignores the laws (and morals) against that, I don't see how any political changes could stop them. We've had thousands of years of human civilizations around the world, and no solutions have stopped humans from comitting crimes.
So we can eliminate a political solution altogether. Therefore you as the leader of said advanced extraterrestrial species would not expect human politics to be able to deal with criminals. What would you do with said criminals?

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #23

Post by William »

William wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:07 pm
DrNoGods wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:54 pm [Replying to William in post #21]
What is it that enables crime? Can it be eliminated politically or is something more drastic required?
I don't think there is any simple answer to the first question. We have many laws against crime but that only deters some people. Others have motivations for committing crimes that take priority (for them) over the penalty for getting caught for the crime, and/or they think the chances of getting caught and suffering the punishment are sufficiently small to risk it. Their motivations could be a wide range of things (money, property, sex, revenge, power, etc. etc.).

I'd assume these people are enabled by their motivatioins, and eliminating those motivations may never be possible due to the nature of human beings. If laws and their enforcement don't work, then what alternatives are there? If someone is willing to kill for revenge or another reason, and ignores the laws (and morals) against that, I don't see how any political changes could stop them. We've had thousands of years of human civilizations around the world, and no solutions have stopped humans from comitting crimes.
So we can eliminate a human political solution altogether. Therefore you as the leader of said advanced extraterrestrial species would not expect human politics to be able to deal with criminals. What would you do with said criminals?

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #24

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to William in post #23]
So we can eliminate a political solution altogether. Therefore you as the leader of said advanced extraterrestrial species would not expect human politics to be able to deal with criminals. What would you do with said criminals?
I suppose if I had unlimited power and technology I would banish them to some region of the planet configured to house such criminals to try and rehabilite them if possible, or keep them banished permanently if they could not be rehabilitated. But we have such facilities now called prisons and psychiatric hospitals that attempt these very things, based on a society's definitions of what is proper (non criminal) behavior, and what is not as far as who is sent to them. These facilities exist in most if not all parts of the world, so they seem to be the accepted mechanism for dealing with criminals as most countries end up with similar rules and facilities despite their history and politics.

If it were a purely scientific problem, devoid of any moral considerations, then people who could not be rehabilitated to a point where they could be readmitted to society without continued criminal activity might be whisked onto my spacecraft and deported to another planet that itself is just a big prison, or a free place for criminals to live out their days without any laws at all. This seems to be more of a philosophical question at this point.
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #25

Post by William »

DrNoGods wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:32 pm [Replying to William in post #23]
So we can eliminate a political solution altogether. Therefore you as the leader of said advanced extraterrestrial species would not expect human politics to be able to deal with criminals. What would you do with said criminals?
I suppose if I had unlimited power and technology I would banish them to some region of the planet configured to house such criminals to try and rehabilite them if possible, or keep them banished permanently if they could not be rehabilitated. But we have such facilities now called prisons and psychiatric hospitals that attempt these very things, based on a society's definitions of what is proper (non criminal) behavior, and what is not as far as who is sent to them. These facilities exist in most if not all parts of the world, so they seem to be the accepted mechanism for dealing with criminals as most countries end up with similar rules and facilities despite their history and politics.

If it were a purely scientific problem, devoid of any moral considerations, then people who could not be rehabilitated to a point where they could be readmitted to society without continued criminal activity might be whisked onto my spacecraft and deported to another planet that itself is just a big prison, or a free place for criminals to live out their days without any laws at all. This seems to be more of a philosophical question at this point.
Perhaps it is. But it does serve as a possible way to explain that IF extraterrestrials did exist and are able to step in and save humanity, why they have not and perhaps also why they would not.

Given that crime takes place within prisons, it is unlikely one would use prisons as a means of preventing crime taking place. Also, what might be accepted as legitimate by human beings, might be viewed as behavior which works against saving humanity...

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #26

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to William in post #26]
Perhaps it is. But it does serve as a possible way to explain that IF extraterrestrials did exist and are able to step in and save humanity, why they have not and perhaps also why they would not.
I personally don't believe ET's as being discussed have ever visited earth simply because there is no evidence that they have, but I would not rule out their existence somewhere in the universe from a probability argument, however low that probability may be for intelligent life (vs. microbial life, for example). So I'd consider the question as to why they have not intervened as moot as I don't believe earth is something they know about if they did exist and had the (far more advanced than us humans) technology to zip around the universe at speeds orders of magnitude faster than anything we've come up with so far.
Given that crime takes place within prisons, it is unlikely one would use prisons as a means of preventing crime taking place. Also, what might be accepted as legitimate by human beings, might be viewed as behavior which works against saving humanity...
Yes ... I don't believe it is possible to "eliminate" crime among humans because of human nature and the wide range of bahavior and morals they exhibit. It is a problem that humans have never solved and probably never will.
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Mark Twain

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #27

Post by William »

DrNoGods wrote: Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:01 pm [Replying to William in post #26]
Perhaps it is. But it does serve as a possible way to explain that IF extraterrestrials did exist and are able to step in and save humanity, why they have not and perhaps also why they would not.
I personally don't believe ET's as being discussed have ever visited earth simply because there is no evidence that they have, but I would not rule out their existence somewhere in the universe from a probability argument, however low that probability may be for intelligent life (vs. microbial life, for example). So I'd consider the question as to why they have not intervened as moot as I don't believe earth is something they know about if they did exist and had the (far more advanced than us humans) technology to zip around the universe at speeds orders of magnitude faster than anything we've come up with so far.
We are each entitled to that which we believe. I see no reason to doubt that extraterrestrials might have developed a means of travelling the Galaxy quickly between distances as we currently are not developed enough to know one way or the other if such a thing is possible or not...
Given that crime takes place within prisons, it is unlikely one would use prisons as a means of preventing crime taking place. Also, what might be accepted as legitimate by human beings, might be viewed as behavior which works against saving humanity...
Yes ... I don't believe it is possible to "eliminate" crime among humans because of human nature and the wide range of bahavior and morals they exhibit. It is a problem that humans have never solved and probably never will.
Then in relation to humanity is there no saving to be done? This in itself could mean that extraterrestrials might have the capability to save humanity, but even so, would not.

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #28

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to William in post #28]
Then in relation to humanity is there no saving to be done? This in itself could mean that extraterrestrials might have the capability to save humanity, but even so, would not.
To save them from themselves? If crimes (broadly defined) are the primary fault that humans need saving from, then it would seem to me that there is no "saving" humanity without fundamentally altering the way humans think and behave so that all motivation and perceived benefit by the criminally inclined is eliminated somehow. And I don't see how that can be done and still have humans exist as they do today.

But maybe these hypothetical ETs could have Spock-like mind melding capabilities that would enable them to chemically alter the human brain to eliminate crime at its source. And while they are at it this same approach could eliminate all other nefarious activity that humans need saving from (in whoever's mind that list originates). However, this same thing should be possible from a god if such an entity actually existed ... just replace ET with your favorite all powerful god and problem solved (if this god wanted to save humanity, and of course that is exactly what is promised in more than one religion practiced today by humans, although often you have to die first to receive the benefit).
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Mark Twain

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #29

Post by William »

DrNoGods wrote: Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:18 pm [Replying to William in post #28]
Then in relation to humanity is there no saving to be done? This in itself could mean that extraterrestrials might have the capability to save humanity, but even so, would not.
To save them from themselves? If crimes (broadly defined) are the primary fault that humans need saving from, then it would seem to me that there is no "saving" humanity without fundamentally altering the way humans think and behave so that all motivation and perceived benefit by the criminally inclined is eliminated somehow. And I don't see how that can be done and still have humans exist as they do today.

But maybe these hypothetical ETs could have Spock-like mind melding capabilities that would enable them to chemically alter the human brain to eliminate crime at its source. And while they are at it this same approach could eliminate all other nefarious activity that humans need saving from (in whoever's mind that list originates). However, this same thing should be possible from a god if such an entity actually existed ... just replace ET with your favorite all powerful god and problem solved (if this god wanted to save humanity, and of course that is exactly what is promised in more than one religion practiced today by humans, although often you have to die first to receive the benefit).
As has been noted already in this thread.

So - we have a possible chemical solution to the problem of criminality. As that Extraterrestrial Species leader, would you use this to save humanity?

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Re: Would you step in to save humanity if you could?

Post #30

Post by Dimmesdale »

William wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:51 pm For example - if you were leader of an Extraresstrial race of sentient space-faring beings and had the technical ability to show the human race how to get out of its current predicaments, would you give the order to do so?

If "yes" or "no", why?
Perhaps salvific knowledge of what to do is a privilege and not a right?

In our current democratic society we are very much conditioned to believe that everyone should have knowledge of, well, pretty much everything, by mere right of existing in the society.

But take secret societies throughout history. Not everyone (the masses) were privy to the esoteric knowledge those on top had. This is still the practice among some societies.

One might ask: what is the need for secrecy, for hiding knowledge that everyone may benefit from? Is it just a case of the higher-ups holding onto power and pushing down the little guy?

Perhaps that isn't looking at the whole picture.

Take the idea of karma. Perhaps it is a person's karma to fail in life and become a worm in the next life. If you gave that person the wisdom to advance in life, and be promoted to the level of a god, you would then need to find someone else to be the worm in the life to come.

And I would say worms are important. They very well aerate the soil. They serve a purpose. Someone has to be reborn to be the worm.

So in that sense, perhaps some humans have no choice but to fail. Perhaps not everyone has the right to advance, because of free will, or destiny, or some combination of factors that reach out beyond this one life.

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