Planet Evil

Debate and discussion on racism and related issues

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Purple Knight
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Planet Evil

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

Let's say you're an explorer in space, and you come upon a planet of the most vile, evil people you could ever imagine. In fact, they are evil far beyond your worst imagining. Everything that you consider evil, they do with gusto, and you learn some new evil things you never even believed were possible, but the truth was that you were so good, compared to the people on this planet, that you simply never thought of those actions.

This planet's technology is not within reasonable reach of warp drive. You have warp, so you can just leave. The cloaking device on your duck blind didn't malfunction for once, and you weren't trapped on the planet making for an interesting 43-minute conflict. You observed, you got back, and now you can just leave.

But there is a dilemma. Not a conflict, but a dilemma.

Your people are in desperate need of resources, your civilisation's population is exploding (good people don't interfere in the reproductive lives of their citizens; that'd be tyranny, and evil) and the evil planet is rich with resources beyond your wildest imagining.

You don't have the Prime Directive.
Question for Debate: It's your choice. What do you do?

Now, some of the scenarios have been run through the computer already.

If you choose commerce, the evil people don't understand. The evil people on the planet don't properly understand trading, only taking, so regardless of what you leave on the planet for them, when they see you taking their resources, they think you're trying to take, and they defend what they have. There's no dilemma here about giving them technology and perhaps unleashing them on the galaxy because they don't want your stuff. They don't understand giving. If you leave something and they see you leaving it, they think it's a trap. You can try to get them to understand, but the computer projects the chance of success at 11% with optimal conditions, and the computer tells you that optimal conditions involve taking the few who can potentially understand a fair trade and making them warlords. When they have the power, you'll have the best chance of getting resources voluntarily. Now, that's not to say the computer can't be wrong and you can't have a better idea, but this is simply what's likely given the evil nature of the people on the planet.

If you choose combat, you win. That's all there is to it. They're technological infants and the best thing they have is the washing machine. You can just wide-beam phaser the planet and wipe them out, then take the resources. 100% chance of success. No chance for error. The computer even has an inbuilt morality assessment and it has told you that this is not immoral. You're just doing as the Romans do. Every day, down on the planet, if some fellow can invent a new weapon that gives him an advantage, he wins. He takes the stuff. He gets what he takes. Having this result happen to all of them at once is not different, according to the computer, from having it happen to some of them, as it always does. You can't preserve them in this scenario because they won't eat if you beam them up and cage them; they think it's poisoned. They also have a very high fight-or-flight and if you try to sedate and tubefeed, they all end up dying of heart failure, and that's the few that you can get through the transporter; they don't handle molecular transport very well. If you leave a few alive on the planet, you can't mine, because they attack.

If you choose espionage, there is a 78% chance of victory with an 89% chance that some of the native population will still exist after the 99 years necessary to mine the planet. The idea is thus: You send your people down to the planet, disguised, with just enough slightly advanced technology to get ahead. You become secret rulers of the evil planet and you install morality. They don't really understand morality, so most of them will break laws and be punished. This involves letting them hurt your people sometimes, so that they can be punished fairly and justly. And since you rule the planet, you can now strip-mine the resources which will keep your society going for another 500 years. You can, if you choose, leave after that. The computer tells you that it won't make a difference to the evil people how much or how little resources they have except that their population will stabilise at a lower level. In fact it's better to take the resources since that precludes them from ever getting warp. There is, however, an 11% chance that if you succeed, your new laws have disrupted the planet to the point of the evil peoples' complete extinction.

Bonus question: Is there a case for leaving them alone? Any at all?

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Re: Planet Evil

Post #2

Post by bjs1 »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]

I choose kindness.

Using superior technology only to avoid harm, I commit to the long term effort of showing that torture, rape, murder and cruelty are wrong and that compassion, love, patience and honesty are good. I honestly reveal myself without any espionage, conquest or exploitation. In short, I practice and teach that it is good to love your neighbor as yourself.

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John Bauer
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Re: Planet Evil

Post #3

Post by John Bauer »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]

What if instead the people of our planet chose to solve their resource problems with science and technology? For example, installing massive agri-domes on Ganymede to supply the entire system with food crops. Be careful with those low-orbit mirrors, though. With this scenario, there would be no need to interact with the Evil People planet, much less wipe them out with concentrated beams of thalaron radiation (much less destructive than a wide-beam phaser).

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