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  1. #1
    First Lieutenant StargateMillennium's Avatar
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    Default Moral questions about alien species

    I'm curious how ppl will respond. And, in a way, this can apply to real cultures on Earth.

    It's pretty much a staple of scifi of an alien utopia where everyone is working together and getting along. Everyone is tolerant of other species and that jazz. But how should one react/behave/react/whatever, if the fundamental's of another culture is incompatible? Like their grounding principles seem immortal to us. Or our principles are immoral to them?


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  2. #2
    Lieutenant General DigiFluid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moral questions about alien speices

    In Star Trek, at least, that's governed somewhat by the Prime Directive. While it's most often invoked as a reason for not interacting with pre-warp civilizations, it also prohibits Starfleet from interfering in planetary local affairs. The two examples I can think of off the top of my head are the TNG episodes Symbiosis (where it is upheld) and Too Short a Season (where the consequences of ignoring the Prime Directive are addressed).


    I find Stargate a fascinating contrast to the Trek example. On the surface it's a thoroughly entertaining, black and white case of good vs. evil, of us the good guys overthrowing the evil, oppressive false gods in the Goa'uld. But if you stop and think about it a little deeper, it's a lot more complex.

    Step back and think about the state of the galaxy when we find it in the 1994 film (and armed with a little extra knowledge from the TV series for good measure). The entire galaxy, for all intents and purposes, has a reigning king, with a subordinate aristocracy of fiefdom rulers, all of whom are worshipped not just as rulers, but as gods. And this system has been in place for thousands of years! The average human lifespan on Earth, depending on where you live, is 60-85 years. Out in the galaxy, where the lot of humanity is lesser, the lifespan is probably lesser--so these are people who have lived their entire lives, whose parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and ancestors since time immemorial have all lived their lives under the rule of and worshipping their gods.

    What happens when Earth comes along? We say 'no, this is unjust by our standards, so it has to go. We're going to kill your leaders and set you free!' But remember that this ingrained in humans of the galaxy for ten thousand years! This isn't a war like we're used to on Earth, where you show up, beat a military or maybe topple a government (and spend the next few years state-building). No, we're overthrowing an entire political, economic, and social order that's as old as civilization itself.

    And we do it with no exit strategy! Sokar is dead? Cool, see ya! Heru-ur is toast? Awesome, you're free now. Apophis is now a small star? You're welcome! But what about the millions of people living under their rule? Suddenly their entire civil, religious, and economic structure is just gone. What spiritual comfort are they going to seek? How are they going to trade? What are their families going to eat? (Enter the Lucian Alliance).

    Just imagine what would happen here on Earth if a bunch of aliens showed up out of the blue, said 'no, everything you're doing is wrong,' killed every leader in the world, disbanded/destroyed every religion in the world, left all the military toys laying around, and said 'good luck, you're free now!' It would be famine and disease and war without end.

    They say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Earth of the Stargate universe absolutely had the best of intentions....but maybe a Prime Directive of sorts (not necessarily as strict) wouldn't have been a bad idea?


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  3. #3
    Lieutenant Colonel Platschu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moral questions about alien speices

    It is a really good subject, thank you for asking. They should deal with such questions if we ever get new Milky Way based spinoff or movie.

    They slightly touched the subject on Atlantis season 5, where they blamed the Pegasus expedition to raise up the Wraith and how many human worlds have died or suffered because of the actions of the Atlantis teams. So what would have been a good decision? To be involved or not? What is the real value of civilization? For example just because a leading culture hasn't reached the "warp" technological level, they could still give something to the community what could be useful for other races. So if they belittle such races that they still must evolve, it also feels like how can they make such judgements?!

    Just imagine the scenario that aliens visit us on Earth. Who should talk to them? The USA President? The Russian? The Chinese? One nation can't represent a complete planet anyway... What if the aliens have got the wrong conclusion and they decided we should still "evolve" as we are not worth for their company? Then maybe they would miss the opportunity to meet someone who could have convinced them the opposite.
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  4. #4
    Colonel P-90_177's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moral questions about alien speices

    I tend to be of the belief that Star Trek is still the best example of this.

    The condition for conducting any kind of dealings with the Federation is that you have to share some certain ideals. They basically are no slavery, equal rights for all sexes and races and then generally similar laws like no cold blooded murder, no rape etc.

    Beyond that the Federation is fairly understanding. If your species has ritualistic battles to the death for example then it's all cool providing everyone involved is a consenting adult. It doesn't really matter what form of government a world has as long as they're not out on the final frontier declaring war on everyone.

    I always figured that the Federation operates on an opinion that they cannot be judges on what's moral when other worlds have had entirely different evolutionary processes. When encountering a brand new race they won't judge at all. It's only when a race becomes allied to or even joins the Federation that they will say "Well, most of our worlds share this particular set of ideals, so we kind of need you to share them as well or else you won't really fit in." And that's a fairly good policy. That being said if a world that they consider somewhat immoral, like say the Ferengi, wants to have closer relations, Starfleet still won't say no. Likely on the basis of simply hoping to improve matters by setting a good example.
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  5. #5
    Second Lieutenant Chaka-Z0's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moral questions about alien species

    I really think it would be incredibly difficult to ''mingle'' together with other races and species. No need to look into space, just here on Earth, how bad are the relations between different nations? Chinese and Russians have philosophies completely incompatible with those of the Occidentals. Religious states culture is alien to most of us. We have millions of people persecuted or killed for their beliefs, and we are part of the same race!

    I believe the only way to achieve that is technological advancement, once we get the tech to open our horizon our issues will seem much more trivial than interplanetary relationships.

    I think something like a Babylon 5 station would be the only way to achieve peace, through diplomacy.
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