Does peace occur before real space travel ?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

for quite some time, there has been the thought that once a species has evolved far enough to really travel in space, they have lost their greed, etc., such that they are not dangerous.

i am not sure that i buy this. i realize that i have only the observations of one species with which to draw some hypotheses, but i see our technology leaping by bounds, yet i dont see our social behavior as changing all that much.

i realize that there are no right or wrong answers, just opinions. but to be honest, but i prefer not to take the chance of having any alien race actually visit us.

i think it is almost a foregone conclusion that they would have the ability to destroy us, and would just as soon not take the risk.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mege
Our social behavior as a species has changed significantly in modernized parts of the world.

We're currently in the middle of the longest Western European peace (66 years and counting!), and with the most political divides in that region.

Human slavery is nearly 100% erradicated and is considered a fringe evil.

Freedoms of various levels are enjoyed by far more people than even 50 years ago.


Wars and cultural clashes still occur, for sure, but to say that our culture isn't improving in the last century is a bit off. There are tight alliances between countries which have created an entire 'western culture' of an attempt at peace and freedom (not refering to the UN). The post-WWII conflicts in the Middle East and various communist-regions are minimal compared to ongoing wars that have happened for many centuries previous (even though they get a lot of modern negative attention).
 
  • #3
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for quite some time, there has been the thought that once a species has evolved far enough to really travel in space, they have lost their greed, etc., such that they are not dangerous.
I'm not sure where you get this from, Star Trek?
i am not sure that i buy this. i realize that i have only the observations of one species with which to draw some hypotheses, but i see our technology leaping by bounds, yet i dont see our social behavior as changing all that much.
Our social behavior has changed a great deal. When comparing the culture of my home town to ten years ago there are vast differences (mainly with kids and the influence of technology on their lives).

Heck, globally the introduction of facebook has radically changed social interaction.
 
  • #4
Ryan_m_b
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Our social behavior as a species has changed significantly in modernized parts of the world.

We're currently in the middle of the longest Western European peace (66 years and counting!), and with the most political divides in that region.

Human slavery is nearly 100% erradicated and is considered a fringe evil.

Freedoms of various levels are enjoyed by far more people than even 50 years ago.


Wars and cultural clashes still occur, for sure, but to say that our culture isn't improving in the last century is a bit off. There are tight alliances between countries which have created an entire 'western culture' of an attempt at peace and freedom (not refering to the UN). The post-WWII conflicts in the Middle East and various communist-regions are minimal compared to ongoing wars that have happened for many centuries previous (even though they get a lot of modern negative attention).
And yet worldwide there are still genocides, still wars and poverty many of which are either directly or indirectly funded by the "developed world". Personally I don't think we will ever have world peace, it's one of those bizzare things about our species that even though the majority of people don't want war when we band together in groups we get a strong tribal sense and hack it out with other tribes.
 
  • #5
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it will probably take an apocolypse type event to unite humanityand cause enough interest to travel the cosmos.
 
  • #6
Ryan_m_b
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it will probably take an apocolypse type event to unite humanityand cause enough interest to travel the cosmos.
I doubt even an apocalypse would unite our species. If anything the threat of it would divide us more as the have countries struggle to maintain civil order and work to protect themselves and the have not countries are left to fight amongst themselves.
 
  • #7
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i was thinking along the lines of a thinning of population so a strong leader could unite us.
 
  • #8
Ryan_m_b
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i was thinking along the lines of a thinning of population so a strong leader could unite us.
Most likely unite us against that damn other group of people who clearly caused all this to happen.
 
  • #9
I'm not sure where you get this from, Star Trek?


Our social behavior has changed a great deal. When comparing the culture of my home town to ten years ago there are vast differences (mainly with kids and the influence of technology on their lives).

Heck, globally the introduction of facebook has radically changed social interaction.
hi jared,

perhaps i do have some influence from star trek !!!

and sure, social behavior has changed a lot (for the worse, in my opinion), if you look at it on the surface.

while wars are something one can study, it was not really what i was getting at.

i was talking about more basic qualities. i dont see any improvement regarding greed. society is still controlled by the wealthy, whose sole interest is themselves and controlling the population.

if human beings could currently travel great distances, i think (unlike star trek) that we would be finding ways to exploit the worlds that we find, assuming that we could.

i see technology advancing leaps and bounds, while i dont see us advancing ourselves.
 
  • #10
to put it another way, i would not want to be visited by us, for i would fear that i would be exploited one way or the other.
 
  • #11
jambaugh
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i dont see any improvement regarding greed. society is still controlled by the wealthy, whose sole interest is themselves and controlling the population.
Check your premises.
 
  • #12
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There isn't much reason for any aliens out there to want to invade a world like ours. Earth is a puny rock with a spec of metal, a few drops of water, etc. compared to what's already available elsewhere in our solar system alone, let alone the galaxy. So it's not going to be for our resources.

On the other hand, good intentions are fine but we don't need to have greed or destructive intentions to mess up a world. We're doing just fine introducing destructive species in our own territories as it is.

Any possible meetings will demand a crazy level of quarantine.
 
  • #13
Drakkith
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i was talking about more basic qualities. i dont see any improvement regarding greed. society is still controlled by the wealthy, whose sole interest is themselves and controlling the population.
What society are you in? I know mine is controlled by voters. Everyday people like myself. Can they be influenced? Of course. But outright control is just nonsense, as is most of your statement.
 
  • #14
you might see the forest more accurately, if you could look out beyond the trees.
 
  • #15
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you might see the forest more accurately, if you could look out beyond the trees.
Ah right, so instead of supporting your statements you just claim others can't see "the truth"?
 
  • #16
i do not want to make this a big political thread. if someone does not understand the level of control exerted upon them, no thread on a forum is gonna make any difference.

getting back on topic, i simply wonder whether it is likely that a race capable of real space travel is benevolent in their attitudes towards aliens that they may encounter ? i have much doubt.
 
  • #17
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To answer the original question i would say that the reason that it is acknowledged that a civilization capable of self maintaining space travel would be expected to be peaceful is they don't have to use their resources on developing weaponry. The human race has got a long way to go before this happens.

If for some reason all the world was hit with an empathy awakening that all problems can be solved peacefully then every weapon on earth becomes useless. There will be no need for a defense budget, so where will all the unused resources go? I'm sure we would improve infrastructure around the world but it wouldn't take us long to realize that the best way to ensure our species survival, and exploit distant resources, is to spread out and create a large network of colonies. First within our own solar system then to distant worlds.
 
  • #18
Drakkith
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Very few problems can be solved peacefully and still have all involved parties get what they want. That is the problem. So what happens? Force, either through military arms, economically, or politically. I don't see that as going away any time soon, nor do I expect to see it dissapear before we develop space travel.

To do away with conflict we would have to rid ourselves of our needs and wants, or something like that imo.

Also, lets be realistic here. The amount of money spent on the military each year pales in comparison to the total spent by the worlds economy as a whole. The resources spared by not requiring a military wouldn't go nearly as far as most people think.
 
  • #19
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That's y i used the term "empathy awakening".
 
  • #20
Drakkith
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That's y i used the term "empathy awakening".
What does that mean exactly?
 
  • #21
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A realization of selflessness. basically what u said, no wants.
 
  • #22
Drakkith
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A realization of selflessness. basically what u said, no wants.
Ah ok. Thats what I thought, I just didn't know exactly how you meant it.
 
  • #23
Ryan_m_b
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i do not want to make this a big political thread. if someone does not understand the level of control exerted upon them, no thread on a forum is gonna make any difference.

getting back on topic, i simply wonder whether it is likely that a race capable of real space travel is benevolent in their attitudes towards aliens that they may encounter ? i have much doubt.
You may have not realised but this is not the kind of forum where you can just make a claim and then snobbishly not provide any evidence.

To answer the original question i would say that the reason that it is acknowledged that a civilization capable of self maintaining space travel would be expected to be peaceful is they don't have to use their resources on developing weaponry. The human race has got a long way to go before this happens.

If for some reason all the world was hit with an empathy awakening that all problems can be solved peacefully then every weapon on earth becomes useless. There will be no need for a defense budget, so where will all the unused resources go? I'm sure we would improve infrastructure around the world but it wouldn't take us long to realize that the best way to ensure our species survival, and exploit distant resources, is to spread out and create a large network of colonies. First within our own solar system then to distant worlds.
This reminds me of a great Larry Niven quote; "the efficacy of a propulsion system is directly proportionate to it's efficacy as a weapon". An orbital shuttle could easily be turned into an orbital bombardment weapon, a vehicle capable of traveling at relativistic speeds could probably depopulate a planet. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs and created the Chicxulub crater released an estimated 4E14 joules of energy. A 100,000 tonne object travelling at .5C would release 1E24 joules of energy! If the common space cadet dream of having spaceships like we have airplanes now would create a situation where one 9/11 type nutter could wipe out the biosphere
 
  • #24
hillzagold
The Middle East, Africa, North Korea, and US Republican conventions full of draft-dodgers are just about the only places you can find people who really really want war anymore. Most countries are content to wage trade wars. The world almost has peace, and unity will follow sooner or later. Probably later, but that's what people said about the Cold War too, so who knows.

Space travel advances have almost completely fallen off the radar for most people. Are we getting those space hotels anytime soon?
 
  • #25
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The world almost has peace, and unity will follow sooner or later.
Which world do you live in? We aren't even close to peace. Follow that with the fact that people hold vastly different view on various matters (politics, economics etc), unity just won't happen.
 

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