During class, the idea of extraterrestrial ethics was brought into discussion. The idea that alien life would have similar ethical codes as us is somewhat believable. However, the idea that humans would be of importance in this ethical code is up for debate. Universal ethics is something that as a human race we have all generally adapted. Over the years, most cultures have accepted the same general ethical codes in a way that we assign importance to beings we deem both intelligent and or useful to us. I believe that intelligent extraterrestrial life would have similar codes of ethics. They may or may not deem us as either intelligent or useful to them which would be bad news upon first contact. The most recent paper we read dealt with the idea that life may be millions of years more advanced than us. In this instance their intelligence could possibly be so much more advanced that they would not even recognize our intelligence. Merriam-Webster defines ethics as moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity. I think that it is safe to say any intelligent being would recognize another intelligent being and treat it with importance. There have been obvious instances in human cultural evolution that we look back on now as questionable. For instance slavery was a time that almost universally we accepted that some humans were seen as less than others. Another instance is how humans have caused mass extinctions to species due to hunting or drastically changing their environments. Both these instances in hindsight would be considered ethically wrong, but we did not have the foresight to prevent either. Extraterrestrial life could come and take either one of these stances, which to us would seem that their ethical beliefs were corrupt or nonexistent, when in reality they simply did not see us as their equal.
The question now is if it is safe to look for intelligent life that would deem us as unimportant to themselves. I believe that in the instance that we find intelligent life outside of the earth it will be because they have contacted us and not the other way around. We are far from be technologically advanced enough to make significant steps in visiting and contacting anything outside our own solar system. If we are to have communication with intelligent life, it would be more probable that they have come to us. In this instance there is nothing really we can do, they will be contacting us for a reason, whether friendly or otherwise. The ethics of these beings will not be in question, because theoretically they will be so much more advanced than us that we will be at the mercy of their will. If they deem us as important enough to communicate with, it will be relatively save to assume if they deem us as important enough to communicate with, they will deem us as intelligent beings that are important to them. In the instance that they see us as slaves or resources, there may be little or nothing we can do.
I enjoyed this post a lot. I think the point you bring up is valid, i agree that the extraterrestrial life would adhere to some sort of ethics system as it seems only natural. Using prior knowledge from the only history we have it does seem like the things we give value to are the things that affect us. If extraterrestrial life deemed us as useful or just in the way. I have a hard time taking the pessimistic view that they would deem us useless and try to exterminate us, but i could see them treating us like animals. My question for you would be, Is it possible to prepare a way to make ourselves useful in the event of extraterrestrial life contact?
I thought your post was very thought provoking and you included a lot of interesting ideas. I agree that contact with other intelligence would be because they are more advanced and found us and we won't have much of a say in what happens. I don't know that we would be much use to an advanced society because they would most likely have technology that would be more useful than any human skills.
A society that crossed the universe to get to us and could survive the entier way and or has a special waro drive that allows it in minutes yeah what use would we be I like how you presented this and it does bring up some ideas and well worries as to what they would see in us to keep us alive and not as mere zoo animals, maybe our philosophy, or will would help bit again speculation so yeah let's hope they are benevolent or else as history has shown us at least our own we are screwed.