Re: _Mission to Mars_ (trying to change an unfair world)

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 11:12:51 MST

> Brent and John have gone around on why ETs don't help us and why
> evil (be it cancer, starvation, dictators, etc.) is allowed to exist.

As I have commented before, I think you *really* have a scale
or context problem that has to be taken into account. It is
hardly likely (unless you are Buddhist), that when sweeping
out the cobwebs in the corner of your house and sucking up
a spider into your vacuum cleaner, you view yourself a an
evil-doer the likes of Stalin or Hitler. But from the spider's
perspective you have just destroyed his home you evil slimeball
you. Over a lifetime, you probably destroy the homes of
thousands of bugs of various kinds (and let us not discuss
eating meat or chiken or fish...). Join the ranks of the
mass murderers.

The problem is you are applying human perceptions of what is
good or evil to creatures that have a totally different context
and agenda. If, you are of a mind that values species
diversity, as has been discussed in other threads, then you
are of a mind that "evolution" is good, that *death* is good,
because without death, you have no way of selecting for the
better genes that allow the evolutionary clock to slowly lift
us up out of chaos and drive back the evil entropy.

If you argue, that the ETs should save us from evil, then you should
*also* argue that when we have the capabilities, *we* should uplift
and make immortal every creature on the planet. And since we would
have the capabilities, lets also uplift the plants while we are at it.
Then since everything would be (relatively) immortal, we would have to
stop all evolution as soon as we hit the material and energy resources
(*very* quickly). The only way out of this that I can see, would be for
uplifted people/animals/plants to "discover" that they are unworthy and
choose to commit suicide so their resources can be reused
by the evolutionary lottery to take someone/something to the
next level.

It is unclear to me what this would buy you over slowly letting
the natural process of evolution occur. If the ETs don't disturb
us it is because the natural process of evolution works.

If the authors of "Rare Earth" are correct, and higher life-forms
are rare, then it is no suprise that the machinery of evolution,
that some of us view as evil, is allowed to persist. As they
put it:
 "A big fence surrounds our solar system: "Earth Intergalactic
  Park. Posted: No trespassing or tampering. THe only planet
  with animals for the next 5000 light-years."

The value of what some view as evil, to those observing may well be


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:06:15 MDT