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Thread: What would you do with absolute power over a civilization?

  1. #1 What would you do with absolute power over a civilization? 
    Forum Freshman Thrylix's Avatar
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    There is an episode of the Twilight Zone called the Little People where a couple astronauts get stranded on a distant planet and while repairing their ship, they stumble upon a race of tiny humans, less than ant-sized, who are sophisticated enough to build houses, boats, trucks, cities, and appear in all aspects to be identical to the humans in every way except their size. You can probably guess what happens next: an alien version of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. One of the astronauts decides he's going to be their God and begins to dominate the little people through fear and cruelty, based on no godly qualities except the advantage of having evolved to be massively bigger than them. It was a cool episode.


    Anyway, what's interesting and possibly shocking to some, is I don't think I'd act very differently from that guy in his circumstance. I could see myself becoming an absolute tyrant to a race of tiny ant-sized people, and I'd enjoy every second of it. If I somehow came across a planet of tiny little aliens that were the size of ants to me, I don' think I'd have much of a problem with crushing a few of their towns, provided that that no one (or at least no one who mattered) would find out or try to punish me for it. I'd actually think it's hard to blame a guy like me for taking advantage of the size difference. I would love the chance to be revered as a god, even if I'd very much be an old testament god. Being worshiped and having an entire intelligent civilization engineer their society in my image would be great. Any disobedience would quickly meet its end underneath a giant sneaker.


    Here is where you may disagree, but to me it seems like nature taking its course and I don't think I can fault some giant alien who came to Earth doing this either. In the immediate moment he's planting a huge foot down on NYC, I'd probably think the alien was a giant jerk, but looking at the big picture, I know I'd be too insignificant to this being to even get his attention, much less communicate in any meaningful way. And does Godzilla care about the humans he steps on? Besides, I already step on bugs all the time, often purposely.


    In spite of what I'd do in the above situation, I wouldn't consider myself to be evil, immoral, or unethical. Rather, I'm generally considered to be an all-around great guy by friends and coworkers. I help people all the time for nothing in return, have donated to charities, given people rides, and I even volunteer as an EMT when I can. I run competitively, coach track for no pay. I've never been arrested, vandalized property, or wanted to hurt anyone.


    What do you think of the behavior I described? How would you behave when in a situation where you gain absolute power over others? Would you be kind or cruel? Or would you walk away from the situation? Try to stay respectful of one another!


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  3. #2  
    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    TLDR. Is there perhaps a summary available?


    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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  4. #3  
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    Maybe it's because I'm old, but idea is to kill all very bad people and leave the rest alone.
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    There is an episode of the Twilight Zone called the Little People where a couple astronauts get stranded on a distant planet and while repairing their ship, they stumble upon a race of tiny humans, less than ant-sized, who are sophisticated enough to build houses, boats, trucks, cities, and appear in all aspects to be identical to the humans in every way except their size. You can probably guess what happens next: an alien version of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. One of the astronauts decides he's going to be their God and begins to dominate the little people through fear and cruelty, based on no godly qualities except the advantage of having evolved to be massively bigger than them. It was a cool episode.
    If I remember correctly this episode ends with astro/god killed by two other astronauts, who in comparison to him are gigantic and arrive in the same area. I guess the moral of the story is that there's always somebody bigger.

    Makes me wonder: Does NASA have a Prime Directive policy regarding alien life encounters?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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