Re: How would you act if given absolute power over an alien civilization?

This thread is inspired by an old thread I made about whether or not it is wrong to step on bugs, but with a different subject. 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 a 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 a tyrant to them and 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. Well, except that instead of meting out discipline with lightning, I’d be tyrannizing the little aliens by squashing dissenters with my giant stinking feet. If they needed me to press a giant sneaker-shaped footprint in the middle of their capital to remind them to worship me, then that’s fine. Actually, I’d probably do that anyway.

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!

I’d leave them alone to determine their own destiny, which is the moral thing to do in my view.

Besides, I’m an American, and my society is a cluster fuck. I’m really going to tell other people how to live? I think I have plenty of problems right here to keep me busy for decades to come.

What do I think?

You are sociopathic and should get help.

This post is extremely disturbing.

You sound like a potential rapist, and someone who needs mental health help.

Yeaaaaah dude you’re literally talking about the mass murder of sentient beings who you describe as “identical” to humans aside from their size. This means that each one of them you step on is a fully sentient being, with wants, fears, dreams, etc. and you are tragically snuffing out their lives with little concern.

Regardless of their physical size, these people have just as much of a right to life as you do, and when they blow you up with their nuclear arsenal (what? You SAID they were identical to humans, they should be able to invent nuclear fission, too) you’d totally deserve it.

Not true. I have a conscious and feel empathy all the time.

Sociopaths don’t perform actions that they don’t see as benefiting them at some point. They don’t donate time or money just out of the goodness of their hearts. They also don’t feel remorse. None of these aspects desribe me. I do good all the time.

Do you believe we are more identified by thoughts or actions? I may have some dark thoughts like anyone else, but my actions have been consistently good. Actions speak louder than anything.

A couple of magnifying glass close-calls; no loss of life, just enough to get some giant (to them) Me statues erected. Then hands-off from there.

LOL. Okay, setting aside all the moral issues, I don’t think it would be wise to piss off the only people that can help you. You got no food, no shelter, no clothing…

If these humans are anything like us, I’d think they rather just drop a nuke on your ass than put up with any of your nonsense.

Hell, they might even do that anyway even if you were a non-crazy person.

Would the little people be able to build a nuke? We’re already pretty good at miniaturization, and things like nukes don’t scale down all that well. To little, ant-sized people, a nuke is going to be (without doing the math) something like the size of the Willis Tower to them. Intel microprocessors are going to be the size of a tennis court.

Well, the OP says these people are able to build trucks, boats, and cities. If they can do that, they can build weapons of mass destruction. (Or at least enough to kill a sociopathic giant)

I’m reminded of the “Godfellas” episode of Futurama where Bender attempts to play God to a race of tiny beings that live on him while he is floating through space. It does not go well. And I suspect that if I were to attempt to interfere in the lives of such creatures it would likewise go badly - I’m not omniscient, omnipotent (size difference notwithstanding), omnibenevolent or omni-whatever-the-word-for-wise-is, and odds are good I’d screw things up. Better to leave things alone unless absolutely necessary.

The Prime Directive on Star Trek, even though too often honored in the breach, is a wise and moral policy. Advanced civilizations that intervene in less-advanced ones, even with the best of intentions, almost invariably screw them up.

I’d sing to them.

In your first post, you state “I never…wanted to hurt anyone.”, but think it’s okay to murder human beings just because they’re smaller than you? You may not be clinically a sociopath but you have some serious mental issues. If you’re being serious, you should seek professional help.

Thus creating The Sirens mythos.

Am I going to be the first to point out that nuclear weapons don’t scale down very well? The smallest nuclear mass (not counting all the explosives and electronics) is like 30 lbs.

So Reign on Jake!
Actually, I think the OP has some mental issues he should quietly work on.

Who wants to be a God? That’s way too much responsibility. I’d probably spend my time making little model buildings for them. Maybe see if they would give me a piece of land to build like a little model railroad town on. I’m sure to them it would look rough and crude, but I would have fun with it anyway. My biggest issue is that I would be such a geopolitical destabilizer that it could really screw up their politics and power structures. I think I’d also be constantly on edge because how many ants have I likely killed in my life completely inadvertently? I’m sure it has to be in the thousands if not tens of thousands. The whole thing seems quite dangerous to me.

I can’t comprehend the appeal of wanting to be ‘worshipped’ like some kind of Brobdingnagian version of Kurtz. Why would I care for their admiration? Or their servitude? That doesn’t make any kind of sense. I don’t need tiny worshippers to stroke my ego or gush over my Tweets. I think there are far more interesting moral dillemmas.

The Bender example is a good one. I could definitely find myself tempted to intervene in their problems, intending to help them without regard for (or ignorant of) the long-term consequences. One of the interesting things about the Prime Directive is that it is intended to alleviate this problem; It protects the less-advanced culture from contamination and abuse, but it also serves to relieve the more advanced civilization from any moral obligation to intervene.

What I find more interesting is whether you needed something from the tiny aliens. What if you were stranded on the planet and needed fuel or food that the Lilliputians could provide? Would it be morally right to use your superior power to extort these things from them? If you were starving and tiny, helpless people were the only food source available, would it be right to eat them? At this point we are basically talking about Galactus. He consumes planets not because he is evil, but because he is a predator and the rest of the universe is his food source. Galactus does not ponder the morality of killing a planet any more than a lion questions the morality of eating a gazelle.

DS9 has a pretty interesting example of a tiny universe that threatens to destroy our own universe (because reasons). It sets up an us-or-them situation in which only one universe can survive. In the end, the crew chooses to risk their own destruction rather than take the safer option of annihilating the tiny universe.

Read the OPs four other posts. His describing the tiny humans a the size of ants and crushing their tiny homes has a direct correlation to how he treats ants in real life. Crushing them just because he can, because they annoy him and since crushing isn’t cruel because it’s instantaneous. Disregarding that crushing something/someone sometimes leads to a major injuries that may take a while to lead to death.

Ants to larger insects, to small animals to larger animals to humans. A common pattern of those with serious mental issues.

Once again to the OP, please discuss your thoughts with a real person, over the phone or in person and not just an anonymous poster on a forum.

What’s really disconcerting and frightening is that his first thread (about crushing ants) was in 2014, then he didn’t post again until 2017 when he resurrected his 3 year old thread, and hasn’t posted again until this one in 2018.

Yes, I’m analyzing and speculating on what may be going through his mind. But I have a genuine concern for his mental health and possible physical health of other creatures and people he may come in contact with.