ET's COMING HERE?
"I can't believe anybody would travel such vast distances bent on destruction. I believe anybody who would travel such vast distances are curious explorers, not conquerors," Spielberg said. "Carrying weapons a hundred-thousand light-years is quite a schlepp." --Steven Spielberg
Recommendation: Ask the Aztecs if "anybody would travel such vast distances bent on destruction".
There is nothing really wrong with Spielberg's view of E.T., it is simply a non-starter. It has no basis in facts or in evidence. It is more of an expressed hope than it is a logical conclusion.
We can extrapolate from our own human history that there have been explorers who did not conquer and destroy, and there have been those that did. Looking at our own history, we note that there were more instances of the "conquer and plunder" type of explorers than the "let's just look around" type.
Explorers assume they are technologically superior than those whom they "discover". After all, it was not the natives of America that came to the shores of Spain. It was the other way around. Why did the natives not come to Spain? It is assumed that they did not have the technology (ships) to do so. On the other hand, it could have just been that they did not want to go exploring.
When explorers arrive in the midst of a population previously unknown to them there is, coupled with a superiority complex, often a vast difference in culture between themselves and the natives. Since the explorers have come from an "obviously superior" culture, they have tended to have a penchant for attempting to re-make the natives' civilization after their own.
Natives who do not want to be re-made are seen by the explorers as resistant to progress. That is the beginning ofwar, and with their superior technology the explorers are fairly certain to win. Since the natives are resisting at a cultural level, vast numbers of them will most likely be eliminated in battle and others imprisoned. All of this to bring about a better way of life for the natives who did not want a "better" way of life.
That is our history and it shows us two important things.First, explorers generally have superior technology and will usually win in any conflict with the natives. Secondly, possessing superior technology does not indicate the explorers have a superior (or even an elevated) spirituality. Again, ask the Aztecs.
When the Spanish explorers first arrived on Aztec land, they were welcomed and venerated as gods. The Aztec were open hearted in greeting the "gods" and expected nothing but good as a result. After only a brief time, their young women were being raped, their treasures were being plundered, their people were enslaved, and their king was executed. Beware the gods.
If E.T. comes here and makes contact with us (some say it has already happened), it would be a collosal mistake on our part to venerate them as gods. By coming here from some other faraway world, they will have demonstrated they have superior technology. So what? That does not make them wiser, gentler, more peaceful than us. For all we know, they may just be a hyper-version of us. More correctly, we may be a lesser version of them.
It isn't that we should greet extraterrestrials with hostility. It is that we should not greet them with awe and worship. The initial meeting should be more like this:
"Ok. McDonalds is two blocks south of here. There is a Holiday Inn around the corner and a Sheraton three blocks that way. The Diamondbacks and Cubs are playing this afternoon and there are still a few tickets available if you want them. And don't park your, uh, err--- don't park that thing on the street overnight if you want to find it in the morning."
Irreverant? Absolutely. This is OUR planet. Veneration of anyone places you beneath them. By greeting them as equals we show both respect and strength. Just because they come from far away does not, in any way whatsoever, indicate they are superior beings. And even if they are, this is OUR planet.
If those who believe E.T. does not exist are right, then the whole issue is moot. If those who believe E.T. exists are right, then thinking about how to act and react is essential.