a reply to: KellyPrettyBear
Well, some very interesting ideas here.
One thing that spring to mind is the technology gap that would necessarily exist between us and any such advanced civilization. Since we are utterly
incapable of going anywhere outside our own solar system, any civilization advanced enough to travel the stars would be able to wipe us out at
They could probably also prevent us from doing undesirable things in the universe without resorting to such extreme measures as extermination. If they
were different from us, that is. Even we can show curiosity and a live and let live attitude as long as we are not bothered by the things we
graciously let live.
This would be an almost exclusively ethical, moral or even practical question as we would be entirely at their mercy.
Their technology would be unrecognizable to us as technology, so it might in fact be all around us already. Maybe even actively working on their
behalf to prevent us getting anywhere too fast.
It can even be argued, from a philosophical standpoint, that we are 'imprisoned' in a material universe especially designed to keep us from going
anywhere. Plato's cave looms on the horizon :-)
The problem is how do the prisoner who is born within his prison know he is even a prisoner in the first place?
Even if we step down from this lofty discussion and deal with a potential objective real material universe, we are horribly disadvantaged by our
limited understanding of how it works and what it really is.
As all our data is based upon observation, we have no way of telling what is natural or not. We assume that nothing travels faster than light, because
that is our observation. But how can we know if this is "a law of nature" or by intelligent design? Of course, we cannot.
Another thing, of course, is how life evolve over time. As we are basing all of our knowledge on earth and the observable universe, we have no idea if
these observations are valid elsewhere. Life might even have been planted on earth, for all we know. By this very pan-galactic civilization you
mention. Maybe life is exclusively planted and never, ever, just appears anywhere. And how would we know?
We need to figure out a few things about who and what we are, and especially what consciousness is. Why is it that the brain (And by some accounts
even half a brain) gives rise to this "conscious being" with lofty ideas and endless imagination? What happens to that consciousness when the brain
ceases to operate? Is it lost? Does it go on? If so, how? If it is somehow independent of the brain, where did it come from in the first place? Did it
really just emerge from nothing and dissolves into nothing as the material system that hosts it disintegrates?
I guess that the point I am trying to make is that if we don't know our own nature and limitations, how can we hope to get any grip on our wider
reality and our place in it?
We need a good theory of consciousness first of all, in my opinion. I feel the current material view is getting a bit ragged around the edges, with
the failure of AI, things such as NDE and a lack of correlation between consciousness and brain matter. How does the current paradigm account for
consciousness without brain activity? Consciousness with half a brain from birth?
If you wanted to fit it into your digital vs analog systems, maybe our consciousness can even be the digital part in symbiosis with an analogy
Just some food for thought.
edit on 20-5-2018 by beetee because: (no reason given)