The Prime Directive, as a concept, and by whatever name is given to it, has merit and is "humane" from the perspective of Earthlings because, though
we may be fascinated by potential (or actual) alien visitations, we are really quite primordially uneasy and suspicious of such an occurrence actually
taking place. And the closer to home such an occurrence takes place, the more nervous we are. It is a simple, and quite reasonable, fear of the
Thus, artificially and arbitrarily assigning a Prime Directive motive to something we really know nothing about is merely a coping mechanism. If we
give ourselves the luxury to attribute benevolent, non-invasive characteristics to beings we do not even know exist, we can go on with our lives with
a slightly elevated comfort level that "they" will just leave us alone because that's what they are supposed to do because we told 'em so.
Now, granted, the popular media has done much to shape our collective psyche in this regard. The late Gene Roddenberry was actually a rather unique
yarn-spinner in that there are many more fictional accounts (and plenty of real ones) depicting alien visitors as hostile, cruel, malicious, even
bloodthirsty. Asimov's robots, Bradbury's denizens, Wells, Pohl... well you know the list. Toss in a bunch of "Flying Saucers Attack" movies
from the 50's onward, mix in the whole cover-up/conspiracy, top it off with the abduction phenom, and, what else is there to do but proclaim that a
"Prime Directive" will keep all those nasty buggers in line!
No, I think not. My own opinion (and it's just mine, but you're welcome to claim it as well if you wish) is that the truth lies in a hybrid of the
above. Gazrok, SC, Majorion, et al - there's some truth within you all.
Since I am of the belief that the galaxy, indeed the Universe, is teeming with life, we just may not be as important as we'd like to think. We're
remote, practically isolated, in a far-flung solar system at the edge of an 'outer-rim' arm of the Milky Way in an area of few stars separated by
enormous distances. Wormholes and such aside, even if they offer any expediency to space travel at all, still makes us a distant, resource-intensive
place to care all that much about.
Sure, we may be be visited, likely visited already methinks. Yet, the idea that there is one or more races floating around the perimeter, enforcing
some kind of "hands-off" rule (with the occasional lapse of course) seems to me to be a bit of a stretch - attributable to wishful thinking on the
part of Earthlings - and not much more.
The reality is that we do not know. Hopefully, before I've breathed my last upon these hallowed ATS threads, the truth of their existence, if not
their visitation, will be known.
My prediction is that once this truth is self-evident, that the question we will ask is not "Is There a Real Prime Directive"?, but rather, how soon
can we implement one?
Nice thread. Thanks for the thought-experiment...
[edit on 2/10/2009 by Outrageo]