The Instigator
Brendan21
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Cerebral_Narcissist
Con (against)
Losing
11 Points

Aliens will come in peace not war.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Brendan21
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,939 times Debate No: 12437
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (6)

 

Brendan21

Pro

For this debate, Con and I will assume intelligent extraterrestrials do exist. In this scenario, humans have discovered an alien ship that is on course for earth and will arrive within a year. I will take the position that the beings are coming in peace and Con will take the position they are coming to invade/war. Other possibilities are not to be mentioned in the debate. For round 1 my opponent must simply agree upon this scenario and position. If Con has any questions about the scenario, please say so in round 1.Con many feel free to start in round 1 as well. I look forward to a great debate.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for a very interesting debate topic.

To summarise the situation.
1: Intelligent Aliens are travelling in a space ship towards earth.
2: Humanity is aware of this.
3: The ship will arrive in a year.
4: The aliens have either come in peace, or intend to wage war.

It is highly unlikely that the aliens have come from a world in our solar system, at least not originally. It is reasonable to presume that should an advanced alien race have developed in our system we would have been in receipt of their radio signals for many years, just as our own radio signals 'pollute' our region of space. It is also likely that our probes would already have crossed paths.

So I argue that the aliens are from another Star System.

This gives us the following options,

1: Faster than/Equal to/Near Light Travel
The aliens are so advanced that they can travel between Stars in a reasonable time frame. Instantly, or a few years, as opposed to the millions of years that many scientists fear we shall be restricted to. Such a technology is so in advanced of us that its posessers would be able to view us, study us, even interact secretly with us. For instance mankind is not far from proper direct observation of interstellar planets (we are already detecting them and analysing their atmospheres) and these aliens are so much more in advance of us. In addition this technology is not consistent with the fact that the observed vessel is one year away from us. So I do not believe that this option is reasonable.

2: Sleeper/Generation ships.
The aliens are not so advanced and are restricted to relatively slow interstellar transports. They may have developed suspended animation (in which the passengers are 'frozen' somehow) or Generation ships, in which the vessel is a self-contained colony and the aliens now travelling to earth are descendants of the original crew and passengers. Such a vessel would throughout it's long journey accelerate, until reaching the mid point of the journey before decelerating during the second half of the journey. This may explain why the vessel is still a year away, (which also affords time for the aliens to awaken or mobilise for war). It is also consistent with the fact that the alien technology is not so advanced that humanity can still detect the vessel.

It is for these reasons that I suggest the alien vessel is a sleeper/generation ship.

In such a situation the continued existence of the aliens is a precarious and uncertain one, they may have been travelling for millions of years, are very lucky to have survived and have nothing to go back for, it is almost certain that their primary goal is to find a world on which to establish a colony.

Though alien life may have evolved to any number of enviroments, these aliens have decided to head for earth. Even though they should be aware of the presence of mankind. It is therefore certain they intend to colonise earth. They will know that an industrialised race such as mankind will have used up most of the avaliable living space on their world. They will therefore know that in order to establish a colony they will have to 'displace' the indigenous population, in other words go to war.

My opponent may ask, 'why haven't the aliens already nuked us', the reason is that they intend to colonise us with the maximum retention of resources. Be that farmland, human slaves, or even our exisiting buildings.

It is for these reasons I affirm it is more likely than not that the aliens are here for war.
Debate Round No. 1
Brendan21

Pro

I thank Con for accepting my challenge. Indeed the aliens originated outside of our solar system.
"It is for these reasons that I suggest the alien vessel is a sleeper/generation ship."
1)The ship.
Con has left out a more plausible option for the ship. A small vessel that only holds a few beings in it, the sleeper idea would be plausible for this type of ship. This small vessel would be likely because it would not take the huge amount of resources that would be required for a generation ship. A small vessel would also, most likely, not be a warship designed for invasion.

"…that they intend to colonise us with the maximum retention of resources."

2)Resources.
The alien beings are coming directly at earth, not stopping by all the other planets and moons on the way. Why would they not be interested in the resources on these also? If resources were on their mind, they would harvest everything they possible could in their mission. Humans have already discovered usable resources all over the known cosmos, so a more intelligent being must surely have also. Thus I conclude resources are not on their mind.

"It is therefore certain they intend to colonise earth"

3)Colonization.
A small vessel ship would not be likely if its purpose was to colonize a planet. Besides, if they have space faring technology, surely they could terraform any rock planet they came across. Even humans have ideas of how we can terraform mars. Going through the trouble to find a planet with life on it, just to steal it, is not plausible. It would be more likely to terraform planets and moons close to home.

"I affirm it is more likely than not that the aliens are here for war."

4)Peace.
The beings are on a small vessel, coming straight toward earth. Because of the apparent lack of life throughout the cosmos, it would be likely that we would be the aliens' first contact. They would come here to learn about the same things we hope to learn once we actually discover other life. They will be interested the age of life on earth, the age of our sun, and the age of earth, that we are carbon-based life forms, that all life here requires a form of water, and many, many other things. They will have likely send an ambassador of some kind, a language expert in hopes of communicating with us, a biologist, and maybe a historian to teach us their past. The possibilities are endless but it is most likely bound to be a peaceful greeting.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I thank my opponent for a timely response.

-The Ship

My opponent suggests that,
"Con has left out a more plausible option for the ship. A small vessel that only holds a few beings in it, the sleeper idea would be plausible for this type of ship. This small vessel would be likely because it would not take the huge amount of resources that would be required for a generation ship. A small vessel would also, most likely, not be a warship designed for invasion."

The aliens are unlikely to utilise a single small sleeper vessel, they would naturally have sought to send a sufficient population for both genetic variability and to ensure the survival of a new colony. In any event it is likely that vessels sleeper technology would still require energy and/or sustenance. In any event a small sleeper vessel unsuited for war would not after a journey that may have lasted millions of years approach an inhabited and potentially hostile world.

-Resources

My opponent states that,
"The alien beings are coming directly at earth, not stopping by all the other planets and moons on the way. Why would they not be interested in the resources on these also? If resources were on their mind, they would harvest everything they possible could in their mission. Humans have already discovered usable resources all over the known cosmos, so a more intelligent being must surely have also. Thus I conclude resources are not on their mind."

However my opponent has not challenged the proposition that this is a colony vessel, thus by heading towards earth we can see that the aliens desire the specific life sustaining resources of earth. The other worlds and planetoids not being sutiable to them. As Earth is heavily populated we must infer that the aliens are prepared to address that issue, the most logical way is through violence.

-Colonisation
My opponent states that,

"A small vessel ship would not be likely if its purpose was to colonize a planet."

However it is simply speculation that the vessel is small, the size of the vessel was not mentioned in the premise of the scenario.

" Besides, if they have space faring technology, surely they could terraform any rock planet they came across. Even humans have ideas of how we can terraform mars. Going through the trouble to find a planet with life on it, just to steal it, is not plausible. It would be more likely to terraform planets and moons close to home"

It is equally possible that the aliens were unable to dedicate suficient time or resources to 'terraforming' due to the loss of a war or the sudden deteriotation/super nova of their home star. It is possible that the aliens are refugees, or exiles. My opponent has already accepted the possibility that it is a sleeper ship. The use of a sleeper vessel would be consistent with a species on the brink of extinction desperately trying to save itself. Inhabitants of a safe system would be unlikely to embark on such a vessel, such a vessel would be used for trade or exploration for obvious reasons.

Under these circimstances the most likely motive is colonisation, attempting to colonise a populated area suggests an acceptance of violence.

-Peace
My opponent states that,
"The beings are on a small vessel, coming straight toward earth. Because of the apparent lack of life throughout the cosmos, it would be likely that we would be the aliens' first contact. They would come here to learn about the same things we hope to learn once we actually discover other life. They will be interested the age of life on earth, the age of our sun, and the age of earth, that we are carbon-based life forms, that all life here requires a form of water, and many, many other things. They will have likely send an ambassador of some kind, a language expert in hopes of communicating with us, a biologist, and maybe a historian to teach us their past. The possibilities are endless but it is most likely bound to be a peaceful greeting."

This is not consistent with a sleeper vessel. Many of the facts suggested here could be ascertained by the aliens without leaving their homeworld. The ambassodor would be representing a power millions of years extinct. A sleeper vessel may have taken many millions of years to reach us, they would not come for simple curiosity.

I do not consider my opponent has made a case that the alines would likely be peaceful, not that he is has refuted my points.
Debate Round No. 2
Brendan21

Pro

My opponent says,
"The aliens are unlikely to utilise a single small sleeper vessel, they would naturally have sought to send a sufficient population for both genetic variability and to ensure the survival of a new colony. In any event it is likely that vessels sleeper technology would still require energy and/or sustenance. In any event a small sleeper vessel unsuited for war would not after a journey that may have lasted millions of years approach an inhabited and potentially hostile world."

I still think it more plausible to use a small vessel that would not cost enormous amounts of resources to make. Also, if the aliens were on the brick of annihilation, they would not send their only hope to a planet already inhabited with intelligent life. It would make most sense to look for a uninhabited planet where there is nothing to fight first to start back up again.

Resources.
"...my opponent has not challenged the proposition that this is a colony vessel, thus by heading towards earth we can see that the aliens desire the specific life sustaining resources of earth. The other worlds and planetoids not being suitable to them. As Earth is heavily populated we must infer that the aliens are prepared to address that issue, the most logical way is through violence."

Even a colony ship would want to observe everything they will pass for its usefulness. A ship with no turning back will not pass up chances to find out if there is usable resources, even for later use. I again I say that it would not make sense to send your last hope against a potentially powerful enemy.

Colonizing.
"It is equally possible that the aliens were unable to dedicate sufficient time or resources to 'terraforming' due to the loss of a war or the sudden deteriotation/super nova of their home star. It is possible that the aliens are refugees, or exiles. My opponent has already accepted the possibility that it is a sleeper ship. The use of a sleeper vessel would be consistent with a species on the brink of extinction desperately trying to save itself. Inhabitants of a safe system would be unlikely to embark on such a vessel, such a vessel would be used for trade or exploration for obvious reasons."

Even if it were to cost too much to terraform a planet, it would make more sense to find a life sustaining planet without intelligent life on it for safety reasons if not ethical ones.

Peace.
"This is not consistent with a sleeper vessel. Many of the facts suggested here could be ascertained by the aliens without leaving their homeworld. The ambassodor would be representing a power millions of years extinct. A sleeper vessel may have taken many millions of years to reach us, they would not come for simple curiosity"

I disagree. If it did take a million years to reach us, so what? What is one life or a few, when trying to find one of the ultimate answers of the universe, "what will other intelligent life be like?" I think it more likely that a species that has learned to cooperate well enough with itself that they are space-faring means that they will understand coexistence and recognize it's importance.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

My opponent state that,
"I still think it more plausible to use a small vessel that would not cost enormous amounts of resources to make. Also, if the aliens were on the brick of annihilation, they would not send their only hope to a planet already inhabited with intelligent life. It would make most sense to look for a uninhabited planet where there is nothing to fight first to start back up again."

This however fails to address my logical speculation. A sleeper vessel would only be plausible if it was on a large scale. These vessels would have to be 'arks' containing everything needed to rebuild a civilisation. In addition my opponent has accepted it is a sleeper vessel, therefore from the perspective of the aliens they are on the brink of annihlation, everything depends on their vessel all their eggs are in one basket (quite literally in fact). In addition my opponent has accepted that they are travelling to earth.

To summarise.
1: My opponent accepts that is a sleeper vessel.
2: The most likely motive of a sleeper vessel is to establish a colony.
3: It is likely the aliens are observing earth during the journey.
4: The settling of an inhabited world suggests violence.
5: Therefore the intent of the aliens is war.

"Even a colony ship would want to observe everything they will pass for its usefulness. A ship with no turning back will not pass up chances to find out if there is usable resources, even for later use. I again I say that it would not make sense to send your last hope against a potentially powerful enemy."

My opponent accepting this is a sleeper vessel and defining it as heading towards earth has accepted this situation, even if it now feels nonsensical to them. However in addition the aliens are close enough to determine how much of a threat mankind is. They have a whole year for scans, weapons training and battle plans.

"I disagree. If it did take a million years to reach us, so what? What is one life or a few, when trying to find one of the ultimate answers of the universe, "what will other intelligent life be like?" I think it more likely that a species that has learned to cooperate well enough with itself that they are space-faring means that they will understand coexistence and recognize it's importance."

By the time the aliens wake up it is almost certain that their parent civilisation is dead, is it plausible that they will accept exploration on these terms? Humanity is already capable to detecting alien worlds and analysing their atmospheres, the aliens are much more advanced than we are, and so can probably determine many things about earth without actually leaving their home system. It is equally likely as an advanced intelligence that they will place equal value on co-existence and genocide.
Debate Round No. 3
Brendan21

Pro

I thank Con for keeping this debate interesting. Its been a fun, and extremely vague debate, which is mostly my fault do to the fact that I was the one that set up the scenario. I am going to try to keep my conclusion first.

My opponent says
" A sleeper vessel would only be plausible if it was on a large scale. These vessels would have to be 'arks' containing everything needed to rebuild a civilisation..."

I think this extremely untrue. First off, my opponent jumps to the conclusion that because I say a sleeper ship is plausible, that a whole colony is coming in it. I say again, it is more likely that if a sleeper ship is used, it will only hold a small group of people. Could have traveled any number of years, so its not very fair to jump to the number of 1 million. My opponent also suggested that on this sleeper ship, they will be observing earth. How is this possible if all of it's crew is asleep?

I think it fair to look at what humans will do when we are in the situation to go to planets that we discover have life, or hope will have life. We will have protocol. We also have ethics. We know its not a good idea to go to a planet and just kill all the life forms on it and steal the resources. I think a highly intelligent life will have ethics also, and know right from wrong and try to do things the right way.

"It is equally likely as an advanced intelligence that they will place equal value on co-existence and genocide."

How is co-existence and genocide equally important? All of life on earth co-exists. Co-existence is a necessary part of survival and all of life will co-exist with the other life on it's planet. Genocide, on the other hand, is not important, but destructive and harmful to life. Humans frown upon genocide and other life on earth doesn't even consider genocide as a possibility. Other life will also realize how harmful and unhelpful genocide is.

I don't think my opponent has made it clear that life will come for war. I believe that we only need to look at the intelligent life that we know of and compare, a.k.a., humans. Vote Pro.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

My opponent states that
I think this extremely untrue. First off, my opponent jumps to the conclusion that because I say a sleeper ship is plausible, that a whole colony is coming in it. I say again, it is more likely that if a sleeper ship is used, it will only hold a small group of people. Could have traveled any number of years, so its not very fair to jump to the number of 1 million. My opponent also suggested that on this sleeper ship, they will be observing earth. How is this possible if all of it's crew is asleep?

This has all already been addressed. A sleeper vessel implies that that the alien race is incapable of acheiving near or faster than light travel. Such journeys will take a long time, millions of years are not an unreasonable suggestion. The only plausible purpose of a sleeper vessel is for colonisation. Colonisation may be peaceful, but as the vessel is heading towards earth we know that it intends conflict. The crew will likely be revived in the last stage of the journey.

"I think it fair to look at what humans will do when we are in the situation to go to planets that we discover have life, or hope will have life. We will have protocol. We also have ethics. We know its not a good idea to go to a planet and just kill all the life forms on it and steal the resources. I think a highly intelligent life will have ethics also, and know right from wrong and try to do things the right way"

I do not understand upon what my opponent bases this speculation, the Spanish conquest of central and south america, the Anglo-American aggression and genocide against the native Indians, the Belgian Congo, the US Conquest of Iraq... these are all examples where humanity has found a new region and exploited it's resources with violence.

If we extrapolate from the human example we may infer that any other advanced alien race will display similar ethics.

How is co-existence and genocide equally important? All of life on earth co-exists. Co-existence is a necessary part of survival and all of life will co-exist with the other life on it's planet. Genocide, on the other hand, is not important, but destructive and harmful to life. Humans frown upon genocide and other life on earth doesn't even consider genocide as a possibility. Other life will also realize how harmful and unhelpful genocide is.

History and biology shows us that co-existence and conflict are of equal importance. The USA is founded upon Imperialistic violence, it only functions due to the high degree of co-operation amongst it's members. Life exists in a constant state of conflict, certain social animals may co-operate within the group, but outside the group they will compete (Competition may also occur within the group as well).

It is reasonable to assume that the aliens are also a product of evolutionary conflict, and will co-operate or conflict as they need to. Co-operation with humanity is far less likely to give them a homeworld than is violence.

My opponent concludes,
"I don't think my opponent has made it clear that life will come for war. I believe that we only need to look at the intelligent life that we know of and compare, a.k.a., humans. Vote Pro."

If humanity is to be used as a template it is almost a certainty that they have come for violence.

I thank my opponent for an interesting debate!
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
The aliens attacked in independence day.
Posted by ArtTheWino 6 years ago
ArtTheWino
This debate is Independence Day. Just sayin'.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
And?
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
A LOT of supposition in this debate.
Posted by Kierkegaard 6 years ago
Kierkegaard
Brendan21, will you challenge me with this topic? I'd love to debate it with you. :)
Posted by badger 6 years ago
badger
it's a prophecy.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Don't you mean Sally McNeal?
Posted by badger 6 years ago
badger
it's cos we cancelled ally mcbeal.
Posted by TheSkeptic 6 years ago
TheSkeptic
How creatively you can exclaim 'yes' or 'no' ;(
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Puck
You limited the debate to 'aliens are coming'. Besides four rounds of 'yes they are', 'no they are not', what exactly is left?
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Vote Placed by TheDizziestLemon 6 years ago
TheDizziestLemon
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shadow835
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Atheism
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ArtTheWino
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