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#26 2003-10-23 18:30:22

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Alright, this is going to meander all over and seem totoally off-topic at first but rest assured, their is a point involving Lowell's Martians as well as some relevant commentary. Everyone who would advocate saving the Martians, this is significant. For those with short attention spans, just skip it.

For the sake of argument, I assert that the US should not have gone to war with Nazi Germany. When I say this, many always give a list of reasons why we had to, which usually revolve around the oppresiveness of the regime, the murder of civilians and the invading of neighbors. Good points

"Then why" I ask, "shouldn't we have gone to war in Iraq?" The reasons are the same, the only one in dispute is the "imminent threat" but let's be honest here, Germany was no more of a threat to the US in 1941 than Iraq was in 2003. Both would probably have caused problems for us down the road. In either case, if imminent threat outweighs humanitarian concerns then we shouldn't have done either and those opposed have no credibility on human rights.

Which brings us back to Lowell's Martians. If the water supply is so low that the construction of planet-spanning canals seems reasonable then we can safely assume that food is also in short supply and that society will have a vested interest in making sure that every last individual works to their fullest capacity. Why feed the sick, weak and lazy when all of civilization is at stake?

These Martians would not be of the open, democratic variety. Harsh enviroments foster harsh social structures as a means of survival. The Martian society would almost certainly be closed, rigid, and suspicious of all outsiders, understandable given their vulnerability.

Assuming we had the technology to solve their water problem, we could just give it to them and everyone's happy, right? No. The Martians in charge, if they're anything like humans, won't be willing to weaken their positions just for the good of their people. While necessary for survival under harsh conditions they become an obstacle as conditions improve, desperately clinging to power. They must be forcibly removed.

If we have the means to help them then I would argue that we should, not only to save them from extinction but to free them from tyranny. While fully aware that doing so may be a profound and egregious mistake by the reckoning of future generations, I believe the risk would be worth taking. It's the right thing to do. At this point a lot of compassionate "liberal" people would agree with me, I expect most of you do.

But, in the absence of imminent threat we would not only have to provide humanitarian aid, but invade and defeat the Martian authorities, followed by occupation, reconstruction, some inevitable cultural assimilation both ways, and eventually the prospect of self-rule, probably involving a heavily Earth-favoring trade arrangement. So we all agreed, then I acknowledged reality, and suddenly some people are "compassionate" and I'm an imperialist war-monger. How does that happen?

Maybe compassionate-imperialist  ???[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#27 2003-10-24 11:07:29

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

. So we all agreed, then I acknowledged reality, and suddenly some people are "compassionate" and I'm an imperialist war-monger. How does that happen?
[/quote:post_uid0]

Because a duck is a duck Cobra.  big_smile

For the sake of argument, I assert that the US should not have gone to war with Nazi Germany. [/quote:post_uid0]

Here is a slight mistake on your part- we didn't go to war with Nazi Germany. We went to war with the Axis powers, after one of the members of the Axis powers attacked and killed several hundred Americans in a naked act of aggression (yes, we can debate the legitimacy of our actions prior to this event, but it is entirely a side issue). We acted in self defense, and alligned ourselves with other nations already fighting the exsisting Axis powers. This actually demonstrates why we should be more proactive, not less.

These Martians would not be of the open, democratic variety. Harsh enviroments foster harsh social structures as a means of survival.[/quote:post_uid0]

Okay, I can accept this reasoning, but you assume though the entire structure, which later acts as the basis of your argument. You assume tyranny and that those in power would seek to remain in power, even beyond the clear and present danger.

Ah, the general of Roman fame, who was called to lead the armies in a time of crisis (the name escapse me now), given absolute authority, later only to give up said power as soon as the threat is gone. Our own George Washington was offered an American crown, which he rebuffed. Why isn't this any less likely than your own assumptions?  big_smile

The issues here though, between Lowell's Martians and Humans is one where we would be helping them with no clear gain for ourselves. Altruism in a word. Where is the threat we would pose? What would be the basis for continued tyranny on their home planet if conditions improve (no more harsh environment to foster tyranny)? I will grant you that it is plausible that the tyranny would continue afterwards, as you assume, but that would be something would could concretly understand at a later point.

Mars, why do you still opress your people without reason? Fear of us? We helped you without any material benefit to ourselves. Your environment is saved! Let your people go!  :laugh:

At that point though, the argument is much stronger- blatant and unwarranted tyranny (yes, I am saying it is warranted sometimes, if you don't believe me, go read about Lincoln) requires us to once again help, without benefit to ourselves, only becuase it is the right thing to do.

I think we should have gone into Iraq solely for humanitarian reasons, but that's not the way the thing was sold. We went in for 'security' reasons, which is a blatant lie. We did the right thing, for the wrong reasons.

Which is why Blair, if you listen to some of his arguments, are far better than the one our dear President made. (Also notice the backtracking and the focus on the humanitarian side of the issue!)  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#28 2003-10-24 11:40:55

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#810541:post_uid4]

Why feed the sick, weak and lazy when all of civilization is at stake?[/quote:post_uid4]
*I have no sympathy for [b:post_uid4]lazy[/b:post_uid4] people.  If they don't want to share in the labor, they don't share in the reward either.  They have a -choice- of whether or not they will assist; they choose not to, so "they're out."

However, as regards weak and sick:  I do have sympathy for them.  And then some folks will ask, "Well...how do you define weak and sick?"  And besides, if Marsian civilization were already in such peril from natural causes, most of the weaker and more sickly folk would probably have already succumbed to natural causes.


Here's an (true story from the early 90s, I believe) example:

A male white supremacist in Idaho, married, wife expecting a baby.  He, of course, believed whites were superior to everyone else.  He also believed that disabled whites, whites with chronic illnesses (such as treatable cancer), deformities, etc., etc., were worthless, "damaged goods," etc., and should be killed because they were parasitic weaklings draining the strong.  He believed this, preached it, etc.

His baby boy was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate.  His white supremacist buddies quickly found out of course, and to his horror seriously suggested he kill the child because it was "weak and inferior."  Apparently the baby's father didn't think the deformity was that serious (after all it can be repaired), and it didn't occur to him that his baby son could be marked as "weak and inferior" or that his buddies would want the kid dead.

Talk about a nasty wake-up call.  He and his wife packed up and fled, quit the white supremacist movement, etc. 

Too bad he only cared about the consequences of his previously-cherished ideals when the chickens came home to roost.  Shoe on the other foot and all that.  I guess he thought it could never happen to him; how foolish.

There would be Marsians who wouldn't care for the sick and weak...unless it were someone they love who is targeted. 

There have been important persons in history who have been sickly, weak, ill much of the time...but who were/are intellectual giants with huge spirits, and have contributed greatly to society, learning, etc.  Stephen Hawking and Voltaire are good examples.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid4]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#29 2003-10-24 15:03:43

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

There have been important persons in history who have been sickly, weak, ill much of the time...but who were/are intellectual giants with huge spirits, and have contributed greatly to society, learning, etc.  Stephen Hawking and Voltaire are good examples.
[/quote:post_uid0]

No argument here.

. So we all agreed, then I acknowledged reality, and suddenly some people are "compassionate" and I'm an imperialist war-monger. How does that happen?

Because a duck is a duck Cobra.   
[/quote:post_uid0]

I've never expressly denied these charges big_smile

Here is a slight mistake on your part- we didn't go to war with Nazi Germany. We went to war with the Axis powers, after one of the members of the Axis powers attacked and killed several hundred Americans in a naked act of aggression (yes, we can debate the legitimacy of our actions prior to this event, but it is entirely a side issue). We acted in self defense, and alligned ourselves with other nations already fighting the exsisting Axis powers.[/quote:post_uid0]

Actually we declared war on Japan, who was allied with Germany. Germany fulfilled its obligation and declared war on us. We could have ignored it and focused on Japan, but [i:post_uid0]chose[/i:post_uid0] not to. Germany would not have followed up with military attacks if there was not a threat, they were too busy with other problems. Actually Hitler was furious when he learned of the Japanese attack, bringing America into the war at that stage was the last thing he wanted. Of all the times to start honoring treaties...

This actually demonstrates why we should be more proactive, not less.
[/quote:post_uid0]

I agree, but then I would've kept going through Germany all the way to Moscow.

Ah, the general of Roman fame, who was called to lead the armies in a time of crisis (the name escapse me now), given absolute authority, later only to give up said power as soon as the threat is gone. Our own George Washington was offered an American crown, which he rebuffed. Why isn't this any less likely than your own assumptions?   
[/quote:post_uid0]

These examples stand out by their rarity. Most people would not be so honorable.

Which brings to mind the lesson of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus," when the Senate asks you to be Emperor you say YES!![/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#30 2003-10-24 15:43:40

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

I've never expressly denied these charges [/quote:post_uid0]

Then don't quibble you facist imperalist hate monger.  tongue  big_smile

Actually we declared war on Japan, who was allied with Germany.[/quote:post_uid0]

thanks for the correction, but the point still stands.  big_smile

I agree, but then I would've kept going through Germany all the way to Moscow.
[/quote:post_uid0]

Who are you, Patton?  :laugh:  To be fair, we did, it just took us 50 years to achieve our ends.

These examples stand out by their rarity. Most people would not be so honorable.
[/quote:post_uid0]

But the examples still stand out.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#31 2003-10-24 18:00:11

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

[/quote:post_uid0]

I've never expressly denied these charges [/quote:post_uid0]

Then don't quibble you facist imperalist hate monger.  tongue  big_smile [/quote:post_uid0]

That's "fascist imperialist [i:post_uid0]war-monger[/i:post_uid0]" Get it right  big_smile

Who are you, Patton?  :laugh:  To be fair, we did, it just took us 50 years to achieve our ends.[/quote:post_uid0]

Well, he was right. And we were already over there, and they were exhausted. Imagine the look on Stalin's face! Ha!

These examples stand out by their rarity. Most people would not be so honorable.
[/quote:post_uid0]

But the examples still stand out.  big_smile[/quote:post_uid0]

I once saw the lid of a paint can shot off, flip in the air, and land back on the can perfectly in place. It's possible, but I wouldn't bet on it.[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#32 2003-10-24 18:27:32

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I stand corrected, MR. facist imperial war-monger! tongue  :laugh:

Well, he was right. And we were already over there, and they were exhausted. Imagine the look on Stalin's face! Ha!
[/quote:post_uid0]

I'm sure he is turning over in his grave now.

I once saw the lid of a paint can shot off, flip in the air, and land back on the can perfectly in place. It's possible, but I wouldn't bet on it.[/quote:post_uid0]

Some once saw men land on the moon too...  cool[/color:post_uid0]

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#33 2003-10-24 19:35:32

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Some once saw men land on the moon too...  cool[/quote:post_uid0]

That was shot in Nevada, haven't you heard big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#34 2003-10-24 20:11:13

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]LOL Cobra!

I tip my hat to you.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#35 2003-10-27 05:05:42

alokmohan
Member
From: india
Registered: 2003-09-14
Posts: 169

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

[/quote:post_uid0]

Some once saw men land on the moon too...  cool[/quote:post_uid0]

That was shot in Nevada, haven't you heard big_smile[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]You read all these nonsence?[/color:post_uid0]

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#36 2003-10-30 19:44:36

Cobra Commander
Member
From: The outskirts of Detroit.
Registered: 2002-04-09
Posts: 3,039

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

[/quote:post_uid0]

I would promise i help them, in exchange for their technology and knowledge about Mars. Then i'll nuke them to the skies, and start colonizing Mars. [/quote:post_uid0]


That would be in keeping with historical precedent. At least nuking them all at once is better than gradually subverting their culture and exterminating their race. "No, we won't colonize beyond this point, we promise. No, we [i:post_uid0]really[/i:post_uid0] mean it this time."

But I'd much rather keep them around, just make sure that Terra is the dominant partner. We did save them after all, they owe us  big_smile

Mars for the Terrans!

Again, a bit of jest here of course.[/color:post_uid0]


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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#37 2003-10-31 16:44:56

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: If Perceival Lowell Had Been Right - Whether to help dying Mars civilization

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Bleh, space changes social paradigms so completely I find every scenario presented unrealistic. smile[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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