Re: How would you act if given absolute power over an alien civilization?

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This thread is inspired by an old thread I made about whether or not it is wrong to step on bugs, but with a different subject. There is an episode of the Twilight Zone called the Little People where a couple astronauts get stranded on a distant planet and while repairing their ship, they stumble upon a race of tiny humans a who are sophisticated enough to build houses, boats, trucks, cities, and appear in all aspects to be identical to the humans in every way except their size. You can probably guess what happens next.

An alien version of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. One of the astronauts decides he's going to be their God and begins to dominate the little people through fear and cruelty, based on no godly qualities except the advantage of having evolved to be massively bigger than them. It was a cool episode.

Anyway, what's interesting and possibly shocking to some, is I don't think I'd act very differently from that guy in his circumstance. I could see myself becoming a tyrant to them and enjoy every second of it. If I somehow came across a planet of tiny little aliens that were the size of ants to me, I don' think I'd have much of a problem with crushing a few of their towns, provided that that no one (or at least no one who mattered) would find out or try to punish me for it. I'd actually think it's hard to blame a guy like me for taking advantage of the size difference. I would love the chance to be revered as a god, even if I'd very much be an old testament god. Well, except that instead of meting out discipline with lightning, I'd be tyrannizing the little aliens with nothing but my giant stinking feet. Heck, who knows; I run competitively so maybe the smell of my feet alone could terrorize them. If they needed me to press a giant sneaker-shaped footprint in the middle of their capital to remind them to worship me, then that's fine. Actually, I'd probably do that anyway.

Here is where you may disagree, but to me it seems like nature taking its course and I don't think I can fault some giant alien who came to Earth doing this either. In the immediate moment he's planting a huge foot down on NYC, I'd probably think the alien was a giant jerk, but looking at the big picture, I know I'd be too insignificant to this being to even get his attention, much less communicate in any meaningful way. And does Godzilla care about the humans he steps on? Besides, I already step on bugs all the time, often purposely.

In spite of what I'd do in the above situation, I wouldn't consider myself to be evil, immoral, or unethical. Rather, I'm generally considered to be an all-around great guy by friends and coworkers. I help people all the time for nothing in return, have donated to charities, given people rides, and I even volunteer as an EMT when I can. I run competitively, coach track for no pay. I've never been arrested, vandalized property, or wanted to hurt anyone.

What do you think of the behavior I described? How would you behave when in a situation where you gain absolute power over others? Would you be kind or cruel? Or would you walk away from the situation? Try to stay respectful of one another!

Wow that was.... illuminating. You certainly have shown us your personality there. Thanks... I guess?

Probably just leave them alone. I have no interest in dominating or ruling, especially as the massive power imbalance in my favour would make me feel guilty, and who knows if my attempts to hep would make things better or worse. What if I try to bring them food and end up poisoning them all? Better to just leave them and watch, see what they do of their own accord

I'm not sure there's any point getting tiny creatures to worship you if all they can offer is tiny worship.

Baffle2:
I'm not sure there's any point getting tiny creatures to worship you if all they can offer is tiny worship.

The whole thing comes across as completely creepy to me. Why would anyone want to be worshipped in the first place? I have had guys do the whole put me on a pedestal thing and it was creepy as F and made me run like I was set on fire. Why would anyone want lots of people doing that to them? It is awful, even worse is the idea that you would want to force them to do this out of fear rather than them genuinely caring for you. True adoration is having many people care for you because they want to not because they are terrified of you. This scenario of bullying them because they are small and wanting them to be afraid of you is disturbing tbh, like a giant terrorist. Why would you want anyone or anything to be afraid of you? That is sadistic as hell. None of this sounds fun or enjoyable at all, but instead feels more nauseating and grotesque that anyone would want to do those things at all tbh.

Palindromemordnilap:
Probably just leave them alone. I have no interest in dominating or ruling, especially as the massive power imbalance in my favour would make me feel guilty, and who knows if my attempts to hep would make things better or worse. What if I try to bring them food and end up poisoning them all? Better to just leave them and watch, see what they do of their own accord

Yea I feel the same, I wouldn't want to cause them harm. If there was something I could do for them specifically, sure I might as long as they were involved with the planning, and have it well thought out,for example, helping them gain access to water or something that could be life saving, but outside of that, I wouldn't want to disturb them.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I'd imagine I'd start off trying to be a good ruler, but get lazy.

Unless they are just obeying me due to fear, in which case, unless there was something really wrong with their society, I'd go away and leave them to it.

I would eat them. Yum yum, delicious little fools. Probably in one go, when fellow bears aren't looking. Maybe even trick them into walking on to a prepared plate of gravy and veg. It would be considered a mercy. To my taste buds at least. Or should they be cooked first? Nah, it'll be fine. Have eaten worse. Could claim the salt being showered on them as "spirit crystals" for "enlightenment" and the gravy as "healing waters" for...umm, "heeaaaaling." The veg can be "the moistening forests of introspection" that produce the "healing waters" through processes they are never to understand. It'll be fun for everyone. And tasty. Hopefully they're not too poisonous or overly hallucinogenic though. Wouldn't want any karmic justice getting in the way of a nutritious genocidal meal.

...Well, now I'm a bit creeped out by some of the responses here. I'd just leave them alone, though curiosity might keep me coming back...

This brings me to my best takes on God.

And of course, it involves Bender.

I'm not a God. I never, ever wanted to be God, even when I was taken to Church every weekend. That doesn't mean I don't want to help. Helping is in my nature.

But helping as a God makes people grow weak, dependent. But that involves Magic. Superman can probably solve all the world's problems. So why try or do anything when you can clasp your hands and your solution is magically whisked to you?

If I saw a dam break, I would do what I can to help. If there was an attack by a beast, I would protect the civilization. Because that's what I do now. The five dollars I donate every time wegmans ask me to feed a family somewhere doesn't solve all their issues. But that doesn't prevent me from giving. The idea of "The meal I can help provide them won't solve all their issues, so why do it in the first place" doesn't make sense to me.

But I can not bring their dead back to life. I can not create infinite amounts of food. At best, all I'd ever be is a Benevolent Kaiju.

On a different Topic, I'm going to start a Drum and Bass/Hipp-Hop group named 'Benevolent Kaijus'. Anyone want in?

ObsidianJones:
On a different Topic, I'm going to start a Drum and Bass/Hipp-Hop group named 'Benevolent Kaijus'. Anyone want in?

Yes!

Not sure how much "in" there is to go around, but I can most certainly hip and/or hop the drum and/or bass better than the average woodland bear and will fight anyone to the death for this position if deemed necessary. Am lacking on Kaiju suits however.

Will also fight anyone to the death for their Kaiju suit.

If deemed necessary.

Arw the women roughly human size and conventionaly out of my leage? I start there

Well, as to the behavior you described, I'm reminded of an old adage: Someone who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.

If I have the power to actually help them, then I will help them, but I'd like to think that adoration and worship would not go to my head for doing so... at least not right away.

I could see it getting to some people, especially if, in a narrative wherein the protagonist is taken or otherwise must go to this world/realm (like in your analogy), and that in the former, likely mundane world, feeling unloved, treated like shit, etc., then with godlike power, either rejecting that model of behavior that was shown to them in their former life... or instinctively embracing it.

Like, "I was just a shmuck who everyone looked down on and despised, until I became a god in another world, and was just" a) "happy to feel needed." or b) "ruled them with an iron fist!".

Probably live apart from them if I could. Maybe help them out for some of their tiny technology? I think it'd be pretty tough for them to support me with the massive size difference, not really sure what I'd eat in that situation.

As I said in your last thread, I don't kill. That's still true 4 years later.

jakeyjakey:

What do you think of the behavior I described?

Off the cuff, I'm thinking sociopathic tendencies?

Now... being evil and destructive or dominatey or the like isn't my kind of thing. I'd probably be the kind who would be careful not to harm anyone as much as possible, or even help them if I can.

But unfortunately, stories and images of a larger one rampaging on or dominating over a smaller one is... surprisingly common. Even though many here are saying they are nice, there is unfortunately a large amount who like that kind of thing. Believe me.

Nature taking its course? BS. You're human. If you don't try to start in a more friendly and mutually beneficial way, the blame is on you and your thinking, not on nature. They'd probably have enough problems as they are without having to endure the jakeypocalipse.

PS: I don't think Godzilla is a good role model tbh.

I'd draw dicks in the sand a la the Nazca lines and make other random dick shaped artifacts for future generations of tiny aliens to find, eventually they'll invent TV and have their own "aliens" guy.

Edit: apparently they already have trucks and shit, so they probably have TVs too. Well, they can always film me drawing dicks in the sand and upload it to youtube.

So, eh..

You do know that episode is sort of about fascism..

Kind of depends I guess. Am I also immortal or at least comparatively long-lived enough that many of their generations could pass within my lifetime?

If yes, then I would go easy on them for the first century. Then BAM! Full-blown tyrant for the next millenium or so. Then I'd disappear for a few thousand years until people start wondering whether I was ever real to begin with, only to suddenly return and destroy them all.

Inb4 someone. No, it's not a serious answer. Yes, I stole that from DBZA Freeza. Whatcha gonna do about it? Come at me bro!

evilthecat:
So, eh..

You do know that episode is sort of about fascism..

CaitSeith:
PS: I don't think Godzilla is a good role model tbh.

Then you haven't been thinking about it hard enough.

Wintermute:
I'd draw dicks in the sand a la the Nazca lines and make other random dick shaped artifacts for future generations of tiny aliens to find, eventually they'll invent TV and have their own "aliens" guy.

Edit: apparently they already have trucks and shit, so they probably have TVs too. Well, they can always film me drawing dicks in the sand and upload it to youtube.

This made me laugh way more than it should have; well-crafted humor indeed.

I'd probably leave them alone because my girlfriend's cat is already more responsibility for lesser beings than I want, but if inaction is against the spirit of the thread, I'll say I'd play the benevolent-yet-vengeful god: rewarding kindness and decency whilst smiting evil and hatred in every form, violently, swiftly and publicly, until fear of my wrath engrained itself at the genetic level of my people. I'd basically be the God of the Old Testament, but without favoring any singular persons or people for arbitrary reasons or the narcissistic need to be prayed to and worshipped; go head pray to a golden calf if you want, but Me help you if you covet your neighbor's wife...

But being idolized and worshiped would be the best part of being a god. Having people kneel at your feet and offer you gifts would be awesome.

jakeyjakey:
But being idolized and worshiped would be the best part of being a god. Having people kneel at your feet and offer you gifts would be awesome.

What gifts do you think a race that tiny could present you with? You can knock their tallest buildings over with your bare hands, what can they make you that you won't accidentally crush?

jakeyjakey:
But being idolized and worshiped would be the best part of being a god. Having people kneel at your feet and offer you gifts would be awesome.

How would it be? To put it plainly, it would be annoying.

It would be more interesting that instead of being a god, you called yourself a giant who just wants to be left in peace and that waythey don't prattle on to you about religious concerns, and leave you to your work becoming unstranded.

jakeyjakey:
But being idolized and worshiped would be the best part of being a god. Having people kneel at your feet and offer you gifts would be awesome.

That is the opposite of awesome... It is creepy. I once had a guy who kept putting gifts and letters in my locker every day for months. It is not good, it made me very uncomfortable. Even worse, you would have them doing this because they are afraid rather than genuinely caring for you or valuing you as a person.

It would feel gross, cheap, shallow and of course, boring to have people do what you say because they are terrified you will harm them or their loved ones. To me, that just comes across as weak rather than powerful. Powerful is to have people admire you because of your amazing works and accomplishments and genuinely respect you for how valuable you are to society for making the world a better place for everyone in it simply because you want to help rather than force them to pretend to do so out of fear for their loved ones. There is a difference. One is valuable and needed, the other is a waste the world would be better off without. Why would anyone want to be the primary thing the world would be better off without? That would be terrible.

Palindromemordnilap:

jakeyjakey:
But being idolized and worshiped would be the best part of being a god. Having people kneel at your feet and offer you gifts would be awesome.

What gifts do you think a race that tiny could present you with? You can knock their tallest buildings over with your bare hands, what can they make you that you won't accidentally crush?

If they were technologically advanced humans, albeit tiny, they should be able to cooperate to a point where they could accomplish some pretty impressive things. Look at the Egyptian slaves and the pyramids. They would just need to divert nearly all their society's resources to sustaining their new god over advancing themselves.

jakeyjakey:

Palindromemordnilap:

jakeyjakey:
But being idolized and worshiped would be the best part of being a god. Having people kneel at your feet and offer you gifts would be awesome.

What gifts do you think a race that tiny could present you with? You can knock their tallest buildings over with your bare hands, what can they make you that you won't accidentally crush?

If they were technologically advanced humans, albeit tiny, they should be able to cooperate to a point where they could accomplish some pretty impressive things. Look at the Egyptian slaves and the pyramids. They would just need to divert nearly all their society's resources to sustaining their new god over advancing themselves.

Why would you want a pyramid? What would you even do with a pyramid, they were generally of use only after their owner's death.
Also going to point out that if they're technologically advanced enough for that kind of construction then they're absolutely advanced enough to build something that can kill you. One decent rock to the head from a sufficiently powerful catapult and thats you taken care of

I used the pyramids as an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation (or in the case of the Egyptians, coercion). I wouldn't want pyramids. Also I can't imagine a rock from a catapult built by ant-sized lifeforms being posing much of a threat. It would be like a pea.

However, with a strong collective effort they should be able to cultivate enough food for me and eventually construct giant-sized amenities. I'm sure that my planting a massive foot on one of their schools or densely populated residential areas would provide motivation.

jakeyjakey:
I used the pyramids as an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation (or in the case of the Egyptians, coercion). I wouldn't want pyramids. Also I can't imagine a rock from a catapult built by ant-sized lifeforms being posing much of a threat. It would be like a pea.

However, with a strong collective effort they should be able to cultivate enough food for me and eventually construct giant-sized amenities. I'm sure that my planting a massive foot on one of their schools or densely populated residential areas would provide motivation.

It would be far easier to utilize their collective efforts to kill you than to appease you. Simply because something is small does not mean it is not a threat. Being small has it's tactical advantages as well. They can fit inside your ears and nose. Brain eating amoeba, parasites, viruses are all very small and extremely lethal. Being that small it would not be difficult for some to attach themselves to the back of your clothing without you noticing and finding where you sleep. Being small they can easily hide from you. Why would they sit there and wait for you to harm them? They would hide and wait for you. Utilizing their collective efforts to rid themselves of you would be far more beneficial to their society long term thus would be the most logical course of action.

You would get what is coming to you in the end.

jakeyjakey:
I used the pyramids as an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation (or in the case of the Egyptians, coercion). I wouldn't want pyramids. Also I can't imagine a rock from a catapult built by ant-sized lifeforms being posing much of a threat. It would be like a pea.

However, with a strong collective effort they should be able to cultivate enough food for me and eventually construct giant-sized amenities. I'm sure that my planting a massive foot on one of their schools or densely populated residential areas would provide motivation.

Actually, common misconception but the pyramids were not built by slaves. Construction was done by farmers hired during the dry season, since they were out of work until the Nile next flooded and they could get back to farming. I've actually seen it suggested that this might be why Egypt ended up with so many colossal buildings and structures: it was a way of making sure that chunk of their populace was both kept fed (their "wages" generally came in the form of fresh vegetables) and kept busy, and thus less likely to go on some kind of uprising.
In fact trying to maintain large populations of slaves has always been a very tricky undertaking, especially if you're going to treat them poorly. Trying to keep their helots under control often crippled the Spartan military for example

See, you say you're not worried about catapults, but it only has to be able to throw a reasonably sized pebble with about the same force as a human arm. People have died from such impacts before. And if you think they're not capable of building such a catapult, then are they going to be capable of building your pyramids?
Plus the way you're describing them, they seem to be equivalent to modern technology, which means you have to worry about gunpowder. You may not think a tiny catapult will get you, but a tiny artillery piece will be as lethal as any handgun.

Alternatively, if you're relying entirely on them for food, whats stopping them poisoning you? Or just realising they can get into a form of Mutually Assured Destruction where you could smash them to oblivion but doing so will mean you starve to death because now no-one's providing you food. Won't take them long to realise you need them more than they need you.

Palindromemordnilap:

jakeyjakey:
I used the pyramids as an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation (or in the case of the Egyptians, coercion). I wouldn't want pyramids. Also I can't imagine a rock from a catapult built by ant-sized lifeforms being posing much of a threat. It would be like a pea.

However, with a strong collective effort they should be able to cultivate enough food for me and eventually construct giant-sized amenities. I'm sure that my planting a massive foot on one of their schools or densely populated residential areas would provide motivation.

Actually, common misconception but the pyramids were not built by slaves. Construction was done by farmers hired during the dry season, since they were out of work until the Nile next flooded and they could get back to farming. I've actually seen it suggested that this might be why Egypt ended up with so many colossal buildings and structures: it was a way of making sure that chunk of their populace was both kept fed (their "wages" generally came in the form of fresh vegetables) and kept busy, and thus less likely to go on some kind of uprising.
In fact trying to maintain large populations of slaves has always been a very tricky undertaking, especially if you're going to treat them poorly. Trying to keep their helots under control often crippled the Spartan military for example

See, you say you're not worried about catapults, but it only has to be able to throw a reasonably sized pebble with about the same force as a human arm. People have died from such impacts before. And if you think they're not capable of building such a catapult, then are they going to be capable of building your pyramids?
Plus the way you're describing them, they seem to be equivalent to modern technology, which means you have to worry about gunpowder. You may not think a tiny catapult will get you, but a tiny artillery piece will be as lethal as any handgun.

Alternatively, if you're relying entirely on them for food, whats stopping them poisoning you? Or just realising they can get into a form of Mutually Assured Destruction where you could smash them to oblivion but doing so will mean you starve to death because now no-one's providing you food. Won't take them long to realise you need them more than they need you.

Seriously though, if they are modern, what is to stop them from launching nukes into his nose while he sleeps? There is only one of him and many of them... LMAO

I would be a benevolent god. Wouldn't try to rule them or punish them. I would leave them in peace. I would only try to help them and them things that they need or help them build stuff. Basically I'd treat them as I treat real ants. When I was a kid I used to bring food closer to ants so they wouldn't have to travel far and risk being stomped on by humans.

jakeyjakey:
Rather, I'm generally considered to be an all-around great guy by friends and coworkers.

Tell them this story and witness their opinion change in front of your eyes.

Palindromemordnilap:
Actually, common misconception but the pyramids were not built by slaves. Construction was done by farmers hired during the dry season, since they were out of work until the Nile next flooded and they could get back to farming. I've actually seen it suggested that this might be why Egypt ended up with so many colossal buildings and structures: it was a way of making sure that chunk of their populace was both kept fed (their "wages" generally came in the form of fresh vegetables) and kept busy, and thus less likely to go on some kind of uprising.

You see similar building projects in other parts of the world, lots of people sitting round between harvests occasionally end up making something that brings in the tourists and UFOlogists for millennia. Good return on investment.

jakeyjakey:
I used the pyramids as an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation (or in the case of the Egyptians, coercion). I wouldn't want pyramids. Also I can't imagine a rock from a catapult built by ant-sized lifeforms being posing much of a threat. It would be like a pea.

However, with a strong collective effort they should be able to cultivate enough food for me and eventually construct giant-sized amenities. I'm sure that my planting a massive foot on one of their schools or densely populated residential areas would provide motivation.

...I question your sense of scale and logistics. If you could crush a school with your foot, then you're talking about people who are smaller than your pinky finger, probably even smaller than a joint on your pinky finger. The Lilliputians of Gulliver's Travels were 1:12 of standard human size, putting the average Lilliputian at roughly 6 inches (15 cm). The way you're talking about it, you seem to be imagining something closer to 1:220, at which point the equivalent of a 6 foot (183 cm) alien would stand at a mere 0.33 inches (0.84 cm). Laying 6 of these people head to foot would give you about one French Fry's worth of volume. And you expect that these people would be able to produce enough food to sustain you?

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