Hi Anic: Great question. Sadly, I don’t think the history of mankind and how we’ve treated each other bodes well. The problem really comes when there’s a mismatch in how advanced each civilisation (alien or human) is. Think about when the Europeans first colonised North America in the 15th Century. Their technology & weapons was superior to that of the native Indian population. Rather than recognise the right of the Indian population, the Europeans set about capturing lands and driving out or killing those that got in their way. (We also did the same with the Aborigines in Australia). Even when there’s a global balance in weapon technology as we have today, we humans still seem to spend a lot of time fighting each other!
I would hope that we could put our aggressive behaviour to the side when we eventually meet our cosmic neighbour but things don’t look good for us (or them) depending on who’s got the best technology!
I agree with Mike – as a civilisation, we have a long way to come!
The other great challenge is that of distance – we’ve not found life within the solar system, and it’s taken decades to get something outside the solar system – how long would it take to get to another star system? We have a very long way to come before we have the ability to look after ourselves in such a way that we can travel for hundreds of years and we also need to know where to look!
This question made me sad – I agree with the other two that at the moment I don’t think we’d treat any ET beings very well. Although, like Katie said, it’s going to take us a long time to get to a planet which potentially has more life than microbes so I hope by then we will have matured a bit as a species!
Sadly, I agree with the other 3. I think at the moment, we are going through a shift of conscience, over the last 100 years we have been more aware of our moral obligations to each other than every before – abolishing slavery, equality rights, free healthcare, education, caring for animals, caring for the environment etc We have a long way to go, but perhaps over the next 100 years we will see a much more compassionate and ethical human race, and maybe then we would be ready for other life to approach us and we could co exist happily, but not at the moment no.