Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Predatory Nature of Advanced Cultures

We watched a movie this afternoon. The Day the Earth Stood Still.

It's a sci-fi flick. Not great, but entertaining enough. Near the beginning of the movie, Kathy Bates' character reminds everyone that advanced cultures always have one of two responses when they encounter less advanced cultures. History proves it.

The more advanced culture enslaves or kills the less advanced culture.

She then reminds everyone that the alien in the next room is a member of a more advanced culture. Americans, indeed the entire world, are the weaker life form this time. Be warned. We must take them out, or they will destroy us. (Of course, the not-so-subtle message is that we should learn to be more kind to one another - and most especially to the alien among us.)

Over dinner tonight, I reminded my husband of the quote. He nodded and said it is the premise for almost every sci-fi movie or book. And I guess he's right.

But I wasn't thinking about a fictional world when I repeated Kathleen Bates' line. I was thinking about the unborn.

What happens when a more advanced culture encounters a more primative culture? They enslave them or they kill them.

Sci-fi movies and books are notorious for making us look at ourselves a little closer in order to make us become a little more humane - to animals or aliens or any living thing.

But what about the innocent ones? What about our unborn children?

Either there is virtue in being kind to those who cannot defend themselves against us, or there isn't. But if humans are called to be more humane, why aren't the unborn among those we protect?

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