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First contact rules and ethics

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  • First contact rules and ethics

    Say we're advanced enough that we can travel around space. What rules should be in place to safeguard both the crew and the native inhabitants during a first contact scenario?

    In Star Trek first contact can only be made once a civilisation has discovered faster than light travel. Even then the people have to be scrutinised for a period before first contact can be made. For instance they might still be a warring planet or they might have laws that don't conform to Federation standards. The idea being they need to be seen as ready to start using advanced technology without wanting to abuse it.

    It wouldn't only be technology could have an impact either. If a civilisation holds certain beliefs and first contact challenges these for some reason then the simple act of showing up on a planet could cause major civil unrest.

    And lets say you come across a planet where the people are still medieval. They would see you as a God. You could upset the potential of their society if this happens. You could set them back centuries.

    In my opinion there should almost certainly be strict regulations when it comes to first contact. Mostly to protect themselves from themselves.