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99.999872% chance we are surrounded by a well regulated peaceful interstellar community

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Socratic Method is one of the oldest and most respected forms of productive debate. There are many unproductive methods. All of which should be avoided. Socratic method is a very old and respected means to quickly and definitively resolve difficult issues by adhering to rules of conversation which are carefully designed to keep the discussion on track and drive it toward rapid and unreserved conclusion. Conclusion is reached when after carefully selecting questions designed to spotlight an affirmation's error, no one involved in the conversation is any longer willing to dispute the rationality of the affirmation.

Wikipedia on Socratic Method

In this way, conclusion is forced upon those who remain in disagreement, but have no rational reason for their disagreement. One remaining in disagreement is forced to admit "I still disagree, but fail to provide a reason for my disagreement which others perceive as rational." The irrationality of his or her position becomes obvious to those involved in the conversation.

For this reason Socratic Method is very unpopular with politicians who often desire to remain uncommitted on some issues.

How do I comment in Socratic Method if I disagree?

Do not pose an alternate position or attempt to show that there is a better way to handle the issue. This is the error most make in debate. Nothing ever ends up resolved because both sides continue supporting their respective and opposing views and neither view is refuted. Neither party has any reason to concede. Neither party finds it intellectually embarrassing to continue supporting their original position.

First, make sure you disagree. An argument is not won with fancy words, but by discovering the winning side before choosing your position. Is your position winnable? If not, accept it and change your mind, otherwise Socratic Method will reveal your irrationality to others. Once you've answered that, list the assumptions upon which the affirmed statement rests, and which if shown to be false, make the affirmed statement's error obvious to others.

Restate that assumption in language and terminology which make the affirmation's reliance upon the assumption obvious and ask those affirming if they agree with the assumption.

If the assumption is specious, wait to point out the assumption's flaw in your second question after those affirming answer their agreement with the assumption. Post "Considering that you agree with that particular assumption, do you also agree with its obviously erroneous implication, thus.....?

If you have difficulty finding an erroneous assumption or an error of conclusion implied by assumptions made in the affirmation, double check that you still disagree. You may find, to your surprise that you agreed with the statement all along. You just didn't think about it carefully enough at first.

The probability that the likelihood of an intelligent civilization arising on any given planet is exactly that probability great enough to allow for the presents of humanity, but less than that probability small enough to not allow for the existence of other intelligent life in the universe is negligible.

Given that we find the likelihood of intelligence arising on any given planet must not be zero and can not reasonably be so little that it occurred only few times, we are left with the overwhelming likelihood that intelligent life arose on at least many hundreds of planets through out the hundreds of billions of stars any galaxy of the hundred billion galaxies in the visible universe.

Random chance dictates that Intelligent life arose on various planets distributed only and evenly over the time period in which the universe provided high metalicity, life supporting star systems 10 billion years ago.  This implies that half of the all intelligent life which arose, arose more than 5 billion years ago and half less than 5 billion years ago, such as ourselves.

There are many reasons any given civilization might parish.  Among them is self destruction which becomes more likely if the race is so clever as to learn to construct weapons of mass destruction before the wisdom to rely upon diplomacy.  Also among the many reasons is natural disaster.  The latter of these civilization ending events occur evenly distributed among civilizations, but the former occurs only to civilizations which are more clever than they are wise.

This increases the likelihood that any civilization which advances technologically to the point of achieving interstellar colonization capability has learned and relies upon diplomacy.  Once such a civilization has achieved interstellar colonization, that civilization becomes impervious to cataclysmic extermination by natural disaster, even planet wide disasters, because the civilization lives on multiple planets.  Such a civilization has proven themselves responsible enough to responsibly control technologies capable interstellar travel without destroying themselves.  Such a race is likely less clever and more wise.  While civilizations more clever than wise are in danger of self extermination.

If over the last 10 billion years, only one single such wise civilization in all the universe of 20,000,000,000,000 stars has achieved this civilization immortality, they poses the technology to colonize a world, beginning a new civilization with satellites a map of the new world and every habitable and exploitable land or marine area and the wisdom to use them correctly.  The new world can immediately support populations of billions by the wise and immediate exploitation of the planet's resources.  The colony's population can safely increase geometrically.  Staring with but a few hundred colonizers can achieve a population of 5 billion in less than 30 generations.  In human terms this is a thousand years.

If this civilization capable of interstellar colonization colonizes just one other world in 2000 years, the total interplanetary population of the civilization will grow exponentially and exceed one billion billion distributed over every habitable world in that galaxy in just 60,000 years.

At this point the rate at which expansion is possible exceeds the speed of light.  Wise civilians exorcise self control, but at the speed of light, such a wise civilization will populate a volume equal to the size of the entire visible universe in 7 billion years.  If the speed of light proves surmountable, one such civilization will fill the universe and meet all other inhabitants of the universe in less than 140,000 years from the time of their first colonization.

It is most likely that a peaceful thriving interstellar community exists, knows of our presents and consciously chooses to introduce us to the interstellar community if such a rational person wishes to maintain consistency with the following assumptions.

Anyone disagreeing must also disavow one or more of the following assumptions to remain consistent with their own ideology.

1)  It is unlikely that the probability of intelligent life arising on any given planet is exactly that probably required to provide for humanity's existence but not the existence of many others.

2) Civilizations which are clever enough to produce weapons of mast destruction and not wise enough to employ diplomacy are less likely to survive than less clever and more wise civilizations.

3) Civilizations which have colonized more than a few worlds and have already proven themselves peaceful and self regulating are impervious to planet wide catastrophe and becomes immortal civilizations.

4)  Colonization of just one world by another every 2000 years will have sufficiently sized population and economy to have comfortable inspected every star system in every galaxy of the visible universe and occupy every habitable world they desire to inhabit in less than 128000 years.

5)  The likelihood that such a civilization arose less than 128000 years ago is that short time period divided into the time period over which civilizations could arise in the universe 10 billion years or less than 0.00128%  implying the likelihood of 99.999872% chance we live in a universe replete with life and occupied by a peaceful, well regulated interstellar community.

If you disagree, go ahead, provide a rational argument otherwise at.  I welcome discussion.  That is how I learn.

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Your Comment:         March 26, 1pm


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