I was watching a show on TV about UFOs and whether intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe. And the big question was if intelligent life does exist how would we be received by alien civilizations? Most of the speakers on the program felt that their intentions would likely be hostile. I don't feel that way at all. And not for idealistic reasons either.
If one were to think logically about civilizations that could travel the required vast distances to reach Earth, the intellectual capacity of such beings would have to be far greater than ours. One could argue that only the scientists of such a civilization would have to be so intellectually well-endowed. I believe, and so do many others, that in order for any civilization to evolve to a higher state that it has to occur en masse. Like the bumper sticker I once read " We all do better when we all do better."
One of the experts tried to downplay the level of aggression likely to be demonstrated by a highly advanced civilization by relating the analogy of one of us merely observing the panic caused by stomping on an anthill and nothing more. I don't even think aliens would do that because that kind of behaviour is clearly the action of a primitive being. Akin to the WW2 Nazis torturing humans to see how much pain they could endure.
The other argument is that for any civilization to survive they must be aggressive. True. But for a civilization to be able to develop scientifically and intellectually to the point where they can travel at near light-speed or faster, and possibly even travel through time they have to do more than merely survive. They must prosper and be able to focus all of their resources on those pursuits. Here on Earth, the wealthiest, and even the poorest and most corrupt nations put most of their resources into the military-industrial complex. At what point do we put more money into helping those in need and placing more importance on developing intellectually, scientifically, and artistically? For all of these factors are crucial to how a society evolves.
Looking around at what's happening in different parts of the world one can see that we obviously have a long way to go as a species. While humanitarian efforts have grown greatly in the past several years, it just doesn't seem to be enough. There is something missing in our approach to life and its problems. We don't deal with problems directly. We get distracted by the convolution of our processes. We focus on symptoms and not the cause. Just look at all the drugs on the market as evidence of that. Neurological studies have managed to give concrete scientific evidence to support what we already know intuitively about the human brain. As an organ it hasn't evolved. But the firmware that operates it can evolve. In short we have to, as a species, be able to reason more efficiently to resolve our problems. The firmware has to be updated. But until each and every one of us evolves to a higher level of mental capacity, we as a species, will not evolve.
Which brings us back to how we would be viewed by aliens visiting our planet. They would most likely observe us, make a few notes, and come to the conclusion that we are too violent a species for them to have anything to do with us. They wouldn't be abducting us, experimenting on us, or torturing us. Anything they need to know about us could be ascertained by observation, modelling, and sampling our waste. Just because the so-called top minds on Earth are unable to do these things with lab rats doesn't mean people on other planets can't do it, unless they are just like us. And therefore, also tethered to their home planets.
Not all aliens are friendly, I'm guessing. But any alien that can come to earth I'm sure would be, if not indifferent.