Most science fiction writers have to create alien cultures from time to time. These aliens are usually humanoid in some way. They reflect the human race. They really shouldn’t. Alien races would have different life experiences that would influence their way of thinking. Even humans from different parts of the glob have different philosophies, some of which are polar opposites, but they are clearly recognizable as a human philosophy. Most of the philosophies in human culture are based on others and all of them have some similarities, but few are exact, even among neighbors.
When you stop and think about it, we humans must have some strange rituals and beliefs when seen from another point of view. Humans might understand what we do and why we do it, but an alien would not have a clue. Their points of reference would be different. That’s why it is so hard to create a truly alien race. Their concepts would all be alien and to create a true alien, you need to understand that your own preconceptions and beliefs are irrelevant.
Philosophy is not something that we can quantify. Each person has their own philosophy based on their experiences. Humanity can have similar philosophies; that is what theology is. Theology is the study of groups of philosophies that share similarities. Ok, it’s really the study of religion, but most religions are based on philosophies so my argument holds, if you are really liberal.
All of our philosophy is solely earth based. That’s because we have only taken baby-steps into space. We don’t’ even qualify as toddlers on a galactic scale. We could take that leap eventually and find that we’ve been in a cosmic playpen. Until we make that leap, our philosophies will be earth bound, as we are. in creating an alien race for a work of fiction, be it movie, game or novel, we have to consider it’s philosophy. Up until now, we have always viewed visitors from space (other than rocks and such) to be hostile.
But would they be hostile? Perhaps they wouldn’t even consider us as sentient much less something they should be concerned with. The fact that there has been no official contact, and by that, I mean no government has announced contact with an alien race. I would say that if they are out there, watching us, they are waiting for us to mature. Their philosophy would not be anything we would recognize, or if we did recognize it, it would have to be because it was based on the laws of the universe, not the laws of Earth nature or anything like that. Survival of the fittest may not work on another planet as it does here. That’s an Earth based concept and may not be universal.
Gravity is universal. It acts the same everywhere, well, predictably the same everywhere. Humankind needs to accept that our view of things may be blinkered. We have to understand that differences are not evil, but natural and sameness is not normal. Only when we do that, would we be mature enough to leave the cosmic playpen.