Multiple philosophical questions exist regarding the motivation to search for life elsewhere, particularly intelligent life, but these questions can only be noted here briefly. In support of the quest is, of course, the scientific and intellectual drive to understand everything in the universe as thoroughly as possible. It can also be argued that contact with another older, more advanced civilization that has survived would show humanity that it too can overcome the multiple problems of overpopulation, global pollution, political and economic conflict too often leading to war, and so forth.
Such a contact, however, may not be a positive event for humankind. In fact, the history of contacts between unequal civilizations on Earth raises the question of whether it would be at all desirable to have contact with a potentially more advanced civilization. In virtually every case on this planet, the meeting of a technologically superior culture with one less advanced has led to the (often catastrophic) demise of the latter.