"I agree that there is always change, and bleeding between cultures. The Empire of the future might very well be radically different from the Empire of today, as with the Federation. But at their core, they will be the same, faith in God against faith in Man."
He runs his hand down the bark of the redwood, feeling its lumps and bumps under his palm. "Humanity is driven to create civilisation like trees are driven to dig roots into the ground. You, yourself made the argument we construct reasons to believe in something greater then just the raw number of people we can know and care about. Within that concept, the strongest of those unified peoples will always need to compete. For resources, for influence, for power, for a goal. In the end, violence, commerce and diplomacy are simply tools for theshort and long term interests of a state. The Empire seeks to unify man under God, and requires power and dominance in order to do that where it cannot otherwise convince people of its goal simply by its message. Is it a bad thing? To some, but those are the facts of it. We have a mission, and it demands our success in due time."
"As for why we want to achieve anything at all? We all die. Even Capsuleers. Individually, many members of humanity will not leave a mark in history beyond being a number on a population census, or a casualty report from an accident or attack. Not all of us will be able to be remembered by thousands, millions or billions for our exploits, so we project that need to have some sense of immortality in memory upon a culture, a flag. If our nation can be strong and achieve its goals, as citizens of it we can feel we've done our part in creating an immortal history to be taught down the ages. We assisted in creating something that, even if it fails, will leave monuments and records for further research and discovery. It's the closest thing to living forever the base human will get in this world, leaving aside the religious points of Paradise and the afterlife."