Ethical Queries

 

ALIENS, THE NEW GODS?

Don’t read too much into the title of this article. This isn’t some new religious scripture for worshipping aliens. It’s not as if people need any additional encouragement to religiously pursue aliens… In fact, that pursuit is what this article is about.

 

Historically, religion has always been used to explain the things we couldn’t understand, simply because we lacked the required knowledge and context to do so. Humanity by nature will always put information into a format in which it can be understood. Any new information will be attached to existing relative information, in order to fit it into the perspective we use to view reality. Sometimes though, we come across information which in no way fits our current perspective, and we’re forced with a choice: We need to either change our perspective to fit the new information, or change the information to fit the perspective, or reconsider the knowledge we have that is relative to the new information. To put it simply, when we notice a contradiction to that which we know, we will either blame our perspective, our perception or the entity we perceive. The concept of divinity is employed when faced with information that won’t fit our perception of the world. No matter how we twist it, we simply can’t answer the question. Unable to accept that we are incapable of understanding something, we look to the unknown to explain the information we cannot understand. In the past, gods and other entities (spirits, demons, magic, you name it) were held responsible for causing phenomena we couldn’t understand. Fortune and luck came from divine providence, misfortune and calamity came from devils or demons. And then we applied human standards to curry favour from these all-powerful entities and thus religion was born.

Moving on to the present, although there still are many people who are religious, there are also many who reject the notion that an invisible god or godlike figure has a large influence on one’s daily life. These people have become “somewhat” more accepting of the fact that we are simply incapable of understanding some of the things occurring within the area of our perception. Yet surprisingly, one doesn’t need to look far to find documentaries, theses, and articles by these people who have rejected religion, but now blame something virtually the same for new unexplainable occurrences: “aliens”. These people are all too quick to turn to aliens to explain things we excavate and don’t understand, or see in the sky and can’t identify. I’m curious to learn why people who can say religion is foolish for it is unproven, and who seem to understand that projecting a lack of understanding on an imaginary entity such as a “god” is naive and wrong, so willingly turn to aliens as a possibility. I would pose that the concept of extra-terrestrial life appearing on our planet is unlikely at best; the chance of it actually happening is virtually zero. Why? Think about it, about the process of intergalactic travel. To actually move from the nearest habitable planet to earth would require science we cannot even begin to comprehend, the resources required to do so would be significant, and better alternatives for exploration are plenty (heck, even humanity to this day uses telescopes and the like to “explore” space before even considering something else). Just use our comparably primitive exploration of Mars as contrast; we’re doing years of extensive examination before even considering a manned expedition. Now imagine, a species capable of intergalactic travel, intending to explore space around them. Why would they send out anything we can spot first? If they have the intention of staying covert (which many alien believers propose), what kind of huge coincidence would it require for them to be incompetent enough to do something that can go wrong on such a scale that we’re capable of perceiving something they intended for us not to? (I will concede that such a thing, although pretty far-fetched, could happen, once. But not the many, many times that so-called UFO’s have been spotted.) Why would these aliens, with the technology required for intergalactic travel, choose to approach us in the first place, what would make it worth the effort of doing so in a covert fashion? I can go on for days about this, the contradictions in the notion of alien objects or entities (other than meteorites and such) coming to our planet are so plentiful and obvious it makes my head spin imaging the degree of self-delusion required to believe in it (in my case, anyway) as a viable explanation of a scientific phenomenon.

When considering aliens, why can people ignore the basic logic process of:

  • Perception (what happens)
  • Motive (why it happens)
  • Explanation (how it happens)

It seems a lot of people are willing to stop at the first step: what happens? Their answer to that question is: Aliens come/have come to earth to cause unexplainable phenomena. But they have no real answer as to why does it happen? Or how does it happen? Therefore, does the theory of aliens are the cause of this or that inexplicable phenomenon sound plausible? Not to me in any case. In terms of how likely the alien explanation is, well, to me it’s right up there with god or some flying spaghetti monster putting the phenomenon there as some cosmic riddle for us to solve. My initial hypothesis would be that this belief in aliens is just another way in which people seek to differentiate themselves from their peers. They do this by “seeing” something no one else can, and in so doing it gives them the feeling of being special (this concept can also be seen in people who believe in large-scale conspiracy theories). Obviously, they’re not part of the naive flock that believes in the world as they can see it, they’re special, they can see what’s REALLY going on.... they have everybody fooled, but not them, they’re special! … right?

Undeniably, at first sight “aliens” seem to be more of a scientific explanation than “god”, but ultimately it comes down to the same thing: placing causality of something you don’t understand on an entity or event of which the existence is questionable (and unlikely at best). Saying “aliens can do this because they have technology we simply can’t understand” seems fairly similar to “god moves in mysterious ways” don’t you think? It comes down to “don’t ask questions, just believe”.

In other words, it is exactly the same as religion.

 

How about you? What are your beliefs? Click here and let me know...

 

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