Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dustin (OddThings) weighs in on the ever-contentious "what if extraterrestrials revealed themselves?" issue.

7 comments:

TJ said...

I tend to agree with his points, especially about the SETI distant-signal scenario.

Something I think needs to be brought up in regards to this issue sort of ties into comments I raised in another thread about assuming ET is benevolent.

What if "they" made open contact with us and revealed that they are not hostile or dangerous in an agressive sense, but they are not exactly benevolent either (no space brothers scenario)

Perhaps the ugly truth is that they come out and confirm that yes, they "own" us, they created us, and we belong to them whether we like it or not. Or perhaps they reveal that they are among us at all times and in all places, but cannot be normally detected.

How do you think mankind would react knowing that an ET could be standing right next to them in their living room right this very moment and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

Or perhaps ET's reveal something about our history that would be hard to stomach, whether it's manipulation of global events (including religious ones) or they tell us about a predestined future that cannot be changed since they have a more complete understanding of time and space.

Telling mankind that we are not in control of our future and our lives isn't exactly the same as waging an open war on us, but the psychological effects might be pretty devastating nonetheless.

michael said...

How different would it be than the belief of western man over the past nearly 2000 years that we were created by an omnipotent, all seeing eye god, who demands our absolute worship and who has overseen millions of people slaughtered in “his” name. This same god promises eternal damnation and unspeakable tortures for eternity to the non-believers and promises to open the gates of hell and throw the whole darn bunch of us in there at his pleasure because we haven’t lived up to his expectations. Suddenly ET doesn’t freak me out too much.

Dustin said...

Thanks Mac.

TJ, I think the idea that some other form of consciousness may have at least used religion on Earth at some point isn't so far out there, all things considered. I was thinking about that idea when I mentioned crises of faith. Not only would some people be forced to consider that they aren't "God's only creation," but what about the possibility that all of the vaguely UFO like talk in the bible, etc. somehow get connected in? There would be a lot of soul searching for a lot of people that would probably turn very ugly.

TJ said...

Yea, for me a revelation about ET's existence is a bit like finding a strange lump on my body -I'd be damn curious to know what the hell it is, but somewhat afraid of going to the doc for fear of finding out something horrible (the C word.)

If ET were to actually reveal mankind's fate to us, it might cause all sorts of erratic and nerotic behavior on our part. Perhaps wars might break out a ssome have suggested, or a planetwide malaise of depression and aimlessness might occur, when it finally sinks in that it doesn't really matter what we do anyway - we are "their" property in the end. Or if not their outright property, we are least the low man on the totem pole.

All this stuff reminds me of the Marvel comics race of 2000 foot tall super beings called the Celestials, who go around the universe seeding life, then show up from time to time to judge that life worthy of continuance. When Arishem the Judge shows up and give your planet the "thumbs down", youz in big trouble!

Anonymous said...

As always, it depends on the TYPE of contact. The presupposition seems to be of the "aliens landing on the White House lawn" type but I can think of at least a half-dozen OTHER possibilities off the top of my head (some of which may have, indeed, already occurred).

It would be interesting to read a systematic catalog of these possibilities together with the various (different) reactions each TYPE of contact might entail....

--W.M. Bear

wintermuse x9 said...

If "aliens," interdimensionals, crypto-t's, or futuroid human derivatives revealed themselves in some overt, formal, repeatable manner, which implies an intent to not just reveal themselves, but for some purpose, how would we ever really be able to determine they were being honest?

Kanamite: "To Serve Man"

Fred: "Joe! It's a COOBOOK!"

Joe: "Auggggh!!!"

Kanamite: "Oh, yummy! Pass me another leg. And don't scrimp on the Venusian barbeque sauce!"

First thing that should be asked:
"Why now?" and "Why should we trust what you say? You could just be another dishonest [inter-x] politician with your own agenda!]

If we are dealing with a shape-shifting and reactively evolving and amorphic phenomenon, possibly, that has been essentially covert and has sent, to put it nicely, rather mixed signals for over 60 years, would you trust them to be what they say they are and why they are here?

Why they might be here, or what their intentions might be are one thing, whether we become convinced or persuaded during an era of rapid change and duress begs many questions I don't like the potential answers to.

Should we even let a non-human intelligence suggest what they can do for us, or accept the premise that they might wish to help us in some ways? I would be very suspicious, to say the least.

I'd say, "Thanks, but no thank you. We really need to figure out how to clean up our own messes, don't you think?" Unless we find we can't, and then we might ask for tech we can understand and replicate, plus use and study the ramifications of. But that's about as far as I would go, and even then if it seemed we were doomed already by our own devices and lack of solutions. They can open an embassy, for educational and diplomatic purposes, but I would be very wary about striking any deals.

wintermuse x9 said...

Ahem. Victim of too fast typing. Meant: COOKBOOK!!! above, with a K.
Garsh! Must have been 'dem damn aleins!