Thoughts on the ‘alien issue’: peoples need to believe in the Divine when they can’t

Here’s a thought I had:

I have often chuckled at all the different statements about aliens.  In fact, its become a joke for me to say that aliens are the cause of everything.  If there’s bad weather . . . aliens caused it.  If there’s a tragedy anywhere . . . aliens caused it.  If someone does something stupid . . . aliens caused it, obviously with their ‘mind rays’.  I also jokingly speak of any bad event as a sign that the aliens are going to invade soon.  Not only that, anything that can’t be explained . . . aliens did it.  For me, its become a thing I joke about.

But, for many people, its not a joke . . . they believe it.  The claims of aliens as the source of many things has gone to extreme and absurd lengths.  Its practically created a whole new belief system about aliens, of what they are, what they do, and what their intentions are.  I sometimes speak of this as the ‘alien issue’.

Some of the things spoken of in the ‘alien issue’ include:

  • That aliens will cure everything and may even prolong our lives.  In this way, they are our saviors.
  • That aliens will give us advanced knowledge and a better society.  Often, they are perceived as ‘advanced’.
  • That the aliens built the pyramids, great monoliths, and other great structures of the past as our ancestors were to “primitive” to do it.
  • The idea that “the discovery that aliens exist will change everything.”  This refers to this idea that their discovery will somehow rock human reality to the core.
  • The idea that “the existence of aliens will show that we are not the only ones in the universe” or the “we are not alone”.  This is often treated as if it will be some great revelation.
  • The debate on whether a person believes in aliens or not.  This often is taken in the same context of if one believes in god or not.  I’ve even heard of people speaking of the “believers” and “non-believers” in relation to aliens, as if the “believers” have been initiated into some great truth.
  • That the aliens are the source and origin of the idea of our ‘gods’.  In this way, they are the gods of our ancestors.  To put it another way, our ancestors mistook aliens for gods because the aliens were so “advanced”.
  • That the aliens have interbred with humans and, as a result, we are actually ‘half alien’.  This is where our “advanced” nature originates from . . . its not a human trait . . . the “alien gene” gave it to us.
  • Then there is the idea that we are actually descended from aliens who came here from another planet and inhabited earth.

These are all outrageous claims in my opinion, more on the lines of science fiction than a serious belief system.  But, amazingly, many people believe these things as fact.  We must remember that aliens are only an ‘idea’, a possibility . . . no one has seen them . . . they exist purely in the imagination.  But, yet, there has been all these claims about them that are treated as if they are fact.  In this way, aliens have been treated as fact and have become real for many people, even though no one has seen them.

But the idea of an ‘alien’ is really nothing more than a ‘blank canvas’ in which to paint anything one wants to.  In other words, anything can be painted on to the image of an alien.  One can create a good alien, a bad alien, and, if one wants, even a gay alien, and they have been painted in many different ways.  The examples I gave above have described good aspects that aliens are supposed to bring us but aliens have also been painted in a bad and even horrifying way, such as by bringing conflict and war, using humans for food or labor, and so on.  These bad images of aliens, though, do not bring the devotee’s as the alien-as-savior theme which is what the ‘alien issue’ primarily revolves around.

THE QUESTION OF BELIEF

After many years of watching the ‘alien issue’ I can’t help but see another side to it.  From what I have seen it appears that what a lot of the ‘alien issue’ is about is the fact that people want to believe in the Divine (namely, god and religion) but are unable to for some reason.  The ‘alien issue’ allows a means for this need to be manifested and brought out and satisfied.  This condition is created as a result of a number of things, such as:

  • The failure of religion.  The conflicts, disputes, and drama of the religious issue, at least in Western society, has left much of the population with a bad taste in their mouth in regard to religion.  Many people don’t want to have anything to do with religion because of the problems it has, or continues, to cause.  This has created a tendency for many people to be unable to believe in any organized religion and, even, the idea of a god.  This frustration in belief has even helped cause an atheism in some people which, in reality, disguises a religious need that is unfulfilled (I have written an article on this called “Thoughts on how “atheism” reflects a religious need in people“).  In many ways, the ‘alien issue’ is another avenue of this same frustration with religion seen with atheism.  Basically, its religious need turned in a new direction that does not appear to be ‘religious’ but really is.
  • The coming of science as the new belief system.  With the failure of religion science has often been promoted as the ‘new savior’ and belief system.  Science is now promoted as the ‘truth’.  Because of this, it has become the ‘accepted belief system’ instead of religion.  As a result, any ‘truth’ must be related to science in some way.  This creates a need for science in any ‘truth’.
  • The failure of science as a belief system.  Despite all that science offers it does not satisfy the ‘religious need’ for the Divine in life that people have . . . people need to believe in more in life, and they need mystery in life as well.  In this way, science has actually failed as a belief system and a bringer of ‘truth’ (I wrote an article involving this called “Thoughts on how we are in the “post-science era”“).
  • The human need for the Divine in life.   Because science has become the current accepted belief system, it has made many people try to create what can be described as a ‘scientifically supported religious belief system’.  The ‘alien issue’ is just one of these belief systems, a half-scientific, half-religious belief system that satisfies the scientific explanation but, also, the religious need.  In this way, the alien becomes the new Divine being, that is, the new god.  In that way, aliens replace the god that ‘people of science’ are not permitted to have.  As a result of this, aliens take on all these mystical powerful and awesome qualities, becoming almost god-like.  The need for god appears in the alien-as-god, cloaked in all this ‘mystical magical power’.

The historical conditions that began these starts with the Protestant Reformation where Martin Luther broke from the Roman Catholic church causing a split in religion.  This caused much religious conflict, disputes, and arguments over the years, including many wars.  All this caused a doubting of religion which eventually created what is often called the Enlightment, which offered logic and science as the ‘new answer’ and the ‘new savior’ instead of religion.  The Protestant Reformation and Enlightment took place primarily from the 1500’s to the 1700’s and created a great dilemma and crisis in Western society that is still going on.  In many ways, we are only living in the wake of this dilemma.  In this way, the ‘alien issue’ can be described as a result of the conditions created by the Protestant Reformation and Enlightment that continue on down to today.  Because of this, religion and science permeate this point of view.     

THE DISCOVERY OF ALIENS . . .  

I was often stunned when people seemed to think that the discovery of aliens will “change everything” and so on.  Why should it?  I tend to view this as people wanting a ‘revelation’ of some sort to give a grounding on their alien-based belief system.  They’re hoping the discovery will bring this about.  In effect, they’re wanting something to give an ‘absolute certainty’ to their belief system.  This is because, remember, they aren’t permitted to believe.  As a result, any belief they have (even in aliens) rests on uncertain and unstable ground.  The discovery of aliens will dispel this and create certainty, which they need, and science does not offer

Some people think the discovery of aliens will have drastic effects on human reality, as if some great truth will be revealed to us as a result.  Its as if the discovery of aliens will shake humanity to its very center.  Perhaps it will change us all?  This, in my opinion, is really showing the need for religion and the need for a spirituality.  What they’re speaking of is an ‘inner transformation’ that the spirituality of religion tends to cause.  They are unable to find it because ‘inner transformation’ requires a belief in religion . . .

I’ve even heard of many references to this idea that the discovery of aliens will show that “we are not alone in the universe”.  I’ve heard some people make a big deal about this.  Why is this so important?  Of course, I know that this is a reference to a spiritual loneliness . . . again, a reference to the need for belief.  The question of being “alone in the universe” really refers to this absence of a sense of god that ‘surrounds us’ and permeates everything (which is reflected in their idea of the “universe”).  In many ways, its like saying “I have no sense of god but want one”.

Personally, I feel that the discovery of an alien, though it may cause great commotion at first, will basically be no different than discovering a new ‘species’ of living thing, except now it is extra-terrestrial.  Like the moon landing, it will be big news at first but, after the shock disappears, it will probably be ignoredI have no reason to believe that they will come in space ships and be “advanced” . . . that’s nice modern thinking.  I am inclined to think that an alien is more likely to be anything from a single cell-like thing, to a plant, to a small creature rather than some highly “advanced creature” in space ships ready to “save” us.

THE QUESTION OF MODERN ARROGANCE

As mentioned above, the ‘alien issue’ is rooted in the religion versus science dispute which has, as one of its elements, a belief in science or, rather, the modern world.  Because of this, the ‘alien issue’ has many references to the worship of science and the modern world.  As a result of this, behind a lot of the ‘alien issue’ is really a display of modern arrogance.  This is why aliens are often viewed as being part of an “advanced society” which has this uncanny resemblance to ideals of the modern world:  knowledge, advanced society, and such.  In this way, aliens are often viewed as representing the ideals of the modern world.  This fact shows how much the ‘alien issue’ is very much rooted in scientific discovery and modern inventions, showing its great connection with the scientific movement.

A good example of this arrogance are some of the explanations of the great achievement of the past, such as the pyramids.  There are often two themes associated with their explanation:

  1. Since science views the past as “primitive”, the people of the past could not of created these great achievements . . . something else must of created them (i.e. aliens).  This assumes that the people of the past are dumb and stupid and shows an arrogance and bias toward the modern world.
  2. Everything tends to be compared to our scientific and modern world.  The construction of the pyramids, for example, is looked at from the point of view of “how would we do it?”  It never seems to occur to anyone that maybe the people of the past found a way to do it that we are not seeing.  The fact is that, in the past, there are so many great achievement in the world that its quite apparent, at least to me, that we are overlooking something that was obvious to them.  No doubt, this is because of our scientific-biased point of view, which makes people think that they had to of used, for example, cranes, heavy machinery, and such . . . this is only how we would of done it.  Since they didn’t have them they couldn’t of done it.  In addition, if we cannot figure out how they did it then its assumed that they couldn’t of done it.  It must be something miraculous that did it (that is, aliens).  All points of view are based on our views of things now.

In this way, the aliens have become a way to explain the achievements of the people of the past that we cannot explain.  This, of course, supports their ‘god-like’ qualities (religion) and their “advanced” nature (science).

Unfortunately, its also treating our ancestors like a bunch of idiots who aren’t capable of anything, which reveals that behind the ‘alien issue’ is a poor view of our ancestors.  This point of view is common with science which tends to view the people of the past as ‘backward’ or ‘primitive’.  As a result of this viewpoint, the existence of the great achievements of the past have perplexed many scientists who view our ancestors as incapable of doing anything like that.  Because of this, the existence of aliens gives an answer to this perplexing question.

THE EXISTENCE OF ALIENS???

Do I believe aliens exist?

My stance is that “I’ll believe them when I see them.”  I do not discount their existence.  I’ll believe them only where there is something to believe in.  But, more importantly, why should I?  What purpose does it serve me?  Why should I care at this point?  To me, its like saying “do you believe that there is a rock out in space that, if you look at it at the right angle, you can see a profile of George Washington?”  Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t.  Does it really matter?  So, to me, its purely speculative and fantasizing.

I’ve heard many people say, “with all the planets out there, odds are that there are aliens out there somewhere”.   That sounds like good math and science but it still doesn’t mean that there is anything out there or that I should care.  To me, its like a form of ‘scientifically proven hope’, making hope mathematically possible . . . again, another example of the blending of science and religion (hope) that is such a part of the ‘alien issue’.

In addition, I would think that, if they had space ships, we would of seen definite proof somewhere by now.  With all the radar, photos, and such, I would think there would of been something definite.  All the accounts I have heard of about alien space ships are nothing but UFO’s . . . . unidentified flying objects . . . we don’t know what it is.  Nothing is definite . . . and this has been going on too long.  I don’t count ‘indefinites’ as proof of aliens.

AFTERTHOUGHT

It appears, at least to me, that much of the fascination and debate on the existence of aliens is really nothing but people wanting to believe in something ‘beyond human’, that is, the Divine or god.  It reflects, really, a religious need.  Aliens are a good avenue for this.  They are a mysterious entity that are ‘out there’ somewhere, much like the Divine or god.  Because of this, aliens have become somewhat equated with the Divine or god.  This makes it so that people tend to believe that aliens often have god-like qualities, ascribing them great power and ability.  In effect, they are only creating a new image of god, one that they can accept in their scientific world.  They are forced to do this because the society in which they are in, which glorifies science, will not allow them to believe in god.  The image of the alien as if remedies this situation by blending the scientific possibility of aliens with the idea of god creating a unique image of aliens.  In this way, aliens have no longer become aliens but ‘god-aliens’, an image of the Divine, for many people.

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Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Historical stuff, Modern life and society, Other stuff, Religion and religious stuff, Science and technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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