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Could human beings accept thier place in the universes?

  1. Aug 8, 2003 #1
    Could human beings accept thier place in the universe?

    First this first. This is NOT a UFO post. I'm not here to debate little green men, crop circles, or weather the government is hiding UFOs. I'm sure everyone knows where to go for that. That being said..

    What if a more advanced life form does exist on other planets, and it is one day discovered? Perhaps they come visit us, perhaps they contact us- use your imagination. this is theoretically possible due to the vast amount of stars in the universe. So let's say that day happened. How would you react? How would this affect your religious beliefs? Your philosophical beliefs? Your view of the universe?

    It is my belief that society as a whole would have a very difficult time accepting this. It would first of all, mean that we are no longer the most advanced species in the universee. This changes the whole dynamic of things. It may be possible that there exist beings greater than us in an order of magnitude. Perhaps in the samw way we are to the other animals on this planet. I also think that there would be mass hysteria at first among religious groups. People might try to equate the aliens with "god" or in some fanatic instances, with the end of the world(there's always one group saying that no matter what happens). So would the existence of aliens change your belief in God? Would you feel scared? amazed? curious? lost?

    I'm curious..
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2003
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  3. Aug 9, 2003 #2

    Another God

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    My views would remain the same. I think it would cause the gl;obal community to recognise each other better: ie: we would become an Earth, rather than politically segregated communities (to a larger degree anyway)
  4. Aug 9, 2003 #3
    i agree another god, humanity would finally unite under a common banner, that of trying to destroy this new life form no doubt.

    oh i'm being a pessimist, i don't know what i'd think, it would be so exciting, making the step from international community to interstellar community, but it would be so hard for humanity to accept another race as equals (as history has shown) i mean we made a nice hash of colonisation ('oh god they're a different colour, where's that canon...') and we weren't even different species! but things have changed...a bit and hopefully we could handle such a paradigm shift...hopefully
  5. Aug 9, 2003 #4


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    Re: Could human beings accept thier place in the universe?

  6. Aug 9, 2003 #5
    Re: Could human beings accept thier place in the universe?

    It would affect it. I agree with you that society would not deal with this very well. Everything you described would likely happen. I, personally would probably not be affected in a non-productive way. (Unless the aliens looked grotesque or like snakes or something. Then I have a serious problem. :smile:) I would want face time with these aliens and I would be begging them to answer some of the same questions we struggle with in these forums. Am I a geek or what?

    As far as god goes. I don't have a strong belief on God one way or the other so I guess you could call me undecided. I lean more one way one day and the other way some other time. I debate the topic with myself often:smile:. But because I do think there is more credibility to the biologists claim that life on earth is a statistical miracle (as opposed to an inevitability under the right conditions like the physicists think), then proof of life somewhere else would cause me to lean more toward the "life is no accident" theory. The definitions of god that may result from such leanings may or may not resemble anything traditional but the bottomline is I would lean more toward the idea of god.

    Of course, in my meetings with them I would just ask them what they believe and why? LOl.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2003
  7. Aug 9, 2003 #6
    That is the whole problem. I think that our fear of things we don't understand might lead to an international incident. Will we try and get to know them? or try and blast them out of the sky? The scientists will all be clamouring for information. The military will be clamouring for action, and religioun will be clamouring for salvation. How will we react? It depends on who goes out t meet them weather we go with hand extended or guns blazing. Even then it would depend on thier reaction. Which will they do? obviously hostile intent will not do much to further peace relations. Not to paraphrase here, but "first contact" is critical. You can never make a 2nd first impression :wink:
  8. Aug 15, 2003 #7
    Re: Could human beings accept thier place in the universe?

    What can I say, it would take them a lot of time to get here, especially as they'd have mass... the possibility that they'd be like us would be almost non-existant... and you have to admit that it would be pretty damn hard to find us, it's not like there are few stars or few planets... ok, let's move on...
    I'd be scared.
    Fear often makes people more religious.
    Hmm. I don't know.
    I'd sure be surprised!

    Who said they'd be more "advanced"? "Advanced" is relative anyway. You can't even say for sure they'd be fitter to live in our dear old Universe...
    We wouldn't consciously understand that superiority, just like bears don't understand we're "superior"... and who's to say we are...
    There would be mass hysteria among all groups and individuals, all sane people. Not that governments don't know this, which makes it more possible that we'd never learn about those creatures...
    To say the truth, I don't think I'd be thinking about that at the moment, or I'd be praying (if they were dangerous and we couldn't resist them).
    No, make that scared to death.
    Hmm... perhaps when I'd have had a year or 20 to get accustomed to the fact...
    Nah... let's go back to "scared".
  9. Aug 16, 2003 #8
    Originaly posted by Tail

    We wouldn't consciously understand that superiority, just like bears don't understand we're "superior"... and who's to say we are...

    This, in and of itself would be
    a great topic for a thread. What
    possible reason could a bear have
    to judge humans as superior? In
    bear terms we are either ill ad-
    apted or irrationaly dangerous.

    Although we now concieve of any
    aliens who could develop the
    technology to travel here as
    superior, we might, upon actually
    meeting them, discover their in-
    teligence to be the result of
    freakish instinct, like that of
    autistc/savants: a race of Rain-

  10. Aug 17, 2003 #9

    Who's to say what kind of intelligence is "better"...?
  11. Aug 17, 2003 #10
    I don't understand the question
    in the context of what I said.
  12. Aug 17, 2003 #11
    I'm sorry, I guess I misunderstood you. It seemed to me you implied autistic/instinctive intelligence is inferior...
  13. Aug 17, 2003 #12
    Well, it is by bear standards.

    Actually, what I'm saying is that
    when we concieve of "superior"
    intelligence we are usually fall-
    ing into the trap of imagining a
    more advanced form of our own kind
    of intelligence. We suppose the
    alien visitors with "superior"
    intelligence have become "superior" by virtue of having
    progressed farther than us along
    the same lines as us.

    If, instead, we ended up encount-
    ering a race of Rainmen whose know
    ledge of how to cross billions of
    light years was something they in-
    stinctively grasped without having
    to slowly, and conciously acquire
    that knowledge, it would shock us.

    The kind of situation I'm talking
    about is this: upon being asked
    how they engineer their crafts the
    alens would become confused and
    reply "We just do it." Eventually
    it becomes clear to us that they
    not only do not analyze what they do,but that they may, in fact, be
    incapable of analyzing it.

  14. Aug 17, 2003 #13
    Good point!
  15. Aug 18, 2003 #14

    Another God

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    The race which wins the war will.
  16. Aug 18, 2003 #15
    It's people with that attitude that bring about wars. You're assuming they would automatically have hostile intent simply because they would (presumably) be more advanced than us. Personally , I think we couldn't make any assumptions until they made thier intent clear.
  17. Aug 18, 2003 #16
    No, don't get bent out of shape.
    I think Shane is just being witty
    and quippy with this harkening
    back to the saying "History is
    written by the victor."
  18. Aug 18, 2003 #17

    Another God

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    Yeah, that was my primary reasoning for it, but I was also being serious on some level. If we encountered another race, and there was a battle, then the victors would be the ones with the superior intelligence. Thats all. I don't actually think that there will be war (see my earlier post), but if it happened, then the victors would need to have been the ones with the superior intellect.
  19. Aug 18, 2003 #18
    So going with that premise, we can assume that if aliens do avoid us, a war is the last thing we would want. If we didn't pursue a peaceful interaction they'd just wipe us out.

    I think a lot of people assume it will be all "independence day" or "mars attacks" in nature. They'll just swoop in and clean our clocks. Popular sci-fi always has that theme. But really we don't know anything about them..

    Didn't mean to jump on you AG. It is true that history is always written by the victors.
  20. Aug 18, 2003 #19
    So more powerful is better?
  21. Aug 18, 2003 #20


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    I don't think there's gonna be a big shock when finding out that intelligent aliens exist. It’s not like a stone age man suddenly sees an airplane. Most of us live among rumors that they’re already here, and even in entertainment areas we’re seeing a lot of intergalactic events, interacting with aliens, making war with aliens...etc, so the concept of aliens is not too alien to us. I do not believe that it would effect our religious believes. I don’t know of any religion that tells you that god created other species as well but they don’t say that earth is the only planet with souls with hope for salvation.
    If the super intelligent beings would come and tell you that “listening music is a big waste of time, don’t play computer games, don’t make love; better clone and modify humans”, you’re not gonna do that. I think a believe strongly rooted within us won’t easily perish.
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