Musings On A Spring Night

A Pagan Opinion 3/29/03

By R. A. Melos


According to AOL news sources, scientists have discovered more than 150 radio signals that could confirm extra-terrestrial life. Wow! We aren't alone. That is so cool. Now can we go kill 'em?

Okay, I'm being facetious, but let's face it, given the track record of the human race we are most likely to kill anything that comes from outer space. Granted, we may need to kill something that invades or even pretends to come in peace, but I think we would kill anyone or anything that got in our faces, because man is a violent species.

As much as I would like to see real ET's, I would probably warn them to get the hell off the planet before they get themselves killed by the ignorance of the human race. Run, ET's, run!

Do I have a negative opinion of my species? Hell yes! It hurts me to say it, but look at our long history of war and violence in general. When we aren’t organized as one great killing machine against another, as we currently are in the Iraqi War, we as individuals are killing each other at alarming rates and in insidiously ingenious ways.

Between the serial killers, and psycho killers, and random killers, and drive-by shootings, and wives in SUV’s running over their husbands, the human race has raised up violence to an art form. What’s worse, we practically celebrate it. We revel in inflicting pain and suffering upon one another.

If you want proof of this obsession with violence, just look at our forms of entertainment. Books and movies are filled with words and images of violence from pre-historic man clubbing each other, to Jack The Ripper, Lizzie Borden, Son Of Sam, Vlad The Impaler, From Here To Eternity, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Apocalypse Now, and even Dogs And Cats.

Yes, it could be argued we are just as obsessed with sex as we are with violence, which is ironic because sex is life affirming and violence is a destruction of that very affirmation. Perhaps the human race is, on the whole, self-destructive? No, I can’t agree with that assessment.

If the entire human race were self-destructive, than the human race would’ve long been extinct. No, not everyone one of us is headed on a collusion course of our own making, some human beings see the threat posed by others and attempt to defuse it. However, defusing a proposed threat isn’t as easy as one would think. Just look at the current world situation to understand how quick and easy it is to go from negotiations to violence.

So what do alien races have to look forward to, if they choose to visit the third rock from the sun?

Assuming they are no more advanced than us, contact will be made over the course of several decades, and possibly physical first contact won’t happen for several generations. Perhaps such an established relationship could lessen the danger of annihilation of our perspective ET brethren. This isn’t to say we won’t eventually go to war with them once we meet face to face, only that given the chance to study each other through mutual exchange of information, we may avert war for some time.

Now if the alien race is technologically advanced beyond us, our arrogance will undoubtedly lead to our downfall, and/or the destruction of the so-call technologically superior race. I’m extrapolating this from our own works of fiction. Aside from some works of fiction that have humans living in harmony with aliens, most of our fiction teaches us the human being is superior to all other forms of life, even when we aren’t, and we will destroy anyone or anything which may prove us to be physically or intellectually inferior.

Does this mean we are destined to remain isolated in the universe, or destined to destroy any possibility of cross-cultural interplanetary exchange? No. I could be very wrong about the human race. I could be projecting my own fears and anxieties upon society as a whole and therefore expecting the worst instead of the best. It has been known to happen. I do sometimes see the darkness before seeing the light.

On the other hand, before we go looking for ET’s to befriend or conquer, depending on the situation, shouldn’t we spend a little more time cleaning up our own planet? I mean, I was always taught to clean up before company comes a calling. So with that in mind, might I suggest everyone on the planet stop what he or she is doing, take a step back and look at the big picture. Is it hung straight? Are our corners clean and neat, and is everything in order?

Maybe the extra-terrestrials could postpone visiting us until we get our act together? Hell. Maybe AOL is hoping ET’s do show up so they can sucker another million people into using their services. Whatever the case maybe I would definitely question the motives of any alien civilization that chose to visit Earth, especially if their decisions were based on radio signals we’ve been sending off over the decades.

If our radio signals are bouncing all over the cosmos, what have alien races already learned about us? Are we even worthy of their time and interest? And what is that interest? Are they studying us, like bugs in a science experiment? Do we amuse them, or disgust them? Do they wonder what we taste like dipped in chocolate?

The future holds the answers to these and many more questions. Perhaps it is best, for now, to live in the present.