Came across it on t.v. the other day and decided to watch it since I haven't in such a long time...boy was that movie about the struggle for faith! I just couldn't decide whether the movie was for or against Atheism. It seems because of the ending that they were attempting to convey believing in God was not only necessary but right. What do you guys think?
In my opinion, the best sci-fi movie ever made was “The Andromeda Strain,” because everything in it is scientifically plausible; and yet, it maintained scary, exciting suspense throughout. The movie presented, not the ridiculous anthropomorphic monsters of most sci-fi flicks, but what we REALLY should fear: evolving microorganisms.
For a long time, I never bothered to go see “Contact,” because science fiction in the movies is 10% science and 90% preposterous nonsense. However, since Carl Sagan, whom I greatly admired, wrote the book (the only one of his I haven't read), I decided to check it out when it came to TV. Sadly, I was disappointed to see that it was little more than his attempt to justify his ill-fated and forlorn SETI delusion and obsession.
In fact, I wrote him about it shortly before he died and he graciously answered my letter (which I cherish). In essence, he acknowledged, implicitly, the unlikelihood of such a “contact,” but felt it was still worth the effort. In his final sentence, he answered my respectful suggestion that perhaps his time and talent would be better spent on more pressing problems here on Earth; he said, “I do not see why we must choose between urgent social needs and long-term projects that hold some promise for a hopeful human future. We need both.” I can appreciate his point, but I still think he was wasting his genius on a lost cause. His SETI acolytes have been futilely scouring the cosmos for the last 50 years in a vain hope that some day a message from billions of light years distant will reach us and be understood by us. Seriously?
A large percentage of Americans are credulous about the possibility of malevolent, anthropomorphic critters from space coming to observe us, even kidnap us, with not a shred of empirical, scientific data to back up their vivid imaginations.
@Dale - Considering Dr. Sagan responded, "We need both," I'm surprised you didn't offer to debate him!
RE: "His SETI acolytes have been futilely scouring the cosmos for the last 50 years" - All that means, is that we've covered an area 50 light years in circumference, barely to the end of our galactic "block," so to speak. I seriously doubt that Dr. Sagan expected results within a single lifetime.
Your argument could also be made for our trip to the moon - why bother? What does our lifeless moon possibly possess that would make the trip worth the effort and the expense?
The answer is that we humans are a curious species - wherever we go, we search for knowledge, from the macrocosm to the microcosm, and along the way, we discover heretofore unknown principles that not only help to slake our thirst for knowledge, but which often have practical applications that can assist us in our daily lives, whether or not we ever reach our intended destination. Much as in life, the journey is its own destination.
im no place to debate you but i wouldnt mind hearing you expound on this subject because i've sure seen some knarly stuff and there are pilots who even have strong cases for such things so let er rip dude.
His SETI acolytes have been futilely scouring the cosmos for the last 50 years in a vain hope that some day a message from billions of light years distant will reach us and be understood by us. Seriously?'
Did you really mean to say billions of light years?
I agree that the money spent on SETI would probably benefit us more if applied to eradicating poverty or curing cancer, diabetes, or HIV.
We will almost certainly never hear from intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, and if we do, so what? Where does knowing that they are out there get us? We'll never meet them face to face (assuming they have a face). Why? Due to the insurmountable obstacles of distance and danger involved in space travel, not just for us but for them.
That said, I have the SETI@Home screensaver going on all three of my computers. Not because I hope we'll find that there is intelligent life out there, but because it looks pretty cool.
Interesting thing about insurmountable obstacles, they keep getting surmounted - just think of the insurmountable obstacles that existed between the barren piece of rock that this planet was, and the world of bountiful life that exists here now.
To each is own - my screen saver is Megan Fox.
Interesting thing about insurmountable obstacles, they keep getting surmounted...
Okay, start holding your breath.
You first - after all, age before beauty!
Pearls before swine!
Don't oysters form pearls around irritants?
Remind us: how does it end and how do you think it might lend itself to believing in theism?
I can't remember exactly how the movie ends, but the book ends like this: a computer that's calculating pi comes across a string of numbers deep in pi that is clearly not random, that was placed there. In other words, a message is built into the fabric of the universe itself, in the very number that defines a circle, by an intelligence. The protagonist takes this as an indication of the existence of a creator god, though the reader might argue that it was an extremely powerful and ancient species such as the one that built the wormholes and sent the instructions for the machine. At any rate, as I wrote earlier in the thread, I think the theistic overtones have to be viewed in the context of Sagan's other works, and thus are more palatable than they appear to be from this brief, out-of-context summary.