Comment by Mike 2000 on September 22, 2013 at 4:58am

Brilliant point.  Comfort-seekers have no place in serious religious discussion.  I personally suspect that, as life forms, we are alone, but that what we end up deciding that we ought to do will be in accordance with something horrible that predates the universe.  Not Cthulu, but similar in some regard.

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 22, 2013 at 11:27am

Arthur C. Clark was a very interesting individual. An English astrophysicist and science fiction author, who relocated to Sri Lanka in order to escape prosecution for his blatant homosexuality, which he refused to hide. He proposed geosynchronous satellites and communications satellites as early as 1945 (yes Kiddies, even before television!). He wrote the novels, 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, and Rendezvous with Rama in 1973.

Several things he had to say, that might be of interest, are:

"Science can destroy religion by ignoring it, as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor - but they have few followers now."
Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God--but to create him."
Arthur C. Clarke

And certainly MY favorite:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Profiles of The Future, 1961 (Clarke's third law)

Comment by Strega on September 22, 2013 at 2:00pm

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God--but to create him."

Asimov had a short story about this - it's a great quote :)

Comment by Doug Reardon on September 22, 2013 at 2:29pm

What if there are many other sentient civilizations but they are too far away, too far in the past, or too far in the future for us to have any interaction with; are we still alone?

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 22, 2013 at 3:40pm

If we call out, and no one answers, does it really matter if we're alone, or merely in the presence of someone who is ignoring us?

We proceed as if we are, and if it turns out otherwise (and assuming they don't want to eat us), we consider it a bonus.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on September 23, 2013 at 12:48am

Extra-terrestrial life may be nothing like our worst fears. Even if it is, it probably does not matter unless we make contact. Nothing to fear.

Finding other life and or sentient beings is not going to solve all of our philosophical problems. It won't give existence meaning. If we were to be 'alone,' we need only turn to each other for company. Scary, yes, but nothing we don't do on a regular basis.


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