Monthly Archives: May 2004

Hard Truths and Obvious Facts I

Now seems like a good time to start what I consider an incredibly important thread. Rather than explain, let’s jump right in.

Myth: Some great force is steering the destiny of mankind. No matter how bad things get, we’ll be alright as a people because someone will save us from ourselves.

Response: Boy, this sure is a comforting thought isn’t it? By the thinking of some, it doesn’t matter what any destructive force does because they’re going to be saved at the last minute by some divine force. I’m sure that kind of comfort makes the collection plates fuller at the local purveyors of religious gratification but it’s way too convenient.

The fact is, there’s little or no evidence that the current religious fad is any more correct than the previous thousands that have come and gone. Typically, the throngs of the religious point to the bible as their ultimate evidence and proof that THEY (and only they) are in fact the ‘chosen’ people who are going to heaven. Let’s be clear, the bible is an ancient and historical document. Only a few dozen problems with the bible as a document of prognostication.

Firstly, the bible has been translated through half a dozen languages in series so inevitable transcription and translation errors have been multiplied and magnified over the years.

Secondly and more importantly, the bits and pieces of the bible we typically see are thoroughly picked over by the church (read that: Edited) to make sure the message conveyed is as close as possible to what the ancient church intended. What kind of audacity does one have to have to edit the very word of god herself?

Thirdly and more importantly of all, the bible does not constitute a consistent whole. The book is often contradictory, confusing and deals in a dubious level of symbolism. I mean come on… 7 days? Let’s get real. More on the ignorance of bible literalists later…

Secondarily but related to the religious masses are those that think we’re just days away from being visited ‘klaatu berada nicto’ style by extraterrestrials who are going to give us a lecture on how to get along and disarm all of our weapons of mass destruction for us. While this is a less popular opinion, the proponents of it defend it no less fiercely. Sadly, this theory fails muster on several points.

Let’s summarize the unpopular truth about non-terrestrial life forms:
Life is very nearly everywhere. The more we look at our own Earth, the more evident it becomes that life can survive, thrive and evolve in any environment. As we look more closely at Mars it will become obvious that the Earth is by no means unique. Don’t expect the government to report this to you until they are left with no other alternative. Trust me when I say that the government will not rock the boat in any way. The American public would not know anything about terrorism except that it served a political purpose. Our esteemed National Idiot Mr. Bush wanted a war and he managed to get one using September 11th to steer public opinion. Since the war in Iraq, there have been a dozen successful terrorist attacks on this country but luckily the media just called them accidents. We wouldn’t want to lower the value of anyone’s stock portfolio. Enough of that tangent.

Even though life is everywhere, there’s just too much space between us and the nearest star for anyone to bother to visit. There is no faster-than-light travel so anyone who does visit would have to invest such incredible amounts of time getting here that it would be hardly worth their while. If they did come here I can’t imagine they would want to play therapist to a backwards race like ourselves.

Lastly, if you had the ability to peruse the universe at your leisure, would you travel for a hundred years to visit an average, unremarkable, yellow sun in the middle of nowhere? If it were me, I’d visit someplace a little more scenic. No one goes on vacation to the suburbs to visit an average family in a typical home. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and there will be a galactic census soon.

In summary, we’re responsible for our own screw-ups. If someone does release a biological agent in an attempt to wipe us out then you can just fold up shop because there is no safety net. Once you’re dead, you’re dead and there’s nobody and nothing that can change that for you. If we can’t as a people decide to get along with each other then we don’t deserve to creep our way out of our primordial cesspool. Even if we don’t though, it’s no big deal. There are a million billion other races that are similarly or better equipped to handle life in the universe than we are. I certainly won’t be crying for us either way. We get what we deserve.

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