Article - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Another way of putting it is: if you notice the things that are wrong with our reality, that means you view the world around you as "cold, cruel and hostile," which then means that you just aren't seeing objectively! You are not giving proper value to this marvelous world in which we live! You aren't fully appreciating the wars and plagues and disasters and man's inhumanity to man properly! You are not giving the proper spin on cosmic catastrophes, military onslaughts, social injustice, personal and familial misfortunes, and a host of assaults too numerous to list.
In short, if you are not living in the warm and fuzzy illusion that the Control System wants you to erect as your "personal myth," or at least pretending that you do, then you are clearly deficient and incapable of perceiving meaning to life. Because, note that most important assumption in the study cited above: those who are "alienated" are being judged about their feelings as to "how meaningful life is." In other words, "how meaningful" is a quantitative judgment that is replacing the qualitative value of WHAT the meaning of life might be.
As the great Historian of Religion, Mircea Eliade pointed out, the study of history, through its various disciplines, offers a view of mankind that is almost insupportable. The rapacious movements of hungry tribes, invading and conquering and destroying in the darkness of prehistory; the barbarian invaders of the civilized world during medieval times; the bloodbaths of the crusades of Catholic Europe against the "infidels" of the Middle East; the stalking "noonday terror" of the Inquisition where martyrs quenched the flames with their blood; and the raging holocaust of modern genocide. Wars, famine, pestilence; all produce an intolerable sense of indefensibility against what Mircea Eliade calls the Terror of History.
But if you find yourself saying this, you are "alienated," antisocial, and incapable of finding any meaning in life. You are just simply not "with the program," according to the SETI study cited above.
One of the authorities trotted out is astronomer Frank Drake, the Father of SETI. Drake argues that ET will very likely be altruistic, rather than malevolent because if extraterrestrials are hostile, then their civilizations won't last very long, and we're unlikely to make contact with them. Only extraterrestrials with a long-lasting, stable society will be around long enough to be detected by our SETI programs.
Unfortunately, Drake's views are those of an astronomer who must not have read much history or many anthropological studies about what really happens when a superior culture encounters an inferior one, or even why superior cultures begin to expand and spread out, and seek new lands to conquer and dominate. Drake probably forgot Hitler's idea of Lebensraum as well as the ancient archetypal story of the Trojan Horse. In short, Drake's hypothesis is all wet.
With that idea in mind, let's look at the questions that were asked of the participants in the SETI study as to how we ought to respond to the receiving of a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization.
Aside from the fact that nearly all of the above statements are redundancies, most of them are based on the idea of suspecting that ETs might be liars. For some reason, that strikes me as peculiar. It's almost as though the issue that is really being tested is a person's gullibility index. Nevertheless, if a person has thought long and hard about History - AS IT IS - and has made some assessment about it based on the objective facts, then he may, indeed, extrapolate those facts into considerations of ET civilizations that may contact us. This then will lead him to the objective speculation that any ET civilization that goes out looking for "New Worlds to Conquer" does not have our best interests at heart!
The SETI study has told us: "The pattern is clear: people who feel alienated are much more likely to be concerned that ET has evil intentions."
You're darn skippy!
But the SETI study has attempted to establish that such an objective assessment is pathological. The SETI folks are suggesting that the relationship between "alienation" and the perception that ET might not be friendly is evidence of a "personal prejudice," as opposed to an objective perception of the world! The study suggests that alienation is a "personal bias," that is not "in synch" with reality. Reciprocally, this means that they are suggesting that our world is just hunky dory; that two billion people meeting their deaths in a century of wars and famines is just "the cost of doing business" in this reality.
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