UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Ufology’s UFO Obsession a replacement for Theology’s God Obsession?

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.
I notice that the search for an explanation or understanding of UFOs is remarkably like the once obsessional search for and explanation or understanding of God by theologians and/or philosophers.

While UFOs don’t have the import of a God explanation, they do have the same kind of underlying mystery, only one that is not so profound.

Our friend Parakletos isn’t dissuaded from his ongoing need to understand what God is or isn’t. He persists in his pursuit of the meaning(s) of life as defined by philosophers or theologians.

Yet, I see some UFO buffs suppressing their belief or non-belief in God, replacing their “philosophical” inquiry with an inquiry into the mysteries presented by the UFO phenomenon, using Roswell as a kind of tipping point, not unlike that of the Jesus period in theology’s pursuit of the ultimate transcendental divine moment.

I think I understand the UFO agnosticism of Paul Kimball and Nick Redfern. (They are also agnostic about God too, although Mr. Kimball is steeped in religious hooey.)

Gilles Fernandez, who is atheistic about UFOs and especially Roswell, is very likely atheistic about God and Jesus as God, or so it seems to me. (Gilles is awash with the sentiments of Camus or Gide, his fellow Frenchmen, as I see it.)

CDA is a God-believer I think, but has his caveats about what God is. Lance Moody is anti-God? I dunno. He’s anti-UFO and really anti-Roswell (as far as the ET part of it), so I’m assuming he’s atheistic about a divinity, God or otherwise.

PurrlGurrl strikes me as a person who believes in a God but dislikes or hates the evangelical aspects of religion just as she hates the idiocies of ufology.

Susan/Brownie harbors nice sentiments about UFOs, and God/Jesus also I bet.

Bruce Duensing sees UFOs much as he sees God: a mental overlay by humanity derived from cultural input mostly.

Tim Hebert has the idea that God and UFOs are elements of the mind, with some kind of reality that mystifies and remains abstruse because of the fol-de-rol of human thought and neurological quirks.

Ross Evans wants to know what the hell UFOs are and what the hell went on at Roswell. I’m guessing he wants to know, also, what really happened in Jerusalem when Josephus was mentioning Jesus of Nazareth without anything more than an aside.

Dominick – and I have to be careful here – believes in Jesus and God just as he “believes in UFOs” but tempers his belief with a façade of objectivity so as not to be labeled, as I am doing here.

Larry and Lawrence downplay their UFO obsession by presenting a kind of scientific approach to the phenomenon. I imagine they do the same when it comes to discussions of God and Jesus or divinities of any kind.

Zoam Chomsky is anti-God just as he is anti-UFOs, is he not?

Kurt Peters is flippant about UFOs, and God too?

Frank Stalter loves hockey more than UFOs or God; a practical stance it seems to me.

Me? God is dead, not in the metaphorical sense beleaguered by Nietzsche but actually, physically, and Jesus died shortly after his Resurrection, just as UFOs have died for those who understand that the phenomenon’s current malaise and status are the fumes of the mystery, not a temporary diminution in sightings. UFOs are dead, as an aspect of human culture, just as God is dead for cognoscenti.

RR

33 Comments:

  • Religious hooey?

    Oh my...

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I'm referring to those peripheral cults you often cite, Paul, not your intrinsic belief system.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I'm not sure what "peripheral cults" you think I cite. Please, elaborate. This should be most amusing. :-)

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Well, i'm looking for your book, The Other Side of Truth, which is replete with references to oblique religious movements, but can't find the thing, even though I had it in front of me just a few days ago.

    But there is this:

    the Free Christian Baptist Church

    and I want to say the Westbergians, which comes to mind from your chat with Radin....although that's not the cult I'm sure.

    When I find your book, and I will, I'll load up on the obtuse religious groups and sects you've pummeled or extolled over the years.

    Amusing, indeed....harumph.

    RR


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I'm sad to see you label a significant historical religious denomination in Canada (Free Christian Baptists), which was rooted within the New Light theology of one of Canada's greatest evangelists and early theologians, as a "cult"... but I'll the chalk that up to a combination of the typical American propensity to not really credit or understand anything outside your own borders, whether geographical or intellectual (although it's worth noting that the FCB's were integrally inter-related with the very important Free Baptist movement in the northeastern United States).

    If I were you, and I mean this in a friendly way, I would try to avoid such loose categorizations. You might even look into them, in the off chance that you could learn something... which is exactly why I have, from time to time, studied them.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • For me, Paul, cult and sect are not pejorative terms when used in a religious context.

    It was how my Jesuit brothers taught me.

    As for the Baptists (of which I was one for a summer) and even the Church of Rome, it's all hooey.

    I don't take your remarks as condescending, even though they are. That's just you.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • My condescension only comes out when I see people who should know better mucking about. You should appreciate it, as it's one of your stocks in trade. ;-)

    Yes, "cult" in an academic context can have a more nuanced meaning, but it still wouldn't extend to the groups that you meant - also, I shouldn't have to remind you that you have often chided me (and others) for thinking that blogs could ever be viewed in an academic context. Thus you surely must have known the context in which the vast majority of your readers would take the word "cult" and yet you used it anyway. So you'll have to live with a little condescension in return.

    In other words, you should have just stuck with "hooey".

    And now that both of us are no doubt amused, I shall return to more mundane pursuits.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I am never offended by you Paul.

    We see things very much alike and you call it as you see it, and are invariably right.

    I wish we got more energetic back-and-forths here.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Ditto. :-)

    Now, a final point, unrelated to the above...

    I recorded an episode of my podcast yesterday with my chum Rev, Kyle Wagner, an Anglican minister with an interest in the paranormal, and along the way he mentioned something that I found quite interesting - that God is the ultimate creator, and so the idea of him creating all sorts of things, including intelligent alien life, wouldn't upset Kyle's theological worldview at all - indeed, it would enhance it.

    I picked up on that and went with the God as a creator thing in an artistic sense - great artists keep creating, some of their work being better than others, but they almost always continue until either infirmity or death stops them. Ergo, it makes sense to view God as a creator, and we humans as just one of his many works of art. Perhaps not the first, almost certainly not the last. And if you want to extend the analogy to its logical conclusion, you could view us as one of many self-portraits (made in His image, after all).

    But then perhaps like all artists God died as you posit. The works of art live on - and in the case of music, form the basis for countless variations and reinterpretations. So even if you're right, and He is gone, his greatest works live on.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I have always felt God killed off or maimed artists for upstaging Him: Beethoven, Joyce, Homer, Chopin, Monet, et al.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • You're spot on.

    I see religions and "spiritual" movements as devices for social organization and behavior/thought control across all world cultures.

    If any religion ever dovetails with true spirituality it's purely coincidental and on a one-by-one, personal basis.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Hello Rich,

    Hum yes, I have admiration to Camus and Existentialists, but well, to see my name with such great men, heu...
    Well that's cool, to feed my Narcissism^^ I hope to not finish in onanism reading you ;) (Humour).

    Concerning the topic, when readind it, I have made an association with one exchange between Andy Roberts (Skeptic) asking ufologist Jerome Clark (author the UFO Encyclopédia as you well know):

    "What evidence there was of “non-mundane UFO origin?”. Asked "the skeptic".

    Jerome replied :

    “Read the UFO literature, guy, if it's not too much trouble. The answer is there”.

    Read the Gospels, to be short...

    Just an example to show, there is propably a comparison to be made between how react (some) believers in God (I respect them) and some Ufologists (I respect them, but less).

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Onanism? Hahahahaha...

    And we all know what happened to him.

    Jerry Clark is too haughty for even me, who is sometimes falsely haughty.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Rich said, "Me? God is dead, not in the metaphorical sense beleaguered by Nietzsche but actually, physically, and Jesus died short after his Resurrection..."

    So such logic leads to the assertion that God was once alive, as well as, Jesus.

    To be dead leads to the rational conclusion that life was the beginning state of existence.

    Rather a waste of divine authority to kill off Christ AFTER the Resurrection...:)

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Oh I believe, Tim, that God, the Gnostic demi-urge, lived once;(Mormons think God still lives, the one "in control of our part of the Universe" anyway.)

    The ineffable God still lives but is hidden from us, as Thomas Friedman points out in his book, noted here many times.

    Jesus was a son of God, Yahweh? Or the ineffable God? I dunno. Either way, he passed on rather suddenly.

    Saying this "generation would not pass away before his return" was a mental mix up by him. He intuited his own passing and thought it pertained to his generation.

    The God above God persists, unknowing, uncaring, stupified by his own omnipotence.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Sorry, Rich, you missed the target (by a mile) on that one. I'm a long-time atheist and totally secular in my UFO studies.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Dominick, I am delighted to be wrong. I see you in a whole new light.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Take a look on this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FryZrDKwv_o which made some of a buzz recently in the UFO microcosm.

    Jim Oberg explained "the phenomenom" to the user and witness, and the guy... blocked Jim. Yes, it is a fuel dump of a chinese recent sat. launch.

    Why the guy blocked Jim? It is not a "religious" reflex? (If you proove me wrong on my own belief, I refuse it).

    More in this link: http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Sep-2013/0067.html

    I want not to generalize or to make an amalgalm with all UFO believers.

    But well, allow me to say regarding such reaction (and there are plenty),

    Well, that's ufology!

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • As usual, mon ami, you are profoundly right.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I wouldn't say I'm agnostic on the UFO issue - at all. I fully believe there is a real phenomenon of unknown origins.

    What I'm 100 percent agnostic about is the ORIGIN of the unknown phenomenon - which is very different to the issue of being agnostic about the existence of the mystery.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Don't split hairs, Nick. You are agnostic about the essence of the matter, the phenomenon itself.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Huh??? No, I am a full-on believer that there is a phenomenon.

    What I am agnostic about is if it's ET, inter-dimensional, Tulpas - the list goes on.

    Something is going on, but I don't feel the need to force it into any belief system without 100 percent proof of what it is.

    There's no doubt in my mind there's a real mystery - there's major doubt in my mind that "believing" this theory or "believing" that theory will get us anywhere.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • It is as Nick says, a matter of a mystery as to what UFOs are, not whether they are...or not. You do agree that UFOs exist, do you not?

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • And also Rich:

    In my first comment in this thread I wrote:

    "What I'm 100 percent agnostic about is the ORIGIN of the unknown phenomenon."

    You replied:

    "Don't split hairs, Nick. You are agnostic about the essence of the matter, the phenomenon itself."

    Er...well, isn't that exactly what I said? Yes it is! That I'm agnostic about the phenomenon.



    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Yes I do believe UFOs exist, but that is a far cry from having proof that aliens from this or that star system are visiting, or that inter-dimensional beings are jumping in and out of our reality, or that time-travelers are traveling back and forth, or that cave-dwelling cryptoterrestrials are skulking around.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • RR, I just had an "aha" moment about why you're off base. You seem to be arguing that UFOs are the 21st century religion.

    You're incorrect. Real estate is the 21st century religion. It giveth; it tooketh away; and it is devoutly hoped (nay, prayed) by millions that it will restorith. Amen.

    After all, who's hoping to build wealth exponentially and passively by investing in UFOs?

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I was making a point of your point Nick, having fun with you.

    My query, "You do believe that UFOs exist, right?" was directed at Gilles, but that damn blogger inserted your comment in between mine.

    (I hate blogger.)

    I am not sure what Gilles thinks about UFOs. I know he dismisses some UFO sightings and events (Roswell in particular) but I have no idea whether or not he thinks there is a phenomenon, a real phenomenon, not just the thought of a phenomenon, or a myth.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Real estate, PG? That takes us into a commercial area that evokes all kinds of opprobrium.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • Since we're dabbling in the esoteric realms of God/UFOs, I've provided a snippet from a comment on my blog site three years ago:

    "In order to understand UFOs you cant be specialized, you have to come at it from a broad spectrum. An example----the fact that these beings are very concerned with the nukeing psychopaths, and warnings to people who have encounters and abductions with them---that will show them the damage we are doing to planet earth..."

    "...YES of course they are real. Your attitude reminds me of this old Chinese saying 'you cannot wake a man up who is pretending to be alsleep'..."

    So as can be seen above, you can dissect the comment portion in numerous ways...

    UFOs/ET is a philosophy, but q philosophy of what?

    A religious component, but again what doctrine or dogma is represented by this duality (lacking a trinity)? Certainly, the UFO/ET phenomena becomes symbolic in a psychological sense.

    This symbolism represents a force for good, for it knows what is good, and it stands for the deliverance from the small minded thinking of man.

    I immediately had noticed that God was substituted with ET. And based upon my analysis, I could have easily rewritten "The Lord's Prayer" equally substituting ET for God.

    I did like the Chinese proverb...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, September 05, 2013  

  • I'm sorry I'm a few days late to this...I don't know if there's a cultlike presence in ufology anymore as there once was when contactees were prevelent. There certainly are still obsessions -- the boring Roswell story seemingly the prime one. And, on the Ufology/Newage convention circuit the Travis Walton story has been resurrected with Walton lugging along Steve Pearce for good measure this time around. Odd how Walton says he quite Ufology and would never return but then a decade or so will go by and he's back with a new angle and new audience to his story (which I don't believe in the first place -- re. Karl Pflock explained his hoax perfectly).

    But there still is Dr. Steven Greer and his Disclosure Movement, which to his and his assistants credit has presented witnesses with impeccable backgrounds, but unfortunately at it's heart is a cult-like organization where Greer is king and his newaged nuttiness about the "galactic federation" (star trek lore anyone?) of kind, advanced "space brothers" is taken quite seriously along with free energy and just about anything to pad Greer's pockets....His legal mishaps make me also think of another true believer in "star people" - self-described contactee & investigator Dr. Richard Boylan. You'd be banned from his forum if you referred to "star people" as "aliens" or "entities" because racism is not allowed from Boylan. But, taking hottub baths with female research subjects apparently is allowed. ;-)

    Then there is the profoundly important possiblity of UFOs and the beings that seem to be associated with them - creating and shaping human belief systems. I think Keel & Vallee may have been right - the intelligence behind ufos may have formed and encouraged our beliefs in 'them' as gods. They were/are a control system over humans. Keel likened ufos and their occupants to demonology. Maybe Keel's "ultraterrestrials" are fallen angels or djinn or Mac Tonnies "cryptoterrestrials" (the latter which seemed like a reworking of Ivan Sanderson's ideas).

    Can something or someone cut through all the bullsh**? Maybe that's what the ghostics were searching for. Taking the ghostic texts and reading them along with the "approved" New Testament texts there's indications Jesus saw through the demiurge and archons, offering a way out. I think Nigel Kerner's ideas about this (Song of the Greys) might come close to the truth, though I think he's off on some of his ideas. I also think Rosemary Ellen Guiley and the late Karla Turner are/were on to something about the negativity of ufos and their occupants and their hostile treatment of humans. Having a close encounter (with other witnesses as well) that yielded conjunctivitis and other physical side effects, I know that ufos are real and I don't think there's anything to suggest these craft and entities are advanced ETs, but are instead probably tied very close to earth.

    As for religion and its integration into everyday life - I find solace in attending an eastern orthodox church and partaking in rituals that my mother's side of the family have followed for nearly 1,700 years. At times I feel as if it's in my dna (maybe it is for many of us and was put there purposely, but at least I realize the possibility). --CONTINUED--

    By Blogger brownie, at Saturday, September 07, 2013  

  • --Continued - pt.2 -

    For me there's great comfort in being with other like-minded Eastern Orthodox as we kiss our ornate old icons (brought over in diasporas from Armenian-sectioned Turkey & Palestinian-sectioned Jerusalem )- without fear of catching germs as well as double kiss eachother ,not caring that our lipstick/glosses smear; while the heady smoke of incense and the choir sings reprives. I accept, by faith, the Trinity and the final Sacrifice.

    Then after service, plenty of strong coffee and middle-eastern treats are served in the community room. I stayed away from church for awhile when I had a crisis of faith but returned and tried a variety of churches, only to come back to my origins. I make no apologies for this. I'm probably not the best of Christians in that I don't proselytize (but am always willing to bring along anyone who'd like to come with me to church).

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Saturday, September 07, 2013  

  • Rich,

    Who says that we should make logical arguments? Who says that we should avoid fallacies, and not use them to persuade? If the only thing that matters is 'winning', then why isn't it 'anything goes'? Might makes right? You can't prove the primacy of the Logos with logic -- it merely begs the question.

    As a philosopher, I cannot deny that I have a BELIEF in the primacy of the Logos -- an unshakable belief. And I don't need unbelievable stories to imprint that upon my psyche. Although I do find them especially interesting... Hmm...

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Saturday, September 07, 2013  

  • P:

    One can make illogical arguments; that's okay with me. It's a kind of propaganda game....to win points or a debate.

    Let one's opponent separate the wheat from the chaff.

    The Logos "argument" from St. John is intriguing and acceptable.

    But for me the Logos is moribund, dead in reality/fact or metaphor; either one makes the Logos an insignificant aspect of human life.

    The Editor of my long ago magazine, The Clod and Pebble (from the Blake poem), Gerald Omer DesHarnais [GOD!], his real name, presented a magnificent editorial about might makes right or right makes might.

    I'll find it, scan it, and send it to you.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 07, 2013  

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