UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Why UFO believers need ETs (Or the Being and Nothingness argument)

Jean-Paul Sartre’s tome, Being and Nothingness, the hallmark work underpinning his brand of existentialism, is a necessary read for those who want to gather clues for en causa sui.

But the work underlines, for me, what motivates ET believers, inside and outside ufology.

Gasping for some meaning in life, with all the unexplained vicissitudes of life, many hope for answers before they depart this Earthly vale.

Why are we here? How did we come to be here? Is there a God? Is life eternal? How did the Universe (the cosmos) begin ex nihilo? And so on.

Science, religion, philosophy, and the human mind haven’t answered any of those questions and many. many more.

Sartre’s masterwork deals with the ethical/moral question facing humanity, but also presents an overlay of the perplexing questions we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives, if we are compos mentis.

I’ve always been perplexed by the fanaticism of those who think that extraterrestrials are (and have been) circumnavigating the Earth.

But that fanaticism is easily explained by the anxiety that Sartre poses in his work, “the anguish in the face of the future.” [Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology, The Philosophical Library, Inc., NY 1956, Page 32 ff.]

Ufologists aren’t the smartest subset of humanity but its members do fret about the meaning of things, including the questions of being.

Without answers coming forth – which we all acknowledge – UFO buffs, of the ETH (Extraterrestrial Hypothesis), seem to be more anxious about non-answers than the rest of us, exacerbated by their inability to fathom the profound questions provoked.

They thus wish for, hope that an alien race from outer space might be able to provide some answers to those nagging, ontological questions, along with some mundane technological questions, which the atheistic among ufologists would like answered: how do ETs travel between the stars, what are their civilizations like, do they have sex, et cetera.

Otherwise how to explain the ongoing stupidity that encompasses UFO ET belief?

RR

16 Comments:

  • Your post reminds me of something that M. Scott Peck talked about in "The Road Less Traveled":

    “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

    So many of the 'believers" of *any* belief system [ETH, a religion, skeptic, atheists, political parties, etc, etc) do what they do to avoid facing the difficulty, unimportance, irrelevance, and maybe even futility etc of their lives. They put the cause and / or the "solution" off on to some other agent: ET / space brothers, Those so-and-so folks that don't believe, those freakin' hippies, those greedy elites, etc, etc all to avoid facing the monstrosity that life can be and / or the "monster" of the self with all of its flaws, insecurities, and frailties.

    Unfortunately most of these believers never get beyond their "easy solution" of blaming others [the government! the skeptics! the believers!] and fail to look at their own "problems".

    Most of your contributors here are intelligent and thoughtful... but still self absorbed, obsessed with their own superiority, and grasping furiously on to the belief in the "justness" of their cause [To reveal the TRUTH! or To ENLIGHTEN the Dullards!].

    That and a couple of bucks will get you a cup of coffee.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Tuesday, April 05, 2016  

  • > UFO buffs, of the ETH, seem to be more anxious about non-answers than the rest of us

    Just like with religious folks.

    Isn't it funny that nut-and-bolt UFO buffs aren't worried about an alien invasion? They're only worried about being right?

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Tuesday, April 05, 2016  

  • Weighing in, Joel, you seem to be quite a bit of those you deride. You seem to believe that you grasp the soul of others in their beliefs and you paint with a broad brush and quite harshly, as I read it.

    I must say, "I feel your pain' -to some extent anyway- as I am still chuckling over RR's inclusion of Robert M. Pirsig — 'When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.' [Many thanks for that one RR!]

    But I would suggest patience, especially with such as "freakin' hippies" type comments. Different strokes, you know...-and the flower of hippiedom was actually quite cool back then.

    Here we discuss conjectures, and while there is certainly is some disdain over the ad nauseam rehashing of the Roswell, most of what I read is based on the blog's title, UFO Conjectures, as the UAPs are out there, I believe, without going the ETH route. While surely there are those ETH believer folk out there that I can tolerate more than the chemtrail and bigfoot folk. Of course there are also those null people.

    I really, and strongly prefer, the UAP notion, but that's just some of us trying to step away from the less analytical.

    Finally, I like to note here from time to time my great hope and expectation for SETI's success, "otherwise it just a great waste of space." SETI has some great minds looking and listening out there and now with more hor$epower than before.

    BD

    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • @Bryan,

    I'm 62 years old. I was 13 in 1967. I naturally get a regular chuckle out of the comments made by certain folks about "freakin' hippies'... I'm old enough to be be a "young" one... though I didn't let my hair down until about 1970.

    Let me clarify: I was repeating the words I have heard used by political / religious factions needing some straw men to attack or to justify their politics, business practices, or religious morals. "Make love, Not War" [in their minds] means the hippies were proclaiming "let's be immoral communists!" I have heard some "political talking heads" blame all the US wars since the '70s on the hippies... and there are those who believe it's true without doing any critical thinking.

    The UFO "believer / skeptic" problem is that the nearer to the heart of those belief systems you move, the more "religious" and "knee jerk" the reaction becomes. There are several people that comment here that shed all sense of reason and become "attack dogs" when their position is "assailed".

    The Believer side will demand / insist that Roswell is "gospel", that the answer must be ETH. To say it like William Shatner: It! Must! Be! True!. The Skeptical side will not admit the possibility of there being any kind of "weirdness" in the world not even quantum weirdness. This is not fertile ground for the growth of reasonable discourse.

    The "weakness" of SETI is that it is based on assumptions based in "anthropocentric" views of what an "advanced intelligence" might do. Who says they think like we do? Who says they will hang around the "watering hole" frequencies? Who says they will even want to talk to us? SETI answered all of those questions in ways which might not improve [or might even lessen!] their chances of finding a signal. What is "reasonable to us might be the equivalent of a belly laugh to them.

    I rather like the "subversive" URL of this blog who's subdomain name is "UFOCON". It proves the cleverness of our host. I laugh every time I see it. If you aren't laughing about this stuff, then you need to get out more.

    regards

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hessdalen lights, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • Julien:

    While I added that little cartoon slur about French philosophy, I'm a great admirer of Sartre, pro-communist that he was (and I'll have more on him and his cronies, from the new book At the Existentialist Cafe).

    But the German philosophers, abstruse as they are, remain right up there in my admiration also,

    The rubric "ufology" seems to attract a primitive thinking crowd; for example, see the comment section of my friend Kevin Randle's blog re: Roswell and Mogul, ongoing now.

    The commentary seems to evidence a kind of psychological escapism: a refusal to accept reality or just plain common sense.

    UFOs may be likened to candles on a cake. While you and I (and a few others) are eating the cake, our UFO associates are gnawing on the candles.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • Hello,

    When "ufology" needs to refer on Philosophy, Quantum Mecanic/Physic,or "the physic of conciousness", on the typical profile of "UFO(uber)-Skeptics", to appeal to "Wegener and Continental Drift Theory", it is only (imho) revealing a serious and total lack of scientific evidences by the individuals defending or offering what is now becomed "a modern myth".

    And the desire to be recognized by the scientific community.

    They have failed for decades now.

    They "commit the guard" in a battle already lost like Napoleon in Waterloo with such "sophisms" and trying to appeal on QM they have themsleves not really understood (It is easy to appeal on QM^^). They look serious by it.

    They need to use "analogy" and several sophistic rethorical processes (cause the lack of evidence regarding their own theory). Typical of a pseudo-science (same changes/switches/appeals regarding several pseudo-sciences).

    Ooooh, there are Gran' Mess in their own networks and blogs (See Kevin last entries regarding Mogull - it is a mantra for him) or birthday celberations for Rendlesham (and so on), or medias favoring old and vintages cases/photographs.

    I think we (you and me) are assisting to the end of a modern myth and era.

    Well, dont "pest": It will be an object of study by the future generations, but Social Sciences linked ^^

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, April 07, 2016  

  • Gilles...

    I'm with you a 1000% [sic]......despite my obtuse blog posts.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, April 07, 2016  

  • Per Julien: "A clear parallel can be drawn between popular ufology and religion."

    A crying shame, is it not? Both have the distinct dishonor of having been co-opted. Religions in various shapes and forms have been around since time immortal mostly as a means to subjugate the masses to the ruling minority. By the mid to late 19th century we at least had religion as a tamed means of providing society with a moral compass, yet by the late 20th century that concept had been left in shambles wrought by the various "leaders" of our religious institutions.

    I'm betting that something similar could be shown with ufology? Was it co-opted by outside forces, or was it doomed towards failure?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, April 07, 2016  

  • "I think we (you and me) are assisting to the end of a modern myth and era."

    You've got it, Gilles! ufoolery is nothing but utterly inconsequential stories, phony rhetorical devices and conneries--especially when appealing to "quantum" connerie.

    "Utterly inconsequential" says quite a lot.

    In the absence of veracious evidence and the failure to falsify the Null hypothesis there is only the PSH--even if "UFO" advocates fail to grasp that fact.

    ufoolery is history, make belief in the myth history as well.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

  • Zoam...

    I hate the UFO crowd's coined words: ufoolery, skeptibunker, et cetera.

    It makes the topic even stupider than it is, intrinsically.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

  • Yeah, Rich, that's understandable, even if there are only a few such words. I simply refuse to type "ufxlogy" because there is no such thing--even if some skeptics use it regularly. I'll type that if you prefer.

    But what is it but a coined word for a pseudoscience, an imitation of science. And "ufxxlogy" is just a way of stating that fact with each use.

    Just as with the regular misuse of the words anomaly, phenomenon, quantum with anything other than as used in particle physics, and so on, words are ideas and they can be false ideas as well as true; and they can be complexes of false ideas, false assumptions about the world taken for granted. Which brings us to the point of what skepticism, critical thinking and mythbusting is all about.

    Hence my preferred "ufxxlogy." Cause we're busting a myth here! But as you wish.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

  • I was a big fan of Sartre at one time, as well as Nietzsche, Camus and Beckett.

    I've been having Internet connection problems lately and I'm often caught up in a state of anxiety between being connected and not connected, alienated, my browser giving me a hopeless message, "Waiting for Google."

    I'm thinking of writing a play.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

  • I like, Zoam, Ufxlogy or ufxxlogy...

    Both smack of disdain without being infantile.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

  • Waiting for Google.....could be a hit, on or off Broadway.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hessdalen lights, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

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