Monday, February 23, 2009

Qualitative Quest

Qualitative Quest

Atlas groaned only under the weight of the Earth.
Today we sweat under the burden of cosmic ideas.

DB - The Vagabond
Good day Earthling.

It may someday be proven that human beings are the most arrogant, and hence, most ignorant creatures in the universe. We used to believe and proved, we thought, that the Earth was the center of the universe. After having to give up that canard, many now believe, and think they have proven, that the Earth is the only inhabited planet in all of creation. But with the increasing evidence that there might be extraterrestrial activity, the question comes up: Is there life on other planets? So far that question has only two answers: Why should there be? and Why not?

Science fiction writers, astronomers and cosmological theorists have had a grand old time with this subject. If there is life elsewhere we will probably know someday. If there isn't, we may never know it but we will keep looking.

Reason tells us that there must be some form of life existing somewhere out there. But reason itself is a questionable thing. It is merely the way humans think. But man cannot truly classify himself as a terrestrial rational being until he meets a non-terrestrial rational being. And if he were to find totally alien creatures who reason as well as, or better than, he does, he would have to conclude that reason is not what makes him human, that we reason because we're human, and not human because we reason. But what if reason is not the standard of universal mentality?

It seems as likely that there is a superior mode of thinking as there is that pigs can fly or that roses can grow at the bottom of the ocean. That is only because we can't think of one. But what if there is? What if our dedication to reason and our ability to think things through in a logical manner is just another form of believing that the Earth is the center of the universe?

There are some earthbound religions that teach that there is a higher form of thought than reason and that it is obtainable by the enlightened. Maybe that is so, and maybe it is a cosmic form of thought, shared by those whose dwelling place is an all-inclusive mental realm, no matter where they may come from.

I am a reasoning creature, and will no doubt remain so, I hope, for I see no better way. But I retain the right to have an open mind about unheard of and undreamed of possibilities in the universe of ideas.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
If there's a clear sky, wave. Something may be watching.

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