What If We Are Alone?
Scientists and philosophers have pondered the fact that it will be a major paradigm shift once we discover life elsewhere in our universe. In fact, they are almost certain. It is not a matter of if but when. They fully expect in the next few years that life and moreover, intelligent life will be found. It is all in the numbers. By any logic, the odds are we will have quite a few numbers of hospitable planets similar to our own earth.
The universe should be teaming with life. But, what if we are alone?
- May 2019
An Intellectual Exercise
Let me pose the problem. Suppose it is confirmed that we are alone in this universe. Whether there are no other life form or they do exist but chose not to be found or engage us or the distance between us is just too great. What then?
What is the significance to us if we are truly the chosen one. As the Bible stated, God created us in his own image. The Bible does not claim we are uniquely His only creation. However, by deduction, if we cannot find another life form in this universe, we are essentially his only creation.
Science has been at odds with religion since the reformation. Evolution theory are at odds with creation. Many of our religious underpinnings are challenged by science and secular philosophy. The definition of when life exists is debated and codified in our laws regarding abortion and the right to choose. Even the two sexes are being debated now with a variety of claims of sexual orientation.
The fact is, if we are alone in this vast universe, we are the soul owners. It is up to us to decide what to do. It is like in the sci-fi show StarTrek where they imagine a future that contains a federation of galactic civilizations where they agree on a set of principles such as the Prime Directive. Except we are the only one in charge.
The Meaning of Life?
What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? How should we conduct ourselves? How should we treat each other? Is there an afterlife as the Bible claim?
Does it really matter if we are alone in this universe? Or does our calculation or understanding changes depending if we are alone or among other intelligent life forms?
I guess what I am driving at is - are there some definitive principles that should be our guide?
One example is the Ten Commandments. Another is the Golden Rule. Another is “be fruitful and multiply”.
These are the things that we were taught as children as rules to live by.
Science has taken us down another path. It has undermined many of our traditions and believes. If humans are the result of evolution, then we are not the end product. There is more changes down the road.
On The Other Hand...
If we are alone. We are unique by definition. Whether by chance or by design, we are the only ones here and we matter. We get to choose where we go. We can destroy the world with our nuclear arsenal or we can choose to make this world a better place, be fruitful and multiply.
We can be good steward of our environment but still make good use of our natural resources. We can invent new technologies that makes us more efficient. We can develop tools and technology that can improve our standards of living. In other word, we can progress and make our world better.
What about human nature? Can we make some changes or improvement in that area? Can we reduce or end greed, and hostility and bigotry and discrimination?
Are There Limits?
The final question is how much control do we really have? Can we change everything and anything? Can we change who we are? Can a leopard change its spots or a zebra change its strips? If so, what does it make us? Are we still human?
If we buy into the evolution theory, then at some point in our distant future, we will become or evolve into something else unimaginable. Alternatively, if we buy into the predictions of some technologists, we may all eventually become borgs. It is the natural progressive of artificial intelligence. The point of singularity where machines will take over and replace humans.
I am a realist and a Christian. I believe in the creation of humans as a child of God the Father. I believe we are created in the image of God. I believe humans have some innate properties that will not change with time. It is in our DNA. We were designed to seek out the unknown. To solve the mysteries of life. To seek our maker wherever it takes us. To be fruitful and multiply as commanded by God. To join with our maker in eternity someday. A new heaven on earth. What a glorious prospect to hope for.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jack Lee