Four words

I invite you to think of  four words that would change everything.

First, consider what we humans know for certain.  We know mathematics.  We know various things scientific. We think we know how humans and other life forms evolved.

Those of us who are religious believe we know how man and earth were created.

There are so many things we know, or think we know. So many things we are absolutely, positively certain about. Some people are so certain, for instance, their religion is the only true one that they butcher infidels who don’t believe as they do.  Some are so certain their type of government is the only true way they invade and subdue neighbors.

We know the best forms of propulsion.  We know the best way to build things. We know what ingredients are necessary for life. We know how beings think and reason, live and die.



I suggest that four words would shatter every belief we have.  Or at least cause us to question every belief, every certainty.  Four words.

The words are “Is anyone out there?”  If they came from outer space, think how they would change and challenge everything.

I considered this question recently when I came across some story about astronomers discovering new galaxies.  These distant collections of stars and planets may contain, according to them, life.

Imagine how all of us would react if tomorrow morning’s headline contained those four words.

I suggest that every religious belief would be shaken.  Every scrap of faith in various creators would suddenly be exposed to new thinking.

Suppose, for instance, the message came from beings far more advanced than we are.  Suppose their brainpower put ours to shame.  Suppose their mental powers and physical abilities were almost beyond our comprehension. If such superior beings told us God, for sure, was half woman half man, how would we react?

If such superior beings told us all our religious beliefs were primitive, would we cling to them?

Imagine if these beings did away with war.  A million years ago they had. 

Imagine if they did away with disease.  Imagine if they lived for hundreds of years. Imagine if they could fly, without machines.  Imagine if they could communicate with each other without speaking.

What would we then think of our own limitations?

We feel our weapons are all powerful. What if these beings told us they could defuse our weaponry in an instant.  Would we feel castrated?

How many times have you read scientists assurances that life requires certain elements?  Well, what if these beings had none of those elements?

What if they enjoyed life without water or oxygen?  What then of our science-based beliefs?

Suppose their knowledge of the universe knocked ours into a cocked hat?  Suppose what they told us about creation of our world and others made our explanations look absurd?

This could come about at any time.  Tonight one of our monitors could pick up messages from intelligent life somewhere in our universe.  One simple message could undermine much of what we take for certain.

It surely would capture everyone’s attention.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.                  

For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

 

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