By Martin Kottmeyer
Return to main page
- Is the existence of ufos a question that should be asked?
- Is it moral to search after aliens who wish their activities
to be secret and who do not seek open relations? Is the search for
truth an absolutist enterprise which demands no exceptions
whatever the ultimate consequences might be?
- Premise: Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials that have
chosen to conceal their presence by a programme of furtive
operations and deliberate deception and chosen not to communicate
their reasons. Is it ethical for a ufologist to attempt to subvert
such a programme?
- We may infer interstellar travellers necessarily possess some
form of intelligence and cooperative skills or they would not have
developed the extensive body of scientific knowledge and
technological know-how necessary to construct space vessels. Their
concealment is probably not capricious, but reasoned and guided by
principles acceptable to a population of beings bound by mutual
interests. What is their logic likely to be? We will consider
- 1) It is done for our own good. They are sparing us the trauma
of knowing superior beings exist, knowing we are powerless before
them, knowing we are inferior in so profound a sense that
concourse with them would only result in our collective
humiliation. Interaction with their culture might prove harmful to
us for a variety of reasons. One that any reasoning
exo-sociologist of earthling mass behavior might predict is that
politicians would use the existence of aliens as a scapegoat for
this or that problem, foment a collective delusion about their
their relative immorality, and lead humanity into a futile war.
They understand too well to get involved with us.
- If this correct, where is the ethics in ufologists trying to
prove they exist? A knowledge of their existence would only cause
needless suffering. If their reality were accepted and politicians
behaved as predicted, resources would be drained into building up
military weaponry. If war happened, the destruction of much
humanity would be obliged in their self-defense. As Aime Michel
once warned, our inferior ethic might lead them to cause our total
extinction to prevent us
- from being a menace to the peace of the rest of the
- 2) It is done because they are studying us and interaction or
excessive belief might ruin the value of the investigation.
Results would be dismissed as experimenter effects. Belief would
yield cults which would change our history in undesirable
- If this is correct, then the attempt of ufologists to make all
or most of believe in the existence of aliens would be a crime
against universal science. They are diminishing our value to the
rest of life in the universe as an uncontaminated sample.
- Additionally, there is a risk that if belief levels get too
high it may become evident the experiment has become useless and
they will have to start over again. What will happen to us? They
might, so to speak, sterilize the planet or chuck us down the lab
drain. Where is the ethics of promoting ufo belief if this
scenario has even a remote chance of being correct?
- 3) It is done because they are malicious and evil. Perhaps
they are collectively self-interested and are exploiting the
planet or humanity for nefarious purposes. They require our bodily
essences, organs, memories, emotions, our capacity to live and
experience joy or ecstasy. They conceal themselves because they
don't want the hassle of our preaching against them, saying bad
things about them, resisting them, or fighting them with
- What is gained if ufologists prove them real? We would
inevitably resist. Inevitably, because they have an immense
technological advantage, we would be destroyed. Or, if we are too
valuable to them alive, we would be put under a greater degree of
control. The truth of their reality would be gained at the cost of
a vast curtailment of freedom.
- A pleasant corollary to this argument is that debunkers are in
a no-lose situation here. If ufos are real, they are heroes to
humanity because they are contributing to our survival and
well-being or increasing knowledge for the larger good of
universal science. If ufos are not real, they are heroes by
helping free mankind of error and collective delusion.
- Premise: There are no extraterrestrials and the beliefs of
ufologists are false. Such beliefs exist because they serve some
purpose. Is it ethical for debunkers to subvert this programme?
Consider two possibilities:
- 1) Ufo beliefs are a form of paranoia. If true, it serves the
individual by being an ego defence. It allows a degree of moral
piety and superiority to an individual otherwise prone to a sense
of shame and inferiority. He knows a transcendental power exists
greater than not just himself, but others more powerful than him.
When others agree, all are equally inferior. When others disagree,
they inferior because of their stupidity or cupidity.
- When paranoia is successfully combatted, depression is the
standard outcome. There is an increased risk of suicide. To fight
the self-loathing, new defenses are sought. The individual will
probably latch onto a new delusion and this one may potentially,
even likely, be more political and harmful than ufo belief ever
is. Think here of various extremist beliefs having paranoid
slants, intense religious fanaticisms, and medical crankery. Ufo
belief has low risk consequences to society as a whole compared to
these behaviors. If ufo beliefs divert just one megalomaniac from
the reigns of power, its value to the course of freedom and the
common good would be immense.
- 2) Ufo beliefs are theatre. There is clear evidence such
beliefs amuse some people and provide escapism. Like all art, it
lifts people out of periods of banal existence and helps them
waste time in less destructive ways than violent sports, getting
drunk, or interfering in other people's lives.
- The debunker might try to justify his efforts by saying he
might be steering occasional gullible non-paranoids away into more
useful venues for their talents thus providing a useful service
for society as a whole, but how can we weigh these meager benefits
against the potentially greater costs of disbelief? Where is the
ethics in fighting against human happiness and steering people
into more dangerous pursuits? It would probably be wise no
debunking than to risk success.
- CONCLUSION: If ufos exist, we should not believe in them. If
ufos do not exist, we should believe in them.