Here’s a part 0 to this post.
Are aliens out there?
Probably yeah, but maybe not.
Looking at the origins of life on Earth, I’m on the side of abiogenesis. I think the building blocks of life formed from something like a bowl of hot soup, and then metabolism just happened to follow.
Because there is just so much stuff out there in space, I’m going to hazard a guess that, if it happened here, it’s likely that it happened elsewhere. There are dozens and dozens of Earth-like planets as far as I can tell.
On a tangent, life is special, right? There’s all this “entropy” out there, but life is so interesting and orderly. Right? It’s like “negative entropy”, isn’t it? No, I don’t think so—because I watched this video. (So, any woo about aliens seeding life throughout the universe to reach a “critical mass” of “negative energy” sounds like a bunch of shit.)
Then where are the aliens?
You’d think that, with our solar system being so young, we shouldn’t be the first blip of life out there. If that life has been around for longer than us, shouldn’t they have developed interstellar travel and have made it here (or at least sent some probes)?
This is the Fermi paradox. For the most part, it seems to be answered by the idea of life facing one or more Great Filters. Maybe life is common, but most life doesn’t get past the single-cell stage, or maybe sexual reproduction is rare, or many intelligence is rare, or… Well, what if the Great Filter is actually ahead of us? Maybe it’s nuclear war or destroying the climate or something else.
If you want my full and honest opinion on what Great Filter life may face, then let me warn you that this can seem very odd or disturbing. I think it’s possible that many great alien civilizations rose and died because… they chose to die. I believe that no amount of goodness in life can ease the suffering that comes along with it. For a long time, I felt like I wanted to die, but now I wish that I had never existed. I’m not going to have children because I don’t want to risk my children feeling the same way. No one consents to existing. If consent is important, which I think it is, then why create life against its consent? I’m not kidding. Let me say that I don’t hate parents and that I don’t hate children, and I acknowledge that my view is very likely biased by my own personal experiences, but I do ultimately think that I am right. So, assuming this thought is “enlightened”, I’ll project it onto the “enlightened” civilizations of aliens that have surpassed our own, and I think that the aliens just stop reproducing.
Wait, but we can actually get aliens back from this. Sure, they stopped reproducing, but what if some individuals were able to and chose to become immortal? Maybe they have sweet robot bods. Then where are the aliens? I don’t know. If I chose to be immortal, I’d follow my curiosity, and I’d want to venture the stars and visit far-off places, I think.
Maybe the Great Filter is something else then—maybe it is behind us, or maybe it’s ahead of us but before interstellar travel (or an antinatalist hyper-pro-consent civilization). Or maybe we’re all just too far apart. I’m on the side of faster-than-light travel isn’t possible because physics, and even moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light won’t get you very far in our vast universe, especially because you need a good amount of time to accelerate and decelerate.