Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World As Social Commentary

743 words - 3 pages

Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World as Social Commentary
      

Carl Sagan sums up his view of the basic flaw of man in one phrase: "history reveals that we humans have a sad tendency to make the same mistakes again and again" (Sagan 424). Humans today have an understanding of the world around them that is vastly superior to that of their ancestors. In spite of this, a growing number of people perpetually fail to scrutinize to the degree necessary for the evolution of the self. According to Sagan, failure to think scientifically seems to be the reason why most people get caught up in investing all their faith in as-yet-unproved phenomena such as UFOs and even religion. By investigating globally relevant topics like these, Sagan attempts to ward off the demons of ignorance (Nickell 110).

One of the strongest cases made by Sagan is the examination of professed UFO "abductees." According to the author, the biggest problem in cases of UFO abductions is the fact that proof is neither sought nor accepted by the subject. The faintest glimmer of the possibility of having been abducted almost always snowballs into the firmest belief that one indeed has been abducted. Even the strongest "evidence" often can be explained as something much more rational than it seems to the "abductee." For example, scarring attributed to alien experiments could quite possibly be due to any manner of unconscious self-mutilating acts. Sagan contends that even claims of seeing extraterrestrials can be attributed to the brain's possible retention, and subsequent projection, of dreams. People have occasionally recalled events of contact with alien life while under hypnosis. But Sagan contends that hypnosis is shoddy enough that it's recognized in courts of law to be unreliable in finding the truth. In no instances of UFO abductions thus far have the arguments of the "victims" been supported by irrefutable evidence. It may seem that Sagan is unwilling to accept the possibility of extraterrestrial life. On the contrary, as an astronomer with a vast, working knowledge of the universe, Sagan says he would find it astonishing if there weren't extraterrestrial intelligence (Sagan 180). But he, and everyone else, needs proof.

According to the author, the trend with UFOlogists appears to indicate that the...

Find Another Essay On Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World as Social Commentary

Jan Steen’s Self Portrait in “The Continence of Scipio” as a Social Commentary

2555 words - 10 pages applause. Steen, much like the jester, used a foolish appearance to give social commentary on the world around him. One of the best examples of this is in Steen’s “The Continence of Scipio” (see Figure 1). A goofy cast of characters replace the traditionally serious and dignified roles of the figures in the classic story but none so ridiculous as the narcissistic husband, Aluccius (who looks suspiciously like Steen).Steen purposefully puts himself in

The Western as Commentary about Decaying Values

4097 words - 16 pages The Western as Commentary about Decaying Values The Western, as a genre, is subversive of the values that its Christian characters possess. Western films frequently depict social depravity in terms of the mythology that developed during westward expansion. The mythology was inspired by the threat of the frontier wilderness to Puritan culture. In order to preserve their society, some Puritans departed from their ideal

Steinbeck's Social Commentary in The Grapes of Wrath

681 words - 3 pages Social Commentary in The Grapes of Wrath   Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath is a realistic novel that mimics life and offers social commentary too. It offers many windows on real life in midwest America in the 1930s. But it also offers a powerful social commentary, directly in the intercalary chapters and indirectly in the places and people it portrays. Typical of very many, the Joads are driven off the land by far away banks and set

Commentary of The Book and Film: World War Z

1177 words - 5 pages of great turmoil, people are shown to be exactly who they are, their true colors shining through all of the masks and deception they have created. The entire world lived in fear during the time period of this novel, and watching their loved ones disappear or become part of the army of the undead had to be terrifying. The author might have chosen this topic because the threat of zombies invading the world is a fear that is as real to some as the

The social and cultural world as seen in 'Bend it like Beckham.'

2102 words - 8 pages adults to establish obedience and uniformity. In Jess's case family contributes to her insecurities about the large scar on her thigh, "showing the world your scar," the mum says as if discussed by the idea of it.Identity;Identity is pivotal within this movie as it displays the personal experiences and emotions of the characters, this helps to expose not only their thoughts but the actions they consequently take, whether that be following their own

My Social Groups in the Social World

1112 words - 5 pages , 2012, Pg 10). The social group I observed was at my work at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center, where I work as a lifeguard in the water park. For the most part of my job I just stand at the edge of the pool where guests come off the slide, or at the top of the slide. It gets very crazy some days when there are 100 people or more in the pool which is not the biggest place to have lots of people gathered. What the business pays me for is the

The Internet & Our Social World

1023 words - 4 pages with its massive networking has drawbacks, such as an avoidance of direct social contact. The power to access both the business and social world hinders the direct connection with the outside physical world.The Internet is not always used for the specific purpose of business relations. It allows people who would not normally interact with other social groups or cultures to communicate with a wide range others. Chat rooms are the most likely of all

Discuss the role of History as a political mechanism for social control (reference to Brave New World and 1984

981 words - 4 pages , the citizens are not aware of the existence of History. This essential power of History to influence people's views and thoughts is the biggest threat to the Brave New World. The only people that know History are the world rulers, such as Mond. He took over the responsibility to build up the Brave New World after the Nine Year War, which destroyed the world. History leads to social instability. The idea of social instability only works without

Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as Commentary on the Failure of Society

737 words - 3 pages for those who would pay large sums for it. Organized criminals catered to the needs of the drinking public by illegally supplying them with liquor. The book and Fitzgerald didn't reference straight to this crime but implied that the American Society was blameworthy in its dealings with the problem. This is not the case in the least. The period know as the Roaring Twenties will always be remembered for its glittering lights and unbridles romances

Social Commentary - "The Great Gatsby" (F. Scott Fitzgerald), "American Beauty", "Betty Bowers"

1698 words - 7 pages Fitzgerald using symbolism and contrast in The Great Gatsby, sarcasm, exaggeration and tone in "Miss Betty Bowers" and shot construction, dialogue and symbolism in American Beauty. Although there is a variation, they have all successfully managed to comment on issues such as materialism, hollowness and image/success because of their individual techniques. The texts that have been considered were generally effective at making social commentary on various issues relevant to their culture by production by raising awareness of certain issues or features of their society.

Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth as Satirical Commentary on Society

2123 words - 8 pages the social game, she knowingly threatens her position by taking risks. When Lily "leans[s] back in a luxury of discontent" and when she meets Rosedale as she exits the Benedict, she seems to be aware of the taboo of a single woman visiting a bachelor's residence (9). The problem of evaluating Lily through the framework of her decisions is the fact that, until the end, Lily still clings to material comforts provided by this world. One can even

Similar Essays

The Raven As The Demon As Despair

2553 words - 10 pages The Raven as the Demon as Despair Soon after the death of a loved one come many visitors to the bereaved. Some arrive early, bearing gifts of food and speaking words of consolation and comfort. Others appear late in the day, unable to say anything, but still comforting in their very presence. But when the comforters have gone away and we sit through the lonely watches of the night, pondering our loss, the last visitor arrives. He comes

Great Expectations As Social Commentary Essay

2399 words - 10 pages Great Expectations as Social Commentary        During the nineteenth century, British society was dominated and ruled by a tightly woven system of class distinctions. Social relations and acceptance were based upon position. Charles Dickens utilizes Great Expectations as a commentary on the system of class and each person's place within it. In the character of Pip, Dickens demonstrates the working class' obsession to overthrow their

Oedipus Rex As Social Commentary Essay

881 words - 4 pages Oedipus Rex as Social Commentary   Oedipus Rex, written by the Poet Sophocles in the Golden Age of Greek Theatre, was described by Aristotle to be the greatest tragedy of all time. It encapsulates the very essence of the Greek cultural milieu, and it is these ideologies which are translated into the play. The very essence of Greek society; the political democracy, a moral belief in the power of the Gods and social recognition of

Mcteague As A Social Commentary Essay

804 words - 3 pages Written in 1899, Frank Norris’ novel, McTeague serves as a view of societal factions of his time period. Norris illustrates the stratification of society in this San Francisco community by using the concept of Social Darwinism. He gives detailed accounts of the inner workings of society along with the emotions of the time. Through his characters, Norris shows the separation of classes and the greed that grew abundantly during the late 19th
87 : حدود | Kirepapa. English Subbed | Big Time Rush