I've just registered yesterday and while looking around, saw this part. I'm sorry if this is an intimate conversation about you long-time members but I just felt like having a few words on subject.
First of all, I'll advise two books which you may have heard and read before, but still, I'll tell them because they're the ones which shaped my life philosophy. First one is Alamut, by Vladimir Bartol. It tells the historical story of the Persian Assasins and their leader, Hasan Sabbah. Sabbah, in his Alamut castle, builds a fake heaven with beatiful gardens and lustful girls. He drugs his best soldiers and for one night, takes them to these gardens. In the mornings, the soldiers think Hasan has shown them the heaven and he holds the power to let people in. So they become assasins for him, believing they will enter the heaven if they die for him.
The second book is, well it's the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The world is intanstly destroyed by an alien government because that it stands on a galactic route that is to be constructed, and it had not been removed into a new location at given time. A lone survivor from earth, travels the galaxy and meets lots of events full of comedy.
To be fair, I do think that both philosophies may be correct. The world can be destoroyed by aliens in a moment, just as a man squeezes a bug while he walks. We are just a small portion of the universe, there may be other universes that we don't know about. Our great galaxy may even be just a very little point in another space. And about the Sabbah's thoughts, well, people believe the dogmas and what they're told. They usually don't do research, look at the scientific odds. They just believe what they're told and live that way. I do think however that somewhere, some universal power (maybe something very similar to the "Force" in Star Wars universe) may be looking for something, shaping lives in some way. But today, science doesn't tell us enough, so a real scientist should learn to live with the big mystery.