Whenever we say we are looking to see if there is extra terrestrial life in space, then we are also saying that we are doing more exploration of space. This may be a needed endeavor as this planet dies out and the human race in hundreds of years seeks to find a new home.
It is my opinion that search for extra-terrestrial life should be further funded because our technology has allowed us to find worlds that could be inhabitable in other places in the universe. The search for alien life could open up many doors to further technology, and change the way our world functions as a whole.
If there is intelligent life out there, it would be best to establish communication with it before there is just a surprise arrival. Unannounced visitors probably will not show up with intentions of conquest like in the movies, but just one unsuited visitor could unleash an alien microorganism that dooms our planet by accident.
I believe the continued search for extra-terrestrial life should be further funded, but before it is, I think it is more important to pressure the governments into releasing any information they may have. I believe it is silly to fund something the government more than likely has the answer to.
Whilst the exploration of space is important, we could be using the time and money on more important issues, like for giving supplies and an education to the students in Africa. And even if there is Aliens out there, what would be the chances of them coming to Earth now, instead of the other a million years?
There is plenty to be learned through exploration of other planets, but I think the search for extra-terrestrial life that is currently living is a waste of time. We pretty much have evidence that there are no local extra-terrestrials, none that we could ever reach. It's an interesting intellectual pursuit, but not one that will have any pay off for our world. There is a value in looking at Mars, for instance, and seeking to find out if life in some form ever did, or could have, evolved there, but that is different from looking for Martians.