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Talking To Myself.


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Hi guys,

 

I have submitted my testimony awhile back now and have never looked back.

 

I was thinking of watching a movie or playing a round of age of mythology- the titans expansion after reading some blogs on bebo when I came across this on one of my friends:

 

___Do You Believe In___

89. God: Absolutely!!!

90. Miracles: Yup! Gods the man!!!

91. Love At first site?: Um in a way yup!

93. Aliens: Never!! Pathetic!

94. Soul Mates: Kinda

95. Heaven: Yup!!

96. Hell: Yup!!

97. Angels: Yup!!!

 

It got me thinking, 'ALIENS' - I wont say that I don't believe or know they don't or do exist- theres just too much of the universe out there that we don't know about - an agnostic position on it. It got me a little queasy that I hold an agnostic position on aliens existing while maintaining my atheism on any Gods.

 

The question that I ask myself now is how could I reconcile that. It seems to me like a strong case for agnosticism... and I am of the opinion that agnosticism is wishy washy, or is atheism specifically a position on any religious claims on truth? Therefore I can say that I am not an atheist on claims of alien life existing in the universe? I have self-induced myself a bout of cognitive dissonance. :Doh:

 

What are your thoughts?

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I would love to see the day Christians have to explain why Jesus only showed up at our house in the universe, and not anyone else's. Or We'll get some group that "unearth's" gold plates on that planet, and reveals that the Mormons were right, Jesus did take a sightseeing tour of the universe after being resurrected.

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The question that I ask myself now is how could I reconcile that. It seems to me like a strong case for agnosticism... and I am of the opinion that agnosticism is wishy washy, or is atheism specifically a position on any religious claims on truth? Therefore I can say that I am not an atheist on claims of alien life existing in the universe? I have self-induced myself a bout of cognitive dissonance. :Doh:

 

As far as popular culture goes, I do not believe in any aliens that are bi-pedal, with a large head atop their shoulders, with 2 eyes in front, a nose and mouth all in the proper positions for a humaniod alien, etc. If there is other intelligent life out there, I firmly believe it will not look like us at all, and even though they might be very intelligent, we may not be able to communicate with them either.

 

Now, I do hold out a bit of Agnosticsism in regards to bi-pedal aliens when I consider the pan-spermia theory. If the essiential building blocks of life came from comets, then the universe may very well be teeming with life that may follow a similar body plan of 4 limbs, a head attached to the spinal column, etc. If you pay close enough attention on earth, you will find most all life follows this same basic body plan with some diversions.

 

So the idea of life being similar I do not think is so far fetched, but I do find it highly unlikely, even considering pan-spermia, that any aliens would evolve to look so much like us. Now, humans from the future time-traveling back to study us...yes, that, to me, is far more believable! :twitch:

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I am an atheist as far as god(s) go. What about aliens, bigfoot, ghosts, spirits, mermaids, etc.? I could say there's so much about the universe we dont' know, surely it's possible that all of these things are real. But why? I think it's possible aliens are real. Hell, it's possible that aliens created us and so they are "god". But I think it's reasonable to state I don't believe in any of this without some sort of compelling evidence. Why be agnostic on the issue? Shouldn't I then also be agnostic in regards to leprechauns, magical elves and the unvisible pink unicorn? I mean we live in such a vast universe which we know so little about, don't all these things have equal possibility of being real? IMO stating you don't believe something is real is perfectly reasonable if there's no evidence that it exists.

 

Edit: I should add that to have any meaningful discussion about this you really need to define what an "alien" is. I could say I believe in some sort of advanced human that lives elsewhere in the universe. I mean we exist so it seems very possible that something similar to us exists, somewhere. But are these "aliens" or just simply advanced, evolved humans? Either way, without some sort of evidence I have no problem stating I disbelieve vs. stating "I don't know".

 

And by the way, welcome to ex-c!

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Well... At this Easter's family vacation, my dad not only expressed his belief in extraterrestrial beings, he tied it in with his devout Catholic spiritual beliefs. The aliens, you see, are without sin and are therefore superior. But those people who claim to have been abducted are bullshitting you because the aliens have no need to study inferior beings.

 

Sadly, he wasn't joking at all.

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Alien life may not have to be self aware or intelligent and I am highly skeptical of UFO, alien sightings and abductions. I cant say to someone who asks me that I don't believe alien lifeforms exist in the universe. There is a 100% chance I could be wrong, and 100% chance I could be right... there is simply too much universe out there that I cannot discount the possibility of life existing elsewhere. Until evidence (which may and probably will never come) of us exploring and surveying the whole universe, or they us, I reserve judgment on this issue and shall remain agnostic on it.

 

With claims on God, I still maintain my atheism. I don't know, I think it comes down to how we define Gods; they exist supernaturally, outside time and space and all that other hoopla... No! I do not buy that. I cannot assume that a supernatural state exists on some quadrant of our milky way, or our nearest sister galaxy. Yes that is a positive claim on knowledge on my behalf- and I have nothing to support it except a mountain of lacking evidence :P

 

Well that is my predicament. I just hope no agnostic or 'finely tuned' theist uses it against me in a debate where I am forced to eat minced crow pie.

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I'm also highly skeptical of UFOs, alien abductions and the like.

 

I think that microscopic alien life probably exists on some planet or moon in our own solar system, and we will find it eventually. Possibly even this century.

 

As for other alien life? Who knows?

 

I do highly doubt that ET will look like short humans with gray skin and big eyes, or speak fluent English, or that they would be telepathic and communicate without knowing our language, or have green blood and pointy ears and be highly logical, or have super powers, or fit any other sci-fi cliche's.

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I find it somewhat amusing that your friend finds it pathetic and ludicrous to believe in aliens, yet has no problems believing in god, angels, heaven, hell, and miracles.

 

Kind of ironic, that.

 

Aliens, at least, are solidly within the realm of material possibility.

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The irony is missed by everybody who believes in Jesus and God.

 

So yeah, I have a bebo page where I wrote a blog ousting my atheism. A week later my mother sent me a long email with scriptures and pleads to get back to church. She mentioned that I was the Anti-Christ, being an atheist and all.

 

Gee.. thanks mum! :D

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I don't see the problem...

 

God/s are outside nature... thus any claim that they might be inside nature are, quite simply, a load of shite. Hence why Atheism makes sense.

Aliens are inside nature... thus cannot be ruled out with certainty until and unless ALL of nature has been explored. Hence why an Agnostic-type POV makes sense.

 

 

Anyone who tries to take one and use it to attack your stance on the other is comparing apples to oranges... though I wouldn't be too surprised if some try to claim God/s are inside nature too. (making them natural and, by definition, not gods at all :wicked: )

 

 

 

 

Oh, and welcome to Ex-C.

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Hi crazy-tiger, yeah I see it that way as well. I guess I could say that if I deem aliens to exist within natural bounds then Gods have to exist in those bounds too. QED!

 

Thank you and the others for the welcome.. I have been lurking the forums last couple of days. It's a good e-hang-out :D

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I don't see the problem...

 

God/s are outside nature... thus any claim that they might be inside nature are, quite simply, a load of shite.

 

... though I wouldn't be too surprised if some try to claim God/s are inside nature too. (making them natural and, by definition, not gods at all :wicked: )

 

Yes, there is at least one Christian who believes god is in nature. I am not quite sure how you mean, crazy-tiger. The way my little sister put it to me was: When you look at nature, don't you see God?

 

Yes, I do and I told her so. I also told her that the God she sees in nature is not the same God that brought the Israelites out of Egypt. She said, "Yes it is." Her tone of voice told me that I will disagree at my own peril. I decided not to fight that battle at that moment.

 

She has no more than a Grade 8 education and none of that is about religion. I have a university education, much of it focusing on religion in some way or another. I have also done extensive research on my own as in online discussion forums and other reading. People who believe God is in nature are pantheists or panentheists or something like that. Not sure of the correct term but it is not a Christian faith tenet to say God is in nature. It's a heretical and blasphemous idea to attach to biblegod. Not that she would take anything from me. But that's one Christian for you who says she can see god in nature.

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I don't see the problem...

 

God/s are outside nature... thus any claim that they might be inside nature are, quite simply, a load of shite.

 

... though I wouldn't be too surprised if some try to claim God/s are inside nature too. (making them natural and, by definition, not gods at all :wicked: )

 

Yes, there is at least one Christian who believes god is in nature. I am not quite sure how you mean, crazy-tiger. The way my little sister put it to me was: When you look at nature, don't you see God?

 

Yes, I do and I told her so. I also told her that the God she sees in nature is not the same God that brought the Israelites out of Egypt. She said, "Yes it is." Her tone of voice told me that I will disagree at my own peril. I decided not to fight that battle at that moment.

 

She has no more than a Grade 8 education and none of that is about religion. I have a university education, much of it focusing on religion in some way or another. I have also done extensive research on my own as in online discussion forums and other reading. People who believe God is in nature are pantheists or panentheists or something like that. Not sure of the correct term but it is not a Christian faith tenet to say God is in nature. It's a heretical and blasphemous idea to attach to biblegod. Not that she would take anything from me. But that's one Christian for you who says she can see god in nature.

I see a subtle difference between God being in nature... and God being nature. Subtle, but very important.

If something is inside something else, it CANNOT be that which it is inside... and as Pantheists believe, God IS nature itself rather than something IN nature.

 

Another thing is, using the word "God" when talking about the belief that Nature == God is illogical... If Nature == God, then your little sister is saying that she sees Nature in Nature.

 

 

What your little sister seems to be saying is that she sees the EVIDENCE of God in nature... not that God himself is inside nature. At least that's what it sounds like. (and isn't that an all too common "argument"?)

 

 

:edit: Crap, but my spelling is rubbish today...

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There is one meme that I think we all should challenge, that is, the assumption that life is exceedingly difficult to create.

 

I believe that meme comes from xtian dogma that argues that it is impossible and hence god did it.

 

If we choose a more agnostic view on that meme, we have a host of possibilities…

 

Considering the possibility that life is difficult to create but not exceedingly difficult we can conceive that life requires conditions similar but not identical to those found on earth.

 

The rest is a math problem that would calculate how many planets there are with conditions similar to ours.

 

I find it very easy to believe that life on other planets is likely. I find it very easy to believe that the universe has a tremendous abundance of life.

 

On the contrary, find it exceedingly difficult to conceive that the only life that exists is on our planet. If I were inclined to believe that, I think I would be compelled to believe in god. It seems reasonable that the only way for us to be the only life in the universe is through a miracle.

 

Now… I have no proof. This is only what I think is reasonable and logical.

 

As to UFOs, I have yet to comprehend how any lifeform could survive such a long journey.

 

As to what life looks like on other planets… that is an interesting question. Using Ocam’s razor, I would suggest that the values of specific traits such as gravity in the laws of physics that apply on earth would create a natural selection process similar to natural selection here. Somewhere there must be a planet where there are beings similar to us.

 

On planets with different the laws of physics have different values, the life forms would adjust and select accordingly.

 

Similarly, different proportions of life supporting materials (water, oxygen) would spawn different life forms that would adapt.

 

Large planets with poor atmosphere could have highly evolved sea creatures that have learned to use tools communicate sophisticated ideas, engrave stones or erect underwater monoliths.

 

Very large planets that can’t support animals larger than rodents could have some very smart mice or small bipeds.

 

Humans are terribly large creatures. If our planet were larger, perhaps we would have smaller humans and hence smaller consumption patterns and hence a higher ratio of atmosphere to emissions and hence no fear of global warming.

 

Because the universe is so large, the possibilities are enormous.

 

The universe is really big so we should think accordingly.

 

Mongo

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What your little sister seems to be saying is that she sees the EVIDENCE of God in nature... not that God himself is inside nature. At least that's what it sounds like. (and isn't that an all too common "argument"?)

 

I am quite sure that you have it right, crazy tiger. Given the stupid way in which she twists most of my stuff out of context to make it say stuff I don't mean, it seemed like fair play. I don't regret having tried it on her. Her absolute rejection of it without even giving me the opportunity to provide a defense tells me how very unfair her play is. She is indicating that she is right; there are no two ways about it; anybody with a head on his shoulders will know that.

 

I think we all know that that is a very unfair playing field.

 

Which idea about having a head on top of shoulders brings up the idea someone mentioned here about life on other planets not necessarily resembling us in the least. It also occurs to me to ask why everyone assumes that life absolutely requires water to exist? Also, somehow, given what I know by now about the size and shape of the universe, what reason exists for us to say that God absolutely has to exist outside the universe? After all, we humans are extremely adept at building things (buildings, machines, and vehicles are an example) many times the size of ourselves. If God created us with the capacity for such big ideas, couldn't God create a universe much larger than himself and then take up residence in it? Not that this answers many questions but hey! what harm in asking the question, esp. since someone mentioned that laws of physics might be very different on some other planets.

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In a universe as big as this one, I consider life on other planets to be a near-certainty.

 

But... Within drive-by range of Earth? Sufficiently like us to communicate with us? And foolhardy enough to do surveillance on us Terrans and get spotted? Not nearly as likely.

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Aliens or God

We have proof of neither so we can only use the wonderful science of probability theory. (Yes there is such a thing)

 

 

God:

What are the chances that there is a God who .... [insert entire very specific story of Christianity]. We must take into account that the christian belief is that God has purosely made proof of his existence unknown so that people can know faith.

Well, the chance of christianity being true when it is written in great specifics, by people who admit that there is no contact with God, is very slim. Not impossible but something around 1E-200%.

 

Aliens:

What are the chances that in our unfathomably huge universe, there is at least on other type of lifeform that is indigenous to another planet. We must take it to consideration that life on Earth developed through natural means (sorry creationists) and we already know that Earth isn't the only planet orbiting a star. Also take into acount that (according to the big bang theory) all matter in the universe was once a singularity so it all comes from the same place.

So, with all of these facts, we can estimate that the chances of alien life could be about 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999%.

 

Sure we don't have evidence of either, but by using probability theory and analyzing the facts, we can decide what we could permit ourselves to blindly believe (like atoms and the exact temperature of Venus), and what isn't worth believing because the chances are it's not true.

 

All Hail Probability Theory!

 

UFOs and alien abductions I'm personally more hesitant to believe... but they're still more likely than god.

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Which idea about having a head on top of shoulders brings up the idea someone mentioned here about life on other planets not necessarily resembling us in the least. It also occurs to me to ask why everyone assumes that life absolutely requires water to exist?
I've not run into people saying it's an absolute... but since the only life we know of requires water to exist, looking for water on other planets increases the chances of life being there by a huge margin... based on what we know of life.
Also, somehow, given what I know by now about the size and shape of the universe, what reason exists for us to say that God absolutely has to exist outside the universe? After all, we humans are extremely adept at building things (buildings, machines, and vehicles are an example) many times the size of ourselves. If God created us with the capacity for such big ideas, couldn't God create a universe much larger than himself and then take up residence in it? Not that this answers many questions but hey! what harm in asking the question, esp. since someone mentioned that laws of physics might be very different on some other planets.

I suppose it's possible... but the question is "why?" Why would God do that? Why would God need to do that?

 

We do it for the most part because we have to... we need protection from the elements, need some way to transport ourselves and items, need someway to move things many times what our bodies could shift... but God? God's got the power to create the universe! He doesn't need protection, need to move things, need to transport himself... the guys everywhere.

The very things that impel us to be such builders are missing from God's existence...

 

 

The other thing is, if God is inside the universe, then he's subject to natural laws... meaning the poor guy has given up the ability to be a supernatural being. Once that happens, God is no longer a God.

 

 

 

 

Hopefully this makes sense... I've just woken up, so it might just be random key-presses from a caffine-free coffee addict. :coffee:

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I am atheist. But if I was shown actual evidence of God I am not opposed to changing my beliefs.

 

Anyway, about aliens, I don't see any evidence for them. So I don't believe in them either, but I would change if they were discovered.

 

I do like the drake equation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

 

 

c57fe678db3cb8c47ca58c85bd5d41c2.png

 

 

My point is, do not set yourself in a dogmatic position. Keep an open mind with everything. Who knows maybe there is a deity or an alien that is in the universe somewhere and he will stop by some day. I highly doubt it though.

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Hopefully this makes sense... I've just woken up, so it might just be random key-presses from a caffine-free coffee addict. :coffee:

 

LOL!!!

 

Actually, your key-strokes make at least as much sense as the ones you were responding to, namely my own.

 

Which idea about having a head on top of shoulders brings up the idea someone mentioned here about life on other planets not necessarily resembling us in the least. It also occurs to me to ask why everyone assumes that life absolutely requires water to exist?

I've not run into people saying it's an absolute... but since the only life we know of requires water to exist, looking for water on other planets increases the chances of life being there by a huge margin... based on what we know of life.

 

Okay. That's just my lack of science showing up.

 

I suppose it's possible... but the question is "why?" Why would God do that [exist inside the universe]? Why would God need to do that?

 

We do it for the most part because we have to... we need protection from the elements, need some way to transport ourselves and items, need someway to move things many times what our bodies could shift... but God? God's got the power to create the universe! He doesn't need protection, need to move things, need to transport himself... the guys everywhere.

The very things that impel us to be such builders are missing from God's existence...

 

You got a solid point there. I was just brain-storming so I hope you don't mind that I am not providing a counter-argument. I'm so weak in philosophy and in science I should perhaps not have entered this conversation.

 

The other thing is, if God is inside the universe, then he's subject to natural laws... meaning the poor guy has given up the ability to be a supernatural being. Once that happens, God is no longer a God.

 

Does "supernatural" mean being above or superior to natural law? Sorry, my ignorance is terrible.

 

I agree with you and Mike and others who think there is too little evidence for god's existence to believe in it. Does this make sense? My normally low-caffiene brain is trying to cope with chocolate easter bunny and migraine fighting meds.

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