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  1. #41
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont understand you guys you'll believe in aliens but not God, I mean that's fecking crazy!
    Big differences between believing in aliens and believing in God:

    1. Aliens don't transcend the laws of physics. God is metaphysical and defined in a way that he transcends the laws of physics.
    2. Something that does transcend the laws of physics and the physical universe would be impossible to prove by definition, so believing in it is as good as believing in anything you can't prove, like fairies or angels or fate.

    The belief in physical alien life falls within the realm of science and observation, while a metaphysical God does not. They're qualitatively different. Also, keep in mind, no one is actually saying they believe aliens are visiting Earth. They're entertaining the possibility that life exists somewhere else in the universe which is probably true, given that we know the universe is capable of supporting life and that the universe is virtually infinite. But that's really a side point. My main point is that it's very reasonable to entertain a belief in aliens without also entertaining a belief in a supernatural entity that eludes verification.

  2. #42
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Big differences between believing in aliens and believing in God:

    1. Aliens don't transcend the laws of physics. God is metaphysical and defined in a way that he transcends the laws of physics.
    2. Something that does transcend the laws of physics and the physical universe would be impossible to prove by definition, so believing in it is as good as believing in anything you can't prove, like fairies or angels or fate.

    The belief in physical alien life falls within the realm of science and observation, while a metaphysical God does not. They're qualitatively different. Also, keep in mind, no one is actually saying they believe aliens are visiting Earth. They're entertaining the possibility that life exists somewhere else in the universe which is probably true, given that we know the universe is capable of supporting life and that the universe is virtually infinite. But that's really a side point. My main point is that it's very reasonable to entertain a belief in aliens without also entertaining a belief in a supernatural entity that eludes verification.
    Interesting. We have faith in the things that fit our assembled structure of theories, yes?

    Otherwise, how would one explain the belief in, say for example, electrons?

    I've never seen an electron. I've never directly observed any phenomena that explicitly required the existence of electrons as discrete objects. However, I emphatically do believe that there are such things as electrons because they are predicted by the prevailing theories, and because their existence answers some theoretical questions that are otherwise problematic. Based on what I have experienced, I extend belief to that which I have not experienced.

    So when you write that "The belief in physical alien life falls within the realm of science and observation, while a metaphysical God does not," it tells us that your set of postulates is different from Lark's. Also, while telling us very little about the relative likelihood of the existence or non-existence of God, it tells us a fair amount about you.

  3. #43
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Smile Sequencing the Alien Genome

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle99 View Post
    Actually, I agree that it's highly unlikely that extraterrestrial life DOESN'T exist.

    I also agree with Victor that it's unlikely we'll ever have the pleasure of making first contact.
    We have just begun sequencing the genome. And so far we have found that everything from bananas to you has the same genome.

    However it is possible for life to have a different genome. And such life would be utterly alien to us.

    At the moment it looks as though all life on Earth has the same genome. In other words, we are all part of the same tree of life.

    But it is possible there is another tree of life on Earth that we are yet to discover.

    Such a discovery would have momentous implications. We would know that alien life was possible. And that it arose here on Earth alongside our own. And if it is possible here, it is possible elsewhere.

    So alien life may be lurking right here under our fingernails.

    And as we sequence more and more genomes, we may find alien life living here amongst us, possibly as bacteria.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Interesting. We have faith in the things that fit our assembled structure of theories, yes?

    Otherwise, how would one explain the belief in, say for example, electrons?

    I've never seen an electron. I've never directly observed any phenomena that explicitly required the existence of electrons as discrete objects. However, I emphatically do believe that there are such things as electrons because they are predicted by the prevailing theories, and because their existence answers some theoretical questions that are otherwise problematic. Based on what I have experienced, I extend belief to that which I have not experienced.

    So when you write that "The belief in physical alien life falls within the realm of science and observation, while a metaphysical God does not," it tells us that your set of postulates is different from Lark's. Also, while telling us very little about the relative likelihood of the existence or non-existence of God, it tells us a fair amount about you.
    there is a qualitative difference between a theory based on observation, and a belief based on faith. I know that electrons exist because physics tells me so, and physics is based on verifiable phenomena. I don't need to see one myself to believe in the continuity of verifiable observation.
    the probability of alien life is based on the same kind of observation. Planets in the habitable zone, the existence of life in every environment on earth, the existance of anaerobic life on earth, the existence of extraterrestrial organic molecules; all of this makes alien life forms more likely to exist.
    no one has ever given any proof of the existence of god that is a rigorous as that required by science. If one exists, let me know. I may become a believer.

  5. #45
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Interesting. We have faith in the things that fit our assembled structure of theories, yes?

    Otherwise, how would one explain the belief in, say for example, electrons?

    I've never seen an electron. I've never directly observed any phenomena that explicitly required the existence of electrons as discrete objects. However, I emphatically do believe that there are such things as electrons because they are predicted by the prevailing theories, and because their existence answers some theoretical questions that are otherwise problematic. Based on what I have experienced, I extend belief to that which I have not experienced.

    So when you write that "The belief in physical alien life falls within the realm of science and observation, while a metaphysical God does not," it tells us that your set of postulates is different from Lark's. Also, while telling us very little about the relative likelihood of the existence or non-existence of God, it tells us a fair amount about you.
    Sounds like you're alluding to Factual Relativism, which basically rejects the concept of objective truth. Personally, I'm not a fan.

    In any case, one can generally predict the movement of electrons, as opposed to God, who "works in mysterious ways". So if you compare just these two theories, electrons win.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  6. #46
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    In any case, one can generally predict the movement of electrons, as opposed to God, who "works in mysterious ways". So if you compare just these two theories, electrons win.
    Only if you prefer certainty to mystery.

    Again we're back to relying on personal preference.

  7. #47
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Only if you prefer certainty to mystery.

    Again we're back to relying on personal preference.
    Well you got me there.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people mistake God for "certainty" instead of "mystery".
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    They're qualitatively different.
    Damn straight!

    God totally beats your wimpy aliens asses!!

    And your ass too!

  9. #49
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    In all seriousness anyone who's on a UFO trip and an athiest should read Jung's Flying Saucers book and realise they're wrong about everything in their lives.

  10. #50
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    I'm highly sceptical that a secret that big could be so well kept for so long by multiple governments and non-government organizations. And the idea that the catholic church would be included in the secret also strikes me as extremely unlikely. The final article linked in the OP confidently asserted that Obama would be announcing the existence of intelligent ET lifeforms by late 2009 or early 2010. Obviously that didn't happen. Is Obama holding that ace up his sleeve for the lead-up to the next election?

    I'm sure that there hasn't been a period during the lifetime of the internet where you couldn't pull up 4 or 5 recent articles from somewhere declaring that aliens are real, among us and that shady government officials are intentionally keeping us ignorant of them (but not for much longer!).

    I'm also highly sceptical that Edgar would start a thread on this sort of topic if he actually believed it.

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