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What is your religion?

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What is your religion?

Budhist
1
3%
Christian, Catholic
1
3%
Christian, Protestant
1
3%
Hindu
1
3%
Jewish
0
No votes
Muslim
1
3%
Other
12
38%
None (Atheist)
15
47%
 
Total votes : 32

Re: What is your religion?

Postby rabble » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:24 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
rabble wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:Most theologians admit that their belief in a supreme being is a matter of faith and not based on empirical evidence.

Why does that affect the possibility? And why is that different than the belief in extraterrestrials?

We exist. By deduction, others might exist somewhere in the cosmos. One cannot say the same thing about a godhead.

One cannot say it is impossible for a godhead to exist.

One cannot say it is certain life exists off this planet.

One cannot say the existence of life means civilized life or even intelligence.

Therefore there exists the possibility that life exists elsewhere in the universe, and the possibility that the existing life is sentient, and the possibility that a godhead also exists.

And as our range of possible places for all these to exist expands to infinity, no matter what beginning value of probability you assign to each, the probability of all three postulates converges to 1.

So do the existence of Carnivorous Jelly Beans and Spaghetti Monsters.
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:30 pm

rabble wrote:And yet we see absolutely no evidence of anyone else.

Considering we don't know where to look, the universe is enormous, and our technology is not up to the task, I don't share your surprise that we've thus far failed to find extraterrestrial life. I mean, cut science some slack, man -- we've only been looking for a few decades and our preferred search method (SETI) was based on what I would consider a faulty premise (that advanced civilizations would use radio waves to communicate with themselves or others.)

rabble wrote:We can postulate that, based on our observance of light, the physical laws apply, but we don't know. We can't know.

If you want to play the "we can't know anything really" game, that's fine... we're all brains in jars. But that won't get us anywhere. On the other hand, you could accept that the centuries of scientific observations which led us to our current theories about light sure do a heckuva job explaining what we see and making accurate predictions about what we should see.

rabble wrote:To put it another way, we have as much evidence that extraterrestrials exist as we do that any of the deities exist.

I disagree. I think there is compelling indirect evidence for the existence of ETs and as much or more indirect evidence that deities do not exist. There are lots of things for which we have only indirect evidence that it seems goofy to doubt. Nobody's ever seen a black hole, but even before we found (indirect) evidence, there were still compelling reasons to assume they existed. It's unlikely we'll ever be able to directly observe a quark, but it's a pretty safe bet they exist. I admit that the case for ETs is not as strong as that for black holes or quarks, but it's certainly better than that for a deity.

rabble wrote:To say that because the Universe is infinite there must be other civilizations, is no different than saying that in an infinite universe there must be a god out there somewhere. Both of them require some reasoning combined with leaps of faith.
I disagree.* It is reasonable to assume that life exists elsewhere because life exists here... big universe... laws of physics... yadda yadda yadda. Given similar starting conditions and the same building blocks, expecting comparable outcomes is more of a baby step than a leap. But for a god to be out there somewhere we are required to imagine something wholly unlike anything we've ever seen anywhere and which violates the laws of physics. That's a far, far bigger leap, and one with no basis in probability.

*I also don't recall saying the universe is infinite. But it's irrelevant, anyway. Infinite space doesn't guarantee that anything which can occur will -- you need infinite time as well, and we know the universe had a starting time. And while it may be true that anything which can happen will happen given infinite space and time, since there's no reason to believe that a deity can exist in the first place, you're still making an enormous leap.
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby Galoot » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:59 pm

I don't have a religion, I have a deep and personal relationship with reality.
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby doppel » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:05 pm

Galoot wrote:I don't have a religion, I have a deep and personal relationship with reality.


Yes, but, are you experienced?
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby rabble » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:07 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:since there's no reason to believe that a deity can exist in the first place, you're still making an enormous leap.

It's all sophistry. Your side and mine.

Hell, how big a leap is it to wonder if the aliens and the deities are one and the same?
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby Detritus » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:02 am

rabble wrote:Hell, how big a leap is it to wonder if the aliens and the deities are one and the same?

Dunno--ask Van Däniken. He seemed pretty sure of himself.

Does it bother anyone else that "Buddhist" is misspelled in the survey? At least the 'h' is in the right place for a change, though....
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby TheBookPolice » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:18 am

It bothered me so much, I made an apparently-abstruse joke about it in the second reply of the thread.
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby towanda » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:40 am

Buddhist
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby Detritus » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:30 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:It bothered me so much, I made an apparently-abstruse joke about it in the second reply of the thread.


Sorry, I guess the 'h' kept me from thinking about buds. I was always more of a Shaker myself.
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby TheBookPolice » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:45 pm

Mmm....shakes.
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Re: What is your religion?

Postby Average Joe » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:05 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Mmm....shakes.


Does that mean you're a Crystal Methodist?
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