I thought it might be an interesting idea to take a look at self-declared atheists and their own faith responses to UFOs as ET craft. I’ll be pulling these from the web without names. My goal is *not* to poke fun at atheism. Rather, I want to show how religious their thinking is on this issue — how it is not grounded in science or even logical coherence (at times), but on faith/belief.
Here’s the first one. My comments are at MSH.
I am an atheist. I believe in UFO’s.
Do these two statements seem contradictory to you? Why? Just because I am a person that does not believe in a supreme being, or a higher power, does that make me unable to accept the possibility of intelligent life existing outside of our own planet?
MSH: Of course it doesn’t, so this is perfectly coherent. Belief in a supreme deity and alien life are not mutually exclusive, and neither is denial of a supreme deity and belief in alien life.
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you are wrong. Now, I can’t speak for all the atheists, only for me. So let me let you in on my beliefs. I have faith. I know that may come as a shocker, but its true. I have faith, but not in any higher power, or supreme being. I have faith in knowledge.
MSH: He had me at “I have faith” – that’s an honest admission from an atheist (or anyone, really). But faith in “knowledge”? I know what he/she means, but as we proceed, you’ll see that he/she doesn’t actually have faith in knowledge, since no one *knows* that UFOs are indeed extraterrestrial (i.e., their existence and sightings only prove … well, that they exist and people see them; that t doesn’t prove at all what their nature is). So he/she really doesn’t have faith in knowledge; rather he/she has faith in his/her own faith as to what these things are.
Religion, since the dawn of man, since the time of cave paintings, before the firsts cities were ever conceived, has been a way to explain the unexplainable. Why does the sun rise each morning and set each evening? Does the sun god ride his chariot across the sky every day, and rest every night as the ancient Greeks believed? No, the Earth rotates on its axis as it orbits the sun, thus creating day and night, the year and even the seasons. The ancient Greeks didn’t know that then, but we know that now.
So, how does this explain UFO’s? Simply put, in my opinion, we have had too many sightings that have been recorded to say that we have no knowledge of UFO’s existing.
MSH: Agreed, and coherent — people are indeed seeing SOMETHING.
Well, what about Moses, and the parting of the Red Sea, you ask? There is only one source that says that event actually happened. The Bible, and I think the writer was a little biased on that one. If it had just been one hillbilly from Tennessee that was screaming about how these grayish guys with huge eyes took them aboard their flying saucer, OK, I wouldn’t readily believe him. But its not. There have been videos from all over the world showing flying craft that defy the laws of our flight. Recorded by people in the streets, from the windows of their homes, even from gun cameras on military jets.
MSH: An odd sort of analogy on his/her part. It assumes that frequency of observation = reality. What if we had only had one astronaut go to the moon and report seeing something unusual that couldn’t be captured on film (“I swear, the rocks there glowed green”). I would suggest people *would* believe the astronaut because it was an extraordinary experience. But by the writer’s logic, we shouldn’t. Frankly, and less hypothetical, we have examples of incidents in ancient history whose truth is accepted on the basis of only one text or even just part of a text (e.g., the letter between the Hyksos king and the Nubian king intercepted by Kamose, prompting him to attack the Hyksos). It’s taken as fact. Numerical references actually have nothing to do with whether something might be true or not. And so the millions of sightings are *not* sufficient proof for what he/she “believes” — that what is being seen is extraterrestrial. They *are* sufficient to show that something is being seen, but that’s it. And bias interpretation of evidence? See below.
They exist. I see no other reasonable explanation.
MSH: Therein lies the reason why this logic doesn’t work for all he/she wants it to work for. It “works” only in that he/she *wants* to believe these things are alien. There is no actual hard evidence that they are — only for the fact that things are seen. Additionally, there are scientists who’d disagree, and who posit our lone existence. For example, the book Rare Earth.
Logic would be that in the trillions upon trillions of stars in just our galaxy alone, there has to be at least one other planet that has life on it.
MSH: Actually, logic does *not* dictate anything of the sort. This is about math and statistical ODDS. Logic deals with factuals and counter-factuals; necessary and sufficient argumentation; etc. All logic needs is one example of astronomical (pardon the pun) odds being wrong to coherently argue that astronomical odds do *not* dictate an outcome.
The odds that we are the only planet with life is so infinitesimally small. And the odds that one of those other planets is home to a species that has evolved the knowledge of interstellar travel before us are very good. More than one probably.
MSH: This is a real weakness in the chain. Interstellar travel is one of the huge arguments against ET life out there; it requires *assumptions* about things like wormholes (assumptions aren’t facts). Astronomer Hugh Ross had a great chapter on the problems of interstellar space travel (in plain language) in his book, Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men.
The belief that we are the only planet that has any life on it, let alone intelligent life, is so egotistical, that I would have figured only people who believe in god would assume that. I mean, he only created us, right? Atheists may be skeptical, but it is only about religion that we are skeptical. We embrace science and logic, not myth.
MSH: As readers of this blog know, this logic and conclusion are very naive (about God not creating aliens). I won’t retread that ground here.