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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, Sagan brilliance in Fun Stuff; ...
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    mattx's Avatar
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    Sagan brilliance


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    The possibility of life existing is about the same as the possibility of God existing. You can't dismiss one on the strength of the other.

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    Of course I can, there's evidence for life existing

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    mark's Avatar
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    Nice. You dismiss an entity that denies evidence on the grounds of lacking evidence. Strike 2.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Excellent video! Though whenever I hear Carl Sagen , I keep getting an image of Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in my head! lol

    And as for the "Is there a God" and "Do Aliens Exist" debate, we should be open minded about both of these - I personally (IMHO) think that there is no god, and that there is extra-terrestrial life out there..
    But until undeniable proof is given, I cannot say yes there is or No there is not - becasue there could very well be a god, and there might not be ET's..

    I tend to think mor like Terry Pratchett with regards to gods - they exist as long as people believe in them - the more people believe, the more powerful the God, (ref: Small Gods) - Isn't that kinda how it happens here? Chritianity, Hindu, Islam, etc are all going strong, there are places of worship everywhere, but the older religions like the Roman, Greek & Norse gods, are now just folklore, or only taught as "religious history" - very few people (if any) now worship them, - yet they did centuries ago and were considered powerful gods.. now they are not so..

    There is also little proof that alien life exists, people claim to have been abducted and are treated with either extreme sceptisim or as being "not right in the head".. yet considering how big space is, can we really say we are alone? Sagan didn't think so, hence why we have the Drake equation. Life has been found on Mars, yes its only Microbial life, but ilfe none the less..

    We should be open to both sides - open to the possibility that God does (or doesn't) exist, and to the possibility that we are alone (or not alone) in the universe..

    What we cannot do is say "Yes there is" or "no there isn't" - because we cannot PROVE it either way.. YET!..

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    They are two quite different questions, though. It would be interesting to hear what religion has to say if life was discovered elsewhere. What would it say?
    They would quickly rewrite their religious literature to include it (I wonder how many times most have been rewritten for the benefit of the people in power)

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    Pale blue dot with Carl Sagan's quote for those of you who have not seen it...


    "We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

    The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

    Kind of puts you in your place and makes you think.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    The possibility of life existing is about the same as the possibility of God existing. You can't dismiss one on the strength of the other.
    The 2 are completely separate issues. With 'God' you require Faith. You can't prove God's existence and you can't disprove it. To a scientist that seems preposterous (indeed, to me it does) but to the religious it is not at all odd. The issue arrives when scientists try to prove or disprove this existence, or when religious people try to use science to do so. It will just end in failure and make all parties look like fools.

    With aliens, we hypothesise based on observations. We've seen evidence that life could've lived on Mars etc... We have evidence that life could well exist on Titan, and other futher away exo-planets (based on the different frequencies of light seen coming from them). We can't, at this point, prove that life exists outside planet Earth but the evidence is compelling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    With aliens, we hypothesise based on observations. We've seen evidence that life could've lived on Mars etc... We have evidence that life could well exist on Titan, and other futher away exo-planets (based on the different frequencies of light seen coming from them). We can't, at this point, prove that life exists outside planet Earth but the evidence is compelling.
    We can also prove that (somewhat) intelligent life exists on Earth.

    They would quickly rewrite their religious literature to include it (I wonder how many times most have been rewritten for the benefit of the people in power)
    I believe (maybe incorrectly) that the Catholic church already has decided how intelligent extra-terrestrial life would relate to current religious beliefs. If I remember correctly the options are:
    - noble savages: unaware of the religion and therefore innocent, but should be converted and saved as possible
    - true innocents: essentially angels or tools of god
    - tools of the adversary: self-explanatory

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    mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    You'll have to show your workings, I'm afraid. I can't make that jump in logic.
    God is ruled out by the improbability of him. Clearly the chance of life existing being the same probability yet still existing clearly nullifies the qualification.

    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    That's not a real argument! If you state a case, the burden of proof is on you to offer evidence and proof, or least a hypothesis. To employ the fallacy of irrefutability is a sign of a weak argument, not a strong one.
    The burden of proof lies with the claimant. As I (nor any Christian) make no claim I shoulder no burden.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    The burden of proof lies with the claimant. As I (nor any Christian) make no claim I shoulder no burden.
    You made a claim:

    The possibility of life existing is about the same as the possibility of God existing. You can't dismiss one on the strength of the other.
    So, you're either saying that neither exist (which I have already said, can be proven to be incorrect), or that both exist. You are the claimant, and therefore the burden of proof lies with you.

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    mark's Avatar
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    @ jinnatonnix :
    I mean you can't rule out God using that logic.

    I don't claim that God exists, no. I believe that he does, through faith. Very different.

    @localzuk :
    I see no claim

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    @localzuk :
    I see no claim
    You claim that the probability of life existing is the same as that of god existing. Not only is that a claim, but it is a very bold claim.

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    I think it was Richard Dawkins (if he wasn't copying someone else) that made the point about the improbability of god, as a means to dismiss the notion. All I'm saying is that this argument falls on it's face when the considering the equal improbability of life.

    I'm not saying that because life exists, therefore God exists. I agree with you that nothing is provable. In my world view, I factor in God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    God is ruled out by the improbability of him. Clearly the chance of life existing being the same probability yet still existing clearly nullifies the qualification.
    They're completely unrelated probabilities. Whether one is true doesn't make the other more likely.

    Throwing a triple six on three dice doesn't make it more likely that your next throw of three dice will be a triple six.

    And the probability of life existing is 1. There is no way to quantify the probability of god existing since there is no statistically significant evidence

    The burden of proof lies with the claimant. As I (nor any Christian) make no claim I shoulder no burden.
    So you don't claim that god exists, you're just saying that he does? The moment you express your belief to others you are taking on the burden of proof. If I say I have a castle somewhere then wouldn't you expect me to somehow demonstrate it if I want you to believe me?

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