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    My favourite bit about faith is when you see some athlete thanking god after his team won a game or he won a tournament. I always laugh and cry at the same time.

    Yeh God helped you win this tournament meanwhile a whole lot of people died or went through incomprehensible suffering around the world during your game
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    Oh man, are the Atheist Cyber Gangsters still going on.
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    (Original post by Longshot700)
    Oh man, are the Atheist Cyber Gangsters still going on.
    Derogatory remarks because counter arguments are too mainstream.
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    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    Let's not be disingenuous, here; Santa Claus is an intangible being that children believe in. Children are stupid. I don't say that in a mean way, it's just the reality. No mentally stable adult believes in Father Christmas.

    There may be no physical evidence, but statistically alien life is virtually guaranteed to exist.
    Ghosts are a good example.


    There is no evidence of their existence, yet they have had believers in large numbers and throughout history.


    Also you are a wrong about statistical evidence being a certainty for life.

    What statistical evidence? Just appealing to the huge number of solar systems and inhabitable planets does nothing to make life likely.

    You have to take into account many factors, and we have no idea which ones are more important than others or how important they are.

    Here are a few of the more well-known ones:

    a solar system with a single massive Sun than can serve as a long-lived, stable source of energy

    a terrestrial planet (non-gaseous)

    the planet must be the right distance from the sun in order to preserve liquid water at the surface – if it’s too close, the water is burnt off in a runaway greenhouse effect, if it’s too far, the water is permanently frozen in a runaway glaciation

    The solar system must be placed at the right place in the galaxy – not too near dangerous radiation, but close enough to other stars to be able to absorb heavy elements after neighboring stars die

    a moon of sufficient mass to stabilize the tilt of the planet’s rotation

    plate tectonics

    an oxygen-rich atmosphere

    A sweeper planet to deflect comets, etc.

    planetary neighbors must have non-eccentric orbits

    Some of these may of be of huge importance, some may be marginal at best. We just don't know.

    For example, regarding the place of the solar system in the galaxy;

    "Of the estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, only one in 10 can support complex life like that on Earth, a pair of astrophysicists argues. Everywhere else, stellar explosions known as gamma ray bursts would regularly wipe out any life forms more elaborate than microbes. The detonations also kept the universe lifeless for billions of years after the big bang, the researchers say.

    […]Astrophysicists once thought gamma ray bursts would be most common in regions of galaxies where stars are forming rapidly from gas clouds. But recent data show that the picture is more complex: Long bursts occur mainly in star-forming regions with relatively low levels of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium—low in “metallicity,” in astronomers’ jargon.

    Using the average metallicity and the rough distribution of stars in our Milky Way galaxy, Piran and Jimenez estimate the rates for long and short bursts across the galaxy. They find that the more-energetic long bursts are the real killers and that the chance Earth has been exposed to a lethal blast in the past billion years is about 50%. Some astrophysicists have suggested a gamma ray burst may have caused the Ordovician extinction, a global cataclysm about 450 million years ago that wiped out 80% of Earth’s species, Piran notes.

    The researchers then estimate how badly a planet would get fried in different parts of the galaxy. The sheer density of stars in the middle of the galaxy ensures that planets within about 6500 light-years of the galactic center have a greater than 95% chance of having suffered a lethal gamma ray blast in the last billion years, they find. Generally, they conclude, life is possible only in the outer regions of large galaxies. (Our own solar system is about 27,000 light-years from the center.)

    Things are even bleaker in other galaxies, the researchers report. Compared with the Milky Way, most galaxies are small and low in metallicity. As a result, 90% of them should have too many long gamma ray bursts to sustain life, they argue. What’s more, for about 5 billion years after the big bang, all galaxies were like that, so long gamma ray bursts would have made life impossible anywhere."

    If this is correct then that wipes out 90% of your data for life. Hardly a statistical certainty.

    Next is the elephant in the room is evolution. We don't know how the origin of life started ourselves even in almost perfect conditions for the planet. Without that, we are in no position to specialty with any confidence on life elsewhere.

    Also, specifically with intelligent alien life (which is what the other poster probably meant by aliens) we don't know if evolution has elements of necessity or chance - if certain avenues of evolutionary development are necessary and always happen or if it's completely random and dictated by chance. We are the only species in the history of the planet to develop a brain like we have. We don't know if we are unique just in our planet' history or if we are unique within the universe.

    The combined lack of data in astrophysics and in biology mean that we aren't even at a point to meaningfully talk about the statistical probability of life, let alone give it 'certainty'.

    That's not even getting into Fermi's paradox which says 'if life is so abundant then where are they?'


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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    Next is the elephant in the room is evolution. We don't know how the origin of life started ourselves even in almost perfect conditions for the planet.
    What does evolution have to do with the origin of life?
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    (Original post by Sesshomaru24U)
    Derogatory remarks because counter arguments are too mainstream.
    If you say so.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    What does evolution have to do with the origin of life?
    Well, the origin of life does go hand in hand with evolution. Scientific theories suggest that originally there were very simple and primitive organisms that evolved over time to form complex organisms such as humans. If you're a creationist then you believe that humans have always been around from when Eve and Adam got together.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    What does evolution have to do with the origin of life?
    I said chance and necessity, but the buzz words are contingency and convergence.

    Some argue human life is completely contingent, rewind earth's story and you won't get another human like intelligence.

    Some argue that certain aspects will always converge no matter how many evolutionary stories. So wings will always develop for flight and fins will always develop for movement through liquid.

    Many agree that a mix of contingency and convergence are at play in evolution but the question is of human intelligence. There seems to be no reason to think it must evolved - indeed it's only evolved once! Many arguments for it are unconvincing as well as the fact we have no idea how consciousness ties in with evolution.

    Anyway evolution is necessary to answer these questions and the question of intelligent alien life.

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    (Original post by High Stakes)
    Well, the origin of life does go hand in hand with evolution.
    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    Anyway evolution is necessary to answer these questions and the question of intelligent alien life.
    Evolution, I am sure, is relevant to the development of intelligent life. However, it has nothing whatever to do with abiogenesis - the start of life itself.

    I don't think anyone is assuming that intelligent alien life is like humans, nor should they.

    Alien intelligence could have developed many millions of years ago, and now be extinct, or it could be on a planet across the other end of the galaxy, or even the universe, and if that has happened it could never be found by humans.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Evolution, I am sure, is relevant to the development of intelligent life. However, it has nothing whatever to do with abiogenesis - the start of life itself.

    I don't think anyone is assuming that intelligent alien life is like humans, nor should they.

    Alien intelligence could have developed many millions of years ago, and now be extinct, or it could be on a planet across the other end of the galaxy, or even the universe, and if that has happened it could never be found by humans.
    Could, would, should.

    Of course you aren't wrong in speculating. The problem is why don't have the faintest how probable these scenarios are, which is the more important thing.

    And of course Intelligent Alien Life would have same thing almost identical to humans - intelligence (what we call human intelligence and the gulf between that and animal intelligence)

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    (Original post by High Stakes)
    Well, the origin of life does go hand in hand with evolution. Scientific theories suggest that originally there were very simple and primitive organisms that evolved over time to form complex organisms such as humans. If you're a creationist then you believe that humans have always been around from when Eve and Adam got together.
    Evolution and abiogenesis are two completely separate theories and the former does not rely on the latter.

    The origin of life could have been the work of a giant pink octopus for all anyone cares, and evolution would still be correct.
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    And of course Intelligent Alien Life would have same thing almost identical to humans - intelligence (what we call human intelligence and the gulf between that and animal intelligence)
    Now who is speculating? Why does high intelligence have to mean that the beings are like humans? That is a ridiculous assumption.
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    Also you are a wrong about statistical evidence being a certainty for life.
    No, I'm not. There is a finite probability of any given solar system developing life, and there are an effectively infinite number of solar systems. That means extra-terrestrial life is, effectively, certain to exist.

    All of the factors you have listed just reduce the probability of a randomly-selected solar system having life in it, but that doesn't matter. As long as the probability isn't 0 (and it can't be, because our solar system has developed life), the argument stands.

    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    That's not even getting into Fermi's paradox which says 'if life is so abundant then where are they?'
    The Universe is too big for communication between solar-systems.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Now who is speculating? Why does high intelligence have to mean that the beings are like humans? That is a ridiculous assumption.
    You were speculating.

    ' could have evolved millions of years ago'

    ' could have gone extinct by now'

    'Could be on the other side of the galaxy'

    That's speculation.

    Isn't the whole point of discerning from 'Intelligent alien life' and 'alien life' that we are more interested in conscious, self aware beings who are capable of abstract thought and concepts?

    When we talk of human intelligence, that's generally the gist.

    When we look for intelligent alien life, that's generally what we mean by intelligence. The type of intelligence humans have. That doesn't mean 'this alien has human like intelligence, therefore they are like humans'. Just simply that we share that same quality.

    I don't even think you can call that an assumption. I thought that was how we defined the type of intelligence we are looking for in ETI.

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    (Original post by JW22)
    Believing in a religion and living your life by the ideology from that religion limits your experiences in life. Life is all about experiences, and regardless of what you may believe there is no evidence to suggest there is an afterlife, therefore you are limiting everything you can do because of your belief. Also to believe in a religion is completely illogical, the only logical reason to believe is because you don't want to be punished for your decisions, and what is to say the religion you believe in is the right one?

    If you are religious the place where you were born will most likely determine the religion you believe in, it has nothing to do with one religion being more possible than another. There are many contradictions and inconsistencies within religion yet people blindly follow. Also when people say things like 'It's part of Gods plan' is an incredibly damaging idea, passing the blame of what has been done and what we could change to an imaginary God is lazy and disgraceful. What happens in the world is down to us and us alone.
    By no means does it limit your life experience. If God exists then you've had a finite gain/enjoyment on earth compared to an infinite loss in heaven. But the people who do believe in God would have a finite loss on earth; if you can call it finite cause all it is really is going to church on Sunday and doing the right thing as God wants, and they would have an infinite gain in Heaven because they have lived a fufilled life. I completely understand everything you've said about it being illogical and contradictory and to be honest it really is sometimes. But it's all about a leap of faith and I'm prepared to do that.
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    (Original post by maninblack00)
    By no means does it limit your life experience. If God exists then you've had a finite gain/enjoyment on earth compared to an infinite loss in heaven. But the people who do believe in God would have a finite loss on earth; if you can call it finite cause all it is really is going to church on Sunday and doing the right thing as God wants, and they would have an infinite gain in Heaven because they have lived a fufilled life. I completely understand everything you've said about it being illogical and contradictory and to be honest it really is sometimes. But it's all about a leap of faith and I'm prepared to do that.
    No, that's Pascal's Wager which is most unsatisfactory. You are making that statement based on the assumption that whatever God you believe in is correct, but considering the thousands of gods in human history, your god could be the false one and thus you would still incur an "infinite loss" in heaven by being condemned by the real deity.

    So believing in a god really gives you no more chance of being right than an atheist.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    No, that's Pascal's Wager which is most unsatisfactory. You are making that statement based on the assumption that whatever God you believe in is correct, but considering the thousands of gods in human history, your god could be the false one and thus you would still incur an "infinite loss" in heaven by being condemned by the real deity.

    So believing in a god really gives you no more chance of being right than an atheist.
    But if you're atheist you don't belive full stop and when you die that's pretty much it for you; but i'm not God so that's not up to me to say you'll be condemed or not. At least if you're religious, I dont think you'll get as bad of a punishment becuase at least you've still praised (the right) God in someway despite it being in the wrong context. Anyway that's not even my point. I don't want to prove that God is real and he's the one true God. What I just wanted to say is that the whole point of religion is faith, and faith doesn't have to follow logic. If you don't belive then that's perfectly fine by me and pretty much everyone else. I'm sorry if you think all religious people are in people's faces and super annoying but that's really not the case for most of the actual religious people. They're supposed to be kind and righteous which I think is most of the time yet some misinterpret what their religion is trying to teach so it ends up badly for other people. I don't want to convert you or anything, you're probably atheist which doesn't bother me at all but all I want is for people to respect religion for what it is and stop trying to insult what people believe.
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    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    No, I'm not. There is a finite probability of any given solar system developing life, and there are an effectively infinite number of solar systems. That means extra-terrestrial life is, effectively, certain to exist.

    All of the factors you have listed just reduce the probability of a randomly-selected solar system having life in it, but that doesn't matter. As long as the probability isn't 0 (and it can't be, because our solar system has developed life), the argument stands.



    The Universe is too big for communication between solar-systems.
    Well you are. There are around 100 billion galaxies. That's far from infinite.

    But even if I take your comment on infinite its it still means little. You haven't used enough background information in deciding you probability. It could be that some galaxies aren't able to give birth to life. You certainly could have many solar systems within this galaxies, of which the probability is as close to zero as possible, perhaps even certain. Simply appealing to the number of planets does little.

    Your last point is changing your argument. You said it made life certain, which would be 1. Now you are saying as long as it's above 0 the arguemnt stands. But the latter is just a way of saying as long as it's possible then there's an argument, as far away as certainty as you can get.

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    (Original post by maninblack00)
    But if you're atheist you don't belive full stop and when you die that's pretty much it for you;
    That may well be an atheist's belief, but if a God and afterlife exists then they will live on after death, whether they like it or not, unless you're saying people create their own realities with their beliefs?

    but i'm not God so that's not up to me to say you'll be condemed or not. At least if you're religious, I dont think you'll get as bad of a punishment becuase at least you've still praised (the right) God in someway despite it being in the wrong context.
    Why should you say this? If you have praised the wrong God, you have praised the wrong god. Why should a deity take mercy on you for the worship of another? If his mercy extends to idol worshippers, then why should the mercy not also extend to atheists?
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    (Original post by Most Competitive)
    If people want to be religious, let them. I see no point in criticising them because it's their life.
    Because some religions spread hate and intolerance, and this encourages the followers to do the same
 
 
 
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