Let us do some weeding out here. Please, everyone who reads this, speak up and be honest. Three questions (1). Who here believes that the Universe was designed by some intelligence ? (2). Who here believes in unguided evolution by natural selection ? (3). Who here relies on the power of reason and the efficacy of science and rejects faith in any higher, intelligent, guiding power ? Think of this sort of like John Carpenter's "The Thing', or it's 2011 prequel..we're trying to figure out who the alien is that is pretending to be one of us.

I'll start things off. (1). I do not believe the Universe was designed by some intelligence.

                             (2). I believe in unguided evolution through natural selection.

                             (3). I reject faith whole heartedly. It is nothing but belief without evidence, or belief            

                                   contrary to evidence. I rely on reason and the efficacy of science. 

Tags: Faith, Reason, Science

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No problem, Anthony:

  1. The only "intelligence" inherently involved in this reality are the laws of physics, which describe and explain the things and processes which we observe, from the subatomic to the intergalactic.  They are part and parcel of this universe and very likely a product of how the Big Bang sifted out.
  2. Evolution is a direct product of those same laws of physics, in how they impact chemistry, energy transfer, and a thousand other dynamic interactions which allowed life to erupt, then develop on this planet.
  3. "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." -- Mark Twain.  I have no use for faith and see no point in it.  If I trust something, whether a principle or a person, it is because I have a demonstrable REASON to do so.  As I have said here and there, I am an unrepentant pragmatist, and I cannot see pragmatism having anything to do with faith.

Will that do ya?

I agree with you and Loren, to which I add that I do not believe in anything psychic or paranormal. I'm having a lot of problems getting that point across to some of the people on here because they seem to want to hold open for that idea and deny belief in deities at the same time. Trust me. You dead sister is not guiding you. Your departed aunt Clara is not still here because she refused to go into the light. They are both dead!

Loren's 3 points seems to take it all in. If you believe scientificly in this way you would be a true atheist. True science looks ahead and it might change, but it doesn't come back to you years later wanting to open a door for psychics and the paranormal. This is simply people wanting to make money or cheat you out of your money. They do this through trickery, TV shows, movies, books, etc. and they build their following.

Don't believe me? Then just ask James Randi.

Agreed as to all 3, Anthony. And, Dennis is right. My Aunt Clara is not trying to contact me. But, that's because I don't have an Aunt Clara. My deceased Aunt Bertha, on the other hand...... Just kidding!
In thinking about faith, I agree withe young British woman in the following video.
http://youtu.be/Xsj1UWol7l8

Yes! Kate Smurthwaite of the National Secular Society nails it, twice:

First to a believer who declares that "theologically, I believe that every aborted child is in heaven." "So wouldn't we be doing them a favor by aborting them?"

Then, about an androcentric vision of heaven: "What is interesting here, actually, is that we've got people from different faiths who all believe in some kind of heaven in different sense, but every single one of them believes in this heaven on the basis of faith, and faith by definition is believing in things without evidence, and personally, I don't do that because I'm not an idiot."

I don't necessarily rely on the power of reason & efficacy of science.  Reason and science have limits.

  But the rest of it, I agree with :)

I'm with Loren.

1) I have no reason to believe the universe was designed by some intelligence. Also, even if there were a higher intelligence, I see no reason to believe it has engaged with the existing universe.

2) The modern theory of evolution is the most logical natural process for natural selection and adaptation, due to my answer of question #1.

3) I assume you are referring to a supernatural intelligent guiding power. There may in fact have been a non-supernatural alien, higher intelligent guiding power. That has not been proven and there is no reasonable evidence to support it. For that reason, I would say yes, for now I agree with your statement.

I am not trying to be argumentative, just accurate in presenting my viewpoint.

Anthony, with all due respect...I'm concerned this questionnaire is designed to eliminate anyone with even minor differences of opinion. I've said in the past that I am an agnostic atheist. That's a compromise title, created due to endless debates regarding the definition of "Atheism". I hope there are none on this forum who might demand that it's members take oaths affirming their conformance to hard atheism. 

I can't dance well and I definitely don't goosestep. Let me know. The internet is a big place.

supernatural intelligent guiding power. There may in fact have been a non-supernatural alien, higher intelligent guiding power.

What does "supernatural" mean?

If there are things we can never understand by reason and science, are those things supernatural?  Extranatural? 

In practice, it seems that "supernatural" refers to our human attitude towards some phenomenon, to something that we engage with in a religious way - including believing the phenomenon is outside ourselves.  Aliens wouldn't be "supernatural" because we wouldn't worship them. 

That's actually a good point. The only way you can really buy into the idea of the "supernatural" is to think of something that cannot or does not exist in the real world. It's possible I suppose to think supernatural could refer to something beyond our comprehension but then we'd only be playing word games.

The point I was trying to make with my comment regarding non-supernatural aliens is that it is a possible explanation for our coming into existence. It doesn't necessarily follow that we could have only come into existence through either a natural, random process or a supernatural being. I was not trying to make the point that if we were here due to circumstances which included an alien life form that we should worship them.

While I won't entirely exclude the possibility that some supernatural being exists (???), my worldview is so dominated by materialism that the alternative would be completely mindbending. I can't conceive of such a thing, which when I consider it, may be one of the main reasons people buy into it.

There is one more thing in your post that continues to baffle me (and I don't want you to think this is something I'm directing at you personally). How can one say there are things we cannot know? I think Adams addressed this when he has one character state "We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!” I love that quote as it does so much to point out our situation.

non-supernatural aliens is that it is a possible explanation for our coming into existence. It doesn't necessarily follow that we could have only come into existence through either a natural, random process or a supernatural being.

True. I don't subscribe to the idea that it MUST have been natural and random either, and I didn't see Anthony's question as asking us to "vouch for" the current scientific understanding of reality as How It Most Certainly Is.  Just that there are people who really believe otherwise, and those people aren't atheists.  It's a definition of exclusion not one of inclusion. 

How can one say there are things we cannot know?

There could for example be areas of spacetime from which no light or anything else would ever reach us.  So we would never know what's going on there.  Could be different laws of physics in those parts of the universe, who knows. 

Such as the parts of the universe that are receding from us faster than the speed of light. 

The only way you can really buy into the idea of the "supernatural" is to think of something that cannot or does not exist in the real world

So then the concept of "supernatural" depends on the real world having laws, so that we know what "doesn't fit".  If there weren't laws then we couldn't have a scientific understanding of it. 

So then the concept of "supernatural" depends on the real world having laws, so that we know what "doesn't fit". If there weren't laws then we couldn't have a scientific understanding of it.

Luara, that is exactly correct.

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