Posted by: NotAScientist | March 8, 2009

Nope, I don’t believe in UFOs either…

This blog is called “Suddenly Atheist”. But more than just being an atheist, I’m also an all-around skeptic. So I think it is only fair that I address the occasional issue that is not necessarily religious, but still touches on my skepticism.

Plus, it’s always fun to open up the door for a new group of people to hate me.

So strap in kiddies, ’cause here we go…

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As far back as I can remember I always wanted to believe in UFOs.

That’s a pretty heavy statement, so let’s take a moment to dissect it a bit.

When I say “UFOs”, I use the word colloquially. In the literal sense it means Unidentified Flying Object, which everyone should believe in. There are things in the sky that people see that they can not identify. But this is not what I mean, nor what most people mean, when they use the term UFO. They mean “some sort of extraterrestrial spacecraft”.

And I say “wanted” to believe because I was never a true believer. I never saw a UFO. I was never abducted. And I never really thought the books I read were true. But I wanted it to be.

Simply being a human, I think, caused part of my desire to believe. Part of being a human is desiring to be with and connect with others. And I still have that desire today. I want there to be extraterrestrials (aliens) out there somewhere in the universe. I want them to come to Earth and visit us so we could learn from eachother. So the stories and reports one hears from UFO believers are incredibly compelling merely because I wanted to believe them so much.

I finally reached a point, around the time I became an atheist, when I had to look at the UFO question with my newly trained skeptical eyes.

The evidence just isn’t there.

The stories are great. Let’s not pretend any different. But stories, anecdotes, are probably the worst form of evidence. They’re wonderful for personal evidence, but you can’t use them rationally to convince others.

Anecdotes with good evidence, however, would be enough. But I’ve never come across it.

It has, however, been quite a long time since I’ve done any research on the subject. So, by all means, if you have definitive evidence of extraterrestrials or aliens or anything of that nature, please bring it forward. If it’s true, I want to know it.

But if all you have is grainy video of moving specks and anecdotes, it just won’t be enough.

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Responses

  1. Even if, for the sake of argument, you thought you were abducted for a night by a UFO and interacted with he/she/it, how would you that your senses did not deceive you? How would you know for sure that it was real?

  2. I would only have the past experience of the reliability, or lack thereof, of my senses.

    My senses certainly could be fooling me, if such an event happened. That’s why we rely on evidence as opposed to personal anecdotes when dealing with truth claims.

  3. oh ah mmm, i see.

    There is a guy who has some good stuff- actual artifacts of technology that is too advanced to be from this earth. Or at the very least, from the part of the government that anyone is willing to talk about. Anyway, it is actual nueral-powered devices- some of which emmitted sugnals- radio and otherwise. I forget the name, but if i looked it up, i bet i could find it.

    The Pheonix Lights i think ought to have your attention. Just FYI, i HATE UFO Hunters. They are so far gone as to undercut ANY possible credibility.
    But i still think 1-2% of the sightings/stories have some merit. Too bad they’re so damn popular. It makes the distinction hard, but investigators and hard skeptics like yourself make it much easier for all the rest of us.

    The Drake equation is solved to be at around 10,000 now, so fingers crossed Morse. I think that there is a very outside possibility that it is all terrestrial, but i do believe there is something going on in the skies, closer, as opposed to farther, which makes is actually harder to track because they would fly directly under the radar, so to speak. Many of them Do appaer on radar, and if they aren’t the least bit important, the government is wasting a fucking lot of money to keep Nothin’ quiet.

    Ball lighting? again, there are many possible explanations i hope to see. If we ever take space travel seriously, the questions will be likely resolve themselves, one way or another.

    i think it’s a very wait-and-see kind of discussion. If we are dealing with something of comprable intelligence, it would likely not want to interfere- to take an anthropological look at it. And if they are smarter, maybe they’re just hoping to get us to the right spot technologically so that thier transition to take us over will be easier lol πŸ˜‰

    All up in the air, Morse. I am definately confounded more than convinced either direction lol.

  4. Oh man, UFOs. I used to firmly believe that they represented some sort of alien invasion, and was completely credulous about reports of alien sightings. I think I was of the ‘If it’s in a book it must be true’ mindset.

    Ah, those were the good old days.

    Wait, no they weren’t…

  5. credulity- the scourge of mankind. Just ask James Clifford.

    i don’t belive rednecks or that hardly any literature is to be found on the subject. only about 2% at the absolute mximum is going to be justifiable. radar blips don’t truly amount to anything anymore.

    Any time someone pulls out a dowsing rod, i swear as loud as possible. There is 0 science to that practice. Ugh, people can be so stupid! UFO Hunters, i have 0 respect for you!! Taps and GHI i hold to be rather great, as they come. But even they exaggerate things alot sometimes.

  6. Yea I wanted to believe in them too, even tried to get abducted in college, but alas….

  7. Who wouldn’t want to believe in UFOs??? I’m one of the most skeptical people out there, but I still like to look at the sky and wish that they were real. I also look for bigfoot when driving in the country. πŸ™‚ Why not? Magic isn’t gone from our lives just because we don’t believe in it. lol.

  8. My hopes are high for intelligent conversation here.

  9. Augustine, “ditto” my phrase is “the older I get the less I know”. That is actually liberating. I can consider more than the current flavor of “koolaid”.

  10. is there a point you were trying to make maximus?

    /punch-drunk

  11. yup, a little too sharp a point for punch-drunk it appears.

  12. rickroll, chill sonnyboy, you’re outgunned.

  13. meet me at high noon and we’ll see who outshoots whom πŸ˜‰

  14. OK, Obama or Founding Fathers, which will it be?

  15. “meet me at high noon?” what a child. tell me what you’re packin’ cowboy. Impress me.

  16. Founding fathers were much more impressive by all accounts. But it’s scyscrapers and brick buildings isn’t it?

    Besides, off topic

  17. This is high noon, so….! Show me.

  18. “off topic?” what a coward.

  19. a real man has no need to impress others, by the way. You can’t force me to stay up and continually deprive myself of sleep just for your bizarre wanking intenet games.

    Sorry compadre, any othet time i’d smilingly oblige you πŸ˜‰

  20. there is only one topic. Liberty or tyranny.

  21. I agree. nighty-nite sweet cheeks.

  22. Trick question maximus. Haven’t you read Orwell? Or Dostoyevsky?

    Try hard determanism before bringing cliched concepts into a thread where they do NOT belong. Try the About page, my good sir.

  23. night. Don’t call me “sweet cheeks” unless you intend to kiss me hehe.

  24. “hehe?” I guessed it. So, don’t let the bug beds bite.

  25. guessed and got it wrong. This is the internet. i have no obligation to be completely honest. πŸ˜‰

  26. ehh.. thanks..


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