Thursday, March 20, 2008

God vs. ET

In the campaign for President that is underway south of the border right now, it seems that none of the remaining candidates can go a single day without religion being injected into the conversation in some way, shape or form, even if subliminally. The latest brouhaha, which involves Senator Barack Obama's pastor, is a good case in point, as was Mitt Romney's pandering to the Christian right, who were suspicious of his Mormonism. The candidacy of Mike Huckabee was all about religion, whether he wanted to admit it or not.

Contrast this with the question of UFOs and ET. To the best of my knoweldge, it was only brought up once - when Tim Russert asked Dennis Kucinich his UFO sighting in a debate, and Kucinich replied that he had indeed seen a UFO, and then proceeded to apply any number of apologetic caveats.

Ask someone about UFOs, or ET, and people start to get embarassed. Ask them about God, and they stand up tall and take the question seriously. Indeed, they will often bring it up themselves.
It's not that there is anything wrong with religion - I'm a healthy but hopeful agnostic on the question of whether or not there is a God. It's also not that there is anything inherently right about asserting that ET has visited planet Earth - I'm a healthy but hopeful agnostic about that as well. The problem comes from the fact that one of these propositions is treated far more seriously than the other, and it's not the one for which there is actual evidence from the modern era.

When Hillary Clinton, or John McCain, or Barack Obama talk about God and how important He is to them, they are talking about a concept that cannot be proved in any rational way. Religion is a belief based on ancient stories that have been changed over the centuries in ways that would probably make them unrecognizable to the people who were actually there at the time. If I were to try and prove the existence of God to a jury of twelve reasonable people beyond a reasonable doubt, I couldn't do it. I seriously doubt anyone else could. It would still be a tricky proposition to do on the less onerous civil standard of the balance of probabilities.

UFOs as ET? I still couldn't do it beyond a reasonable doubt, nor could anyone else (hence the healthy agnosticism), but I would have a much better case, in terms of evidence, on the civil standard, than I would with God. For one thing, the evidence is fresher (Book of Luke vs. RB-47, for example). I could definitely prove that UFOs are an unexplained objective phenomenon; I think I could even swing the majority of a jury in favour of the proposition that at least some of them were likely extraterrestrial spacecraft.

This is why I have some sympathy for the exopolitics types, even though, as with people who believe in God, I think they have it wrong. They look around and see a world where in most countries religion goes hand in hand with political power, none more so in the democratic world than in the supposedly secular American republic (somewhere Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave). And yet they sit at the fringes of polite society, despite the fact that they can make a stronger case for their belief system than the religious people can.

Honestly - St. Paul on one hand, and, say, Philip Corso on the other hand. Is there really a difference between the two, other than two thousand years, and the fact that Corso was properly vetted?

Paul Kimball


Anonymous said...

Excellent subject to ponder.
Fot those who do, or who do not, believe in the Biblical concept of a God, religion aside, it is hard to discount the fact that there does exist some entity much higher than human mankind. Whether UFOs or angels are involved therein is debatable, but I have a test that may verify the existence of that entity. Gather all the best scientists and engineers on the planet Earth together and tell them to build a lobster. Can't be done!


Mac said...

It's not that there is anything wrong with religion

Say *what*?

I'm with Arthur Clarke. Religion is a "disease of infancy." And we dearly need to wake up.

Bruce Duensing said...

Consensus Reality in all it's forms is a religion complete with dogma, with sins of omission, heretics and saints. Metaphysics as opposed to traditional edict, pushes and pulls in a dynamic. In this sense, I can see why Vallee was so influenced by it. God is the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the observer...perhaps we can say God is the quest for universal coherence, a methodology rather than a goal. I sense the more we approach the more it recedes. Whether we use a microscope a telescope, an atom smasher or our eyes the instrument always becomes the measuring stick for an immeasurable dimensionality.

Yours Truly
Elmer Fudd

Anonymous said...

The problem with agnosticism is that one never knows with foresight, where to place it. It may sound "healthy" to be agnostic but it is not an example of scientifically proper thinking. For example, the typical self-proclaimed agnostic will say they are divided on the belief of a God existing or not. Why "a God" and not "some Gods"? By restricting your belief or non-belief to "a God" you are assuming that only one God could exist and not many. So what starts out "sounding healthy" is actually just another black and white extreme because it is based on logical fallacies instead of reason.

The visiting ET claim is no different. To assume that ET might have visited us is not logical but wishful thinking. The fact is there is no evidence whatsoever that ETs have visited us. There is no agnostic stance to be taken because there is nothing to believe or not believe in. Agnosticism is only valid when the focus of the agnostic is on something that has some evidence but the evidence is debatable.

Paul Kimball said...

There is tons of evidence that the UFO phenomenon is an objective reality. There is a strong likelihood that there is life elsewhere in our galaxy. Even mainstream science agrees on that. So, there is a logical basis upon which one can put forward that UFOs may be that life visiting us.
As for your comments re: God vs. Gods, I agree, but as monotheism is the dominant form of religion in the Western world wherein I have been born and raised, I refer to God as opposed to Gods - either way, however, I remain an agnostic, and say to both believers and atheists that until either group can prove to me the existence or non-existence of God, or ET on Earth, I'll keep an open mind.

Anonymous said...

Can you define what "objective reality" is? What does having "an open mind" mean?

Having an objective reality would imply that there are some hard, physical facts that aren't subject to personal interpretation, but the fact is there are none of those kind of facts in UFOlogy. Claim all you want that there are, but until you have something you can hold in your hands or interview on CNN, you are empty-handed and have nothing else to go on other then heaps of extraordinary storytales.

Which brings us to the next point: if you are truly open-minded, then you would have to believe ALL of those extraordinary storytales, since not a single one of them have any hard, physical facts. You just have to trust the storyteller on each and every one. Or maybe we still have to do some heavy filtering of all that we hear, which means we shouldn't be THAT open minded, but maybe more like half-open minded?

ben-keshet said...

I just recently found your site and though you've shut it down, I thought I'd nevertheless comment on this blog entry, specifically your concluding remark.

"Honestly - St. Paul on one hand, and, say, Philip Corso on the other hand. Is there really a difference between the two, other than two thousand years, and the fact that Corso was properly vetted?"

First I'll say that all is open to real scholarly scrutiny regarding both ETs and God. I saw the video at your site that included your narration about one of Canada's most important Baptist evangelists, of which you spoke of in highly favorable terms. So, does your slam on St. Paul above actually mean that you'd go into production about "anything" as long as there's a paycheck?

In any case, I must say your equation of the Apostle Paul's life and experience with Philip Corso's is, to put it mildly, ridiculous. The Apostle Paul is documented, first person and by others, as traveling throughout the Mediterranean world in 1st century, un-luxurious conditions, proclaiming a message he had initially violently opposed. Philip Corso mentioned nothing publicly about Roswell and back-engineering till the end of his life. Paul documents the suffering he underwent for the sake of the message he proclaimed, and an early run-down is given in 2 Corinthians 11:24-33. Philip Corso never underwent similar persecution for his Roswell knowledge, of which he never "proclaimed" till the end of his life. I should say that I have a fair regard for any military officer, once having been an enlisted Marine for six years. But I also have high regard for anyone who pours out his/her life for something they are dedicated to, like the apostle Paul.

So, either the first-person reporting in Paul's epistles is true, or, you can devise any convenient explanation to discredit it since Paul is no longer with us to defend it. Nevertheless, consistency can be a strong sign of credibility, and the testimony of the NT is clear that Paul performed his service of proclaiming the crucified and risen Messiah for many, many years, suffering continual hardships and imprisonments. Paul comes across as stable, consistent and reliable to me. More so since there were no emails in the first century, no printing presses, not even mechanized paper manufacture. So writing epistles was a real "production," using the media available in the 1st century. People that expend that kind of energy at least have a strong interest in their subject.

It is interesting that Paul describes, just after the passage about his suffering, a striking "high-strangeness" experience.

In 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Paul describes events that cannot be duplicated at will in the science lab:

Caught up to third heaven – Paradise – heard unutterable words, and because of the glory of that revelation Paul was given a "messenger of Satan" to buffet him, to keep him humble.

Several things, to me, parallel modern contactee-abduction reports:

• Caught up – the Greek "seized" (or "raptured" among many Christians today), perhaps "abducted" in modern lingo.
• Third Heaven – somewhere in a different "dimension," or intersecting reality
• Unutterable Words – wisdom about reality, perhaps not physically spoken!
• Given a messenger of Satan – an invisible malevolent being to buffet Paul
• Paul prayed to God for deliverance from the "messenger" – in Paul's case, he received a divine answer from Christ to accept the buffeting (in my case, not having had a vision of heaven, my prayers for deliverance were answered with relief from waking episodes of paralysis, strangulation and sensation of a malevolent presence, ending after about seven occurrences).

On the face of it, Paul's experience, self-reported almost 2,000 years ago, could in many respects easily fit modern contactee-abduction phenomena nomenclature, other than it comes from a dedicated Jewish disciple of Messiah (i.e. Christian), and that just a chapter earlier Paul described Satan as masquerading an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:14.

From my experience, identical to the testimony of the Bible, God is willing to communicate with anyone who will humbly approach Him on His terms. If you don't like His terms, well my friend, that's your business.

In my opinion there's more than enough information available for anyone who is really interested to reach a fair, informed conclusion that's as strong as the RB-47 case. Just as an example, I go over to the Temple Mount and see mute piles of stone, excavated by the antiquities authority, that mark the fulfillment of Messiah's prophecy of the Temple's destruction.

Sincere best wishes.