Archive for March, 2010
Below is a (roughly) ten minute interview of Rich Dolan from the 2008 Laughlin, NV UFO conference. It’s very good. Rich is always a good listen (and a good read). I also personally like him, so I may be a bit biased. I agree entirely with his assessment that UFOs are indeed a worthwhile and important historical subject. The data for that conclusion is easily demonstrable. Just read Rich’s two lengthy volumes on the subject. To say they are data-driven is quite an understatement; he knows what he’s doing as a historian and researcher).
In this interview, Rich refers to “non-human intelligences” being behind UFOs. I think that’s a good working term, since it’s broad. He also acknowledges at least some of these intelligences are quite evil. I’d encourage you to watch it as well because of the very obvious “big picture” issues that invariably overlap with religion.
As readers know, I pretty much parse the UFO issue into “advanced and largely unknown–even in military circles–human technology” and (using Rich’s term) “non-human intelligence.” I see no reason why a demon or angel would need technology of this sort (vehicles). I am open to such beings, since they are created and must be made of something, needing other sorts of technology to traverse dimensions, that sort of thing. They cannot act as though they are independent of the physical world since they are part of it. Hence the (perhaps awkward) use of the word “technology”. Only God is truly apart from creation (at least in a biblical theology). What this means for me are thoughts as follows:
1. UFOs and non-human intelligences may or may not even be related issues. Here are the sub-categorizations:
(A) All real UFOs (i.e., those that are clearly not astronomical or meteorological phenomena) are above top-secret human craft, using exotic technologies not even widely used within the military.
(B) All UFOs are produced by non-human intelligences. That may mean they are physical (material), or that they are not physical (material). The latter includes both an inter-dimensional sense and a “projected” sense (see D below).
(C) Some UFOs are man-made, some are made by non-human intelligences.
(D) Some UFOs are man-made, some are manufactured (visually) by human or non-human intelligences (for this one, see this link).
2. Non-human intelligences may or may not be related to what the Bible would call demons or aliens. Here are the sub-categorizations:
(A) There may be a complete overlap (aliens = demons, or aliens = angels, some of whom are fallen/evil);
(B) There may be partial overlap (some aliens = demons, or some aliens = angels, some of whom are fallen/evil, but some aliens may be either extraterrestrial beings [occupants of a physical planet somewhere] or some aliens may be extra-dimensional beings [having nothing to do with a planetary existence as we know it]).
(C) There may be no overlap at all (there are demons [or fallen angels] or demons or aliens or extra-dimensional beings, each in its own category or box).
And readers know that none of the above gives me the slightest bit of theological trepidation. All options are on the table.
I’ve found a second atheist’s commentary on “belief” in UFOs.
Atheist: The belief in God(s) is purely and simply based in faith, no matter what religion you come from. Faith is defined simply as belief in something without evidence or proof.
MSH: This is actually an uninformed understanding of faith, but he’s at least clear. Faith is often made out to mean “irrationality” when this is not the case at all. REAL faith actually needs the rational. Faith analyzes a claim or claims, then the pros and cons for those claims in the light of data. Faith is then a judgment decision based upon a presumed likelihood — in the absence of omniscience. It’s sort of like a jury deciding X based upon something being beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury BELIEVES it is making the best decision, given what it is possible to know. Their faith fills the gap between what they know and what was literal, factual reality. Real faith is both an effort to understand correctly, and then a decision to choose one option over another (as opposed to giving up or being non-committal). It’s quite far from the absence of reason. If readers would like to be better informed on this than our atheist friend, I’d recommend a little book written by philosopher Ronald Nash (and given the evidence that philosophers are trained in rational thinking, I don’t have enough faith to conclude that philosophers can’t believe in God; a truckload of them do — precisely because belief in God IS rational).1
Atheist: Lets face it, we are not born believing in a God, those beliefs are instilled into us through religion.
MSH: Logic check. We aren’t believing in anything, so does that make everything we eventually believe in irrational? Sometimes critiquing thinking like this is just too easy.
Atheist: People just didn’t suddenly start believing in UFO’s either, however, unlike religious belief, people started believing because they believe they had tangible evidence.
MSH: Yes, there is tangible evidence that people are seeing *something*; it would be foolish to think they’re all lying or in error about seeing something. But is it rational to conclude that since they’ve seen something unidentified that thing is therefore extraterrestrial? Certainly not (if we still care about logic).
Atheist: We have all heard the stories from eye witnesses and whether they are telling the truth, or they simply think they are, a UFO is something that can at least be falsified, so I do not believe that belief in God(s) and belief in UFO’s are technically in the same category.
Atheist: Many pictures and videos have surfaced over the years and proven to be frauds. Now I cannot lie and say that I personally have researched all the pictures, stories and evidence out there, but from what I know, there is not one story that can be proven to definitively be extraterrestrial UFO’s.
Now though personally I do not believe that there is one legitimate extraterrestrial UFO story out there, that does not mean that there aren’t other people who do have legitimate reasons for believing.
MSH: Well, if they had hard evidence of ET life in connection with what they saw, you’d be right. Otherwise it *is* illegitimate to draw this conclusion.
Atheist: Who’s to really say if an eyewitness really did witness something real. I guess you could say that although I am an atheist when it comes to God(s), I am an agnostic when it comes to UFO’s, but for a good reason. The reason is not because I buy any of the stories of UFO’s, but simply because the prospect of intelligent life out in the universe is actually possible. Although this is in the realm of science fiction, it is at least possible considering that we are here and the thousands of planets in the known universe, that there is at least one other planet like ours that supports life and has life on it that our technology cannot reach yet.
MSH: Agreed; ET life is possible. I’m so glad he/she didn’t say it was “probable” or “certain” as some others do, largely on the basis of speculative (and perhaps spurious) math.
Atheist: For this reason, I do not think that belief in UFO’s is totally irrational or illogical.
MSH: What does “belief” mean here? Sure, I *believe* that people see unidentified flying objects. That is perfectly reasonable since we have piles of data for that. But if “believe” here means “belief that UFOs are extraterrestrial,” that is *not* rational, since there is no hard scientific data for ET life. This is apples and oranges thinking, but it is quite common. It just goes to show that atheism and UFO religion are compatible.