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Old 07-16-2013, 09:59 PM  
listopencil listopencil is offline
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Interesting Study Regarding US Nonbelievers, Re: Categories Of Atheism

On June 6th of this year at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Departments of Psychology and Learning and Leadership, completed research focused on nonbelief within the United States. This project was designed and implemented by Christopher F. Silver doctoral candidate and Thomas J. Coleman III a student at UTC. The research sought to explore the complexities of nonbelief identity in the United States.

http://www.atheismresearch.com/
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:42 PM   #121
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:10 AM   #122
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What you are describing depends upon several assumptions, or hypotheses if you wish. You are supposing the existence of nonhuman intelligent life, that this life form was substantially more advanced than our own, that this life form interacted with humans and that humans reacted to them by considering them gods. You can also speculate upon the nature of the contact made by the two groups, the physical form of the aliens and even whether these nonhumans were in fact alien. I don't believe that this can be proven to be impossible, but I would apply the same rigid methods of investigation to that topic that I would apply to religious beliefs systems.
i did jump pretty far with it. the point i think i was thinking about, is, can an atheist strongly believe in the possibility of other life, yet put a limit on how "advanced" it could be?
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:47 AM   #123
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i did jump pretty far with it. the point i think i was thinking about, is, can an atheist strongly believe in the possibility of other life, yet put a limit on how "advanced" it could be?
I would think that those are two separate issues that are not mutually exclusive. As I understand it an atheist does not accept the possibility of the existence of a supreme being, or anything of a "spiritual" nature. As far as I know there is no proof for the existence or nonexistence of God and/or spirituality. Therefore I classify atheism as a faith based religious belief. Within the structure of a faith based religious system one would be free to rationalize whatever one chooses.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:24 PM   #124
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I would think that those are two separate issues that are not mutually exclusive. As I understand it an atheist does not accept the possibility of the existence of a supreme being, or anything of a "spiritual" nature. As far as I know there is no proof for the existence or nonexistence of God and/or spirituality. Therefore I classify atheism as a faith based religious belief. Within the structure of a faith based religious system one would be free to rationalize whatever one chooses.
I'm Agnostic as to other races / aliens and the level of advancement they have reached.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:11 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
I would think that those are two separate issues that are not mutually exclusive. As I understand it an atheist does not accept the possibility of the existence of a supreme being, or anything of a "spiritual" nature. As far as I know there is no proof for the existence or nonexistence of God and/or spirituality. Therefore I classify atheism as a faith based religious belief. Within the structure of a faith based religious system one would be free to rationalize whatever one chooses.
I suppose this is a good place to point out that atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive (though I'm not saying you don't already know that). Here's a typical chart that shows the general relationship I'm referring to:



My personal opinion is that people actually exist somewhere in the middle rather than full in any of the given quadrants. I doubt that there is anyone who is truly 100% sure that there is or is not a deity, but there are varying degrees of certainty. I would generally call myself a gnostic atheist, but I'll concede that there is some incredibly minute possibility that some sort of higher power exists.

As for the question about other intelligent life being mistaken as some sort of god, I certainly think that's a more likely explanation than some sort of omniscient, omnipresent being out there that is literally in charge of the entire universe. I personally think it's highly likely that there is intelligent life of some sort somewhere out there. It's just too big of a place for it not to have worked out somewhere among the billions and billions of solar systems. On the other hand, I doubt we'll ever meet them. It just seems incredibly unlikely that we'll ever find a way to travel fast enough (or that anyone else would have) given the scale of the universe.

I think the most likely explanation is that people come up with gods to explain things they don't understand. No more, no less.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:24 PM   #126
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Yup, I see what you mean, and that's a nice chart. I hesitate to self identify as anything religious or spiritual because people tend to filter what you say through their own perceptions. I'm sure that is a natural step in understanding alien concepts but it can lead to so much miscommunication that it seems hardly worth it much of the time. I tend to agree with you about other intelligent life and the origins of the God concept.
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