Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Belief Systems

It must be true that if there is no God there would be no atheists. The fact that atheists do exist means that God must also exist, so that the atheists have something not to believe in.
Not believing in something is an interesting concept. For a good number of years I believed in Father Christmas; then I didn't. Then, it turns out, I was Father Christmas so, for a few more years, I not only believed in Father Christmas I had actual proof of his existence.
Extraterrestrial life is another issue where my beliefs oscillate rather wildly. The Drake Equation (go see Wikipedia) predicts that there should be around 10 Earth-like civilisations in our galaxy and, therefore, millions in the universe at large. At present, I just don't buy this. I am much happier with Fermi's question "Where are they?" than with Drake. There are so many, possibly crucial, terms omitted from the Drake Equation that I suspect that the actual number of Earth-like civilisations might be vanishingly small. Given half an hour any decent scientist could come up with 50 additional terms for the Drake Equation. Today, I think we might be alone in the Galaxy and possibly in the Universe. Tomorrow, I might think differently.
So, as of late October 2008, I am pretty convinced that we are unique, intelligent, conscious beings within a generally lifeless Galaxy and that to explain this uniqueness and to ease the ache that this loneliness brings, it helps a lot of people to believe in some sort of God.
On balance, me included.

1 comment:

GC said...

Belief Systems...

Not too sure on your thoughts here. Scientists and religious belief is a bit like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones - they don't go together....
...I think you were being a bit provocative here (on purpose)...very 'Clarkson'...which is a compliment.