2007-12-06

Australians believe in Space Aliens, Americans believe in God

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by Neil Godfrey

I am glad I live in Australia rather than America.

Many of us here have cancelled plans to emigrate to New Zealand or Nepal since our erstwhile reactionary Prime Minister John Howard lost his seat at the recent election.

But even more happily invigorating is the latest HarrisInteractive poll on American beliefs, giving us the opportunity to compare the intellectual climate and health of the two countries.

82% of Americans believe in God, a statistic that makes me think of black overcast skies and Cromwell’s dreary England. Compare Australians. It is a statistical fact that “more Australians believe in space aliens than believe in God, despite the fact that more Australians have been to church than have been abducted by UFOs.” (Dale, 100 Things Everyone Needs to Know about Australia.) To be fair, space aliens in the original source refers strictly to the possibility of intelligent life out there and not necessarily to those little green creatures that abduct people in their sleep. But who’s splitting hairs?

See, Australians have checked out church and found it only has a ceiling or arch or stained glass up top. But no-one can justly accuse them of being incorrigible sceptics simply for the sake of scepticism. Australian’s can’t deny space aliens.

And the best part is that space aliens don’t make any claims on how people should vote or run the country or what films should be censored or what sexual leanings should be the basis of legal rights.

And they make much more interesting discussion topics than God when there are a few beers to get things going. I’m also sure they can offer much more fertile material for pick-up lines than God. One only has to compare “Have you had a close encounter lately?” with “Have you prayed today?”

And space aliens are much sexier than God. God positively frowns on sex. He will only reproduce by remote control through genetic-spirit implant into a virgin, — and he only ever went that far once in all eternity! Space aliens do much more interesting things while still working in mysterious ways with their abductees, as we all know.

Why Space Aliens are a more positive Belief Object than God

  1. Space Aliens don’t divide people morally over whether people believe in them or not
  2. Space Aliens don’t threaten to send you to hell if you don’t believe in them
  3. Space Aliens do not justify any wars
  4. Space Aliens do not make rules that mess up people’s sexual health
  5. Space Aliens expect you to believe in advanced technology but not in miracles
  6. Space Aliens do not command earthlings to keep impossible or silly rules
  7. Space Aliens do not censor the arts or any creative activity of earthlings
  8. Space Aliens do not want your money or your soul. (Some do want your body but only for a moment of experimentation after which it is returned without discernible after-effects.)
  9. When earthling attempts to communicate with Space Aliens are reciprocated it will be a scientifically verifiable event
  10. Space Aliens do not make any promises they can be accused of failing to keep
  11. Space Aliens do not take offence or get angry, — ever (even if you make graven images of them or have a laugh at their expense)
  12. Having a personal relationship with a Space Alien is entirely optional
  13. If you do decide to have a personal relationship with a Space Alien you are not required to go from door-to-door telling others about it.
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Neil Godfrey

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  • 2007-12-23 05:41:49 GMT+0000 - 05:41 | Permalink

    This is laying it on a bit thick, huh? I understand your dislike for anyone who believes in a higher being, and how you can devote you life to your new belief, the belief that every God believer is wrong, but this is a little silly huh?

    Have you ever been to America? I have never been down under, but I am not self-righteous enough to say that I am glad I don’t live there.

  • 2007-12-23 07:24:11 GMT+0000 - 07:24 | Permalink

    Oh my, you do seem to be somewhat immune to humour. Perhaps with a little less gratuitous judgmentalism, so regrettably common among fundamentalist taliban-cromwellian-like believers (your assertion that I “dislike anyone who believes in a higher being”, that I “devote my life to my new belief”) we might be able to be friends. 🙂

  • 2007-12-23 07:49:07 GMT+0000 - 07:49 | Permalink

    Fundamentalism, my ignorant understanding thereof, is the belief system that whatever fits into your box, must be applied to everyone else.

    Don’t you do the same thing with your anti-God rhetoric? Your system is parallel to a believer’s, and you devote your life to putting your belief (belief that you have it right and others don’t) on others who don’t fit your mold. By fighting them, you become them.

    If dogma is what you are fighting, why is your blog dripping with it?

    Also, have you ever been to the states?

    And, as for humor, my James Stewart impression would have you snorting whatever expensive wine you drink from your nostrils, which sound as if they point towards the sky.

  • 2007-12-23 11:27:55 GMT+0000 - 11:27 | Permalink

    Few people who have studied or written about fundamentalism would agree with your understanding of the term. (See my “fundamentalism” archive.)

    Are you a believer then? Do you think your belief system is “parallel to mine”? If so, what specific parallels do you see with your own belief system?

    Are you fighting me? If so, have you then become me?

    I did a define: dogma search on google and one definition says: “a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative”. Since you see my blog dripping with dogma, perhaps you can point out a few specific examples for me of where you actually see me express “dogma”.

    You will have to explain to me the relevance of your question about my past travel and your Jimmy Stewart impressions to any of this.

    And perhaps you’d like to practice a little Christian charity and avoid insults in your correspondence. Or do your superior Christian ethics give you licence to insult those you disagree with? Are atheists and humanists not worthy of everyday respect, or is this something you only reserve for your fellow-believers?

  • 2007-12-25 08:37:19 GMT+0000 - 08:37 | Permalink

    Mr. Godfrey —

    It appears from my experience there is a sub-group of the “UFO community” that has latched on to a set of beliefs (the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, the alien hybrid breeding program, and “New World Order” collusion) as a sort of holy writ, and anyone who disagrees with this “axis meridian” is obviously part of The Conspiracy — to be cast into the outer darkness with a wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Maybe UFO belief isn’t necessarily a good thing either …

  • 2007-12-25 08:49:06 GMT+0000 - 08:49 | Permalink

    I am a little embarrassed that my post has been picked up and linked from an Alien World / UFO website.

    I admit I was a bit mischievous in following David Dale who for eye-catching humour extended the meaning of “Space Aliens” to its technical limits to include any form of extraterrestial life, not necessarily UFO creatures. In other words, “any other life out there” — any life “alien” to life on earth. I am sure as many Americans think the same. I have no reason to think that Australians believe in little green men in higher proportions than Americans.

    I tried to cover myself by explaining in the original: “To be fair, space aliens in the original source refers strictly to the possibility of intelligent life out there and not necessarily to those little green creatures that abduct people in their sleep. But who’s splitting hairs?”

    But having said that, yes, there are religious cults, Western as well as Eastern, that do attribute a significant role to the bizarre (or Hollywood/comic) notion of UFO type creatures.

  • 2007-12-25 09:07:54 GMT+0000 - 09:07 | Permalink

    Mr. Godfrey —

    You’re absolutely right. I failed to take that distinction into account.

    Say … do you believe in Seth Shostak, or is he just just some kind of Urban Legend?

  • 2007-12-25 09:36:05 GMT+0000 - 09:36 | Permalink

    Hi Daniel,

    I had to do a google on Seth Shostak and came up with this wikipedia entry. You will have to fill me in on how he fits in to this — though I see he’s connected with the SETI project. In a recent interview with Carl Sagan’s widow Ann Druyan noted that SETI has yielded zero results so far.

    I simply have no idea if there is other intelligent life “out there” — evolution does not appear to necessarily favour higher intelligence life-forms at all (aren’t grasses and cockroaches more successful by eons and variations?); but in Dawkins latest I read about Lee Smolin’s multiverse theory that would seem to increase the chances of it. But as Ann Druyan comments, we are only beginning to understand what we are living in, and most of what there is out there is hidden behind dark matter anyway. I am an atheist re god, but an agnostic re other higher intelligence existences. Our experience leaves open the possibility that higher intelligence is the most likely to self-destruct, no?

    (But my name is Neil — formal addresses do grate on aussie ears 🙂

  • 2007-12-25 09:54:33 GMT+0000 - 09:54 | Permalink

    Neil (not Mr. Godfrey) —

    Sorry. I guess the Shostak reference is an in-joke.

    Wrong audience. My bad.

    At the risk of getting laughed off of your blog (hey, it could happen somewhere) I feel the whole UFO/UAP (Unexplained Aerial Phenomenon) thing does have some validity, and Dr. S. considers all that kind of thing nonsensical. If you spend some time with the UFO literature, you may eventually run across Jacques Vallee, who has suggested this phenomenon actually may not have anything to do with extraterrestrial life or “other people’s space ships.” It appears to be another manifestation of something that puts on a different mask with every age. We saw gods in the sky in Classical times, angels and demons later, fairies and elves later still, and the mysterious airships at the turn of the last century.

    The subject is surrounded by ridicule (some of it deserved), but I feel it represents a group of phenomena that the study of which, if taken seriously, could eventually help us understand the nature of reality and our interaction with it.

    I will now get off of my podium.

    Thank you for the use of your floorspace.

  • 2007-12-25 10:12:30 GMT+0000 - 10:12 | Permalink

    Ah, excuse my ignorance — i get the joke now! :-/

    I used to have that night paralysis experience quite regularly. I was a fundamentalist type Christian at the time and believed demons were the cause of it. So I found it interesting when I later found the same experience being described by others in terms of alien visits.

    I think it’s just part of how we are made to imagine little minds and things behind all sorts of things. It kept us wary and alert enough to stay alive in our early evolutionary phase.

    But thanks for dropping by, you’re welcome anytime etc etc 🙂 — it’s nice to have a pleasant exchange as a relief from some religious types who take offence so easily.

  • 2007-12-25 10:45:28 GMT+0000 - 10:45 | Permalink

    Neil —

    You’re very welcome.

    Yes, there is a lot about how we “tick” as physical beings and a lot about our minds we don’t understand. I must concede this.

    As for life “out there,” well, I don’t really believe we are being visited by beings from other worlds. Not that this is impossible. The SETI folk obviously come from a long line of very capable thinkers (such as Frank Drake and Fred Hoyle) and they’re approaching this issue the way that makes the best sense to them. I would not presume to tell them their business.

    All the best,

    Daniel

  • 2008-01-31 04:08:22 GMT+0000 - 04:08 | Permalink

    Sorry about the time in between replies. The Jimmy Stewart comment was due to you saying I had no humor. The reason why I asked if you have been to America, is because you stated you are glad you don’t live there. My insults come as quips. I apologize if they upset you.

    From now on I will post on your site with utter humility, and accept any opinion you have about my God, my country, my heritage with absolute respect and awe.

    But I have to say, that the closed mindedness of someone who says he is pro open-mindedness, is disturbing.

  • 2008-01-31 08:23:30 GMT+0000 - 08:23 | Permalink

    I attempted to indicate a tongue in cheek tone in my original post with comments like . . .

    Many of us here have canceled plans to emigrate to New Zealand or Nepal since our erstwhile reactionary Prime Minister John Howard lost his seat at the recent election.

    and

    It is a statistical fact that “more Australians believe in space aliens than believe in God, despite the fact that more Australians have been to church than have been abducted by UFOs.” (Dale, 100 Things Everyone Needs to Know about Australia.)

    I don’t really expect readers to take seriously my assertion that many Australians really did plan to migrate to Nepal or that even some have been abducted by UFO’s, let alone to read my claim that many Australians believing in “space aliens” as anything more than facetious ambiguity.

    I had presumed those comments would have been enough for any reader to also take my quip about not wanting to live in America with the same flippancy. I can assure you that in real life I would much rather live in Canada or Venezuela or any other American country than in Afghanistan or Iraq 😉

  • 2008-03-16 03:04:11 GMT+0000 - 03:04 | Permalink

    I ahve herd about the big surf on the Australian coast that bull riders and race car drivers are ranting about.
    most of them are collecting s & h green stamps and waiting for superbowl 3 to end.
    Just yesterday i took pictures of alien creatures from outer space who also stated they were very concerned about global warming on the planet Sun which could pose a problem on the Suns artic circle by as early as 12:30 am on Wednesday, May 23, 2009. (please see my photos for more details)

  • Cate
    2008-08-28 09:11:28 GMT+0000 - 09:11 | Permalink

    I’m one of the 18% of Americans. yay! but yeah, i love your post, this is hilarious. Although, to be honest, my friends and i exchange jokes that that australians ARE space aliens… in a cool way though :]

  • 2008-08-28 09:53:35 GMT+0000 - 09:53 | Permalink

    It wouldn’t take much to convince me that quite a few god-believers I know really are alien visitors in our midst. 🙂 Now I think of it, isn’t that what many of them really believe about themselves anyway — that they are sojourners here, really belonging to another realm “out there”, and that one day they will take over and rule this planet full of sinner earthlings?? 😉

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