Aliens prove the existence of God

The idea of the possible existence of aliens has excited many ever since man first set foot on the moon in 1969. However, a less discussed idea is what the implications would be for religious believers. What would it mean for God if we discovered that another species existed somewhere in the universe? For some, this would be a positive discovery, increasing the likelihood that there was a creator or a designer behind the universe. However, for others this would challenge ideas of Christianity such as the speciality of the human race. This is before we even go into the question of whether aliens exist or not…
One idea that makes aliens appealing to religion is that it counters some of the criticisms of the design argument, mainly that of the Epicurean hypothesis. The Epicurean hypothesis states that a finite number of particles (such as those in the universe) within an infinite time frame will take all possible positions. Some of these will be in a state of order (such as the state we are in now) and some of these will be in chaos. This argues against the design argument because it gives a rational explanation of how the world came into being without the help of a free agent. This is a small chance, but cannot be discounted due to probability and the fact that the design argument is based on a posteriori evidence. This, however, is an even bigger possibility if we look at life within the universe. As far as we know, we are the only planet with life on out of the millions within the universe. If we look at this as a percentage, this wold be a very small number – probably the same odds as the Epicurean hypothesis. Therefore, this increases the likelihood of the Epicurean hypothesis and increases the odds of a designer not existing and so decreases the likelihood of God.
This can be viewed as a very damning challenge to the design argument. But what if the life to planets ratio changed? What if there were aliens that could increase the planet-life ratio and therefore decrease the likelihood of the Epicurean hypothesis? This is exactly what aliens do. By organisms existing on other planets then the planet-life ratio would increase, no longer matching the likelihood of the Epicurean hypothesis, and therefore making it more likely that life is the result of a designer or a creator.
Surely from the point of view of the religious believer that this would be a score. However, not necessarily. It is not enough for the existence of God to be proven. It must also be the case that the God of the Bible and the God of philosophers is proven to be correct as well. This is because God must be proven to be worthy of worship, otherwise there is little point. When it comes to this point, like many design arguments, the idea is weak.
For example, it calls into question the speciality of humans and the statements within Genesis. Within the Genesis story, God calls all other things which he creates “good.” However, when it comes to the creation of humans, we are described “very good”. Along with the fact God created humans in his image, this is viewed often as humans getting a special status in the eyes of God, resulting in the special relationship we have with him. However, the existence of aliens would challenge this idea because it calls in to question our specialness. Would the existence of another species undermine this special bond we have with God, and if we looked different from the organisms we encounter, who would be the ones made in God’s image, us or the aliens? As a result, to accept the argument above may call for religious believers to deny some of their beliefs about God. Would it be worth it? For most, probably not.
Then there is also a question of the fact we have found no aliens. One of the assumptions above is that we will find aliens one day. But what if we don’t? Is it possible for the argument above to be flipped around to prove that God doesn’t exist? Luckily, there is a saving grace (pun intended) for the religious believers, due to the vague probability of the Epicurean hypothesis. There is no set number for the Epicurean hypothesis, only probability due to the vast numbers of particles within the universe. Therefore, it could equally be argued that the fact we have found no aliens also could be used to prove the existence of God. This would be because the life-planet ratio would be far below the probability of the Epicurean hypothesis, and therefore can be interpreted as God purposefully creating us as his special people. 
This argument is appealing as this God falls in line with the God of the Bible and the God of philosophers, providing no clashes of evidence and belief. However, as a result of this, we have gone back to the very issue we have tried to side step in the first place. Because the planet-life ratio being lower than the probability of the Epicurean hypothesis it can still be viewed as a possibility of how life came about, which supports the atheist’s argument of a designer not existing.

So could aliens be used to prove the existence of God? The answer is unclear. If there is some way to overcome the issues of the clashes between religion and evidence then possibly yes. However, this is not necessarily an ideal solution. It also depends on your belief in the Epicurean hypothesis and what the probability of it being true is in your eyes.

Can you cry under water?

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This is an age old question that has humoured the minds of all ages while visiting the swimming pool. However, before you say the instinctive answer of “yes”, let’s think for the moment…
The reason that this instinctive answer is rejected is due to observations. Empiricists (such as Hume and Locke) believe that all of our knowledge comes from sense impressions and our experience of the world. Hume would go as far as to say that we can’t have concepts of anything which we cannot trace back to experience (such as God and the concept of identity). This is relevant to the question as we cannot see the tears we cry under water. Therefore, according to empiricism there would be no evidence of you crying and so you can have no concept of crying under water. Therefore, from this you would conclude that actually, you cannot be crying under water.
However, some people question whether this is really the conclusion that empiricism comes to because they question the necessity of tears to crying. For some, people find that human emotion is more essential to crying than to the actual physical act. Some people, for instance, make the comment that “they are crying from the inside”. But how would this link to empiricism? Hume believed that we have inner sense impressions, and that our experience of our emotions creates our concept of emotion. Therefore, if crying is actually referring to a mood rather than water leaving your eyes, then you would be able to cry under water by experiencing that emotion.
This would appeal to a lot of people because it matches the instinctive answer that we all lean to. However, it creates more problems than it solves due to how many emotions are linked to crying. Some people cry when they are happy, some cry when they are sad. It is not the emotion that defines whether we are crying or not, it is purely the tears leaving our eyes. This makes the argument yet again susceptible to the original criticism of the empiricist, and so we cannot cry under water.
However, that is only if we look at the empiricistical view on crying. Surely, we would be able to know instinctively that we are crying. That is to say, that crying is an inbuilt emotional response to certain feelings and events that our brain had when we were born. Therefore, we would not need to see the physical tears as we would be able to tell that we are crying innately. Therefore, we would be able to cry under water.
But here is where the question splits into two. The answer above would only say that each of us can prove to ourselves that we can cry under water. Is it possible to ever prove that someone else is crying? Infalliblism would suggest not. This is the belief that knowledge would need to be certain to count as knowledge and for you to know as certain. How does this apply to the question? For you to know you were crying, then you would be aware of your sense impressions and so would know innately that you were crying. You would be certain of this because you can’t be misled about your own sense impressions. Therefore, you would be certain that you were crying.
However, if you were trying to establish that someone else was crying under water then you would always be in doubt as there are alternatives. They could be pretending to cry to make you feel bad. You could be hallucinating! Because of this, you couldn’t possibly know for certain that someone else was crying. Therefore, it would be possible for you to know you can cry under water but impossible to prove anyone else could cry under water. Maybe you have a special talent that no one else has that you can cry under water!
This may be an absurd position to take because you take the stance that, if you can cry under water, everyone else can! This is because you are using an analogy ( a technique used in varies arguments in philosophy, such as the design argument of Paley). This works by comparing two very alike objects and comparing them so they are different in a further unknown way. For instance, when I hit my hand with a hammer I act a certain way because I am in pain. If someone else acts in that way when they hit their hand with a hammer, then they must also be in pain. How does this apply to the argument? If you are human, then you can cry above water, and you know that you can also cry below water due to instinct. If you see someone else who is human, then they must also be able to cry.  If they can cry above water, then they also must be able to cry below water. Therefore, you can prove that other people can cry under water.
You may be thinking “Hurrah, after all of that we have concluded that everyone can cry under water!” Unfortunately, some people cannot conclude this from an analogy (such as Hume with Paley’s watch) because arguments from analogy are weak. For instance, just because we are both human, doesn’t mean we both have tear ducts to produce the tears. Also, maybe the other person doesn’t have the same emotional response as you do, so does not cry at all. Therefore, we cannot conclusively prove from an analogy that other people can cry under water as analogies can be weak.

So, what can we conclude to the answer above? Well, we can probably conclude that we can cry under water due to our instincts and innatism. However, for some people this is all we can conclude as we can never know for sure that someone else is crying. 
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