Re: SETI sci.astro.seti newsgroup created

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 01 Nov 1999 20:26:17 -0600 wrote at 2:40 PM:
> Who cares what the religious think? wrote at 1:32 PM:
> I don't see how you avoid this slippery slope once you assent to the
> view that ETs are among us. Is there anyone here who denies the truth
> of biblical miracles yet maintains that there is a real probability that
> extraterrestrial intelligences are monitoring us right here and now?
> How can you reconcile these views?

Actually, how can I reconcile *your* views is the main question going through my head right now. First you write that we shouldn't believe in ETI because religions could abuse the concept, and then you ask me who cares what the religious think? If we're going to think on that level, then the probability of ETI is totally independent of who abuses the concept.

I have no interest in hypothesizing that miracles are the results of extraterrestrials playing games. This sounds to me either like a theist rationalizing a slide into atheism, or like an atheist who still hasn't emotionally let go of a religious upbringing. A real atheist would tell you that the miracles are simply fictions, and a real theist would tell you that the miracles are the direct intervention of the Creator, who is the unique creator of all reality, and who obeys Damien Broderick's Law ("Gods are distinct from creatures"). And I would tell you that any explanation that tries to compromise between those two extremes will be as flat wrong as a compromise between chemistry and alchemy. Humans compromise. Groups compromise. The truth doesn't care what you think.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way