Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Christian must Believe #6

in things like the transfiguration or a man running faster than a chariot but dismiss evidence regarding alien abduction. Why don’t Christians unanimously believe in alien abduction when: there is ample eye witness testimony; there are plenty of books written to affirm these experiences; and there are even pictures of these UFOs? Eye witness testimony is trumpeted by apologists as an excellent way to gage the authenticity of scriptures. In the case of alien abductees, the sketches of the aliens are often very similar and the experiences of the abductees have many of the same features. So, we have collaborating eye witness testimony, books which support the experiences as being veracious, and pictures, which the Bible lacks, to actually show the vessels that these aliens travel upon. Many of the abductees give the same anthropomorphic attributes to these aliens. They are generally shaped much like a human but with larger eyes, stretched out fingers and long, anemic appearing limbs.

Of course, science has taught us that we can cause all sorts of interesting phenomena to occur by manipulating various regions of the brain. We can simulate experiences of abduction, demonic possession and spiritual encounters—not unlike the experiences that Schizophrenics frequently have. Psychologists will tell you there are several more parsimonious explanations for what the one abducted by aliens is experiencing: a sleep-related hallucination, a misinterpretation of a shadow or faulty memory—just to name a few. When confronted with alternate explanations, the Christian and recently abducted will rely on an endless array of ad hoc rationalizations to ward off any doubts when a thorough examination of their claims is given by a critical thinker.

A group of people believing in the same thing proves nothing. One thousand people seeing the Virgin Mary in the window of a building proves nothing. Perfectly sane and intelligent individuals can believe their distortions and delusions with very convincing enthusiasm. Jesus appearing to the disciples, even with the contradictions in the number of disciples not considered, shortly after resurrecting proves nothing either.


  1. Any chance you've been reading Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark? It is one of my all-time favorite books and tackles alien abduction claims with intelligence and class.

    I'm still a "Christian," but more modernist than anyone I've ever met and definitely heterodox. Also still "in the closet" to some degree. I see that as a problem and am still trying to figure out the best way to handle it.

  2. Hi Dean, no I haven't read that book. I was mainly inspired by my psychology background, the first thoughts that came to my mind that morning and a recent article in Skeptical Inquirer by a clinical psychologist. I tend to think that the evidence for aliens has just as much merit as the events in the Bible, perhaps, even more convincing than the Bible. People are believing in alien abductions in a scientifically enlightened age; this says a lot about how easily one could be duped in a prescientific time.