“The pressing need of the age is a system of religion that can recognize, at the same time, the truths of demonstrated science and the doctrines found in the pages of sacred writ, and can show that perfect harmony exists between the works and words of the Creator; a religion that will reach both the head and the heart–that is, will both the intellect and the conscience… Nothing short of this can satisfy the demands of this age of independent investigation and research, when men are not satisfied to take, unquestioned, the opinions of uninspired, self-constituted ministers or priests.”(Millennial Star December 1, 1898 – “Science and Religion”)
…science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
(Albert Einstein from “Science and Religion” in The Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion © Jewish Theological Seminary, 1941)
Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.
…see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength…
(Doctrine and Covenants 4:2)
Zeal is the engine that drives the whole vehicle: without it we would get nowhere. But without clutch, throttle, brakes, and steering wheel, our mighty engine becomes an instrument of destruction, and the more powerful the motor, the more disastrous the inevitable crack-up if the proper knowledge is lacking.
(Hugh Nibley “Zeal Without Knowledge“)
…emotional interpretations of [anomalous events] grant them significance regardless of their causal account. And if we are to take seriously the scientific credo to keep an open mind and remain agnostic when the evidence is indecisive or the riddle unsolved, we should not shut the doors of perception when they may be opened to us to marvel in the mysterious.
(Michael Shermer from “Anomalous Events That Can Shake One’s Skepticism to the Core” in Scientific American)
Why I believe: Mind
- I trust that life can manage not to destroy itself by virtue of compassionate moods as it develops dangerous technologies that enables it to become superintelligent/powerful. In other words: our destructive powers seem to always outstrip our defensive powers, yet we’ve managed not to destroy ourselves (see my “Heart” section below).
- I see a continuous pattern of the desire to create, explore, connect with others, or simulate worlds, universes, and spaces by intelligent life similar to its own (see Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument).
- The universe(s) seem to have been around far longer than would be necessary for a prior species to attain #2 (see cosmology and Kardashev Scales — esp. class IV or V).
- Therefore, I trust that it’s quite probable that our existence has been affected and/or created (however you want to define that–terraformed, bioformed, cosmoformed, simulated, etc.) by other super-intelligent beings far more compassionate and powerful than us.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Any sufficiently compassionate society with this technology is indistinguishable from benevolent gods.
Ellie: If the Nazis had taken over the world, our world, and then developed interstellar spaceflight, wouldn’t you have stepped in?
The Alien: You’d be surprised how rarely something like that happens. In the long run, the aggressive civilizations destroy themselves, almost always. It’s their nature. They cant help it. In such a case, our job would be to leave them alone. To make sure that no one bothers them. To let them work out their destiny.
… [since] in all the Galaxy, they had found nothing more precious than Mind, they encouraged its dawning everywhere. They became farmers in the fields of stars
Whether we ever get to know them or not, there are very probably alien civilizations that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine … As Arthur C Clarke put it, in his Third Law: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ … The aliens of our SETI signal would be to us like gods … In what sense, then, would the most advanced SETI aliens not be gods? In what sense would they be superhuman but not supernatural? … They probably owe their existence to a (perhaps unfamiliar) version of Darwinian evolution …
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: ‘For Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither care nor know.’ DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.
Why I Believe: Heart
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.