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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:07 PM

What will happen to Christianity if intelligent life

is found on another planet(s)? Will Christians continue to believe that god sent his only begotten son (just) to earth ? Why of all the inhabited planets did he choose earth? Or will they decide that god actually sent his son to all the inhabited planets? Or something else? I assumed that such a discovery would be the death knell for Christianity, but a Catholic friend thinks not, but doesn't have an answer why.

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Arrow 72 replies Author Time Post
Reply What will happen to Christianity if intelligent life (Original post)
marybourg Jan 2013 OP
NRaleighLiberal Jan 2013 #1
oldhippydude Jan 2013 #2
Speck Tater Jan 2013 #3
tama Jan 2013 #36
Lint Head Jan 2013 #4
msongs Jan 2013 #5
rug Jan 2013 #6
skepticscott Jan 2013 #16
rug Jan 2013 #20
Angry Dragon Jan 2013 #21
rug Jan 2013 #23
Angry Dragon Jan 2013 #24
skepticscott Jan 2013 #31
rug Jan 2013 #41
skepticscott Jan 2013 #47
rug Jan 2013 #48
tama Jan 2013 #37
TlalocW Jan 2013 #7
longship Jan 2013 #9
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #26
tama Jan 2013 #38
hrmjustin Jan 2013 #8
mr blur Jan 2013 #43
hrmjustin Jan 2013 #44
trotsky Jan 2013 #62
hrmjustin Jan 2013 #65
Kalidurga Jan 2013 #53
hrmjustin Jan 2013 #54
veganlush Jan 2013 #10
dimbear Jan 2013 #11
samsingh Jan 2013 #12
Permanut Jan 2013 #13
LineLineReply !
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #15
Enrique Jan 2013 #28
xfundy Jan 2013 #49
MADem Jan 2013 #14
xfundy Jan 2013 #50
Jim__ Jan 2013 #17
tama Jan 2013 #39
Jim__ Jan 2013 #46
tama Jan 2013 #55
Jim__ Jan 2013 #56
tama Jan 2013 #57
Jim__ Jan 2013 #59
tama Jan 2013 #60
Jim__ Jan 2013 #61
tama Jan 2013 #64
Jim__ Jan 2013 #68
tama Jan 2013 #69
Fortinbras Armstrong Jan 2013 #18
skepticscott Jan 2013 #32
Tyrs WolfDaemon Jan 2013 #19
Angry Dragon Jan 2013 #25
cbayer Jan 2013 #22
Kelvin Mace Jan 2013 #27
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #29
Moonwalk Jan 2013 #30
broiles Jan 2013 #33
Thats my opinion Jan 2013 #34
mr blur Jan 2013 #45
tama Jan 2013 #58
Silent3 Jan 2013 #35
jberryhill Jan 2013 #40
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #42
Warpy Jan 2013 #51
cbayer Jan 2013 #63
Rob H. Jan 2013 #66
cbayer Jan 2013 #67
Warpy Jan 2013 #70
cbayer Jan 2013 #71
ZombieHorde Jan 2013 #52
Bay Boy Jan 2013 #72

Response to marybourg (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:13 PM

1. with an est. 100 billion planets just in the Milky Way...and a perhaps 100 billion other galaxies

I think the odds are pretty good that we here on earth just aren't all that!

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:14 PM

2. what about Kolob...n/t

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:14 PM

3. We haven't even found intelligent life on EARTH yet!. nt

 

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:53 PM

36. If we haven't

 

it doesn't prove that it doesn't exist on EARTH. We can be just as likely too dumb to recognize intelligent life.

Except of course Douglas Adams, who tells that dolphins are just the second most intelligent species on Earth, and most intelligent are white lab mice.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:23 PM

4. Because Christians believe God created the Universe.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:24 PM

5. it will declared heathen and burnt at the stake nt

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:50 PM

6. It would have to accept polygenism as opposed to an Adam and Eve.

Pius XII rejected the notion in Humani Generis:

When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is no no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.


Although that was in the context of evolution on earth.

I suspect that, if intelligent extraterestrial life is encountered (which is far from certain given the distances involved), as opposed to some other form of life, it would revisit it as it did with heliocentrism. Note the word "apparent" in the excerpt above.

I don't see a type of Mormonism involving Jesus appearing on other planets would develop.

I doubt it would be a death knell at all. Christianity has been remarkably adept at incorporating new knowledge under the rubric of a divine creation.

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Response to rug (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:56 AM

16. It certainly was not a death knell for Christianity

when non-Christian indigenous peoples were discovered elsewhere on earth. Christianity has been remarkably adept at forcing conversion on such people, and treating them violently if they wouldn't go along. Just ask the Native Americans.

New planets of non-Christians would simply provide enormous new opportunities for "our god is better than your god" proselytizing.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:17 AM

20. Very interesting but that's hardly the point.

Why don't you start a thread on how evil religion is and argue for its quarantine to this planet?

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Response to rug (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:27 AM

21. What is the point??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:44 AM

23. The OP lays it out quite clearly.

Would an encounter with intelligent extraterrestrial life cause the end of Christianity?

Nary a word about the Spanish missions, the Inquisition or the Crusades.

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Response to rug (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:59 AM

24. thank you for answering

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Response to rug (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:56 PM

31. I realize now that the analogy was beyond you

and that you're still in denial about the genocidal and culturally devastating "missionary" work of your beloved Catholic Church. Please feel free to ask if you need it explained further.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:16 PM

41. I realize now that the subject of the OP was beyond you.

I bet if somebody posted about lima beans you would talk about pedophilia and sky daddies.

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Response to rug (Reply #41)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:59 PM

47. The subject of the OP was

what would happen to Christianity if Christians discovered another civilization of intelligent beings that didn't share their beliefs and hadn't heard of their god. Which is exactly what I posted.

You're the only one here not getting it, ruggie. Rounds are over.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #47)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:03 PM

48. Lima beans.



Go!

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:03 PM

37. Good point worth larger context

 

As socio-cultural phenomenon Christianity is of course inseparable from Eurocentric colonialism. So the question is not limited to missionary and imperialistic forms of Christianity, but how would globalized civilization based on model of continuous growth treat other planets and extraterrestial forms of life?

Any better than indigenous peoples and biosphere of Earth?

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:54 PM

7. I think you're forgetting what the first issue we would ask ourselves would be

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:09 AM

9. Ah! The all important sesame seed bun.

Probably tastes like chicken anyway.

However, with a nice sauce, you never know. Maybe I'll open a chain of restaurants. Instead of a sign that says EAT, I could have a sign saying ET.

The franchise rights would be worth millions. But shipping costs would be a bitch. With my luck it would taste like lutefisk and only Norwegians would eat it.


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Response to longship (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:13 PM

26. I'm not Norwegian, and I used to eat lutefisk

while growing up with Norwegian neighbors.

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:14 PM

38. Good one

 

But brought also to mind this story of Strassman's DMT studies:

When I was first going under there were these insect creatures all around
me. They were clearly trying to break through. I was fighting letting go of
who I am or was. The more I fought, the more demonic they became, probing
into my psyche and being. I finally started letting go of parts of myself, as I
could no longer keep so much of me together. As I did, I still clung to the idea
that all was God, and that God was love, and I was giving myself up to God
and God's love because I was certain I was dying. As I accepted my death and
dissolution into Gods love, the insectoids began to feed on my heart, devouring the feelings of love and surrender.
It's not like LSD. Things really closed in around me, in comparison to
the spaciousness that I feel with LSD. There was no feeling of space. Everything was in close. I've never seen anything like that. They were interested
in emotion. As I was holding on to my last thought, that God equals love,
they said, "Even here? Even here?" I said, "Yes, of course." They were still
there but I was making love to them at the same time. They feasted as they
made love to me. I don't know if they were male or female or something
else, but it was extremely alien, though not necessarily unpleasant. The
thought came to me with certainty that they were manipulating my DNA,
changing its structure.
And then it started fading. They didn't want me to go.
Remembering many previous stories, I said, "Yes, they are interested
in us and our feelings. And, no, they don't want us to go."
The sheer intensity was almost unbearable. The forms became increasingly sinister the more I fought. I'm going to need therapy after this—sex with insects!

Still grasping at a psychological explanation for these strange experiences, I tried this: "That's them. Your fears, your limits."
Rex wouldn't bite:
Mmmm. Maybe, I don't know. It was nonverbal communication. "Even
here? Even here?" was not spoken in words. It was an empathic communication, a telepathic communication.
At about 28 minutes, he didn't yet quite seem "back."
"How do you feel now?"
Right now? My body doesn't feel quite my own. There is still something
of the other dimension flowing through it. I feel permeated by something
else.
"How about emotionally?"
Emotionally, emotionally. . . I'm slightly euphoric.
"Glad to be alive?"
He laughed, looking at me in a more focused manner:
Yes! Glad to be alive!
"You may have passed out as they were feeding on you. I wouldn't be
surprised. That would probably make most people faint."
That's right. That's true. Depending on the person, it could throw them
over the edge. Is it self? Is it other? I just don't know. I just don't know
where these things come from.
As was often the case, answering the rating scale helped Rex fill out
some of the gaps in his description. He echoed what many volunteers
stated when they thought about the reality of their encounters with these
otherworld beings:
This question about "being high"—/ don't know. I had my capacities.
I was able to observe quite clearly. I didn't feel stoned or intoxicated; it was
just happening.

http://files.shroomery.org/cms/5220222-(ebook)strassman,rick-dmtthespiritmolecule(2001).pdf

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:08 AM

8. I would not stop believing in Jesus. I believe that there is life on other planets.

I believe God created us through evolution. It stand to reason that in our very large universe there is likely to be life on another planet. If they can reason like us I believe God would reveal himself to those beings as well. Just my humble opinion.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:36 PM

43. Evolution has nothing to do with creation.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #43)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:50 PM

44. In the creation of life it does.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:06 AM

62. No, that is incorrect.

Evolution is how life developed. It has nothing to do with how life originated.

A good site for all kinds of info:
http://talkorigins.org

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Response to trotsky (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:28 PM

65. Ok yes I see your point.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:22 AM

53. Would that be before or after he reveals himself to the humans on this planet?

Because as of now there is no proof that-that has happened yet.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:26 AM

54. It is a matter of faith.

I am a christian so I believe Jesus is my savior. Others believe in other religions that help them to get through this life. Others have no belief at all. I think we all get to heaven in the end. As for Jesus being here or not is a matter of belief for each person. There will never be 100% proof.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:52 AM

10. they'll do what they've always done.

They will make up some more shit.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:11 AM

11. Imagine we run into some obviously superior beings. Clearly we should adopt their beliefs, if

there's going to be any adopting going on. That's how beliefs spread. In a subsidiary position, you act to attract sympathy.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:57 AM

12. that question can be asked about most religions

except Sikhism, which already predicts that there is life on other worlds

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:27 AM

13. The Bible is silent about extraterrestrial life..

but there are hidden clues about the technology from the early days that may have come from "out there". For example, the Apostles apparently knew how to drive; in Acts 5:12 it says the Apostles were all in one Accord.

And earlier, God apparently drove Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden in a Fury.

So where did these cars come from?

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Response to Permanut (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:42 AM

15. !

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Response to Permanut (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:18 PM

28. lmao

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Response to Permanut (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:38 PM

49. And, don't forget:

Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Jerusalem.

An experience many of us can relate to.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:42 AM

14. Well, what about Islam as well?

Perhaps they'll try to establish if Allah or God or Yaweh or what-have-you sent out a crew of prophets to different planets.

When Muhamad showed up to bring the word to Muslims, Christian heads didn't explode. They didn't like it but they adjusted. I mean, clearly, there's a difference of opinion with those two faiths as to who is the "real" prophet, but just because a new guy showed up, the Christians and Jews didn't fold their tents and say "Oh well, our prophets are now 'inoperative' since this new guy started doing his thing...."

Much would depend on the faith system of the intelligent life, assuming we have contact with/communicate with them.

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Response to MADem (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:45 PM

50. It's always been a brand war.

Coke? Pepsi? 7Up means burning in hell.

I heard it described well the other day--since millions of people will burn in hell because they're not Christers, how could that possibly be a product of a loving God?

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:11 AM

17. Do you think intelligent, non-conscious life is possible?

Do you think intelligent, non-conscious life would pose any problems to Christianity? If such life is possible, and we find intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, how can we determine whether or not it is conscious?

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:40 PM

39. By "conscious"

 

do you mean relation of self-reflection, self-awareness?

At least the experiental state of being aware or sentient is not dependent from self-reflection, continuous narrative of internal dialogue, but consciousness thus defined would be dependent and limiting aspect of awareness.

And in that sense the way we determine consciousness is called theory of mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind

In relation to Christianity St Fransiscus of Assis comes now to mind, but he is not necessarily typical and best representative of Christian dogmatics. Which begs the question, what do we mean by Christianity in this context...

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Response to tama (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:21 PM

46. I mean self-aware.

Zombies have no beliefs, so the existence of extraterrestrial zombies would not be a threat to a christian belief system. And, as of right now, we have no way to test for consciousness, so anyone who had a vested interest in no non-terrestrial consciousness could just deny that any intelligent extraterrestrials were conscious.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:45 AM

55. Hmm

 

Isn't eliminative materialism belief system that we are "zombies" and folk psychology based on theory of mind is wrong?

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Response to tama (Reply #55)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:14 AM

56. I believe that is a different issue.

Eliminative materialism is a position with respect to the nature of human intelligence. You can reject that position and still believe that it's possible to have an intelligence that is comparable to human intelligence without any associated consciousness.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #56)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:32 AM

57. Yes

 

But doesn't that apply also to trees, mushrooms, bacteria, etc., and not just "aliens" on some other planet?

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Response to tama (Reply #57)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:15 AM

59. The existence of trees, mushrooms, bacteria has never raised any issues for Christianity.

Most people don't consider them to have an intelligence comparable to human intelligence.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #59)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:34 AM

60. Interesting shift

 

from original general question about consciousness, awareness and self-awareness to (human) intelligence.

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Response to tama (Reply #60)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:57 AM

61. The original question was in the context of the OP.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #61)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:11 PM

64. Back to St Francis, then

 

Maybe this quote has something to do with your question:

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/f/francis_of_assisi.html#b4XphtsfrL9Pw9Ge.99

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Response to tama (Reply #64)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:35 PM

68. I agree with the quote from St Francis that you cite.

However, it doesn't really have anything to do with the point I was trying to make.

My point was that any Christian group whose beliefs would be contradicted by the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life would most likely find objectionable the existence of ensouled beings who were not saved by Christ's crucifiction - intelligence tending to imply ensoulment. However, the real implication would be intelligence -> consciousness -> ensoulment; and if you accept the possibility of intelligent, non-conscious life, then the first implication breaks down, and any dogmatic beliefs are protected.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #68)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:55 PM

69. Ah!

 

I had completely forgotten the old Christian discussions whether women, animals etc. have soul, or is that something that only (white) men have. Which seems to lurk behind that chain of requirements for ensoulment. Modern "panentheistic" theology - which we should recognize at least as part of contemporary Christianity - seems to follow the footsteps of St Francis and move on from theological excuses for white male supremacy as only "truly intelligent" form of life.



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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:04 AM

18. I'm glad no one has mentioned Giordano Bruno

Who was not burnt at the stake for suggesting that there was life on other planets. Yes, he was burnt at the stake for heresy, and he did say it was likely there was life on other planets. However, what got him burnt was his denying the Trinity, denying the divinity of Christ, denying the Virgin Birth, denying the efficacy of the sacraments, and so on. That he was a major pain in the arse did not help his case.

Nicholas of Cusa, some years before Bruno, also taught the possibility of life on other planets. He became a bishop and later a Cardinal, and died in bed.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:57 PM

32. Thanks for the strawman!

You're right on schedule!

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:11 AM

19. The real question is how have the other planets treated Jesus




(I wish I could remember where I found this )

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Response to Tyrs WolfDaemon (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:00 PM

25. very good find

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:37 AM

22. For a really interesting take on this, read The Sparrow and Children of God

by Mary Doris Russell.

They are about the first human trip to an inhabited planet and the crew purposefully includes a significant number of Jesuit priests.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:16 PM

27. They will automatically disbelieve

then roll to see if they make their saving throw against reality.

Like they do with all science.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:20 PM

29. Missionaries will be sent to convert them.

All those souls that never heard of Jesus.

After the new world was discovered, once the Pope decided that the indigenous people were human, they sent missionaries to convert them along with the conquerors.

Finding intelligent life on another world will simply be incorporated into religious thought and they will decide that God intended for these people to be brought into the worship of God.

I suspect there will be some consternation at first, but it will be incorporated into religious thought.

I suspect Islam will be the same, though the math for figuring out where to face Mecca will be a little more challenging.

Neither Hinduism nor Budhims will even blink.

Judaism will not be changed, and I'd bet Reformed Jews will accept any aliens that want to convert. Conservative Jews will be harder to deal with that and Orthodox will not allow it. Ultra-Orthodox would never admit aliens exist, as they would not hear about them in the Yeshiva.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:21 PM

30. Unless we find intelligent life on Mars tomorrow, or under the icy seas of Europa....

...it is all, I fear, a moot point. That extraterrestrial life exists is, if not certain, a pretty good bet. That it may be intelligent--well, we have a ton of intelligent life here on Earth that isn't us (just ask your cat). We can look into the eyes of a whale and know it thinks. So, as it's a good bet that there is extraterrestrial life out among the billions of galaxies, it is also a good bet that there is intelligent life in all shapes and forms. What makes it all a moot point is the billions of light-years it would take to reach such places with such life. Like us or otherwise. I doubt Christians or any other religion will ever be tested on this--getting to another planet or something from another planet getting to us is really, really, REALLY hard.

I'm sure, however, that if it were magically possible, if extraterrestrials landed here tomorrow or a worm-hole porthole allowed us to step onto another planet, that most religions would do what they usually do: come up with thousand different answers and arguments for and against accepting these beings. After all, religions have and some still do argue whether women have souls or if people of different races should be treated as humans or not. If any religion is undecided as to whether certain member of our own species has been divinely blessed, then why should any religion be decided that another species has been divinely blessed?

That's always been the usual response, I don't see why it'd be any different for an extraterrestrial.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:42 PM

33. +1

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:26 PM

34. Just one more verse of the same song.

God here is a big, important, powerful person in the sky. In this post God is even a HE. We will struggle with such questions until we get a very different notion of God

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:54 PM

45. Ah Charles, yet another variation on the same old tune. If only everyone saw god as you do, eh?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:59 AM

58. Yaldabaoth etc.

 

The "Fool", "Blind God", etc., both Jehovah and Satan; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demiurge#Yaldabaoth

Powerful symbol which can be seen also as the Trickster.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:44 PM

35. Splinter, of course

No one thing will happen to Christianity or any other religion. Some people will lose faith. Some will double down on it. Some will deal with alien life in friendly ways. Some will be hostile and become pro-human bigots. Some will be conspiratorial and will be certain that there really aren't any aliens, no matter how obvious their existence becomes, that it's all just a government/corporate/some-other-power-group trick.

I'm sure most of the basic new varieties of Christianity that you can imagine would have enough followers to survive in one form or another -- people who believe every intelligent species eventually gets their own Jesus, people who believe Jesus is just for humans, people who believe Jesus only came to humans but that the aliens are supposed to take our word for it and worship the human Jesus, etc.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:05 PM

40. Jesus is unnecessary for any extraterrestrial life without original sin...

...and Jesus, as a human sacrifice for original sin, is insufficient for their salvation if they have contracted sin.

Christianity is irrelevant to extraterrestrial life.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:33 PM

42. Something like this perhaps?

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:50 PM

51. No, they'll just claim the whole thing was faked

like so many of them claim the moon landing was. Or, worse, the Holocaust.

The problem with finding intelligence outside our own planet is that first, we'll have to recognize it as being alive and second, we'll have to figure out how to communicate with it to establish whether or not it's intelligent.

Consider we can't manage to communicate with other species on this planet, where we share a reference point.

We're going to have to evolve a lot before we manage to notice much of anything above the level of bacteria as being alive elsewhere, let alone realize it is intelligent unless it has also developed some sort of technology we can relate to.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:28 AM

63. Wait. Are you seriously associating christians with denial of the moon landing and

the holocaust? Really?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #63)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:37 PM

66. The nutters in the Christian Identity movement

deny both the Holocaust and the moon landing. (Not all of them deny the moon landing; that's a more recent thing.) Fortunately, the movement is significantly weaker than it was in its early days and their numbers are dwindling.

Edited for clarity.

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Response to Rob H. (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:45 PM

67. Oh, the white supremacists.

I consider their white supremacy position more of their identity than their christianity.

And so do they, as they are unaffiliated with any mainline christian denominations and actually condemn all other christians.

They are extremist hate groups.

But hey, what the hell! Let's conflate them with all christians.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #67)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:32 PM

70. They don't consider it so.

Some people out there will continue to deny reality because it fails to fit dogma. Those people are the extremists in any human movement.

Nobody conflated them with all Christians but you.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:54 PM

71. I beg to differ. A general question was asked about how christians would react

and you responded with an answer which applies only to a small sub-group of extremists.

It's a common kind of response in this group, as some apparently can't distinguish between different kinds of religious people.

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Response to marybourg (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:11 AM

52. I believe some or many Christians already believe in intelligent, alien life.

I imagine most of the ones who do not believe will adapt their Christian faith to include intelligent, alien life.

Some would probably loose their faith.

If the aliens were hostile, then many may flock to various faiths out of desperation.

eta: If the aliens were Christians, I imagine many non-Christians would join the faith.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #52)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:34 PM

72. That's an interesting take..

... we discover intelligent life and they say "Cool, you guys believe in Jesus to!".

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