Hypothetical: assuming God's existence and aliens' existence

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ThatRedHairedGrrl
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18 Jan 2009, 3:23 pm

I have read Lewis' 'Cosmic Trilogy' as it's sometimes known. I'm not with him on the theology, although they are amazing as fiction.

I suspect the awkwardness of considering this question may be the very reason why I've come across numbers of Christians who absolutely, categorically deny (with no good evidence, and with not even a Bible passage to back them up) that there is any intelligent life on other planets. At least, I think that's the reason. I suppose it might also be a sheer egotism that assumes that we humans are at the absolute center of the universe. Or it might be that a lot of these people like to push the idea that the aliens that people claim to have encountered are actually demonic entities who are just pretending to be friendly; if you subscribe to a theory of that kind, you have to deny the existence of real aliens.

DeaconBlues has a good point. Let's assume that humans develop FTL space travel and find a world with an intelligent species living on it. I would hazard a guess that it wouldn't be long before the Christians of this planet started sending missions. But if they get there and find the aliens already have religious beliefs...what would the missionaries' criteria be for accepting that yes, they really are revelations from God? How closely would they have to resemble the Christian version?


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slowmutant
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18 Jan 2009, 3:33 pm

I don't deny the existence of real aliens, probably because I accept the reality of angels and demons and ghosts. How are supernatural beings any more or less real than extraterrestrial beings? How is their existence any more or less likely?

What if angels are as frightening to behold as demons?

Could an ET be mistaken for a supernatural being?


Questions, questions ... :wink:



v0lume
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18 Jan 2009, 4:07 pm

DeaconBlues wrote:
v0lume wrote:
To the one who made the first post of the thread: ----

Ok if they originated from another planet the only way they would be worshiping the christian god is if they came to earth and got kidnapped by some church in the bible belt.. Common guy, get some brains.

This is not an accurate statement, under the terms of the hypothesis. (Also, I wouldn't call iamnotaparakeet a "common" guy, but that's neither here nor there.)

Even if you are not a believer, assume, for the sake of the argument, that the God of the Christian Bible exists. In order to fit the description, He would have to have been responsible for the creation of all life everywhere, not just here. (Mormons, please hold your murmurs. Yours is, you must admit, a rather unorthodox interpretation of the ancient Scriptures.) Ergo, He would have made the intelligent aliens as well. Is there some reason why He might have chosen not to reveal Himself to them the way he did to us? Are humans really that special? (pause for laughter)

It seems more likely to me that if He's there, and they are too, He would have given them the same information and opportunities He gave us. (And personally, I think I'd be interested in reading the alien equivalent of the Book of Job...)


Actually "common" is slang for "come on". But concerning the actual word "common", I'd say it fits his description well enough. Christian= common.
And yes, it is accurate. Here we go with the arrogence again. "Well, since it's christian aliens must know about it too."
If you want to admit it or not christianity is a Earth based religion (to believe otherwise is a belief without reason), just as I can admit my gods are Earthbound gods. I don't expect the entire universe to know or care about them. THIS IS SOMETHING YOU MUST KNOW: That for during for the longest section of christs existance as a god, it was a forced belief that the Earth was in the center of the universe, and the universe was strictly only what the eye can see from the ground during night time. So in otherwords when they say "all life" the only life they knew about was the life on Earth, they were not talking about beings on other planets. Not to mention if you discovered another galaxy you would be put to death or inprisoned for the rest of your life. What a wonderful loving religion.. *vomit*. I mean, when the creator of telescopes told someone about his creation, he was put into perminant house arrest! So no matter what you do, false ideas about the universe is PART of your religious beliefs.
I'm not going to bring this up again, about exactly where christianity came from and how it got so popular. However you can look it up: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt88413.html
You may find it isn't as humpty-dorie as you thought at first. The deciet and brutal beginnings helped me realize how wrong it is, nevermind the corrupt values it enforces. Thats as far as I'm going here with this.



slowmutant
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18 Jan 2009, 4:16 pm

The word "common" is not slang for anything. Learn proper spelling and grammar if you want to be taken seriously.



v0lume
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18 Jan 2009, 4:31 pm

My English is just fine, thank you. It is English slang, and I put extra emphasis on it. I don't need to be patronized about my knowledge of my own main language, especially by you.



DeaconBlues
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18 Jan 2009, 10:01 pm

V0lume, I have no clue what part of the world has spawned this "English slang" you cite, but I can assure you that in 45 years spent in many locations around the United States, and with contacts in Canada and the UK, the only times I've encountered "common" used in place of "come on" were cases of semi-illiteracy. Your insistence that your mistake was actually what you meant to say is indicative of either ignorance or arrogance. I'd like to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you're merely arrogant.

And reread the title and original post. We are discussing a hypothesis. This does not mean that any of us have to believe that the hypothesis is correct. What it does mean is that when we discuss the hypothesis, we must use its terms - in this case, the idea that the Christian God is real, has created (or caused to be evolved) multiple intelligent life forms, and has revealed Himself to other races besides our own.

This does not mean that we assume aliens must have heard of Christianity in the real world. Quantum physics can lead to discussion of the Multiversal Hypothesis - the idea that since the math doesn't favor any particular outcome in a quantum reaction, therefore all must occur in separate universes. This does not mean that any physicists actually believe in the Multiversal Hypothesis, it just means they like to discuss it.

If this conversation makes you so very uncomfortable, v0lume, perhaps you would be happier reading any number of other threads located around these forums...


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18 Jan 2009, 10:35 pm

I think if we ever come into contact with another sentient species their religious beliefs will be a major issue.

There a several possibilities:

A. Their beliefs will directly contradict our own and thereforth be taken as evidence against God.
B. Their philosophical views will more or less line up with our own, Moderate Christians such as myself will take this as vindication but skeptics will not be significantly swayed.
C. Their religious history will line up with ours exactly, even the dates will line up (so their version of Jesus will have lived roughly 2000 years ago). All Christians will take this as vindication and all but the most extreme of skeptics will be swayed
D. We will meet an alien version of Jesus or other prophet.

Personally I find D the most interesting possibility. What would Jesus be like in a technologically advanced society? Would he actively use mass communication to spread his message (Jesus with a Web blog?) or would he make his speeches, perform his miracles, and allow the media to spread his word form him. How would he react to scientists trying to figure out the nature of his abilities.? Personally I think he would allow them to freely study him because scientific reasoning is their language and he would therefore be preaching to them through their own experiments.


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Kilroy
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18 Jan 2009, 10:42 pm

thats just...dumb



slowmutant
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18 Jan 2009, 10:50 pm

It is pretty out-there, this talk of extraterrestrial religion, but I wouldn't call it "dumb."



Kilroy
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18 Jan 2009, 10:53 pm

humans can't even agree where we came from
and we're trying to figure out what other, much more advanced creatures are beleiving in, and how we can convert them
I imagine if aliens come, and christians try and convert them, they would laugh (if they had out simple emotions) or just ignore us and explain why religion is a stupid superstition, and show us they're right



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18 Jan 2009, 10:55 pm

How would they do that?



Kilroy
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18 Jan 2009, 10:57 pm

Well I don't know because I am just a simple human, and never met these aliens
but I mean there are just stupid beleifs humans have-creationism-come on, one cannot even try and rationally explain that one!



slowmutant
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18 Jan 2009, 11:16 pm

I can't change what I believe just to make it more appealing to you. I'm certainly not asking you to share my beliefs, so settle down. No need to fret or wring your hands.

For what it's worth, a person is judged more by his actions than by his beliefs, more by his deeds than his words. I can demonstrate my faith, live it out instead of just talking about it. If my actions communicate my nature, who I am as a person, then I won't have to talk at all.

How about you?



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19 Jan 2009, 2:21 am

Again, Kilroy, we're not saying, "Aliens are all Christians."

We're saying, "What if aliens were all worshipers of the Abrahamic God?"

Do you have any speculation on the point? What if they did have their Jesus currently? Would He be on one of their ships?

Might the aliens have a governmental form that disapproved of His message, and had imprisoned Him (much like the Sanhedrin under the Romans)? If so, what would we do? What should we do?


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ThatRedHairedGrrl
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19 Jan 2009, 6:41 am

DeaconBlues wrote:
Might the aliens have a governmental form that disapproved of His message, and had imprisoned Him (much like the Sanhedrin under the Romans)? If so, what would we do? What should we do?


See, that's another question. One of the questions posed by the plot of Perelandra is: if you were around at the time of the Fall, on another world, would you have a duty to step in and try and stop it from happening? The answer presumably would be yes, if you believe that our own world has been through such a Fall and that the consequences were terrible.

However, the converse also applies. If you were on an alien world and their 'Christ' was about to be put to death, and if you believe that the death of our own Christ saved the world from the consequences of the Fall...surely you would have a duty to make sure it did happen. Yet if you could have rescued him and didn't, you'd be knowingly responsible for the death of an innocent man (well, OK, an innocent....being). My guess is that most humans are so bad at intervening when a person in another society is being unjustly put to death (or mistreated in any way - 'We can't interfere, it's their culture!') that they'd let it happen.

(I'd quite like to have seen what Lewis would have done with that idea, but from something one of his characters says in Perelandra, it appears that he didn't think the redemption of another planet would necessarily even involve another incarnation, so it's a moot point. Possibly some SF writer has even dealt with this already, but I'm not widely read enough to know. I can only think of Garry Kilworth's 'Let's Go To Golgotha', but that's not really the same issue.)


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