Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sound Off 01-31-09

Yesterday's question related to the presence of life on other planets. It was left to the reader to consider whether such life would be intelligent or self-aware. Consider now the specific affects that the discovery of intelligent extra-terrestrial life would have on traditional religions. For example, how would the Christian doctrines of the Fall, Original Sin, and the Vicarious Atonement be affected? Likewise, how would the Muslim idea of the ceremonial centrality of Mecca be affected?

Today's question: How would the discovery of intelligent extra terrestrials affect traditional religions?

7 comments:

  1. in case the reader has not figured this out, I am planning to come out of the closet soon. I am an extra-terrestrial descended from a race of humanlike creatures that ascended into a higher state of existence--leaving me and a few others behind.

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  2. Scriptuliciouis... You are who they are refering to in the start of Genisis 6:2 or 6:4 then? One of those references HAS to be to extra0terrestrials.

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  3. the genesis 6 bene elohim ("sons of god") are generally understood as either heavenly beings ("angels") or as the "righteous line of seth." are you proposing an extra-terrestrial etiology?

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  4. Its just the only passage that came to mind when trying to think of passages people use to try to prove extra-terrestrials exist.

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  5. Hey Zee,

    I know that a number of "end-times" enthusiasts have used this passage from Genesis to argue that the interest in UFO's and alien abductions stems from a demonic counterfeit in which Satan is leading his hordes to mimic aliens. Apparently, this will be part of the end-time delusion by which the anti-christ will gain control. Does this make sense to you??

    Anyways, though anyone is welcome to explore such connections, I was more interested in the manners that the discovery of intelligent extra-terrestrials would affect religion on a more fundamental level. Like, did the ET race of an Adam and Eve, do they have a "Bible," a savior, etc? I personally feel that conservative theologies would be extremely challenged by the presence of human-like extra terrestrials especially if their theological-scriptural horizons do not include a "plan of redemption" for them. What do you think?

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  6. Yeah, I know what you are getting at I just have a really hard time with "what if" thinking about the effect of aliens on religion.

    In the world of engineering there are two types of engineers, those that make theorys about engineering on paper and those who jump right in and do it hands on. I approach most things in life with the hands on approach even religion. Putting time into thinking about the effects of aliens on religion would be on the same level as talking about the possiblities of quantum displacement technology. Granted both have made for some entertaining books and movies but I don't take those serious either.

    Thats why your suggestion to being an alien caught my attention and I make a joke refering to that.

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  7. Well, I think that just finding bacteria on Mars ought to shake up things, but the religious community will probably dismiss the implications of such a discovery. But, I think that if intelligent alien life were found (or they found us), religion would simply adapt. Most faiths don't stick very closely to their religious texts anyhow. They'd make something up to accommodate, IMO.

    However, I do think a lot of people will have to think long and hard about their beliefs. I think more people will go through the motions of their faith, but won't really believe in their hearts like they once did.

    A group of social psychologists infiltrated a UFO cult after predicting how they would respond to failed prophesies from their religion. The findings of the psychologists lead me to believe that many people would still hold on to their religious faith -- even if it's only loosely.

    I also personally think the findings of their study show us why Christianity survived it's earliest years rather than simply fizzling out.

    So, aliens should make a big impact. But, I wager that they won't.

    Unless they meet us like in Independence Day!

    :-D

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