Extraterrestrials and God

redneF
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Extraterrestrials and God

Do you think that if we discovered extraterrestrial life elsewhere in the universe, be it intelligent life, or even microorganisms, that it would deconvert a lot of theists?

How could theists try and grapple with that, with any intellectual honesty?

How would apologists attempt to reconcile this with scripture?

Do you think they could even find something in scripture to support an idea that their 'God' could have created life elsewhere?

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Intellectual honesty?

Why should theists start worrying about intellectual honesty now? It's not like evidence has caused them to rethink their position in the past. 

I am by no means an expert on the bible (in fact, I don't think I've looked at one for more than 20 years), but how have they reconciled other facts that are generally accepted by moderate theists? (I'm talking about those theists who believe that the universe is 14-odd billion years old and who may accept the process of evolution by natural selection, but still believe that a god created the first life form and then let things take their course from there.)

It will be an 'interpretation' or a 'translation issue', or an issue that 'god will reveal when he's ready' or 'pray hard and we'll find out'. The pope may decree that it has been revealed to him that god created little green men in his image, and therefore that's how it happened. 

I just hope I'm around to see it happen! And I'll be interested to see if there are any biblical scholars who can identify a possible verse that could be 'interpreted' in this way. 


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HumanVuvuzela wrote: Why

HumanVuvuzela wrote:
Why should theists start worrying about intellectual honesty now?

What I meant was how they could honestly and objectively grapple with that in their own minds.

I have no expectations that 99% of theists would ever be honest about the level of their doubts.

It's very clear to me, when they navigate conversations, how they're trying to hide their Achilles heel(s), and attempts at shifting the burden in order to overcome their lack of reasoning.

 

HumanVuvuzela wrote:
It's not like evidence has caused them to rethink their position in the past. 

One of the first glaring non sequiturs that ever occurred to me about scripture was the Genesis descriptions of the stars. That should be the first dead give away that these stories were not divinely inspired.

Extraterrestrial life would be 1 evidence that I think would be virtually as good as scientifically proving there is no god, as there is no way that I'm aware that they could explain what 'God' was doing creating life elsewhere in the universe.

In my mind it would immediately put into question the theistic claims that humans are made in the 'image of God'.

HumanVuvuzela wrote:
  And I'll be interested to see if there are any biblical scholars who can identify a possible verse that could be 'interpreted' in this way. 

I don't think it's possible. Even if we only found bacteria on another planet. That's why I think that religion is soon to be completely fucked out of any claims of explanatory power, in very short order.

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Extraterrestrials - what fun.

 

I think the discovery of life on other planets would seriously undermine the beliefs of thinking christians, so I agree with you Red. Of course, many christians aren't thinking so I agree also that many christians would rationalise in favour of their existing confirmation biases. This dismissal would be supported by findings of very basic life, especially if it was local and could be the result of earth contamination as a result of some collision event.

For me the discovery of simple life would be an awesome proof of the things I believe already. That sort of huge and undeniable vindication of so many theories would be profound and beautiful. Meanwhile, finding intelligent life would blow my head completely off. I think for christians to be challenged, it would take intelligent life with a divergent culture and universal views and the chances of this are remote. As a number of us have pointed out over time, distances in the universe are so great it's impossible for us to reach other planets using currently conceivable technology.

Life is a pretty amazing thing but the universe is so large there must be other beings in existence - and some of these surely must be intelligent. I certainly think there's some form of life in our galaxy. I'd love us to find it...

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote: Of

Atheistextremist wrote:
 Of course, many christians aren't thinking so I agree also that many christians would rationalise in favour of their existing confirmation biases.

The problem is, they couldn't do it. According to scripture, the earth was created by God for the purposes of his most valued creations. Humans.

WTF would he be messing around and 'creating' shit on other planets?

The reality is that theists would really be limited to what the most 'scholarly' apologists could come up with. I just don't think it could be done. I'm not aware of anything in scripture that might even come close to explaining why their 'jealous' god was two timing his 'special creations' here on earth, by making 'special creations' elsewhere.

'God' would essentially be 'busted'...lmao.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:
For me the discovery of simple life would be an awesome proof of the things I believe already. That sort of huge and undeniable vindication of so many theories would be profound and beautiful. Meanwhile, finding intelligent life would blow my head completely off.

Totally agree.

Atheistextremist wrote:
I think for christians to be challenged, it would take intelligent life with a divergent culture and universal views and the chances of this are remote. As a number of us have pointed out over time, distances in the universe are so great it's impossible for us to reach other planets using currently conceivable technology.

But, there's no reason to assume that if there was life elsewhere, that they don't have a means to reach 'us'.

Maybe 'they' are already much closer to bridging that gap, than we are.

Atheistextremist wrote:
Life is a pretty amazing thing but the universe is so large there must be other beings in existence - and some of these surely must be intelligent. I certainly think there's some form of life in our galaxy. I'd love us to find it...

I agree, however, I think I have to side with Hawking on this one, and conclude that maybe it's most prudent that we don't try and find life on other planets, as there is no reason to assume that they might not be completely hostile or malevolant towards us.

 

Aside from space exploration, I think the future experiments that will be coming forth from the Large Hadron Collider will be devastating to theism. Particularly among those who are younger, and less deeply 'indoctrinated'. 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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I think Christians could

I think Christians could definitely come up with something to explain extraterrestrial life. I mean, it doesn't have to make sense, lol; a lot (most?) of what they already believe doesn't make sense.

Now, if I google it........

Tada!

http://www.mt.net/~watcher/ufos.html

weird site wrote:
Among these myriads of angels are those who follow their own rebellious plan instead of God's. Those rebel angels -- who appear in many guises, from ghosts to aliens to "Blessed Virgin Mary" or BVM apparitions like Fatima -- are the intelligent non-human beings behind UFOs and the paranormal. *THEY* have a plan, their message is a deceptive one.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:I think

butterbattle wrote:

I think Christians could definitely come up with something to explain extraterrestrial life. I mean, it doesn't have to make sense, lol; a lot (most?) of what they already believe doesn't make sense.

Now, if I google it........

Tada!

http://www.mt.net/~watcher/ufos.html

weird site wrote:
Among these myriads of angels are those who follow their own rebellious plan instead of God's. Those rebel angels -- who appear in many guises, from ghosts to aliens to "Blessed Virgin Mary" or BVM apparitions like Fatima -- are the intelligent non-human beings behind UFOs and the paranormal. *THEY* have a plan, their message is a deceptive one.

 

Does it really say "BVM"?  Sounds like some sort of fancy underwear - "Honey, I'm wearing my BVMs...."  <waggling eyebrows>

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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butterbattle wrote:I think

butterbattle wrote:

I think Christians could definitely come up with something to explain extraterrestrial life. I mean, it doesn't have to make sense, lol; a lot (most?) of what they already believe doesn't make sense.

Now, if I google it........

Tada!

http://www.mt.net/~watcher/ufos.html

weird site wrote:
Among these myriads of angels are those who follow their own rebellious plan instead of God's. Those rebel angels -- who appear in many guises, from ghosts to aliens to "Blessed Virgin Mary" or BVM apparitions like Fatima -- are the intelligent non-human beings behind UFOs and the paranormal. *THEY* have a plan, their message is a deceptive one.

 

Do you think the 'scholars' will want to venture out into that territory? I seriously want to see them try and do it with a straight face.

Does anything in scripture support that the 'angels' were supposed to be 'fruitful and multiply?', and that they had spaceships?

Is only 'unleaded' fuel, kosher for spaceships?...lol

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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And just how does a mere

And just how does a mere mortal 'know' which message from a supernatural being is the 'right' one, and which is 'deceptive'??

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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For sure

 

Alien life would so slot easily into the "we weren't meant to know" basket, same as all the rest of it...no christians are impervious to empirical explanations - except when it comes to abiogenesis and 'intermediate forms', of course.

Then they want proof they can see. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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redneF wrote: Aside from

redneF wrote:

 

Aside from space exploration, I think the future experiments that will be coming forth from the Large Hadron Collider will be devastating to theism. Particularly among those who are younger, and less deeply 'indoctrinated' 

 

It would concern me if intelligent life found us. I couldn't help but think that it would be like the Spanish conquistadors hitting the shores of South America. It seems logical the space aliens would be the invasive species and putting that in a new environment generally wipes of the native population in that they would have little time to evolve survival techniques. I would expect these space aliens would bring with them the equivalents of new diseases, rats, cats, etc. From what I understand of history the native Indians were blown away by these new unexpected visitors and I think some thought at first they were prophesied gods. That would surely happen in this scenario being considered here. How To Serve Man.

 

 

Speaking as a former fundie we got some mad skills to make anything fit our world view. Loads of practice in recent years.  Logic is not required only the illusion of logic and should that fail follow WL Craig and quickly throw out a different topic before anyone realizes the other side won. Really, how many strains of "truth" do we have left?

Also as my avatar attests if you use big words we never heard of, you are probably from the devil. After all the only thing we need to know is what is in the Bible. I know about the LHC. However, since I was filling my head with jelly beans all those years ago it is beyond my comprehension of how it would shake theism. Could you dumb it down for me and state which experiments could shake theism's foundation (and I will quickly tell you you are wrong without understanding what your are saying-Agreed )?

 

 

 

 

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Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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redneF wrote:Do you think

redneF wrote:

Do you think that if we discovered extraterrestrial life elsewhere in the universe, be it intelligent life, or even microorganisms, that it would deconvert a lot of theists?

How could theists try and grapple with that, with any intellectual honesty?

How would apologists attempt to reconcile this with scripture?

From what I've discussed, they would consider extraterrestrials not present at the moment and place of original sin, therefore not inherently sinful, therefore not in need of conversion. That would of course bring a lot of problems of it's own. What if these space neighbours would be on average no better off than we are, even though they're not deceived by Satan? Or what if they were, but onlythrough better organized society? (or worse, through renouncing religions)

redneF wrote:
 Do you think they could even find something in scripture to support an idea that their 'God' could have created life elsewhere?

Of course they could. "There are many rooms in my Father's house," Jesus said. Or alternatively, "A doctor visits the sick, not the healthy", explaining why were wre blessed with Jesus' presence and they not. Bible can be interpreted almost in any way people need. At worst, they will reach for Zecharia Sitchin and his interpretation of the Ezechiel chapters. 

 

ex-minister wrote:

It would concern me if intelligent life found us. I couldn't help but think that it would be like the Spanish conquistadors hitting the shores of South America. It seems logical the space aliens would be the invasive species and putting that in a new environment generally wipes of the native population in that they would have little time to evolve survival techniques. I would expect these space aliens would bring with them the equivalents of new diseases, rats, cats, etc. From what I understand of history the native Indians were blown away by these new unexpected visitors and I think some thought at first they were prophesied gods. That would surely happen in this scenario being considered here. How To Serve Man.

I don't think this is a danger and I disagree with Stephen Hawking, who only projects our own fears and vices on alien invaders. A predatory race or civilization would destroy itself much sooner than it would travel into space. Just look at our civilization, ready to crumble. Sentient species are individualistic. If they can not transcend their differences, they will compete up to the point of destruction. Imagine the proverbial crab bucket, in planetary scale.
A space-faring civilization would have to be a prime example of harmlessness, love, good will and peace. Otherwise all these marvelous interstellar space-age technologies would be very soon misused for war and the civilization would destroy itself. 

This has one important implication. A succesful (peaceful) race of space neighbours would be very unlikely to engage in any public contact with us. The sight of conflict, inequality, suffering and destruction on our planet must be extremely repulsive to them. There might also very well be something similar to Star Trek's prime directive, to not influence other races. Here, even a show of levitating vehicles might show scientists that this is possible and inspire them to develop technologies far beyond our level of ethical development, leading to our destruction. 

This is why I think that estabilishing non-competitive global system, like banishment of war and fair distribution of resources is the only way to the future. It will allow us to develop and use technologies that would otherwise destroy us or not get developed at all, including the much-sought free energy in any form. It will also guarantee that any nearby waiting extraterrestrials will be free to show themselves. 

 

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redneF

redneF wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
 Of course, many christians aren't thinking so I agree also that many christians would rationalise in favour of their existing confirmation biases.

The problem is, they couldn't do it. According to scripture, the earth was created by God for the purposes of his most valued creations. Humans.

WTF would he be messing around and 'creating' shit on other planets?

The reality is that theists would really be limited to what the most 'scholarly' apologists could come up with. I just don't think it could be done. I'm not aware of anything in scripture that might even come close to explaining why their 'jealous' god was two timing his 'special creations' here on earth, by making 'special creations' elsewhere.

'God' would essentially be 'busted'...lmao.

 

Well, obviously god is pissed off at us for Adam eating the forbidden fruit so god went to create life on another planet.

 

Another explanation will be that the devil created the other life trying to be better than god. Which will no doubt lead to them saying we need to eradicate the other life and once again the "peaceful" xtians will lead us to war. 

 


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ex-minister wrote:I know

ex-minister wrote:

I know about the LHC. However, since I was filling my head with jelly beans all those years ago it is beyond my comprehension of how it would shake theism. Could you dumb it down for me and state which experiments could shake theism's foundation (and I will quickly tell you you are wrong without understanding what your are saying-Agreed )?

It's been a while since I read about it, and I might get some of it wrong. There's other here on the forum waaaay more up to speed on this stuff, but, I digress...

There's a gap to fully understanding particle physics. The main gap is the Higgs Boson, which many refer to as 'The God Particle', which they theorize is integral to how some particles accumulate mass, while others don't. The current understanding is that there are 12 particles of matter, and 4 forces, but the Higgs is just a 'theory' that makes the maths in the Standard Model of particle physics work.

If the Higgs is not discovered, they have to come up with some new theories.

They would also like to observe how particles react at the extreme temperatures present in the nanoseconds after the Big Bang, and IIRC these extreme temperatures are present during these high speed collisions.

I think the belief is that the Higgs Boson (and a number of other mechanics) only became present after the temperature of the universe dropped to a certain point after the Big Bang, and the 'mechanics' of how all the other elements other than the initial Hydrogen and Helium, were formed.

They are also looking for a number of other things, like Dark Matter and Anti Matter.

 

The other experiment that I heard of went something like this; when they reach full 'power' and are able to collide particles at 99.99999% the speed of light, the particles will be at their maximum mass when they collide. They know what the total amount of energy is between the particles colliding. There is a theory that some of the energy might 'vanish' (sic)after the collision, and that could indicate that they energy transversed (for lack of a better term) from our 'universe' of 3 dimensions+T (time), into some other dimensions that are theorized in String Theory.

It's fun stuff.

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

 

Another explanation will be that the devil created the other life trying to be better than god. Which will no doubt lead to them saying we need to eradicate the other life and once again the "peaceful" xtians will lead us to war. 

 

 

That is exactly what I was thinking. If creationists could come up with the idea that the devil planted dinosaur bones to fool us and that a cabal of atheist scientists invented evolution, then they would probably preach that aliens are of the devil's work.

Although that would indicate that the devil had just as much power to create as god, so it seems like they would be shooting themselves in the foot.

I think that theists who are moderate and the ones on the fence would probably deconvert or at least rethink their position. But I think there will always be a fanatical, lunatic fringe that will refuse to accept the evidence.

I continue to be amazed that people can still deny evolution in this modern day and time.

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harleysportster wrote: That

harleysportster wrote:

That is exactly what I was thinking. If creationists could come up with the idea that the devil planted dinosaur bones to fool us and that a cabal of atheist scientists invented evolution, then they would probably preach that aliens are of the devil's work.

Although that would indicate that the devil had just as much power to create as god, so it seems like they would be shooting themselves in the foot.

And besides that, the devil did not exist until Jewish and Christian fan fiction personified him out of a common hebrew word "satan".  

I wish I knew about this video before I had to listen to one particularly big liar on this year's local Christian festival. 

 

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...

I was watching a pentecostal-evangelistic Christian TV channel called GOD TV a few years ago, and the two hosts were interviewing an evangelist named Chuck Missler.  (You might remember him from the YouTube video called Peanut Butter, The Atheist's Nightmare!)

All three of them believed in aliens.  And Chuck Missler got into detail about verses from the Old Testament confirming it.  I was surprised to hear three pentecostal Christians claiming these things.  He also said that he has friends that are retired from the FBI that confirmed to him that aliens are real.  I was in shock the whole episode.

And the end, the hosts urged the viewers to accept the existence of aliens, and stressed how important it is that today's Christians believe.  They think that Satan wants to deceive the unsaved with an alternative explanation for the rapture.

 

 

 


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I remember hearing about a

I remember hearing about a scifi book a while back that had a premise kind of like this. Humanity makes contact with another race, atheistic and very peaceful, they even offer us tech and want to help us advance. Part of the idea seems to be that they're being influenced by the devil to make humans go astray which leads to some really weird questions. I never found the book but was curious since it sounded like it might be good for a laugh if nothing else.


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Philosophicus wrote:I was

Philosophicus wrote:

I was watching a pentecostal-evangelistic Christian TV channel called GOD TV a few years ago, and the two hosts were interviewing an evangelist named Chuck Missler.  (You might remember him from the YouTube video called Peanut Butter, The Atheist's Nightmare!)

 

The fact that this is the level of 'science' these clowns are presenting to theists, is proof positive of the average level of intelligence of 'believers'.

Philosophicus wrote:

All three of them believed in aliens.  And Chuck Missler got into detail about verses from the Old Testament confirming it.  I was surprised to hear three pentecostal Christians claiming these things.  He also said that he has friends that are retired from the FBI that confirmed to him that aliens are real.  I was in shock the whole episode.

And the end, the hosts urged the viewers to accept the existence of aliens, and stressed how important it is that today's Christians believe.  They think that Satan wants to deceive the unsaved with an alternative explanation for the rapture.

 

 

 

That's funny. It must be something in the water...

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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In one word:

Raelian.

Secondly, as just showed in this thread I don't think there would be the slightest problem to reinterpret the bible to suit this new event. Probably a lot of theologists would take it as 'fun', like in 'masturbation'.

Anyway, it's not news that aminoacids are present in the universe outside this planet...


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I was recently told by a

I was recently told by a certain 12 year old that aliens do not exist on other planets.

Most theists do not think there is even a chance that there is life elsewhere and they don't care to look so if we did find solid evidence for "aliens" it would really put a hole in their bucket.

I myself firmly believe there is life out there and probably lots of it. The sad news is that the odds of us running across it is slim to none. Star Trek is not happening anytime soon if ever. /looks towards atlantis

Yea I can see missionaries flying to some other planet with bibles in hand to convert. Wouldn't that be a lovely first impression.

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burden of proof

Xtians would probably say the burden of proof is on us to show them where the Bible says,  "life doesn't exist on other planets."  Smiling

 

 

 

You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. - Carl Sagan

Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion. - School Superintendent on "The Simpsons" episode #1


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faithnomore wrote:Xtians

faithnomore wrote:

Xtians would probably say the burden of proof is on us to show them where the Bible says,  "life doesn't exist on other planets."  Smiling

Argument from omission.

Jesus never said he was 'on tour' throughout the universe, nor did the supposed son of God ever mention anything about life elsewhere in the universe.

It's also implicit in the bible that God was angry about his creations on earth. It's not like he flooded anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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redneF wrote:faithnomore

redneF wrote:

faithnomore wrote:

Xtians would probably say the burden of proof is on us to show them where the Bible says,  "life doesn't exist on other planets."  Smiling

Argument from omission.

Jesus never said he was 'on tour' throughout the universe, nor did the supposed son of God ever mention anything about life elsewhere in the universe.

It's also implicit in the bible that God was angry about his creations on earth. It's not like he flooded anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

I thought we were the special ones at the center of the universe and the sun and everything rotates around us. Neat.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin