Life On Other Planets: The Question

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Life On Other Planets: The Question

Postby 21BRAVO » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:19 pm

I just finished watching "Aliens of the Deep" which is another one of Cameron's adventures in a submarine. Toward the end of the film (I watched the extended version) there was a lot of discussion about life on other planets. So, what if we actually got to other planets and found intelligent life? I'm sure one of the questions would be, "Do you believe in God?" I wonder what their answer would be. More importantly, I wonder if we would try to convert them to one of our religions. Does the Bible make any concessions as far as life on other planets? I know it says that God created the heavens (so probably other planets with life are included in that). What if they had never heard of any of our gods or actually had never contemplated the existence of any god at all? Would that change anyone's perspective? Just wondering what the thoughts are on this.
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Postby Dr. Mobius » Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:39 pm

What if an alien species discovered Earth and wanted to convert us to their religion?
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Postby Violet » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:36 pm

Perhaps we would find the aliens that the Flying Spaghetti Monster made in his image.
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Postby suminonA » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:39 am

What if the aliens were the deity in the Bible?

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Postby Dr. Mobius » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:02 pm

What if we were the deity in the aliens' bible?
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Postby BonitoDeMadrid » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:08 pm

What if the aliens could not understand our attempts to communicate with them, and it would take weeks, even months, before they understood even one of our words in one of our languages?

What if the aliens would not want to communicate with us?

What if the aliens could not want to communicate with us?

Sorry for being off-topic, but if any of these scenarios would've been true, then there would be no room for talks of God and deitys and such. (BTW, all hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!)
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Postby suminonA » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:22 am

What if we were the deity in the aliens' bible?
Do you remember us (as a race) having created some alien race? :shock:


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Postby Dr. Mobius » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:00 am

I don't recall creation being a prerequisite of divinity.

Mmm, divinity. Now I'm hungry.
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Postby suminonA » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:18 am

I don't recall creation being a prerequisite of divinity.
Ok, ask the religious folks.

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Postby Dr. Mobius » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:40 am

I believe the religious folks would agree with me on this point. The Judeo-Christian god was already a god before he created us. And in polytheism (which tends to get ignored around here for whatever reason) not all of the gods in the pantheon necessarily have a hand in creating their subjects.

So to make my earlier post a little more clear: the power to create may be a prereq, but using that power is not.
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Postby suminonA » Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:11 am

Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of “deities” that didn’t create us (see the IPU). But in order to get into the “Bible”, there must be some “creation” act, don’t you agree?

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Postby Dr. Mobius » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:10 pm

Short answer: No.

Long answer: My brain is fried at the moment, it'll have to wait.
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Postby Rei » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:06 pm

Go with Doc. Divinity is not dependent upon being a or the creator, nor is holy scripture restricted to telling tales pertaining to creator beings.

If you want them to have us as their gods (O how I pity them), they obviously do not believe in the Christian scriptures and therefore it doesn't matter if you call their holy book or books the Bible or not.
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Postby suminonA » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:47 am

Noted, Rei. As it seems, you'd prefer having the aliens believe in the Christian deity (and the TRUE Bible).
I for one, think that we can “pose” as divinities for any alien race a lot more inferior technologically than us. We might be “far from perfect”, but we surely can have “good intentions” ;)

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Postby Dr. Mobius » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:18 am

That's quite a leap even by religious standards. Where in that post did he say he wanted the aliens to be Christians?

All I see is: he agrees with me (first time for everything, I guess :P), humans are ill-suited for godhood, and some nitpicking over the name of the hypothetical alien holy texts.
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Postby Rei » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:33 am

Scarily, I think this may be the second time :P

And I was moreso just clarifying because of our discussion elsewhere about what it aliens were the God of the Bible. Aside from obvious reasons for preferring that they believe in the Christian God, that you brought up both requiring a Creator-status and the term "Bible" seemed to suggest that you may have been thinking it underlying.

In any event, creating is not necessary for divinity and I still feel for anyone or anything that sets us up as gods.
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Postby Dr. Mobius » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:08 am

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Postby suminonA » Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:21 am

word.

8)

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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:28 pm

Hey guys! It's been about a year! Anyway:

If life on other planets was indeed discovered there would be three groups when it comes to the religion aspect of the discovery.

1) People who would attempt to convert the aliens
2) People who would not attempt to convert the aliens
3) People who would convert to their religion

I had more planned (indeed, a large paragraph) and I had a brain fart. And this keyboard sucks and makes it hard to type.

Sorry

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Postby suminonA » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:05 pm

Hey guys! It's been about a year!
Welcome back! :)
If life on other planets was indeed discovered there would be three groups when it comes to the religion aspect of the discovery.

1) People who would attempt to convert the aliens
2) People who would not attempt to convert the aliens
3) People who would convert to their religion
Did you mean the three groups to be mutually exclusive and completely covering human population?
Whatever your intention, group 3 would be included in group 2, and if the aliens don't have religion (not even as a concept) then group 3 would be void.

Unless you count atheism as a form of religion. ;)

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Postby BonitoDeMadrid » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:02 am

Hey guys! It's been about a year!
If life on other planets was indeed discovered there would be three groups when it comes to the religion aspect of the discovery.

1) People who would attempt to convert the aliens
2) People who would not attempt to convert the aliens
3) People who would convert to their religion
First of all, welcome back!

Second, what horrible expedition does these 3 groups remind me of? 10 points for those who guess (practically everyone).

However, there could be a 4th group- people who would do nothing, nothing at all: "So we've discovered aliens. Big deal!" and also, like suminonA said, who said the aliens have a religion? They could be not thinking in our terms, our ways- actually, they probably would not be having a "religion", and possibly not a "deity", because those are things we humans "get in touch with" (not saying invented, because there can be a god- I'm not fully atheistic.). Thus, group 3 would probably be void.

And if the aliens wouldn't have religion, who said they could even communicate with us?
Which brings me back to my earlier post:
What if the aliens could not understand our attempts to communicate with them, and it would take weeks, even months, before they understood even one of our words in one of our languages?

What if the aliens would not want to communicate with us?

What if the aliens could not want to communicate with us?
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Postby Slim » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:35 pm

What if we met aliens and couldn't understand each other, but we tried to convert each other anyway... then we killed each other ... and then it turned out we were both Christian to begin with? ...

Wait, haven't I heard this sort of thing before? ... :)

As far as my own beliefs on the original post, I believe that there are aliens on other worlds, but they would be similar to us, as we are all created in God's image. I don't know of any specific concessions the Bible gives, beyond the type of thing you said, but that's part of why I believe that. If God is all-powerful, why would he be the God of only one world?

But there is a specific reference to life on other worlds in the Book of Moses, one of the books I believe in as scripture, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Basically, before God tells Moses the Creation story, He tells him that he has created many worlds, each with an Adam, but He will only tell him of our world.

But, yeah, I do wonder the same things. How will we react to aliens and their religions? How will they? Will they be mystified by our religious diversity or will we by theirs? But, I would imagine that were we able to meet and communicate, religion would be one of the first things discussed. Probably after technology differences, and whither we wanted to blow each other up or not.
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Postby Dr. Mobius » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:11 pm

I didn't know Gene Roddenberry was Mormon.
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Postby Amka » Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:24 pm

You mean Glen A Larson (Battlestar Galactica)?

I'm with Slim. Aliens. Cool.

So let's twist this into some bizarre Mormon speculation. And trust me. This one is out there.

Is Jesus Christ the Savior of everyone or just the people on Earth?

So what if it was every sentient being God created?

So somewhere, aliens are being taught that on a planet somewhere this happened? No, we aren't deity but our planet is the one of promise and prophecy.

So, maybe they're religion pushed them to more exploration. Maybe they were given commandments about contacting us, and that's why SETI hasn't found anything. Everyone is just watching us. They've never seen an apocolypse and are curious about it.

Anyway... so that's my really wierd thought.

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Postby suminonA » Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:20 am

So we are, after all, the centre of the Universe!! :shock:

Every time I here such theories I re-check the explanation.

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Postby Dr. Mobius » Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:17 am

No, I mean Gene Roddenberry. Creator of the show where all the aliens look exactly like us.


SETI hasn't found anything (yet) because they're looking for a needle in a cosmic haystack.

Speaking of which, every little bit helps.
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Postby Amka » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:11 am

Larsen seemed to populate a galaxy (before depopulating it) with humans as well, Mobius. It's a bit of a joke and an embarrassment to some Mormons that he is Mormon.

I know who Roddenberry is. I was probably a Trekkie before you were born, and I remember the first airing of the TNG episode where they actually attempted to explain it. Some kind of genetic seeding. And I participated in the SETI online program the first year it started.

As for you, suminonA, it wasn't a theory. Not even a hypothesis. A what if thought that is only good for a couple of short stories.

You are also taking things too seriously. But it serves I guess. Very comforting to know that the religious people are once again out of their frickin' minds.

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Postby suminonA » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:55 am

As for you, suminonA, it wasn't a theory. Not even a hypothesis. A what if thought that is only good for a couple of short stories.

You are also taking things too seriously. But it serves I guess. Very comforting to know that the religious people are once again out of their frickin' minds.
Well, maybe I took it out of context. (Excuse me for calling a “speculation that is out there” a theory.) I was responding to:
So let's twist this into some bizarre Mormon speculation. And trust me. This one is out there.

Is Jesus Christ the Savior of everyone or just the people on Earth?

So what if it was every sentient being God created?

So somewhere, aliens are being taught that on a planet somewhere this happened? No, we aren't deity but our planet is the one of promise and prophecy.

So, maybe they're religion pushed them to more exploration. Maybe they were given commandments about contacting us, and that's why SETI hasn't found anything. Everyone is just watching us. They've never seen an apocolypse and are curious about it.

Anyway... so that's my really wierd thought.
- - - emphasis added - - -

You say ‘m taking it too seriously. I never said that religious people are out of their minds, frickin' or otherwise.
What I’m saying is that to me, believing in a deity that takes a lot of effort to care about US, on this infinitely small planet at the scale of the Universe, is EGOCENTRICAL. You might not agree with me, but the concept is out there. Trust me.

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Postby Amka » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:29 pm

Interesting. So having a God that loves EVERYONE in the universe is egocentric? Because that one is not a speculation. It's a pretty well established Mormon belief.

The thing is, the step after realizing that God loves you as an individual (supposedly egocentric) is realizing that God loves everyone else just as much. And the further along you get on this path, the more you are able to expand your understanding of how much God loves every individual being.

We are not capable of that kind of love, or even understanding of that many people with their stories, so this is impossible for us to comprehend, so we begin to think it must be egocentric to think that God loves us so deeply and intimately. But this is the part where omnipotent and omniscient comes in. Yes. God loves you that way, and God loves every other creature that way as well.

It might be more accurate to call the speculation of one Savior coming from earth geocentric.

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Postby suminonA » Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:05 pm

So somewhere, aliens are being taught that on a planet somewhere this happened? No, we aren't deity but our planet is the one of promise and prophecy.

So, maybe they're religion pushed them to more exploration. Maybe they were given commandments about contacting us, and that's why SETI hasn't found anything. Everyone is just watching us. They've never seen an apocolypse and are curious about it.
What about this ?

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Postby Slim » Wed Nov 14, 2007 1:00 am

Hmmm.... If it is safe to enter the realms of speculation... Bizarre Mormon speculation at that? ... Sounds dangerous...

I don't believe Jesus is the Savior for only our earth, based on that The Book of Mormon describes Christ's sacrifice as an "Infinite Atonement."

So, I'm going to speculate off that. If I was a person on another planet, what would it be like when Christian missionaries came to us? "Hi. Jesus lives! He died for us! ... See that star over there? There's an even dimmer one next to that. Okay, just a little more south... Okay there's a galaxy right there. No, that one's the one that's going to smash into the one I'm talking about. Okay, in THAT galaxy ..." Somehow, I doubt God would reveal which planet Jesus lived on. Even if He did, would it matter? Not to our salvation. If we knew where to point our telescopes for an inhabited world, would it help at all?

Okay, but lets say they know it wasn't their planet. Wouldn't they be saying "What the Freak?" But then again... I mean, when the missionaries in the Book of Mormon were teaching about where Jesus would live, Jerusalem might as well have been another planet to them. ... Even today, for some 2000 years is a long leap of faith.

[\discussion]

[debate]
Egocentric? Maybe. It's a valid concern. But I don't believe I am the center of the Universe -- I believe God is. Jesus just happened to live as a mortal this planet. Does that exclude Him from visiting the others? I don't think so. If there are Christians on alien worlds, would they be egocentric to say, "Wow! Jesus was born in our very own Galaxy!" Are Christians in Israel Egocentric for believing Jesus came to their country? Name any group, and you can probably find something for them to be egocentric about. Many of us are hypocrites anyway, so yes, those individuals are egocentric. But if someone believes something in humility, is that still egocentric? I don't think it is.
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Postby suminonA » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:39 am

[debate]
[…] But if someone believes something in humility, is that still egocentric? I don't think it is.
I wonder how this concept of “humility” really works. I mean, is it for example believing that YFD loves you (and all the galaxy), but maybe you’re wrong to believe so? (I know I’m exaggerating here, it’s just a dumb example).
I brought up the issue of egocentrism because I think it is the seed of al the “better than thou” attitude some religious people show. You know, the “ my FD is right, while YFD is inexistent” type. “Therefore, I have to convert you whatever the costs, I mean for your own good”.

There are theists that acknowledge the context of the scale of the Universe when they claim that their FD did such and such, here on Earth or in some specific area of Israel. Good for them.

It was just “funny” to hear the speculation that not only an omnipotent deity is OUR saviour, but that all the other planets in the Universe have the same saviour and should look for US because the saviour lived and died on our planet. [missing link to the definition of egocentrism :P]

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Postby Amka » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:11 pm

One other problem with the egocentric vs geocentric is the possibility that if we are the only planet where the Savior was born, what truly sets us apart?

That we were evil enough to kill him in the first place, and this is why God sent him here. To the rest of the universe, we are the Orcs.

You are right about the humility part. Pride is one of the deadly sins, is it not? And I think that every major religion says the same thing.

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Postby Cooper » Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:13 am

I would be the first to agree that we are orces.
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