nglreturns.myfreeforum.org Forum Index nglreturns.myfreeforum.org
Nglreturns is a forum to discuss religion, philosophy, ethics etc...

NGLReturns Daily Quiz - Play here!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   Join! (free) Join! (free)
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Could religion survive contact with aliens?
Page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    nglreturns.myfreeforum.org Forum Index -> All faiths and none
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Please Register and Login to this forum to stop seeing this advertising.






Posted:     Post subject:

Back to top
Shaker
Site Admin


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 8694



PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:08 pm    Post subject: Could religion survive contact with aliens?  Reply with quote

Quote:
Buddhism and other nontheistic forms of spirituality might emerge relatively unscathed from a close encounter with extraterrestrial life. But most forms of Christianity (like Judaism and Islam) would be profoundly shaken by the definitive demonstration that life — let alone intelligent life — exists elsewhere in the universe.

Consider the theological implications of discovering even the most primitive form of microscopic unicellular life on another world (perhaps in the polar ice caps on Mars, or in a subsurface ocean of water on Jupiter's moon Europa). Such a discovery would seem to vindicate the evolutionary hypothesis that life can and does emerge from (seeming) nothingness all on its own, without divine intervention of any kind. And that would raise the possibility — perhaps a greater possibility than ever before in the minds of believers — that precisely the same thing could have happened on Earth.

... theological adaptation to the discovery of simple extraterrestrial life is one thing. Adapting to the discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would be something else entirely — and I seriously doubt that most of the world's great theistic faiths could succeed in pulling it off, at least short of a truly radical shift in orientation.

I don't think religious believers will ever have to cope with an extraterrestrially inspired theological crisis — because contact with intelligent life from elsewhere in the universe is exceedingly unlikely. But we shouldn't kid ourselves about the challenges that such contact would pose, if it were to happen, to the world's religious traditions.

I, for one, can think of no scenario more likely to turn us into a planet populated by convinced atheists — or devout Mormons.


(Link).
_________________
There’s no reason to be agnostic about ideas that are dramatically incompatible with everything we know about modern science. - Sean M. Carroll
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cyberman
Senior Community Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 3750


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I reading this wrong, or is this just yet another ignoramus who thinks that religious people can't cope with the idea of evolution?

There is plenty of evidence for evolution on this planet - which is why most Christians (I can't speak for other faiths) believe in evolution. I am not sure why this writer thinks that finding some more evidence somewhere else would make any difference.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shaker
Site Admin


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 8694



PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
Am I reading this wrong, or is this just yet another ignoramus who thinks that religious people can't cope with the idea of evolution?

Yes, as I see it you are reading it wrong - he's not referring to evolution (though needless to say, scads of religious people do indeed have an insuperable problem with evolution) but with the anthropocentrism, the human exceptionalism that goes hand in hand with most forms of religious adherence bar the most wispy and rarefied. When you strip away the verbiage most theistic belief hinges upon an interested personal/personalistic deity who just happens ( ) to have made humanity its special favoured creation. You can tell because this is the sole and single species of creature on the planet endlessly bowing, scraping, kneeling, praising, and petitioning this supposed entity.

The unambiguous discovery of life elsewhere in the cosmos - life in general but especially life with some form of intelligence - would, as the man says, rock this because it would demonstrate conclusively what is now already strongly suspected: that life even as we know it is incredibly hardy and tenacious, quite likely relatively easy to get going and incredibly diverse once it's underway. The discovery even of the simplest kind of life somewhere else could be and would be studied: it would be a further nail in the coffin of the belief that life needs some sort of woo element, some sort of divine nudge, to get it going. Hence his comment: "Such a discovery would seem to vindicate the evolutionary hypothesis that life can and does emerge from (seeming) nothingness all on its own, without divine intervention of any kind. And that would raise the possibility — perhaps a greater possibility than ever before in the minds of believers — that precisely the same thing could have happened on Earth."
_________________
There’s no reason to be agnostic about ideas that are dramatically incompatible with everything we know about modern science. - Sean M. Carroll
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cyberman
Senior Community Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 3750


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaker wrote:

Yes, as I see it you are reading it wrong - he's not referring to evolution "


Yes he is!

 
Quote:
 

Consider the theological implications of discovering even the most primitive form of microscopic unicellular life on another world (perhaps in the polar ice caps on Mars, or in a subsurface ocean of water on Jupiter's moon Europa). Such a discovery would seem to vindicate the evolutionary hypothesis that life can and does emerge from (seeming) nothingness all on its own, without divine intervention of any kind. And that would raise the possibility — perhaps a greater possibility than ever before in the minds of believers — that precisely the same thing could have happened on Earth.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cyberman
Senior Community Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 3750


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaker wrote:
anthropocentrism, the human exceptionalism that goes hand in hand with most forms of religious adherence bar the most wispy and rarefied.  


First of all, in what you have quoted there is no hint of a reference to anthropocentrism.

Secondly, though, I did enjoy this creative use of the "no true scotsman" fallacy. "All theists make this error, because I hereby declare that the ones who don't make this error aren't proper theists - they are just wispy ones!!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cyberman
Senior Community Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 3750


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that the greater article itself does indeed deal with anthropocentrism. It also seems to hang upon the idea that Christians believe that God has nostrils.

He is an odd chap, that writer!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shaker
Site Admin


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 8694



PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
I see that the greater article itself does indeed deal with anthropocentrism.

... which is a sterling advertisement for reading the entire article for onself rather than pinning a response on the few sentences that I thought were the most salient points.

Quote:
It also seems to hang upon the idea that Christians believe that God has nostrils.

He is an odd chap, that writer!

Is that what the author of the article actually says?
_________________
There’s no reason to be agnostic about ideas that are dramatically incompatible with everything we know about modern science. - Sean M. Carroll
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cyberman
Senior Community Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 3750


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
It also seems to hang upon the idea that Christians believe that God has nostrils.

He is an odd chap, that writer!

Is that what the author of the article actually says?


Well, he certainly seems to be under the impression that Christians believe that God bears a literal physical resemblance to human bodies, and he specifies nostrils as part of his list of features in this context.

Do you think he doesn't believe that Christians believe that? If he didn't, what is the significance of his reference to nostrils?

Quote:
If the aliens have symmetrical body structures — two legs, two arms, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils — then it may be plausible to assume that they were created in the image and likeness of the same God as we were.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gone
Well Known Chatterbox...


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 6411


Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deleted

Last edited by gone on Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:44 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cyberman
Senior Community Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 3750


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Floo wrote:
It would appear some Christians think the deity looks like a human male!


Would it? I don't know any adult Christian who believes that.

Are you getting confused by the fact that he is sometimes depicted that way in art? Or by the fact that we traditionally use male pronouns when referring to it?

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    nglreturns.myfreeforum.org Forum Index -> All faiths and none All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Card File  Gallery  Forum Archive
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum