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The Theological Implications of Finding Alien Extra-Terrestial Life

I have already addressed this in several places- here, and here- so I won’t dwell on things much.  Instead, I want to reflect on an article I just read regarding the Vatican participating in an astrobiology conference to discuss the question.

In my previous posts, I argued that if aliens appeared, they might fly in the face of current expectations that are drenched in an evolutionary (and atheistic) outlook.  Namely, we may find that these intelligent agents believe in God.  They may not, as Richard Dawkins smugly posits, inquire first as to whether not humans have ‘discovered’ evolution.   Let us allow that it is a possibility… but they may also possibly have a concept of God and creation that is identical, in theological principle, to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.  Naturally, they may have a belief system identical to other systems.

My point is that they may deviate a great deal from the common narrative of aliens either being hostile consumers of resources or super-intelligent, highly technological and benevolent agents that have transcended petty human foibles and myths.  In this narrative, both sides assume not just evolution but atheistic presuppositions.

The article I was referring to comes close to my perspective here, with the Roman Catholic Church representative saying that these creatures would still be part of creation.   Then it goes on to say,

Still, there are divisions on the issues within the Catholic Church and within other religions, with some favoring creationism or intelligent design that could make it difficult to accept the concept of alien life.

Nonsense.  Creationists and IDers would only have a problem if this alien life comes bearing an atheistic message.   But why should we assume they will, especially if it is assumed for the sake of discussion that there is a God as the Bible describes, as this Catholic representative clearly does?

Many folks take it for granted that alien visitors will come bearing a message or worldview that contradicts or challenges human religion, and Christianity in particular.  As we have no firm evidence (that I am aware of) of any such encounters, it is unreasonable to assume anything.  Rather, let us admit that the expectation one way or another is an inference, based on the assumption that our viewpoint is correct.

I refuse to concede even an inch to the likes of Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan and others who have commented on these affairs and while not surprised, I’m disappointed that this Catholic representative would not only concede the inch, but give a foot.

I will forgo discussion about the accusation of ‘privileged’ feelings humans and Christians allegedly have.  From a Christian viewpoint, if one sticks to the Scriptures, anyway, it is a pretty back handed ‘privilege’ indeed to talk about God’s ‘special relationship’ with us, being, as we are, not specially blessed, but rather specially rebellious.  But that is for another day.

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3 Responses to The Theological Implications of Finding Alien Extra-Terrestial Life

  1. Armstrong wrote: “Let us allow that it is a possibility… but they may also possibly have a concept of God and creation that is identical, [...] , to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.”

    It is absurd to think that they possibly “have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.” In fact, it is absurd that there are HUMANS who “have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.”

    In order for aliens to have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures, they would have to ‘believe’ that the entire universe consisted ONLY of their own dinky little planet (NOT EVEN BEING AWARE that it IS a planet) covered by a SOLID crystalline sky… and ‘Heaven’ an actual place ON THE OTHER SIDE of the sky, where a ‘god’ sat, looking down upon them. In other words, they would have to be as ignorant as the ignorant gaggle of Bronze age fishermen and peripatetic, militant, marauding, murdering, genocidal goat-herders from which YOUR beliefs and world-view directly depend. If such aliens exist… sorry… we will NEVER MEET THEM, because they would be too toxically, droolingly stupid to be capable of space travel.

  2. “It is absurd to think that they possibly “have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.””

    So say you. If they were unfallen, for example, the problem may not be as intractable as you suppose.

    “In fact, it is absurd that there are HUMANS who “have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.””

    Humans, of course, being fallen.

    “they would have to ‘believe’ that the entire universe consisted ONLY of their own dinky little planet”

    No, not really. This is standard, typical atheistic mumbo-jumbo, like the rest of your post. You have as bad a case of chronological snobbery as I’ve ever seen. Actually, I just recently reflected briefly on that attitude in this post, here: http://sntjohnny.com/front/some-more-thoughts-on-abcs-visitors/700.html

    I thank you for so well fitting the description of the smug, Dawkinian modernist time-snob. I sometimes get accused of describing atheists in less than flattering ways and it is folks like you who come along to validate those descriptions.

    Now, I concede that it is possible that aliens may exist and also that we may never meet them, but not because they are too ‘toxically, droolingly stupid’ but because we are, and they, possibly being unfallen and reflecting a Biblical worldview, know it is just better to stay away.

    The problem that I have with your response is that in your supreme arrogance you fail to deal with the substance of the post and instead leapt immediately to the propaganda that you’ve been indoctrinated into believing. For example, I say, “In this narrative, both sides assume not just evolution but atheistic presuppositions.”

    And then you fail to admit that this is indeed your presupposition.

    This leads into my statement:

    “As we have no firm evidence (that I am aware of) of any such encounters, it is unreasonable to assume anything. Rather, let us admit that the expectation one way or another is an inference, based on the assumption that our viewpoint is correct.”

    It is interesting how quickly you have figured to yourself that aliens would be a certain way, despite the fact that you’ve never encountered one. What basis can you possibly have for your statements? The only basis is ‘the assumption that [your] viewpoint is correct.’

    Note, I am not knocking you for having that assumption. I’m knocking you for being so muddle-minded that you cannot distinguish between your assumptions and your logical conclusions.

    Please, the next time you post on my blog, try to bring something that isn’t so obviously regurgitated from the New Atheist playbook. The one sure mark of a real free thinker is original thought, none of which was present in your post. You didn’t post here to contribute to a discussion. You posted here because you are an angry, insulting person who froths at the mouth at the notion that anyone could believe differently than you, oh representative of the intellectual elite, and you wanted everyone to know it.

    Please, take that elsewhere.

    I’m going to paste your entire comment below for archival purposes. Having so completely met the description of an angry ‘New’ atheist (or at least, someone who has imbibed from their haughty drink), I shouldn’t want you to edit your comment to remove the evidence.

    Thank you for playing. Good day.

    DuckPhup said,

    Armstrong wrote: “Let us allow that it is a possibility… but they may also possibly have a concept of God and creation that is identical, [...] , to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.”

    It is absurd to think that they possibly “have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.” In fact, it is absurd that there are HUMANS who “have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures.”

    In order for aliens to have a concept of God and creation that is identical to what we see in the Christian Scriptures, they would have to ‘believe’ that the entire universe consisted ONLY of their own dinky little planet (NOT EVEN BEING AWARE that it IS a planet) covered by a SOLID crystalline sky… and ‘Heaven’ an actual place ON THE OTHER SIDE of the sky, where a ‘god’ sat, looking down upon them. In other words, they would have to be as ignorant as the ignorant gaggle of Bronze age fishermen and peripatetic, militant, marauding, murdering, genocidal goat-herders from which YOUR beliefs and world-view directly depend. If such aliens exist… sorry… we will NEVER MEET THEM, because they would be too toxically, droolingly stupid to be capable of space travel.

  3. [...] This sort of feeds into chronological snobbery of our modern age (and perhaps some past ages) which tries to dismiss the views and experiences of those in the past as being from an “ignorant gaggle of Bronze age fishermen and peripatetic, militant, marauding, murdering, geno… [...]

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