Would intelligent Aliens Undemine God?
1 reply to this topic
Posted 01 April 2010 - 06:49 AM
Are we alone in the universe? Or, given the vast numbers of stars and planets, is the universe teeming with intelligent life? The search is intensifying, and what if that electrifying first contact comes? How would it impact human society? How would it affect religion?
I’d like to believe in a creator God. Would such a God have made the universe to bring forth innumerable species of intelligent life? Or would such a God have made human beings, on this ordinary planet circling an ordinary star in an ordinary galaxy, to be so absolutely and utterly unique? Some religions teach that what God does right here is supremely and stunningly special. Christianity cannot duck this question: Would intelligent aliens undermine God?
NASA chief historian Steven Dick questions the consistency of the Christian salvation plan if there are sentient beings on other planets. The salvation of humans on Earth depends, according to traditional doctrine, on Jesus’ death and resurrection, but what about those beings on other planets? Does his death on earth save them?
“If the answer is ‘No,’” says Dick, “then you have a scenario of a planet-hopping savior, which was not kindly looked upon by, say, theologians in the Middle Ages.”
Dick’s solution is a radical rethinking of what is meant by “theology.” He argues for what he calls a “cosmo-theology,” meaning “we need to take into account what we know about the universe, including whether or not there are extraterrestrials.” This includes the fact that “physically, the earth is not at the center of the universe” and the likely fact that, in Dick’s opinion, “biologically, human beings are not at the center of the universe either.” He suggests that there are other, far more advanced intelligent life forms. “We are most likely not at the top of the great chain of beings,” he says.
Dick’s cosmo-theology, which would be energized by extraterrestrial, or ET, intelligences, is hardly “theology” in any traditional sense. God is nowhere to be found. Nor are humans very much important. I’d be thrilled to know such “new truth,” though deeply disappointed, I’d admit, that God were no more.
Physicist Russell Stannard’s belief in the Christian God would not at all be shaken by the discovery of ET intelligence. “There must be teeming numbers of earthlike planets out there capable of supporting life,” he says, “and it’s almost axiomatic that ET is out there, a whole variety of different kinds of ETs.” As for their relationship to God, Stannard calls it “a very fascinating thought,” saying, “If I were to meet ET, my first question would be, ‘What’s your take on God?’”
Posted 01 April 2010 - 11:38 AM
I found this article very interesting. It does make humans ponder whether they should believe in their god of earth or is the god of earth also the god of other life forms? Did he create just earth or did he create everything that exists? While I'm not exactly what you would call a "religious person" I'm sure I'm not alone in saying or thinking these thoughts.
Reply to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users