Let Me Ask You A Question – 6/4/17

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Many religions teach that humans are unique creatures on Earth fashioned in the image of a creator God.  And many religions also teach humans are unique to the universe.  Let me ask you a 2-part question…

How would the discovery of life on another planet impact humankind’s uniqueness?  And, more importantly, would life on another planet cause religions to rethink or edit their current story of creation?  

36 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You A Question – 6/4/17

  1. I think various religions and sects within some of them would deal with such knowledge very differently. Some would, as in the cases of evolution and climate change, simply deny the evidence. Some would find their theologians and preachers arguing about it for a long time, perhaps centuries. Religious communities could easily be split over the questions, as some have been and are over questions of gay marriage and gay clergy. Others (I won’t try to predict which.) would embrace the finding as evidence of God’s handiwork in the wider universe. There could even be some who read scripture as parable rather than literal fact who would not seen any problem at all. All in all, it would be a fascinating drama for a non-believer to watch from th sidelines.

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    • It would be an amazing thing to watch. There would be a ton of scrambling to reinterpret that’s for sure. The last time religion has to reevaluate was the Earth being proven to be a part but not the center of the universe or maybe evolution.

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      • On February 17, 1600, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic for preaching that there could be other worlds with living beings possessed of souls.

        The essence of the supposed conflict between religion and science arises from the confusion that they ask the same questions. They don’t. Religion asks “Why?” and science asks “How?”

        Those scientists who also profess to be devout believers, generally seem to be clear about that difference, from Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton, onward, and see themselves as engaged in answering as best they can the kind of questions about the how of creation posed to Job out of the whirlwind.

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      • This is so true. The “heretics” were some of the most visionary people of our time. The thought of burning anyone for different thinking is beyond my comprehension. In this day and age we ostracize people for progressive thinking. Being or thinking differently is usually not favored by the masses of asses.

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      • My least favorite mindset is of those who believe they have life figured out and are unwilling to use their imagination and consider all possibilities. I believe it is a sign of lower intelligence.

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  2. Maybe the religions say that in all holy books. Maybe other lives on other planets also believe on a Supreme power… Religion may fall with discovery but I think spirituality will remain….

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    • The world is shocked when we discover some new unknown species living at the bottom of the ocean. If we found life on another planet it could/would possibly change everything we know about life and the universe. I would be shocked and awed. lol

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  3. For my beliefs, they would adjust to account for the new knowledge. I believe that Creation is the immutable expression of God and what we learn about it tells us more of the truth. Then again, I do not consider humans to be unique. IMVHO, what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is that we have truly mastered the usage of tools.

    I think there will be a mixed bag of reactions ranging from acceptance and reflection to flat out denial such as what we see in regards to evolution and climate change.

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      • Yes, I am. The two are not mutually exclusive as some believe. The theory of evolution does not attempt to disprove God; it just describes the process by which one species becomes another over the course of time. Philosophically, one can argue that this is the process that God used.

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      • It happens to be a part of my belief system as well. I discarded a lot of the myth of creationism a long time ago. I do not take ancient writings as fact nor do I believe they were intended to be used as such.

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  4. Religions, organized religions, are not quick to change opinions….or admit they’re doctrine may be wrong, or even questioned. It should force a new perspective, yet I doubt that it would.

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  5. I grew up with shows like Star Trek and Lost in Space and I’ve always thought that there is life out in the stars. as far as religion goes, I think it only explains one’s existence on this planet.

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    • I agree. Religion has always been a vehicle for humans to try to understand why we are here. If there is life out there, which I believe there is, then we will need to adjust our views and move forward. I hope I’m alive to see an alien!

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  6. Complex question. I think it would be presumptuous of the human race to think that we are the only forms of intelligent life in the vast universe. In fact, the idea behind many religions point to a supreme being of a higher intelligence creating life. If that idea appeared in any book other then a religious text, it would be viewed as fantasy or science fiction. Religious fables from hundreds of cultures have been rewritten over time as more information is gathered. At one time, it was heresy to believe that the Earth was not flat and that the sun and planets did not revolve around the Earth. Humans are resilient and have adapted over time as new information is revealed. If there is life out there, it could be a double edged sword for them to reveal themselves to us. If they have the technology to get here from distant planets or galaxies, then they would have more than enough power to beat us into submission. At that point, I think rethinking religion would be the least of our worries.

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    • And there was a time when the church believed the Earth was flat and killed people who disagreed. I think it benefits everyone to keep an open-mind. We now realize the universe is an incredibly massive place.

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  7. I think it would truly be interesting to see how things would develop, especially in regards to religion. I mean, just imagine what would go on if life on the other planet would be very similar but instead of men and women there would be only men or only women and they would reproduce in a special way? Imagine they would be the complete opposite of what religion teaches us. Imagine things would go so very differently, if they would all believe different things and get along, if they would let gays be gay and nobody would be superior. If there wouldn’t be a heaven and hell but just the way you live now and it would be only kind.

    Of course it could also be the total opposite… but let’s not go there…

    In general I think it would be like a big wake up call. The kind of “wow, we are not alone” thing. And then, depending on what life there would look like a learning curve maybe?

    Would it impact our uniqueness? Not necessarily. I guess we would still be unique, right? Or do you think we would want to copy them? Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing depending on how they do live their lives.

    I think a big question is: Would we leave them alone and live their life in peace or would we want to teach them our way because we so think we are so much better than anything and anyone else…

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  8. Thanks for sharing. I think we are all quite unique but sometimes shared of owning this within ourselves. I have a poetry blog here on WordPress and today’s post is about embracing eccentrity in case you have time to look? Swiss greetings, Sam 🙂

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