Religion and Outer Space

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Religion and Outer Space

Postby HVD » Fri Apr 19, 2002 1:41 pm

Here's a question. If you are religious and believe that there is intelligent extraterrestrial life, did God/Jehovah/Allah/Brahman etc give them a version of your holy text. Did he send their version of Jesus/Mohammed/other to spread the word there?
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Postby hello? » Sun Apr 21, 2002 9:05 pm

no reason why other forms of life should pose any theological problems even if they haven't received the same wisdom from God coz maybe it's our job to teach them the wisdom we have been given.
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Postby kjeevah » Mon Apr 22, 2002 12:16 am

what wisdom exactly?
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Postby Pangloss » Mon Apr 22, 2002 7:36 pm

you stupid dick. the religious object was born out of the fact that we were enclosed. essentially, the god of a religion is what is 'out there', great, and all-knowing. so sending a messenger to space would be like sending a letter to yourself, which the holy one, blessed be he would never have the urge to do.
some persons say that religions were created the fill the void that is our inabilty to understand the universe. this is why religion is struggling to maintain the metaphysical lie.
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Postby ben » Mon Apr 22, 2002 7:42 pm

Please refrain from such personal attacks as with your initial statement Pangloss. Attack the argument, not the person.
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Postby Pangloss » Mon Apr 22, 2002 8:46 pm

sorry. it wasn't an attack on the person in any way. i just couldn't think of an eye-catching way to start the post.
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Postby kjeevah » Tue Apr 23, 2002 1:17 am

some persons say that religions were created the fill the void that is our inabilty to understand the universe


cant help but agree.. apart from that in the millenia since plenty of evidence has arisen to suggest that the original theory was pretty inaccurate. however, it's far easier to ignore all of this, and accept the handy little package of beliefes and reasons that religion provides.

however, im digressing from the subject at hand, so just ignore me :)
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Postby Archie » Tue Apr 23, 2002 9:43 pm

Personally I wholeheartedly believe religion is for the weak... If you want to discuss, look at the religion is an insult to our intelligence topic in the religion section...
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Postby Natsilicious » Tue May 14, 2002 7:36 pm

THINGS YOU'LL NEVER KNOW

1) Name all the items in Cleopatra's room in alphabetical order.
2) Did it used to rain alot in 15AD??

I say why ask these questions when you'll never know the answer unless you go back in time. It's obvious that you're definately not a Christian but I tell you what, when you have a proven theory about our existence and why we should or should not do the things we do, then you can criticize. I am not a staunt believer in certain religious beliefs, but I will not criticize because I do not know better.

You should do the same.
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Postby kjeevah » Wed May 15, 2002 10:22 pm

when you have a proven theory about our existence


what, and religion is a proven theory about our existance? funny, i thought it was the one with the least evidence backing it. come back and agrue when -you- have one :wink:
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Postby Natsilicious » Wed May 15, 2002 11:36 pm

Read again , Mr. Wit.

I didn't say nor imply that religion does provide a proven theory on our existEnce. I stated that one should not criticize a theory when he has nothing to disprove it. I hope that's simple enough...
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Postby kjeevah » Sun May 19, 2002 11:51 pm

nope, it's not im afraid.. i have a pretty scientific mind, meaning that i have come to accept that i will never ever know the absolute real meanings behind everything, and all that i will ever have to go on is evidence. the act of observing something unavoidably alters its state, so we can never truly understand everything.. knowing that i can never disprove anything, i reserve the judgement to criticize anything and everything i see fit. if noone ever had the courage to, then we would all still think that the world was flat.
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Postby Matt » Wed May 22, 2002 4:30 pm

i have come to accept that i will never ever know the absolute real meanings behind everything, and all that i will ever have to go on is evidence. the act of observing something unavoidably alters its state, so we can never truly understand everything


Hmmm, all very muddled here. Firstly you seem to have thrown in some Quantum physics. I'd just like to point out that this only applies to quantum level observations, observing things in the world does NOT change their state. At any moment What'shisname's Cat (was it Shrodinger? I really can't remember off the top of my head) is either dead or not dead, the observation does not change it's state. In quantum physics observing a particle actually does!! So be careful what you read kjeevah!

Secondly I urge you to read some Hume, specifically the problems of induction and also to find out the difference between a priori truths and a posteori. Scientists beware, all your work is essentially unprovable!!!

At the moment God, from a truly skeptical point of view, is just as believable in as switching a switch will turn a lightbulb on. I can't believe I just wrote that, being an atheist, but it's true, I can no more disprove God than I can prove his (her, its?) existence or that I can logically prove that flicking a light switch will turn a light on.

So there's no need to be so critical of religious views, though they may seem strange to you. If you prefer to believe that there's no God. it's your right, but I'd like to see you prove it!

HVDs question was very interesting, pity it's not actually been discussed at all. I'm not one to start off debates, I like something to work on first, and being atheist or agnostic (not really sure) I'd like to see what religious people thing of that question.
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Postby alex » Wed May 22, 2002 7:22 pm

Nice idea Matt...let's return to the original question. The problem with it, from my experience, is that a belief in E.T.s goes against the priciples of monotheism (as far as my experience goes).

There is a certain egotism, a certain self-centredness, which goes with Judaeo-Christian belief (I can't speak for Islam) that implies that God only created life in the form of life on earth. Just take a look at the creation story. Sure, in it, he creates Sun, moon, stars (planets included) but the only life he creates is that on this Earth. In Christian theological 'myth' (which doesn't necessarily comes from the Bible) God made Angels in Heaven before the creation story. He then made Man and animals/plants. There is no mention of any E.T.s anywhere. What is important about the Judaeo-Christian story is that we were made in God's image and this is not said of anything else. Whilst he thought all the creation was good, Man was effectively the pinnacle hence our place in St. Augustine's Chain of Being. I think this leads to the selfish (God loves us best) attitude of these Religions. This then makes these people believe that there can be no other forms of intelligent life because the only things above us in the Chain of Being are the Angels and God. But if a religious believer were to belive in E.T.s then they probably would believe that God imarted his knowledge to them too because God loves all his creation in their eyes.
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Postby jawaad » Wed May 22, 2002 10:57 pm

That's interesting stuff. I particularly like the way you identify the egotistical element of monotheism (like Golding in "The Spire").

In an interesting twist, Islam goes it alone by referring to "other worlds" several times. And they are inhabited by other lifeforms, and these ETs have been similarly introduced to religion, the Koran says. Also, the Koran states that the earth orbits the sun, which is weird for a book written 800 years pre-Copernicus, but I suppose at that time the Arab world must have been open-minded enough to accept what we now know to be a fact...they went on to make incredible advancements in science, medicine and mathematics, indicating that there was something logical about their way of thinking (I don't know what happened to modern Arabs!).

It seems that monotheism in the guise of Islam is compatible with a universe in which humanity is just one of many races, and earth one of many life-supporting planets. So, getting to HVD's question, the answer is: Yes.
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Postby Matt » Thu May 23, 2002 11:11 am

You learn something new everyday!

So basically Judeo-Christians would have to contend that either all aliens would be human (or at least human-like) or that making us in his image actually means something else apart from physicality (maybe emotional awareness?). It's also got me think how can christians who believe in evolution (the most common form of Christian) tie this in with natural selction? Do they believe the destination of natural selection was pre-determined? If so does that mean there is no such thing as freedom of will?

On the Arabs being more open-minded, some examples of close minded Western thinking:-

We used to believe washing was bad for us in Medaevil times, while the Arabs were taking long baths.
The Babylonians had calcualted millenia ago the 'wobble' of the Earth which we have only just realised that it even does! Many civilisations had deduced the fact that the world was round just from the fact that things can disappear off the horizon. It's been argued that the reason we took so long to realise this was because of the creationist theories of Christianity!

As to what happened? I beleive it was the collapse of the Ottoman empire which led to their decline.
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