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Atheist Community of Austin
Jesus may be jealous...

So I keep wondering how theists in general and Christians in particular will handle news of intelligent life on another planet. With the coming launch of the James Webb space telescope (to be put far beyond the orbit of the moon) we may, in our lifetimes, see city lights on another planet.

Perhaps the "Super Earth" orbiting Gliese 581?

What will theists say if and when we have proof that one of the trillions of planets orbiting other stars also has a civilization?

What religion(s) will that planet have? Based on the geo-diversity of religions on our planet, it seems unlikely they will have anything resembling any of our religions. So it will be a planet to dispatch missionaries to?

Of course, since the same god created Gliese 581d, he'd need to send another son there correct?

Perhaps Jesus older brother Bob? I wonder if Jesus is pissed he got assigned to the boring little Earth in the "Arkansas arm" of the Milky Way (a very plain galaxy). Bob always gets the better planet dad!!!!

In fact, if we are IT why are we in such an insignificant bit of the universe?

Of course, the cross on Gliese 581d will look more like a telephone pole because Glieseans evolved with 4 arms.

At night, as Gliesean parents put their offspring to bed they gently whisper into their ears "don't forget to talk to Bob"...

Those extraterrestrials will not have souls, just as African origin people didn't many years ago either (according to christianity)

You understand that if they can't speak English, or are not aware of common table manners then they are animals. I suspect they will be good candidates for slavery and the bible will at last be correct again!

Quite obviously all that is just rubbish, just as it was with slaves found from many countries in the past. We (science) worked out that they are actually people, and christians eventually accepted that they have souls too (how nice).

Mind you, science may be the real worry in the end. Since these life beings are from another planet their internal organs could be helpful in curing many of our diseases or even cancer. Imagine an intelligent life form found on another planet whos heart can keep you or your loved ones alive (this after science has dissected every part of their anatomy). It would certainly be a conflict of interests for us humans to kill these extraterrestrials all in the name of science. The only hope there would be if they were smarter than us, which may also raise the same concerns in reverse!

I certainly don't believe they will ever be known as christians by any religious group. Basically 'jesus' never saved them in the first place (note the jesus story is not universal, its not even universally accepted on Earth).

I will say that these concerns (possibly fears) of life on other planets is generally accepted as ludicrous. It is MOST likely there are other lifeforms out there, I just hope I'm still alive when we finally find it. We search for other planets that can sustain life to benefit us. Earth is NOT forever, it is calculated at a mere 5 to 6 billion years from now that it will basically blow up (if not before) But since that is nearly half of the total lifetime of our entire universe and people have only been here for about 200,000 years, I wouldn't worry too much about it ie 'people' will probably be extinct way before then, but think of our poor insects! Christians should be praising insects already IMO. ie Its certainly not an intelligence faith.

Kimsland thanks for replying. For some reason I am very intrigued by the consequences of that eventual discovery. The number of "expo planets" thus far discovered is staggering (something like 1,500). Most of these have been discovered in just the last year or two by new tools such as the Kepler space telescope.

This has, in turn, changed scientific estimates of TOTAL planets and then raised the number expected to be home to intelligent life. SETI scientist now talk about life being much more "typical" than atypical so that the eventual discovery of another intelligent life form is rapidly approaching 100% likely.

So I must believe the uber Churches (e.g. the Vatican) are already discussing how to react to the news of such a discovery without having to throw out their dogmas.

I can say that very non-scientific inquiries of my religious friends and family members generally yields a "hmmm...dunno" reply as it seems unlikely even to them that such an alien society will have any religion even modestly similar to something on earth. That makes the "who's right" question (such as Christian vs. Hindu) even more sticky. How can the bible story be true if there's another planet where's it's never been heard and certainly will not make more sense than it does here.

Maybe we will get lucky and they won't just cure cancer but they will also be free of such irrationality and help us become the same.

On the other hand....a slave with four arms...hmmm...I might be able to get into that!

Aureolus Paracelsus (an alchemist) in 1541 said, "God did not create the planets, the stars with the intention that they should dominate man, but that they, like other creatures, should obey and serve him." Everything on earth and beyond earth was created for God's chief image-bearer of the entire cosmos: mankind.

This seems to be the general concept of Christianity. People are great (although been on Earth for a very insignificant total cosmos time) And anything else is there for people's benefit. How the dinosaurs helped and obeyed man is still a tad confusing?

What's more interesting is that extraterrestrials have likely (even more likely) been around much longer than humans have, since they themselves came from other lifeforms on their own planet. Why would god make life on another planet first? Maybe that was the test case, anyway this goes against the bible straight away. (Earth came into existence on the first day of Creation (Genesis 1:1)).

Anyway these extraterrestrials will either be praised as angels or they will be slaves. At NO time will they be accepted as soul holding Christians. And in that I really don't think they will be happy with any religious group on Earth. Therefore its up to us to inform them that not everyone believes they are less important than us. I really hope they don't visit America or the Middle East first, otherwise we are doomed! Lol.

Will you laugh if they send us an alien version of the Gospel?

Should we ever encounter alien species (unlikely, given the distances), we should be careful of extra-terrestrial life potentially infecting us, including their mind viruses.

Don over history every "limit" has proved illusory. Just over a hundred years ago (a blip in galactic time) we couldn't imagine flying. Traveling from the US east to west coast could take a year (now roughly 4 hours).

It is safe to assume that given a thousand or a million years we may find ways to reach the stars. As Kimland (and Carl Sagan) said, we MUST eventually find a new home.

Even if the speed of light proves an absolute limit there are planets close enough for a determined species.

In the meantime we keep looking, listening and broadcasting hoping for the ultimate hookup.

When that discovery happens (I don't think "if" anymore), I hope I'm around to see reactions on earth. It will be interesting to see how theists (especially the "6,000 year old planet" crowd) deal with a millions-of-years old society that predates us and obviates all of earth's religions

Yes I know most of us don't need that discovery for our own godlessness but it will truly be an enlightening event. I hope....

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