Saturday, September 18, 2004

Sketches of a Mind.

Is any body else out there?

One interesting question that may at some point in the future become more important to Christian's is the question of “Does other life exist any where else in the universe?” or “Does other Intelligent and Self aware life exist?”. These may at some point become very important to Christian's should contact with an extra terrestrial species ever occur. As one thing I think many Christian's do is assume that we are the only Intelligent life form in this universe (God and Angels don't count :)). That God made the universe for us. A rather self centred view I feel and one I can think of no real “clear” and “definite” biblical backing for (If you know of some please feel free to point it out to me). Also how would you or other Christians react if life is discovered on some place that is not earth and that was clearly not of earth origin e.g. Europa (A moon of Jupiter and considered a prime candidate for evolutionary life)?

Would it affect your world view and interpretation of the bible? As I know of no verses which state that life was created any where else? This is not the biggest possible problem though life on other planet's and Moons can quite easily be fit into a Christian world view with out to much discomfort, just accepting that Genesis is not the full, accurate, step by step guide to the Development and Creation of the Universe and every thing.

The real gotcha though would be the discovery of Intelligent life! Something that really hits the Universe is for Human kind argument on the head! The other thing is such an event could prove Christianity is correct but can't disprove it. I mean for example say the Seti project detected a signal that was clearly of intelligent origin that was close enough for some form of contact/communication to be developed (This of course assumes that the hypothesis, that we don't hear/detect any other civs in space is because there is another more advanced paranoid species out there that attacks any it detects wiping them out, is incorrect) . And as part of the communication Religion was discussed for which there is a number of possible outcomes.

Species doesn't have any Religion's, never did or fail to understand the concept.

This leaves several points of view the negative, God doesn't exist or Religion is a human construct but again you can't prove either of these. Which pretty much leaves us with the situation as it is to day though with a few changes in interpretation of the bible no doubt :).

Or the Positive, that they need to be converted, human kind was lucky or unlucky (depending on your point of view) enough to be chosen by God as his “Chosen species” and it's our duty to convert the universe :). This of course assumes that we accept they have souls and as far as I'm concerned that would be a YES if they were intelligent, and that they can learn to comprehend religion, faith, and belief.

Species understands Religion but has no Christian religion or Christian compatible religion.

This would probably be a mixed bag, a species that understands the concepts of Religion and has some proving that it's not just something imagined by some humans and that possibly it's and underling part of self awareness. On the other the lack of a Christian or Christian like religion or faith would mean that we don't have any more “proof” as the world would see it that Christianity is the only true Faith. Still I'd expect most Christians would welcome it more than the previous and again we'd have another group to convert :).

Species understands religion and has a Christian compatible one that teaches similar concepts and Ideas and expects similar behaviour.

This would be nice. It would provide a nice little boost to Christianity and possibly the other religions derived from Christianity and would be a real boost to the idea that God exists.

Many Eden's. Species understands Religion and has Christianity in it's fullness. Similar holy book or equivalent, similar theology, the Trinity, Creation, Eden, the enemy, Christ etc.

This would be a massive boost to Christianity and pretty much prove it for many I think. No doubt there'd still be those who rejected it for one reason or another and others who said it was just proof that some advanced alien species had decided to play god at some time. But some of the issues it would rise would be VERY nasty from some points of view. The concepts of other species all undergoing the same fate falling from grace is horrific to comprehend, or at least I find it so, and it begs the question have all species fallen or are there some that survived or avoided the fall and passed the temptation?

Well there you are you've just had a view in to the sort of random stuff that I think about when in bed, walking to University or am just plain bored.

No there are a couple of reasons for posting this, it force's me to order my thoughts about the issue which is usually useful, and it gives me a chance to find out if other people that I know think about this sort of stuff or other random ideas and if they do have they thought about this? Or other interesting ideas?

So now a few Q's.
  • What do you think of these idea's?
  • Are there things here that you agree with, disagree with etc.? Why?
  • Do you think about random Ideas like this?
  • Did I manage to freak you out?
  • Do you now think I'm abit odd now?(Don't feel guilty I'm quite happy to tell you that I am :))
  • Or perhaps insane? :-}
  • Or just eccentric?
  • Have you considered that we might not be the only Intelligent beings in creation?
  • If so how does it affect you, does it?

Note it would be nice if your'd at least mention if you also think of such random things.
As it generally requires a really wierd conversation to find out.Or to discuss such things :-P.


Nathan said...

I think its fair to say that if intelligent\sentient extraterrestial life was discovered then human religion would definitly change. I say sentient, because I can't see a reason why bacteria (for example) can't be found.

A key is the fact that God created us in his image (Incidently, I don't think God picked humans, and then give them his image. Rather, he intended for someone to be in his image right from day 1). Anyway. How people define this image would be crucial to what happens - would aliens have God's image? I can imagine a lot of bad press about christians not accepting the other race because they aren't in God's image (i.e. not like us - assuming they aren't like us). I myself think consciousness is what God's image is about, and I'm thinking this is a bit related to language (from psycholgy, and from bible - 'logos'), so these sentient aliens could be in the image of God.

Then theres the question of whether aliens should become christians. My though here is that if aliens are in need of a saviour, God would have already told them. So hopefully they're be God worshipers, or have at least some christianness happening. I don't think they'd be totally atheist, but they could be (there are human atheists). Which kinda relates to your last point.

Romans 5 is applicable here.
Basic premise - sin came into the world through one man. So would aliens be fallen?
There is a whole lot of issues here - does the fallenness apply to the whole universe, or just to earth? If it applies to the universe, how would sin cause aliens to fall? Isn't it unfair?
If it applies to earth, how come the universe is in a state of decay? How come there are diseases - and would aliens be succeptible to human disease?

Unless of course there were parallel adams...
Or there could be two universes: a good one, and a fallen one - we entered the fallen one when we sinnned, other species could have also entered this universe when they fell.

Its a really big issue.
I don't think its weird to think about it.

EONsim said...

Yes I'd agree that the "In his Image" bit seems more likely to apply to our mental and spritual forms or Soul rather than our Physical bodies.

Looking at your comment I note that I did not really cover some areas such as how Christians would react or how non Christians would react to christians reacting, or at least could react.

Another possible alternative to many edens and many fall's might be that all fell but there was only one Eden? From which point you could diverge into to views depending on how much you whish to hold on to Genesis as the word for word blow by blow discription of creation.

Assuming creation it could be taken that all other races Evolved or formed due to God guided/driven evolution and never had a state at which the pure and blameless. And that humankind was unique in being created to serve as God's Messengers/hearlds to Spread His word.
Another view of that for those who tend towards the more evolutionary, Intelligent Design view of creation would be that all evolved, God chose one species (humankind) for some reason known only to him self and reached out to them but those who he reached out to (Adam and Eve) turned away from him and having chosen humankind (as he choose Israel) he was unwilling to turn his back and sent Christ so that we would return to him and continue out our origional purpose to spread the knowledge of his existance.

These both of course are even more speculative than the previous, interesting though and not differing massively from the bible except in deciding that it doesn't contain all the info and that genesis may not be a exactly what acctually happened.

Katherine said...

Oh my gosh, Nathan, you stole, like, all my comments! [said in a ditzy American accent.]

Except to say: if it be the case that our race is 'fallen' and there are others in the universe that aren't, maybe we've been prevented from having contact with them because we might corrupt them. Is that something God would do?

The idea of other species of intelligent life sure does put a new spin on things. When you assume we're the only ones, it makes sense to assume the whole universe could have been affected by our fall, hence you hear people like Chuck Mistler (sp?) suggesting that the speed of light has been slowing down ever since, which is why the stars appear to be millions of lightyears away etc. But if there are other life forms out there it would hardly be fair for their worlds to be corrupting too through some great cosmic upheaval at the time of the fall. Well, I dunno, how 'fair' is God anyway? According to our kind of rules I mean. But it would definitely suck if you were an alien living righteously before God, and suddenly for no apparent reason, death and decay and evil appeared in the world.

Gah, lucky it's not up to me to sort out this universe thing anyway :)

Jared said...

Its an interesting concept I personally don't give one hoot one way or the other. Maybe the aliens are coming to wipe us out as God's tool (like the Babylonians) or maybe they're some early concept designs of humans; or maybe we're the early concept designs of them.
Its an interesting thought to wonder whether the fall of man caused a universal or world-wide fall. Because if it didn't cause a universal fall then these other races might have continued in an Adamic prefall state of existence. They would have no need of Jesus for they would have no need for redemption (this doesn't mean they do not know Jesus or believe in Him but do not need Him the way humanity needs Him). This raises the interesting question about who is now the better race. If those who are highest fall the furthest (ie Lucifer) do those who have fallen the furthest be raised the highest. If God became man and did not shed His humanity but fulfil it then does that not mean that the height we have been raised is higher than before the fall.
Was Lucifer cast down to walk the surface of earth or of earths. If it was earth then no other race would have the chance to fall and thus would this not reject their free-will. If it was earths then did the other races manage to reject his advances.