“Finding alien life would be devastating to religion in general”.Do aliens need a saviour?Did Christ died for theM?How can we be sure?If not then that means they are sinless meaning that they are gods.If yes why there isnt one single reference of Jesus saying “he died for all intelginent beigns” of some sort.The only thing we got is “he died for the whole humanity”.
I’m not sure we should expect the Bible of provide a commentary on the existence of alien life any more than we should expect it to provide an account of biological evolution. That just doesn’t seem to be its purpose. But, it is interesting to wonder about. If God made everything in the universe, then I have faith that he will offer mercy to all who seek him.
I don’t know if you’ve read the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, but the “wood between the worlds” in The Magician’s Nephew gives me a glimpse of how Lewis may have viewed these kinds of questions. In that case, Aslan didn’t always manifest the same way in different worlds. He was powerful and wise enough to present himself differently if necessary.
Well the one is science the other is not.The Bible its not a scientific book but shouldve note at least who are saved and who are not.Which it does but only for humanity
I have watched the movies
Right, but that’s who the Bible is written to – humanity. It would be nice if God had told us all about the universe and whoever else might be out there… but I don’t see that he did.
The movies were pretty good (if you mean the recent ones), though they departed from the books more than I would have liked. I don’t think a movie has ever been made for Magician’s Nephew though… it’s pretty far down the sequence.
True.But if we end up finding aliens and it turns out they dont have a similar book (like the bible or something but related to them)then i think there are 2 possibilities.Either they are sinless and the are gods (small g maybe) or religion(in general) is a hoax
I think it would have little impact on most religion and most sectors of Christianity. And I think religions which would have a problem with it are flawed and hopefully they will be abandoned along with other insanities like marxism.
I frankly don’t think it is any of our business. But this question does point to some of the problems in those flawed religions – ones which try to make the whole universe revolve around them and their message. These are arrogant and intolerant religions and they, with their tiny gods (which they delude themselves is wrapped around their own little fingers), is something that humanity would do much better without.
Since you don’t even know whether they need a savior, the question seems rather silly.
Why do we have to be sure that our particular religion is the only truth for everyone in the whole universe?
This does not follow. Rocks are sinless… does that make them gods?
At most this sounds like a reason for saying the answer is no. It also sounds like it is buying into the ridiculous notion that the Bible contains all truth.
Sounds like you want to believe that religion is a hoax. But there are many many more possibilities than this. Shall I give you one? They could be rocks – even intelligent rocks. The most this would to is add to the already abundant evidence that intelligence is not exclusive to living things let alone exclusive to human beings.
Jesus was our Earth local incarnation of God. All the other infinite conscious species from eternity have had their own, in whom they were all chosen to be saved. But we’ll never know this side of the resurrection as we can never communicate. All nicely tantalizingly frustrating isn’t it?
I was once told about a science fantasy short-story. If I was told the name of it and its author, I can’ remember them. It was published before 1975. As I remember the telling of it, it was about a human exploration team on a spaceship that landed on some planet. One of the team members was Catholic priest chaplain. Team members noticed little bits of light that floated around their spaceship and capable of moving from location to location, … at different speeds: from very slow to extremely fast. The team members couldn’t be certain, but they had the distinct impression that the little lights were watching them and were “curious” about them.
Soon after the humans’ arrival on the planet, when they had put everything on board their ship in order and settled in to begin exploring the planet, the chaplain arranged for a Mass to be held. The priest and team members proceeded through the Liturgy of the Word and entered into the Liturgy of the Eucharist portion of the Mass.
The little lights floated around them, with some moving slowly and others darting quickly. Bread and wine were put on the altar. At the first epiclesis [invocation of the Holy Spirit], all the little lights stopped moving wherever they were. Then the priest raised each consecrated element in turn and read the words of the Institution narrative:
- For on the night he was betrayed he himself took bread, and giving you thanks he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:
“Take this, all of you and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you.”
In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice, and giving you thanks he said the blessing, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:
“Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”
At which point all the little lights swarmed the altar and danced around it, while other lights not present earlier flew in and joined the others in the dance too.
And I remembered: Wisdom 3:1-9.
1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
2 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
3 and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
4 For though in the sight of men they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
5 Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
6 like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
7 In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,
and will run like sparks through the stubble.
8 They will govern nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord will reign over them for ever.
9 Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his elect,
and he watches over his holy ones.
Reminds me of “Out of the Silent Planet” by C. S. Lewis. Such works just demonstrate that science fiction writers can not only be Christian but can embed their story in the worldview of Christianity if they want. From Lewis’ book (one of a trilogy), we get his answers to the questions of the OP: that aliens may not be in need of a savior, but unlike us live under the dominion of God – and they certainly were not gods BTW. Perhaps Nick might benefit from reading this book.
Regardless, my faith does not depend on aliens fitting into the religion of Christianity in some way as if the whole universe revolved around Christianity. Why? Because the God I believe in is simply not that small that He must be confined only to what the Bible says about Him – let alone what humans understand about Him. I believe in an infinite God quite capable of a relationship with an infinity of civilizations on an infinity of worlds. Though I do not go so far as Klax does insisting that there are such an infinity of world. Instead, I would say that we not only do not know any such thing, but that it really is none of our business. The only relationship with God that need concern us is our own.
If they don’t need a saviour then they can’t be mortal and cognitively biased and otherwise trapped in their nature.
No no you understood wrong.I said that if and only if we happened to find aliens these 2 possibilities come to mind.The one beign this i refered above
Since when rocks are “inteligent beigns” ie with a mind and capable of actually understanding things as we humans do ior maybe even more?
Alien life would be no problem at all for religion in general. Polkinghorne even discussed it in one of his books. The person who would get in a tizzy over alien life is probably already in a tizzy over evolution, immigrants, female ministers, etc.
It is the usual aim of the tactic of rhetoric which give only one impossible alternative to say that the remaining alternative must be the case. It is like saying, “either you have horses changing into giraffes or the theory of evolution is false.” You only insist on such an absurd choice if you want to claim that evolution is false.
Many other alternatives have come to mind for other people. I suggest you get a copy of “Out of the Silent Planet” by C. S. Lewis if you are interested in questions like this.
The point was that rocks do not have sin and it does not mean they are gods. In the case of aliens, we have no experience to say what is possible or not. But there is both a book by Anne McCaffrey and a Star Trek episode which explore the idea of intelligent aliens which people called rocks when they saw them.
or, for more than a glimpse of Lewis’s take on that topic, he made it much more detailed and explicit in his prose article…
We actually have an article about this! And it’s become one of the most popular articles on our site right now! Lots of different scenarios and possibilities are out there.
(Hugh Ross has been saying for decades that evidence of life will be found elsewhere in our solar system… from detritus blasted up from the earth by asteroidal and meteoric impacts and then collected by other solar system bodies.)
Not for the first time the sainted triple first class honours Clive… doesn’t work now. And therefore didn’t then. For the same defensive, passive aggressive reasons.
From the C.S. Lewis article:
I admit that the question could become formidable. In fact, it will become formidable when, if ever, we know the answer to five other questions.
- Are there animals anywhere except on earth? We do not know. We do not know whether we ever shall know.
In his time we wondered also if we would ever see planets outside the solar system. We have now, and we know what sort of evidence to look for to see if animals do exist on them – even from a distance.
- Supposing there were, have any of these animals what we call “rational souls”?
I don’t believe that we have these things invented by Greek philosophy and Gnosticism either.
By this I include not merely the faculty to abstract and calculate, but the apprehension of values, the power to mean by “good” something more than “good for me” or even "good for my species’.
Since I think a lot of this was a product of evolution then I don’t see why not.
“Are they spiritual animals?”
I believe all living things have a spiritual dimension to their existence.
I think the more important question is whether any of them believe in God also, and what will they think of the idea when they learn that we believe in such a thing?
I think we shall both mean pretty much the same. If the answer to either question should be No, then of course it would not be at all strange that our species should be treated differently from theirs.
No doubt those who crave and like the confirmation of the crowd will be happy if aliens agree with their point of view. But it would make little difference to me – speaking only to our similarities and differences from other intelligent creatures in the universe.
- If there are species, and rational species, other than man, are any or all of them, like us, fallen? This is the point non-Christians always seem to forget. They seem to think that the Incarnation implies some particular merit or excellence in humanity. But of course it implies just the reverse: a particular demerit and depravity. No creature that deserved Redemption would need to be redeemed. They that are whole need not the physician. Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it.
- If all of them (and surely all is a long shot) or any of them have fallen have they been denied Redemption by the Incarnation and Passion of Christ? For of course it is no very new idea that the eternal Son may, for all we know, have been incarnate in other worlds than earth and so saved other races than ours.
- If we knew (which we don’t) the answers to 1, 2, and 3 and, further, if we knew that Redemption by an Incarnation and Passion had been denied to creatures in need of it is it certain that this is the only mode of Redemption that is possible?
And here is the crux of the matter for Christians who want to remake the world in their own image. I think they have fallen into idolatry replacing God with themselves and their Christianity. I believe in a God which is much bigger than that!
I guess for me it’s a non issue. Only thing that would be challenge for me would be if they landed and we found out in their history book they had notes about be careful they try to take your blood on this planet because it’s a cure all and they crucified that one member a few thousand years ago but luckily we could move that rock “ . Which is obviously a joke. But it would have to be something along those lines to be challenging.
But just finding them, even finding them with their own religion that’s older than humanity would still mostly be a non problem because I believe that before the Torah came there was intelligent beings such as Neanderthals on earth. I don’t think we know what kind of religion they had. But I am a strong believer that God has always reached out to things in different ways. I’m not even against God having reached out in dreams and prophets before the Bible picks up and that maybe these older religions that exists in places was the byproduct of that. That God was reaching out to different cultures in ways that would best help them. Then as time went, and the story of Jesus spread across the nations the Holy Spirit convicted them on why he fulfilled their faiths as well and how the Torah plays into it.
So o believe that the holy spirit would have also reached out to any other beings in the universe as well.
After all the Bible says all of creation ( not just humans and not just earthlings ) want to be restored.
I want to come at this from a different perspective of Alien.
When we look at Genesis 6 it discusses the Nephilim, the human/demonic hybrid race for which the Noahic flood was designed to kill. Thee being became the pattern for the mythological stories of the ancient gods.
revelation that demons will be ‘released’ for a time. When they appear will they take forms of something we expect demons to look like?i
Or: Take the form of friendly Aliens coming to teach us all knowledge?
Which pattern is more likely to happen from a Biblical perspective?
If liens appear I expect many Christians to be mislead into accepting thn and try to evangelize them.
We know most people will continue the mass delusion happening today to get worse. Aliens only leads another avenue of deception to a world in need of Salvation through Yehsua the Messiah, and none other name.