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(io9)   How would Christianity deal with extraterrestrial life? Remember, the last non-human guy who came out of the sky with weird, unexplainable powers, they made him their savior   (io9.com) divider line 74
    More: Interesting, Christian theology, Catholic theology, science and religion, contentions, eastern religions, ETs, Vatican newspaper, Vatican Observatory  
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1898 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Jul 2014 at 9:15 AM (8 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-25 04:57:24 AM
Yah, but, I seem to recall he was crucified first.  Let's not do that next time, okay?  Being mindless barbarians makes us look bad.

kthxbie.
 
2014-07-25 05:36:15 AM
Cognitive dissonance, subby, Stop that.
 
2014-07-25 07:33:19 AM
Ahhhhh, he didn't come out of the sky. You might want to read up on Immaculate Conception.

Other than that, think E.T. Died, came back, Peter carrying him in a bicycle basket...
 
2014-07-25 08:33:51 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com
[Words on computer screen:] 'You will not be saved by the holy ghost. You will not be saved by the god Plutonium. In fact, YOU WILL NOT BE SAVED! '
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-07-25 08:39:22 AM

enry: Ahhhhh, he didn't come out of the sky. You might want to read up on Immaculate Conception.


His daddy came from the sky.  Or at least that's the story Mary gave Josef.

I'll bet the guys  gave him some crap about that on bowling night.
 
2014-07-25 09:17:21 AM
It is pretty obvious.  Almost everyone would try to kill that person.
 
2014-07-25 09:21:14 AM
 
2014-07-25 09:24:49 AM
I'd like to think that it would cause them to rethink how ridiculous their beliefs are. But that is giving the slack-jawed troglodytes that make up the majority of Christianity way too much credit.
 
2014-07-25 09:25:38 AM
More importantly who cares how religious people would react to a hypothetical situation that has an approaching nil probability of occurring?
 
2014-07-25 09:25:54 AM
Evangelical,Anti-Science Christians subby. I'm pretty sure Jesuits and liberal Christians would have the same issues as FARK Atheists.
 
2014-07-25 09:26:27 AM

enry: Ahhhhh, he didn't come out of the sky. You might want to read up on Immaculate Conception.

Other than that, think E.T. Died, came back, Peter carrying him in a bicycle basket...


You might want to read up on the Immaculate Conception: it applies to Mary, not Jesus
 
2014-07-25 09:27:00 AM
"Human beings, as galactic missionaries, will ultimately colonize the universe and spread the Word of God to heathen ETs."


bradhatesgames.files.wordpress.com

I shall smite thee with love!!!!!
 
2014-07-25 09:27:17 AM
Their heads would explode. The Christian mythos doesn't really allow for something like that.
 
2014-07-25 09:27:23 AM
www.splendoroftruth.com
 
2014-07-25 09:27:28 AM
What would they do? The same thing they do when they meet a human who hasn't been told about their lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Proselytize.
 
2014-07-25 09:30:10 AM
Actually, subs, the mainstream religious folk didn't give 2 sh*ts about the alien hippie with odd beliefs. It was the nutters of the day that freaked out. They wanted him strung up and run out of town on a cross shaped rail. Mainstream folk gave in only because the nutters threatened to vote or something.
 
2014-07-25 09:32:10 AM

cgraves67: What would they do? The same thing they do when they meet a human who hasn't been told about their lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Proselytize.


So then until aliens arrive, their work is done?
 
2014-07-25 09:32:50 AM
Heh, now where did I leave that copy of Childhoods End?
 
2014-07-25 09:34:22 AM
Depends on the sect of Christianity.

United Church of Christ? Would probably not have a problem with it (and might be excited/very curious!), but...they're also preettty damn liberal.

Jesuits would probably be flipping their lid (in an excited way), for the same reason.

Those are the only two branches I have any real experience with (Grew up in the former, and went to a Jesuit university that gave me some experience with the latter), so I can't say outside of them.
 
2014-07-25 09:36:49 AM
"It's not an alien, it's obviously a demon that Satan sent here to lead us astray."

/too easy
 
2014-07-25 09:38:14 AM
there are some religious sects on this planet that would probably try to launch nukes if they could should aliens visit us
 
2014-07-25 09:38:22 AM

TabASlotB: enry: Ahhhhh, he didn't come out of the sky. You might want to read up on Immaculate Conception.

Other than that, think E.T. Died, came back, Peter carrying him in a bicycle basket...

You might want to read up on the Immaculate Conception: it applies to Mary, not Jesus


Oop, you're right.  I meant virgin birth.

/Well there's 8 years of Catholic school successfully down the drain.
 
2014-07-25 09:42:17 AM
It would be like a child who believes in Santa Claus finding presents in their parents' closet.
 
2014-07-25 09:42:58 AM
they made him their savior They nailed him to a tree then a Roman functionary saw a chance to create a power structure around his story that would keep the mob placated in this life with the promise of great rewards in the next.
 
2014-07-25 09:44:56 AM
www.smbc-comics.com
 
2014-07-25 09:46:05 AM
 
2014-07-25 09:46:14 AM
Forget the Christians, they're petty and backwards, and are eventually going to be a historical subheading, like any other religion.

How would the sane people among us update our notion of personhood that's essentially synonymous with humanity right now.  Regardless of Star Trek, an intelligent alien species would be quite different morphologically, psychologically, and ethically from humans.  What if they're r-selected and have much less notion of a right to life?  What if they have a multi-stage life cycle, only some of which exhibit intelligence and empathy?

These are big questions our ethical philosophy hasn't really bothered with yet.
 
2014-07-25 09:48:14 AM
Christians worship Superman?
 
2014-07-25 09:49:00 AM
They'd call it the Antichrist and burn it at the stake.

It's an oldie but a goodie.
 
2014-07-25 09:50:48 AM
So I am sure that also they, in some way, would have the chance to enjoy God's mercy, just as it has happened with us human beings."

I've seen god's mercy. I'll pass.
 
2014-07-25 09:53:53 AM

ltdanman44: "Human beings, as galactic missionaries, will ultimately colonize the universe and spread the Word of God to heathen ETs."


[bradhatesgames.files.wordpress.com image 320x240]

I shall smite thee with love!!!!!


For its time, that was one awesome game.  Many hours wasted.
 
2014-07-25 09:54:19 AM

ikanreed: How would the sane people among us update our notion of personhood that's essentially synonymous with humanity right now. Regardless of Star Trek, an intelligent alien species would be quite different morphologically, psychologically, and ethically from humans. What if they're r-selected and have much less notion of a right to life? What if they have a multi-stage life cycle, only some of which exhibit intelligence and empathy?

These are big questions our ethical philosophy hasn't really bothered with yet.


... Uh.

There are people grappling with the notion of personhood and the ethics of things *RIGHT NOW*. Especially with regard to higher mammals. It's not like that's something no one has ever thought about.
 
2014-07-25 09:56:18 AM

JamesSirBensonMum: [www.smbc-comics.com image 468x516]


Hehehehehe
 
2014-07-25 09:57:11 AM
If you'd really read the bible you'll find that Jesus didn't fix a damned thing. Told people that they'll be rich in the next life, serious "check's in the mail" stuff right there. Fed the 5000, didn't cure hunger or end disease. Threw a temper tantrum about the money changers in the temple, they were back to business as usual the next day. Finally crucified him for being the original nuisance hipster, people keep talking about all the good he did to this day. Che Guevara didn't have it this lop-sided.
 
2014-07-25 09:59:17 AM

Jack Lambert's Missing Teeth: More importantly who cares how religious people would react to a hypothetical situation that has an approaching nil probability of occurring?


Well, they base their entire lives on a hypothetical situation that's even less likely, so it's an interesting thought
 
2014-07-25 10:02:46 AM

wildcardjack: If you'd really read the bible you'll find that Jesus didn't fix a damned thing. Told people that they'll be rich in the next life, serious "check's in the mail" stuff right there. Fed the 5000, didn't cure hunger or end disease. Threw a temper tantrum about the money changers in the temple, they were back to business as usual the next day. Finally crucified him for being the original nuisance hipster, people keep talking about all the good he did to this day. Che Guevara didn't have it this lop-sided.


He did bring Lazarus back to life and cured diseases (that is, if you believe the bible).

I am atheist, but if aliens arrive and they believe the same religion we do, then I will be the first to convert
 
2014-07-25 10:03:13 AM
imageshack.com
 
2014-07-25 10:05:28 AM

machoprogrammer: I am atheist, but if aliens arrive and they believe the same religion we do, then I will be the first to convert


What if they don't have any more evidence than the religious folks on Earth?
 
2014-07-25 10:08:18 AM

Felgraf: ... Uh.

There are people grappling with the notion of personhood and the ethics of things *RIGHT NOW*. Especially with regard to higher mammals. It's not like that's something no one has ever thought about.


Of course, that's absolutely true, but at some level, we all acknowledge that language based communication, the ability to follow rules, the recognition of other creatures' sentience and a lot of other attributes are not really met by those other species.  We've had all of 2 chimps that learned sign language?  Impressive, but not good enough to allow for meaningful input into ethical debates, and not enough to engage in enlightened self-interest.
 
2014-07-25 10:09:20 AM

give me doughnuts: machoprogrammer: I am atheist, but if aliens arrive and they believe the same religion we do, then I will be the first to convert

What if they don't have any more evidence than the religious folks on Earth?


I would still find the fact that a species, from trillions of miles away, that happened to have the same religion as we do to be too much of a coincidence.

/That is, unless they planted religion in us thousands of years ago...
 
2014-07-25 10:21:13 AM

Felgraf: Depends on the sect of Christianity.

United Church of Christ? Would probably not have a problem with it (and might be excited/very curious!), but...they're also preettty damn liberal.

Jesuits would probably be flipping their lid (in an excited way), for the same reason.

Those are the only two branches I have any real experience with (Grew up in the former, and went to a Jesuit university that gave me some experience with the latter), so I can't say outside of them.


Yeah the Jesuits would build their own FTL Ship and preach the word throughout the universe.
/You think I'm joking but the Jesuits would be a serious contender for "Group who makes the first FTL drive", once they got enough motivation."
 
2014-07-25 10:26:53 AM
They'd twist biblical passages and meanings beyond their obvious interpretation, and retcon aliens into the Bible.  Hell, there's an entire series of shows on different channels about possible references to aliens in the Bible (and other ancient texts/art).

How is this even a question?
 
2014-07-25 10:32:13 AM
Came here for the cartoons about how the aliens give Jesus a box of chocolates whenever he drops by.

Leaving uplifted.
 
2014-07-25 10:37:25 AM
The Bible is pretty Earth and human centered so there's nothing that covers what they should do about alien life. So they'll just do whatever they want to do, which is probably the same thing that would happen even if there was an entire book of the Bible devoted to the worship of creatures with fanged suckers.
 
2014-07-25 10:42:46 AM
There were no Christians when Jesus showed up
 
2014-07-25 10:47:01 AM
Only concerns would be #3 and #5, those two could get us into some serious conflicts with ET.

3 is obvious why, but 5 is because "unsaveable" would eventually be viewed as "inferior".

Unless of course, unsaveable is because they're genocidal crazy aliens, in which case we're blasting away anyways.
 
2014-07-25 10:51:30 AM

Clever Neologism: They'd twist biblical passages and meanings beyond their obvious interpretation, and retcon aliens into the Bible.  Hell, there's an entire series of shows on different channels about possible references to aliens in the Bible (and other ancient texts/art).

How is this even a question?


It's been done.

ufos.homestead.com

Only Biblical literalists have a problem with the idea of non-human intelligences. Almost every Christian faith has explicitly dealt with the issue and has made statements about how they would handle it. I have a chart somewhere from a talk I gave on the subject. The one non-fundie group who had any problem? Surprisingly, a lot of the major Jewish sects (although the more liberal ones had much less of one, usually).

The real question is, what religions will the aliens bring to us and what syncretic faiths will result? This gets especially interesting if they aren't also pack animals, because then base understandings about morality will be completely different.

/Catholics even have a prohibition against proselytizing to aliens unless invited.
//Like vampires
///Humanity being the only species that actually needs salvation is dealt with in CS Lewis' excellent Out of the Silent Planet
 
2014-07-25 11:05:29 AM

enry: Ahhhhh, he didn't come out of the sky. You might want to read up on Immaculate Conception.

Other than that, think E.T. Died, came back, Peter carrying him in a bicycle basket...


Not to be pedantic, but the immaculate conception is the concept that Mary was born with out original sin, not Jesus.

"The blessed Virgin Mary to have been, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of Mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin."
 
2014-07-25 11:14:15 AM
The ONLY good thing that would happen during an invasion by an advanced alien civilization would be the end of Christianity in particular and ancient religions in general..
 
2014-07-25 11:14:38 AM
Yeah, it was one of the more powerful scenes in Man of Steel.

static.comicvine.com
 
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