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Debate:How would extraterrestrial religions influence religions on Earth?

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If an alien civilization practicing religion were to be discovered, how would this influence religions on Earth?

For example: if non of the religions of that civilization bared any resemblance to the Abrahamic religions, would this be a problem to Christians, Jews and Muslims, as they would expect the aliens to be creatures of God's creation as well?

I have no idea where this is going, so just fire away.— Unsigned, by: MiddleMan / talk / contribs

My 2 cents[edit]

There is a bit of writing on this, but there would be some serious epistemologic and existential questions to deal with. Truth is revealed in faith, therefore, those whose religion is based on faith alone as a way to find truth will not be affected. Now the rest of us... Well, the existence of many belief systems just on Earth poses similar problems. The one problem that would be new with ET is the uniqueness of humans and intelligent, soul-infused beings. DocSock 11:21, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

I agree with you for the most part, but if aliens exist then according to Abrahamists they are God's creation and thus at least one of their religions would have to be Abrahamic, because God reveals to all his children. MiddleMan

I've never quite understood why people feel threatened when someone else practices a different religion or has a different philosophy. Unless their religion is Anti-you-personally, what's it matter? Maybe the alien's religion has some good life lessons we can learn from. Jrssr5 11:31, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

My anti-Jssr5 religion was going along quite nicely 'til you showed up.olliegrind 11:34, 30 May 2007 (CDT)
Good thing I'm Jrssr5. I'm anti-jssr5 too. Loads of fun. Jrssr5 11:38, 30 May 2007 (CDT)
You're no different from Jrssr1-4. olliegrind 11:45, 30 May 2007 (CDT)
With names like that, you could be talking about asteroids. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:18, 24 December 2007 (EST)

We're getting off topic here. The real answer depends heavily on the use or non-use of lightsabers in this new religion. olliegrind 11:45, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

Anyone can wield a lightsaber, but the true religious power comes from the ability to control objects using your mind or a force of some kind. You know, like how Andy manipulates his students minds with his <sarcasm>superior</sarcasm> brain power. Jrssr5 11:54, 30 May 2007 (CDT)


Question one: If an alien civilization practicing religion were to be discovered, how would this influence religions on Earth?

The answer to this part of the question is simple - it wouldn’t influence them at all. There are many different religions on the earth, and they don’t really influence each other that much. Well, OK, sometimes they try to kill each other - but I don’t think that’s the point of the question.

Question two: For example: if none of the religions of that civilization bared any resemblance to the Abrahamic religions, would this be a problem to Christians, Jews and Muslims, as they would expect the aliens to be creatures of God's creation as well?

As far as this is concerned, why should non-Abrahamic religions make any difference to them? The terrestrial religions would simply say they were wrong in the same way they regard each other (and everybody else) to be wrong now. As for the God’s creatures bit – again same answer. God’s creatures but wrong. Just hope they have the technology to keep the missionaries away. (But not enough to send any here)--Bob_M (talk) 12:16, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

Well, if they're anything like humans, they'll try to convert us at ray-gun point while stealing everything worth tractor-beaming. --Gulik 12:36, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

In all seriousness, I am willing to serve are new alien overlords in whatever why necessary.--PalMD-yada yada 12:47, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

Actually now I think about it some more, the idea of us being found by alien religious fundamentalists is a bit worrying. Wait! Just minute they're already here! CP is run by alien fundamentalists trying to destroy the scientific basis of our civilization! Suddenly it's all so clear! I'm off for a beer to calm down!--Bob_M (talk) 12:56, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

I have an idea, we could work together with the rational aliens (there have to be some, because I don't see fundies inventing FTL-drives and tractor beams), we could invent a hoax à la bible code telling the fundies (human and alien alike) a new planet (some worthless place of our choosing) is the holy land where they can enjoy medieval, oppressed lives, once they've all flocked there, we destroy any means they have of getting of that planet and place a minefield and some warning signs around the planet! MiddleMan

They probably won't believe us - what with that "Beware False Prophets" part of the Bible. Stilldeciding (talk) 00:58, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I've changed my mind about the beer. I want some of what MiddleMan is having.--Bob_M (talk) 13:18, 30 May 2007 (CDT)

It's unsurprising that religons on earth are influenced by culture as much as the religon influences culture. (Hence why Jesus looks like the culture he is depicted in a lot.) Hence, unless life on other planets evolved to look like humans and act like humans--which is unlikely--their religion is unlikely to be anything like ours. No offense intended to any religous folks with blinders on. Sterile

My 3 cents[edit]

I am assuming that if we meet an alien race, then they would come to us (or at least I will assume that for the purpose of my following argument). If an alien civilization is smart enough and technologically advanced enough to come to earth speedily enough as to not kill themselves of old age (or putting themselves in a cryo-freeze or something), then I think they probably wouldn't even have a religion to begin with! If they had religion in the early days of their civilization, they probably would've abandoned it by the time they were spacefaring. I base this on earthly observations: there were hardly any atheists even a few hundred years ago, but look at us now! The number of atheists worldwide is increasing. Obviously, we're not a majority; but we have many, many more atheists on earth than we used to have. This rise has pretty much coincided with an increase of knowledge (biology (specifically evolution), astronomy, physics, etc). Also, I would like to point out that, statistically, the more intelligent a person is, the more likely they are to be nonreligious. I use all these facts to argue that a spacefaring civilization would not have a religion. (Or, rather, a religion with a personal god. They might be pantheistic, but, to me, pantheism is pretty much like atheism...I mean, no personal god, often no afterlife, God is the universe, and he works through naturalistic processes...but thats just an opinion by me, don't mean to call Pantheists something they are not, I am merely drawing parallels...)

(On a side note about forced-religious-conversion-from-invading-alien-overlords... if the aliens were pantheistic, they probably wouldn't be too obsessed with trying to forcefully convert us to their religion. In fact, if by some off chance they were a personal-god-believing religion, I still think they wouldn't really care about forcefully converting us because any civilization that can manage to survive long enough to BE spacefaring probably got over violence a long time ago.)

NOW....to go on another train of thought.... If the aliens did have a religion that was completely unlike all major religions on earth AND they were very convinced that their religion is not in error (to the same degree that any fundamentalist "knows" that they're right), I think that everyone on earth with a "didn't-know-about-aliens-at-time-of-holy-book-writing" religion would need to do some serious thinking. (Hell, even if the aliens were nonreligious, every religious person would have to rethink their universe-view.) (Double hell, everyone would be thinking a lot. The scientists would be thinking a lot, but not about their religion...about the aliens themselves, their technology, biology, etc.) Well, THAT was a long post. ♠ ŖєuĻєəux ♠say wнäτ? 19:57, 22 December 2007 (EST) I think they would just become a new thing to hate on for the fundies, a new argument about the existance of god, and life will go on as normal.