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AshLeigh's avatar

Do you think religion would survive the discovery of aliens?

Asked by AshLeigh (13519 points ) February 18th, 2013 from iPhone

How do you think humans would fair in an alien universe?

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29 Answers

bolwerk's avatar

I don’t even see the connection. Religion is largely about coping with death and rationalizing a place in the universe. I’d sooner expect religion to inspire a crusade or jihad against an alien species than an alien species to inspire the disappearance of religion.

Okay, could extraterrestrial life inspire changes in religion? Sure. But disappearance? Very doubtful.

blueiiznh's avatar

An organized belief system will always survive.

fundevogel's avatar

Ha. Naw, that’s just when we’ll see the religious condemning human/alien love.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I suppose it depends on what their reason for visiting us is. If the first words out of their mouth are “have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” or “has the Tathāgata been reborn on your world yet?” then we might want to reconsider a few things.

Symbeline's avatar

Tathāgata will soon return.

I’m not sure at all. There are a lot of things that religions didn’t know, mention or acknowledge. But then we discovered stuff, and scriptures were changed. For example, I think The Bible mentions dinosaurs now, whereas it didn’t before. It might do the same with aliens, or there’s probably some Christian branch somewhere that could justify it, like saying that if science and the big bang are real, then Tathāgata God did it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Of course it would. Aliens would be just another manifestation of God creating the universe and all life in it.

Seek's avatar

@Symbeline All they really need to do is add an “s”.
“Go ye therefore unto all the worlds, preaching the Gospel…”

Symbeline's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr S’true. Some you wouldn’t even have to change at all; Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

zenvelo's avatar

The Catholic Church would welcome them.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m with @KNOWITALL (dammit!) Of course it would. Religion is not based on anything substantial or immutable. It changes as people change. It is flexible in some important ways. People can always reinterpret texts even as they insist they are not reinterpreting them. In other words, religion has little integrity on scientific grounds, but it does have integrity on moral grounds. Not that it gets morality right, but at least there, it tries to maintain stability.

This flexibility allows it to remake itself in new circumstances. Aliens would be easy to incorporate, I’m sure. Just how they would incorporate it, I have no idea.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@wundayatta I do like the fact that people question things they don’t understand, which is more than likely how ‘religion’ came to be originally.

And you know, aliens rock!!!

burntbonez's avatar

How would humans fair in an alien universe? Depends how we got there and what kind of technology we had. Right now, we don’t have the technology to get anywhere off planet. So to get to an alien’s home, the alien would have to bring us there. If they brought us there voluntarily, we’d be pets, I think. We’d do all right as long as we were interesting to them.

Eventually their interest would fade, and then the shit would hit the fan for us. If we managed to steal their technology, we might be able to compete. Otherwise, we’d probably end up as 8th class citizens on our own planet. Either that, or in heaven. Now there’s an irony!

Pachy's avatar

Any religion (or for that matter person) that doesn’t allow for even the possibility of life somewhere else in the unimaginably vast universe is ... mmmmm, I’d better stop there.

lici92's avatar

I am Catholic and I believe in aliens. I mean, the universe is huge. How can we be the only planet with living creatures. I think if there was a discovery of aliens that it wouldn’t change my faith in God at all. I feel as though he could have made numerous planets with life on them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@lici92 Exactly, one doesn’t preclude the other!

ucme's avatar

Most priests would probably want to fuck the little green buggers, regardless of age/gender.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Why not? It has survived science quite nicely.

flutherother's avatar

It would depend on the aliens and I suppose the religion.

deni's avatar

They’d make up a bunch more bullshit to make it all seems like it fits into the plan of their God.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

Maybe God is the alien. o_O

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I don’t think Aliens would survive their discovery of Religion.

Unbroken's avatar

Well the necessity of religion is understand and explain us being alone here in and to give us purpose and hope. But if we found out we weren’t alone and people are naturally scared of what they don’t know and change certain people would need an explanation for that.

Plus there would be reinterpretation of the Bible and millions more would be sold and who wouldn’t want to cash in on that.

Judi's avatar

I think the Bible supports aliens.
Read this in Genesis 6
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

You can also read Daniel and Revelation and as a believer not have a problem with aliens.

glacial's avatar

It survived the discovery that the Earth revolves around the sun, so why not?

ETpro's avatar

I’d like to think @SavoirFaire is right. Certainly if aliens arrived here and claimed that Jesus, or Mohammed or Buddha had been revealed to them too, that would weigh heavily on human belief. If, on the other hand, they arrived saying that in their distant past, they had a creation myth rather similar to one of our many creation myths, but that they long since gave it up, realizing that it was the effort of primitive minds to grapple with and explain things that, at that stage in development, were mysterious to them; then I’d hope humans would catch on that the same is probably true for our 4,000 year old creation myths.

Sadly, I don’t think I can count on very many of my fellow humans being that logical.

rojo's avatar

@zenvelo “The Catholic Church would welcome them.” Yes, particularly the young ones.

Would said aliens bring their own religion to us and then impart their wisdom upon us while condemning those who do not believe?

Pisces's avatar

Religion has survived the discovery of aliens. It’s called Scientology ;-)

JoeyOhSoClever's avatar

Well it depends if we were able to communicate with the aliens to learn their perspective on religion. Especially if their species has been in existence billions of years before ours they might offer intriguing theologies that could impact tons of beliefs on our planet. Religion would survive because everybody would not jump on board but it would probably be impacted to a great extent.

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