General Question

naivete's avatar

Do any religions talk about the possibility of life on other planets?

Asked by naivete (2458 points ) October 6th, 2010 from iPhone

I was just thinking about what would happen if Scientists found a planet inhabitated by other life forms and how the various religions of the world would respond. I assumed that all hell would break lose but I realized thatI didn’t know if any major faiths talked about the possibility of life outside of earth…

I apologize if this doesn’t make sense. It’s 2 am and I’m an insomniac.

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26 Answers

naivete's avatar

@augustlan
That’s interesting! Thanks!

Would you happen to know any Christian, Islamic, Judaism responses on the matter?

naivete's avatar

Just read that this “science fiction nonsense” has no place in the bible…(in the link you gave me). Am I reading that out of context? How would the religions of the world that don’t believe in life (lets say “humans”) outside of earth respond to a discovery of humans…? Would it even be a problem in defending their God? Am I making any sense at all!

augustlan's avatar

I have no idea about any other religion, though I have some vague memory that Jehovah Witnesses might believe in alien life, too. In more mainstream religions, I don’t think they say anything for or against the possibility. I’m not an expert by any means, though.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Scientology, they would say we where put here by aliens.

Thammuz's avatar

Raelians come to mind.

Also my father once told me that the ancient greek version of revelations hs been mistranslated and originally it said “all the kings of all the worlds” at some point instead of “all the kings of the world” as it is commonly translated.

meiosis's avatar

Doubtless if life is found elsewhere in the universe, theologians will scramble to re-interpret holy books in order to square them with the discovery.

9doomedtodie's avatar

You just see this link. Maybe it’s helpful!

kevbo's avatar

The Catholic Church has said it’s okay to believe in aliens.

MilkyWay's avatar

hey, yeah. dont know about the other major reliegons but ISLAM does believe in life outside earth. theres a quote from the koran in which God says: AND WE HAVE CREATED OTHERS LIKE YOU, AND LIKE YOU THEY LIVE IN THEIR WORLDS AND LIKE YOU SHOULD THEY WORSHIP… ... something like that. so yeah, islam does.

everephebe's avatar

I believe that recently the Catholic church has become open-minded about aliens.

JLeslie's avatar

An ordained Baptist minister friend of mine says that he is open to the idea of alien life, and when I asked him if he believes they are God’s children also, he said yes. That God created the universe. I have no idea if this is the Christian official point of view though.

wundayatta's avatar

Seems to me that angels could be seen as aliens. Perhaps the people who came up with the idea of angels and devils were victims of sleep paralysis. I’m sure many religions have aliens in their hierarchy, although they may not identify them as such.

Cupcake's avatar

From the Baha’i Faith: “Bahá‘u’lláh also wrote that planets would be found around other star systems, and that life would be found on those planets:

“Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute.”

(Bahá‘u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá‘u’lláh, Section LXXXII)” according to wikipedia.

naivete's avatar

All of these answers are really eye-opening for me! Thanks!

Jabe73's avatar

There are many people within certain religions/or denominations on an individual basis that probally believe in the possibilty of alien life. I do not know of any specific religion itself that directly addresses this issue.

Some of the “New Age” religions probally do like Spiritualism, Wiccan, Paganism, Gnosticism and several others. I think people have their personal beliefs regardless of their religion. I’ve seen a survey that claimed roughly half of Pakistanis’ believe in the existence of alien life even though that nation is mostly Muslim.

mattbrowne's avatar

Religions evolve. The possibility of extraterrestrial intelligent life is one good reason why the concept of one true religion does not make sense any more. How can very smart creatures 100 million light years away be saved only by Jesus or pray only in the direction of Mecca?

naivete's avatar

@mattbrowne
That’s what I was wondering.
I guess it’s all a bunch of what-ifs
BUT
what if these extraterrestrials didn’t know what/who God was and weren’t interested in the concept of spirituality… How would that effect (if at all) the religions of this planet..

mattbrowne's avatar

@naivete – Intelligent extraterrestrials would be interested in the origin of our universe’s common natural law. They would ask the ultimate why questions at some point. And they would also want to search for meaning in their lives. With or without a spiritual component.

lmartz42's avatar

God did the creation at least to amuse himself. One of the purposes of creation of the universes (plural), each containing trillions of suns and planets, was to inhabit these vast systems with particles of his (God’s) consciousness. The Masters (people in which God is fully manifested) say that in the vastness of space and time, EVERY planet will have life and consciousness. That is the whole point, although other points remain moot. The creation is of one consciousness, our minds hide that fact, and all consciousness is but an infinitesimally small particle of the Creators consciousness. When the most profound thinkers reach the limits of understandability, they all agree that there is a superior, unknown and indescribable force. I.E.; you guess.
Lee Martz

Thammuz's avatar

@mattbrowne Don’t be so sure about that. The pirana people doesn’t and they’re humans that live on this earth, why would it be automatic for another life form from an entirely different world?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Thammuz – How do we know that the pirana people do not search for meaning?

Thammuz's avatar

@mattbrowne they say so themselves, they lack a religion or any form of recorded history and they have been so since know of them. See here (I misspelled, it is “Piraha” not “Pirana”) They do have some form of belief in spirits but it is not organized in any form of homogeneous dogma. Read the book, if you’re interested, i found some bits and pieces of the audiobook version read by the author and that seems to be pretty much the thing, they live in the present and don’t seek answers that can’t be found via sensible experience.

everephebe's avatar

@Thammuz I think what @mattbrowne was saying wasn’t that the Piraha people had to have religious dogma, but a search for meaning or some way to explain things about the universe (that includes science) and you say they have belief in spirits. I think that counts as a search for meaning.

mattbrowne's avatar

Exactly. People can search for meaning without being part of a religion.

Thammuz's avatar

@mattbrowne @everephebe it appears i have skimmed the part i read (or, rather, listened to) too much. just look up some excerpts from the book, you’ll find the part i meant, eventually. The author, at a certain point, says that they’re not interested in anything but the present. They’re not interested in possible life after death, they don’t care how the universe came to be or why. They even mock him for believing something he has not witnessed in person. While not believing the bible is perfectly reasonable (to me at least) not caring about a possible answer to the question “why?” is a pretty definite sign of not searching for a menaning.

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