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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Christianity & Science  > Extraterrestrial Life

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  #1  
Old 06-14-2008, 08:26 PM
Olsen's Avatar
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Default Extraterrestrial Life

In a recent article in the Vatican newspaper L'Oservatorio Romano readers were surprised to learned that belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life is not contrary to Catholic doctrine. Jose Gabriel Funes, the chief astronomer of the Vatican, was quoted, as saying: "there is no conflict between believing in God and the possibility of extraterrestrial life." The same astronomer added: "... just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, there can be beings elsewhere even intelligent ones created by God. This is not in conflict with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom." Funes' view point is, of course, sound theology. The infinite God who created and sustains the Universe is obviously not necessarily limited to populating a single speck of His vast domain with intelligent life.

Funes and theologians who share his point of view, however, entirely miss what I believe to be the more important issue: Would discovery of intelligent extraterrestrial life jolt the Christian believer - not in his belief in God, but rather in his belief in his own religion? That is the real issue! I personally believe that it would. The average Christian still views mankind as the pinnacle of creation - made in the image and likeness of God. God Himself, after all, became one of us in the person of His divine and only begotten Son. Heaven is thought to be filled with saints i.e. humans in glory. The concept of space aliens joining us in the celestial kingdom is well beyond the mind set of traditional Christianity.

Could there be intelligent extraterrestrial life? Certainly, but not necessarily! Could our own true destiny involve the exploration and settlement of the entire Universe, if and when, technology makes that possible? God's gifts to mankind, may, after all, not be limited to the fruits of a single planet but extend as far as the heavens themselves reach. Maybe! Our inherent dignity as members of a rational created order which God Himself joined more than justifies such a view. In short - its all for us and ultimately all for God's greater glory.

There may simply be: men, angels (a type of intelligent extraterrestrial life) and God Himself, which is all that Scripture and Christian tradition identify. If there is more, then the next questions become:
1. What is their role in the creative scheme?

2. What is their relationship to us, particularly in the event of an eventual encounter?
It is clear that traditional Christianity has no answers to these and other related questions. The future need to answer such questions if and when aliens are discovered may indeed put a great strain on Christianity itself - Mr. Funes and company notwithstanding!

No rational person should ever doubt a belief in God who created everything. The Devil himself, after all is no atheist. Many Christians, however, while not doubting God because of the discovery of alien life may well question their own religion because of it. Time may tell.
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Last edited by olsen : 06-15-2008 at 01:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2008, 11:27 AM
Latreia's Avatar
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Default Re: Extraterrestrial Life

Quote:
Funes and theologians who share his point of view, however, entirely miss what I believe to be the more important issue: Would discovery of intelligent extraterrestrial life jolt the Christian believer - not in his belief in God, but rather in his belief in his own religion?

That is the real issue! I personally believe that it would. The average Christian still views mankind as the pinnacle of creation - made in the image and likeness of God. God Himself, after all, became one of us in the person of His divine and only begotten Son. Heaven is thought to be filled with saints i.e. humans in glory. The concept of space aliens joining us in the celestial kingdom is well beyond the mind set of traditional Christianity.
This question has never crossed my mind! But as a
reader of science-fiction over the years, as one who
was introduced to the "Comos" by Carl Sagan, and
as one who has viewed many photos of the universe
via Hubble, the implications are meaningful, indeed.

First, we have proof of the immense distances involved.
Universes are many and although science has discovered
the technology to penetrate those incredible distances
that separate the universes and the stars clusters involving
myriads of potential life-friendly planets,
travel to them is just as remote for mankind.

God made it so. And it speaks volumes to my mind.
We must be meant to reach out only as far as man
can advance in technology and intelligence. Success
in contacting other intelligent, cognitive life must
take generations to come; perhaps then shall
also come the enlightenment which will serve
to make that contact appropriate.

On the whole, too much science-fiction,
although somewhat entertaining, has also been as misleading
as it has been prophetic concerning some technical
achievements. The characters, as well as the characteristics,
of "space aliens" are so distorted
and remote from actual probability
that such only precludes any real inferences from them

Perhaps man has not actually reached the "pinnacle"
of creation yet. But so far there really is no way
to have comparisons on a cosmic scale.

It is inevitable that Christianity will grow from some
"traditional" forms to still more forms. But the central
focus on the Messiah, Jesus Christ, may transmute
(to change or alter in form, appearance, or nature
and especially to a higher form) in the future through
God's will.

Thus it is that with God all things are possible.
God created all potentials and we have learned
many that were inherent in life, but unseen by
the human mind for centuries.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that
the sun has risen:
not only because I see it,
but because by it I see everything else."
~ C. S. Lewis

Last edited by latreia : 08-05-2008 at 09:28 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2008, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Extraterrestrial Life

truly the creation of satan
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2008, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Extraterrestrial Life

Quote:
truly the creation of satan
What is truly the creation of satan?
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2008, 01:03 PM
Pastorlen
 
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Wink Re: Extraterrestrial Life

Zola Levitt wrote an excellent book on this subject, but I forget the name of the book right now.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2008, 04:54 AM
gruvEdude
 
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Exclamation Re: Extraterrestrial Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olsen View Post
No rational person should ever doubt a belief in God who created everything. The Devil himself, after all is no atheist. Many Christians, however, while not doubting God because of the discovery of alien life may well question their own religion because of it. Time may tell.
Besides alien life, who's to say that there aren't other dimensions as well? The trinity has been revealed. But who's to say that God is not an Infinity? God has put things in terms for our simplistic minds, but God's mind is a bit wiser.

Whatsomever, all is created for God's glory!

Last edited by gruvEdude : 10-08-2008 at 04:57 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2008, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Extraterrestrial Life

Christian tradition clearly teaches that God is infinite and that with Him "all things are possible". It would not be appropriate to suggest, therefore, that His creative power is limited to the world as we know it or the dimensions of that world as we preceive it.

It is also true that our own minds are not infinite and the totality of knowledge remains solely in the unique possession of God Himself. The essential point of my original post was the suggestion (which may be wrong) that the discovery of alien life, as mankind reaches farther into the universe, may well shake up the traditional beliefs of many Christians in their own religion. It shouldn't, but it might.
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2008, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Extraterrestrial Life

Of course the discovery of aliens would shake up the Christian world... it may destroy it. Unless the aliens were Christians - but that's a crazy notation. Do aliens believe in the Trinity? Would they worship Jesus (who became man)? They would probably be atheists - or closer to Muslims.

Whether or not a theologian could find a "loop hole" that would make the idea of aliens somehow work within the parameters of our Christian faith is besides the point... for a practical matter, I think the discovery of aliens would shake the foundation of our faith.

Last edited by Mark : 10-09-2008 at 08:36 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2008, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Extraterrestrial Life

if one's faith is built on the rock than that foundation could not be shaken. If there is something out there than the fact is that it has to be created by God.....and who am i to question God and his plan.
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  #10  
Old 11-19-2008, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Extraterrestrial Life

It is a silly primis because there is no proof that there is life anywhere else but on earth. Man is God's special creation. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." One earth!!!
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