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Vatican: Believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God

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Interesting article. It makes sense. Also, if memory serves me, UFOs were mentioned in the Bible, in Ezekiel I believe.

Taka

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The church is just simply betting both ways, it is a skillful marketing approach designed to remain relevant if that day ever comes.

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As far as I know, Christianity regards mankind as children of God, while the rest of sentient beings are regarded as mere creatures. If we accept the existence of aliens which are smarter than us, we could consider ourselves as mere creatures as well, while these aliens would be the "true" children of God. Of course, I don't mean this seriously, I am just rambling.

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watch this www.zeitgeistmovie.com

It explains everything in layman's terms!

sure believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God, but following a religion does!

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and of course, all aliens will go to hell, since they're not catholics. or was that mormons?

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timeon: I believe aliens would be infidels!

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how many eons has it taken them to come to this conclusion?

does anyone know what Jews, Muslims, and Satanist believe?

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This had profound influence

(Lt) Col. Corso, "The Day After Roswell", the transistor radio. Nuff said.

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They'll keep revising their story-tale bible over the course of time to keep the drones believing this tosh in current times.

Heh. Religion really is for the weak-minded.

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Mark my words, they're laying the groundwork for a merger with Scientology.

Case in point: neither of them believe in contraception.

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"believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God"

Duh! Everyone knows God is an alien from a world with technology far beyond ours!

Madverts -

Heh. Religion really is for the weak-minded.

Wow, you just dissed hundreds of millions, if not billions of people.

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Uh, sarge;

"Wow, you just dissed hundreds of millions, if not billions of people."

Yup.

And?

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Uh, adverts, why don't you think about it for awhile?

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Pope John Paul declared in 1992 that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.”

Galileo comprehending the universe. The Church comprehending how to preserve its monopoly on Truth.

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I would think a belief that space aliens are here among us would not only fail to contradict faith in God, it would be downright amenable to faith in God...in addition to faith in unicorns and other imaginary beings.

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I have, uh, sarge. That's how I formed my opinion that people who believe in "god" and fairy-tales that have no foot-hold in Reality or proof of actual existence are "weak-minded".

Heh. It's obvious.

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Heh. It's obvious.

Heh. Go to Lourdes.

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Why do you get the feeling that many here and in our vapid modern consumer culture would believe in God - if told by "aliens" that he/she/it exists.

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As long as they pick strawberries and do housekeeping, we know they're send by a loving God.

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"Heh. Go to Lourdes."

Heh. I live not too far away. But far enough. Now there's a fine example of how to make cash selling crap to tourists that delude themselves that life isn't really all that bad because even though they're going to become old, wrinkly and incontinent, the good lord is at the pearly gates and the eternal after life is nigh.

With that kind of delusion in mind, I think the faithfull are actually a pretty scary bunch of geezer's.

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Madverts and Nessie, I don't know, I'm going to have to disagree with you regarding the belief in God. You may disagree with the concept, but to call it silly, I think is a real stretch. Take a look at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_mammal_species I think that link is a really good example of how little we have yet to discover on our own tiny planet. Then, think of how much we don't know about our universe; how much we have left to discover. We haven't even left our own solar system so I don't think we know enough to make a judgement call on things (potentially) bigger than the universe. We just aren't at that level of understanding yet. So, personally, I don't think the belief in God is a sign of being weak-minded. I think it is every bit as possible as it isn't.

Taka

Taka

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Taka,

With respect, I'm not saying I believe in nothing, because to believe in nothing is to be as equally weak-minded. The religious texts, and I mean all of them here, were written by man. And then edited further by man to suit his agenda. And again. And again.

That is why I think they are fairy tales created to control man and also to give an answer to the un-answerable question that drives us non-believers to puzzle over the question.

"Aliens", and the conspiracies that surround them are simply a different form of religion for people to believe in and the Vatican is playing a smart card in adding this to their sect now to avoid embarassing potential questions later. Whilst I don't imagine that we're alone in the universe, I hardly think little green men have been running about the planet here....

That's about as believable as the fish and bread story in the bible.

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If there is one god there are others. Let me quote from the Ten Commandments; "You shall have no other gods before me." Ergo there are other gods. If there are other gods, they certainly could have made their own worlds full of aliens. If man was made in god's image, then god must have sexual organs. If god has sexual organs he must have a goddess to copulate with. Perhaps that goddess is an alien.

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You may disagree with the concept, but to call it silly, I think is a real stretch.

I never said it's silly, Taka. Just thoroughly irrational. God could be a useful fiction, particularly for a society confronted by a threat from a more religiously indoctrinated society. In my view, organized religion evolved as a kind of arms race. Better off if no-one has the weapons, but once someone does, you're foolish not to arm yourself. I believe the spiritual impulse is innate, but religion as we know it now is a defensive adaptation by societies to internal and external threats.

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Madverts, I agree with you regarding the religious texts and I'm not attached at the hip to any religion. I don't consider the Bible to be gospel however, I choose not to discount it entirely either. My post was aimed more toward the idea that belief in God is a qualifier to being intellectually inferior. If anything is more close-minded, it's not entertaining the possibility of God's existence (Sorry, soapbox. As a Christian, I get really annoyed by atheists who claim intellectual superiority because they are too close-minded to accept the idea that God could exist. It triggers the "bad" irony alert). Anyway...because I believe in God, it would be pretty silly of me to think this was the only inhabited planet God created. Whether you believe in God or not, the idea of Aliens existing somewhere else makes total sense. It's just playing the odds. By the way, belief in God doesn't mean that you have to stop pondering the un-answerables. It opens the door to even more pondering, if done right.

Taka

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Taka,

"I get really annoyed by atheists who claim intellectual superiority because they are too close-minded to accept the idea that God could exist. It triggers the "bad" irony alert)."

Heh, I was expecting this kind of answer. "God" is very similar to "aliens". You can believe in it, fair enough, but nobody has an ounce of cold hard facts to say either exist. Therefore I reject it all. In fact, Taka, I'll go a step further and say there is probably more proof that aliens exist than god.

Superior beings - ok. Perhaps. Maybe. My mind isn't closed but I think I'll snuff it knowing having no further facts than yourself about the matter other than we are not even a pimple on a pimple on the ass of the universe.

And when I see what is happening in Mynamar or in China or when my partner's 7 yr old son gets diagnozed with a brain tumor - I feel like spitting in the faces of the weak-minded fools that bleat about how "god" loves us and cares for each and every one of us like written in their storybook.

Maybe I should have reserved my "weak-minded" quote for these particular people. No offense was intended to those who are open to discussing their faith :D Heh, or aliens for that matter.

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And when I see what is happening in Mynamar or in China or when my partner's 7 yr old son gets diagnozed with a brain tumor - I feel like spitting in the faces of the weak-minded fools that bleat about how "god" loves us and cares for each and every one of us like written in their storybook.

To answer that, allow me to oversimplify. Just because your parents didn't give you what you wanted, does that mean you don't believe in them either?

Along with not having enough cranial capacity to do justice to a real debate about the existence of God, I don't think anyone has the noodle-juice to really understand God's methods (given the assumption God exists).

Taka

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and of course, all aliens will go to hell, since they're not catholics.

I like to think that when aliens do come they will coincidentally (celestially indoctrinated) be practicing Catholicism.

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how little we have yet to discover on our own tiny planet."

So true. How many species are we finding every five years? quite a few I believe.

One thing I would like to point out. If you ask ten people, half will say they believe in god and not aliens and half will say they don't believe in god but believe in aliens. go figure.

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"No good has ever come of the papacy and its laws" Martin Luther, 1521. Plus ca change.........

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Taka,

"Just because your parents didn't give you what you wanted, does that mean you don't believe in them either?"

I disagree, because you have proof in yourelf that your parents actually existed. "God", on the other hand, does not. IMO, this was invented IMO by man to give an over-simplfied answer to The Question.

And when you have faith, you no longer need to ask The Question. It's slammed the door comfortably shut.

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Madverts, if there is no God, how did you come into existence? Your parents made you, right? Where did they come from? Their parents made them, right? Where did they come from? If we go back so many thousands of years, monkeys, right? Where did the monkeys come from? If we go back so many millions of years, amoebas, right? Where did they come from? Amino acids, right? Where did they come from? Heck, where did our planet come from? It just suddenly appeared out of nowhere, right?

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One last question:

If there is a God, where the heck did he/she/it come from?

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Sarge,

The same place the aliens came from. And doubtlessly, the same damned place where I left my car keys.

HTH.

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All forms of Religion is our feeble attempt to understand God. God has whole universe to take of, not just some third rock planet from some third rate sun out of billions in the galaxy with an ape species that evolved to think it is somehow special.

Time we humble ourselves and realize we are just part of a huge universe that we can barely comprehend and be grateful that the stardust that started all of creation allowed us to look in the night sky and say damn here we here and thank you God.

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Bah, I still say it's a microbe's (that would be us) attempt at explaining things we cannot and that "God" is a nice and simple "answer" to make The Question that cannot be answered, go away.

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an ape species that evolved to think it is somehow special

kind of contradicts your later sentence

be grateful that the stardust that started all of creation allowed us to look in the night sky and say damn here we here and thank you God.

so what was it? big bang? stardust? evolution? god? who should we thank again? bible bashing scientist eh?

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Actually, I'm quite sure that there are millions if not billions or trillions or gadzillions of aliens out there in the universe. The reason we don't see them: by the time they've developed the technology to leave their planet and their solar system, they've unfortunately also developed the technology to destroy themselves! But I'm confident we're not going to destroy ourselves - heck, otherwise there won't be any Federation of Planets!

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The greatest sign of intelligent life in the universe is that none of them have tried to contact us- Calvin and Hobbes

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The greatest sign of intelligent life in the universe is that none of them have tried to contact us

Speak for yourself, Kichigai! ;)

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If there ARE aliens, I just hope their God is not as nuts as ours are.

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Taka, Madverts and Nessie

This thread has spanned over quite a lot of territory.

I'd like to, if I may, focus on the specific nature of the Biblical/Koranic tradition. This tradition is unique in that it is Manichean -- meaning it conceives of the world as the stage in which a cosmic drama is played out between the forces of light (good) and dark (evil). This is a very distinctive quality in world religions. It lends itself easily towards religiosity, self-righteousness and doctrinal hair-splitting. The most uncompromising expression of this dualistic impulse is of course Crusades and Jihads.

Pretty powerful stuff, as I think you, Nessie, pointed out.

I simply do not believe this. I do not believe in Satan. I do not believe there is a sentient and malevolent force that is constant (Evil) and that pops up in varying forms and expressions (disease, warfare, Greed, etc) to torment and lead us astray from the Light. It just does not jive with way I understand how the world works. Germs, not the Devil, cause disease. People are greedy because it has adaptive value, not because we were born sinful.

And since I do not believe in Satan, in Evil with a capital E, I cannot accept that the literal Manichean notion that the world, that history, is the great cosmic story of Good vs. Evil.

Second, the New Testament/Koranic tradition conceives of God as all-powerful, all knowing and all caring -- of His people, notably. Personally, I can conceive of a divinity that encompasses two of these three.

But not all three.

My understanding of the way the world works precludes the possibility that all God is all three. I can see how an all loving and all knowing God must stand by when things go wrong. I can see how an all-powerful and all caring God messes up. I can see how an all-powerful and all knowing God callously allows things like the recent cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake in China. But an all-loving one?

I must say no. I find the Christian argument silly at best -- a tortured construing that turns the meaning of love upside down -- and at worst an insult to the dignity of man, and because we are supposedly created in a divine image, an insult to the dignity of god. So, no, I reject as wishful thinking the New Testament/Koranic belief in an omnipotent, omniscient all loving God.

I believe, one may say have faith in, Justice. And anyone fan of Isaiah, or Law and Order, knows that Justice can be harsh.

In the West, the two characteristics of our religious tradition identified above naturally serve as the subtext underlying much if not all the disagreement between Believers and Non-Believers. Indeed, the two characteristics and the terms Believer and Non-Believer (Atheist) themselves set the terms and scope of the debate. The theist believes spirituality = divinity = God = Christ. The non-believer disbelieves Christ, therefore God and therefore divinity and spirituality. Notably, both Believer and Non-Believer reduce the nuance of spirituality, belief, and religious practice to a crude ethical dualism, a kindergarten good vs. bad caricature indicative of zealous false dichotomies.

And much feces tossing ensues.

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DanMan,

I think we're straying from aliens, but...

For starters, the Abrahamic religions hardly have a monopoly on the dualistic idea of good and evil. And the post-Enlightenment Christian tradition has at least the stirrings of skepticism and tolerance of other beliefs, and even non-belief.

As to the question of an omnipotent, omniscient, all-caring God, the religious answer is two-pronged: humans are too dumb or self-centered to understand how things that we perceive as uncaring are actually part of a caring God's plan, and it's not our place to question God anyway. Some people find those explanations satisfying; others don't. The corallary is that, if humans are too dumb to understand God's plan, the idea of human rationality is undermined.

Back to the topic at hand. If there are aliens and they are religious, I would expect their religion to be adaptive as human religions probably have been. We can only hope that the aliens' interests mesh with ours.

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Nessie,

Though we may be straying from aliens, I think we are directly dealing with half of the question, y'know, the faith in god part.

So thanks for your reply.

I think much of Madvert's bile towards organized religion results from an understandable skepticism towards and rejection of the various Christian (and Islamic) dogmas, with all their annoying in-your-face demand for respect and privileged seeking for their mythologies.

Notice that I do not include Jewish dogma as a large concern in the West. First, Mani appeared to spread his dogma of moral dualism long after Rabbinic Judaism had retreated from the world. And despite what you say, moral dualism is more pronounced in the “Abrahamic religions” than in others. Second, we don't want to impose our ways on you. After all, we are the Chosen People. The take home lesson for two thousand years of Exile is let "why break my head over what meshugena goyim are up to?! Let them break their own heads." Being a minority imposed limits, y’know. Jews are so few in numbers that we would have a devil of time imposing our ways on the rest of you, despite our Elders control of the banks, media, and so forth. In truth, that branch of Judaism called Christianity sucked most of the drive to convert out of my glorious tradition. In short, Judaism, unlike Christianity is not a Faith based (orthodox) prostelyzing universal creed which purports in an ever-loving God, but rather a Orthoprax, -- as in "She is a practicing Jew." – tribal one believing in Gods Justice.

Nevertheless, your "Abrahamic religions" primarily a problem when the majority of a society and the elite adopt that religion. Case and point: Israel. Modernity, with the creation of Israel, wrenched the Jews back into autonomous history, into politics, and the unsightly confluence of religion and power politics. In Israel, segments of Judaism have rediscovered the appeal and power of dogma, demands for respect and even prostelyzation, as any good Jewish American boy whose taken a bus is Israel knows all too well. What’s more wonderful is these religious bigots have secured a special place in Israeli politics that allows them an inordinately influence on Israeli society and policy in key areas. Sounds familiar? It should. Though under 20% population, they are a determined and effective lobby, affecting, most importantly, settlement policy and relations with the Palestinians.

As far as aliens as faith goes, I’ll let you in on a secret: for Jews, faith is as alien as Zxortac from Planet Xenubia. Its not about faith. It is about god, torah and Israel. Its about being a mench – that is, leading an ethical life. Its about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

And its about controlling the media.

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Holy Blather batman! edit your rambling there, Encyclopedia Brown. This isnt the " I pontificate with my Thesaurus and my Theology thesis on 'Abrahamic religions' " websight. I almost mixed my own bathroom chemicals trying to get through that last post. Lets stick to the subject. Obviously in this day and age, fundamental religion must recognize the scientific possibilties, else they begin to fall into the category of superstition that they once persecuted.

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Clearly the Bible says that men are from dust, and women are from ribs. Had men been from plasma and women from tentacles, wouldn't somebody have noted it before now? Still, I suppose it could have been a loose translation... and at any rate, it's nice that the Vatican has fessed up to what revolves around what, and is being so welcoming of our greenish, antennaed neighbors, who I hear chant things like, "Resistance is futile," and other mystical formulae.

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