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Spirituality

Would ET contact challenge religious faith ?

By T.K. Randall
June 23, 2014 · Comment icon 119 comments

How would alien contact affect world beliefs ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Theologian Robin Lovin doesn't believe that discovering alien life would cause a 'crisis of faith'.
Few could doubt that the revelation that we are not alone in the universe would have significant and far-reaching consequences for society. Not only would it be one of the most important events in human history but it would also lead us to question our place in the universe and to see ourselves as a species in a new light.

Spiritual belief is one area in particular that could see the most impact in the event of such a revelation.

What would be the official stance of religions around the world on the origins of life on other worlds ? What if an extraterrestrial civilization had its own religions and ideas of God, how would these integrate and interact with our own ?
Theologian Robin Lovin recently weighed in on this issue during a panel debate at the Library of Congress' John W. Kluge Center. He believes that even if we were to find ourselves in contact with extraterrestrials it would not impact our own religious beliefs as much as some believe.

"This discovery is a reminder of what we should all have known all along," he said. "God is doing things in places that our minds have not been able to go."

Social psychologist Albert Harrison also believes that religion is resilient enough to endure.

"Religion has been around a long time," he said. "Religion in most cases has proven adaptive. It provides a tremendous source of support and solace for people, particularly when dealing with the unknown. I just don't buy that idea that people are going to freak out and panic."

Source: Washington Times | Comments (119)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #110 Posted by markdohle 10 years ago
Of course not.
Comment icon #111 Posted by Doug1029 10 years ago
Religion may be the reason ET hasn't contacted us yet. Doug
Comment icon #112 Posted by davros of skaro 10 years ago
Of course not. Facts has no effect anyway.
Comment icon #113 Posted by davros of skaro 10 years ago
Religion may be the reason ET hasn't contacted us yet. Doug This planet's intelligent life kills each other over fairy tales.We will just keep an eye on them for now.
Comment icon #114 Posted by danielost 10 years ago
Biogenesis is life through reproduction. I'm not sure what your rant has to do with God or aliens though. I was asked a specific question. Which I answered. As for biogenesis I meant a biogenesis the supposed way life started on this planet. Which I said relies on way too many accidents.
Comment icon #115 Posted by kreleroll129 10 years ago
Depends. I'll explain. If by any chance we make ET contact, and by any chance they say that they been around for million or billion years, that would seriously challenge religious faith, in any way. On the other hand, religious books in fact say about other beings, not exactly aliens, but other beings in the sky. In every religious books, angels, birds, God... are mentioned. So let's not take them as alien beings and still other beings are mentioned which in fact could be aliens. And also, those religious books mention that we will find them and that we will meet them.
Comment icon #116 Posted by Mr Supertypo 10 years ago
the catholic fate has recognized the possibility for alien life...HA!
Comment icon #117 Posted by Doug1029 10 years ago
If we got a hypothetical message from an alien intelligence that said, "We're on the way; see you in 20 years," we'd start doing all sorts of weird things trying to prepare. But in 20 years an alien intelligence (computerized "artificial intelligence") will be here and we aren't even talking about it. A "smart" immortal machine that can talk to you about your religion as if it were a god. A machine that is smarter and faster than we are and perhaps armed with our own weapons. A machine that might provide humans with all sorts of benefits, or decide that we're obsolete and the planet would be b... [More]
Comment icon #118 Posted by Doug1029 10 years ago
Only from the sacraments of hallucinogens they ingested. Matthew 17:1-6 describes something that sounds an awful lot like a drug party. Saccharus = sugar (Latin). Must have been something besides sugar in it. There should be enough in that deion to identify the plant. Doug
Comment icon #119 Posted by davros of skaro 10 years ago
Matthew 17:1-6 describes something that sounds an awful lot like a drug party. Saccharus = sugar (Latin). Must have been something besides sugar in it. There should be enough in that deion to identify the plant. Doug Hyoscyamus Niger


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