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Is belief in alien life a whole new religion ?

Posted on Wednesday, 5 June, 2019 | Comment icon 84 comments

Belief in intelligent alien life is on the increase. Image Credit: PD - Comfreak / Pixabay
In the United States, there are almost as many believers in intelligent alien life as there are believers in God.
Professor Diana Pasulka of the University of North Carolina has recently published a new book - American Cosmic - which delves in to the parallels between religion and belief in UFOs.

The notion that mankind is not alone in the universe she argues, is itself becoming more and more like a kind of religion - especially given that over 50 percent of Americans and more than 60 percent of young Americans believe in alien life, a figure very close to that of those who believe in God.

"One way we can make sense of this is by using a very old but functional definition of religion as simply the belief in nonhuman and supernatural intelligent beings that often descend from the sky," Pasulka told Vox.com's Sean Illing in a recent interview.

"There are many definitions of religion, but this one is pretty standard."

One way in which belief in God and belief in alien life differs, she argues, is that the idea that we are not alone in the universe is something shared (and often promoted) by prominent scientists.

"Here we have people who are actual scientists, like Ellen Stofan, the former chief scientist at NASA, who are willing to go on TV and basically make announcements like, 'We are going to find extraterrestrial life'," said Pasulka.

"She says we're going to find life, we're going to find habitable planets and things like that."

"So that gives this type of religiosity a far more powerful bite than the traditional religions, which are based on faith in things unseen and unprovable."

Source: Vox.com | Comments (84)

Tags: Religion, UFO, Aliens

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #75 Posted by godnodog on 9 June, 2019, 0:45
Believing in the existence of aliens a religion belief? WTF? There is life in the universe because there is life on Earth and Earth is in the universe, and because there is nothing special about Earth when it comes to its elements (carbon, hidrogen, etc), it´s pretty darn ridiculous to think that to consider non earth life possible as a religious belief, and to consider life on Earth as a single extraordinary event in the universe as reasonable? Mega WTF!!!! One thing is to believe in UFO and ufo abductions, for me it´s highly improbable but not impossible, another is to think Earth as a holy ... [More]
Comment icon #76 Posted by godnodog on 9 June, 2019, 0:55
She could compare cults like those  that commited suicide a few years ago (Switzerland???) with religious fanatics, but she puts everyone in the same bag.
Comment icon #77 Posted by Alien Origins on 9 June, 2019, 1:10
Well if you really stop and think about it all religions are based on the stars..Where do aliens suppose to come from?
Comment icon #78 Posted by godnodog on 9 June, 2019, 9:30
The point is the researcher is mixing belief with research. 
Comment icon #79 Posted by Alien Origins on 9 June, 2019, 11:34
I think you mean bias with research don't you?
Comment icon #80 Posted by godnodog on 10 June, 2019, 7:09
No, I don´t, but sure bias may be present too
Comment icon #81 Posted by Alchopwn on 11 June, 2019, 11:08
Thanks for making the elephant in the room statement.  As you say, most deities allegedly come down from the sky.
Comment icon #82 Posted by jpeniel333 on 13 June, 2019, 22:24
OLDEST religion on Earth.
Comment icon #83 Posted by odas on 24 June, 2019, 23:40
Religion is believing in myths. To believe in inteligent Alien Life is to believe in posibilties. Religion started out as a belief in posibilities.
Comment icon #84 Posted by odas on 24 June, 2019, 23:44
Welcome to the free mind!

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