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< Back to question Is alien life a threat to religion? Show more Show less

When Copernicus and Galileo championed a heliocentric view of the universe, they were demonised by the Catholic authorities for fear of threatening their legitimacy. Would the discovery of alien life on other planets threaten the power and importance of modern religions in a similar way?

Religion could handle the existence of alien life Show more Show less

Religions have adapted to world changing ideas in the past and would be able to do so in the future.
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Religions could evolve to deal with the existence of alien life

Just as many religions came to believe in different aspects of modern science, religions of today or the future would adjust their views to accommodate the existence of alien life.
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Proponents


The Argument

Many believe that the discovery of alien life would result in an end to religious belief and that the existence of alien life contradicts religion. Many clues of alien life have been presented to the public over time, such as the recent 2020 NASA discovery of a large saltwater ocean located on the dwarf planet Ceres. This finding could be a potential clue that this planet once harbored extraterrestrial life. [1] But these kinds of discoveries do not always rattle the faith of believers. The practice of astronomy began centuries ago, and the existence of religion continues to be a considerable part of human existence. [2]Studies have shown that people who practice religion are often believers in alien life as well. For example, the argument that Christians already believe in other life forms, such as angels, is compatible with the belief that life may exist throughout the universe, and not just on Earth. Many scientists have also admitted to being religious as well, saying that the more they discover about the universe, the more they contemplate the existence of a higher power. Many sacred texts have examples of the compatibility of alien life and religion. Buddhists believe the soul leaves the body after death and is reborn into a different body in another part of the universe. Judeo-Christian belief suggests that God's power has no limits and that life could exist elsewhere. In Islam, the Qur'an states that all life forms in the universe serve Allah and that life exists in other worlds. [3] The discovery of intelligent life on other planets does not require the loss of religion. Religions can evolve, as they always have, despite the advancements in space exploration and discoveries of extraterrestrial life.

Counter arguments

The discovery of alien life would be a threat to religion, as many religions believe that Earth is the center of the universe. The existence of alien life would contradict these beliefs, as they would no longer be seen as the people of God.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://observer.com/2020/08/nasa-dawn-probe-discover-salt-ocean-solar-system-planet/
  2. https://www.livescience.com/48208-religion-extraterrestrial-life.html
  3. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20161215-if-we-made-contact-with-aliens-how-would-religions-react

This page was last edited on Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 23:48 UTC