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Is alien life a threat to religion?

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?

The existence of alien life would be a threat to religion

Alien life would challenge the legitimacy of modern religion. Religions have a clear set of beliefs, and some of them do not account for life on other planets. Some reject the possibility outright. The discovery of aliens would conflict with what these religions teach, undermining their credibility.

Religious creation stories do not account for other worlds

Religious creation stories are earth-centered and do not account for alien life. Scripture does not provide any factual knowledge about the universe we live in. The existence of aliens will prove that scripture is a relic of early superstitions.

Humanity's special relationship with God will be undermined by aliens

Religions argue for a special relationship between God and mankind. Mankind is often said to be the highest form of creation. The existence of alien life will show that these beliefs are false.

Human religions will appear infantile after contact with advanced aliens.

Contact with superior civilizations with advanced knowledge may produce more sophisticated ideas about where religious concepts come from. We may learn more about our origins, about consciousness, and science in general. Science will turn religious ideas into natural ideas.

Religion could handle the existence of alien life

Religions have adapted to world changing ideas in the past and would be able to do so in the future.

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.

Alien life would threaten some but not all religions

Some religions can support the existence of extraterrestrials (or aliens) better than others. A religion’s ability to accommodate the existence of aliens would depend on how open that religion’s belief system is. If it is not, dealing with the idea will be difficult.

Religions vary in their theological flexibility with aliens

Some religions adapt very easily to new ideas in the world while others hold strict lines of thought that would struggle with new information about the world

Some religions already support the idea of alien life

Asian religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, have already incorporated the possibility of life on other planets into their belief systems.

Alien life poses a threat to Christianity

Christianity is seen as the least compatible when it comes to religion and extraterrestrial life. Many Christians believe that life exists on other planets. If Christianity can evolve their ideologies around alien life, then other religions have the potential to evolve.

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This page was last edited on Friday, 25 Sep 2020 at 15:54 UTC