First Contact?

First Contact? June 7, 2012

A Facebook friend shared this, and it seemed worth passing along. Reflecting on possible alien religious beliefs, and how they might or might not resemble those of human beings, is a great thought experiment. So what do you think? Is the scenario in the cartoon possible, in your view? Would you be happy, or disappointed, or react like the human in the cartoon?

"That does not strike me as a very interesting topic of conversation."

Jesus, James, and Peter Mythicism
"Thanks for sharing this, James. I saw the NetVue meetings in the program book and ..."

Vocation and Interreligious Engagement at #NetVUE2019AAR ..."
"Just curious about your interpretation of what "troll" means?"

Jesus, James, and Peter Mythicism
"Sorry, don’t quite follow your point. I hope that’s not the best you can come ..."

Jesus, James, and Peter Mythicism

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • First.  Is the alien on the right carrying a bible, or is it…

    “A cook book!”

    • Scott__F

      No, no.  It’s a tennis primer for hippies: How to Serve, Man!

  • RobertA

    I think it’s doubtful, no alien spacecraft that small could accomodate a warp drive and a clear observation sphere.

    Actually if extra-terrestrial life exists we have no reason not to think that they would be theists and have their own unique belief system(s.) CS Lewis said as much when he was asked once. However, I doubt that there is intelligent life beyond us and if there is we’ll likely never know about it as our technology is so primitive we’d never reach them or system that could support intelligent life in 100 generations.

    Oh, I almost forgot…I betcha they’d be King James Only though!

  • Gary

    The two should have name tags, and bicycles for their terrestrial transportation (as oppose to their celestial and telestial transportation). I give the same reaction when they ring my doorbell. 

  • Go_4_tli

    How closely would extraterrestrial faith parallel our own?

    Not very much, I suspect.  Our human brains are built in a particular way that is strongly related to the survival of our lineage.  They’re constructed like a series of concentric shells that increase in sophistication as you move from the inside to the outside, with each successive layer coming later in our heritage.  The epiphenomenon of that brain’s electrochemistry and structure that we call our “mind” or our “consciousness” bears baggage from that heritage, and may be responsible for some of the ways we think as humans — the way feeling comes before thought, or the way we tend to follow charismatic leaders, or the way we tend to believe evidence that agrees with our preconceived notions, or the way we tend to think we’d do pretty well at things with which we have very limited experience.

    God chose to reveal Himself to us in ways that would effectively communicate with us and with our brains.  Faith takes advantage of some of our innate psychology.

    An alien race would certainly have a brain that was constructed differently (in response to different evolutionary circumstances), and consequently might not have our “brain bugs” (or might have different “brain bugs”).  As such, God could reveal Himself along very different lines to appeal to *their* innate psychologies and the bagagge that is part of *their* evolutionary lineage.  What faith is to them and how it works could be very different from the way it works in humans.

    Sure, God has a Personality, but I expect that it’s much broader than could be revealed to any one finite species.

    That said, I would hope that both of us would have enough ability to think abstractly as to try to listen to and appreciate where the other was coming from.  We might learn more about God and how He reveals Himself to his creation in the process.