Is it reasonable for Christians to believe in 'aliens' ?

by Franz 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Franz

    By "aliens" let's assume beings capable of making moral choices, having intellect, emotion, and a will (angels, who are extra-terrestrials, also fit into this category, but this answer will deal with three-dimensional, physical beings). I'll briefly address the question of algae or even dog or cat-like animals later. But first, a few scientific facts: + Men have sent spacecraft to every planet in our solar system, except Pluto. After observing these planets we have ruled out all but Mars as being able to support life (one natural satellite, or "moon," of Jupiter is thought to be possible of supporting life, but that is still very theoretical). + In 1976, the U.S. sent two landers to Mars. Each had instruments that could dig into the Martian sand and analyze it for any sign of "life"--mostly micro-organisms. They found nothing. Note that if you dug a shovel full of sand from the Sahara Desert or dug through many meters of ice into frozen dirt in Antarctica and analyzed these, you'd find both samples teaming with micro-organisms--that is, life!! In 1997, the U.S. sent "Pathfinder" to the surface of Mars. This rover took more samples and conducted many more experiments. What did it find concerning "life"? Zip. In June and July 2003, the U.S. launched two more rovers, five times the size of Pathfinder, to land on and explore the surface of Mars beginning in January 2004. Expect some science data returns, but don't expect any more regarding the presence of life than what the earlier missions found. + From time to time you will read a headline that says something like, "New Planet Found in Distant Solar System." The fact is, none of these have ever been proved to be anything close to a life-supporting planet. The very existence of many distant "planets" are later disproved but that story never makes it into an updated newspaper headline. Knowing that only Earth can support life in our solar system, evolutionists want very badly to find another solar system to be able to state, "See, there ARE other planets! Therefore, there MUST be life on one of them somewhere!" There may be other "planets" (probably brown dwarfs orbiting larger stars) out there somewhere, but we certainly know nothing intimately about them to know if they could even remotely support "life." But what does the Bible say? The earth, and mankind, are unique in God's creation. Genesis 1 teaches that God created the earth before He even created the sun, the moon, or the stars. Acts 17:24, 26 states that "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth,… has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings." After creation, mankind was without sin and everything in the world was "very good" (Gen 1:31). When the first man sinned (Genesis 3) it caused the fall of mankind, which resulted in problems of all sorts, sickness, and death. Even though animals have no personal sin before God (they are not moral beings) they nevertheless suffer and even die (Rom. 8:19-22). Jesus Christ died to remove the punishment that we deserve for our sin. When He returns, He will undo many aspects of the curse that has existed since Adam, and ultimately He will remove all aspects of the curse (Rev 21-22). Christians can't wait!! But note that Romans 8:19-22 states that all of creation also eagerly waits for this time! It's important to also note that Christ came to earth to die, that He came to earth to die for mankind, and that He died only once (Heb. 7:27; 9:26-28; 10:10). Putting these truths together concisely: God created the earth and mankind unique. All of creation suffered as a result of the fall of man. Christ came to earth to offer Himself once and only once to pay for our sins. Not only will believers be delivered, but all of creation will be delivered too. Implications: If all of creation suffers, that means that any life apart from earth would also suffer (I think that craters on the moon and other planets also argue for this). If, for the sake of argument, there exists moral beings on other planets, then they also suffer; and if not now, then someday they will surely suffer when everything will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat (2 Pet. 3:10). If they had never sinned, then God would be unjust to punish them; but if they had sinned, and Christ could die only once (which He did on earth) then they are left in their sin, which would also be against the character of God (2 Pet. 3:9). This leaves us with an unsolvable paradox . . . unless, of course, there are no moral beings outside of earth. Finally, I said I'd address the question: What about life forms on other planets that are non-moral? Could algae or even dogs and cats be present on an unknown planet? I suppose so, and it would not do any real harm to any biblical text. But it would certainly prove problematic when trying answer questions like, "Since all of creation suffers, what purpose would God have in creating suffering non-moral creatures on distant planets?

  • skyman

    I think it is.

  • Oroborus21


    The following is an old post of mine from H20 on this topic. You may find it interesting or not... -Eduardo


    ON ETS

    (Speculations on the Universe and Extraterrestrials (ETs) from a Christian Perspective)

    I. Looking Beyond Earth

    The Bible is written from the viewpoint of humans. Except for God and the angelic creations, it says nothing about life elsewhere in the Universe or about the possibility of residing on planets elsewhere in the galaxy.

    What can we then conclude from this fact? First, since the point of the Bible is to address the human condition, our life and future, it should not be surprising that God omits revealing information about life elsewhere, if such life exists. Second, God may yet reveal this information. As Revelation mentions, beginning in the Millennial Reign, “scrolls” representing further teachings will be opened and thus continue our’ and resurrected ones’ education of God, His purposes and mankind’s future. A third inference that we might draw from the Bible’s silence on the possibility of extraterrestrial life is that WE really are alone and that the rest of creation, if it relates to us at all, is probably reserved for our future. Finally, another possibility is that there is life beyond earth but that God has purposely not revealed the existence of ETs to humans. These ideas will be explored below.

    Let’s consider the following fact: “Most of the created universe lies beyond human perception even when such perception is extended via technology.” What possible inferences could be draw from the preceding fact? First, that this portion of creation has absolutely no bearing on our own existence, purposes or future and exists for reasons distinct from Jehovah’s purposes toward mankind. That could be the end of the discussion. Frankly, we as humans have an obsession with relating everything in the universe to ourselves. Some see this as the supreme embodiment of arrogance. A few persons might argue that the rest of the universe holds at least aesthetic pleasure for humans. However, this would only be true of that amount of the universe which we can perceive. Even extending our perceptions via modern technology, it is quite evident that the universe is so vast there is much (maybe even the majority) we will never perceive from our vantagepoint of the Earth. Another minor argument has been raised that the “Hidden Machinery” we can’t see actually directly influences and exists for the Earth’s benefit and that further discovery in Astrophysics and Cosmology will reveal how this occurs. At this point this argument seems highly speculative. We thus could conclude that the rest of the universe has absolutely nothing at all to do with us here on Earth.

    However, since we are humans let’s assume that the rest of the universe does relate to us. One possible conclusion we could reach would be that the rest of the universe exists as a future inheritance of humankind. Support for this conclusion can be obtained by the following reasoning: The Bible reveals man’s destiny to inhabit the Earth forever with individuals living indefinitely. The Bible also places no ultimate restrictions on procreation. Thus we can conclude that even a blessedly producing Earth would eventually reach a level of maximum population support. But for Adam’s sin, mankind would have been well on this road by today; however, this process will now begin when humans again begin to live forever. Personally, I find this last speculation the most alluring. It explains the absence of ETs in Bible as well as holding out an intriguing future for mankind. But what about ETs? Is it possible that these do exist?

    II. Et tu ET

    There are only two possibilities: Either ETs exist or they don’t. As a Christian it seems likely that they don’t. The first reason for saying this that we would like to believe that God would clue us in and directly reveal their existence to us. Although, Jehovah may have reasons not to reveal their existence to us, in virtually everything that He has done in dealing with mankind, He has provided clearly discernible reasons. This harmonizes with His divine nature of being a God of order and not disorder and a God of truth and not mystery. True, it may be that we are early in the stream of time and that He does intend to reveal their existence, however I would still contend this to be unlikely because of the second following reason for denying the existence of ETs.

    The second reason for believing there are no ETs is to consider the matter of the “Divine Trial” and Jesus’ sacrifice as it relates to this. As the book of Job indicates and as taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Satan has raised issues of Jehovah’s right to sovereignty and questioned whether mankind serves and worships God out of fear and terror or love. Reflecting upon Satan’s previous seduction of Eve and Adam’s subsequent sin raises serious questions of whether it is possible for man to stay loyal to God. As understood, one of the main concerns for God is the impact these charges may have upon His other angelic sons who are witnesses of Satan’s accusations. God wants to settle the issue forever and thus wants to quash any more rebellions by any of them, as they are just as capable as Satan is of doing so in the future. God has therefore allowed this “Divine Trial” to occur, allowing mankind to work out the answer along with Satan’s machinations in order to prove that mankind needs His guidance and worships Him out of love.

    Reasoning from the above, we can conclude that if Jehovah had other free-willed creations elsewhere in the universe to point to as loyal servants then there would be no need for the rest of the trial. (Here, someone could point out that the angels are also creations with free-will and most have remained loyal to God. However, it appears that Satan’s challenge is specifically directed towards mankind—and thus the angels and ETs if they existed would not be included as possible examples.) We thus conclude that since only mankind has been singled out, because of mankind’s fall, there are no ETs.

    But note this conclusion raises a startling possibility! We have concluded that since mankind has been singled out, it is the only group of free-willed creations, which have sinned. This does not then necessarily preclude the possibility of extraterrestrials. However, what it does mean is that such extraterrestrials if they have been created DID NOT sin in other words are yet perfect! How can we reason from the scriptures? The Bible clearly states that Christ died “one time” to redeem mankind. It further does not reveal any other time that Christ gave up his pre-human existence, suffered death, and was resurrected. If ETs were imperfect they would also need the redemptive value of Christ’s blood. Clearly the Bible indicates that only humans, not animals, not angels, nor ETs are intended to directly benefit from the redemptive value of Christ’s sacrifice. Further, it would not harmonize with the Bible to assert that another angel went through a similar situation as Jesus since the Bible clearly infers that Jesus has a unique relationship with all creation, he being the first of God’s creations. Thus it is unlikely that no other angel would have the right or “value” to redeem the alien beings. The possibility that there are ETs and that these as stated above are perfect would explain why these much like the angels have had very limited access to humans and not been allowed to interfere with mankind in an overt way. It may further explain their supposed higher advancements and developments both physically (telepathy, telekinesis, etc.) and technologically. It is not difficult to assume that had mankind remained perfect we ourselves might presently enjoy similar advancements.

    While these things would be the case if ETs were created it seems more likely because of their exclusion from the Bible and lack of other proof of their existence that these do not exist. (True someone could argue that there has been little proof of the existence of angels. However, the eyewitness accounts of them and their doings contained in the Bible are relied upon as sufficient proof.)

    We can therefore conclude that mankind is yet alone in the universe and that we are the only physical creations, embodied with free will, set to dwell in it. Yet a glorious future may lie ahead as an eternally living population must continue to grow and expand in the universe which by all indications stretches out into the dark recesses of infinity.

    By Eduardo

    Given that it may take millions or even billions of years for a planetary body to be rendered suitable for human habitation, God may have already created life such as plants and animals. The Genesis account is concerned with EARTH, not other planets and secondly, the reference to God’s ceasing to create pertains to Humans, not other things.

  • Carmel

    no problem for me and aliens.. hell, most of my family qualify!!


    The earth has its inhabitants, the water and the air contain many living beings and all the elements have their nature spirits, then how is it possible to conceive that these stupendous stellar bodies are not inhabited? Verily, they are peopled, but let it be known that the dwellers accord with the elements of their respective spheres. These living beings do not have states of consciousness like unto those who live on the surface of this globe: the power of adaptation and environment moulds their bodies and states of consciousness, just as our bodies and minds are suited to our planet.

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 114)

  • DannyBloem

    I have to make some comments on your assumptions:

    To say that there is no life on other planets because were we looked was none, is illogic. How many percet of the universe did we explore?

    We have not found planets on other stars who can support life, not because there are not there, but because we can not see them yet. They are too small to see. So this arguments shows some ignorance.

    To make any logical argument based on the bible that was written for humans in the huuman context is absurt. It shows more ignorance then people who believed the earth was flat, or the sum moved around the earth, because of some bible logic.

    Even with bible logic you make many assumptions. Assumptions are the mother of all errors.

  • proplog2

    It's ridiculous to argue from the assumption that the Bible is the measure of truth. It clearly isn't.

    If there is an omnipotent & omnicient person who created and controls everything then HE is clearly responsible for what HE doesn't do.

    Bible believers are blinded by their parents propaganda. Most people believe the Bible because it was presented as truth before they had the tools to reason.

    But there is another type of blindness that must be considered. Having discovered they were fooled by their parents religion, skeptics fail to investigate the possibility that there may be other forces besides an imaginary "GOD" that may be interested in the Earth and Mankind.

    Is there intrinsic sin? Are there beings from some weird quantum parallel earths that are tweaking our natural evolution? Perhaps they are ethically limited in how much they can intervene in our evolution. Intrinsic sin is the natural boundary (cell wall) that drives evolution. But at some point the wall of SELF-ishness becomes dangerous to everyone. Especially at the level of "nationalism". Nationalism is the most dangerous expression of boundary. The most powerful message of Jesus was that there is no special sacred geographical location on earth. His earthly visit coincided with the end of the Jewish temple . Perhaps humans have to realize this before they can enter the realm of cosmic evolution.

    No group on earth have adopted this philosophy as much as JW's. They take their neutrality seriously. They don't lift up sword against anyone.

    This is in contrast to the re-nationalization of all the other Christian religions. Roman Catholic, Anglican Church, Greek Orthodox, Southern Baptists, Russion Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox etc. etc.

    Could Jesus be an alien? Is the story of a virgin birth a convenient cover for the fact that he pops onto the scene at the age of 30. There is almost nothing written about Jesus growing up.

    Did humans need a model of self-sacrifice? You can't ignore the fact that the world was changed by the Jesus model.

    There is certainly some kind of mystery to all of this. Keep your eyes open.

  • tetrapod.sapien
    Is it reasonable for Christians to believe in 'aliens' ?

    yes, entirely. they already believe in god and other magical entities like angels and demons. why not throw in some aliens for good measure?

    "Since all of creation suffers, what purpose would God have in creating suffering non-moral creatures on distant planets?"

    yes, that would be a problematic question for god to answer. jehovah would just tell us to "shut the hell up, and stop it with the questions". he is "God" afterall. but a cool god i could imagine saying: "morals? what are morals? there's no such thing. get on with your little lives, because when you die you are gone for good."


  • Sad emo
    Sad emo

    Belated welcome to the board Franz

    Yes I think it's reasonable for Christians to believe in aliens.

    The way I see it is that God can create whatever He wants and He can be 'saviour' of whoever He wants.

    It doesn't affect His relationship to humankind and He's big enough for us to share with any ET's that may be out there!!

  • IMustBreakAway

    It would be such an aweful waste of space.

  • stillAwitness
    hell, most of my family qualify!!

    I second that!

    Bible believers are blinded by their parents propaganda. Most people believe the Bible because it was presented as truth before they had the tools to reason.

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