ALIENS!! (and the downfall of religion)
Microbial life forms probably wouldn't shake anybody's faith.
Its funny you should say this because when I was a JW this was the one thing that I had ever thought about and that I knew would destroy my belief in the Bible. Intelligent life wasn't a big deal for me because "God could have just created them." However, if microbial life was ever found on mars I remember thinking that would show that evolution was true - and thus Adam and Eve were false. No Adam and Eve means no original sin. No original sin means no need for Jesus sacrafice.
Looking back I now know there are much better ways to disprove the claims in the Bible - but back then it was the one thing I knew would really shake my beliefs. I think for most JWs, finding microbial life in our solar system would make them serriously question their fath. The implications are too hard to ignore. And I'm sure the WTBTS would spend considerable resources trying to dispute such findings with their usual nonsense, "The microbes could have hitched a ride on the rover from earth, the microbes aren't really microbes they're an equiptment glitch, scientest can't be trusted, etc."
I agree with those who said that discovery of alien life is not going to spell the end for religion. Religion is far too deeply rooted in human nature in order to be wiped out by a single incident, however extraordinary that may be.
The ONLY way to bring religion to oblivion is through secular, scientific, religion-free, superstition-free education; this a long process that will take a lot more decades, and possibly centuries.
Even if we discover a million alien species, even if we shake hands with ET himself, religion & superstition will NOT fall, except if the former happens.
Expecting something like "First contact" to wipe out religion, tells that you're still under religion's spell, in the sense that you expect for a 'miracle' to happen, and make your wish come true, just like that.
STOP believing in miracles!
ALIENS!! (and the downfall of religion)
It depends on what you think an alien is.
If you think an alien is a creature that was not created to live on planet earth then your definition is similar to mine.
If thats the case then I am convinced that such creatures exist.
That conviction comes from reading the bible.
If you are happy with my simple definition of an "alien" then perhaps you should compare it to the confession Jesus Christ made about where he was from:
So he went on to say to them: "YOU are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. YOU are from this world; I am not from this world.
here's some more bible stuff which convinces me that alien creatures exist:
And as for the likeness of their faces, the four of them had a man’s face with a lion’s face to the right, and the four of them had a bull’s face on the left; the four of them also had an eagle’s face. 11 That is the way their faces were. And their wings were spreading out upward. Each one had two joining to each other, and two were covering their bodies.
I am also convinced that some of them are "like" men.
"Its appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like steeds is the way they keep running. 5 As with the sound of chariots on the tops of the mountains they keep skipping about, as with the sound of a flaming fire that is devouring stubble. It is like a mighty people, drawn up in battle order. 6 Because of it, peoples will be in severe pains. As for all faces, they will certainly collect a glow [of excitement]. 7 "Like powerful men they run. Like men of war they go up a wall. And they go each one in his own ways, and they do not alter their paths. 8 And one another they do not shove. As an able-bodied man in his course, they keep going; and should some fall even among the missiles, the [others] do not break off course.
I also don't have a problem with believing in shiny helmeted spaceship dwelling alien creatures.
Think you are correct though, a lot of Christians DO have a problem with this.
One of the Founding Fathers of the USA talked about this topic 200 years ago. Tom Paine rejected the Bible - in part because he reasoned about the "multiplicity of worlds" in which creatures similar to humans are likely to exist. And did they have an Adam, Eve and Jesus too? (The Age of Reason).
Richard Dolan recently wrote a book on the likely effects of Full Disclosure. He concludes that among revealed religions groups such as Muslims and Mormons might do OK because they already have speculative beliefs about ET's.
I am interested in the possibility that an earth dominated by the BRICS alliance might have no problem with Disclosure unlike the US.
There is nothing people won't ignore if they feel their life-style is at stake.
If real aliens landed in a spaceship tomorrow, JWs would run through the streets screaming that the GT had started!!! I am almost 100% sure that JWs would think demons were attacking.
Doat-Dog - "If real aliens landed in a spaceship tomorrow, JWs would run through the streets screaming that the GT had started!!! I am almost 100% sure that JWs would think demons were attacking."
Demons need spaceships? That's not in the Bible!!!
Seriously, though; First Contact - in whatever form it came in - wouldn't destroy religion per se.
...fundamentalism would not handle it well.
There was a university study published a while back (I can't find it on the net anymore) where the researchers ran a poll to determine what percentage of the US public believed in the existence of "paranormal" phenomena, i.e. ghosts, angels, demons, curses, witchcraft, etc.
Initially, they had also included "aliens" in the list, but the first batch of test results came back with something the team didn't expect...
...a significant number of those tested who did believe in the existence of most of the former (to varying degrees, depending on which), most definately did not accept the possibility of ETs under any circumstances.
The researchers scratched their heads.
Then they looked into the types of people that comprised that specific portion of test subjects, and discovered that (surprise, surprise) almost every single one of them were fundamentalist/evangelical Christians. They did a bit more research, and concluded that - long and short of it - due to a number of ideological restrictions, the fundagelical Christian worldview simply didn't allow for the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
This didn't surprise me in the least, BTW...
...as a JW teenager, I was nevertheless a big sci-fi fan, so I obviously had considered the possibilty of alien existence and/or contact. After thinking about it for a while, however, I had come to the conclusion that if peaceful (or non-peaceful, FTM) First Contact occurred in the near future, JWs would have tremendous difficulty recovering from the event. The WTS has never gone on hard-and-fast record saying that the existence of ETs is impossible, but the rare occasions they've touched on the subject, anyone with half a brain could read the message between the lines...
...no ETs; their existence would be borderline (or over-the-border) blasphemous.
Remember that old "Alien Autopsy" video from the 90s? I was still more-or-less a dutiful believer when that came out, and the possibility that it might be real disturbed the hell out of me.
Incidentally, this is why I suspect why any theoretical Disclosure event keeps getting shelved (if hard evidence of alien existence or contact actually does exist).
Since hard-core right-wing Christians are such a significant percentage of the US public (and, I might add, comprise far more domestic terrorist groups than left-wing extremists), what politician in their right mind would want to be the one to blow the whistle on it and potentially trigger a full-bore nation-wide fundamentalist (and probably apocalyptic) freak-out?
metatron - "Richard Dolan recently wrote a book on the likely effects of Full Disclosure. He concludes that among revealed religions groups such as Muslims and Mormons might do OK because they already have speculative beliefs about ETs."
Which one? According to Wikipedia, he's written three:
UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Cover-up 1941-1973 (2000)
UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed 1973-1991 (2009)
A.D. After Disclosure: The People’s Guide to Life After Contact (2010)