After I left the JWs, I was considering finding a new religion. The one that appealed to me most was SETI. However, I've only started reading up on it recently.
To believe in SETI, you have to believe in two things:
1) The Bible is not bullshit
2) The existance of Extraterrestrials
The problem I have is the first one. I personally believe the bible, well, at least the Old Testament is a load of crap. However, the New Testament does hold a little bit of hope (but not much).
The existance of Jesus and God is really questionable. Nobody on earth has ever (sanely) claimed to have met either of them. However, there are many people on earth who claim to have encountered Extraterrestrials, or evidence of the presence of Extraterrestrials. This gives hope for (at least) the New Testament.
The following I thought was quite interesting.
Was Jesus an Extraterrestrial?
by Tom Slemen
The gospel of St Matthew opens the New Testament with a frightening visit from a skyborne being who descends from the starry heavens to proclaim a sensational message to terrified shepherds attending their flocks:
Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God is with us.
This event - if it happened at all - would have occurred between four and eight years before the era which came to bear Christ's name Anno Domini - which is Latin for 'in the year of our Lord.'
Like his death and alleged resurrection, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth is cloaked in mystery. Just as the pillar of light led the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land in the Old Testament, another enigmatic object served to guide those with wisdom to the birthplace of a carpenter's son in the New Testament. The ufological angle certainly seems to fit the account of this guiding light in the sky which is depicted on millions of Christmas cards all over the world. It is sung about in carols, it shines down from the tops of Christmas trees, and foil imitations of it twinkle over Nativity scenes. But just what was the Star of Bethlehem? Is it just a myth or did the starry messenger really exist in the skies of Judaea? For centuries, theologians and scientists have argued over their interpretations of the celestial event, which was recorded only by the apostle Matthew. In the second chapter of his gospel, Matthew tells us: "When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, 'where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him.' "
According to Matthew, Herod summons the mysterious Wise Men and tells them that if they should find the newborn king, they must divulge the child's whereabouts to him. Later, the Wise Men see the guiding star in the East and it leads him to the stable where the babe Jesus is sleeping.
In the 17th century, the great German astronomer Kepler, sent shockwaves through the Christian world when he suggested that the star the Wise Men had followed might have been nothing more than a conjunction of the planets Saturn and Jupiter. However, it is now known that no such conjunctions were visible in the Holy Land during the period St Matthew mentions, which historical scholars reckon is around 4 or 5 BC. After Kepler's heretical attempts to explain away the Star of Bethlehem as a natural phenomenon, many other scientists also tried to formulate theories to rationalize the stellar oddity. Halley's Comet was blamed but astronomers have calculated that the comet had already visited and left the heavens before Christ's birth. Another theory proposed that the star that hovered over the stable was actually a distant star that had exploded - or gone supernova, to use astronomers' jargon. Such explosions do occur from time to time and can remain visible in the sky for weeks, even during the daytime.
Now, it is recorded in ancient Chinese texts that such a supernova explosion did occur - around 4 BC. Chinese astronomers of the time recorded that a star flared up in the constellation of Aquila the Eagle, just below the bright star Altair. What's more, it has been computed that, to anyone standing at the South Gate of Jerusalem, the brilliant star would appear to be over Bethlehem.
The American scientist A. J. Morehouse, who discovered the Chinese record, therefore believes that the Star of Bethlehem is still in the sky, but it is very faint.
Opponents of Morehouse's theory have pointed out that the exploding star of 4 BC occurred too late to be associated with the birth of Christ. Also, such a bright spectacle in the night sky would hardly have gone unnoticed by Herod and the other inhabitants of Judaea. Moreover, a supernova cannot hover in the sky as the star of Bethlehem did over the manger.
Just as enigmatic as the Star are the Wise men who followed it. Matthew simply states that they were from the East without specifying what countries they came from, and, contrary to popular belief, St Matthew does not actually say there were three of them. In fact, according to the early versions of the Nativity in Medieval times, there were twelve Wise Men! Whatever their number, most Biblical scholars agree that the Wise Men were students of astrology, which was very popular among the Jewish community at the time. This theory was strengthened by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. Among the timeworn Hebrew and Aramaic texts - some of which date back to the birth of Christ there are astrological charts depicting signs of the Zodiac and mystical texts referring to the influence of the stars and the planets on the newly-born. The Scrolls also mention an unnamed individual who lived at the time of the Jesus who was known as the Teacher of Righteousness.
In the end, despite all the conjecture and historical research, we are still no nearer to uncovering the truth about the most mysterious herald in history - the Star of Bethlehem. If it wasn't a comet, nor a planetary conjunction, then surely there is only one logical hypothesis which can explain a light in the sky which behaves as if it is controlled by an intelligence: the Star of Bethlehem was a spacecraft; and if we can accept this explanation, we must ask: what was it doing hovering over the stable where Jesus was born?
Read more at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/2399/jesus.html (if you want)