10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr.)

10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr.)

文章David Jr. » 週一 10月 23, 2017 11:33 pm

Would Finding Alien Life Change Religious Philosophies?
https://www.livescience.com/48208-religion-extraterrestrial-life.html

The discovery of extraterrestrial beings — be they slimy microbes or little green men — would dramatically change the way we humans view our place in the universe. But would it shatter religion? Well, that depends on what you believe.

In his new book "Religions and Extraterrestrial Life" (Springer 2014), David Weintraub, an astronomer at Vanderbilt University, takes a close look at how different faiths would handle the revelation that we're not alone. Some of his findings might surprise you.

Public polls have shown that a large share of the population believes aliens are out there. In one survey released last year by the company Survata, 37 percent of the 5,886 Americans who were polled said they believed in the existence of extraterrestrial life, while 21 percent said they didn't believe and 42 percent were unsure. Responses varied by religion: 55 percent of atheists said they believed in extraterrestrials, as did 44 percent of Muslims, 37 percent of Jews, 36 percent of Hindus and 32 percent of Christians. [7 Huge Misconceptions about Aliens]

Weintraub found that some religions are more accommodating to the idea of E.T. than others. Those with an Earth-centric spiritual point of view are the most likely to be made uncomfortable by questions about the discovery of aliens. Certain evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, for example, are of the opinion that God's sole intent was to create people here on Earth. Some believe that if God created life anywhere else, it would say that in Genesis, Weintraub said.

But some Christians who interpret the Bible quite literally might actually have an easier time incorporating the existence of aliens into their spiritual cosmology. Many Seventh-day Adventists, for example, are creationists who believe the Earth was literally created by God in six days some 6,000 years ago and that humans descended — and inherited original sin — from Adam and Eve. In that line of thinking, life could exist on other planets, but beings that didn't descend from Adam and Eve on Earth wouldn't be inherently sinful, and effectively, they wouldn't need Christianity to be saved, Weintraub told Live Science.

Seventh-day Adventism's flexibility with regard to aliens might be a product of the time in which the religion was founded (the 19th century). During the 1700s and 1800s, there was a strong popular belief in extraterrestrial life, Weintraub said. The telescope (a relatively recent invention) finally allowed astronomers to peek at other planets and moons in our solar system, but scientists didn't yet fully understand that these celestial bodies were barren. And perhaps it's no coincidence that the religions that began at that time — Mormonism, Seventh-day Adventism, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Baha'i Faith — all have a strong belief in extraterrestrial life, Weintraub said.

In contrast, the notion of extraterrestrial life was for the most part irrelevant to religions that began thousands of years ago.

"Ideas about extraterrestrial life — if they're part of the sacred writings — they're buried a little bit deeper," Weintraub told Live Science. "They're not obvious. They're layered below the top. In Jewish scripture, there's pretty much nothing there. You really have to over-interpret to find anything that you can marginally say might have anything to do with extraterrestrial life."

Of course, aliens have figured into the beliefs of small cults and fringe religious groups. In a famous example, 39 members of the so-called Heaven's Gate group committed suicide believing they would leave their earthly bodies and reach an alien spacecraft trailing the comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. Weintraub didn't look at these groups (nor did he analyze Scientology), but he said it's likely that future religions would spring up and seize on the discovery of extraterrestrial life.

"There are a lot of so-called UFO religions, and I'm sure that if we discovered that there really was life beyond Earth, there would be lots more of these kinds of things," Weintraub said. "There undoubtedly would be people who would find this as an opportunity or an excuse to call attention to themselves for whatever reason and there would be new religions." [UFO Quiz: What's Really Out There]

With advances in exoplanet research and astrobiology, scientists could realistically be on the cusp of finding evidence for life far away from Earth — perhaps not intelligent life, but life, nonetheless. That's why Weintraub thinks the rest of us should be prepared for the spiritual questions that will follow — and that astronomers should participate in that conversation, since the question "Is there life in the universe?" now belongs to the domain of science, not just philosophy.

"It almost doesn't matter what kind of life it is," Weintraub told Live Science "If there's any kind of life out there it simply means we're not alone. And knowing we're not alone, I think, has a lot of meaning."

It will likely be millions of years before humans discover and are able to communicate with intelligent alien beings — if they're out there, Weintraub said. But he thinks it's worth extending the thought experiment to consider how we would treat aliens of different faiths. Would we repeat the mistakes of European missionaries who converted the "heathens" of the New World to Christianity? Or would we adopt a policy that looks more like the no-interference "prime directive" of the "Star Trek" universe? Would sentient aliens have their own religions? Would they try to preach to us?

"Once you think about this enough, it's worth recognizing that if it's OK for somebody in a different part of the universe to have a different religion, maybe it's OK for somebody else in a different part of the Earth to have a different religion," Weintrub said. "Maybe we could figure something out down here that could make us get along a little better."

Questions for Discussion:
Session 1:
1. Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life or extraterrestrial intelligence?

2. Why is it important to find we are not alone in the universe?
Are we uniquely special or merely mediocre?

3. Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in 2010 warned that humans should not try to contact alien life forms. He warned that aliens might pillage Earth for resources. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans", he said.
What do you think about his words?

4. Will discovery of extraterrestrial life or extraterrestrial intelligence shatter all religions?

Session 2:
5. Is God necessary in the universe? Is religion necessary in the universe?
What's the relationship between God, E.T., and humans?

6. Is "my" God the God of the entire universe?

7. Is "my" religion just for humans on Earth or valid throughout for the entire universe?
Would it make sense to convert other intelligent beings in another part of the universe to my religion whatever my religion is?

8. Could an "E.T." practice "my" religion on my planet or on their planet whatever my religion is?

********************************************************************************************************************************************
Agenda:
3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements
********************************************************************************************************************************************
聚會日期:列於該貼文主題內
聚會時間:請準時 4:00 pm 到 ~ 約 6:30 pm 左右結束
星期六聚會地點:丹堤濟南店
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
最低消費: 80 元

注意事項:
1. 文章是否需要列印請自行斟酌,但與會者請務必自行列印 Questions for discussion。
2. 與會者請先閱讀過文章,並仔細想過所有的問題,謝謝合作!

給新朋友的話:
1. 請事先準備2~3分鐘的英語自我介紹;會議結束前可能會請你發表1~2分鐘的感想。
2. 請事先閱讀文章以及主持人所提的討論問題,並事先寫下自己所欲發表意見的英文。
3. 全程以英語進行,參加者應具備中等英語會話能力,對任一討論問題,能夠以5到10句英文表達個人見解。
4. 在正式加入之前,可以先來觀摩三次,觀摩者亦須參與討論。正式加入需繳交終身會費 NT$1,000。
Remember all what your mom has told you, and do the opposite.
頭像
David Jr.
YOYO member
 
文章: 224
註冊時間: 週二 8月 19, 2003 12:07 am
來自: Lonely Planet

Re: 10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr

文章Rock » 週三 10月 25, 2017 9:01 pm

Yeah, my favorite subject-- alien versus God. Imagination counts and everything goes.

Stephen Hawking, although many people worship him, he is not God anyway. The analogy of Columbus and aliens is ok, but not so good to me. Some people also contend that if a civilization from outer space can reach the technology to travel light years to visit us, they must be good enough to overcome the stupid problems we have. If they are evil, and even fight for the little resource in this small blue planet, their powerful technology must have destroyed themselves already. So no worry about alien invasions.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
頭像
Rock
President
 
文章: 1727
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr

文章Luis Ko » 週五 10月 27, 2017 1:30 pm

Rock 寫:..恕刪..
If they are evil, and even fight for the little resource in this small blue planet, their powerful technology must have destroyed themselves already. So no worry about alien invasions.


though you will never know, it's indeed a very interesting point i would say haa~ 8)
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
Luis Ko
YOYO member
 
文章: 777
註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr

文章David Jr. » 週六 10月 28, 2017 9:52 pm

Today we mentioned two questions below,
1. How many planets are there in our milky way galaxy?
2. How many galaxies are there in the universe?

Both questions are very difficult to answer, even the wildest guess is still very far from the actual figure.

For Question 1, based on the following link our Milky Way alone contains between 100 and 400 billion stars (though some think there could be as many as a trillion), and between 800 billion and 3.2 trillion planets, with some estimates placing that number as high a 8 trillion!
https://www.universetoday.com/30296/how-many-planets-are-in-the-galaxy/
Truly astronomical figures!

For Question 2, from the link we learn that the estimate for the number of galaxies could reach 2 trillion.
https://www.universetoday.com/30305/how ... -universe/
This is even crazier!

Then I ask Question 3:
How many planets are there in the whole universe, and how many of them are habitable for lives?
In the process of answering this question, shouldn't we humans be more humble?
Remember all what your mom has told you, and do the opposite.
頭像
David Jr.
YOYO member
 
文章: 224
註冊時間: 週二 8月 19, 2003 12:07 am
來自: Lonely Planet

Re: 10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr

文章Rock » 週日 10月 29, 2017 9:43 am

Yes, and it's exactly why I always wonder why people seldom question the reliability of the Big Band theory, which says the origin of the universe was a dot and the age of it is 14 billion years blabla.... Even though they have used the right math, the data is simply NOT enough to solve such a huge matter. Big Bang theory, to the most, is a model based on the observation and calculation in the last 100 years. What kind of scientists would mislead the public that the answers were found?
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
頭像
Rock
President
 
文章: 1727
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr

文章Johnie » 週三 11月 01, 2017 3:49 pm

I wish I had been there to join such an interesting topic. I promise I will show up when I settle down my little baby girl who means the new life of whole universe. :wink:
Johnie
YOYO member
 
文章: 38
註冊時間: 週二 4月 22, 2008 11:03 am

Re: 10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr

文章Rock » 週五 11月 03, 2017 9:22 pm

All the girls in the world together is no match for your baby girl, Johnny daddy.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
頭像
Rock
President
 
文章: 1727
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 10/28(Sat) Alien & its impact on religion (Host:David Jr

文章Kooper » 週六 11月 04, 2017 11:35 pm

Attendees(11): Gloria, Robert, Robert(US), Rosie, Luis, Jason, Rita, Momo, Kooper, Nick, Vicky
Kooper
Ex-President
 
文章: 2300
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm


回到 每週討論主題 Meeting Topics

誰在線上

正在瀏覽這個版面的使用者:沒有註冊會員 和 2 位訪客

cron