Alien Jesus

Whateverman

Well-known member
I'm not sure why, but I've seen a lot of talk about extraterrestrial intelligence / UFOs this morning, and it's got me wondering...

Let's say that Haim Eshed - the former head of Israeli space security agency - was right. Trump was about to reveal that the US has contacted aliens, and the government is working with them to perform experiments on Earth and Mars.

What if these aliens have no concept of Jesus? What would the implications be for believers?

I can't think of a number, but I'll let them speak for themselves. Serious answers only, please.

ps. I very much doubt the sincerity of the Christian trolls most likely to respond to this thread. It's the responses from the quieter Christians I'm more interested in...
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
I'm not sure why, but I've seen a lot of talk about extraterrestrial intelligence / UFOs this morning, and it's got me wondering...

Let's say that Haim Eshed - the former head of Israeli space security agency - was right. Trump was about to reveal that the US has contacted aliens, and the government is working with them to perform experiments on Earth and Mars.

What if these aliens have no concept of Jesus? What would the implications be for believers?
This is actually a pretty well-worn trope in science fiction. The two possible ways to go (according to most of the stories I've read) are:
- the need to evangelise to them on the assumption that they are ensouled and that Jesus came for them, too.
- since Jesus did not come to/for them (i.e., their planet) they are not ensouled and can be treated like cattle.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
This is actually a pretty well-worn trope in science fiction. The two possible ways to go (according to most of the stories I've read) are:
- the need to evangelise to them on the assumption that they are ensouled and that Jesus came for them, too.
- since Jesus did not come to/for them (i.e., their planet) they are not ensouled and can be treated like cattle.
Not bad. Those make sense.

I'd add the possibility of them being demonic (at al). The forums here have even seen several Christians making this claim; I believe there's a thread one it right now.

Of course, being an active member in this specific sub-forum, where this specific subject has been posted, there are other options as well. I'm hoping to get some believer input before listing them, though...
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
Not bad. Those make sense.

I'd add the possibility of them being demonic (at al). The forums here have even seen several Christians making this claim; I believe there's a thread one it right now.

Of course, being an active member in this specific sub-forum, where this specific subject has been posted, there are other options as well. I'm hoping to get some believer input before listing them, though...
If you can wade through the "Prove aliens could exist" and "Aliens...communists...democrats" posts, you might get some interesting replies.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
I'm not sure why, but I've seen a lot of talk about extraterrestrial intelligence / UFOs this morning, and it's got me wondering...

Let's say that Haim Eshed - the former head of Israeli space security agency - was right. Trump was about to reveal that the US has contacted aliens, and the government is working with them to perform experiments on Earth and Mars.

What if these aliens have no concept of Jesus? What would the implications be for believers?

I can't think of a number, but I'll let them speak for themselves. Serious answers only, please.

ps. I very much doubt the sincerity of the Christian trolls most likely to respond to this thread. It's the responses from the quieter Christians I'm more interested in...
In the interest of balance, what would the implications be if such aliens were found to have a belief system that was similar to Christianity? Obviously, the Christ story is rooted on earth and presumably aliens would have a saviour who resonates with their culture. What if they had the notion of the Trinity? Or sin and redemption?

For me, such an event would be one of the very few that would dent my very deep scepticism.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
In the interest of balance, what would the implications be if such aliens were found to have a belief system that was similar to Christianity? Obviously, the Christ story is rooted on earth and presumably aliens would have a saviour who resonates with their culture. What if they had the notion of the Trinity? Or sin and redemption?

For me, such an event would be one of the very few that would dent my very deep scepticism.
I was going to post the same alternate question, but decided to try to keep this focused. Given the overwhelming enthusiasm the thread has been greeted with:

I agree: if aliens had similar myths, it would dent my skepticism. There could be several variations of this, such as the myths being identical (ie. alien resurrected to forgive other naughty aliens of their transgressions), or the stories being only vaguely similar (ie. God appeared to the aliens at some time in the past and warned them of not being too naughty, etc).

For me, the variations could have remarkably different effects on my skepticism. If the alien religion was nothing like religions here on Earth, then my position on gods might not change at all. What if three alien gods sent their twins to Earth, and having roughly the same message as Earthly Jesus, were murdered by a local alien politician? That story would have similarities and differences that'd leave me scratching my head.
 

The Pixie

Active member
There are some interesting issues besides Jesus.
  • If the planet they come from is over 6000 years old, how does that fit with the universe being only 6000 years old?
  • If they have a biochemistry like ours (more like human biochemistry than plant biochemistry) that would indicate we all have a common source, i.e., a single designer. If their biochemistry is entirely alien, that would indicate life developed naturally via abiogenesis and evolution utterly independent of life on earth.
  • The Hebrews are God's chosen people, so where do aliens fit is the hierarchy? Above gentiles or below them?
  • We are all under sin because the first human disobeyed God. That would not apply to aliens, so presumably they are not under sin (and so did not need Jesus to save them?) and their planet would not be in a fallen state
  • Alternatively, was there a first alien who ate from the tree of life on his planet? If so, then that supports the existence of God, but would indicate God deliberately set both them and us up to fail.
 

Komodo

Active member
In the interest of balance, what would the implications be if such aliens were found to have a belief system that was similar to Christianity? Obviously, the Christ story is rooted on earth and presumably aliens would have a saviour who resonates with their culture. What if they had the notion of the Trinity? Or sin and redemption?

For me, such an event would be one of the very few that would dent my very deep scepticism.
There was a story by Ray Bradbury (don't remember the title) in which astronauts from Earth come to a planet where Jesus had just finished his mission, and they're so disappointed to have just missed him that they go on to another star in hope of getting the ocular proof, and it's implied (or maybe outright stated) that they'll become the Flying Dutchmen of space, always trying to reach their destination but never getting there. It seemed like a kind of variation on the Doubting Thomas theme: "even more blessed are they who have believed, without seeing," which I remember thinking was kind of odd for someone as generally skeptical as Bradbury.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
There was a story by Ray Bradbury (don't remember the title) in which astronauts from Earth come to a planet where Jesus had just finished his mission, and they're so disappointed to have just missed him that they go on to another star in hope of getting the ocular proof, and it's implied (or maybe outright stated) that they'll become the Flying Dutchmen of space, always trying to reach their destination but never getting there. It seemed like a kind of variation on the Doubting Thomas theme: "even more blessed are they who have believed, without seeing," which I remember thinking was kind of odd for someone as generally skeptical as Bradbury.
The conjunction of science and religion offers rich pickings for SF writers. Have you read The Last Question, a short story by Asimov, written well before personal computers or the Internet. There are a series of short vignettes of human beings asking increasingly sophisticated computers the question "Can entropy be reversed?" At the end humans are integrated into a vast ethereal computer that takes thousands more years to calculate the answer. Having no humans left to answer, the computer decides to demonstrate, saying "Let there be light!"

Alternatively, try the way Hinduism and Buddhism is treated in "Lord of Light" by Zelaney. A really brilliant book.

Sorry, clearly too much SF as a teenager.
 

docphin5

Active member
I'm not sure why, but I've seen a lot of talk about extraterrestrial intelligence / UFOs this morning, and it's got me wondering...

Let's say that Haim Eshed - the former head of Israeli space security agency - was right. Trump was about to reveal that the US has contacted aliens, and the government is working with them to perform experiments on Earth and Mars.

What if these aliens have no concept of Jesus? What would the implications be for believers?

I can't think of a number, but I'll let them speak for themselves. Serious answers only, please.

ps. I very much doubt the sincerity of the Christian trolls most likely to respond to this thread. It's the responses from the quieter Christians I'm more interested in...
Presuming that they are intelligent and we can talk to them I could imagine three possible scenarios.

I think ES said it already, but Christian orthodoxy and its sects, especially, LDS, would see it as an opportunity to convert them if they were peaceful and open to new ideas.

If they were a superior species, for example, greater intelligence, technological superiority, "powerful", and ambitious, they might try to colonize us and convert us to their religion and we would have no choice in it.

A third possibility, is that they have already visited us before in the time of the Egyptians five thousand years ago and shared some of their engineering and religion with humans. Therefore, they converted us already to their religion as the truths underlying the Egyptian myths were rewritten in subsequent generations and cultures.

BTW, I highly recommend the movie, Arrival, with Amy Adams, if you want a good, thought provoking, movie about aliens. It is not the usual, they have come here to kill us theme. Instead, they come to ask our help and give us a technology to develop over time so that we can help them.
 
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Komodo

Active member
The conjunction of science and religion offers rich pickings for SF writers. Have you read The Last Question, a short story by Asimov, written well before personal computers or the Internet. There are a series of short vignettes of human beings asking increasingly sophisticated computers the question "Can entropy be reversed?" At the end humans are integrated into a vast ethereal computer that takes thousands more years to calculate the answer. Having no humans left to answer, the computer decides to demonstrate, saying "Let there be light!"

Alternatively, try the way Hinduism and Buddhism is treated in "Lord of Light" by Zelaney. A really brilliant book.

Sorry, clearly too much SF as a teenager.
I did read "The Last Question," even saw it as a planetarium show at the old Hayden Planetarium in New York. Long, long time ago, back when they used an old Zeiss projector, nothing in the way of CGI, closest thing to a big effect was just the explosion of light at the end. Sorry to say I haven't read "Lord of Light."
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
Presuming that they are intelligent and we can talk to them I could imagine three possible scenarios.

I think ES said it already, but Christian orthodoxy and its sects, especially, LDS, would see it as an opportunity to convert them if they were peaceful and open to new ideas.

If they were a superior species, for example, greater intelligence, technological superiority, "powerful", and ambitious, they might try to colonize us and convert us to their religion and we would have no choice in it.

A third possibility, is that they have already visited us before in the time of the Egyptians five thousand years ago and shared some of their engineering and religion with humans. Therefore, they converted us already to their religion as the truths underlying the Egyptian myths were rewritten in subsequent generations and cultures.

BTW, I highly recommend the movie, Arrival, with Amy Adams, if you want a good, thought provoking, movie about aliens. It is not the usual, they have come here to kill us theme. Instead, they come to ask our help and give us a technology to develop over time so that we can help them.
I have seen the movie Arrival and agree that it was very thought provoking - much better than the usual "Aargh aliens shoot them all before the shoot us" science fiction. I thought she was great in it.

I just thought of another possibility about the aliens. What if they are amazingly technologically advanced - so obviously far ahead of us that it's amazing. And we say "By the way, let's talk about religion and our saviour Jesus," and they reply "Religion? Are you kidding? You guys are still that backward? We disproved all religions millenia ago!"

I think that one's been touched on in some science fiction, too, although I can't put my finger on any titles.
 

docphin5

Active member
I have seen the movie Arrival and agree that it was very thought provoking - much better than the usual "Aargh aliens shoot them all before the shoot us" science fiction. I thought she was great in it.

I just thought of another possibility about the aliens. What if they are amazingly technologically advanced - so obviously far ahead of us that it's amazing. And we say "By the way, let's talk about religion and our saviour Jesus," and they reply "Religion? Are you kidding? You guys are still that backward? We disproved all religions millenia ago!"
If the trend continues then you may be right. As long as religion is presented as the enemy of science then it will continue to be less relevant as time goes on. That is why we need a new religion or philosophy that cultivates the best in people without insulting their intelligence.
I think that one's been touched on in some science fiction, too, although I can't put my finger on any titles.
 

Bob Carabbio

Well-known member
There was a story by Ray Bradbury (don't remember the title) in which astronauts from Earth come to a planet where Jesus had just finished his mission, and they're so disappointed to have just missed him that they go on to another star in hope of getting the ocular proof, and it's implied (or maybe outright stated) that they'll become the Flying Dutchmen of space, always trying to reach their destination but never getting there. It seemed like a kind of variation on the Doubting Thomas theme: "even more blessed are they who have believed, without seeing," which I remember thinking was kind of odd for someone as generally skeptical as Bradbury.
One of the "Hugo" winners in '56 was a short story called "The Star" by Arthur C. Clark.

Premise: There's a Dead solar system whose sun went super-nova, and the astronauts discover the incinerated remains on one of the planets, of a VERY HIGHLY developed civilization - billions of exemplary people and a beautiful civilization as evidenced by the extreme level of technology found in the shattered ruins.

Of course it turns out that the super-nova turns out to be the STAR that the wise men followed to find Jesus. And the story ends with the question: "WHY, O GOD, did you find it necessary to MURDER all these people and destroy their world - just to announce the birth of Your Son"??
 

Temujin

Well-known member
One of the "Hugo" winners in '56 was a short story called "The Star" by Arthur C. Clark.

Premise: There's a Dead solar system whose sun went super-nova, and the astronauts discover the incinerated remains on one of the planets, of a VERY HIGHLY developed civilization - billions of exemplary people and a beautiful civilization as evidenced by the extreme level of technology found in the shattered ruins.

Of course it turns out that the super-nova turns out to be the STAR that the wise men followed to find Jesus. And the story ends with the question: "WHY, O GOD, did you find it necessary to MURDER all these people and destroy their world - just to announce the birth of Your Son"??
I had forgotten that story. I must have read it 55 years ago. I remember it vividly now. It had quite an impact on me as a child. Thank you for recalling it for me.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
If the trend continues then you may be right. As long as religion is presented as the enemy of science then it will continue to be less relevant as time goes on.
I agree. Unfortunately due to the nature of religion I find it hard to imagine that it could be otherwise.
That is why we need a new religion or philosophy that cultivates the best in people without insulting their intelligence.
We've discussed this before, but IMO what you have in mind isn't a religion at all.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
One of the "Hugo" winners in '56 was a short story called "The Star" by Arthur C. Clark.

Premise: There's a Dead solar system whose sun went super-nova, and the astronauts discover the incinerated remains on one of the planets, of a VERY HIGHLY developed civilization - billions of exemplary people and a beautiful civilization as evidenced by the extreme level of technology found in the shattered ruins.

Of course it turns out that the super-nova turns out to be the STAR that the wise men followed to find Jesus. And the story ends with the question: "WHY, O GOD, did you find it necessary to MURDER all these people and destroy their world - just to announce the birth of Your Son"??
Oh, while we're recalling great religion-related science fiction - The Nine Billion Names Of God. Also by Clarke, I believe. Some sect somewhere believes that humanity's only purpose is to write down the 9,000,000,000 names of God. A crank, nutcase sect, of course. Then they write down the nine billionth...and overhead, one by one, the stars start to go out...

That one gave me chills.
 

5wize

Well-known member
This is actually a pretty well-worn trope in science fiction. The two possible ways to go (according to most of the stories I've read) are:
- the need to evangelise to them on the assumption that they are ensouled and that Jesus came for them, too.
- since Jesus did not come to/for them (i.e., their planet) they are not ensouled and can be treated like cattle.
... or the Christians find themselves in the uncomfortable position of losing to some actual empirical edge to the alien belief and find themselves the ones on the harvested end for souls.
 
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