Could human beings accept thier place in the universes?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Could human beings accept thier place in the universe?

First this first. This is NOT a UFO post. I'm not here to debate little green men, crop circles, or weather the government is hiding UFOs. I'm sure everyone knows where to go for that. That being said..

What if a more advanced life form does exist on other planets, and it is one day discovered? Perhaps they come visit us, perhaps they contact us- use your imagination. this is theoretically possible due to the vast amount of stars in the universe. So let's say that day happened. How would you react? How would this affect your religious beliefs? Your philosophical beliefs? Your view of the universe?

It is my belief that society as a whole would have a very difficult time accepting this. It would first of all, mean that we are no longer the most advanced species in the universee. This changes the whole dynamic of things. It may be possible that there exist beings greater than us in an order of magnitude. Perhaps in the samw way we are to the other animals on this planet. I also think that there would be mass hysteria at first among religious groups. People might try to equate the aliens with "god" or in some fanatic instances, with the end of the world(there's always one group saying that no matter what happens). So would the existence of aliens change your belief in God? Would you feel scared? amazed? curious? lost?

I'm curious..
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Another God
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My views would remain the same. I think it would cause the gl;obal community to recognise each other better: ie: we would become an Earth, rather than politically segregated communities (to a larger degree anyway)
 
  • #3
steppenwolf
i agree another god, humanity would finally unite under a common banner, that of trying to destroy this new life form no doubt.

oh i'm being a pessimist, i don't know what i'd think, it would be so exciting, making the step from international community to interstellar community, but it would be so hard for humanity to accept another race as equals (as history has shown) i mean we made a nice hash of colonisation ('oh god they're a different colour, where's that canon...') and we weren't even different species! but things have changed...a bit and hopefully we could handle such a paradigm shift...hopefully
 
  • #4
Tsu
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Originally posted by Zantra
So would the existence of aliens change your belief in God?

Not at all. They are part of the universe he created.

Would you feel scared?

Probably. It would depend upon their purpose for being here.

amazed?

Absolutely

curious?

ABSOLUTELY!

lost?

Not any more than I already feel.
 
  • #5
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Originally posted by Zantra
So would the existence of aliens change your belief in God? Would you feel scared? amazed? curious? lost?

I'm curious..
It would affect it. I agree with you that society would not deal with this very well. Everything you described would likely happen. I, personally would probably not be affected in a non-productive way. (Unless the aliens looked grotesque or like snakes or something. Then I have a serious problem. :smile:) I would want face time with these aliens and I would be begging them to answer some of the same questions we struggle with in these forums. Am I a geek or what?

As far as god goes. I don't have a strong belief on God one way or the other so I guess you could call me undecided. I lean more one way one day and the other way some other time. I debate the topic with myself often:smile:. But because I do think there is more credibility to the biologists claim that life on earth is a statistical miracle (as opposed to an inevitability under the right conditions like the physicists think), then proof of life somewhere else would cause me to lean more toward the "life is no accident" theory. The definitions of god that may result from such leanings may or may not resemble anything traditional but the bottomline is I would lean more toward the idea of god.

Of course, in my meetings with them I would just ask them what they believe and why? LOl.
 
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  • #6
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Originally posted by steppenwolf
i agree another god, humanity would finally unite under a common banner, that of trying to destroy this new life form no doubt.

oh i'm being a pessimist, i don't know what i'd think, it would be so exciting, making the step from international community to interstellar community, but it would be so hard for humanity to accept another race as equals (as history has shown) i mean we made a nice hash of colonisation ('oh god they're a different colour, where's that canon...') and we weren't even different species! but things have changed...a bit and hopefully we could handle such a paradigm shift...hopefully
That is the whole problem. I think that our fear of things we don't understand might lead to an international incident. Will we try and get to know them? or try and blast them out of the sky? The scientists will all be clamouring for information. The military will be clamouring for action, and religioun will be clamouring for salvation. How will we react? It depends on who goes out t meet them weather we go with hand extended or guns blazing. Even then it would depend on thier reaction. Which will they do? obviously hostile intent will not do much to further peace relations. Not to paraphrase here, but "first contact" is critical. You can never make a 2nd first impression :wink:
 
  • #7
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Originally posted by Zantra
What if a more advanced life form does exist on other planets, and it is one day discovered? Perhaps they come visit us, perhaps they contact us- use your imagination. this is theoretically possible due to the vast amount of stars in the universe.
What can I say, it would take them a lot of time to get here, especially as they'd have mass... the possibility that they'd be like us would be almost non-existant... and you have to admit that it would be pretty damn hard to find us, it's not like there are few stars or few planets... ok, let's move on...
How would you react?
I'd be scared.
How would this affect your religious beliefs?
Fear often makes people more religious.
Your philosophical beliefs?
Hmm. I don't know.
Your view of the universe?
I'd sure be surprised!

It is my belief that society as a whole would have a very difficult time accepting this. It would first of all, mean that we are no longer the most advanced species in the universee.
Who said they'd be more "advanced"? "Advanced" is relative anyway. You can't even say for sure they'd be fitter to live in our dear old Universe...
Perhaps in the samw way we are to the other animals on this planet.
We wouldn't consciously understand that superiority, just like bears don't understand we're "superior"... and who's to say we are...
I also think that there would be mass hysteria at first among religious groups.
There would be mass hysteria among all groups and individuals, all sane people. Not that governments don't know this, which makes it more possible that we'd never learn about those creatures...
So would the existence of aliens change your belief in God?
To say the truth, I don't think I'd be thinking about that at the moment, or I'd be praying (if they were dangerous and we couldn't resist them).
Would you feel scared?
Very.
amazed?
No, make that scared to death.
curious?
Hmm... perhaps when I'd have had a year or 20 to get accustomed to the fact...
lost?
Nah... let's go back to "scared".
 
  • #8
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Originaly posted by Tail

We wouldn't consciously understand that superiority, just like bears don't understand we're "superior"... and who's to say we are...

This, in and of itself would be
a great topic for a thread. What
possible reason could a bear have
to judge humans as superior? In
bear terms we are either ill ad-
apted or irrationaly dangerous.

Although we now concieve of any
aliens who could develop the
technology to travel here as
superior, we might, upon actually
meeting them, discover their in-
teligence to be the result of
freakish instinct, like that of
autistc/savants: a race of Rain-
men.

-zoob
 
  • #9
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Originally posted by zoobyshoe
Although we now concieve of any
aliens who could develop the
technology to travel here as
superior, we might, upon actually
meeting them, discover their in-
teligence to be the result of
freakish instinct, like that of
autistc/savants: a race of Rain-
men.

Who's to say what kind of intelligence is "better"...?
 
  • #10
6,265
1,277
Originally posted by Tail
Who's to say what kind of intelligence is "better"...?
I don't understand the question
in the context of what I said.
 
  • #11
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I'm sorry, I guess I misunderstood you. It seemed to me you implied autistic/instinctive intelligence is inferior...
 
  • #12
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Well, it is by bear standards.


Actually, what I'm saying is that
when we concieve of "superior"
intelligence we are usually fall-
ing into the trap of imagining a
more advanced form of our own kind
of intelligence. We suppose the
alien visitors with "superior"
intelligence have become "superior" by virtue of having
progressed farther than us along
the same lines as us.

If, instead, we ended up encount-
ering a race of Rainmen whose know
ledge of how to cross billions of
light years was something they in-
stinctively grasped without having
to slowly, and conciously acquire
that knowledge, it would shock us.

The kind of situation I'm talking
about is this: upon being asked
how they engineer their crafts the
alens would become confused and
reply "We just do it." Eventually
it becomes clear to us that they
not only do not analyze what they do,but that they may, in fact, be
incapable of analyzing it.

-Zooby
 
  • #13
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Good point!
 
  • #14
Another God
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Originally posted by Tail
Who's to say what kind of intelligence is "better"...?
The race which wins the war will.
 
  • #15
740
3
Originally posted by Another God
The race which wins the war will.
It's people with that attitude that bring about wars. You're assuming they would automatically have hostile intent simply because they would (presumably) be more advanced than us. Personally , I think we couldn't make any assumptions until they made thier intent clear.
 
  • #16
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No, don't get bent out of shape.
I think Shane is just being witty
and quippy with this harkening
back to the saying "History is
written by the victor."
 
  • #17
Another God
Staff Emeritus
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Originally posted by zoobyshoe
I think Shane is just being witty
and quippy with this harkening
back to the saying "History is
written by the victor."
Yeah, that was my primary reasoning for it, but I was also being serious on some level. If we encountered another race, and there was a battle, then the victors would be the ones with the superior intelligence. Thats all. I don't actually think that there will be war (see my earlier post), but if it happened, then the victors would need to have been the ones with the superior intellect.
 
  • #18
740
3
Originally posted by Another God
Yeah, that was my primary reasoning for it, but I was also being serious on some level. If we encountered another race, and there was a battle, then the victors would be the ones with the superior intelligence. Thats all. I don't actually think that there will be war (see my earlier post), but if it happened, then the victors would need to have been the ones with the superior intellect.
So going with that premise, we can assume that if aliens do avoid us, a war is the last thing we would want. If we didn't pursue a peaceful interaction they'd just wipe us out.

I think a lot of people assume it will be all "independence day" or "mars attacks" in nature. They'll just swoop in and clean our clocks. Popular sci-fi always has that theme. But really we don't know anything about them..

Didn't mean to jump on you AG. It is true that history is always written by the victors.
 
  • #19
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Originally posted by Another God
The race which wins the war will.
So more powerful is better?
 
  • #20
Dal
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0
I don't think there's gonna be a big shock when finding out that intelligent aliens exist. It’s not like a stone age man suddenly sees an airplane. Most of us live among rumors that they’re already here, and even in entertainment areas we’re seeing a lot of intergalactic events, interacting with aliens, making war with aliens...etc, so the concept of aliens is not too alien to us. I do not believe that it would effect our religious believes. I don’t know of any religion that tells you that god created other species as well but they don’t say that earth is the only planet with souls with hope for salvation.
If the super intelligent beings would come and tell you that “listening music is a big waste of time, don’t play computer games, don’t make love; better clone and modify humans”, you’re not gonna do that. I think a believe strongly rooted within us won’t easily perish.
 
  • #21
196
0
Originally posted by Dal
I don't think there's gonna be a big shock when finding out that intelligent aliens exist. It’s not like a stone age man suddenly sees an airplane.
And the stone age men probably thought, "It's not like we're animals!" They didn't realize how far we'd come intellectually. And we do not realize how much further it's still possible to go...

It's human nature that makes us instinctively think any other kind of "intelligence" must be like ours, and that every other kind of "life" must be like ours...
 

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