Having fun with philosophy are my philosophical thoughts on various topics that interest me.
Without a doubt, posting about aliens is just begging the crazy people to get out of the woods. However, the purpose of this article is to reflect on the religious ramifications of the existence of an alien race.
I don’t know if aliens exist or not. However, since the publication of classified military documents in the past two years, there is a strong case for alien beings. Plus, given our understanding of quantum physics, it’s not entirely unreasonable to think that they might exist.
The possibility of their existence raises an interesting religious question. Namely, how would their existence change our understanding of God? Or would he? I have always assumed that humans are a unique aspect of God’s creation.
However, it all depends on what is meant by “creation”. Typically, theologians mean the Earth and the things it contains. In this context, we are certainly unique. The Bible says humans were hand-trained by God and received the breath of life poured out through us. In contrast, the rest of the animal kingdom along with the earth and the universe for that matter was spoken of in creation.
But what if we expand the context to include other worlds? From a mathematical standpoint, it has always seemed unlikely that we are alone in this vast universe. However, it also depends on the type of mathematical model you decide to use. For example, using a Bayesian model gives a 45% probability that intelligent life exists on other planets. It’s not a big chance, in my opinion. You might as well flip a coin. However, this calculation is based on a dual approach; first, it examines the chances that there is some type of life on another planet; second, it takes those probabilities and calculates the probability that some part of that life is intelligent.
Trying to determine a probability of extraterrestrial life is complicated because it can only be calculated on the basis of what we know, which is infinitely wrong. In science, we only know as far as we can see and since we can’t see the edge of the universe, there is no way of knowing exactly how many galaxies there are. It is even quite possible that there is a multiverse of planetary bodies. All of this information only increases the chances that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Yet, on the other hand, the same probabilities that calculate the probability that intelligent life exists on other planets also include ours. Given that the development of intelligent life on this planet is in a probabilistic minority and yet we are still here, I think this creates a strong argument for the existence of God.
What I think does not create a strong argument for the existence of God, is the existence of another intelligent life elsewhere. I think when humans were created they were the pinnacle of God’s creation – all of it. Based on this premise, it seems to me that the existence of another intelligent life form creates a strong argument against the existence of God.
A more specific problem is the problem of Jesus. Incarnation only really makes sense in one world with intelligent life. Has every world with intelligent life fallen? Did Jesus have to die for every fallen race? The questions follow one another.
I don’t know if anything exists outside of our planet, but asking the question about intelligent life on other planets is an interesting thought experiment. It forces us to ask interesting questions that we might not otherwise have asked, allowing us to explore the depths of God even further.