Aliens more plausible than Divine Revelation? (Did Aliens start religion?)


#1

The Christian Faith in particular has good evidence behind it, especially centered on the ministry and life of Jesus. These evidences pave a way for faith in the God that rose Jesus from the dead.

But what if someone posited that intelligent aliens are behind religion? I know the pseudo-scientific shows on the History Channel like Ancient Aliens are laughable. But beyond its entertaining value, couldn’t someone at least maintain that aliens are more reasonable than Divine Revelation or Jesus?

Notice I’m not saying aliens vs. God, I’m saying aliens vs. divine revelation (Scriptural events). Because even if intelligent aliens fooled humanity into certain religions, the existence of God would stand on its own metaphysical proofs. The result would just be we have no reason to consider Christian revelation to be true.

How would you disprove this thesis? Even if there were no positive evidence for it, why wouldn’t aliens be more probable than an intervening God of Revelation?


#2

Personally, I believe that divine revelation means that God loves humans enough to directly interact with us (no middle-alien required :alien:), and God believes we can grow and learn these revelations without help from outer space. It is unlikely that God felt a middle-alien was necessary to get the point across.


#3

It is unlikely that God felt a middle-alien was necessary to get the point across.

The argument wouldn’t be that aliens ARE God’s divine revelation. But rather, that intelligent aliens somehow duped humanity into different religions. So they aren’t a middle man at all, but rather the originators of “revealed religions” like Christianity or Judaism before. In this scenario, we have no independent reason to think the God of the Universe intended to give humanity divine revelation, in the first place.

Personally, I believe that divine revelation means that God loves humans enough to directly interact with us

How would you reason to this, though, without making use of divine revelation like scripture, which could be the aliens’ doing! haha


#4

Life experience. Seeing what humans are capable of and how they can come close to God.


#5
  1. Our personal natures, including the fact that humanity tends to be religious and inclined to worship, is a sign, or at least has the implication, that it is in our nature to have a personal relationship with the divine despite the fact that we may create false religions in our attempt to do so. I think this is true regardless of whether or not aliens are deceiving us.

  2. Given that God created us, the implication is that God intended us to be religious and also intended to communicate with us through that medium. Otherwise, our nature as human beings wouldn’t make sense. We wouldn’t have any comprehension of God unless God intended us to.

Conclusion: Even if aliens are creating false religions, i am inclined to think that at least one of them is a true expression of God’s will.

Beyond that there is no way of knowing logically. But i think if you are inclined towards an evil agenda it’s most likely the case that you would lack the wisdom of God to comprehend the truth because your heart is not focused on it. And the Christian faith contains a substantial presence of what one might call divine wisdom which can only come from God. I doubt very much that it is the product of deceptive aliens with an evil agenda. But one can only come to this realisation by invested ones mind and heart into what is being said.

Of course there is always the possibility that we are victims of a grand deception, but i don’t see a good enough reason to jump to that conclusion; and we know nothing of it to do anything about it anyway.


#6

The potential existence of aliens does not negate the philosophical necessity for the existence of God, so even if aliens were starting religions on Earth, that doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist.


#7

Yes, that’s why I said I was focusing on Divine Revelation and not God’s existence.


#8

Well, then you’d have to consider how well our revelation and dogma coincides with the philosophical requirements of God.

I would argue that Catholic revelation coincides well with the philosophical necessities of God, and it is therefore unlikely that it has a source other than God. This stands in stark contrast to other ideologies, such as Islam or Hinduism, whose beliefs do not mesh well with what philosophy tells us about God’s nature.

In the end though, there’s also just the fact that there’s no real evidence for aliens. This is pure conjecture, which is a poor foundation for any set of beliefs or assertions about a set of beliefs. As such, the conclusion that any religion is founded by aliens is foolish, and no rational human being should embrace it. If actual evidence of aliens comes to light, then it might be a topic worth considering, but not until then.


#9

I would argue that Catholic revelation coincides well with the philosophical necessities of God, and it is therefore unlikely that it has a source other than God.

This is interesting. Care to elaborate?

Are you thinking somewhere along the lines of God as pure goodness willing the good (loving) his creatures, and therefore implying Heaven, salvation, etc?

In the end though, there’s also just the fact that there’s no real evidence for aliens.

It depends on who you ask. Some people say there’s a lot of evidence and that the government should – or has been – taking it more seriously.

I think that if intelligent aliens were discovered, it would probably be kept quiet at first. But until then, you do have all these UFO sightings, etc. We can poke fun, but it seems like until you experience it, it’s easier to just dismiss it.


#10

I’m thinking along the lines of Aquinas’ proof’s for God, and this philosophical reasoning about what God’s nature must be based on the created world we observe. His Goodness is one such attribute. There’s also His uniqueness / oneness / omnipotence , which is where polytheistic beliefs fall apart. His nature as love is where I would say that Islamic theology falls apart. There are others, but I don’t have much time, sorry.

See, but none of that is evidence. I know to people who believe it it’s evidence, but it’s not actually evidence. It’s conjecture. I know lots of people who have experienced things they described as UFOs which, upon scrutiny, all had perfectly reasonable explanations well within the scope of knowledge we currently have.

People can say whatever they want, it doesn’t actually give their argument any validity. Until there is unequivocal evidence for it (the yard stick by which many UFO believers frequently try to undercut religious belief), it is not a valid basis for making claims about anything. UFOs and other such phenomena are clearly within the scope of physical existence, and so it is perfectly reasonable to expect physical evidence before accepting something as fact, let alone using them to make any arguments about the nature of reality.


#11

I’m thinking along the lines of Aquinas’ proof’s for God, and this philosophical reasoning about what God’s nature must be based on the created world we observe. His Goodness is one such attribute. There’s also His uniqueness / oneness / omnipotence , which is where polytheistic beliefs fall apart. His nature as love is where I would say that Islamic theology falls apart. There are others, but I don’t have much time, sorry.

But how does this imply Divine Revelation? Just playing Devil’s advocate. Someone could say, sure, the philosophical proofs prove God and his classical attributes. So God exists. But aliens fooled us to believe in Moses or Jesus or Mohammad etc.

With regards to evidence, sure, maybe. I’m just saying that there are people out there who would more readily accept this account of religion than a Divine account of religion, because they find that aliens are a more naturalistic and reasonable account. “Occam’s razor” or whatever.


#12

Chariot of the gods does not equate to Catholicism.
All life is created by God, including the speculative intelligent alien who may be out there, and may not.
Divine Revelation is the revelation of God, to us, on what we require for our salvation. God did not reveal more then this.


#13

Without any underlying evidence or foundation for those assertions, they are baseless and should be paid no heed.

See, people can concot any sort of scenario that would seem to undercut one belief or another, but without any evidence for that scenario, it’s nothing more than conjecture. Just because we can conceive of something doesn’t actually mean that would should give it real consideration. I could conceive of a billion scenarios that would make Catholicism false. That doesn’t change the fact that Catholicism has the strongest claim to correctness based on all the evidence.

This is no different from the people who claim that there was some big schism right after the Church was founded. Just because they claim something doesn’t give their claims any substance. There’s no evidence for it, just as there is no evidence for alien intervention, so it should be dismissed as the nonsensical tripe it is. All ideas are not equal, all potentials are not equal, and people who espouse this sort of nonsense never have any evidence to support their claims because no such evidence exists. This is simply because their argument is false. Until some evidence to the contrary comes to light, don’t waste your time and energy worry about it.


#14

I understand what you’re saying. I think that our evidence for Catholicism/Christianity point to Christ’s claims about himself in the Gospels as true.

But, some people’s methodology or worldview would prefer naturalistic accounts as a “simpler” account. They would say aliens are more plausible than God precisely because we know aliens can exist through nature (just as humans exist — as intelligent biological entities exist). While Divine Revelation is a supernatural claim, this means it is a more complicated explanation and unnecessary.

When I say more plausible than God, I mean as an account for religion. Not God’s existence (which would still be a fact even if aliens existed).


#15

The alien-origin-of-religion hypothesis is a non-supernatural belief system with no credible evidence. You would be trading faith in something infinitely greater than the material universe for faith in something much smaller than the material universe. Look higher.


#16

Some people also argue that the Earth is flat.

Idiots will be idiots, and they feed on attention. You can’t fix stupid, and you can stop people from believing in nonsense. No matter how many rational counter-arguments you make, they’re generally not going to change their mind. That’s just the nature of stupidity and human pride. Pray for them, because rational discourse isn’t going to accomplish anything, because they are not rational.


#17

Well, I don’t think it’s irrational.

Objectively, it’s definitely possible. And these kinds of people do posit their own evidence, and I’m sure none of us here have evaluated it very seriously on our own time.

They might need our prayers, but as smart Catholics we don’t have to be so dismissive. Thomas Aquinas and the history of Catholic thought has been intent to engage all viewpoints. That’s simply what I’m trying to do here.

I don’t think the best way is to merely assert “there’s no evidence,” because these people will point to their own evidence. (See the what, 10 or so seasons of Ancient Aliens for example! lol). Rather, I’m trying to find a way to say that, even if aliens fit within a naturalistic explanation, the supernatural explanation makes more and “simpler” sense.

That’s why I was liking the direction of the philosophical proofs —> Christian doctrine.


#18

The way I was told to understand this is that…aliens would possess a technology the likes of which we have never seen. With it, they would be able to replicate just how the Earth/human beings were created. Thus proving that they created everything and not God.

Another form of this was that they would be able to produce a sort of “video” that can show the past and totally invalidate Christ as either existing or being Divine.


#19

Perhaps irrational is too strong a word for the concept, but not for the people. I would call the concept implausible, but pretty much all the presented “evidence” is clearly refutable, so it is irrational to continue believing in it.

Yeah, that sort of nonsense is a perfect example of the type of “evidence” irrational people believe. Basically every last “proof” that show has put forward has been given a reasonable explanation. That show’s entire premise is based on the assumption that ancient humans were way stupider than they probably were. There’s also a heaping helping of fakery, like with those stupid helicopter and tank hieroglyphs… Irrational people latch on to that sort of “evidence” because it supports their presuppositions, not because it’s actually evidence.

With certain viewpoints, the only way to engage is to refute. You can’t treat them all as equal, because, in my experience, people who believe this sort of stuff will take any kind of hesitation, or a lack of explanation for any one detail, and claim that that proves their point. Your experience may differ, but my harshness is because, in my experience, they won’t listen no matter what you say, so you might as well be blunt.

I’m not saying aliens don’t exist. I don;t believe they do, but I have no evidence for that apart from the lack of evidence for aliens. Rather, my issue is with people who take the potential, and treat it as facts without actual evidence. I know they think they have evidence, but that doesn’t actually mean they do.

To this end, the only thing you really can do is help them to see that their evidence isn’t actually evidence. Until they are able to let go of that, they’re always going to fall back on aliens as a potential cause, and in their minds, potential causes are enough to refute real evidence. I would also revert to my earlier discussion about adhering to the necessary qualities of God which we can discern through philosophy. Every last religion we know is man-made (the Greek / Roman pantheons, for example, or Scientology), has deities / causes which contradict the necessary attributes of God. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that any religion created by extraterrestrials would suffer similar limitations in their depictions of deity. The only two religions which do not suffer from these issues are Judaism and Christianity, and so they have the strongest claims to real Truth.

I have to stop replying now, this discussion is distracting me from my work a little bit more than I can afford right now. Sorry to post and run >_>


#20

Scientifically speaking i agree. There is no evidence. But having said that, all you can really say that you haven’t had any experiences that would suggest that they exist and that therefore you have no reason to count their existence against your own beliefs. I agree with this. However i see nothing intrinsically unreasonable about the possibility of alien encounters and it may very well be true that people really have had experiences that can only be described as alien in nature.

This is to say i am open minded about the possibility. Lets just say that we can still have a theological discussion about the possibility of aliens without looking like lunatics…


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