If someone had the question… how do we know that Jesus, the miracles, were not just advanced alien life trying to teach us morals… weird question I know…
How do you know you and everything was not created five minutes ago with the universe appearing to be old and all our ‘memories’ implanted?
There are thousands of hypotheses that fit known observations.
But some are untestable, that is, outside science, like the one I have suggested.
Some religious beliefs are of this sort. They cannot be tested. ‘God made everything’ is one such belief. It is not subject to ‘proof’ in the normal sense of the word.
Other religious beliefs can be tested such as the belief that some people can levitate through meditation. The ‘disproof’ of these beliefs does not stop believers believing.
This of us who prefer a scientific standard of proof often opt for ‘Occam’s razor’: the most likely explanation is probably right.
Jesus as alien life form is not the most likely explanation.
I suppose it’s part of growing up, and realizing that most questions are a matter of choosing to trust something for which we have some evidence (but cannot have exact proof). It’s by no means limited to religious questions. We have to take it on faith (after evaluating available evidence) that King Henry VIII historically existed and that evolution is how life on earth came to its present form.
We can’t go around checking every piece of data; even if we had infinite time to do so, we don’t have infinite access to all original data; and even if we did, what evidence would justify us trusting our own capacity to logically draw deductions?
Short of direct revelation from God that bypasses normal thought processes (exceedingly rare and not to be expected), realistically our beliefs in this life are beliefs. Even when we have reasons for them, even when our beliefs came after evaluating evidence. The evidence is limited and our capacity to evaluate the evidence is limited, so we make our best guess and move on to live by it.
Personally, the first thing I ever consciously believed purely on faith, had nothing to do with God. Rather, as a kid I realized that I didn’t have enough evidence to really believe that other people, other minds, existed beyond my own. It seemed to me that for all I knew, what seemed to be other thinking people were really just characters in my own dream, and I was the only mind that existed. But I thought it through and realized that if that were true, there was no point to anything: no action I took could either help or hurt another, if no other truly existed. And I consciously decided that if that other world was true, there’d be no point to anything and that included no point in believing it was true, so I might as well believe other people exist. Because if I was wrong it wouldn’t matter to know I was wrong, and if I was right then it would matter to live as if I was right (again, about it being true that other people exist).
God, I have much more evidence for. And after coming to believe in God my belief in other people was of course strengthened, because God says other people exist, so that adds to the evidence for them.
For aliens to get here, they have to travel faster than the speed of light. That means such technological advancement that there is nothing we could do to them. We would not be a threat at all. Therefore, aliens would show themselves publicly to everyone. The idea that they would hide/lie/deceive/kidnap/appear selectively is IMO ludicrous.
I read these conspiracy theories that Jesus is an alien. It has been bugging me quite a lot recently. Do you know anything that can help me not be so worried about these false things?
I will tread carefully here. I am not a Catholic or even a theist. I do not want to suggest you rethink your faith. In general, Catholicism respects science and history and has done for centuries. It holds to a number of things that science cannot engage with, (at least in any standard way) such as the idea that God exists and that Jesus is himself still existing and is a part of the Trinity. However it does allow for investigation and discussion of historic claims about Jesus. Because Catholicism does not believe in the Bible as the sole source of truth it is better able to do this than the bible-based sects so dominant in the US.
So a Catholic would, like me, be generally happy to look at the issue of whether there ever was a human being, Jesus, who did some or all of the things the Church says he did. The Catholic will say yes, all of them, or nearly all of them. I will say: yes, and some of them, but no miracles because I do not believe there can be miracles (I would change my mind based on evidence).
But both of us I think will say that there is extremely little ‘evidence’ for the idea that aliens have visited and that all claimed ‘evidence’ does not meet the standard of evidence we require for everyday things like ‘is this river dangerous to cross’ or ‘is pink salt a health hazard’ or ‘were there neanderthals in the Americas’.
But even if it were possible that aliens have visited, or shown that they did, there is even less evidence that they in any way influenced Jesus or how followers. You can test this by doing a thought experiment. If aliens wished us to be ‘moral’ and visited earth for that purpose, they would not have had us believe things ‘on faith’. They would have provided proofs. For example, if they wanted to impress people by changing water into wine they would ensure that the technique remained known to later followers of Jesus so that later generations would be impressed. Belief in Jesus as God requires faith. Why would aliens set up a belief structure on faith? Why not proof? Also if they were so advanced, and so moral, why did they not give us the skills to eliminate things like leprosy, painful cancer and childhood mortality? But thinking through to the logical conclusions of ideas you can pick and choose which are possible to be true (not this one), probably true (a brain transplant will eventually be possible) or ‘true to you’ in that you choose to believe it because you do and there is no compelling evidence against it and it fits what you know of the world (religious belief).
If you are worried about such things to the extent that it interferes with your everyday life you should talk to a medical professional (seriously). The human mind is a wonderful thing but sometimes needs servicing. You would probably find that a priest or Catholic counsellor would give you good advice too if you are coming at this from a Catholic perspective.
So in that scenario, why would Jesus not say plainly that he was an alien?
You have to take Jesus at his word. He does not lie.
How do we know that we are overthinking things?
Easy. People tell us.
To insist that that’s the only rational standard of proof is not the normal sense of the word.
Maybe they want us to believe in them but it’s very important to them that we have free will?
Out of curiosity are these actual theories or are they discussion tools to help unpack beliefs and consider where belief comes from?
Well, to revisit your original question, do you need to disprove them?
Unless you have been there, how does one know that Australia exists?
Oh, you’ve seen the maps, photos and people that say G’day, and while they certainly claim to be Australian, no one can be 100% certain. It could be mass hysteria, photoshop, CGI, Animé on LSD, a huge C-O-N-spiracy - you name it.
Or, do you take it on faith that Australia and Australians exist?
I have met Australians. They certainly exist. Were I not to have met them I agree that their existence would be speculative.
You’ve met people who claim to be Australians. Have you personally checked their passports? Have you investigated their passports to make sure they weren’t forged?
What if the people who claim to be ‘Australians’ are aliens?
Another example is, we are told that the distance from the earth to the sun is exactly 147.73 million km.
Should we measure this distance ourselves to be convinced or take this information on faith?
There is insufficient beer able to be carried on spacecraft to sustain Australians during interstellar flight.
Therefore they cannot be aliens.
They said they were from Australia - but how do you know?
How do you know that George Washington was the first president or that King Henry VIII was a real person? Because we trust the history.