Posted by: dacalu | 23 June 2015

Astrobiology and Religion

I just returned from the Astrobiology Science Conference in Chicago and was thinking about astrobiology and religion.  How does our exploration of life in the universe relate to our faith?  Here are some very basic questions to get the ball rolling, but I’d love to hear other questions from readers.

Christianity: Does the entire cosmos suffer from sin, just life, or just humans?  Is the whole cosmos redeemed, just life, or just humans?  Is there one Messiah or many?  If one, do we have an obligation to spread the faith to other planets?  If many, how do we pair religions?
Islam: Humans are God’s representatives on Earth (classically “vicegerents”); do we have this responsibility relative to other places, or just Earth?  Are alien life forms responsible for Islam (submission to God) or just humans?  Would alien Islam be the same as human Islam?
Hinduism: Can one be reincarnated as an alien?  If so, what obligations do aliens have in life?
Buddhism: Are their non-terrestrial sentients?  How does the study of life here and the search for life elsewhere shape our attachment/aversion to our own unique location? How can studying these things help us understand the non-duality of self and other.
Judaism: Are aliens kosher? That’s an imprecise way of putting it, but it sums up the central question of how non-terrestrial life fits into our obligations for purity as God’s covenant people?

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Responses

  1. Aliens, however clever they were, would not be subject to kosher laws simply because the Torah was given to humans. And why only to humans? Because its content applies to human situations, not alien’s.


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