back to article Vatican star watcher says aliens may be out there

The Catholic Church’s top astronomer has said there is no contradiction between the one true faith and believing in aliens. The statement will surely spark speculation that the Church knows more than it’s letting on and is preparing the world for some pretty big revelations, or at least laying the groundwork for mass …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    What if.....

    What if aliens turn out to be . ....Protestants !

    There'll be no talk of "Brother" then.

  2. Pete mcQuail
    Alien

    Lots of info on aliens at the moment

    Are we being softened up for an important announcement?

  3. zedee
    Alien

    Puts the boot into

    the whole genesis thing, dunnit?

    Or are catholics now not to take the bible as literal Truth?

  4. Big Al
    Alien

    Image problem

    The issue is not so much whether alien life exists or not, but the little time bomb ticking away at the base of many religions - the one that says God created Man in His own image...

    The consequences of taking *that* line too literally could be immense - there are numerous instances in our terrestrial history of the 'infidels' and the 'subhuman' or 'non-human' being subjected to some jolly rotten behaviour. Mind you, THEY presumably didn't have mind-rays and the technology to cross galaxies in an instant.

  5. Vulpes Vulpes
    Alien

    That flask of anti-matter in the basement

    is actually the communion wine for the first mass to be held post-contact.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    The Truth Is Out There

    I have long thought that we are being slowly (ever so slowly) being prepared for the truth of the fact that there is alien life out there. And maybe more than a few spieces with varying interests in us.

    After all it seems to me pure crap for mankind (Old Skool Vatican) to claim the station he thinks he currently occupies. We are most likely just one drop in a sea of life.

    This doesn't mean I believe in the "Great Sky Brothers" or any other such hogwash about aliens coming to save ourselves from ourselves. We originally expected our gods (Ok Told by the church) to do that and now that we see it just isn't so we are now looking towards the stars for the mythical daddy come to save our physical lives from all our self generated woes. When in the end, our fate is our own to make and/or destroy. ET wont save us and neither will the church.

    Peace out!

  7. Rich

    Oh well, must be true then

    At least aliens have a testable plausibility about them. On the other hand, how can you take anyone seriously that believes in a concept as vacuous and nonsensical as "god"?

  8. dervheid

    Just...

    covering all the bases. (With the possible exception in the case raised by Mark T)

  9. Adrian Waterworth
    Coat

    @Pete mcQuail

    No, it's just the slow-news-days, Summer silly season starting early...

    Mines the orangey coloured suit with the helmet, gloves and air tanks. And could you open the Pod-bay doors please?

    What do you mean "you can't do that"?

    Oh bugger.

  10. Dave Bell

    Nothing new.

    The Church has a long history of theological debate on non-human sentient beings.

    And I'd rather have them asking the questions than some people I can think of.

  11. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    An Interesting Forum .... Religion

    Amen, Brother ...... and a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the House of the Rising Sun with its Sisters of Mercy in the Perfumed Garden of Eden ...... an Opening Up of AI NEUKlearer Read42See?!.

    ‘Vatican star watcher says aliens may be out there’ .... is a pretty safe Bet or is there a Feeling that they are a lot closer and/or already here and tending to Flowers for Power and ITs Immaculately Conceived Controls.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Oh well!

    Nothing like hedging your bets is there. Last couple of hundred years, we have proved that if the physical universe is bloody enormous and most likely God, if it exists, lives in a different dimension, so IF aliens exist, then best get on the right side of the argument now.

    ( Heart icon, even Aliens need love, no matter how many tentacles and/or other apendages they have! )

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Alien Labotomy Prize

    To whoever guesses correctly what the next announcement will be:

    !) Aliens sighted by <country / air force / pilot / insert witness here>

    2) Aliens landing on White House lawn.

    3) Aliens attempt to land on Number 10 lawn, find it's too small. end up parking on double yellows and getting clamped.

    4) Finding out we are actually all Aliens apart from Paris Hilton and that is why we think she is a complete monkey. (no offence intended my primate cousins)

    5) Finding out "Independence Day" was in fact, a documentary.

    Let the game commence.....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Have we...

    ....developed Warp Technology yet?

  15. Phill Holland

    babelfish

    what if aliens appear, and provide categorical proof that a god does not exist? would that make the vatican disappear in a puff of logic?

  16. Ian Ferguson
    Alien

    "...to the extent of voicing support for intelligent design"

    That's not exactly unusual for a pope, shurely? It'd be slightly more surprising if he expressed opinions *against* intelligent design.

    I seem to remember similar waffle about aliens from a Church of England spokesman, saying there may be aliens, and Jesus might have visited them in their form and died for their sins etc. If I was still a Christian I'd be pretty skeptical about the concept, that God created humans as unique special friends of his, and didn't happen to mention that he created some other unique special friends... (a bit like having a secret second family, *ahem*)

    But I'm not Christian any more, so I have the distinct pleasure of watching church spokespeople squirming in their seats as they try to apply increasingly outdated moral beliefs to changing public attitudes.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Can of worms...

    OK. So God could create other beings on other worlds. A few questions come to mind...

    Do the aliens have their own Heaven, or do they share ours, or what?

    I presume that the aliens can have a soul? Given that they can have 'less' of a soul than a human (i.e. like a monkey, dolphin, dog, horse, cow, ...), can they have 'more' of a soul than humans do? Does God care equally about them as about us, even though the 'soul difference' between an alien and a human could be comparable to the 'soul difference' as between a human and a dog? Does God care about dogs???

    Are aliens also made in God's image? Does He (God) even have an image??

    Whom do aliens worship, and how? Do they think God has a long flowing beard? What if God didn't send them his Son?

    Why is there no mention of any of this (creation of other beings, other heavens, etc...) in the Bible?

    Not that I expect the Church to have any answers to these questions, but it seems to me that from the beginning they have been very human-centric will need to overhaul a lot of the dogma...

  18. Matt

    Ironically

    This isn't a new position, but was held by the venerable C.S. Lewis.

  19. Fresher

    @zedee

    "Or are catholics now not to take the bible as literal Truth?"

    The official Catholic line on the Bible: "We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision".

    Some Christians believe in a literal interpretation. Catholics don't (or shouldn't). Catholic schools teach evolution, they also teach respect for other people's beliefs (which includes atheist beliefs).

  20. Tom
    Thumb Up

    @ Jim Booth

    Option 3) made me laugh out loud, in the literal sense. A rare feat, well done!

    *goes off in search of batteries for his Thumb*

  21. Steven
    Happy

    Well I for one...

    ...welcome our distant galaxy dwelling overlords / lord?!

    ;o)

  22. Lukin Brewer
    Go

    We come in marklar!

    I just had to say it... and if any marklars are listening:

    Marklars, these marklars want to change your marklar. They use Marklar to try and force marklars to believe their marklar. If you let them come to your marklar, they will build marklars and marklars. They will take all your marklars and replace them with their marklar.

  23. ImaGnuber

    Subhead

    "ET spiritus sancti"

    Can always rely on the Reg for my morning laugh.

  24. Paul
    Happy

    @Fresher

    Thank you. I was going to say just the same, but without the eloquence.

  25. Liam Johnson

    @Fresher

    >>they also teach respect for other people's beliefs

    Which is where is all falls down. If you really and truly believed that there is a god watching you 24/7 and your immortal soul depended on following his law to the letter, how could you possible respect another belief? It is not subjective, like as preference for beer or wine, it is the difference between 100% truth and 100% wrongness/evil/non truth. Unfortunately, the majority who _think_ they believe support the minority nutters who really truly believe, and so religion is maintained.

  26. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    Jesus meets Zenu

    Perhaps the Catholics are preparing to merge with the Scientologists! Think of the money they could both rake in then!

    Keep your eyes on Tom Cruise to see if he makes a sudden trip to the Vatican, where he will lobby the pope to make a sweeping damnation of psychiatry and modern pharmaceutical medicine.

  27. ben
    Jobs Halo

    The worlds going to shit...

    and we seem to becoming more insignificant by the minute. The church better get a grip or we'll all start rioting, creating anarchy and worshiping false prophets. How can we ever cope without the Churches moral guidance and the deep ingrained belief that we are the pinnacle of God's creative wonderment.

    I wonder what the alien pope looks like.

  28. J-Wick
    Thumb Up

    Subhead

    I second Gruber's comment on the subhead. Genius.

  29. GX5000
    Dead Vulture

    Marklar

    Screw you guys, home !

  30. Nicholas Ettel
    Coat

    Church + Aliens =

    I think you know where this is going. Funes pretty much just admitted to the Vatican believing in Lord Xenu. Which, therefore means that Scientology is a secret sub-sect of the Vatican. It's an obvious logical connection.

    Mine's the one with "One Religion to rule them all, One Religion to find them, One Religion to bring them all and in the darkness bind them" printed on the back.

  31. adnim Silver badge

    "Fascinating..."

    What if alien lifeforms are both rational and logical?

    The mere concept of a god would be alien to them.

  32. bothwell
    Thumb Up

    @Pete mcQuail

    "Are we being softened up for an important announcement?"

    No, the start of the Silly Season is never announced, it just creeps up on us by stealth, STEALTH! Or not.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Its in the bible

    John 10:16 (King James Version)

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

  34. michael aubert

    maybe better to start quoting

    Ash from the actual movie Alien. no original sin, you see.

    Also, technically, the bible having been written quite some time ago, it is logical that it contains no reference to whatever a presumed God may have done in more recent times.

    Ah yes. Now this makes sense. The popes are Windows Update.

  35. Funky Dennis
    Coat

    How can you tell...

    How can you tell that E.T. is a Protestant?

    Because he looks like one.

    (Mine's the green, white and orange one.)

  36. Glenn Amspaugh
    Black Helicopters

    Dolly phone home

    <i>And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.</i>

    Sheep are aliens? And we're cloning them? WTF?!!!

    Mine's the nice cardigan that glows in the dark.

  37. Steve
    Alien

    @ It's in the bible

    Yes but, does it not also say;

    'I sent your luggage off for you,' he said. 'Not much between you, I must say - just one small trunk!'

    Five Go Down To The Sea, Ch1 p3 (Hodder & Stoughton Version)

    "The Catholic Church’s top astronomer has said there is no contradiction between the one true faith and believing in aliens."

    They also say that the bible is self-consistent. He wouldn't know a contradiction if it looked him straight in the eye and bit him in the ass.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    misinformed

    It was never the Catholic way to interpret the bible literally, thats a protestant thing. The Church came first, the bible (although believed to be inpired) came as a collection of useful teachings about truth.

    You haters would be just as pissed if the church said that there were no aliens.

    by the way, there is no more or less proof that God either does or does not exist.

    seems like the faithful have a better plan for social harmony than the nonfaithful.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Steve

    I sugest you go back and read the other posts, and learn somthing, befor you speek again.

    "They also say that the bible is self-consistent." Is not somthing the church says. Its somthing you made up. Oh and please don't go for the obvious cheep shots. They just make you look like a fool.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    Sort of messes up the idea of humans being the important ones and the rest just being around as support for humans to do what they like with them.

    One can respect another viewpoint without believing it is an equal alternative to your own. Besides who says humans had to be perfect to win salvation anyway?

    Just because some being is logical and rational doesn't mean it can't speculate on alternative non-material scenarios. Concepts are ten a penny.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    misinformed

    > the bible (although believed to be inpired) came as a collection of useful teachings about truth

    do these truths include the bit about the earth being created in 6 days? or talking snakes in the garden of eden? or prehistoric man building a supertanker-sized ark for all the animals? or someone getting turned into a pillar of salt? or a virgin giving birth? or the dead being brought back to life? or jesus walking on water? or jesus turning water into wine?

    there's about as much truth in the bible as there is in a microsoft press release. got to do something to restore an IT angle......

  42. Edward Miles
    IT Angle

    Arm up lads...

    ...it's time to take the good word to our heathen alien brothers. Saddle up for the first INTERSTELLAR CRUSADE!

    I should go into writing movies :)

  43. Peyton
    Alien

    Why all this speculation on ET beliefs?

    We have a Martian that posts here regularly - just ask him! (good luck understanding the reply though ;)

    One question I haven't seen asked is "what if they show up with their own religion?" Better hope they're more tolerant than some of the condescending atheists that post here :p

  44. Spleen

    @Fresher

    "Some Christians believe in a literal interpretation. Catholics don't (or shouldn't). Catholic schools teach evolution, they also teach respect for other people's beliefs (which includes atheist beliefs)."

    Atheists do not have beliefs. This is a common confusion among religious people unable to think outside their own heads. Atheists merely apply the same standard of evidence to statements like "there is a God" that most people apply to everything, including the religious.

  45. Luther Blissett

    "we could not say that they need redemption"

    In which case they would be superior to the human race, and therefore it must be theologically ok for them to take over the Earth, starting by "redeeming" it off humans, by way of "redeeming" humans for their own good. Which is good old Vatican-speak for torture, confession, repentance, and final deliverance (of the soul of course, but only the soul) into the hands of the Creator. Or into the dark womb of Mother Earth, to be more up to date with the narrative. Except for those who have never erred or were infallibible to start with, namely Papa Ratty and his rat-pack. And what is possible is necessary, under some philosophical interpretations of logical modality. So you will die, because you MUST die.

    What a creepy lot they are.

    You will of course never meet an alien yourself, merely see the bright flashing lights, and feel the endorphine of XTC a few milliseconds before you are vapourised, during which brief time you will remember all the hyperreal cargo-cults about aliens bringing wisdom, and the postmodern scientific conception of "truth" (although not being a Blissett you won't think in those terms, but you will believe that you are finally experiencing the underlying true Platonic reality that the deep and esoteric myths have pointed to all your life - because that's an idea you picked up in Eng.Lit. class without even knowing it) and you will think YES! And that'll be it. Finis. Good-bye and Sayonara.

    Sorry folks, death rays do not mean aliens. Neither do announcements by Japanese foreign ministers, Popes, Bliars, or the BBC.

    But after 3 days of oohs and ahhs growing steadily less until silence reigns. the silver flying machines will come back down to a base in Montana or somewhere, in a celebratory inversion of the myth just exterminated, and President McCain (for it will be him) will be there, or rather the hollow shell that remains, and as the fliers disembark will slap them on the back and say "Job well done, boys". As they disperse into the Paraguay sunset.

  46. JimC Silver badge

    @ several

    I've noticed that anti religion folk criticising religious beliefs starting from an 11 years olds description of religious philosophy are every bit as amusing as folk of a religious persuasion criticising evolution from an equal platform of ignorance...

    > Besides who says humans had to be perfect to win salvation anyway?

    A fundamental tenet of Christian belief is that no human is perfect. If they were they wouldn't need salvation...

    Another possibly relevant quote from the Bible is often used in science fiction: 'In my father's house there are many mansions".

    But this sort of speculation is hundreds of years old in Christian philosophy. If you believe that angels and demons exist as intelligent beings as well as humans its a very easy step to consider other forms of intelligent life.

  47. Fresher

    @Spleen

    "Atheists merely apply the same standard of evidence to statements ..."

    For a person to do that they must believe in the evidence and either their own or another's ability to correctly deduce a result from that evidence.

  48. Peyton

    I think atheists do have beliefs

    They believe that science will, ultimately, be able to explain anything. If science can't do this, then it seems there will always be room for the possible existence of a higher being, which they believe, erm sorry, "know", doesn't exist.

    Personally, I'm not sure how you can know (as opposed to "believe") there are no unknown unknowns, but that may just be me.

  49. breakfast
    Alien

    If one sparrow should fall...

    The idea of a Jesuit mission to an alien world is the core story of Mary Doria Russell's book "The Sparrow", I heartily recommend it.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Fresher

    "For a person to do that they must believe in the evidence"

    No, they must believe the evidence, not believe IN it. A subtle but important difference.

  51. ImaGnuber
    Alien

    Deep Doo-Doo

    Don't assume that 'technologically advanced' implies in any way that alien visitors will have discarded religion or that they are any smarter than we are or more peaceful etc. It could just mean that they have had much, much longer to work on the technology.

    I suspect that, if they have a religion, the consequences of their arrival will be much like the effect of the conquistadors and missionaries arrival in America.

    Or just as bad - Their leaders could have justified the expense of coming here with hysterical hype about WMDs or whatever.

    Advanced technology in no way implies advanced morals or philosophy.

    We're all doomed, I tell you, DOOMED!

    Or not.

  52. Spleen

    re various

    @Fresher: "For a person to do that they must believe in the evidence and either their own or another's ability to correctly deduce a result from that evidence."

    Yeah, pretty much (apart from the believe vs. believe in distinction). In other words, I do exactly what I do with the claim "there is a God" that I do with the claim "there is a zebra crossing here". Religious do the same thing 99.99% of the time. 99.99% of the time they rely on the evidence of their own eyes - even the most fanatical priests do not suddenly attempt to walk into heavy traffic. It's just that they suddenly veer off and apply a different standard during the 0.01% of the time they're thinking about the fundamental nature of the universe.

    This is partly because the answers they get are nicer when they relax their own need for evidence, but mainly because there's no direct consequence if the answer turns out to be wrong. The belief "I can cross the road here" is a nice belief if it makes my journey shorter, but if I believe it without evidence, I will suffer very serious negative consequences. Not so with "The world is looked after by a loving God".

    Peyton: "They believe that science will, ultimately, be able to explain anything."

    So far, it has a pretty good record. Where science has fought religion - e.g. over the shape of the earth, the age of the universe, whether species were created fully-formed at the beginning of time or evolved, religion has lost every single time. Recently, religion has just given up. When scientists said that matter was made of quarks and leptons, the Vatican didn't even bother saying "Actually, it's made out of very small angels". There was no point even fighting.

    "If science can't do this, then it seems there will always be room for the possible existence of a higher being, which they believe, erm sorry, "know", doesn't exist."

    No, no, and again, no. There's no belief or knowing involved. There's an absence of evidence. That's it. It's about evidence. That's all we ask for. And don't forget that God used to provide it, in the form of burning bushes etc. He just suddenly decided to stop proving his existence a convenient period before today.

  53. vincent himpe
    Alert

    uh-oh

    thats a big about face.

    The gods may have been aliens after all..

  54. Tom

    Missionaries on Mars?

    BLIMEY!!!!! Maybe there will be "Crusades in Outer Space!!"

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    And on the Eighth Day

    the Lord did look down upon his creation and think unto himself, "Yea, verily, that is a good beta release," and thence did set himself unto the release candidate.

  56. Peyton

    @Spleen

    I think you're getting a bit too philosophical my friend. This is from the OED for atheist:

    1. One who denies or disbelieves the existence of a God.

    For the American crowd, from MW:

    : one who believes that there is no deity

    But that aside, if atheists don't "know" and don't "believe" then what do they "do" exactly? (Well, aside from getting involved in digressive discussions on el Reg ;)

  57. Unkle Al
    Coat

    Proof religions are wrong

    Given: There are many religions

    Given: They can't all be correct

    Therefore: None can be correct

    Note - This may or may not be correct.

    Mine's the one with "In case of rapture, can I have your car" on the back

  58. Liam Johnson

    Deficient 11 year olds

    >>11 years olds description of religious philosophy

    True, after spending endless years trying to convince religious people of anything, you become jaded and assume they only thing they can understand is "5-year-old" philosophy. I prefere to think of the religious as flat-landers and have done with it. Mostly.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Literality

    "Or are catholics now not to take the bible as literal Truth?"

    (Most) Catholics have not taken the Bible literally since since long ago. Literalism is a Protestant thingy; Catholics have "doctrine" - that can even override the Bible if needed - and Jesuitic philosophies, that sometimes border moral relativism and taking the Bible, specially the OT (but Revelation/Apocalypse too), as some sort of abtruse metaphorical mythology, not much more important than the Illyad or the Mahabaratha. In fact most Catholics have no problem with evolution and things like that nowadays.

    Catholics do have a problem of a distant non-representative hierachy, cult-like religious orders, dependence on taxpayer's money (in some countries at least) and the terrible elaborated boringness of their rituals... but that's another story.

  60. Dave Morris

    Athiest vs Agnostic

    I think the difference between atheism and agnosticism is a huge source of disconcert and misunderstandings. I would even go so far as to say that a huge portion of self-proclaimed atheists do not actually understand the correct term for their own beliefs. The vast majority of religious people are eve more ignorant of the difference, as is understandable, given that both groups "are not them," and people's general habit of focusing more on the details of things that "are them."

    Simply, atheism means no god. It means, strictly, that the follower believes there is no god. This is inherently a belief.

    Agnosticism means without knowledge. This means, almost literally, "I don't know." This means it would apply to anyone, and everyone, who is not confident in the existence or non-existence of some form of deity. Technically this means that many Christians are actually agnostics, since they don't really know. It also means that virtually all people who's belief in a lack of deity is science based are actually agnostic, since the statement "there is no God," cannot (yet at least) be proven.

    So, when someone says that atheism is a belief, they are technically correct (unless said atheist has proof that no deity exists). But, believing, itself, should also not be considered somehow bad. If not for belief, we would not be able to function. Consider not being able to believe anything you see, hear, taste, or smell. Biology tells us that all of our senses are perceptive, that is, interpretive... so if you see something, you believe it is as you see it.

    The understanding that no one is perfect, and that all of our beliefs must be flawed in some way also allows some who believe one thing to tolerate the beliefs of others; maybe they have it right? maybe not?

    And, of course as a final note, I'd just like to say: All hail our new Alien galactic theocratic overlords!!

  61. E

    @zedee

    Only if you identify the creation of the planet we call 'earth' with the creation of the universe.

  62. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Alien

    Intergalactic Travelling Salvation Show

    So, this God geezer turns out to be a travelling preacher, visiting all the star systems across the universe. He's not due back here for another 18 billion years or so, subject to space chariot traffic and space-works around the Zlark-87 System Interchange.

  63. Tony Paulazzo
    Alien

    Logic... Belief...

    >What if alien lifeforms are both rational and logical?

    The mere concept of a god would be alien to them.<

    The concept of God as an intelligent designer?

    Well, just maybe they've looked further than one AU from their birth planet, maybe they've unified the disparity between sub atomic particles and gravity bound outer worlds. Maybe, they know how the structure of the mind and the breath of life actually work - unlike us... maybe they've discovered the link between divine and mundane, and, just maybe, they are logical and rational enough to discover existence isn't simply limited to the three or four dimensions we're barely capable of seeing (length, breadth, height & time?) in the physical universe.

    Even Einstein, supposedly our greatest scientific mind, didn't like the evidence of quantum mechanics or where they led. Steven Hawkings still hasn't discovered the unifying thing explaining everything (unless I missed a podcast), yet the 'disbelief' of God appears to be as strong as the 'belief' in God.

    I know one thing, the banning of all religions would probably end most of the wars on this planet, but that has nothing to do with the existence - or not, of God, but more to do with the ability to share, something a five year old finally learns to do. Which puts our planetary psychological age at about two.

    I'm agnostic...

  64. Liam Johnson

    @Athiest vs Agnostic

    >> a huge portion of self-proclaimed atheists do not actually understand the correct term for their own beliefs.

    No, most of the atheists I know are well aware that the word atheism is defined in reference to “god”, and do not believe it is a suitable expression for their philosophy. Most “atheists” are also uncomfortable with saying “I do not believe there is a god”, at least if they have ever tried to argue the point. The problem is that “believe” is really the wrong word. Really they should be saying “there is no god” and avoid getting into a debate with a believer, as it is a complete waste of time.

  65. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Athiest vs Agnostic

    Most people don't understand what 'agnostic' is, that's for certain. Still not sure myself, opinion seems divided on the matter. But I tend to think of it as a bit of a bullshit non-position to adopt. There's room for reasonable doubt in both atheism and theism, if you're doing it right.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fact or Fiction

    "by the way, there is no more or less proof that God either does or does not exist."

    Indeed that is correct at present,

    But then again, You,Me and possibly everyone has magical fairies that live in their back garden too, But of course they only come out at night when no one is around so you can't ever see them, But really they do exist don't they?

    end sarcasm :)

    It's been how long? 2000 years, All he/she has to do is come down and show themselves and speak to us,Thats all we ask, I would convert in a heartbeat!

    IMO it's better to not believe in something u have never seen or heard for yourself,That would be considered insane,Instead i believe in myself/family/friends and even you the person who wrote that post i know u exist, U have proven it to me!

    Yes Yes others will say it's all about Faith, But superstition sure sounds like faith to me.

  67. Liam Johnson

    @Sarah Bee

    >>I tend to think of it as a bit of a bullshit non-position to adopt.

    I think you will find it is a sort of stop off point for people who have been brought up as “believers”. It is difficult to reject a lifetime of wasted effort all in one go!

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Shared heaven

    "Do the aliens have their own Heaven, or do they share ours, or what?"

    In Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey se see that we indeed share a Heaven with our space bretheren.

    Mines the black sleveless one with the yellow smiley face on the back.

  69. Syren Baran
    Alien

    @Fact or Fiction and atheism

    <logic bubble>

    Well, i consider my self an atheist but i _believe_ you dont know what atheist means. A=Without and Theos=belief. </logic bubble>

    <quote>

    It's been how long? 2000 years, All he/she has to do is come down and show themselves and speak to us,Thats all we ask, I would convert in a heartbeat!

    </quote>

    Ok, so some hairy guy comes along and tells you he is a reincarnation of Jesus and you believe him? Last time he was born as well, so why would you believe him?

    Ah right, you mean something else of course, right?

    During a gathering of the UN a bright portal pops up und some hairy guy comes through and proclaims "After 2000 years i must now reveal myself too ...", hmm, dont know what he should say.

    Would that be proof? Probably a lot of people would consider the transimission photo shopped or something. Or it might be an alien invasion! While technologicly superior they would still expect to many losses to use violance to conquer us and just make use of believes.

    Face it, there is no such thing as proof for a religion, which by definition is based upon faith.

  70. Richard Kay
    Boffin

    @spleen

    "There's no belief or knowing involved. There's an absence of evidence. That's it. It's about evidence. That's all we ask for. And don't forget that God used to provide it, in the form of burning bushes etc. He just suddenly decided to stop proving his existence a convenient period before today."

    He sometimes appears to people to do just what you claim he does not do. He appeared to St Paul on the road to Damascus pretty much as He appeared to me 25 years ago. Either that or I am or was quite mad, but as my behaviour in the 29 years prior to this astonishing event qualified for the loony bin rather more than my behaviour since, I have to draw my own conclusions from the evidence of my own experience. I wouldn't expect my personal evidence to work for those who don't know me, but I'm not the only one offering similar accounts.

    Why anyone with an unprejudiced mind should ignore observations simply because they were recorded in the past beats me, but if you are looking for more recent independently-verifiable evidence, it seems generally agreed that if any of the very many fundamental physical constants of the universe were different, conditions for intelligent life would not be possible. For a system as complex as biological evolution to be sustained, more simple physical and chemical systems had to precede this. These prior systems could not have had the capacity to store and transmit information, and without information storage and transmission evolution is not possible. So there is evidence of design here, but in a different place from where some naive Christians have claimed it to be. To avoid this evidence, atheists who understand it are forced either to abandon their faith in the non-existence of God or to postulate the existence of an infinite number of universes with varying laws so that one universe is just right to enable observed life to be sustained.

    But this is as unacceptable as to claim that one of an infinite number of monkeys typed the works of Shakespeare. Atheists also seem to have an arbitrary faith in the unprovable idea of randomness as being a fundamental as opposed to as an emergent property of the universe. Albert Einstein claimed that "God does not play with dice" but atheists believe in the randomness of fundamental physical events and the non-existence of God. Where is their evidence for either assertion ? Just saying "I can't see a pattern" isn't evidence that there are no patterns when other people including Albert Einstein can perceive deep patterns at a greater and deeper level of organisation than science alone is capable of considering. Analytical science is extremely good at observing very small and narrowly defined and understood things, but is a very limited tool used on its own when it comes to integrating and understanding the bigger picture.

  71. Slaine
    Paris Hilton

    agnostic v atheist

    As I understand it, Atheists actively believe that there is no God of any description whatsoever, whilst Agnostics will accept anything that can be adequately proven. There is to date, no proof; only speculation, manipulation and fear.

    Atheists, therefore, are far more likely to be wrong whilst agnostics may yet find themselves worshipping at one altar or another. The Devil (if SHE exists) cannot be an Atheist. Icon...? The obligatory option to worship here.

  72. Chris G Silver badge

    It's religion Jim but not as we know it

    Without have any clues as to the possible biology, shape or form of any prospective aliens , it is not possible to conjecture about any religion they may or may not have. However, if they have achieved star travel and do still have religion then we will probably be in for a tough time, any one smart enough to solve the problems of interstellar flight and who is also rationally challenged is going to be potentially dangerous.

    For those questioning the word agnostic, go back to school and relearn English, it means literally without knowledge. So agnostics don't believe because they need the knowledge of what IS true in order to believe.

    As far as I am concerned the description of the god of various of the major religions NEVER comes up to scratch in his/her/it's real life dealings with the world and they all seem to originate from more or less the same deity. Based on performance ( all wise all merciful omnipotent etc) the deity should be sacked for failing to meet contractual obligations to the believers AND every body else covered by the all merciful clause. At the end of the day religion is about the power of the churches et al over the so called terrified believers. It's a load of bollocks!

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Chris G

    "rationally challenged"

    What a lovely phrase for someone who doesn't believe that science holds all answers.

    Better that than being spiritually challenged though, in my humble opinion.

  74. Slaine
    Alien

    4 1 9 alert

    Dear Earthling, I am the third defined aspekt of a much lov'd deity referred to in the news as "fathersunandholeegost", known to my frends as "Gordon Earth" and I hav diskovered a little known loophole that could earn you a guaranteed $$$$ "placein Heaven" ££££. All I ask in return is that you help me in a small way by paying to build lots of churches to enable me to protect and to increase the size of my flock. I know that you are a sensitiv soul and you will understand if I ask that you do not enjoy your life but instead divote it too me. If you can help, please pray to this address: Our Fathead, to start in Devon, Harold be thy name, thy swings will come.

  75. Andy
    Thumb Up

    Getting warmed up for Alien visitations

    Hail Pope lizard the 1st

  76. Jeff Rowse Bronze badge
    Alien

    "Only you can save Mankind"

    Ever wondered what the SqueeWee word for SqueeWee is?

    To paraphrase Doug "GT:Ground Forces" Berry, bags me gets 'Quisling Traitor in charge of England'...!

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    various stuff

    "But this is as unacceptable as to claim that one of an infinite number of monkeys typed the works of Shakespeare."

    But one actually did. He's known as William Shakespeare. And the actual number of monkeys, even if huge, is finite.

    And I don't think most modern Catholics would bother much at being assimilated to monkeys. OT is not really important for Catholics, at least for the most part. The Genesis is (by doctrine) not to be held as literal but metaphorical, evolution and the Pope are in agreement, creation happened (maybe) with the Big Bang for them. Moral relativism was invented by Jesuits ("casuistic", they call it).

    In brief, Catholics are not hardcore Protestants.

    "A=Without and Theos=belief."

    Theos = God. <rolleyes>

    "Agnosticism means without knowledge. This means, almost literally, "I don't know.""

    But what if I am sure that Yaveh is false and have doubts about, say, Shiva? Am I a then Yavistic-atheist and Shaivite-agnostic?

  78. Andi Blonde
    Coat

    Alien Hand Syndrome

    'Colgar El Sambenito' ('Wear the sambenito!') Catholics, and you can buy them from me this time, same catchy designs, same fun colours... you've owed me MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN for millennia.

    You lot are so up in my grille right now I have lockjaw-I told you about the night visions of the terrible ten horned beast with metal teeth that was diverse from all the beasts that were before it. Thought you liked it all poetic rather than in acronyms like UFO; pithy book it would've been otherwise. Nor was it predilection for tautology with the constant references to fiery flames/burning fire/ burning flame...will stick to cold fusion in the rewrite. And clearest message of all is that I was then and am now a cat person, hence lions respec. Listened to that one and you could've spared yourselves a plague or two...

    Mine's the scarlet one with a chain of gold PUT about the neck...

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