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Author Topic: "I'd love to baptize ET"  (Read 1750 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 18, 2010, 12:54:56 PM »

Quote
I'd love to baptise ET, says Vatican's stargazer

Intelligent aliens may be living among the stars and are likely to have souls, a senior Vatican scientist said yesterday.

The Pope's astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, said he would be happy to 'baptise an al ien' - but admitted that the chances of communicating with life outside the Earth were low.

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, Dr Consolmagno also dismissed Creationism and claimed that the revival of 'intelligent design' - the controversial theory that only God can explain gaps in the theory of evolution - was 'bad theology'.

Dr Consolmagno, one of a team of 12 astronomers working for the Vatican, said the Catholic Church had been supporting and funding science for centuries.

A self-confessed science fiction fan, he said he was 'comfortable' with the idea of alien life.

Asked if he would baptise an alien, he replied: 'Only if they asked.'

He added: 'I'd be delighted if we found life elsewhere and delighted if we found intelligent life elsewhere.

'But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it - when you add them up it's probably not a practical question.

'God is bigger than just humanity. God is also the god of angels.'

In the middle ages, the definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions, he said.

Those characteristics may not be unique to humans.

'Any entity - no matter how many tentacles it has - has a soul,' he added.

In practice, machines were unlikely to be smart or human enough to have souls.

Dr Consolmagno, 57, the curator of the Pope's meteorite collection, is a trained astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican's observatory.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1312922/Pope-astronomer-Guy-Consolmagno-Aliens-souls-living-stars.html

If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 12:57:17 PM »

If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?

I think that the Orthodox Church as enough real problems to deal with without adding fruitless hypothetical debates into the mess.
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 01:09:45 PM »

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'Any entity - no matter how many tentacles it has - has a soul,' he added.
Why are extraterrestrials always so squid-like?   Tongue

I think that the Orthodox Church as enough real problems to deal with without adding fruitless hypothetical debates into the mess.
And which of those "real problems" aren't fruitless hypothetical debates?   Wink
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 01:14:43 PM by Entscheidungsproblem » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 01:26:37 PM »

If you've seen the movie "Signs" (with Mel Gibson), you'll know that aliens are averse to water, making baptism very difficult.

If aliens do exist, perhaps they never experienced a Fall from Grace, like we humans did.
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2010, 01:43:58 PM »

And which of those "real problems" aren't fruitless hypothetical debates?   Wink

I spotted that sass a mile away; in fact as I was typing the sentence. Our problems are real for us. Some of us commit to Orthodoxy and its principles. It's not a detour on a "greater" path, it is the path. I understand if your conscience has led you in another direction; if you could not full a whole heart believe in the truth of Orthodoxy. But that does not mean that you should hang around and belittle our own issues struggles on an Orthodox board.

You might say that you're "just joking", but every joke is just one more attempt to trivialize the faith which established the universe. Some us us don't take apostasy lightly.
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 02:02:31 PM »

You might say that you're "just joking", but every joke is just one more attempt to trivialize the faith which established the universe. Some us us don't take apostasy lightly.
Yes, because I am sure a deity that founded all of creation would be so dogmatically opposed to people of various denominations praying before a meal together, etc...  Most Orthodox see half of these "real problems" as pointless dividing squabbles too.
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2010, 02:04:38 PM »

If you've seen the movie "Signs" (with Mel Gibson), you'll know that aliens are averse to water, making baptism very difficult.

If aliens do exist, perhaps they never experienced a Fall from Grace, like we humans did.

I think it would be interesting to see how their unique beliefs might start to displace Earth-born ones.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 02:07:01 PM by Entscheidungsproblem » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2010, 02:14:50 PM »

You might say that you're "just joking", but every joke is just one more attempt to trivialize the faith which established the universe. Some us us don't take apostasy lightly.
Yes, because I am sure a deity that founded all of creation would be so dogmatically opposed to people of various denominations praying before a meal together, etc...  Most Orthodox see half of these "real problems" as pointless dividing squabbles too.

In my experience in Orthodox parishes you're far more likely to get into a conversation about biological research or even extraterrestrials than about praying with heretics or having a Jewish doctor. (And the Greeks, at least, tend to be quite progressive on these matters, regardless of these religious beliefs.) If someone brought up these 'real problems' in a 'real parish' they'd likely be laughed out of the building...they're not 'real problems', they're pet theological issues akin to how many angles can fit on the head of a pin, 'problems' found mostly on the internet these days.
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2010, 03:05:55 PM »

If you've seen the movie "Signs" (with Mel Gibson), you'll know that aliens are averse to water, making baptism very difficult.

If aliens do exist, perhaps they never experienced a Fall from Grace, like we humans did.

I think it would be interesting to see how their unique beliefs might start to displace Earth-born ones.
Like evolution?
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2010, 04:43:52 PM »

Quote
I'd love to baptise ET, says Vatican's stargazer

Intelligent aliens may be living among the stars and are likely to have souls, a senior Vatican scientist said yesterday.

The Pope's astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, said he would be happy to 'baptise an al ien' - but admitted that the chances of communicating with life outside the Earth were low.

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, Dr Consolmagno also dismissed Creationism and claimed that the revival of 'intelligent design' - the controversial theory that only God can explain gaps in the theory of evolution - was 'bad theology'.

Dr Consolmagno, one of a team of 12 astronomers working for the Vatican, said the Catholic Church had been supporting and funding science for centuries.

A self-confessed science fiction fan, he said he was 'comfortable' with the idea of alien life.

Asked if he would baptise an alien, he replied: 'Only if they asked.'

He added: 'I'd be delighted if we found life elsewhere and delighted if we found intelligent life elsewhere.

'But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it - when you add them up it's probably not a practical question.

'God is bigger than just humanity. God is also the god of angels.'

In the middle ages, the definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions, he said.

Those characteristics may not be unique to humans.

'Any entity - no matter how many tentacles it has - has a soul,' he added.

In practice, machines were unlikely to be smart or human enough to have souls.

Dr Consolmagno, 57, the curator of the Pope's meteorite collection, is a trained astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican's observatory.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1312922/Pope-astronomer-Guy-Consolmagno-Aliens-souls-living-stars.html

If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?

I believe CS Lewis' (though he was not Orthodox) essay "Religion and Rocketry" speaks to this question quite well.
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2010, 05:28:19 PM »

Quote
I'd love to baptise ET, says Vatican's stargazer

Intelligent aliens may be living among the stars and are likely to have souls, a senior Vatican scientist said yesterday.

The Pope's astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, said he would be happy to 'baptise an al ien' - but admitted that the chances of communicating with life outside the Earth were low.

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, Dr Consolmagno also dismissed Creationism and claimed that the revival of 'intelligent design' - the controversial theory that only God can explain gaps in the theory of evolution - was 'bad theology'.

Dr Consolmagno, one of a team of 12 astronomers working for the Vatican, said the Catholic Church had been supporting and funding science for centuries.

A self-confessed science fiction fan, he said he was 'comfortable' with the idea of alien life.

Asked if he would baptise an alien, he replied: 'Only if they asked.'

He added: 'I'd be delighted if we found life elsewhere and delighted if we found intelligent life elsewhere.

'But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it - when you add them up it's probably not a practical question.

'God is bigger than just humanity. God is also the god of angels.'

In the middle ages, the definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions, he said.

Those characteristics may not be unique to humans.

'Any entity - no matter how many tentacles it has - has a soul,' he added.

In practice, machines were unlikely to be smart or human enough to have souls.

Dr Consolmagno, 57, the curator of the Pope's meteorite collection, is a trained astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican's observatory.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1312922/Pope-astronomer-Guy-Consolmagno-Aliens-souls-living-stars.html

If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?

I don't know about the aliens, but I do know that Christ did not became incarnate as a rational soul but as a man. I'm not really worried about the answer, but I'm sure if the Church were faced with that situation, that one fact would have to be taken into account for how we relate to them on religious terms.
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2010, 09:01:22 PM »

You might say that you're "just joking", but every joke is just one more attempt to trivialize the faith which established the universe. Some us us don't take apostasy lightly.
Yes, because I am sure a deity that founded all of creation would be so dogmatically opposed to people of various denominations praying before a meal together, etc...  Most Orthodox see half of these "real problems" as pointless dividing squabbles too.

In my experience in Orthodox parishes you're far more likely to get into a conversation about biological research or even extraterrestrials than about praying with heretics or having a Jewish doctor. (And the Greeks, at least, tend to be quite progressive on these matters, regardless of these religious beliefs.) If someone brought up these 'real problems' in a 'real parish' they'd likely be laughed out of the building...they're not 'real problems', they're pet theological issues akin to how many angles can fit on the head of a pin, 'problems' found mostly on the internet these days.

Just to clarify, I didn't say anything about praying with heretics, etc. By "real" problems, I meant just that. Things that have to do with real life that concern most Orthodox faithful, at least in the USA. Things like administrative unity, attaining a holy life in repentance, etc. Not abstract theological musings.
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2010, 09:25:13 PM »

You might say that you're "just joking", but every joke is just one more attempt to trivialize the faith which established the universe. Some us us don't take apostasy lightly.
Yes, because I am sure a deity that founded all of creation would be so dogmatically opposed to people of various denominations praying before a meal together, etc...  Most Orthodox see half of these "real problems" as pointless dividing squabbles too.

In my experience in Orthodox parishes you're far more likely to get into a conversation about biological research or even extraterrestrials than about praying with heretics or having a Jewish doctor. (And the Greeks, at least, tend to be quite progressive on these matters, regardless of these religious beliefs.) If someone brought up these 'real problems' in a 'real parish' they'd likely be laughed out of the building...they're not 'real problems', they're pet theological issues akin to how many angles can fit on the head of a pin, 'problems' found mostly on the internet these days.

Agreed.
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2010, 10:13:01 PM »

the gods (aliens) of the heathen are demons.
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2010, 12:37:22 AM »

the gods (aliens) of the heathen are demons.
That's a not-so-rare notion among conservative Protestants: that so-called 'aliens' and their 'UFOs' are actually demons or fallen angels.
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2010, 01:38:26 AM »

Well what if we found aliens and they already had Christian Orthodoxy? Orthodoxy proved?
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2010, 11:14:24 AM »

I know it is not space aliens but still Saint Innoncent was an alien(foreigner)  in Alaska.

I recall a story about Saint Innocent baptising natives in alaska.  He came accross a village that had no contact with the Russians but all the people were already prepared by the village shaman. The shaman had a vision/dream about christianity before Innocent had arrived.

Anyone have a link to this story? or remember this?
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2010, 02:41:07 PM »

deleted because I see someone else already made the joke before me.
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2010, 02:42:10 PM »

I know it is not space aliens but still Saint Innoncent was an alien(foreigner)  in Alaska.

I recall a story about Saint Innocent baptising natives in alaska.  He came accross a village that had no contact with the Russians but all the people were already prepared by the village shaman. The shaman had a vision/dream about christianity before Innocent had arrived.

Anyone have a link to this story? or remember this?

I remember a lecture given by Fr. Michael Oleksa where he told that story. I don't have the link, but you could try googling him and see what comes up.
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2010, 02:53:30 PM »

"For the Orthodox discovery of intelligent life on another planet would raise the question of how far advanced these beings are in their love and preparation for divine glory."

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/11/fr-john-romanides-on-extraterrestrial.html
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2010, 04:49:45 PM »

Whatever does "man in the image of God" mean in that article. The good Father seems to be rejecting the belief that man was created in the image of God.

His position is rather problematic since Genesis explicitly tells us this.

Maybe he just suffers from the latent Orthodox problem of not being able to understand Catholicism, so draws strange conclusions from false presumptions.

Wouldn't be the first time.

By the way, in no article I saw did Br. Consolmagno say he'd  "love to baptize ET". The quotes in other sources I've seen when asked about baptizing an alien states that he would do so only if the alien asked for it.

http://www.ewtnnews.com/new.php?id=1688
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2010, 05:29:44 PM »

We already have aliens.  They are called "politicians." Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2010, 03:42:46 AM »

Missionaries to space? What will they think of next.
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2010, 03:04:55 PM »

Missionaries to space? What will they think of next.
Maybe the aliens might send missionaries to us.
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2010, 03:17:16 PM »

Can't remember the name offhand but Ray Bradbury wrote a short story, long ago, on this very subject - IIRC it was amusing but also touching.  I'm not at a computer right now so perhaps someone else could look for it - was in one of his early collections.
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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2010, 03:20:54 PM »

Missionaries to space? What will they think of next.
Maybe the aliens might send missionaries to us.

"My earthling brothers, have you heard the good news? Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2010, 03:41:15 PM »

Missionaries to space? What will they think of next.
Maybe the aliens might send missionaries to us.

"My earthling brothers, have you heard the good news? Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

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« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2010, 04:02:50 PM »

Missionaries to space? What will they think of next.
Maybe the aliens might send missionaries to us.

"My earthling brothers, have you heard the good news? Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

They'll probably start spreading these:

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« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2010, 06:03:22 PM »

Can't remember the name offhand but Ray Bradbury wrote a short story, long ago, on this very subject - IIRC it was amusing but also touching.  I'm not at a computer right now so perhaps someone else could look for it - was in one of his early collections.

http://onefracturedfairytale.blogspot.com/2007/11/christus-apollo-by-ray-bradbury.html

Maybe you meant this. (remember, it's just fiction!)
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« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2010, 06:05:46 PM »

The truth is out there

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« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2010, 01:13:37 PM »

If you've seen the movie "Signs" (with Mel Gibson), you'll know that aliens are averse to water, making baptism very difficult.

If aliens do exist, perhaps they never experienced a Fall from Grace, like we humans did.

Or does the fall of us humans affect all creation?
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« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2010, 10:27:06 AM »

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« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2010, 10:39:12 AM »

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If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?

It would hasten Orthodoxy's plunge into irrelevancy.
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« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2010, 11:06:19 AM »

Quote
If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?

It would hasten Orthodoxy's plunge into irrelevancy.
That assumes Orthodoxy is irrelevant.

What is the implication if no sentient life is ever found, or more, it is found no sentient alien exists?
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« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2010, 11:32:28 AM »

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If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?

It would hasten Orthodoxy's plunge into irrelevancy.
That assumes Orthodoxy is irrelevant.

What is the implication if no sentient life is ever found, or more, it is found no sentient alien exists?

I don't think Orthodoxy is totally irrelevant, I just think it is moving in that direction. Orthodoxy used to be all about "baptizing" pagan customs, meeting intellectual opponents head on, and transforming individual lives. Now it's just about the last one, and unable or unwilling to do the first two. True, every once in a while you will get someone who is Orthodox that will engage the surrounding culture: maybe this person is interested in bioethics, maybe that person is interested in using his past experience in punk music to do missionary work. But these are exceptions to the rule.

Regarding your question, as with 90% of the evidence for or against religion, God, etc., I would certainly take into consideration such findings, but I don't think it would be a strong mark in favor of either side (though I admit that I haven't thought about it much).
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« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2010, 11:38:04 AM »

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If sentient alien life were discovered, what would the implications be for the Orthodox Church?

It would hasten Orthodoxy's plunge into irrelevancy.
That assumes Orthodoxy is irrelevant.

What is the implication if no sentient life is ever found, or more, it is found no sentient alien exists?

I think we would have to consider what we mean by "human". When we talk of "humanity" are we talking of our particular biological species or are we talking about any created, limitted, self-sentient, intelligent beings?

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« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2011, 11:42:06 AM »

Live-chat with Brother Guy Consolmagno, and his video-taped lecture, "Cosmology: Making Sense of the Universe".
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 11:45:26 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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