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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Extra-terrestrials for Christ

In: Intelligent Life in the Universe? Catholic belief and the search for
extraterrestrial intelligent life, author Guy Consolmagno SJ, asks:

• Would humans recognise intelligent life if we saw it?
• Could we communicate with it? Should we even try?
• Is Original Sin something that affects all intelligent beings?
• Is Jesus Christ's redemption valid for intelligent beings throughout the universe?
• or would other worlds have their own version of Jesus?
• Would the Church send missionaries to ET planets?

It is always important to ask theological questions before they become practically important, because who knows - perhaps "They" are already living among us. However, I think that some better questions might be:

  • Would extra-terrestrials recognize human life as intelligent?
  • Would they communicate with it? Should they even try?
Afterall, why worry about what might be the state of extra-terrestrial life, when people down here don't act as if they recognize the reality of Original Sin or Christ's redemption? When so many down here are in the habit of making their own Jesus which looks suspiciously like themselves? When the Church doesn't send missionaries anywhere - at least in the traditional sense of bringing people to the faith?

Perhaps we can work harder on the faith down here before worrying about taking it to the stars.


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