"If your dog can go to heaven, can E.T.?"

The discovery of alien life may alter humanity's notions of religious faith

#Religion

Fri, Dec 26th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With the potential of other life living on one of the tens of billions of potentially habitable planets discovered in the Milky Way, what does their existance mean to humanity's religious doctrine?

Each alternative sounds ridiculous on the face of it. The first alternative would make Earth the center of the universe again, not just in space but in time, carrying the hopes for the salvation of beings that lived and died millions or billions of years ago and far, far away.

The second alternative would be multiple incarnations, requiring every civilization to have its own redeemer — “its own adventure with God,” in the words of Professor Peters. That is hardly better. As the old troublemaker Thomas Paine wrote in “The Age of Reason,” “In this case, the person who is irreverently called the son of God, and sometimes God himself, would have nothing else to do than to travel from world to world, in an endless succession of deaths, with scarcely a momentary interval of life.”

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