"Did Jesus save the Klingons?"

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Frelga
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"Did Jesus save the Klingons?"

Post by Frelga »

http://www.scientificamerican.com/edito ... -klingons/

An interview with the author of the book that raises an interesting theological point.
Now that researchers have discovered more than 1,500 exoplanets beyond the solar system, the day when scientists detect signs of life on one of them may be near at hand. Given this new urgency, Vanderbilt University astronomer David Weintraub decided to find out what the world’s religions had to say on the question of aliens. In his new book, Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal with It? (Springer Praxis Books, 2014), Weintraub investigates the implications of life beyond Earth on more than two dozen faiths. Scientific American spoke to him about his findings, including whether Jesus saved the Klingons as well as humanity.
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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There are some people who claim that if God had created extraterrestrials, then there clearly would be words in the Old and New testaments, which we would have already found, that would have said explicitly that God created extraterrestrials—and since those words don’t exist, there can’t be. Well, there’s nothing in the Old and New testaments that talks about telephones either, and telephones do seem to exist.
I remember speaking with a person from a small church who said they had only a capella music because other instruments they might use were not in the Bible. If I'd been quicker on my toes I'd have said, excuse me, but linoleum? central heat? electric lights? English?

C.S. Lewis's sci fi trilogy explores the idea of a Garden of Eden with no snake, and a Garden of Eden in which Eve said "no".
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus
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Primula Baggins
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I got in some fierce arguments about this very point with Mrs. Michael, my sixth-grade Sunday School teacher. She was a purse-lipped literalist in an increasingly liberal church whose pastor was my liberal anti-war Democrat-voting somewhat long-haired father. The year was 1970. . . . Where I stepped over the line into "Burn her!" heresy was when I argued that the Bible was written in and about the world that the people who wrote it understood, and that we shouldn't look to it for guidance about anything that was unknown at the time. I stepped over the line because I failed to agree that God wrote the Bible, and therefore anything it doesn't cover can't be true. She actually went to my dad. Who said, "My daughter knows what she's talking about."

I do believe in God, and I believe in a universe full of life. What God does about all those other planets is up to God. Our job is to be just and compassionate where we're planted.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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narya
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Wise Prim wrote:Our job is to be just and compassionate where we're planted.
. Now if only we all had the same definition of "just".
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus
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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

It's hard to misuse the concept of justice if it's yoked to compassion. It can't mean "revenge" if you are also expected to forgive.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Re: "Did Jesus save the Klingons?"

Post by narya »

I expect it's slightly different under Sharia Law.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus
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Primula Baggins
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Yes, of course. But all that's under my individual control is how I act. That other people might act differently doesn't change what I believe is expected of me.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Lalaith
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I've never had a problem with this idea, and I can remember contemplating it as a very small child, outside of church and during church. (Baptist ministers are long-winded, which leaves lots of time for mind-wandering; they are not, alas, like Catholic priests who believe in 15-minute homilies.) In any case, I figured there were several possibilities.

For us, God created earth and decided to run this particular scenario here that we have: Adam, Eve, original sin (Catholics aren't the only ones who believe that. Not sure why the author makes it seem that way in the interview. :scratch: ), Jesus died for our sins and rose again. But this is not to say that he had to have all of the same things happen with another group of beings. Perhaps their story unfolded differently. Perhaps they're perfect and their "Adam and Eve" resisted temptation and never disobeyed God. Maybe Jesus was able to exist in their worlds at the same time as our world and was only crucified once. (Interdimensional Jesus!) Or maybe God decided to work their salvation out an entirely different way.
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Re: "Did Jesus save the Klingons?"

Post by Impenitent »

Lali, you are an astonishingly wonderful person [/aside]

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Post by Teremia »

One of the first science fiction stories I read was about astronauts visiting some other planet and finding a variant on the Manger scene happening and saying, "So this is how it happened here!"

(Don't remember the title or author of that story, of course, but it might be from that book that warped my mind thoroughly, called something like EVERY BOY'S BOOK OF SCIENCE FICTION STORIES or something. From the fifties??)

ETA: Okay, wow, the internet is amazing. The book was EVERY BOY'S BOOK OF OUTER SPACE STORIES (1960), and I'm pretty sure the particular story was "Star of Wonder" by Julian May--who turns out to have been a woman!!

Now I've got to keep googling, because another story in that collection dug itself into my marrow and has lurked there forever, making me shiver from time to time.....
“Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” E. B. White, who must have had vison in mind. There's a reason why we kept putting the extra i in her name in our minds!
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Lalaith
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Post by Lalaith »

Oh, I love when I find out stuff like that, Teremia! Keep us posted. :)

Impy, :oops: Thank you (I think).
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Post by Pearly Di »

Lalaith wrote:For us, God created earth and decided to run this particular scenario here that we have: Adam, Eve, original sin (Catholics aren't the only ones who believe that. Not sure why the author makes it seem that way in the interview. :scratch: ), Jesus died for our sins and rose again. But this is not to say that he had to have all of the same things happen with another group of beings. Perhaps their story unfolded differently. Perhaps they're perfect and their "Adam and Eve" resisted temptation and never disobeyed God. Maybe Jesus was able to exist in their worlds at the same time as our world and was only crucified once. (Interdimensional Jesus!) Or maybe God decided to work their salvation out an entirely different way.
C.S. Lewis was on the same page as you. 8) :)

It's a great big mysterious wonderful universe out there.
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Anyone remember the Star Trek Original Series episode called "Bread and Circuses?" IN search of the crew and captain ofa missing ship, they beam down to a planet that is similar to the Roman Empire, only with 20th century technology and find that the "Romans" are persecuting the "Sun Worshippers" who believe in a philosophy of love and brotherhood. The former starship captain (Merik) has become a Roman sympathiser and Kirk, McCoy and Spock are sentenced to die in the arena at the hands of the Gladiators. They become friendly with Flavius, a former gladiator who now is one of the "Children of the Sun."

It all goes as expected - Kirk gets laid, Spock gets logical, McCoy proves he can't fight to save his life and Scotty saves the day with benign technology. There is mayhem and chaos. Then former captain Merik has a change of heart and manages to sneak Kirk a phaser before everything goes completely to hell.

Back on the ship, there is this exchange (one of the times Uhura totally pwns everybody!)

MCCOY: Captain, I see on your report Flavius was killed. I am sorry. I liked that huge sun worshiper.
SPOCK: I wish we could have examined that belief of his more closely. It seems illogical for a sun worshiper to develop a philosophy of total brotherhood. Sun worship is usually a primitive superstition religion.
UHURA: I'm afraid you have it all wrong, Mister Spock, all of you. I've been monitoring some of their old-style radio waves, the empire spokesman trying to ridicule their religion. But he couldn't. Don't you understand? It's not the sun up in the sky. It's the Son of God.
KIRK: Caesar and Christ. They had them both. And the word is spreading only now.
MCCOY: A philosophy of total love and total brotherhood.
SPOCK: It will replace their imperial Rome, but it will happen in their twentieth century.
KIRK: Wouldn't it be something to watch, to be a part of? To see it happen all over again? Mister Chekov, take us out of orbit. Ahead warp factor one.
CHEKOV: Aye, sir.


One of my all-time favourite ST-TOS episodes...along with "Who Mourns for Adonis" which also had to do with religion.
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Lalaith
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Post by Lalaith »

Jewel, I'd forgotten about that one! That is a great episode.
It's a great big mysterious wonderful universe out there.
Agreed!

I wonder if the author of this article doesn't give enough credit to Christians in general. I'm not so sure that Evangelicals, as a group, would be as thrown for a loop as the author thinks. Fundamentalists, perhaps yes. But, then again, though I attend an Evangelical church I don't consider myself an Evangelical, so what do I know?
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Post by Cenedril_Gildinaur »

Well, Ken Ham has come out and said that there can't be life out there, and if there was it certainly wouldn't be saved.

If we find a common religion, adherents of that faith would no doubt say it is proof. Non-adherents would borrow from Stargate SG-1 and insist it is evidence of early alien visits.
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams
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Lalaith
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Post by Lalaith »

Ken Ham thinks he has all the answers. Just ask him. Although, I suspect God thinks differently about that subject. :suspicious:
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Post by Cenedril_Gildinaur »

Primula Baggins wrote:I stepped over the line because I failed to agree that God wrote the Bible, and therefore anything it doesn't cover can't be true.
I find that attitude funny, because when I open my copy of the Bible to page one, Genesis one, Chapter one, it says that Moses wrote it. Is your teacher saying that the Bible is wrong about who wrote the Bible?
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams
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Primula Baggins
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Re: "Did Jesus save the Klingons?"

Post by Primula Baggins »

I taught Sunday school for ten damn years.

Don’t tell me what I meant.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by Impenitent »

Moses was amanuensis according to the tradition of my people.
Mornings wouldn't suck so badly if they came later in the day.
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Post by Cenedril_Gildinaur »

Primula Baggins wrote:I taught Sunday school for ten damn years.

Don’t tell me what I meant.
Okay...
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams
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