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Discussion in 'Religion and Lighthearted Discussion' started by fleabassist1, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    Two separate questions:

    1. If we ever find life somewhere else in the galaxy, how will that bode with our worlds religions?

    2. If science ever hits a point at which our life expectancy outgrows the years we are living at a close to exponential rate, (By the time I am 50, life expectancy is at 100... by the time I am 51 life expectancy is at 104, etc) how will that effect religion?


    Please don't say "Won't happen"... Just looking for ideas as to how this will sit - for any religion (Christianity, Atheist, Hindu, etc).
     
  2. godef

    godef In the Starting Line-Up

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    Well, they've countered on evidence of the existance of dinosaurs and the theory of evolution, so they would manage to spin it somehow.

    Well, 1 year is pretty quick for a 4 year change in life expectancy, the current increases are far, far less. And if we don't take care of this "climate change" mess, I would expect it might start to decrease. And even if not for that, I believe there are limits to how long a physical human body can be made to hold together, and the increases have always been more a matter of environment (minimizing diseases, protective social societies) than actually extending these limits. I think the best bet for longer and longer "lives" will be with the eventual ability to upload/download memories.

    That said, anything can happen I guess, in which case my answer would be the same as #1. They would spin it with limited success, but they will eventually lose credibility and die out, only to be replaced by modern religions that come without the ancient baggage (ie backward incompatibility) of the current religions.
     
  3. fierce

    fierce Practice Squad Player

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    #87 Jersey

    Not my personal beliefs but I've asked similar questions before and this is the response you're likely to get...

    1. The bible was written from an "Earth/God" perspective. Some Christians cling to the thought that it's just us. Others have said "it wouldn't change that our bible was written for us". Oddly enough when really digging deep the finding of "Aliens" wouldn't really contradict the bible as it's never mentioned one way or another.

    2. If taken literally the Old Testament talks of life spans of hundreds of years. I would think yet again this wouldn't necessarily contradict anyone's specific beliefs. Might even be spun to reinforce the "literal translation" of the bible.

    Take it for what's it worth...
     
  4. OldEngland

    OldEngland On the Roster

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    Fabulous questions. This is just my opinion from stuff I’ve read and been taught and people I’ve spoke to over the years, take it all with a hefty pinch of salt and fire away.

    I loved asking Qu. 1 all the time to Christians before I found that path (and afterwards just for fun, especially to Creationists).

    For years and years I believed in James Lovelock’s Gaia theory of the Earth being a singular living breathing organism. I thought God was tied up into that in some unexplained way that was justified by others with religion. I asked a non-Christian Aussie geophysicist working in Cambridge his opinion regarding this recently, he told me “mate you’re thinking much too small, the Earth as a living organism, I reckon it’d have to be solar system or galaxy size”.

    A God creating and controlling the universe is definitely not outside the realms of serious possibility. I genuinely believe as our scientific prowess develops over time this will become increasingly evident.
    No doubt any other planet would have different interpretations of the actual religion part (services, histories, stories, experiences, laws) as we can’t even agree on our own planet between or within religions about this. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the key concept of “love my neighbour” was the same. I just hope they pull it off better than us. Then again it may be completely different, if any at all.:confused:

    Incidentally for about a year as a new Christian I still believed Gaia. If you want a fascinating critique of naturalism written by a man who achieved a triple first from Cambridge, I cannot recommend Miracles by C.S Lewis enough, it changed my view of how God and the natural world could interact completely.

    My opinion is the Bible is a narrative of the journey of our species search for God, how other planet’s religions would interact with that is simply undeterminable. We probably should follow John’s advice and make our ways straight (John 1:23) before this happens. In God we Trust.

    Qu. 2

    The Bible says human lifespan was limited to 120 years (Genesis 6:3). Although people did live beyond 120 years after this point, I believe Jacob was the last recorded (147 years).

    This figure seems to agree with current thinking in and around the science and healthcare profession. Cell division has limitations and is not infinite, protective telomeres eventually are removed from the ends of DNA in time by the process of replication, which then starts to fray the ends of the molecule, sooner or later this continued process will lead to disruption of vital genetic material. I’m guessing this does not help with the vital organ failure that seems to get most people regardless of musculoskeletal and neurological systems before 120 years.

    Short answer, does this make a difference to the search for God, no. The Word written in the Bible is truly amazing, it is a wonderful story of various Spirit filled men and women describing their journey and relationship with God through the ages and that of their people, encouraging, teaching, warning and guiding.

    Christianity turns narrow and legalistic whenever we have misunderstood scripture as the last word in theology rather than as an invitation to do theology and apply it to our very short lives on Earth. Ideally scientific discovery should supplement life, theology, philosophy and all forms of the arts; combine all these and…...:singing::D

    P.s. Off topic

    Godef mentioned downloadable memories; this could be closer than we think. Nanotechnology could potentially supply microchips of encyclopaedic knowledge that could be merged with human neurones to access the required information on demand, maybe even with wireless capabilities. Companies have also been investigating the enzyme telomerase for years now which could have major anti-aging uses.

    I have stated before and will continue to, science and the search will God will have to merge soon for the good of the planet. Jesus preaches absolute love for God and fellow man, like religion or not, these kinds of pure altruistic morals are required in some form for the ethical decisions regarding the evolution of our species. Worst nightmare scenario is a set of competing private companies with a view for simply making money, generating fame and an unfortunate tendency for secrecy pushing this stuff quickly through regardless.
    I’m in no way saying that any technology is bad, just that they have to be used and developed patiently in the right way, always keeping in mind the good of the planet long term. At the moment science alone does not do this (unfortunately neither does religion :confused:).
     

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