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Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: desertman] #391130 02/15/13 05:47 AM
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Dr. Eric Offline
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You are assuming:
1. There are other beings out there who are sentient
2. That they have souls
3. That they have actually fallen
4. That they aren't human

That's a pretty tall order and highly speculative.

If there are other forms of life, they are probably microscopic critters that don't have souls and don't need a Savior.

My money says that giant universe out there is nothing but an enormous machine to keep us alive. (Anthropic Principle)

Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: Dr. Eric] #391138 02/15/13 03:49 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline OP
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Quote
You are assuming:
1. There are other beings out there who are sentient
2. That they have souls
3. That they have actually fallen
4. That they aren't human


1. Yes, I am assuming that - that was the premise of the entire discussion, if you would refer back to my original post.

2. Yes - that would be an assumption. Not terribly out there.

3. I think I mentioned a few posts back we could dispense with whether or not they have fallen, and still there are issues. So, let's say they haven't fallen. How to relate to a God that has incarnated Himself into alien (from their perspective, i.e. human) form, inextricably bound up in His identity now and forever with an alien race.

4. Yes, that would be another assumption that I don't think is a tall order or highly speculative in the least. To speculate that some species in galaxies far away from ours is human is ridiculous on its face.

Quote
If there are other forms of life, they are probably microscopic critters that don't have souls and don't need a Savior.


What leads you to think that?


Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: desertman] #391141 02/15/13 04:06 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline OP
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Desertman,

I appreciate your input, and I don't feel like you're criticizing me.

I'd say that my line of inquiry versus the line of inquiry in the Desert Fathers story are distinguishable in important ways and therefore are not apt for comparison. First, the line of inquiry in the story relates to something about which we cannot possible know, beyond revealed Church teaching, about what bodies God will choose for us at the Resurrection. There's no reason, or science, or evidence, or proof to help us out in determining that, and the arguments for or against us rising with bodies that are "ethereal and smooth" is completely within the realm of theological debate, much like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (though arguably not quite as trivial). The mystery and miracle of the future Resurrection of us all is mind-blowing enough, much less what forms we'll take.

In that sense I would say it's a useless reflection, indeed.

My line of questioning, on the contrary, draws from readily verifiable facts, like the vastness of the universe, the likelihood of thousands of earth-like planets in existence, the age of the universe, evidence of water having existed on Mars (only the next planet away), the elements and circumstances we believe at the present time are needed for life and the prevalence of those elements in the universe, etc. ad nauseam. Therefore I don't find it to be a useless or inappropriate life of questioning because the fact is what I am getting at is something is subject to scientific and rational proof (even if we can't verify it for hundreds or thousands of years).

Evidence and rationality makes all the difference in determining whether a line of questioning is useless or not.

Is our God a God of reason or is He not? Is the Faith never contradicted by reason, or are we supposed to eschew reason when questions aren't easily answered? I believe we all know the answer, so I'm not sure what this debate is about.

Last edited by Logos - Alexis; 02/15/13 04:07 PM.
Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: Logos - Alexis] #391142 02/15/13 05:21 PM
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desertman Offline
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Alexis,

Thanks for the reply smile
I guess when I first read the question it did strike me as being one that would be unanswerable through reason or rational thinking, but maybe I'm wrong. It just seems to me that there are extreme limits to what reason and rational thought can comprehend when it comes to profound mysteries of God which have already been revealed, let alone those not revealed and about which the Scriptures or the Fathers say nothing. That was my first impression after reading the question.

That's just my opinion and I gotta admit that my own rational mind is not exactly operating at a very high level. wink
So please, carry on!

Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: Booth] #391321 02/20/13 12:19 AM
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Anthony Offline
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If there are intelligent beings on other planets, I believe Christ would be their Savior as well. Jesus Christ was incarnated as a Jewish man, not a Roman woman, but he is still the Savior of all races and nationalities on Earth male and female. In that light, I never understood why it is a theological quandary for some if there were alien beings out there.

Last edited by Anthony; 02/20/13 12:20 AM.
Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: Anthony] #391355 02/20/13 07:19 PM
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desertman Offline
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Alexis,

Please forgive me if my posts came across as negative. That wasn't what I intended at all. It seems like I end up regretting 90% of the things I say on the internet. They just always seem to come out the wrong way. blush

Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: Logos - Alexis] #391358 02/20/13 11:38 PM
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Otsheylnik Offline
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I think this thread is marked by a number of questionable assumptions, and tainted by a western, overly taxonomical and geographic approach to creation.

The question is actually not whether we are the only rational life, but whether we are the only creatures made in God's image. The west tends to use the fact that we are sentient as evidence for this, just as it used to use evidence that the sun rotated around our planet as evidence of it's special status. This says more about relying about the perils of secular knowledge as a basis for theology than it does about truth, because secular knowledge can change.

To me, whether there is or isn't other "rational" life (whatever that even means) is totally irrelevant to the fact that we are made in God's image and have a special place in creation. That message transcends geography and biology, so it matters not a jot whether that creation encompasses one planet or a million, or one sentient species or a hundred.

Re: The Problem of Scale [Re: Logos - Alexis] #391433 02/22/13 10:35 PM
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Dr. Eric Offline
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Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis


3. I think I mentioned a few posts back we could dispense with whether or not they have fallen, and still there are issues. So, let's say they haven't fallen. How to relate to a God that has incarnated Himself into alien (from their perspective, i.e. human) form, inextricably bound up in His identity now and forever with an alien race.

What leads you to think that (alien life forms are likely microscopic)?



I would say that these "un-fallen" beings relate themselves to a God who has incarnated Himself to an alien form the same way that the angels do. They worship a God who has become a human and did not become an angel.

Second question's answer: "Anthropic Principle" I think that most likely the rest of the universe is unpopulated or is populated by microbes as the universe is a giant machine to keep man alive.

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