Gods, Aliens, and Carl Sagan

Is there alien life?

From an atheist’s point of view, I have to admit that aliens might exist. Given the size of the universe, the odds exist for life to occur somewhere other than Earth. Unlike religion, Carl Sagan’s assertion of “billions and billions of stars” had some scientific merit .

However, your average theist would tell you that God created the Earth and the Heavens, and put Man here as lord over this domain. No aliens involved.

Fortunately for our entertainment value, this is far from being the deciding answer from the religious folk.

If you’re looking for aliens in religion, there are many biblical references to ponder. I could go on and on with a whole list of them, but the one that usually leaves theists on the brink of physical violence when you discuss it with them is The Book of Ezekiel. It’s famous for being portrayed as a classic UFO encounter. Here’s a bit of it for reference/entertainment value…

And as I looked, behold, a great storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. Out of the midst of it came four living creatures that had the likeness of a man.

(Ok, four guys on a fiery cloud. Anybody who’s ever done acid can tell you this is no biggie.)

And every one had four faces,

(Sounds like a girlfriend I once had.)

Each had the face of a man and the face of a lion on the right side: and they had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

(Yup, definitely acid.)

This whole book really does sound like your average UFO report. Read it for yourself sometime. You get huge, fiery wheels flying in from nowhere, weird alien guys getting out, bright lights… the whole enchilada. God himself is described as a being of molten metal… your basic T-1000 unit from the Terminator movies.

While this is all fun, there is a point in it: Alien crap and religious crap have always been intertwined. It’s the same psychosis, different manifestation. Mormons overtly believe that God (Yahweh) is from another planet called Kolob, as are his two sons Jesus and Lucifer. Within Islam, the Quran (Sura 27:65) talks openly about creatures in the heavens (“Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to Allah.) Scientology openly says that… oh, wait. No one cares what Scientology says.

The point here is that religion and alien stories go way, way back. Until recently, they’ve been two sides of the same coin. The problems between the two only started when people like Carl Sagan asserted that the religious interpretations might be crap, while the scientific side might be sound. Religion, in response, denied all the UFO stuff entirely and has maintained that those who believe in UFOs are just plain nuts. From that time on, religion and science have been at odds over the nature and existence of aliens. Until recently…

Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, recently ended the fifty-year old division between science and religion. In his statement for the Vatican, Funes asserted:

“How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere? Just as we consider earthly creatures as ‘a brother,’ and ‘sister,’ why should we not talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother’? It would still be part of creation.”

And so the brief rift between religion and UFOs was ended. You can now be Catholic and still believe in aliens.

Like I said, there may be aliens. I’d certainly be far less surprised to find that aliens exist than I would be to find that a God exists. But let’s be real here… even if there are aliens visiting our planet, I highly doubt that they are visiting every pisspot, drunk, and loony that’s ever reported a UFO abduction. The history of UFO research is fraught with charlatans, frauds, and psychotics. There may be something to it, but it’s been impossible to say while religion and science were vying for control of the issues. But it seems like their war is ended, and it is safe to believe in both religion and UFOs again.

For most people, this is a good thing. We can now put all the ‘devout believers’ into the pews of the churches again, leaving the rest of us to examine the universe through satellite arrays and telescopes instead of rose colored glasses.

  • This post was written by Wm. Hopper, heathensguide.wordpress.com.
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    12 Responses to “Gods, Aliens, and Carl Sagan”

    1. churchindapub Says:

      I am a ‘devout believer’ as you would say and I believe that Aliens ‘exist’.

      I do not think that everyone who claims to have seen UFO’s, Aliens, Ghosts etc are looney toons.
      I think what they saw was very real, not just to them but if there had been other people around they too may have seen the Aliens or whatever.

      My difference is in where I think the Aliens etc. originate.

      Your arguement is flawed when you lump all of us together into what you call religion.

      And why is it okay for you to say :Given the size of the universe, the odds exist for life to occur somewhere other than Earth.
      But when we say: Given the size and complexity of the universe, the odds exist for there to be an intelligent designer – you class us a people with rose coloured glasses?

      Why are we not allowed the same lattitude you give Sagan who always starts his speeches on the universe with “IF” and then goes on to make statements as though they were facts?

      But when we say “If God, then…” – then you roast us?

      Let’s not mention the word bias eh!

    2. heathensguide Says:

      Simple. Sagan put forward a theory based on manifest evidence: Life exists on planets. There are billions of planets. Ergo, the possibility exists that life might exist on them.

      The theist argument requires ‘faith’… a belief based on an unproven concept: God. You can not use an unproven thesis as the basis of another argument. You must first establish your facts as facts, which theism can not do.

      And no, I do not “lump them all together“. I believe there are sane, cogent, and professional people looking into the existence of aliens. But they do so based on fact, and do not extrapolate beyond their model. They investigate, analyze, and produce verifiable data to justify further investigation. They do not assume an answer then try to fit the facts to it as I see theists do.

    3. heathensguide Says:

      Re:”Let’s not mention the word bias eh!”

      My books, site, and corporation are titled The Heathen’s Guide.

      I’d thought the bias was self evident.

    4. daveeriqat Says:

      I’m with you, fellow heathen. I personally believe that, given the vast number of planets out there, some of them must harbor life forms of all shapes and sizes, all degrees of evolutionary advancement.

      However, precisely because of the vastness of the universe and the limitation imposed by the speed of light and the probable huge range of evolutionary advancement, i highly doubt that aliens are visiting planet Earth. There are so many alternative explanations for UFOs, but people don’t want to consider them because they want to believe that aliens are visiting the planet.

      Similarly, while I find no evidence whatsoever to support the notion of a god, people believe in god anyway because they want to.

      As I explained in my essay titled The Time I Saw A UFO, I find great similarity between god and aliens. I think both play a vital role in filling a void in the psyche of many people. A few people, such as myself, don’t need that void filled. We are comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; we don’t need every question answered, but are content in the knowledge that for every observation there is likely a logical, rational explanation, even if we don’t happen to know what that is at the time.


    5. Annec Says:

      Aliens??? This whole thing should be taken very seriously. The CHURCH, along time ago, employed an astronomer, Swedenbourg, and he traversed the moon and planets. Reading about this, on the very next page, he went to heaven, and he went on and on about heaven. Now we have been to the moon and found none of his little people with loud voices, and heaven vanishes. But why should this alien stuff be taken serious? The CHURCH has again hired an astronomer, and already the Pope has stated, “that if such aliens should communicate with earth, that they would be free from sin.” Should we watch for another story about Angels in Universe?

    6. UFO Sightings Says:

      I agree with you Dave that there are vast similarities between god/religion and aliens. Following our exploration into space and beyond our atmosphere, it is clear this dispelled many theories around what was beyond the skies.

    7. HotConflict Says:

      Anyone who preaches the destruction of others is not of the enlightened other realms or dimensions.

      You should watch this series about Islam Ascension and the Alien Galactic Federation.

    8. SteveB Says:

      Hi, I love the site and in particular the image at the top of this page – the alien religious icon or possibly “Saint Gray.” I am an unpublished author and i wonder if i could get permission to use this image as part of my book cover. My novel deals with alien abductions and genetic engineering of mankind by aliens.
      Thank you for your consideration of thisrequest

    9. Burton Haynes Says:

      fantastic movies. Have you watched Avatar yet by chance? Movie made me a little light headed but wow, what a great movie.

    10. Alien Encounter Says:

      Glad I found your site. I’m obsessed with anything ufo.

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    12. mysteries of the world Says:

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