Published on Nov 21, 2013
The confirmation of extraterrestrial intelligence could have a profound impact on religious doctrines, potentially causing theologians to reinterpret scriptures to accommodate the new discoveries. However, a survey of people with many different religious beliefs indicated that their faith would not be affected by the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence, and another study, conducted by Ted Peters of the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, shows that most people would not consider their religious beliefs superseded by it. Surveys of religious leaders indicate that only a small percentage are concerned that the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence might fundamentally contradict the views of the adherents of their religion. Gabriel Funes, the chief astronomer of the Vatican Observatory and a papal adviser on science, has stated that the Roman Catholic Church would be likely to welcome extraterrestrial visitors warmly.
Contact with extraterrestrial intelligence would not be completely inconsequential for religion. The Peters study showed that most non-religious people, and a significant majority of religious people, believe that the world could face a religious crisis, even if their own beliefs were unaffected. Contact with extraterrestrial intelligence would be most likely to cause a problem for western religions, in particular traditionalist Christianity, because of the geocentric nature of western faiths. The discovery of extraterrestrial life would not contradict basic conceptions of God, however, and seeing that science has challenged established dogma in the past, for example with the theory of evolution and the teachings of Giordano Bruno, it is likely that existing religions will adapt similarly to the new circumstances. In the view of Musso, however, a global religious crisis would be unlikely even for Abrahamic faiths, as the studies of himself and others on Christianity, the most "anthropocentric" religion, see no conflict between that religion and the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. In addition, the cultural and religious values of extraterrestrial species would likely be shared over centuries if contact is to occur by radio, meaning that rather than causing a huge shock to humanity, such information would be viewed much as archaeologists and historians view ancient artifacts and texts.
Dick speculates that a decipherable message from extraterrestrial intelligence could initiate an interstellar exchange of knowledge in various disciplines, including whatever religions an extraterrestrial civilization may host. Billingham further suggests that an extremely advanced and friendly extraterrestrial civilization might put an end to present-day religious conflicts and lead to greater religious toleration worldwide. On the other hand, Jill Tarter puts forward the view that contact with extraterrestrial intelligence might eliminate religion as we know it and introduce humanity to an all-encompassing faith.
The Antichrist is a Christian concept based on interpretation of passages in the New Testament. In the New Testament, the term "antichrist" occurs five times in 1 John and 2 John, once in plural form and four times in the singular.
In traditional Christian belief, Jesus the Messiah appears in his Second Coming to Earth, to face the emergence of the Antichrist figure. Just as Christ is the savior and the ideal model for humanity, his opponent in the End of Days will be a single figure of concentrated evil, according to Bernard McGinn.
The Vaticans Extraterrestrial Secrets
Could one of the most sacred place on Earth also house secret knowledge of extraterrestrial life? The path to disclosure just might lie on holy ground: at the Vatican.
The Great Deceiver. Seducer of the masses. The Bringer of Armageddon. Every culture and religion on the planet believes that an evil one will usher in the end of days. But who is this Anti-Christ? And how can we hope to stop him?