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← Pope's astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him

Pope's astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him - Comments

The Plc's Avatar Comment 1 by The Plc

It's a shame they can't extend their liberal policy of honestly waiting until the alien gives them informed permission for baptism. For some reason they don't mind hoisting a religious label upon innocent human babies here on Earth...

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:15:10 UTC | #569439

ridelo's Avatar Comment 2 by ridelo

Some accommodation is necessary to keep your job. Or your life. Ask Galileo.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:20:11 UTC | #569440

William33's Avatar Comment 3 by William33

This article upsets me.

I mean, c'mon... aliens may not have religious beliefs and we would willingly expose them to something as dangerous as religion?

Look at our own world!

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:36:30 UTC | #569445

jel's Avatar Comment 4 by jel

Why would an alien need to be baptised? Why would an alien need a saviour? Do talking snakes stalk the universe?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:37:45 UTC | #569447

bujin's Avatar Comment 5 by bujin

Why would they need to be baptised? I thought Christianity considered all humans to have inherited Adam's sins. Aliens aren't human, so surely they aren't sinful in the eyes of the almighty, benevolent, omnipotent God.

Surely if they ARE sinful, it would require an entirely different religion to cleanse them of their sins...

EDIT: hehe - jel beat me to it by 3 minutes... :D

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:40:12 UTC | #569448

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 6 by God fearing Atheist

Consolmagno, ..., said that the Vatican was well aware of the latest goings-on in scientific research. "You'd be surprised," he said.

Does that include HIV epidemiology?

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:41:16 UTC | #569449

lewis.breland's Avatar Comment 7 by lewis.breland

I suggest if we ever meet extra-terrestrials, we keep our religion the biggest secret EVER from them! It can only serve to undermine our claim to be an "intelligent" species.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:42:34 UTC | #569450

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 8 by Rodger T

Can`t really imagine any intelligent lifeform wanting to be baptised.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:45:15 UTC | #569451

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 9 by Neodarwinian

Let us hope that the aliens, if any, are advanced. The church history in this area is well known and regrettable. The bastions of the church are in these countries " conquered for christ. " No need to bring that nonsense into the cosmos.

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:55:59 UTC | #569456

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 10 by Atheist Mike

Yet another attempt of the catholic church to remain a plausible supernatural organisation. They're going to baptize aliens now, amazing...

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:00:02 UTC | #569459

Quine's Avatar Comment 11 by Quine

I would love to ask what tests he would use to determine if a discovered entity did or did not have a "soul" to save? And what if we do find intelligent entities who are not decedents of "Adam"; how did they get the taint of Original Sin? Are there other Gardens of Eden on other worlds where lucky beings are born without sin? Why was I born here and not, the wonderful, there? Was Jesus also born with tentacles on some other planet (that had sinned) to live a sinless life and be sacrificed in some other ghastly death (perhaps sucked to death)? Would the "Catholics" of the other world genuflect on one pod to the sign of the plunger?

As I think it over, now, I do see why the Vatican would need the services of scientists to work out all the implications of the vast Universe we now can know about through our scientific instruments. From a theological point of view, it is so much easier if we are alone in the Universe (and that the Neanderthals died out) than if theology has to deal with these difficulties of other beings. Of course, it could all be moot if "Body of Christ" is high on the menu of an advanced alien group who are guided by how To Serve Man.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:02:56 UTC | #569462

yyarovyy's Avatar Comment 12 by yyarovyy

Comment 1 for the win :)

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:08:33 UTC | #569464

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 13 by nancynancy

I wonder what the "pope's astronomer" thinks about the "pope's exorcist."

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:09:47 UTC | #569465

Feuerbach's Avatar Comment 14 by Feuerbach

In space, no-one can hear you pray.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:13:41 UTC | #569466

Stevezar's Avatar Comment 15 by Stevezar

I am forced to wonder what the alien version of a "cross" would look like on a planet with 8 tentacled creatures.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:23:31 UTC | #569470

Bribase's Avatar Comment 16 by Bribase

This would actually be one of my greatest anxieties if extra-terrestrials really did arrive. Just imagine if some religious prat decides to do the greeting.

"Welcome messengers from beyond our solar system, we welcome you in the name of peace and humility. By the way, did I mention that I know the purpose and meaning of the universe?"

The visitors would either leave or laser us in half, and rightfully so.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:31:11 UTC | #569472

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 17 by rrh1306

Nice Alien (film 1979) reference. Classic.

Comment 14 by Feuerbach :

In space, no-one can hear you pray.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:49:55 UTC | #569475

Der Papst's Avatar Comment 18 by Der Papst

Lets hope the Aliens are savvy enough to keep the creepy buggers away from thier Kids.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:58:27 UTC | #569476

Nibla's Avatar Comment 19 by Nibla

"The traditional definition of a soul [is] to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions."

How many years did it take the church to recognize blacks as fitting the definition? How many more will it take before they realize that most mammals fit their criteria?

This 'astronomer' has watched too much startrek - and might still think neither Vulcans nor Klingons have a soul. How could he ever cope with what really could be out there?

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 01:04:45 UTC | #569477

AlexP's Avatar Comment 20 by AlexP

Yeah, I'm pretty sure aliens would love to convert to a human religion.

Nothing beats a creator that can't even find your planet in his own universe. Hope you don't mind, either, that he already got a favourite race, created "in his image" - well, better a second-rate follower of the "true" religion than a first-rate pagan, right?

Honestly, how would humans in return react to some tentacle god from Omicron Persei 8? Would they start worshipping a god that didn't even bother about them until his important creation happened to stumble over the junkyard called earth?

Hm, never mind. Considering some of the religions on earth, I'd wager humans actually would worship an alien god - even before reading His Holy Hieroglyphs, because the chants sound nice.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 01:14:00 UTC | #569479

severalspeciesof's Avatar Comment 21 by severalspeciesof

"The traditional definition of a soul [is] to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions."

Doesn't that then preclude the fetus of a soul until all those things are in place?

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 01:20:53 UTC | #569480

green and dying's Avatar Comment 22 by green and dying

Why does he think this planet got the saviour? Or is there a saviour for each form of intelligent life? Can I get into heaven by believing in one of the others, or do I have to believe in the human one?

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 01:24:32 UTC | #569481

Matt B's Avatar Comment 23 by Matt B

Behold the wonders possible by suspending rational thought! Being able to entertain so many conflicting viewpoints seems to be something of a superpower. Let's hope that one day, it's somehow used for good.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 01:34:13 UTC | #569482

Radesq's Avatar Comment 24 by Radesq

@Comment 20 by AlexP

Actually, I think if an alien arrived here...many humans would probably convert to worshiping the alien...nevermind the alien's god. First, how likely would it be that an alien that is intelligent and powerful enough to arrive here - would bother with superstition? Second, the whole sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic idea.

The converts would likely have stronger reasons for their beliefs than what they currently profess for [insert invisible deity name here].

edit~ or maybe that's what you meant, I wasn't sure.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 01:48:39 UTC | #569484

Hamilton Jacobi's Avatar Comment 25 by Hamilton Jacobi

Next question: Would he baptize a chimpanzee? If not, why not?

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 02:14:31 UTC | #569487

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 26 by mjwemdee

So it's official. Intelligent Design is 'bad theology'.

Is there any other kind?

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 02:21:19 UTC | #569488

JonPlant's Avatar Comment 27 by JonPlant

The only way that a species that has mastered interstellar travel would ask to be baptised would be if they had also mastered irony.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 02:25:09 UTC | #569489

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 28 by Steve Zara

Comment 27 by mjwemdee

So it's official. Intelligent Design is 'bad theology'.

Is there any other kind?

No, there isn't. ID is bad theology because it requires a God of the Gaps.

But all gods are gods of gaps. If an explanation for the origin of the universe turns up, it will no longer be a matter of Catholic theology, and another god-gap will have been closed.

So this is the paradox: theology is bad theology. We don't need to discuss evidence for God. We can dismiss all arguments for His existence, because the Catholic Church has made for us all the case we need for atheism:

That the Church moves God out of the way of science, combined with its rejection of God Gaps means that for a Catholic to believe in God is bad theology.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 02:39:49 UTC | #569491

pipsy's Avatar Comment 29 by pipsy

An "alien" with the capability to transport itself across oceans of time and space just to be baptised. Bless!

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 03:15:16 UTC | #569495

Naturalist1's Avatar Comment 30 by Naturalist1

Boggling...Just Boggling...This guy is so screwed up on so many levels. I googled him...get this...he is an American from Detroit...has degrees from MIT and his PHD in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (Lawrence Krauss' department). Has done postdoctoral research and teaching at Harvard College Observatory and MIT. This guy has NO excuse for being this kind of loon wackjob. If ever there was a prime example of what Richard calls "A Mind Virus" this goof is infected with it bigtime bad. I actually feel sorry for him...to be a person of such obvious intelligence and suffer so horrendously from such ridiculous delusions.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 03:19:13 UTC | #569498