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Are Religious Beliefs Going To Screw Up First Contact?

Tom Sawyer

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Even worse, what if the aliens are religious?

The entire world is excited and waits with baited breath as the first spacecraft touches down outside the UN and then some asshole comes out of it and asks us "Hey there, Earthlings! Have you heard the Good News about Quizicrat of Underfliarg?"
 

Mageth

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Even worse, what if the aliens are religious?

The entire world is excited and waits with baited breath as the first spacecraft touches down outside the UN and then some asshole comes out of it and asks us "Hey there, Earthlings! Have you heard the Good News about Quizicrat of Underfliarg?"

It could be worse. Read The Sparrow. ;)
 

Tom Sawyer

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Even worse, what if the aliens are religious?

The entire world is excited and waits with baited breath as the first spacecraft touches down outside the UN and then some asshole comes out of it and asks us "Hey there, Earthlings! Have you heard the Good News about Quizicrat of Underfliarg?"

It could be worse. Read The Sparrow. ;)

Don't tell me what to do. I'll read what I damn well feel like reading. :mad:
 

Keith&Co.

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HUMANS are going to screw up first contact.

We won't need religions to do that. It'll just change the flavor of the screwing, and maybe the locations of the craters.
 

marc

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In a sci-fi short story I read once, humans made first contact with some kind of alien federation. A representative was sent out for the official contact with them. He was sent back to earth with what he realized was an alien religious fanatic. He figured it was the Federation's way of bringing the ignorant new species up to speed, and get the religious nutcases out of their tentacles for a while.

Story was "Twin Paradox" in the book "Indistinguishable from Magic" by Robert L. Forward.


I would expect plenty of religious groups would screw up first contact. Some would declare the aliens demons, or in league with Satan since they don't follow Jebus/Mohammad/whatever. Then there would be the jerks who want to preach to the aliens, and start trying to do missionary work to their planet. Yea, we are probably a long way from being ready.
 

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I hope we are in quarantine because the rest of the universe learnt a long time ago that that is the best policy. But to update Python about the inquisition, don't forget the vogons!
 

Tom Sawyer

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Well, what are our religions going to offer to aliens?

"Jesus came back from the dead!"
"Dude, I've been cloned and reanimated like 12 times"

"Mohammed went up to Heaven in a chariot of fire!"
"Dude, I have a frigging starship"

The powers of gods are boring next to the powers of aliens.
 

Potoooooooo

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Even worse, what if the aliens are religious?

The entire world is excited and waits with baited breath as the first spacecraft touches down outside the UN and then some asshole comes out of it and asks us "Hey there, Earthlings! Have you heard the Good News about Quizicrat of Underfliarg?"

It could be worse. Read The Sparrow. ;)

Don't tell me what to do. I'll read what I damn well feel like reading. :mad:
I'll say this about that story. The catholic priest sure got it ...IN THE END
 

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Clivedurdle

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Who but evangelistic types are most likely to go to strange places at huge costs? Isn't it probable?
 

GenesisNemesis

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There's not much of a reason to think we'll be a threat to an extraterrestrial species capable of interstellar travel. They probably would have prepared for the event where they are exposed to some of our less favorable groups. I wouldn't think much could surprise them. Though, there is the possibility of us being the first other species they've been able to contact. Still, if they don't take any precautions, they're kind of naive and probably shouldn't be coming to our planet in the first place.
 

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As a species we have a lot of issues that could potentially screw up interplanetary contact. For some perverse reason I find it a fascinating thing to contemplate. Throughout the history of human conquest the religion of the conquerors has been shoved down the throats of the conquered. I have a theory that it may be impossible for an intelligent life to evolve without developing some sort of religion. Obviously I could be wrong, but here is my reasoning:

The way I look at it, the hallmarks of intelligence are the capacities for abstract thought, learning via communication and abstract associations. Without the capacity for abstract thought only instinctive reactions will ever be available. Without the ability to learn via communication every generation will have to learn the same lessons over and over again. Without the ability to form abstract associations it would be difficult for a species to ascertain complex cause/effect relationships. All of these are a necessary part of the process of gathering intelligence and growing in intelligence.

The problem is that each of these can misfire. Abstract thought can result in unwarranted conclusions. An untruth spoken via communications can be believed. Abstract associations give us superstitions about black cats, mirrors, tree nymphs and gods.

I just don't see how it is possible for an intelligent species to evolve through natural processes while avoiding the development of superstitions and religions.

Fortunately I think that as we have developed as a species we are beginning to understand that the ability to tolerate differing beliefs (or the lack of beliefs altogether) leads to greater success in interactions on a global scale. Hopefully before we have to contact other species we will have learned the importance of applying the same level of tolerance to whatever irrational beliefs they may hold. Unless, of course, they do happen to be the intergalactic equivalent of the Jehovah's witnesses. We'd have no choice but to send 'em packing in that case.
 

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It would so cool to get aliens who had studied us for eons -- and who had archived images of our history -- and who, to satisfy the pious cravings of the Christians, produced a full life of Jesus in image and sound -- including no miracles and a night time retrieval of his corpse by the disciples, who buried it out in the mountains. This would then inspire 557 TV ministries branding the aliens as Satan's cohorts.
 

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I'm with physics Nobel Prize winner Ed Purcell who said that space travel would always remain where it belonged. On the back of cereal boxes.
 
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Clivedurdle

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I thought the real reason aliens will come here is for chocolate. That is actually why we are here - to be purveyors of chocolate to the universe.
 

jonJ

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I'm with physics Nobel Prize winner Ed Purcell who said that space travel would always remain where it belonged. On the back of cereal boxes.

I'm guessing Tigers! thinks the way I do -- space travel represents a -- literally! -- astronomical investment with a very poor chance of any significant returns.
 

Tom Sawyer

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jonJ

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Pope Francis says he would baptise aliens: 'The doors of the Catholic Church are open to everyone'

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...cis-says-he-would-baptise-aliens-9360632.html

What about those aliens from that dumb Mel Gibson movie who die when water touches them? The Pope wants to baptise them as well? That's called murder, dude! :mad:

No, you're thinking of the Wicked Witch of the West. But hang on... isn't there water vapour in the atmosphere?
 

Cognoscenti324

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My nightmare of First Contact:

"People of Earth, the Galactic Council has determined that, as your species represents the absolute ass-end of intelligent life, this planet will be terra-cauterized so that it may be better utilized as a Cosmic Putt-Putt Golf Course. That is all."

:cool:
 

Tom Sawyer

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Pope Francis says he would baptise aliens: 'The doors of the Catholic Church are open to everyone'

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...cis-says-he-would-baptise-aliens-9360632.html

What about those aliens from that dumb Mel Gibson movie who die when water touches them? The Pope wants to baptise them as well? That's called murder, dude! :mad:

No, you're thinking of the Wicked Witch of the West. But hang on... isn't there water vapour in the atmosphere?

Wouldn't an alien species which has mastered interplanetary travel have also been able to design a raincoat or figure out how to open a closet door? It was a really dumb movie.
 

Keith&Co.

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Wouldn't an alien species which has mastered interplanetary travel have also been able to design a raincoat or figure out how to open a closet door?
I think it was Close Encounters where the hero followed a UFO that was surfing along the highway. Found a redneck who opined: "They can fly around the moon and whatnot, but we're light-years ahead of them with the highway system."

Maybe it never occurred to the naked aliens that clothing-wearing species would create moveable walls to hide the clothes we're not wearing. Maybe their brains just don't work that way.
We could be years ahead of them in the development of 'door' and 'closet' technology.
 

Tom Sawyer

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Maybe it never occurred to the naked aliens that clothing-wearing species would create moveable walls to hide the clothes we're not wearing. Maybe their brains just don't work that way.
We could be years ahead of them in the development of 'door' and 'closet' technology.

I vaguely remember a Star Trek episode where they were wandering around an abandoned old ship and they came to a door that wouldn't open. Worf was about to slice through it with his phaser and then Ryker told him to wait and turned the handle to open it. Us humans rock in the development of doors.
 

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My nightmare of First Contact:

"People of Earth, the Galactic Council has determined that, as your species represents the absolute ass-end of intelligent life, this planet will be terra-cauterized so that it may be better utilized as a Cosmic Putt-Putt Golf Course. That is all."

:cool:

In a novel that I love, "Illegal Aliens" a spaceship lands in Central Park. They bring aboard some humans for 'testing', and then announce to the world that we have failed their tests. The fleet will be here in a few days to wipe out all the humans. In reality the aliens are interstellar criminals. They go to primitive worlds like earth, announce their destruction, and then enjoy watching the chaos that results when people think the end of the world has come.

Great book, and sooo would want the STC, a non-lethal weapon in the story.
 

Terrell

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HUMANS are going to screw up first contact.

We won't need religions to do that. It'll just change the flavor of the screwing, and maybe the locations of the craters.

That's a good point, I'm reminded of a couple things from science fiction.

From the Star Control series of games there are first contacts that are done properly, to create the Alliance of Free Stars. The Chenjesu's first contact with humanity, was done without conflict between the species. They'd already recruited other races to form the alliance. The humans screw up when they encounter the Vux. Captain Jeffry Rand in command of the star ship Far Voyager, offended the Vux captain with an insult. Vux don't join Alliance, are subjugated by the Ur-Quan. Vux join Ur-Quan hierarchy as battle slaves. Ultimately the human screw up isn't what cost the alliance the war, but the super weapon possessed by the Ur-Quan. Still we found a way to screw it up, when we had the chance.

This one was a case where human recklessness nearly got us wiped out by the Minbari from the B5 Universe.

This:


Perhaps the captain should have obeyed his orders, arrogant prick almost caused our extinction.

Led to this.
 

Keith&Co.

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HUMANS are going to screw up first contact.

We won't need religions to do that. It'll just change the flavor of the screwing, and maybe the locations of the craters.

That's a good point, I'm reminded of a couple things from science fiction.
I was thinking more of the Conquistadors meeting the Aztecs, decimated tribes along the Amazon, Roanoke, that sort of thing, but those work, too.
 

Lunawalk

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http://io9.com/are-religious-beliefs-going-to-screw-up-first-contact-1574043211
Are humans really prepared to meet an extraterrestrial civilization in this century? A new study suggests we're psychologically ill-prepared for this monumental event — and that the prominence of religious beliefs has a lot to do with it.
Interesting I think many religious people will say the aliens are demons. But in the stars are too far away they will never get here or don't know about this planet
 

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Aliens are going to be pissed off with all the grade Z science fiction films of the 50's, 60's...they will be able to access it and throw it in our faces as racist porn. Plan 9 from Outer Space will play like a minstrel show.
 

Cheerful Charlie

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I would think the aliens would be swarmed by religious proselytzers of many kinds. Suppose they are rationalists who abandoned religion millenia ago. Learning that they are atheists would be a shock to many, to hear they outgrew religion long ago. And to hear them recommend the same for us.
 
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