Thursday, January 28, 2010

Religion could survive discovery of ET?

Via New Scientist

The survey, designed by Ted Peters, a professor of Systematic Theology at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, asked 1300 people whether they thought the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence would shake their individual belief, the strength of their religion as a whole or would adversely affect the beliefs of other religions. The survey included both religious and non-religious people, and most respondents were based in the US.

I can see why some people would want to pose this question; holding fast to an idea that this world and the religious peity it spews upon itself are all that is needed for their perfected vision of existence. Whether or not cosmic intelligences are discovered, it will have no bearing on religion of itself which, ideally, stresses importance of shaping the internal, personal world alone as our Buddhist friends seem to already understand.

None of the 70 Buddhists questioned thought that the discovery of ET would undercut their belief systems, although 40 per cent thought it could pose problems for other religions.


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