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Aliens as missionaries

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Alias » November 30th, 2018, 10:10 pm

Belindi wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 7:58 am
[Christian missionaries are not ...free to interpret scripture...]
They are not , because they act from faith not reason.
Else, they would not be missionaries. Faith is an absolute prerequisite. Faith is what keep them going in the face of physical hardship, loneliness, homesickness, lack of a support structure, foreign food, unaccustomed climate, strange people, incredulity, rejection, ridicule, often illness and sometimes violence. Like the canoeist in the OP, they may be lunatics, but they're determined lunatics.
I recommend Barbara Kingsolver's novel The Poisonwood Bible.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by ktz » December 1st, 2018, 4:53 pm

Greta wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 1:23 am
ktz wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 11:40 pm

"Excuse me, have you heard of the Church of Latter Day Species?"
LOL ... or Xeno will return to Earth to start the Church of Thetanology. Actually, Scientologists sold me a book about "Dianetics" as a teen. I was walking in the city and responded to someone in the street doing a survey. He led me through this tunnel I'd not seen before and was worried about potential rape or robbery until we emerged into the Scientology HQ building (which I knew nothing about). I can't remember how it happened but I ended up in a room, sitting across a table from some bloke trying to sell me a book. It felt like I wasn't getting out of there unless I bought one of their damn books so I bought the cheapest one - five bucks.

I was very naive and impressionable at the time but within a few pages even I couldn't help but notice their unearned and unfounded chest thumping and elitism. I found it nauseating.
Yikes, that's crazy... I'd suggest you join some kind of class action lawsuit to get your hard-earned five dollars back, but I hear they retain some pretty impressive lawyers for all the accusations of libel and slander they have to file. With all our fictional hypothesizing about aliens here we are probably halfway to emulating L Ron Hubbard ourselves, so let me know if you decide to start a cult since I'd probably be interested in joining. Count me out for the mission to the Sentinelese, though.
You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Greta » December 1st, 2018, 8:42 pm

ktz wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 4:53 pm
With all our fictional hypothesizing about aliens here we are probably halfway to emulating L Ron Hubbard ourselves, so let me know if you decide to start a cult since I'd probably be interested in joining. Count me out for the mission to the Sentinelese, though.
The trouble with starting cults is you have to spend most of your time with people. That rules me out as a cult leader immediately!
h_k_s wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 9:26 pm
Greta wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 6:06 pm
Which leads to the big question about our future (and of the nature of more advanced aliens) - what do more advanced societies look like? Are humans destined to effectively become complex ants in a command system, a situation China appears to be trying to create, with Xi or his successor being the "queen bee"? Is there another way to effectively deal with and coordinate such huge populations? I'm not convinced the chaotic Indian approach would be sustainable for those less resilient than Indians (almost everyone else).

With the rise of fascism it seems that western democracy, led by the US, is in the process of breaking down into a command economies like China's as governments become ever more controlled by companies and ever more controlling and ruthless in their dealings with ordinary citizens.
Intelligent Aliens would have all the same empathies as we have.

They would view us with love and adoration like we do our cats and dogs.

Their love would want to embrace us and protect us and give us care.

And like cat owners they would likely let us have our freedom up to a certain point.

Xi and Trump are poor examples of intelligent anything. They are merely power tyrants.
They are simple people whose main characteristic is a will to rule. It seems to me that political leaders' functions in time will increasingly be delegated to increasingly intelligent machines, as will corporate leaders. In the end they will merely be anthropomorphic figureheads, an interface.

It's hard to say whether the aliens would love us. Some might, some might not, just as some people love spiders, snakes, sharks or crocs while others fear and revile them. I think humans would fit that category - a dangerous creature to be handled with caution.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by h_k_s » December 1st, 2018, 8:45 pm

Greta wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 8:42 pm
ktz wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 4:53 pm
With all our fictional hypothesizing about aliens here we are probably halfway to emulating L Ron Hubbard ourselves, so let me know if you decide to start a cult since I'd probably be interested in joining. Count me out for the mission to the Sentinelese, though.
The trouble with starting cults is you have to spend most of your time with people. That rules me out as a cult leader immediately!
h_k_s wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 9:26 pm
Intelligent Aliens would have all the same empathies as we have.

They would view us with love and adoration like we do our cats and dogs.

Their love would want to embrace us and protect us and give us care.

And like cat owners they would likely let us have our freedom up to a certain point.

Xi and Trump are poor examples of intelligent anything. They are merely power tyrants.
They are simple people whose main characteristic is a will to rule. It seems to me that political leaders' functions in time will increasingly be delegated to increasingly intelligent machines, as will corporate leaders. In the end they will merely be anthropomorphic figureheads, an interface.
I cannot see a time when machines would take over or be given power.

That would take a major Constitutional amendment.

And we can't even agree to an amendment for Roe V. Wade nor for gun regulation.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Greta » December 1st, 2018, 9:00 pm

h_k_s wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 8:45 pm
Greta wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 8:42 pm

The trouble with starting cults is you have to spend most of your time with people. That rules me out as a cult leader immediately!


They are simple people whose main characteristic is a will to rule. It seems to me that political leaders' functions in time will increasingly be delegated to increasingly intelligent machines, as will corporate leaders. In the end they will merely be anthropomorphic figureheads, an interface.
I cannot see a time when machines would take over or be given power.
That's why cardboard cutouts (aka leaders) will continue to be needed until the net of control closes sufficiently.

You'd expect machines to, in time, be seen as better decision makers than humans, not being encumbered by ideology or religion, not subject to human error, and capable of handling complexity and counter-intuitive material in an ever more complex marketplace. I can imagine corporations being headed by machines in the future, and they'll be so good at it that shareholders of other companies will demand their own.

Once governments are surrounded by powerful machine-led companies, and there is just some dumb power-hungry bloke at the top supported by machines, I'm not sure any constitutional material will much matter. By then it would be more akin to Spanish invaders breaking what had been thought to be unbreakable Inca lore.

// crystal ball :)

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by h_k_s » December 1st, 2018, 9:21 pm

Greta wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 9:00 pm
h_k_s wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 8:45 pm


I cannot see a time when machines would take over or be given power.
That's why cardboard cutouts (aka leaders) will continue to be needed until the net of control closes sufficiently.

You'd expect machines to, in time, be seen as better decision makers than humans, not being encumbered by ideology or religion, not subject to human error, and capable of handling complexity and counter-intuitive material in an ever more complex marketplace. I can imagine corporations being headed by machines in the future, and they'll be so good at it that shareholders of other companies will demand their own.

Once governments are surrounded by powerful machine-led companies, and there is just some dumb power-hungry bloke at the top supported by machines, I'm not sure any constitutional material will much matter. By then it would be more akin to Spanish invaders breaking what had been thought to be unbreakable Inca lore.

// crystal ball :)
This sounds like a great plot for a science fiction novel.

If it is a hit then you could be famous like George Orwell or Aldous Huxley.

We were compelled to read them in high school although I did not gain anything from their books.

Your book @Greta seems like it would be much more interesting, sort of like Soilent Green.

And then if they make it into a movie you'll be rich!

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Greta » December 2nd, 2018, 4:05 am

h_k_s wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 9:21 pm
Greta wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 9:00 pm

That's why cardboard cutouts (aka leaders) will continue to be needed until the net of control closes sufficiently.

You'd expect machines to, in time, be seen as better decision makers than humans, not being encumbered by ideology or religion, not subject to human error, and capable of handling complexity and counter-intuitive material in an ever more complex marketplace. I can imagine corporations being headed by machines in the future, and they'll be so good at it that shareholders of other companies will demand their own.

Once governments are surrounded by powerful machine-led companies, and there is just some dumb power-hungry bloke at the top supported by machines, I'm not sure any constitutional material will much matter. By then it would be more akin to Spanish invaders breaking what had been thought to be unbreakable Inca lore.

// crystal ball :)
This sounds like a great plot for a science fiction novel.
A short story, actually. Currently in draft stage :) The reason why it might make a good plot is because it seems very possible. I always try to make stories realistic unless satirical, fun, brain-bending or the usual interstellar wormhole fudge (being the only known even vaguely almost feasible way of moving between stars). I don't see large multi-generational spacefaring craft carrying thousands of people to be feasible due to human nature. It would be so easy for malcontents to bring down the whole system that the strictest societal controls would be needed, in which case the passengers may ask why bother?

Failing wormholes (and there is zero evidence for them) who or what can feasibly visit us? You'd expect either intelligent machines (or post machines) or dead probes.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by h_k_s » December 3rd, 2018, 10:31 am

Greta wrote:
December 2nd, 2018, 4:05 am
h_k_s wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 9:21 pm


This sounds like a great plot for a science fiction novel.
A short story, actually. Currently in draft stage :) The reason why it might make a good plot is because it seems very possible. I always try to make stories realistic unless satirical, fun, brain-bending or the usual interstellar wormhole fudge (being the only known even vaguely almost feasible way of moving between stars). I don't see large multi-generational spacefaring craft carrying thousands of people to be feasible due to human nature. It would be so easy for malcontents to bring down the whole system that the strictest societal controls would be needed, in which case the passengers may ask why bother?

Failing wormholes (and there is zero evidence for them) who or what can feasibly visit us? You'd expect either intelligent machines (or post machines) or dead probes.
Hopefully you have seen the movie "Passengers". It is about 5000 colonists rocketing to another solar system.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Greta » December 3rd, 2018, 6:02 pm

I haven't seen it, kd, but if it's realistic it will end in tragedy!

Just a thought - what of the other 99.99993% of the world's population? That would be an even stricter selection process than the Jehovah's Witnesses, who say that just 144,000 are allowed in the kingdom of Heaven, which always got me thinking about the poor blighter placed #144,001, who would have missed out by less than a hair's breadth - what a gyp!

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Kevin Levites » April 26th, 2019, 10:46 am

As far as the missionary being murdered on North Sentinal Island....I hate to put it this way (and it puts me in a negative light to say this), but he had it coming.

The British abducted some Sentinalese elderly people and a kid in the 1890s to shower them in gifts, and release them back to their people on the island.

The only problem is that the old folks sickened and died in a few days, and the kid was sick when they released him.

Remote people have no resistance to Western diseases, and it wouldn't surprise me if their paranoia about outsiders comes from some horrible epidemic that was visited on them by their one and only contact with the outside world.

It wouldn't surprise me if this young (and stupid) missionary may have inadvertantly done the same thing.

For all we know, this young kid may have committed genocide if he brought even something as insignificant as the common cold with him to these people.

As far as alien missionaries go, I suspect that any advanced civilization will probably be very secular.

We see it now, in our own civilization. Science delivers the goods, and religion seems to be retreating in the face of things like antibiotics, nuclear power, and humanism.

Religion fights back, to be sure. Religion motivates suicide bombers, who see the modern world as a threat to their faith. There are countless attempts to relegate gay people as second-class citizens, but we have gay marriage now after decades of struggle.

And so on.

I suspect that aliens will be very secular, and their faith--if we can call it that--will be science.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Newme » April 27th, 2019, 2:08 pm

People who are most adamant that others believe as they do, tend to be sporting illogical herd mentality. Illogical & often unethical herd mentalities can be religious, demanding “rights” based on statistically harmful sexual disorders (like homosexuality) or political BS like everyone must believe Trump is more corrupt than Obama was.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Felix » April 30th, 2019, 10:07 pm

I would guess that an extraterrestrial race who could travel to our planet in spaceships is likely to be physically similar to us as it would suggest they they have an analogous sort of audio-visual oriented science, and therefore we could probably communicate with them, if only mathematically. Because of this, I think they would note some signs of intelligence in us and feel some moral trepidation about killing us.

Exactly how they treat us would probably depend on how much evolutionary potential they decide we have. Considering our long history of perpetual war and strife, they may suppose we have about as much capacity for intellectual growth as, say, an ant colony and decide to pass us by. If the aforementioned is true, they'd have no incentive to want to train, proselytize, or enslave us (I imagine they'd have robots for the latter).

However, I'm reminded of the Twilight Zone episode where the ET's come to earth and lavish the humans with all sorts of technical wonders to help them live healthier and more productive lives. However, at the end of the show our linguistic scientists manage to translate part of a book they left behind and discover it is a cookbook and we are the primary dish in it. So if nothing else, hopefully we will taste bad to extraterrestrials.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by eyesofastranger » May 2nd, 2019, 5:41 am

Not to pick on anyone but you all apply a very human animal philosophy to these aliens. They solved the ultimate mysteries and are able to move past Fermi' great filter.
So what does that give them? Think first about their access to resources. Planets virtually made of diamonds, asteroids formed from a neutron collision made of pure gold, entire planets of fertile land with access to the dna of the universes most exotic delicacies. Political religions and hierarchies of wealth and power are for animals planet locked into limited resources and energy.
HOW TO SERVE MAN.... Well some of us do eat ants. Thanks Felix that was a cute point to the 1960's mind.
Personally I tip my tinfoil hat to them because I personally believe they have been here. To what end?
Taking in all that is written and speculated it seems our consciousness has an effect on our universe. Or we have a vivid imagination.
Devoid of greed and insecurity and augmented with AI.
Our biggest fear might be lust I don't have enough perception of species that advanced to know if they moved away from that.

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by Felix » May 3rd, 2019, 4:05 pm

"Political religions and hierarchies of wealth and power are for animals planet locked into limited resources and energy."

Never the less, it's a sign of lack of intelligence and/or empathy, and if a race has not transcended those handicaps, as homo sapiens have not done, they might resemble the sort of mad god, Jehovah, that is portrayed in the Biblical Old Testament.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Aliens as missionaries

Post by eyesofastranger » May 4th, 2019, 5:22 am

#Felix
mad god, Jehovah, that is portrayed in the Biblical Old Testament
I always get myself in trouble mentioning gods so this is personal opinion only.
Over the years scholars have applied numbers to the population of gods and have come up with 35k of them. I believe they where shooting a bit loose with their qualifying criteria. If correct Jehovah would be around 34997. He was conjured mostly around the bronze age societal crash of 1177/1189 there is a reason for two speculations on the date. God became much friendlier through Roman times for purely political reasons. I could write a few thousand pages on all that.
Taking thoughts to conclusion. Just in my lifetime I have seen a philosophical shift. The Twilight zone episode shows a cultural shift in our entertainment needs. Genuinely liked that reference. Park your well armed, shielded starship and think with me how we got there.
Moving out into our solar system starts to bring resources home and fuels a deep dive into ever deeper exploration. Using last millennium Chinese gun powder to do it is going to get old fast. We are going to have to master energy in much bigger numbers. THAT'S... the point where everything changes.

With the mastery of these energies (several to choose from, we'll get a couple of them) society moves away from commerce. Your car device operates on enough zero point energy to power a city, just plug it into the grid anywhere you go, it will produce whatever the grid needs. What would you like to do today? Take in a lecture, take a hyperlink to visit your Aunt 2200 miles away for the afternoon or help a friend move? Sorry, that one is never going away. Robotic devices do most everything and the human becomes very valuable. Helping choreograph the moving robots. The more of those lectures you comprehend the higher your status. That's not going away either. Where does that society end up in 2000 years after they break the grand filter? Or a million years?

I just can't see Jehovah fitting in. Sorry all my thoughts on this subject are since childhood. That ended up really long.

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