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posted by janrinok on Thursday March 20 2014, @02:31AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the in-a-parallel-Vatican-somewhere-in-the-universe dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Megann Gannon reports that nearly 200 scientists are attending a conference, called "The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanets, Biosignature & Instruments," co-hosted by the Vatican Observatory with the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory.

The goal of the conference is to bring together the interdisciplinary community required to address this multi-faceted challenge: experts on exoplanet observations, early and extreme life on Earth, atmospheric biosignatures, and planet-finding telescopes. 'Finding life beyond Earth is one of the great challenges of modern science and we are excited to have the world leaders in this field together in Tucson,' says Daniel Apai. 'But reaching such an ambitious goal takes planning and time. The goal of this meeting is to discuss how we can find life among the stars within the next two decades.'

According to the organizers, the conference will cover the technical challenges of finding and imaging exoplanets and identifying biosignatures in the atmospheres of far-flung worlds. Other presentations will discuss the study of life forms that live in extreme environments on Earth, which could be apt analogs for life on other planets. Scientists will give more than 160 research presentations (PDF) during this week's conference and NASA's Astrobiology Institute will broadcast a live feed of the sessions. Catholic leaders say that alien life can be aligned with the Bible's teachings. 'Just as a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God,' says Father Jose Funes"

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @02:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @02:43AM (#18760)

    Ah a "slashdot style" story. Let's see how many get hooked ;).

    • (Score: 2) by ls671 on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:03AM

      by ls671 (891) on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:03AM (#18773) Homepage

      "Ah a "slashdot style" story. Let's see how many get hooked;)"

      Not sure about the "slashdot style". Actually, I hear Vatican would know quite a bit about aliens if there is anything to know about them ;-)

      --
      Everything I write is lies, read between the lines.
      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:13AM

        by davester666 (155) on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:13AM (#18775)

        God and the angels certainly would be considered 'aliens' because they weren't born on Earth, and Jesus is a half-breed [half-human, half-alien] for those people believing in immaculate conception...

        • (Score: 1) by unauthorized on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:18AM

          by unauthorized (3776) on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:18AM (#18831)

          Actually Jesus would be full fledged alien since he was just the "son of God". He may have looked like a human, but there is no account that his DNA had a shred of Mary's DNA. So yeah, apparently the pastafarians are right, God really is a giant tentacle monster.

          [rant]
          Then again, this was probably just a metaphor (gee doesn't that sound familiar). I think god could really learn a thing or two about future-proofing his prophetic books. Really, if you want people to believe in your existence, you might as well put knowledge in your prophetic books that the prophet itself could not have made up on the spot. You know, like atoms and quarks, it's not too hard to encode math in text.

          Come to think of it, just encode the bloody thing in a giant nigh-indestructible plate of a super-strong alloy that humans could have never produced on their own for a few thousand years. This god really sucks at leaving clear messages. I guess omnipotent doesn't mean "has at least the foresight of an elementary school student".
          [/rant]

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by yarp on Thursday March 20 2014, @08:46AM

        by yarp (2665) on Thursday March 20 2014, @08:46AM (#18811)

        They are certainly aware that the Gelgamek vagina is three feet wide and filled with razor-sharp teeth.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Bokononist on Thursday March 20 2014, @09:59AM

        by Bokononist (3013) on Thursday March 20 2014, @09:59AM (#18825)

        Who told you that? You know someone on the inside? Anyhow at least I learned that there is a Vatican observertory, who knew? I had a look at their website and this is what they have to say on why it exists

        Initially it was for a practical reason, to reform the Julian Calendar, like so many national observatories that were started, e.g., to improve navigation at sea; later at the establishment of the present form of the Vatican Observatory in 1891, for an apologetic purpose, in the sense of defending the Catholic Church's positive regard for science; now to join in doing good science in a way that is possible, given the Vatican's other concerns, as part of the consequence that the Incarnation of Christ applies to all human activity.

        --
        Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by clone141166 on Thursday March 20 2014, @02:51AM

    by clone141166 (59) on Thursday March 20 2014, @02:51AM (#18761)

    Quick, rally the members of the Galactic Federation! Xenu has escaped! We must stop him before he freezes our thetans and takes them to Teegeeack to throw them into volcanoes!

    Oh wait... this is Christianity?

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:01AM

      by isostatic (365) on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:01AM (#18826) Journal

      Quite. Volcanos and aliens are more realistic.

    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Thursday March 20 2014, @06:46PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Thursday March 20 2014, @06:46PM (#19017) Journal

      Kind of. Catholics seem more like what's left of your chewing gum after a 5-course meal. They've picked up so much other stuff it's hard to recognize, but it's technically in there somewhere.

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:16AM (#18767)
    Did they run out of kids to molest?
    Do they fancy some the tentacle manga in real life?
    • (Score: 1) by nicdoye on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:06AM

      by nicdoye (3908) on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:06AM (#18828) Homepage

      Er, you do realise that is just plain offensive to some of us?

      --
      I code because I can
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @02:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @02:34PM (#18901)

        Yeah, religion is offensive to those of us with more than two brain cells.

        • (Score: 1) by nicdoye on Friday March 21 2014, @12:40PM

          by nicdoye (3908) on Friday March 21 2014, @12:40PM (#19263) Homepage

          Thank you for your astute insight into the intelligence of those with religion. If I'd known I was talking to a recipient of the Fields Medal, I'd have couched my arguments in better terms.

          --
          I code because I can
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mendax on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:43AM

    by mendax (2840) on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:43AM (#18771)

    This story and the Vatican's view that the scripture can be bent to apply to life elsewhere reminds me of a poem Ray Bradbury wrote many years ago called "Christus Apollo", in which he writes about extraterrestrial civilizations have had their own Christs:

    There Christ by many names is known.
    We call him thus.
    They call him otherwise.
    His name on any mouth would be a sweet surprise.
    He comes with gifts for all,
    Here: wine and bread.
    There: nameless foods...."

    And that:

    Here He has long been dead.
    There He has not yet died.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 1) by monster on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:26PM

      by monster (1260) on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:26PM (#18918) Journal

      They must bend it to survive. Else, when alien life is found is checkmate for their religion.

        If there are people to be saved from sin in several, isolated worlds, did Christ have to die one time on each planet to do so? If not, what happens to those planets that didn't get to know his message and his death? And, if all of them are worthy of salvation, why would God choose our world instead of any other? And, since he did, aren't those other worlds worthy of salvation?

      Too bad if we ever find alien life, the event will have the same effect as previous findings of gross scientific errors in the scripture: Negation or selective ignorance.

      • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:32PM

        by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:32PM (#18921)

        I am a practing Catholic and alien life wouldn't change our idea of God or Jesus in any way. What happened on Earth is God's plan for Earth. Whatever's going on on planet Zorbox is God's plan for Zorbox.

        The Catholic Church accepts as true the theory of evolution and the big bang (the big bang actually first being proposed by a Catholic priest). There is no conflict between the Catholic Church and science, that little tiff with Galileo not withstanding.

        --
        Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
        • (Score: 1) by monster on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:44PM

          by monster (1260) on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:44PM (#18926) Journal

          The Catholic Church has gotten to accept reality, but that doesn't mean that there isn't conflict. Any time some new knowlegde contradicts scripture, the Church just talks about the foundations of Christianity being others (mainly Jesus), but like a ham where you take away slice after slice, more and more parts of the bible are now considered as just "inspired by god" (ie, inspired fiction), when not so many years ago it was "the Word of God", meant to be taken literally. Right now, the "bone" that keeps everything in place is the undisputed divinity of christ, but the implications for it in case of intelligent alien life is obvious. After it happens, you may talk about it not affecting you, but be sure there would be a big debate among teologians because of such event.

          • (Score: 4, Informative) by metamonkey on Thursday March 20 2014, @06:08PM

            by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday March 20 2014, @06:08PM (#18989)

            This is incorrect. The Catholic Church has never supported a literal interpretation of Genesis. In fact, both St. Augustine (who was a Church Father) and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote treatise about the allegorical nature of Genesis. Augustine wrote "One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: 'I will send you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon.' For he willed to make them Christians, not mathematicians." Aquinas went so far as to call anyone who believed Genesis was literal an embarrassment to Christianity.

            The idea of a young earth and a literal interpretation of Genesis is a modern invention by American christian fundamentalists. Unfortunately, these people are both stupid and loud, and the uninformed sometimes mistake us for them. We are not and never have been similar, neither in scientific belief nor theological belief.

            There are few if any instances of the Church persecuting people for scientific advances. The Jesuits were (and still are) dedicated scientists. The closest you're going to find is the Galileo affair, and even then, he was tried not for his scientific opinion, but for the manner in which he spoke about theology because of it. First, he presented heliocentrism as fact without a high degree of proof. Second, he insisted that it made scripture false rather than simply allegorical, and finally he was just a giant dick and wrote his arguments as a conversation in which he used an argument the pope had offered, and placed it in the mouth of his character Simplicio. He was placed under house arrest for his theological opinions, not his scientific opinions. Should this have happened? No, of course not. No one should be persecuted for their religious beliefs. But to say he was persecuted for his scientific stance is mostly false. Mostly.

            It is a popular trope amongst the anti-religious to paint the Church as anti-science. I was really disappointed in the hatchet job perpetrated by the new Cosmos. They made Bruno out to be this great scientific mind persecuted by the Church for his belief in an infinite universe when Bruno was in fact punished for his religious beliefs (like denying the divinity of Christ) and not for his scientific ideas. And he didn't even have any scientific ideas. He was not arguing for an infinite universe from a place of experiment or observation. He just...had an idea. He was right in the same way a broken clock is right twice a day. He also believed the planets and stars had souls and wrote books about magic. Again, no one should be persecuted for his religious beliefs, but I have no idea why Cosmos sacrificed credibility to essentially lie about the relationship between the Church and the sciences.

            --
            Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by etherscythe on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:10PM

              by etherscythe (937) on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:10PM (#19030) Journal

              Are you sure about that? The Catholic Catechism [vatican.va] seems to imply that "sacred scripture" is still Gospel truth direct from God. They also seem to say that the traditions of the church are as much a core part of the belief system as scripture is, but unless tradition is allowed to contradict scripture (which does not seem to be explicit or even implied anywhere), you would appear to be incorrect.

              I'm afraid the Catholic Church has not been the best at avoiding historical revisionism when it suits them, so you need enough meat to get around the grain of salt I naturally apply to these claims. Quoting saints is lovely and all, but they're not exactly considered canonical.

              --
              "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
              • (Score: 4, Informative) by metamonkey on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:54PM

                by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:54PM (#19044)

                I'm quite sure. Like I said, I'm Catholic, and I'm one of the ones who actually pays attention to what we believe and why.

                You're right about sacred tradition being as important as sacred scripture. That's one of the things that sets us apart from protestants who look at scripture alone (sola scriptura). The traditions of the Church, founded by Jesus, shared with the apostles and then transmitted in an unbroken line of succession to today's pope, bishops and priests are just as important as the words printed in the book. These are things like the format of the Mass and the nature and process of the sacraments.

                However, nowhere in the part of the cathechism you quoted does it say the sacred scriptures are literal. Just that they're inspired by God through the Holy Spirit.

                In terms of quoting saints, there really are no greater theological minds or writings in history than Thomas Aquinas and Augustine. They have been (and still are) deferred to on many, many matters of faith, and if those two said "genesis is allegorical" (as they did), you can rest assured the popes and bishops who followed them did, also. The other bishops and priests and monks read Summa Theologica, and didn't argue with it.

                --
                Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by etherscythe on Thursday March 20 2014, @09:53PM

                  by etherscythe (937) on Thursday March 20 2014, @09:53PM (#19074) Journal

                  On further scrutiny, I'm seeing the subtle distinction between "direct from God" and "direct from God in plain English" (well, Hebrew or Greek, perhaps). It could be worded a little better in the Catechism to reflect that. So, with sponsorship from a Bishop or better, it's internally consistent to say that the writing of those men is, in fact, part of the canonical belief system through the Holy Tradition angle.

                  I still have my issues with the Galileo affair, the Spanish Inquisition, the modern cover-up and shielding the pedophiles from prosecution, and in particular how long it's taken the Church to admit fault in each case. So, to bring this all back on-topic, I struggle with the idea of the Catholic Church being particularly forward-thinking as a greater organization when it comes to anything particularly earth-shaking like aliens having a religion completely in contradiction with theirs. There are a few more enlightened individuals, I'll grant, but it seems to me they are not the greater voices of the collective when push comes to shove.

                  I can hope I'm wrong, and that voices like yours will be prominent. This thread has been a breath of fresh air compared to my usual experience with Christians, so thank you for that.

                  --
                  "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
                  • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:43PM

                    by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday March 20 2014, @10:43PM (#19093)

                    No problem, I'm always happy to be a positive ambassador for the Catholic Church. There's a reason we call ourselves "Catholic" and not "Christians," because we don't much like the ideas of christians any more than you do. They're heretics, and generally don't have any rational basis for their heresies. If I agreed with them, either they would be Catholics or I wouldn't be.

                    As far as the abuse scandals go, we Catholics are also shocked and horrified by those events. No one approves of this behavior. However, you have to realize that we're an organization of 1.2 billion people. Not all of them are going to be nice, but my priest never touched anybody, and my bishop never covered anything up. Compared to the whole of the organization, the incidents were vanishingly small. There should be zero, agreed, but I'm not going to throw out 2,000 years of history for the actions of an exceedingly small number of people.

                    The Church is a fallible* organization, as it is made by men. But if you want to talk about history, the Catholic Church is the scaffolding on which Western Civilization was built. Our monks in their monasteries kept the written word alive during the dark ages. Many of our priests and monks were scientists, like Gregor Mendel the father of genetics, or the centuries of Jesuit astronomers. The disciplines of modern engineering and architecture were spurred on by the construction of our cathedrals. The contributions to art and music go without saying.

                    Also, in general, science and democracy go hand in hand with an outsider religion like christianity. The God-Kings of eastern religions nor the statist theocracies of Islam handle dissent very well. Without the Catholic Church, I don't think western science and democracy would have ever come to be. On the whole, the 2,000 year history of the Church has been a net positive for humanity.

                    *Papal infallibility only applies to matters of faith

                    --
                    Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
                    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Thursday March 20 2014, @11:40PM

                      by etherscythe (937) on Thursday March 20 2014, @11:40PM (#19118) Journal

                      my bishop never covered anything up

                      But, if reports are true [go.com], the last pope did, and that's part of the reason I hesitate to believe the organization at its deeper roots has changed enough.

                      On the plus side, I will give credit where it's due. I see a lot of good things being done by, in particular, Catholic hospitals, and I'm a believer in "by their fruits you shall know them" (and the Sufi corollary: "rot at the core spreads outward"). Humans seem to have a need to seek God (and I am not an atheist despite how many attitudes I tend to share with them); It does not surprise me that some of the more notable historical figures involved with important work were some flavor of Christians (although the list of prominent atheists is pretty impressive as well) and, as the most well-organized group, Catholics will be at the top.

                      I just haven't been able to conclude that the faith itself is a net positive, as opposed to anything else that would have filled the void.

                      --
                      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
                    • (Score: 1) by doubleoh0 on Friday March 21 2014, @03:47PM

                      by doubleoh0 (3193) on Friday March 21 2014, @03:47PM (#19349)

                      "I wish not merely to be called Christian, but also to be Christian." -- St. Ignatius Loyola

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by metamonkey on Thursday March 20 2014, @08:25PM

                by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday March 20 2014, @08:25PM (#19054)

                Just to add to my last comment, you kinda can't have it both ways. The stereotype is that the Church hierarchy is beholden to old ways and old writings and punishes anybody who says anything contradictory. If this is true (which it basically is on matters of theology, only now we just shake our fingers at people instead of burning them), then the Church has always considered Genesis allegorical. If in fact the Church is revising history and during the middle ages/renaissance they held a literal interpretation of Genesis, then they must actually be open minded and allow dissent since they allowed people to disagree with Augustine, Aquinas et al.

                Church Fathers like Augustine and the hugely influential Thomas Aquinas wrote that Genesis was allegorical. This is fact. The writings still exist. Summa Theologica exists and is the mostly widely read religious text next to the Bible itself.

                These people were canonized as Saints, so clearly the Church didn't have any problem with their writing that Genesis was allegorical. If they had, the Devil's Advocate during their canonization would have pointed to these terrible heresies and they would have been right out. If, later, priests and bishops of the Catholic Church attempted to argue that Genesis was literal, and saying otherwise is heretical, then they would have been calling Augustine and Aquinas and many others heretics after the fact. You can't really get away with calling St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas heretics. Anybody arguing for a literal interpretation of Genesis would be more likely to be put on trial for heresy.

                So either the Church is a bunch of hardasses who never change their minds, in which case they have always held Genesis to be allegorical, or they're easy going and tolerate dissent, in which case they thought it was allegorical, then literal, then allegorical again whenever it's suited their purpose, so they do in fact change their minds.

                --
                Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:51PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:51PM (#18948) Homepage Journal

        when alien life is found is checkmate for their religion.

        There isn't a single word in the bible suggesting that extraterrestrial life doesn't exist.

        If not, what happens to those planets that didn't get to know his message and his death? And, if all of them are worthy of salvation, why would God choose our world instead of any other?

        The answers to your questions are all in this book. [mcgrewbooks.com] You might want to actually read a book before bashing it.

        Too bad if we ever find alien life, the event will have the same effect as previous findings of gross scientific errors in the scripture

        Care to cite chapter an verse for your assertions?

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by monster on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:31PM

          by monster (1260) on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:31PM (#18968) Journal

          Sigh...

          Genesis 30, 37-39 (or how NOT genetics work. No, putting colored sticks in front of animals doesn't provide a cheap way of genetic manipulation)

          Joshua 10, 12-13 (or how to stop the rotation of the Earth, then restarting it without people noticing)

          And many others, but I don't want to spend more time doing your homework. Seems like I have already read the book more than you.

          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday March 21 2014, @02:32PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday March 21 2014, @02:32PM (#19316) Homepage Journal

            Genesis 30:37-39 doesn't say that the stakes caused genetic changes, just that after putting the stakes down he got the colors he wanted. The stakes didn't cause it, God did.

            As to Joshua 10: 12-13, you have never experienced time dilation? There was no such thing as a clock then; the sun, moon, and stars were the only way to tell time. It isn't like Joshua could check his cell phone and say "damn, it's only been five minutes. It seems like hours." Einstein said "when you're with a pretty girl, hours seem like minutes. When your hand is on fire minutes seem like hours."

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
            • (Score: 1) by monster on Friday March 21 2014, @02:51PM

              by monster (1260) on Friday March 21 2014, @02:51PM (#19328) Journal

              I really hope your scientific knowledge is not as limited as it appears to be from your comment, but here we go:

              Saying "God did it" doesn't explain WHY it was needed to put such stakes to get those changes, just to start. Nowhere it is implied that it was any kind of altar, nor that there was any praying going on. So, if your answer is just to ignore what the book says and put forward a "God did it because so" argument, and think you are debating the issue, it's really shortsighted. That really is "not even wrong".

              For the "time dilation" part: Do you even know what time dilation is? it's not a feeling, it's a real, physical thing. Do you know that it is related to variations in speed, and the kind of variations needed to have such effects as described? Also, the book doesn't say that they felt the time had passed more slowly, it really says that the sun and moon stood still until the battle was over!. And using a silly metaphor as an argument is again not debating: Even if Einstein himself said it, it wasn't intended as a rigorous explanation of the phenomenon, it was just some food for thought for the everyman.

      • (Score: 1) by MozeeToby on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:56PM

        by MozeeToby (1118) on Thursday March 20 2014, @04:56PM (#18952)

        I'm hardly a religious person, but sure... I'll bite.

        If not, what happens to those planets that didn't get to know his message and his death?

        The same thing that happens to all the people who never had the opportunity to be converted during their lifetime on earth; whatever that is. Being isolated from potential missionaries is hardly unique to being from a different planet.

        And, if all of them are worthy of salvation, why would God choose our world instead of any other?

        Why'd he choose 2000 years ago instead of 5000? Why'd he choose the holy land instead of the Amazonian rainforest?

        And, since he did, aren't those other worlds worthy of salvation?

        Again, was the new world more or less worthy of salvation simply because Christ wasn't born there? These are not new philosophical questions for the Church, they are very very very old questions that no one has thought about lately.

        Too bad if we ever find alien life, the event will have the same effect as previous findings of gross scientific errors in the scripture: Negation or selective ignorance.

        If there are people to be saved from sin in several, isolated worlds, did Christ have to die one time on each planet to do so?

        Turn it back around on you, what would you say if we make contact and the first thing they want to talk about is their Christ figure who saved them from the sins of their ancestors. And what if that was repeated every time we made first contact? What would that do to the atheistic viewpoints of the world? Probably not a thing.

        Please note: I'm not a religious person, I don't find that to be a likely occurrence, I'm just trying to point out that from a non fundamentalist but still religious perspective your arguments seem pretty weak.

        • (Score: 1) by monster on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:40PM

          by monster (1260) on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:40PM (#18972) Journal

          The same thing that happens to all the people who never had the opportunity to be converted during their lifetime on earth; whatever that is. Being isolated from potential missionaries is hardly unique to being from a different planet.

          Then it's not universal salvation, as they preach. And, since they are the ones arguing about the divinity of Jesus, aren't they who must give answers, at least if they expect to be taken seriously?

          Again, was the new world more or less worthy of salvation simply because Christ wasn't born there? These are not new philosophical questions for the Church, they are very very very old questions that no one has thought about lately.

          Being old doesn't mean they are settled. Also, since that was the moral justification for the conquest of the Americas, it's been already used.

          Anyway, I'm not spending any more time against anyone's religion. Believe what you choose to.

        • (Score: 2) by mendax on Thursday March 20 2014, @06:35PM

          by mendax (2840) on Thursday March 20 2014, @06:35PM (#19009)

          Why'd he choose 2000 years ago instead of 5000? Why'd he choose the holy land instead of the Amazonian rainforest?

          How can you know? The only reason why we know about the Yeshua bar Joseph, the man the Greeks called Jesus, is because he raised such a ruckus and inspired so many people with his ideas that many took the time to write about him and, unlike nearly everything written and published in ancient times, some of these works survived. Who can say that he did not appear in the Amazonian rain forest 5000 years ago? There are stories of appearances of Jesus appearing to native people in North America long ago. Perhaps he has appeared in various guises in many places and at many times.

          One of the problems with traditional Christianity is all that extraneous dogma that was generated around Jesus's basic teachings. Ignore that and one finds that Jesus-like people have appeared all over the place. Perhaps the Buddha was one of them, for example.

          --
          It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 1) by TK on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:51PM

      by TK (2760) on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:51PM (#18981)

      He also wrote a short story about the crew of a rocket that lands on an alien world right after their version of JC has been there, performing miracles and preaching. It's called The Man.

      In another story, The Fire Balloons, is about a Catholic priest proselytizing to energy-based aliens that have transcended their bodies and therefore moved beyond sin.

      Good stuff.

      --
      The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:53AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:53AM (#18796)

    Sounds like a party!

  • (Score: 2, Troll) by Boxzy on Thursday March 20 2014, @11:07AM

    by Boxzy (742) on Thursday March 20 2014, @11:07AM (#18837) Journal

    You get to claim God had something to do with the miserable inhabitants of this forsaken hole of a planet, but the rest of the universe is off-limits ok? Talk about God of the Gaps FFS.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.
    • (Score: 1) by FlatPepsi on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:13PM

      by FlatPepsi (3546) on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:13PM (#18910)

      My, my. What a tolerant view of others and their beliefs.
      Can I set limits on what your beliefs apply to as well?

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Boxzy on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:58PM

        by Boxzy (742) on Thursday March 20 2014, @03:58PM (#18930) Journal

        You guys always trot out the tolerance BS every time your beliefs are challenged by new knowledge, then you attempt to stretch your belief system to include and incorporate the new knowledge.

        Tell me, which group is the most tolerant, believers or non-believers?

        Believers invented heresy, crusades, jihad, death by stoning, ritual murder, sacrifice, crucifixion.... I could go on.

        Non-believers don't do any of that. We are perfectly happy for others to be exactly as moronic as they please as long as they keep quiet about it. Just so we are clear, your right to believe stupid shit ends at my ears and eyes. Your right to feel anger about my anger ends before your fist meets my nose alright?

        --
        Go green, Go Soylent.
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by TK on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:36PM

          by TK (2760) on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:36PM (#18969)

          Non-believers don't do any of that. We are perfectly happy for others to be exactly as moronic as they please as long as they keep quiet about it.

          Tell that to Stalin.

          Being a dick to other people isn't a trait exclusive to those rulers whose claim to power is based on their supposed relation to a god or gods. It's a trait inherent in all humans, and most expressive in humans with power over others.

          --
          The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:05PM (#19027)

          I don't hate science. In fact I am a subscriber to both science and religion. And it seems we scientists tend to remodel our beliefs as new observations come into view and theories evolve. For you to hate others for doing the same makes you a hypocrite.

          Regardless of who started, created, and/or invented the above list you mentioned, be they religious, scientists, or both, the common denominator is they were all HUMAN. We aren't perfect, and neither is your list. The Romans carried out crucifixions. It just so happens that was the punishment handed down to Jesus. Sacrifice isn't a religious idea either. Nature has shown various organisms sacrifice themselves for their progeny. If you are going to be angry and hateful with someone, it might as well be with everyone. Perhaps you should quit the human race, because according to your logic, you were a part of all you listed simply because you were born.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Geezer on Thursday March 20 2014, @11:53AM

    by Geezer (511) on Thursday March 20 2014, @11:53AM (#18846)

    Popeil hawker: "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. But wait! There's more!"

  • (Score: 2) by sl4shd0rk on Thursday March 20 2014, @01:53PM

    by sl4shd0rk (613) on Thursday March 20 2014, @01:53PM (#18886)

    Religion has it's place for those who want it. Please refrain from mixing it in where it is not wanted.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by TK on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:45PM

    by TK (2760) on Thursday March 20 2014, @05:45PM (#18975)

    Love 'em or hate 'em, the Catholic church has quite a few international connections, and a huge fan base. Their record with astronomy is pretty good too (Galileo excepted), so this actually stands a decent chance of being a positive contribution to the field.

    If they're willing to organize people and donate money and resources to a cause that is genuinely in the best interest of humanity as a whole, I think that's great. If their motivation is finding more potential converts, or space for the children of people not wearing condoms, I couldn't care less, it's a positive for the species.

    --
    The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
    • (Score: 1) by migz on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:56PM

      by migz (1807) on Thursday March 20 2014, @07:56PM (#19045)
      Er. Galileo was Catholic too.

      So was Georges Lemaitre [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23 2014, @07:46AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23 2014, @07:46AM (#19898)

        Perhaps you should try reading the Galileo article...