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Suppose science finally unearths a creator of the universe.

Let us say it is actually a collection of aliens who have always existed, that for them time is a synthetic concept, and we are all a part of a synthetic realm made by them.

Evidence can be supplied on tap. Audiences with these entities can be arranged at will. All after initial 'contact'.

What effect does this have on religions? Does this evidence suffice? Or will religions assert that their 'god' created these beings too? In the latter case does it mean that God can never be known?

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    "Corresponding, then, to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are Goodness, Intelligence, and Life...the Trinity of the only truly spiritual essences, life, intelligence, and goodness, is suggested by the contemplation of the universe." ~ Charles E. Lowrey, in The Philosophy of Ralph Cudworth. – Bread Mar 20 at 0:03
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    Religious faithful believe that they unearthed the creator of the universe long time ago, and it is something far less cheesy than a collection of aliens that grant audiences at will (familiarity breeds contempt). Nothing Earth-shattering followed, and unbelievers still doubt them. Audiences can not convey evidence for this sort of thing, and even if they created this particular "universe" does not mean they created all there is. We create artificial habitats ourselves. So meeting them would be super, but it will change nothing in principle. If God can be known it is not by such cheesy means. – Conifold Mar 20 at 0:12
  • Nothing we've discovered since the enlightenment. In the face of knowledge of a time before particular religions came about. Whilst watching gorillas eat their snot. Despite simple, self evident geological age..Despite glaring incongruity and self condradictions.. people have faith. Religion isn't based on rationality or evidence, it is based on faith, in the face of those things. Nothing, will change that. I find it lamentable, but for many it gives peace, and happiness, so who am I to complain? – Richard Mar 20 at 1:16
  • @Richard - You seem to have a very narrow Bible-belt experience of religion..You have my sympathies. – PeterJ Mar 21 at 11:19
  • @PeterJ I'm British. Here in the UK we have the Anglican church.. which is probably the least dogmatic of any organised christian church. And yet even Anglicans must fundamentally 'believe' in God. To do that in the face of all the evidence suggesting that God is a human construct, requires a large amount of cognitive dissonance. – Richard Mar 21 at 11:24
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In fact, the concept of God refers to something supernatural. If any "god" can be proved via science then it would not be god for real, it would be a supreme entity as in "Solaris" or "The Sirens of Titan"

Just as in the movie "Stargate" it may happen that some ignorant in science believe in these aliens as gods.

But about "god beyond gods (aliens)" how to prove his existence? If it's beyond the reach of science we couldn't prove its existence through it, and again we would have the same problem to prove that some supreme god exists.

  • Well that is what I am essentially asking. Are gods by definition 'supernatural' and therefore not physically discoverable? I thought most religions actually declared that these gods physically appeared, eg: Hercules, burning bush talking etc? – Sentinel Mar 21 at 11:47
  • Hercules wasnt exactly god, but demi-god. But major question is supernatural: There is no evidence about it. But as long as many people are moved by emotional lack, desire for immortality, etc., they will hardly allow reasoning to prevail in matters of creed. – Metaquizz Apr 4 at 15:46
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The OP asks what effect would there be on religions if science discovered the creator of the universe as an object for all to verify.

Since such a creator would be an object found by solving a scientific problem, religions could counter by presenting that object as an idol unworthy of worship by any believer. Without the individual person's participation in worship it does not matter what science offers as objects of worship.

To see how a believer might deny any such scientific discovery, consider Kenneth T. Gallagher's description of the thought of Gabriel Marcel, a Christian philosopher, regarding the difference between problems and mysteries. Here is Gallagher describing Marcel's view of an object: (page 37)

We have seen that an object is indifferent to me; it is simply there "for anyone" (and ultimately, Marcel says, this means that it is there for "no one"). Because this is so, it follows that the self as conscious of an object is just anyone, an anonymous, impersonal mind for which any other mind might just as well be substituted.

The object exists in a public space. It is a "third in a dialogue". (page 30) Gallagher describes Marcel's view of faith: (page 37-8)

The rationalist would like to say to the believer: "You think your belief bears on a real being, but if you were in my position you would see clearly that you are the victim of an illusion." His remark implies that he can put himself in the place of the believer and correct the latter's vision. This assumes their places are interchangeable, and this is just what Marcel is moved to deny, holding that the subject of the act of faith is a singular self whose place absolutely no one else could take: his "place" is his being, his unique self. To take my place the other would have to become me. This, of course, means that my faith is absolutely unverifiable by anyone else, for only what is available for all can be verified.

The objects found by science would be verifiable by all. They exist in a public space. The faith of a believer, a unique self, would be unverifiable by anyone else.

Let's consider the questions:

What effect does this have on religions? Does this evidence suffice? Or will religions assert that their 'god' created these beings too?

Finding the object would likely have no effect on religions. That the evidence is verifiable may be used as evidence against it that what has been found is merely an idol.

In the latter case does it mean that God can never be known?

Here is how Gallagher presents Marcel's view of knowledge: (page 35)

As with my body, the world, evil, so with love and knowledge: these are realities about which an observer can pass no verdict whatsoever, for they are only real for the participant....If I say "what is knowledge?" it is all too obvious that I immediately plunge into the realm of mystery. For I can in no way get outside my own act of knowing in order to treat it as a possible object of description.

One could know God by participating in the faith of a believer, a kind of mystery of being. So knowledge of God would be possible.


Gallagher, K. T., & Marcel, G. (1963). The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel.

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The answer to this is probably the most resounding "it depends" in all of philosophy. Every unstated detail will matter.

"Evidence can be supplied on tap."

What does "evidence" mean? What does "supplied on tap" mean? Heck, what does "can" mean? Are we talking that evidence can be forcefed to others, or that it is provided to those who choose to open said tap? What does "evidence" mean to someone whose belief structure is so certain that such beings are not the creator that no evidence would convince them?

I'd certainly be interested in two highly related questions. The first is "why are they providing this evidence?" and the second is "does my concept of 'why' even apply to these entities?" None of these are simple questions.

In fact, does "why" even apply to my life in such a scenario?

What you describe would be well modeled by the laws of physics changing. We currently believe there are certain rules (such as the flow of time). These rules change at the moment described. What does that mean? To pick a famous system, where would this new world fit in Tegmark's taxonomy of multiverses?

The nature of our creation may be something of interest. If it is revealed that our purpose is to go set fire to each other because our creators demand it, and created us to do so, what does that do to morality? I don't believe our philosophy has gone so far as to make such a question applicable to all but the most die-hard philosopher. Most religious people are not said die-hard philosophers so their response may not even be the subject of philosophy!

So in the end, "it depends" is really the best you can do. Other than perhaps to state that all people who claimed there was no creator were wrong, and all people who claimed the creator had attributes inconsistent with these beings were wrong. That's really all we can say about the difference. The rest will have to wait for our alien overlords to arrive.

  • Well yes. Imagine them resurrecting the dead or remodeling areas of the universe so that fundamentals can be measured to have new values. This kind of evidence. – Sentinel Mar 20 at 6:17

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