For a few decades now extra terrestrial life has been a common area of conflict in the dialogue between Theism and Anti-theism / Atheism.
It is an absurd but somehow interesting back and forth; even if only because it deals with angels, aliens, demons, and extra dimensional entities.
It's a fun, spooky, weird topic.
A good fit for the Faustian, methinks.
On a friend's recent blog post at EGNORANCE (about the subject of the new RC Pope Francis, of all things) this was brought up (once again).
So, I thought a word or two was due on the subject:
The argument so far....
Atheist/Materialists/Positivists in 1970's: The apparent lack of life in our solar system makes the idea of (a) God absurd. Why would He create such a massive universe just to leave it empty? Obviously the answer is: God is not there.
Theists in 1970's: With the Lord God, all things are possible. We believe in intelligences other than mankind. They are self evident. These intelligences may or may not be little green men living on Mars or some other local planet, but they are here with us in our universe. Life is part of God's plan.
Atheist/Materialists/Positivists in 2010's: The possibility of abundant life in the universe is a clear indication that the religious teachings about God, and even belief in His existence, are dangerously delusional. Life beyond our earth would be final proof than mankind is just a random, accidental, unexceptional, run of the mill organism on a tiny, insignificant (?) planet on the edge of a unimportant(?) galaxy.
Theists in the 2010's: With the Lord God, all things are possible. We have always believed in intelligences other than mankind. They are self evident. A discovery of unknown / alien life would no more effect the Abrahamic faiths than the discovery of a new type of animal on earth. God created the Cosmos (the Heavens and the Earth), not just Earth and not just mankind.
ALL life and everything is part of God's plan to us, the theists.
(Points rewarded for coherence and consistency of position)
Nothing too profound, really.
Nothing that a few minutes thought on the subject would not reveal.
Pretty much the same thing we see with most of these scientistic / materialistic arguments.
Simply put, we see that the materialist argument has been force to adapt by means of a reversal of position (now conceding the distinct possibility of other intelligence agents in our cosmos, in this specific case).
The theistic position, on the other hand, is consistent: Other intelligences exists in our cosmos.
We see the ideological strand of the atheistic and theistic creeds: Nihilistic 'insignificance' and 'randomness' pitted against wonder, purpose, love and hope. No contest..
And finally we see an effort to prove our experiential reality an illusion, which would of course refute ALL science as subjective experience and render the entire materialistic argument once again (self) refuted. Non coherent and thus nonsensical.
This is contrasted with the entirely coherent position that God's self proclaimed mission in one of life and that the limits are His to set.
Whether or not you're religious or even believe in God I am sure, my dear readers, that you can see the contrast between the totally polar realities that these two world views render.
Choose your truth carefully.
It's quite possibly the biggest choice you'll ever make.... at least in this reality.