Extraterrestrial Religion

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Belief Systems

Here is a definition: a belief system provides a concept of order in the universe that steers perceptions and motivations in directions that appear uniquely suited to the conduct of life.

A belief system contains a world view, with all the facts the believer holds true, which is primarily cognitive in nature. It also includes an ethos, containing ethics and aesthetics, coming mainly from the emotional axis of the mind and the subconscious. If the belief system is a religion, it contains transcendent elements in both components.

Before I consider to extraterrestrial belief systems, I should say why I think extraterrestrials will have evolved psychologies and cultural patterns functionally equivalent to ours.

First, I view evolution as nature’s process of optimizing survivability engineering. As such it leads to self-organizing, autonomous organisms that gain control over their environment by situational awareness and flexible response.

Second, on Earth, three major information systems govern human survivability: genetic-epigenetic, neural-hormonal, and social-cultural. I believe the functional equivalents of these are essential for survival of organisms, and formation of civilizations, although they may be implemented differently on other planets. For example, on Earth, birds and mammals have different brain structures but share important functional features such as social behavior and tool using.

Extraterrestrial civilizations that communicate are long lived, and therefore advanced scientifically. Scientific concepts and theories will permeate their culture, including their religion. A shared narrative of creation, evolution, relativity, quantum effects will be part of their every day world. The type of narrative required is discussed here in Eternity Theory.

It is possible that an extraterrestrial civiilizaation will see an accidental universe as improbable in the strict sense of the word. It would require at least ten to the power of 500 random universes to be created for ours to exist. I think they are also likely to have found that atheism, derived from assuming an accidental universe, does not provide stability and constitutes a difficult basis for forming a planetary ethical system.

To me, the alternative, that creation was intentional, is more likely to be chosen, even if it is equally improbable. It would form a firm basis for an extraterrestrial religion that would aid stability, if made global. The creative intention would be found in the universal physical laws, embodied inn the energy of creation and providing a basis for an ethical system.

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