My Religion is Ready to Meet Some Aliens
As scientists continue to explore Mars for more signs of life, it seems almost inevitable that we will discover that we are definitely not alone in the universe. David Weintraub, author of “Religions and Extraterrestrial Life,” wonders about the impact this discovery will have on religious people of all kinds. Weintraub believes that some religious philosophies are more open to the possibility of alien life than others, while some Earth-centric religious practices will require some modification in an inter-galactic era.
For me, the test of the validity of any organized religion is how it treats “outsiders.” Does it welcome the stranger? Does it show civility and humanity to people of other faiths? How does it treat dissent within its own ranks? The discovery of beings on other planets would certainly be a major test of how religious people on our planet treat people/(creatures?) that are different.
Speaking of how you treat people that are different, that brings us to life insurance underwriting:) Were extraterrestrials to relocate to this planet, or at least stay for an extended visit, I am sure that some insurance companies would want to extend offers. A big challenge would be that, to the best of my knowledge, no actuarial data exists to a system regarding the mortality of, let’s day, Martians (then again, the government probably does have some secret file on this somewhere).
But what if the Martians came with their own mortality tables that could be integrated with ours? They might bring as well revolutionary medical treatments. Of course, they could also bring their own plagues and diseases. Such would be the concerns of our actuaries and underwriters. We will find out when the first spaceship lands.