Did Jesus Die for Klingons?

This might seem a strange question to ask, yet they are asking it at the 100 year Starship Symposium. To be more precise in an address to the symposium Professor Christian Weideman discussed the possible implications of discovering extraterrestrial life on the world’s religions, especially Christianity. Here is the story in the Daily Mail.

A Christian professor has told a U.S. Government-backed conference on space travel that the discovery of aliens would lead to significant problems for his own religion.

In a speech entitled ‘Did Jesus die for Klingons too?’, German academic Christian Weidemann outlined the possible ramifications that the ultimate space discovery would engender.

Speaking at the 100 Year Starship Symposium in Orlando Florida, Professor Weidemann also attempted to outline how the inevitable theological conflict might be resolved.

Weidemann, a professor at the Ruhr-University Bochum, said that the death of Christ, some 2,000 years ago, was designed to save all creation.

However, the whole of creation, as defined by scientists, includes 125 billion galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars in each galaxy.

That means that if intelligent life exists on other planets, then Jesus or God would have to have visited them too, and sacrificed himself equally for Martian-kind as well as mankind.

The alternative, posits Weidemann, is that Jesus chose earthlings as the single race to save and abandoned every other life form in the galaxy.

Or, it could have been because humans were the only race who had sinned and required ‘saving’, said Weidemann, who added: ‘You can grasp the conflict.’

‘If there are extra-terrestrial intelligent beings at all, it is safe to assume that most of them are sinners too,’ he said, according to Space.com.

However, the conflict of theology would be more of a problem for Christians than it would for other religions.

Hindus believe in multiple gods, and would therefore not have an issue with Weidemann’s suggestion about multiple incarnations of God, and in the Muslim world Muhammad was not God incarnate, simple a prophet, which would also allow for the ‘multiple God theory’.

To be honest, I really don’t see why this would be a problem for Christians in particular. I have always taken it for granted that there are intelligent extraterrestrials out there. I simply cannot imagine that God would create this huge universe all for the benefit of the inhabitants of one planet.
In fact, C. S. Lewis has already explored the theological implications in his Space Trilogy. In these books, the protagonist Ransom travels to Mars and Venus. He discovers that Earth is fallen and therefore cut off from the rest of the universe, hence the “Silent Planet. Mars is inhabited by a race of angel-like creatures while Venus is still in an edenic period since its inhabitants have never fallen.
Lewis also dealt with the matter in the Chronicles of Narnia. As he explained, Aslan is not an allegory of Jesus. He is Jesus, as he might appear in a world of talking animals. In our world, he took the form of a man. In Narnia he is a lion.
So, did Jesus die for the Klingons? I really couldn’t say, having never met any Klingons. I would speculate that either other intelligent races have never fallen, and therefore be without sin, or they have fallen and God has made provision for their atonement in a manner appropriate to each race.

9 thoughts on “Did Jesus Die for Klingons?”

  1. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but I have to say, I’m giggling to myself over this matter. Largely due to the fact that in Judaism, there isn’t even the slightest conflict over aliens. Jews don’t even believe in original sin, that is first and foremost a Christian concept. Children are born innocent.

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    1. As it happens, I don’t believe in the doctrine of original sin either (not all Christians do). We are each responsible for our own sins. On the other hand, I don’t think you have to look very far to see signs that there is something awry in human nature. A tendency to do evil rather than good, even in the best of us. There is a concept in Judaism corresponding to this, the evil inclination or Yetzer hara, though Judaism treats the idea very differently than Christianity, I suppose.
      I really don’t think that Christianity has any problem at all with aliens and I don’t understand why Weidemann thinks there would be a problem. Either an extraterrestrial race would act in accordance with the will of God, in which case it would be unfallen, or like humanity it would not, in which case it would require salvation by God’s grace.
      On the question of an alien race with no concept of a deity, I can conceive of such a thing, but I think it unlikely. The God who made the universe and populated it with intelligent beings would surely wish such beings to know Him and would reveal Himself to them either through revelation or reason, as He has done with the human race. If we do run across such a race, we (all of us) would still have to obey God’s will in the matter by treating them as we would, well better than, our own race. The Christian might feel obliged to teach them about God and share the faith, if they are willing to listen.

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  2. I mean, what were to happen if we ran across aliens who had no concept of G-d? Judaism can deal with that perfectly fine. Can Christianity?

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  3. Yup, had the time. It starts tomorrow night. I enjoyed reading your response. The one stickler I have is your belief that it unlikely we would run across an alien race with no concept of G-d. Don’t forget that according to the Torah, all of humanity forgot about G-d, before the Hebrew people finally accepted Him as their deity. According to the Talmud, not only were the Hebrews the LAST group that G-d offered himself to, but they had to be threatened before Choosing to follow Him. The story goes that G-d threatened to squash the entire Hebrew people with a mountain.

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    1. All of humanity may have forgotten about God, but they still worshiped pagan deities, so they had some idea that there was a divine power to be worshiped. The Apostle Paul mentioned this in his speech to the Athenians in the book of Acts. He praised them for being very religious, even though they worshiped idols, and explained that they were really worshiping the One God without knowing it.

      “Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For as I went around and observed closely your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown god.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing it, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by human hands, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives life and breath and everything to everyone. 26 From one man he made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 For in him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 29 So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image made by human skill and imagination. 30 Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, he now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has set a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

      This is why I believe that God would reveal Himself in one way or another to any intelligent beings.

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  4. I have to admit, Paul had a good argument. Still, think of Buddhists and Hindus. That goes way outside the realm of Western religions.

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    1. True, and I would imagine that an alien’s concept of God would be very different from our own, as we consider Him from a human perspective.

      Buddhists and other Eastern religions do have different ideas about the nature of the deity and the universe. I believe many Hindus lean toward pantheism. An alien’s religion or philosophy might well be incomprehensible to the human mind, especially if they have different senses, etc.

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  5. I just realized, it would be interesting to know what an extraterrestrial’s perspective Earthly religions would be. Especially what they would think of Islam and Western refusal to call a spade a spade.

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