Religious Belief in Star Trek


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Star Trek does not push for any particular religious ideas. In fact, it stays well clear of adopting any one religious model. It is perhaps wise for the show not to do so for religion can be rather controversial. After all, the majority of armed confrontations on Earth can be traced back to religious dispute.

Nevertheless, Star Trek does acknowledge that there are a diversity of views out there regarding religion. Religion is depicted in the show as having a varying degree of influence, power and forms among the different races in the Star Trek universe. In some, like the Bajoran, gods, or the prophets form the core of their civilization and social structure. These gods or prophets are in reality celestial beings that lived within the wormhole and whose existence transcend what we understood as linear time. While for the Klingon, god is irrelevant. In fact, they once existed but the rumoured is that their god was killed by ancient Klingon warrior because they were regarded as troublesome. In yet other races god does not, or hardly exist, or may be just not mention.


Religion and Extraterrestrial Beings

A question that this context raise indirectly is whether believe in a particular religion preclude the belief of the existence of extraterrestrial beings? Putting this question in more concrete terms, say, would a faithful Christian breached his or her commitment to God if he or she is also to belief in the existence of extraterrestrial beings?

(Christianity is chosen here not being it is the only religion there is, but because it is the one I am more familiar with being a Christian myself (albeit, still a rather immature one).

Wonder why I become a Christian? Click here.

The view expressed here are those of my own, which may be contrary to the opinion of other Christians and I am prepared to be corrected. ie. The view expressed herein is tentative and is liable to change without notice.)

The short answer is: No, I do not think there is any material inconsistency between the Christianity belief and the belief in the existence of extraterrestrial beings.

But of course, the long answer is not so simple, it hinges upon the nature of your belief in relation to the extraterrestrial beings.

The Condition

For the two beliefs not to be mutually exclusive, an important condition need to be satisfied: The aliens beings must not be treated as your idol. This is because to be a faithful Christian you cannot serve another master: you are to serve only God.

"Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. (emphasis added" (Deuteronomy 6:13)

[So far I cannot think of any other condition(s), but I am still investigating the matter. If you think of any please let me know.]


Thus so long that the belief in the existence of aliens do not entail worshiping the aliens as God then the belief is acceptable. So long that you do not treat the aliens as idol, there is still only one God- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The belief in extraterrestrial beings is in this sense a harmless belief, just like the belief that a particular stock will perform really well next month, or the belief that the next episode of Star Trek will be out on video next week. Such belief may or may not be "true" , if there is such a thing; but they represents what one think is the most likely or closest to the "truth" (in the case of the release of Star Trek video my belief, or may be it is wishful thinking, is often wrong. Star Trek videos are never release frequently enough in Australia!) given all the evidence that one is aware of at a given point in time.

Aliens as God?

If one is to treat the aliens as god, then they would, in the eyes of Christianity, be regarded as an Idol. This would be inconsistent with the Christian belief.

This is mentioned because there are some aliens theories that suggest that the Gods in the many human religions, including Christianity, are in fact extraterrestrial beings that once ruled the Earth eons ago. It is sort of like the Star Gate scenario, where technologically sophisticated aliens ruled over the Earth and may have even genetically engineered (ie. created) the human race for their own purpose (ie. to serve them as slaves). As time passed by this "reality" is soon distorted by our own naivety, misunderstanding, faulty translation and transcription of ancient texts and our so called common sense. As a result aliens beings become godly figures. Indeed, given their far superior technology, it is not surprising that the totally technological ignorant human would see them as god. Erich Von Daniken has been a very prominent proponent of such theory.

Admittedly such theory is plausible, and the evidence, or case, put together do sound very convincing. This is particularly the case given the mysteries around the world. For example, how is the Pyramid in Egypt constructed? The question concerning its age which could be older than know Egyptian civilization! There are also questions surrounding the supposedly gradual evolution of human being under Darwin theory of evolution. Homo Sapiens appears rather suddenly and with marked difference to the supposed predecessor Homo Erectus. Anyhow, there is a sense of unrealness or fantasy to such alien origin theory. Although, I must say that my judgment is still opened on this issue. There are insufficient evidence to mount a convincing case either way.

The question to ask here is: is belief in this view contrary to Christianity? I think the answer is it depends. This relates back to the condition that I made earlier.

If one belief that aliens are gods and worship them as such in one daily life, as some religious cults are doing, then it would be opposed to the teaching of Christianity. That is, one would be treating the aliens are idol.

If, however, one belief merely in the substantial essence of the "reality" as prescribed by the above mentioned theory, that aliens once ruled the Earth and are mistaken as gods by our ignorance, then I think it is not inconsistent with Christianity. Provided that we still belief in the one God.

I must stressed that this applied only to belief in the substantial essence of the theory because certain part of the theory could be problematic. In particular, the suggestion that aliens genetically created human beings by manipulating the genes of ancient primates on Earth tends to conflict with the biblical account that God created people on Earth. Here, only one view can be correct: either God created us and the world, or some aliens created us.

However, it may be possible to reconcile the two positions by saying that God created the world, the universe, and all living things in it, including us and the aliens at the beginning of time. And then some time (may be a long time) later some aliens came to Earth and ruled over, and may even genetically modified, the human beings that were living here at that time. This position is weakly arguable, although it may be a bit contrived. The purest would no doubt disagreed; indeed, they would probably disagreed with the existence of aliens in the first place.




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Modified: 23rd April 2000
Copyright © 1996 - 2007 Raymond Yu