Atheism, Christianity, and the ET Problem
But, as I never tire of saying, that won't happen, because we are never getting off the earth in any serious way and we will never contact any aliens. It will be vastly simpler to erect a glittering metropolis in Antarctica then a self-sustaining colony on the Moon, much less Mars. And the irrational anger that cheery assertion typically provokes in our culture is, I think, one of the surest proofs that we have largely substituted a secular eschatology of the Glorious Ascension of Man for a Christian one.
A Secular eschatology of The Glorious Ascension of Man ... Some century after the Flood (one to five, depending on which Biblical chronology you go by) one Nimrod was planning a Tower of Babel, a Tower the top of which would reach into Heaven.
Note, it does not exactly say "a tower so high that the top of it would reach into Heaven". I checked. The text as such does not tie us down to a Skyscraper. Patristic comments seem divided between Skyscraper and Skyline scenario.
At least Jewish comment, as far as I know not formally contradicted by all Church Fathers, described a project of conquering Heaven. St Augustine seems to concur:
But what did these vain and presumptuous men intend? How did they expect to raise this lofty mass against God, when they had built it above all the mountains and the clouds of the earth's atmosphere? What injury could any spiritual or material elevation do to God? The safe and true way to heaven is made by humility, which lifts up the heart to the Lord, not against Him; as this giant is said to have been a "hunter against the Lord." This has been misunderstood by some through the ambiguity of the Greek word, and they have translated it, not "against the Lord," but "before the Lord;" for ἐναντίον means both "before" and "against." In the Psalm this word is rendered, "Let us weep before the Lord our Maker." The same word occurs in the book of Job, where it is written, "You have broken into fury against the Lord." Job 15:13 And so this giant is to be recognized as a "hunter against the Lord." And what is meant by the term "hunter" but deceiver, oppressor, and destroyer of the animals of the earth?
So, despite there being ultra small hope of succeeding in such an intention, it seems they did want to conquer heaven by physical violence.
Is it, as an intention, really very far from that of Tom Flynn, the atheist referred to in Shea's article?
It is also said that they ceased building the city - not that they ceased building the tower.
In a sense, namely that of less direct plotting and planning for a future, perhaps they did continue, until their success was going to be spelled Cape Canaveral and Baikonur.
I don't believe in Ancient Alien Astronauts. I believe there were this other AAA, Ancient Aspiring Astronauts.
And in a sense, I think they will be successful. But their success may be somewhat futile.
Genesis 11: And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed.
God was describing their intention. But perhaps he was also describing the ongoing intention of men who fabled that Perseus and Andromeda* were taken up to the stars. An intention ongoing, with some salutary breaks and inefficiency, up to recent realisations. The text did not state that they ceased to build the tower. If they could not build it materially without the city, they could still go on and build plans for it, like at Stonehenge.**
And then there is this:
Abdias or Obadiah 1: Though thou be exalted as an eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars: thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.
Hyperbole? Or a description of projects we are now seeing?
I think the latter.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Holy Martyrs of Rome
Just and Theophil
* I am not saying Perseus and Andromeda never existed or never met a monster. ** I said this about it:
Stonehenge can have been singled out 466 years before the structure known as Stonehenge 1. It is far less credible to have a plan at 8000 BC and executed from 3100 BC on.
Over here : Stonehenge and Göbekli Tepe?