Deus Ex Machina

"This is the generation of the great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently of that mortal god, to which we own under the immortal God, our peace and defense." -Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan

Some Idle Speculations about Aliens as Material Angels

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I’m just thinking of the story of Jacob’s ladder and wonder if there is any real distinction between angels and aliens.

Now supposedly Angels “dwell” in “Heaven”. Suppose we take the usual “popular” view that “Heaven” is really another place outside of our space-time continuum. (So I won’t have to deal with complicated Eastern Orthodox ideas about how Heaven is not a “place” but a type of relationship with God.) So, on the popular conception, Heaven is supposedly in “another dimension”.

But what constitutes “our” space-time continuum? The obvious answer is “the totality of the known universe.” But suppose we circumscribe or restrict “our” space-time continuum to just, say, our galaxy, the Milky way, and locate angels as living in another galaxy?

I don’t see how, relative to us, locating angels in another dimension compared to another space-time location in another galaxy makes any difference. Assuming that angels possess some sort of means of travelling faster than light, means which perhaps we shall never acquire, from our point of view them being in another dimension compared to being in another galaxy is practically the same, both are functionally “unreachable” by us. (Of course I am assuming that angels do actually travel as in traverse a connected region of space between two points, not be simultaneously present at different locations at the same time. In Job Satan is represented as flying about the earth.) So maybe Jacob’s ladder is just a wormhole between this world and theirs.

But if angels merely dwell in another part of the universe, then they would technically become “aliens”.

I guess the line of thought which I am entertaining is that what we think of “aliens” may just be angels merely materially conceived. They are both equally out of “this” world and possess means of navigating our physical reality beyond our current capabilities. Yet they may not necessarily be qualitatively that different from us. They are just way ahead of the curve as it were. After all, even Christ says that at the resurrection we shall be like angels. We normally think of this as going beyond humanity, but nobody really thinks in the other direction, that angels are just super-humans existing on the same reality continuum.

To make a much more general point, spiritual realities like angelic beings are not so much a matter of being qualitatively different from the rest but merely quantitatively different. They are characterised more by having greater powers, knowledge, reach, rather than as being fundamentally different from the material world. The spiritual world, as it were, is simply on the same material continuum as us, merely more advanced or powerful.

Although the Bible does not describe the creation of angels, but who knows, maybe angels evolved out of some exotic elements or materials unknown to us in another galaxy. Hmm…

It is interesting that Thomas Hobbes himself insisted that angels must indeed also be material beings.

As they say, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic… or miracles.

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2 comments on “Some Idle Speculations about Aliens as Material Angels

  1. Midas
    September 30, 2015

    This is an interesting post, and I’m sympathetic to the view that angels are not incorporeal beings. Yet, the main biblical evidences against this view seem to be Hebrews 1:14 as well as the fact that fallen angels are capable of possession, which seems difficult to imagine if they are corporeal. How might a proponent of the corporeal-angels view respond to these objections?

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    • Dominic
      September 30, 2015

      I don’t mean to propose this thesis as a proposition for biblical exegesis. My intent mostly is to flesh out my framework for a form of theological naturalism.

      But I think corporeal angels can easily be thought to possess people if, say, they can exist as pure data or electromagnetic waves or something. I’m just speculating of course, but my fundamental point is simply that we don’t actually need a concrete way to explain angelic behaviour in the bible to note the more general metaphysical thesis.

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This entry was posted on September 30, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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