Are Encounters with Aliens True?

You may know someone who has been abducted by aliens. Since the late 1940’s tales of personal encounters with alien beings have circulated across America. Some accounts are entertaining, some strange, some disturbing and some terrifying. The widespread accounts of meeting aliens challenges the conclusion of those who deny the existence of intelligent, extra-terrestrial life. What is happening to these people? Can the accounts of alien encounters be explained? 

Since aliens do not exist they cannot be appearing to people, hovering overhead in strange craft or kidnapping hapless humans. Explanations of these events are possible without involving creatures from other planets. The possible explanations are as varied as the tales. Without doubt some of the stories can be written off as intentional lies intended to profit the teller in someway. Whether it be to sell a story or to impress friends some people have created alien abduction stories for their own purposes.

Another probable answer to some of the alien encounter stories is simply mistaken identity. Bright lights, weird shapes and strange noises can all be misintepreted as seeing an alien creature or vessel. A steady stream of alien stories, television shows and movies has primed minds to assume any strange or unexpected sight is an alien. Even those who don’t believe in aliens look at strange sights in the sky and wonder if they are seeing a UFO. Many alien sightings are nothing more than the result of someone leaping to the wrong conclusion. 

Other answers are not as simple to address, but are nonetheless plausible. Some stories of alien abduction have to be chalked up to various mental problems. Hallucinations, vivid dreams, mental handicaps and mental health disorders  explain some of these stories. The use of mind altering substances can have sufficient impact on a person’s senses that it creates false sensations- visual and auditory hallucinations or the inability to distinguish dreams from reality.

Mundane phsyical possiblities are not the only explanations for alien encounters. Satan is actively working on this earth to deceive people. Nothing says that Satan and demons cannot appear to people like strange alien creatures. Satan hates mankind. He desires to keep people blinded to the truth of the gospel. (2 Corinthians 4:4) He delights to add to humanity’s sorrow and confusion. (1 Petre 5:8) Satanic manipulation through demonic manifestation is a possible explanation for some experiences with aliens. This is not to say that all descriptions of alien encounters are demonic. Nor does this mean that those who see aliens are demon possessed devil worshipers. However, the spiritual realities of this world cannot be ignored. Satan is a crafty enemy of man who will stop at nothing to bring additional misery and trouble upon mankind. Any lie will suffice if it causes people to question the truth of the Bible. (Genesis 3:1-5)

Man does not know all there is to know about the heavens or the earth. Discoveries will continue to be made that will astound humanity. Though the universe is filled with strange wonders, theological and practical considerations lead to the conclusion that man is the only intelligent physical creature inhabiting the universe.

Finally, we must remember how easily the senses are deceived. Hunger, fatigue, stress, emotional disturbance, mental problems, drugs and alcohol all affect the perceptions of individuals. Experience should be supported by verifiable, reliable evidence. All experience must be examined and interpreted by the truth of God’s revealed Word. 

What is the cosmological argument for the existence of God?

In classical apologetics two major arguments for the existence of God are based upon observations of the natural world. The teleological argument argues that the evidence of design in the world is evidence of a God who created it all. The cosmological argument argues that because the universe exists it must have a beginning and a Being who brought it into existence.

The longer form of the cosmological argument begins with the statement that the physical universe exists. Everything that exists in the physical realm must have a cause. The cause cannot be the universe itself. The cause must exist outside the universe and have the ability to bring the universe into existence. The cause that brought the universe into existence is God. Because the universe exists, God exists.

This argument finds support in the observations of science. No natural mechanism is known by which something can arise from nothing. The normal arrangement of the world shows the things that exist in the physical world have their source in things with an earlier existence. Everything we observe is contingent upon an ancestor or a creator. The first law of thermodynamics seems to support this argument with its declaration that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Since the physical universe exists and it could not have risen from nothing it must have a source great enough to bring the universe into existence.

Like other arguments from classical apologetics the cosmological argument is primarily a philosophical argument. The proofs offered by this argument are not based upon physical evidences for an act of creation, but upon the logical necessity of a causative agent bringing the universe into existence. This argument is easier to understand and explain than the ontological argument because it is based upon premises which are more familiar to the average person. This line of reasoning may be reflected in Psalm 19, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handywork.” All creation speaks to the necessity of a Creator. Because this universe exists there must be One who brought it into existence. To know the nature of this Creator a person must turn to the Bible. Genesis 1:1 simply states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The reality of God can be glimpsed in creation, but the character of God is only found in the Bible. He has revealed Himself clearly through His Word. God’s command to all men is to believe His Word.

Are there intelligent alien races in the universe?

Most people who ask about alien life are not talking about microbes, bugs, flowers or animals. Most people are talking about intelligent alien life. What if a space ship landed on earth and a Cygnutian stepped out wanting to meet with earth’s leaders? How does the Bible teach us to think about such a possibility? While I am willing to grant the unlikely possibility of non-sentient life in outer space, intelligent life is an entirely different matter. A Biblical worldview would seem to strongly suggest that humanity is the only intelligent race in the universe (not including angelic creatures, which are not material beings and not properly of this universe).

The most compelling reason intelligent life is impossible has to do with morality, sin and redemption. Intelligent creatures must also be moral creatures. The capacity to think involves the capacity to understand right from wrong. In my estimation this is part of what it means that man was created in the image of God- God gave man the ability to reason and the ability to chose between right and wrong. As mentioned in a previous article, all creation has been cursed by man’s sin. Not only are inanimate objects and non-sentient life froms affected by the church, all moral creatures in the universe must also be under the curse of sin. They would suffer death and sorrow because of man ‘s sin. Cursed, moral beings of a race other than humanity have no possibility of redemption. For example, Satan and the angels that rebelled with him cannot be redeemed because Christ did not die in their place. When Jesus died on the cross He took on Himself the nature of humanity and took mankind’s place in punishment. Jesus’ is the Savior of men because Jesus took upon Himself humanity and bore the penalty of sin in His own human flesh.

Why couldn’t Jesus take upon Himself the essence of alien beings and suffer their punishment? This possibility is removed by the singular nature of Jesus’ death. Hebrews declares most emphatically that Jesus died only once for the redemption of all men and all creation. “For Christ was once offered to bear the sins of man.” His single sacrifice is sufficient for the salvation of all mankind. Because of His sacrifice, He will redeem a people to Himself and will restore creation to it’s original perfected order. The Bible makes much of the fact that Jesus died once for all sin. His death was only for the redemption of humanity. If there were any alien races they are not redeemed by the death of Jesus.

If there were moral, sentient beings elsewhere in the universe they would suffer under the curse of sin with no hope of redemption. Such a fate is in direct opposition to the mercy and grace of God so plainly revealed in the Bible. This has nothing to do with an arrogant anthropocentrism that imagines man to be the center of the universe. Rather, it has everything to do with the Biblical statements of God’s special creation of mankind, the effect of man’s sin on the entire universe and the results of Jesus’ redemption.