Monday, September 3, 2012

Aliens consuming humans…

At church this morning, we discussed staying consistent in your beliefs. While reading from Book of Genesis, our pastor brought up this scenario proposed by Richard Rorty:

If aliens landed on the earth and wanted to consume humans, why shouldn’t they? How is this different from humans consuming beef?

Then what about us is innately special? What about humans is innately different?


(I like this blog post by Greg Makiw from Harvard he wrote in honor of Richard Rorty when he passed about five years ago.) The pastor noted that humans are different from animals because humans are made in God’s image- but I wonder does he think aliens would look like humans? Because if there is only one God who made humans in God’s image, shouldn’t higher-thinking more-sophisticated creatures also be created by God to resemble God? Then naturally, they won’t eat us because… we look like them.

Sometimes when you bring aliens into moral/philosophical questions, it throws everything off in a loop.

I had a quick friend date at Honey and Milk before heading home after this mind-fumbling sermon. Their egg bagel is phenomenal- so chewy and savory.


Should I give up meat because I don’t want aliens to eat us? In the same way that maybe it’s unfair that we butcher and eat animals who can’t fight back?

Even if you believe we climbed out way to the top of the food chain- and we should/need to eat meat (hear of the Paleo diet?)- the conditions these animals are grown in can be horrifying. So I don’t know.

For you vegetarians out there, why did you decide to be vegetarian?
Or if you are considering becoming one, why?


  1. Wow, this is definitely something to take into consideration. Very interesting indeed. But giving up meat because aliens may (or may not) usurp mankind on top of the food chain is a bit of a hasty decision. Who's to say that aliens would be less hostile towards you for your refusal to eat meat?

    Also, more interesting than the topic of aliens eating people is the idea of aliens and God. I would have loved to hear what your pastor had to say about this.
    Far too often in conversations concerning God and the existence of aliens, the conversations degenerate into a mix of conspiracy theories and bad theology. The bible doesn't mention extraterrestrials (in the sense as we know it), nor are there any consistent theories regarding the origin of aliens (e.g. Some contend aliens are extra-dimensional beings a.k.a. demons, and others view them as simply hyper-intelligent creatures from deep space).
    When it comes down to it, you shouldn't let the concept of aliens distract you, whether they exist or not, I don't see how that affects your faith in Christ or your being a Christian.

    1. It's about the principle of it: if we are eating meat, who's to say that aliens can't eat us? Because how are we justifying our consumption of meat? That we deserve to because we're stronger? We need it (throughout the course of evolution) for our energy?

      Our pastor didn't mention his personal belief (or distrust) in aliens but I want to know too! I feel like if we view Earth as the one and only source of life in this universe, we can see that humans on top of the food chain without danger of aliens coming in to confuse us! ;)

      I thought it was an interesting idea that I'd never stopped to think about. What makes it okay for us to eat meat? It's more about the idea than real aliens existing!

  2. You're right!
    Every time I try to justify our eating meat, I inevitably attempt to justify why animals eat meat as well. But Yeah, when it comes down to it, it is because we're stronger (there's more of us) and because we need it.
    (I'm sure vegans and vegetarians would beg to differ.)

    Carnivores will be carnivores, I guess, regardless of their placement on the food chain.

    1. That's true- when we look down, where does it stop? Fish eat other small fish- hey, that's ethically wrong too! See their scared little faces? ;)

      Is it bad that I'm craving a burger right now? With sweet potato fries...

  3. No, it's never wrong to crave things. But indulging in the things which we consider "wrong" is bad.

    I'm craving fish sticks now. ;)