From: bivalve (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 19 2003 - 13:41:11 EDT
>> This particular option, "once for all", is what I assumed was the party line. If that is the case it seems problematic because it presupposes some sort of preferential status to earth bound homo sapiens overagainst the ET's of the universe.<<
C.S. Lewis discusses some of these issues, somewhat incidentally in his space trilogy and in more detail in an essay that has received various titles in various compilations; God in the Dock is one source and The Seeing Eye is one title, but I forget if that is the title used in that compilation. For a rather more heterodox source, Mark Twain envisioned innumerable salvation events, possibly one per planet, in Captain Stormalong. The topic has also turned up on the list before, so archives from a few years back may be of interest.
A major problem with this objection is that the choice to focus on (or rather start with) humanity does not imply particular merit on our part. If anything, it suggests that we were the most desperate case. Lewis also notes that it disregards the possibility of far greater development of Christianity on some other planet than what may ever happen here; an analogy might be the limited success of Buddhism in India versus its strength elsewhere in south and east Asia. Note also that God does provide extra opportunities to some, with the example of the Jews selected as a special people. However, there is also strong emphasis in the Bible on the fact that this choice was not based on any inherent merit.
Dr. David Campbell
University of Alabama
Biodiversity & Systematics
Dept. Biological Sciences
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa
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