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For the sake of argument, let us suppose that the spaceship has landed.  ET is trying to find an intelligent Human.  Someone with a religion or philosophy, that wouldn't be a waste of time.

 

You are acquainted with some Buddhist or Taoist thought.  Do you have anything to say, that would hold ET's attention?  If it's true that nothing about these teachings is culturally or species specific -- there could be a good conversation here.

 

:mellow:

 

 

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16 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

For the sake of argument, let us suppose that the spaceship has landed.  ET is trying to find an intelligent Human.  Someone with a religion or philosophy, that wouldn't be a waste of time.

 

You are acquainted with some Buddhist or Taoist thought.  Do you have anything to say, that would hold ET's attention?  If it's true that nothing about these teachings is culturally or species specific -- there could be a good conversation here.

 

:mellow:

 

 

"Hi there! What's you doin?"

 

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38 minutes ago, RevBogovac said:

 

 

"Hi there! What's you doin?"

 

 

 

I'm not sure if you mean me -- or my hypothetical situation.

 

I have tried posting this question to general religion threads.  To my experience, the Christians end up talking about demons.  I was hoping for something more interesting here.

 

I can't imagine what Christianity or Islam has to offer a visiting alien.  Judaism is easy.  They don't preach to gentiles.  Human or otherwise.

 

I was thinking that a Buddhist monk, could discuss the nature of suffering with anybody.  A Taoist, could discuss the harmonious blending of opposites.

 

You are the first to respond.

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

I'm not sure if you mean me -- or my hypothetical situation.

 

I have tried posting this question to general religion threads.  To my experience, the Christians end up talking about demons.  I was hoping for something more interesting here.

 

I can't imagine what Christianity or Islam has to offer a visiting alien.  Judaism is easy.  They don't preach to gentiles.  Human or otherwise.

 

I was thinking that a Buddhist monk, could discuss the nature of suffering with anybody.  A Taoist, could discuss the harmonious blending of opposites.

 

You are the first to respond.

 

:mellow:

 

I meant it quite literal:I would nicely say hi and ask what he (thinks he) is doing (here)...

 

Kinda open minded conversation starter... 

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3 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

I meant it quite literal:I would nicely say hi and ask what he (thinks he) is doing (here)...

 

Kinda open minded conversation starter... 

 

 

It's a good thought.  I do offer caution.  We want to use the language of greeting a visitor.  Not scolding a trespasser.  I would also be careful, with gender specific pronouns.

 

:D

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

It's a good thought.  I do offer caution.  We want to use the language of greeting a visitor.  Not scolding a trespasser.  I would also be careful, with gender specific pronouns.

 

:D

 

Yup, c'est le ton qui fait la musique...

 

Non-verbal communication s always the most important. Even inter-species, let alone intra-species (anyone who ever had a dog will recognise that)...

 

I'd say most important would be open-mindedness and kindness (as they will be technologically way advanced over us if they were able to visit us)...

 

A bit of Aristotelian/Buddhist "state of mind" conversation (open minded questions leading to better knowledge and understanding) never hurts (unless they're hostile but than no conversation will help us)...

 

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5 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Yup, c'est le ton qui fait la musique...

 

Non-verbal communication s always the most important. Even inter-species, let alone intra-species (anyone who ever had a dog will recognise that)...

 

I'd say most important would be open-mindedness and kindness (as they will be technologically way advanced over us if they were able to visit us)...

 

A bit of Aristotelian/Buddhist "state of mind" conversation (open minded questions leading to better knowledge and understanding) never hurts (unless they're hostile but than no conversation will help us)...

 

 

 

 

I was thinking that Buddhist Dharma, is as close to species neutral philosophy, as Earth has to offer.  The basic Buddhist truths about old age, suffering and death -- are as basic as it gets.

 

Then again, if ET is some kind of missionary -- pure speculation -- that could also be interesting.

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I was thinking that Buddhist Dharma, is as close to species neutral philosophy, as Earth has to offer.  The basic Buddhist truths about old age, suffering and death -- are as basic as it gets.

 

Then again, if ET is some kind of missionary -- pure speculation -- that could also be interesting.

 

Exactly! So better to start with questions then sending statements... right?

 

If common ground could be found then, well that would be nice (and yes, the Aristotelian/Buddhist middle ground could be exactly that).

 

Would be fun to see how we would redefine a "humanist" then... :coffee:

 

 

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56 minutes ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Exactly! So better to start with questions then sending statements... right?

 

If common ground could be found then, well that would be nice (and yes, the Aristotelian/Buddhist middle ground could be exactly that).

 

Would be fun to see how we would redefine a "humanist" then... :coffee:

 

 

 

 

 

Humanist is a problematic word.  In ET's own language -- I expect ET would self regard as "Human".  Still, a term like "Atheist" might be less complicated.  If ET is an Atheist.

 

In my own home, I have seen Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and Moonies come calling.  Also, various Evangelical fruit loops.  Some missionaries will knock on every door in an area.  Just because ET has technological sophistication, does not mean that ET is sane.  In Earth history, missionaries frequently make "first contact."  Consider the Jesuit invasion of Japan.  Or the Spanish invasion of various native cultures.

 

Buddhist monks also spread Dharma. 

 

In addition, there was that time, when it was fashionable for Westerners, to go to India, to find a Guru.  The Beatles did that, and come back with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

 

It's impossible to guess what might show up as ET.

 

The question remains.  What does Earth have, besides Buddhism -- that ET might find interesting?

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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On 3/20/2020 at 4:25 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

  What does Earth have, besides Buddhism -- that ET might find interesting?

 

 

Pistachio ice cream?

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6 hours ago, Seeker said:

Pistachio ice cream?

They might like the sweetness and texture of Rocky Road better.

Edited by Key

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I was trying for an intelligent conversation about ideas.  I'm sorry if I'm coming across as a humorless old grump.

 

Please.  No more ice cream humor.

 

:sigh2:

 

 

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although i would agree with you about buddhism,some of the concepts may not translate for the et's the same way they do for humans.

 

i'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that taoism would be the better bet.but that is based on my limited knowledge.

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7 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I was trying for an intelligent conversation about ideas.  I'm sorry if I'm coming across as a humorless old grump.

 

Please.  No more ice cream humor.

 

:sigh2:

 

 

not even.....Good Humor

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14 minutes ago, mark 45 said:

although i would agree with you about buddhism,some of the concepts may not translate for the et's the same way they do for humans.

 

i'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that taoism would be the better bet.but that is based on my limited knowledge.

 

 

Maybe.  The dynamic harmony of opposites?  It's a little rough for an opening conversation.

 

:mellow:     :whist:

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3 minutes ago, damnthing said:

come on, it was funny

 

 

I got the joke.  I'm just disappointed.  I have tried opening this topic in the past, in the Monotheism section.  People insisted on talking about demons.  Now, it's ice cream.  It's frustrating.

 

:whist:

 

 

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Well here ya go, ET wouldn't have a clue about us, even if it were student of humans. I very much doubt an alien species 'could' understand us. We have no idea what whales or dolphins or great apes think (well maybe a bit, with Koko) and we are biologically related. I suspect that any ET that landed here would either be AI, in which case communication would probably be next to nil or, it would be a lot like us trying to communicate with apes, or dolphins, or whales. And THAT is assuming that ET is a bilaterally symmetrical organism that likely shares distant DNA (panspermia). On the other hand it most likely would be a life form so alien that its cognitive reasoning would be beyond anything we could comprehend. I'm thinking, 10 year old boy with a magnifying glass, and ANTS (spoiler, we're the ants).

 

However not to be a total downer, the upside could be that we are either the last intelligent organism in the galaxy or...the first. In either case there's not a lot we're going to be able to learn. So to answer your question, if there IS and alien species, and it CAN get here, based on what I've already said, there's really nothing we, at BEST as species of naked ape with cognitive abilities would be able to teach, or enlighten ET. In my opinion any species that eventually develops the technology  to travel the galaxy will have long left behind any magical thinking, if for no other reason than, by traveling to other stars they will have realized there is no place, nor need, for a god, although it's easy to see how they could be mistaken for a god, or gods by lesser cultures.

 

I don't think I gave you the answer you were looking for but I think I gave you an answer that explains why. But maybe what you were asking (or I inferred) is, what philosophy would an alien race/culture have that might bear some semblance to something here on earth. If so then again I will disappoint and say, none. Even though we are hundreds of thousands of years away from the first migration out of Africa, everything up to that point were essentially culturally shared experiences which shaped us as Homo sapiens (ultimately). But the evolutionary path, the shared experiences of an alien race would almost certainly be vastly different even if it followed darwinian evolution.

 

Look at the cephalopods, eight legged organisms with a large brain and a disturbing level of intelligence (or at least, problem solving), blue blood and an ability to change color and texture of their skin to not just blend in but as mating displays as well as a display of emotions. But because these creatures are short lived (around 2 -5 years) they have no time to pass on learned experiences or to develop a culture. They are capable of learning as they go along but take it all with them when they die. They are about as least like us as you can find on this planet while still possessing some cognitive abilities. And these are organisms that evolved on our planet. And if one could rewind and start over, life on this planet would look very different (Stephen Jay Gould,  Wonderful Life). In fact we could very well be little more than cephalopods to an alien race.

 

But imagine a planet vastly different from ours, where silicon and carbon are rare and other minerals take their place. Greater, or lesser gravity, a different type of star for a sun, longer or shorter days, one, none or a multitude of seasons. All which would affect the development of life, probably through evolution but, there could be something else at work out there that, while the end results may be similar the process itself could be very different. So I stand by my initial point(s) that ET would have no interest in our philosophies, would not be able to understand them and probably would only see us a a barely evolved species not worthy of their attention and something to be swept out of the way if they are here to mine earthly resources. We could ultimately be a good source of protein, or calcium or whatever they might require and achieve in the eating of our bodies. Does this help at all?

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