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Thread: Mars and beyond? What does Jewish tradition say about life in outer space?

  1. #1
    D.Abraham
    Guest

    Mars and beyond? What does Jewish tradition say about life in outer space?

    What does Jewish tradition say about life in outer space?

    "The Lubavitcher Rebbe pointed out that there is support in Torah for the notion that life exists on other planets. Furthermore, we can know something about that life through deduction from what the Torah tells us. Here is his argument:

    In the Book of Judges 5:23, Devorah the prophetess sings about the victory of Barak over Sisera. In her song, she says, "Cursed be Maroz! Cursed, cursed be it's inhabitants, says the angel of G-d!"

    Where is Maroz, and who are it's inhabitants. The Talmud gives two explanations, one of them being that Maroz is a star or planet. The heavenly bodies had also come to help the Israelites, as Devorah stated just one verse earlier, "From the heavens they fought, the stars from their orbits…". This star, however, which was the dominant star of Sisera, apparently did not come to their aid. And so, General Barak penalized Maroz--and it's inhabitants.

    Are these inhabitants intelligent? Intelligence is defined by Torah to mean the capacity to make decisions with free will. Free will is only possible where there is Torah, whereby the Creator offers His creatures more than one possibility and asks that they make the appropriate choice.

    So, if there would be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, those creatures would have to have Torah. Could they have a different Torah than us? This is not possible, since Torah is truth, and there cannot be two truths.

    Could they then have the same Torah as us? This also seems impossible, since the Torah itself describes in detail how the Torah was revealed on this planet, and that account itself has strong impact on how the Torah is to be fulfilled.

    It therefore appears that, although it is quite possible that there is life on other planets, however that life would not be intelligent in a way to similar to human life and culture."
    cited: www.AskMoses.com

  2. #2
    Oh Jerusalem
    Guest
    Whether or not Maroz is on this planet or another or whether it's referring to physical beings or spiritual ones, the Torah doesn't offer any "opinion" on ETs.

    Personally, I think rocks is about as much life as there is out there.

  3. #3
    Canajew
    Guest

    Re: Mars and beyond? What does Jewish tradition say about life in outer space?

    not trying to argue faith here, but I have a few questions about the logic of this argument.

    Originally posted by D.Abraham
    Are these inhabitants intelligent? Intelligence is defined by Torah to mean the capacity to make decisions with free will. Free will is only possible where there is Torah, whereby the Creator offers His creatures more than one possibility and asks that they make the appropriate choice.
    why is free will only possible where there is Torah? Without Torah people would still have more than one choice, where one of them would be to choose the virtuous Torah choice (without knnowing its in the Torah, of course) and others would not be the Torah choice but still different from each other?

    and does this mean that all those who do not have Torah (the Native Americans before the Europeans arrived, the Chinese, the Aboriginals in Australia, were not intelligent and incapable of making decisions based on their free will?

    So, if there would be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, those creatures would have to have Torah. Could they have a different Torah than us? This is not possible, since Torah is truth, and there cannot be two truths.
    but is Torah UNIVERSAL truth. For example those laws in the Torah which seem to be of particular relevance to the unique geography and climate and animals in the region would, I would expect, be different in different areas, and on other planets social and geographic and climate considerations might result in an entirely different truth, no?

    Also, if the Torah is more than just the book itself but the Talmud and Mishna and the rest (I forget if Torah=Tanach or Midrash or anything else) is it possible that either we or they are wrong about interpretations and thus our UNDERSTANDING of what the truth is is different from theirs (even though the "truth" would be the same)

    (not really relevant but I thought I'd ask)

    Could they then have the same Torah as us? This also seems impossible, since the Torah itself describes in detail how the Torah was revealed on this planet, and that account itself has strong impact on how the Torah is to be fulfilled.

    It therefore appears that, although it is quite possible that there is life on other planets, however that life would not be intelligent in a way to similar to human life and culture."
    cited: www.AskMoses.com [/B]
    so basically this argumentseems to rely on its conception of and definition of intelligence, and I'm not sure the definition really makes any sense. After all, intelligence and enlightenment appear on their face to be very different things.

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    frizzer1
    Guest
    Originally posted by Oh Jerusalem
    Whether or not Maroz is on this planet or another or whether it's referring to physical beings or spiritual ones, the Torah doesn't offer any "opinion" on ETs.

    Personally, I think rocks is about as much life as there is out there.
    Why only rocks?
    Considering the vastness of the universe,it would be a colossal fluke if we were the only intelligent inhabitants.
    If you believe that G-d created us, then He would have decided to not populate His entire universe other than here, if there were no intelligent life elsewhere.
    And if as you say,the Torah offers no opinions , why wouldn't it? The universe exists..why would the Torah ignore it?
    Just askin.

  5. #5
    Oh Jerusalem
    Guest
    Originally posted by frizzer1
    Why only rocks?
    Considering the vastness of the universe,it would be a colossal fluke if we were the only intelligent inhabitants.
    So far, we're batting zero. Not fluke - by design.
    If you believe that G-d created us, then He would have decided to not populate His entire universe other than here, if there were no intelligent life elsewhere.
    Didn't understand. Please rephrase.
    And if as you say,the Torah offers no opinions , why wouldn't it?
    It's not relevant to our lives.
    The universe exists..why would the Torah ignore it?
    It exists for us to fathom its amazingness. There's a lot more to the universe, as in "cosmic powers". But maybe someone with expertise in that field is reading and can reply.

  6. #6
    varian
    Guest

    Torah Questions

    Shalom Shabbat

    Is the Torah as given to the "human" race on this planet totally complete, or is it given as a set of detailed instructions to guide a fallen race to a deeper communion with their creator? There is a deeper, spiritual side to the Torah that undergirds the obvious written instruction isn't there? I have read that some of the early Rabbinic sages have spent years analyzing the first few lines in Genesis. If a race does exist on another planet, that is not in a fallen state, would not the whole of the Torah be "inscribed" on their minds, hearts, or souls? Just wondering.

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