Tuesday, June 06, 2006

God And Space, And The Human Race

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Space. The Final Frontier. The endless void filled with worlds, wonders and the great unknown that can not be completely measured except in our own imagination. It is in this final arena that humanity will mature, leaving its Earthen cradle behind and exploring the Solar playground that surrounds them.

Conquering their new environment will not be an easy task for humanity, much less exploring its breadth. But before the human race leaves the homeworld to settle on other worlds, they will have to deal with one element that has always guided and divided our species--the concept of a Universal God.

Faith has always guided humanity throughout the centuries, whether one holds to the concept of God's existence, or one rejects that in favor of nothing at all. Religion affects billions of people on planet Earth, and to the dismay of some atheists, science has not reduced the plausibility of God's existence but has rather increased it.

Debate on our origins is already raging in American classrooms across the nation, with teachers preparing themselves to counter student arguments in class. Even in Vietnam, many citizens seem eager to view scientific evidence supporting a Universal Deity, despite the governments official policy against faith via torture.

Faith holds a very distinct role in many people's lives, and it would be silly to expect a venture into the cosmos to persuade the masses to abandon their beliefs of God (as well as the text that surrounds him). Rather than unifying humanity in a common belief system, space may encourage the spread of various beliefs throughout the galaxy as denominations claim worlds or regions as their "promise land."

Although space will probably increase the fervor amongst the religious, it will also pose new problems for them as well. Importing certain foods (such as meats, wines and bread) may be difficult around the holidays, especially if your planet is unable to support or grow the necessary items. And what if your religion demands that you pray towards a certain city on Earth? This would be difficult to achieve on a daily basis in micro gravity, let alone on a world millions or billions of kilometers away from our homeworld.

Just as much as political parties currently shape a nations path, faith will play a future role in shaping space culture. God will be just a controversial now as he will be in the future (if not more), with the only difference being millions more (if not billions) simply added to the debate.

For those hoping that humanities plunge into the great unknown would resolve world issues and unify our race under a "purely scientific" banner (like Star Trek) should probably take note--religion is here to stay and will probably be around for the next million years.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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