Reading: Religion and Rocketry

> 2021-02-24

The short essay “Religion and Rocketry” from C.S. Lewis’ [1] collection The World’s Last Night [2] addresses the existence of extraterrestrial life.

What’s interesting about this piece is that it takes their existence for granted and digs into the theological and ethical implications their existence entails. Lewis poses a series of questions regarding their spiritual nature - two in particular ask whether the aliens are fallen, as we are, and what, if any, mechanism exists for their redemption.

This, to me, is an unexpected and interesting perspective. It’s not what if they exist or why they exist - it’s much more than that.

What is the state of their soul and what must be done to protect or redeem it?

He goes on to discuss these points throughout the essay but it raises a parallel situation. In a similar manner, if we take the eventual creation of general artificial intelligence as a given, and it attains both consciousness and a soul, what is the construct’s state of grace?

Lewis raises immense questions.

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