By Emma Davis
The proposition of “Catholic Teaching Allows for Belief in Aliens” was passed in a vote of 32 to 21 at the first Dumb Ox Debate of the semester, arranged by the Veritas Society.
Members of the Veritas Society and individuals in attendance gathered to voice their opinions on this motion and state if they believed that the church’s teachings allow for a belief in extraterrestrial life.
In favor of the motion were sophomore Henry Sanders and high school senior Hope Sirilla. They argued that if aliens are rational intellects with wills and physicality’s then they are like us, who are made in the image of God.
“If aliens do exist on other planets and they all are in fact rational, embodied beings” Sanders stated, “they’re actually the same sort of creature that we are.”
On the opposing side of the debate junior Jacob Smith and junior Caroline Racca. They argued that Catholic teachings do not allow the belief in aliens by asking the question if aliens are intellects, then do they have a relationship with God? They also declared that if aliens are similar creatures like us, do they have the same or a different Mary?
Racca said, “If they have the same Mary, does that take away the humanity which makes Mary so glorious and makes her assumption so beautiful [to us].”
Others in attendance were given the floor to voice their opinions on the motion. Students and faculty expressed that the Catholic Church cannot make a conjecture about the belief in aliens because there is no scientific evidence that aliens exist.
Both sides were given the opportunity for rebuttals, allowing them to further explain their arguments and question the claims made by the other side.
Racca began the opposing sides rebuttal stating “I think it is actually limiting God to say that He created this universe formally for us…and that our world is the perfection of that universe… He didn’t need to create another world, he created [our world] as it should be.”
“What we are discussing is whether Catholic doctrine teaches definitively that none of us can believe in aliens and in fact I don’t believe in aliens but I believe that you can believe in aliens,” Sanders voiced for the affirming side.
Each side gave their final arguments before the vote began. Smith’s closing statement denounced the idea that other beings could come from someone other than Adam. “All humans come from Adam that is why original sin affects all humans except our Lady [Mary].”
The affirming side expressed in their final argument that Catholics must investigate how Catholic teachings would interact with extraterrestrial life in order to make a conclusion on this debate.
The motion voted that Catholic teachings do allow the belief in aliens, in a vote of 32 to 21.