The following opinions are purely personal.
I’ve been slowly working my way through Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot and knocking out James Michener’s
Poland in record time.
I don’t know when or if it will happen but someday we will send human beings into space. There’s one thing I’m absolutely sure of. Under no circumstances should we allow followers of Judeo/Christian/Islamic religion to leave this planet. Make up the crews from atheists, pagans or even Buddhists, but there are very few of the others that I would trust to make contact with an alien civilization unless they’re willing to admit that the revelations we’ve received on this planet are unique to this planet.
If this universe has a universal God/dess working behind the scenes I’m assuming that each populated world (if there are any) would receive a revelation unique to that world. Any attempt on our part to interfere with that would be arrogant, sacrilegious and in the end probably self defeating since it’s probably going to be centuries before we can send out ships that can carry more than a minimum crew.
I’d like to assume that non militant atheists and agnostics would have the good sense to keep their mouths shut until they understood the lay of the new land. And I include nominally atheist philosophies such as communism on the list. Neopagans would probably also hold off until they’d had a chance to open themselves to any spirits native to the new world. If those spirits chose to reveal themselves. And Buddhists are by definition non theistic. I’m not sure how well Nirvana might translate into an alien world but it might just travel better than our traditional monotheistic religious groups.
I mean we’ve done such a fantastic job of respecting the beliefs of our neighbors here on earth. Michener’s first four chapters deal with threats of invasion of the Polish/Lithuanian state from four directions. Tatars from the east. The Teutonic Knights from
Germany in the west. The Swedes
from the North and the Muslim Ottomans from the south. Ironically it was their
fellow Christians that were the worst enemies. Especially the Swedes. It was the mid seventeenth century and Sweden was not
only Lutheran but fanatically Lutheran.
The invading forces swore to leave no Papist alive. And they did their damndest to carry that out.
Poland was out gunned and out
generaled. Castles that were built to withstand the sieges of the last century
were helpless against the new artillery. And when the castles fell, when the
cities and villages fell no quarter was given. Men, women, children, babes in
arms were slaughtered.
At least the Tatars didn’t hold anything against farmers; except for the almost universal contempt that nomads had for farmers. Once the population had been terrified into submission it was “pay your taxes, deliver your tribute, send your conscripts when needed and we’ll pretty much leave you alone.” There was no effort to interfere with religious beliefs or convert the conquered population to whatever religion the conquerors followed.
Look at our history. I do not want to see that history repeated on other worlds.