Would aliens or AI have religion?

SelfAwarePatterns

The new Dune movie has reminded me of that franchise’s vision of future religions. So I was probably more primed than usual to notice a brief article asking if aliens would be religious. The author, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, invokes the Copernican principle to conclude that they likely would be. After all, most humans are religious to one degree or another. If we’re average, then it stands to reason that E.T. would be like us and have its own religion(s).

This seems plausible enough, but it raises the question of what kind of religion aliens might have, and what we mean by “religion”. Defining religion is notoriously difficult. Definitions range from any kind of ideology to specific belief in gods. If we assume building a civilization requires cooperation between members of a social species, then the ideological version seems inevitable, because an ideology is just a culture, or sub-culture: the…

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