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  1. #11
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Do the worlds religions have anything to offer mankind in terms of consciousness and conscientiousness if the promise of immortality/an afterlife are entirely false? What is the specific promise or nature of immortality which has given it such universal, cross cultural, context and class appeal?

    If God, an afterlife etc. are so different from that of this life, ie void of sensation or other things associated with physical/temporal existence, would it constitute an afterlife at all?
    Well, firstly, our minds can synthesize things that no other creature can. For instance, the image of a cherub is a synthesized cross between a bird and a baby, and you can find numerous depictions like this and even more extensive in the Bible. However, the Bible states that God synthesized these things in his own right. Interesting, don't you think?

    I think we lack the perception of not having perception, which fuels our inextricable understanding of an afterlife. How can you accept death when the image of death is nothingness? There's nothing to understand, nothing to anticipate. If there is no afterlife, it's exactly as it was before you were conceived. However, as you are conscious, you must conceive of something. So you might as well conceive of a hopeful afterlife, full of whatever you desire, rather than conceiving of a nihilistic void.

    There's a counterpoint, however. If you are to accept an afterlife, will you accept your life as it is? I've noticed a trend in people who aren't progressive about the tangible world because they believe in an afterlife. However, the act of being progressive is really like trying to change what cannot be undone.

    Life is a constant struggle, and the determining factor in that struggle is morality. We're all autonomous, so we're all moral; our confusion lies within the fact that we all have different value systems that sometimes contradict each other. For instance, a Muslim might find the act of eating pigs repugnant because of the vile conditions that culture brought pigs up in. However, because most of western society has found ways to sterilize the process of eating pigs, we have a different set of morals that does not condemn eating pigs. Sometimes those morals linger into times when they are outdated, but with the right amount of rationalization they can be reevaluated to improve our lives.

    Another trend I'm seeing is that there's been an increase in autonomous anarchy within some people, particularly within Western Youth. I find this ridiculous because it's not really a discovery, it's just making a point out of autonomy and conflating it into an individualistic identity thing. In other words, selfishness.

    Yes, there's definitely class appeal to the afterlife, I think. Probably trends in religion according to class as well. That doesn't really disprove the notion of religion, though.

  2. #12
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    I'm with Dylan Moran on the afterlife... he said that having a spiritual afterlife makes no sense. It's the spirit that struggles and agonises and is tormented through life, so surely when it's all over, the best thing we could come back as would be a big tentacle with a pair of lips that humps everything and eats yummy food with no self-awareness

    I think he had a point...
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  3. #13
    Senior Member ThinkingAboutIt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Do the worlds religions have anything to offer mankind in terms of consciousness and conscientiousness if the promise of immortality/an afterlife are entirely false? What is the specific promise or nature of immortality which has given it such universal, cross cultural, context and class appeal?

    If God, an afterlife etc. are so different from that of this life, ie void of sensation or other things associated with physical/temporal existence, would it constitute an afterlife at all?

    What is the specific promise or nature of immortality which has given it such universal, cross cultural, context and class appeal?
    I don't think it is a specific promise universally, rather the knowledge that something is missing is embedded in every human beings spirit. Immortality (defined as unending human life) is a myth because it is proven daily that we can not live forever with these bodies. As a Christian, I believe that our bodies decay because of sin, therefore they must eventually die. The spirit is what lives forever. It is not the same though because what lives on does not include our sin nature (at least not for born again Christians going to heaven). It is still the individual, just minus the bad. The environment of the afterlife in Heaven is described in the bible though not to the detail many would like. See Rev 21:10-25 if interested.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingAboutIt View Post
    I don't think it is a specific promise universally, rather the knowledge that something is missing is embedded in every human beings spirit. Immortality (defined as unending human life) is a myth because it is proven daily that we can not live forever with these bodies. As a Christian, I believe that our bodies decay because of sin, therefore they must eventually die. The spirit is what lives forever. It is not the same though because what lives on does not include our sin nature (at least not for born again Christians going to heaven). It is still the individual, just minus the bad. The environment of the afterlife in Heaven is described in the bible though not to the detail many would like. See Rev 21:10-25 if interested.
    Yeah, I'm totally opposed to your version of Christianity. So much so I cant discuss it with you. Thanks for posting though.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yeah, I'm totally opposed to your version of Christianity. So much so I cant discuss it with you. Thanks for posting though.
    Lol. Well, at least you were honest.

    I don't think it is a specific promise universally, rather the knowledge that something is missing is embedded in every human beings spirit.
    Where do you get that knowledge, enough to be able to trust it? And why is acquiring that knowledge important -- why do you need to know it, as opposed to not bothering? What's the appeal?

    Immortality (defined as unending human life) is a myth because it is proven daily that we can not live forever with these bodies. As a Christian, I believe that our bodies decay because of sin, therefore they must eventually die. The spirit is what lives forever.
    Ironically, this is not a given within mainstream Christian circles. You even quote Revelation later in this post, and it's the book of Revelation where many Christians acquired the idea of a full-body rapture.

    The body is not separate from the soul, they believe. God will restore the body from a mortal one to an immortal one. People are holistic according to some flavors of Christianity. The mortal body dies, but God will "fix it" and give an immortal body.

    Again, as Lark asks, why do we even care? What is so appealing about immortality that we actually have religions that claim we can be immortal in some way, shape, or form? Why not just accept death as an irrefutable ending, accept we can't see beyond that veil, and then focus on the present life? Why is that so often not acceptable or desirable to people?


    It is not the same though because what lives on does not include our sin nature (at least not for born again Christians going to heaven). It is still the individual, just minus the bad. The environment of the afterlife in Heaven is described in the bible though not to the detail many would like. See Rev 21:10-25 if interested.
    I would have trouble basing a theology on a few verses in one book that was essentially metaphorical post-apocalyptic literature for its time, meant to give people a vision to cling to in a day when the church was being heavily persecuted and on verge of being wiped out.

    But anyway, check out my questions earlier in this post responding to your points... maybe that clarifies better what Lark seemed to be looking for?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Do the worlds religions have anything to offer mankind in terms of consciousness and conscientiousness if the promise of immortality/an afterlife are entirely false? What is the specific promise or nature of immortality which has given it such universal, cross cultural, context and class appeal?

    If God, an afterlife etc. are so different from that of this life, ie void of sensation or other things associated with physical/temporal existence, would it constitute an afterlife at all?

    All of this is a product of consciousness folding in on itself. Omphaloskepsis. We image all of this because we can imagine.
    I can't explain the cross-cultural appeal. Perhaps the human race is more unified in brain structure than is assumed, which implies similarity in general function. We use our similar brains to imagine similar themes.

  7. #17
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    I don't think the idea of an afterlife is just religions' bribe. It's a response to our human need to model and understand the world around us. The reason life after death is such a common theme is that for the early spiritualists who seeded these religions it was difficult to imagine what it would be like to not exist; much easier to believe that we carry on in some way like we imagine the gods do. Even modern science and philosophy doesn't help and perhaps that's why the idea still endures. What I mean is that the religions don't have a monopoly in spiritual concepts, even within their own followers - their value is mainly in social organisation. If they were to suddenly stop mentioning heaven and hell people would probably just fill in the blanks themselves with whatever they wanted.

  8. #18
    Senior Member ThinkingAboutIt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Lol. Well, at least you were honest.
    And, they said thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Where do you get that knowledge, enough to be able to trust it? And why is acquiring that knowledge important -- why do you need to know it, as opposed to not bothering? What's the appeal?
    Hummm, good questions, hard to answer though! It is pretty apparent with the number of people constantly trying to find themselves, find purpose, etc. Apparent in how many people pursue love, relationships, and marriage only to find themselves more lonely in the relationship than they were when they were alone, apparent in how many pursue wealth only to find that it is meaningless, and apparent in how many people do not have simple peace in their lives.

    Getting the knowledge comes from trying to fill that hole with everything but Christ, and realizing that Christ created the hole for Him alone - you know, all those other things are round pegs, and it's a square hole Finally, coming to that realization, having that relationship with Him, and His giving the 'peace that passes all understanding' regardless of what is happening is really it. He just gives the other things, just like He said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." I found this to be true, but it only happened when I belonged to Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Ironically, this is not a given within mainstream Christian circles. You even quote Revelation later in this post, and it's the book of Revelation where many Christians acquired the idea of a full-body rapture.

    The body is not separate from the soul, they believe. God will restore the body from a mortal one to an immortal one. People are holistic according to some flavors of Christianity. The mortal body dies, but God will "fix it" and give an immortal body.

    Again, as Lark asks, why do we even care? What is so appealing about immortality that we actually have religions that claim we can be immortal in some way, shape, or form? Why not just accept death as an irrefutable ending, accept we can't see beyond that veil, and then focus on the present life? Why is that so often not acceptable or desirable to people?
    Eternal life itself is a fundamental belief of Christians. While Christians may discuss immortality, they mean eternal life. Since immortality means other things secularly, I defined it for crossover purposes. Too, not all Christians know that God said He is giving them a new body.

    Why do we care? Back to the previous question, that hole needs filling and you can't not search, it's ingrained in every soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I would have trouble basing a theology on a few verses in one book that was essentially metaphorical post-apocalyptic literature for its time, meant to give people a vision to cling to in a day when the church was being heavily persecuted and on verge of being wiped out.
    It isn't a few verses. It isn't just metaphorical, it is also literal. It also isn't just one book. The bible is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 authors over a period of some 1,500 years —39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New. It is proven authentic, the prophecies in it almost completely fulfilled. There were more than 2,000 highly specific prophecies contained in it about Christ alone, and He fulfilled them all - including His place of birth.

    There are differing opinions on rapture because people get confused between scripture about the rapture and scripture about the second coming - two different events.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    But anyway, check out my questions earlier in this post responding to your points... maybe that clarifies better what Lark seemed to be looking for?
    I'll take a look!
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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