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  1. #1

    Default Mortality/Immortality

    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?

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    facettes de la petite mor Words of Ivory's Avatar
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    I'm a believer that nobody has the answers, and none of us will until the day we die. That goes for the atheists as much as it does those who choose to believe in religion - you don't know, so stop acting like you do.

    I believe religion has its use, and it gives a lot of hope to those who choose to believe in. I'm not going to condemn someone for believing in it, even if I believe its answers to be false promises. So as it stands, the promise of immortality, and afterlife, whatever you want to call it... I think it's a bit like chasing rainbows.

    It's something I'll have the answer to the day I die. There's no point in thinking about it until then.

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    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Considering Christians believe "God created man in His own image" I would be somewhat surprised if the Heaven promised to true believers is too different from our environment here on Earth. God created it too, right? Most likely to be consistent with the environment he traverses, maybe? As stated before, it's all up to each believer to decide these things for themselves.

    My take on things is a blend of scientific thought and theory, and spirituality. Life comes from life, Pasteur proved this with by dis-proving the theory of spontaneous generation using cubes of meat, jars, cheese cloth, and flies.

    That being the case, life here on Earth did not just spontaneously appear, it was "planted" here, and instead of a fly laying a maggot egg, the seed on an entire ecosystem was delivered here, priming it for life that was to one day follow.

    As far as immortality, that is left to reproduction, and maybe will be further improved upon by science, but for now I'm making the most of each day I have, and not worrying about details far beyond my control.

    P.S. The promise of a heavenly afterlife sure was a good way to keep the poor, starving members of society from revolting, murdering the King, and immediately improving their lives via redistribution of the dead royal's hoarded wealth, wasn't it?
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    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    There are a number of religions that aren't centered around an afterlife but instead around an idea of just being a better person. A lot of eastern religions do this.

    The afterlife reward always struck me as a hollow reward for a religion anyway. It's a completely blind choice and doesn't really make any sense.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelholic View Post
    There are a number of religions that aren't centered around an afterlife but instead around an idea of just being a better person. A lot of eastern religions do this.
    Well, I've been involved with Christians who focus more on the Now as well, in just modeling one's life after Jesus and not worrying about whose idea of the afterlife is specifically correct. SOmetimes, though, they are accused of allowing Eastern thought to infiltrate their faith.

    The Now is based on accepting change as it occurs, letting go of the past, and being part of (rather than separate from) the flow of events. In lieu of that, the afterlife is not really relevant until it becomes the Now. It definitely has some merit.

    The afterlife reward always struck me as a hollow reward for a religion anyway. It's a completely blind choice and doesn't really make any sense.
    That's the main issue -- we have no direct way of knowing what comes after. So it's all purely speculatory, or some argument from inference. Is that enough to take it to the length of legislating against others or warring with others over whose view of the afterlife and ultimate reality is correct?

    All we can really know for sure is what is happening in the Now... and even then our information might be sketchy.
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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Some religions have karmic principles that fall within one's current life; in other words, not simply the idea that if you do bad things in this life, you will have a "lesser" form in your next life. The Wiccans have the Rede: what you send forth comes back to you, often with threefold magnification. These consequences also fall within one's current life. At least some religions thus contain principles by which good actions will reap good consequences (and the converse) before death.

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    We plan too far into the future with the afterlife aspect of religions.

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    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Many descriptions of the 'afterlife' sound extremely pedestrian, I'd rather just die sooner or later than spend an eternity of boredom, or just go to Hell...same difference.

    Plus, I feel like there's something there that we can't really grasp in terms of what's beyond. I'm not saying I believe in an afterlife, but I believe there's 'something'. And like Halla said, a lot of what humans couldn't understand probably got really twisted in the process of history.

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    As a joke, I would say that I doubt religion has an insurance policy on whether there is an afterlife or not, although it wouldn't surprise over there in America if it excisted (Two in one!)

    No, I'm with Words of Ivory on this one. I have religious tattoos, I'm baptised, but I'm not religious. I'm a skeptic, and I believe that religion has shaped humanity to what it is today. I don't think people should be criticized for their beliefs, as long if it does not intrude others individual freedom. Because where my freedom ends, yours begin; Vis-à-vis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Words of Ivory View Post
    I'm a believer that nobody has the answers, and none of us will until the day we die. That goes for the atheists as much as it does those who choose to believe in religion - you don't know, so stop acting like you do.
    It's the argument of Pascal's wager, for me there are too many inconsistencies and lack of evidence to believe in the existence of a deity. On the off chance that one does exist though, I feel he/she/it would be understanding of someone who thought though things rationally and chose not to believe more so than someone who simply followed blindly without questioning things.


    I believe religion has its use, and it gives a lot of hope to those who choose to believe in. I'm not going to condemn someone for believing in it, even if I believe its answers to be false promises. So as it stands, the promise of immortality, and afterlife, whatever you want to call it... I think it's a bit like chasing rainbows.
    Agreed, however if you've ever read, for example, god is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, you'll see there's also a substantial amount of harmful things religion can lead to. That being said, as long as you don't mess with my beliefs (or lack thereof), I won't mess with yours.




    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Considering Christians believe "God created man in His own image" I would be somewhat surprised if the Heaven promised to true believers is too different from our environment here on Earth. God created it too, right? Most likely to be consistent with the environment he traverses, maybe? As stated before, it's all up to each believer to decide these things for themselves.
    Yet another thing that bothers me, if said god is all-powerful, why bother creating a physical earth at all, why not just create an eternal paradise to begin with? Doesn't make sense to me.



    That being the case, life here on Earth did not just spontaneously appear, it was "planted" here, and instead of a fly laying a maggot egg, the seed on an entire ecosystem was delivered here, priming it for life that was to one day follow.
    If something doesn't come from nothing, where did the creator come from?





    In answer to the OP, if an afterlife is false (which I tend to believe it is), then no, I see little benefit in religion. I will concede that for many people having something to believe in can provide hope and be beneficial to some, but in general I think the potential harms of religion outweigh any of those potential benefits.
    “My generation's apathy. I'm disgusted with it. I'm disgusted with my own apathy too, for being spineless and not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the counterculture has been whinning about for years.” -Kurt Cobain

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