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  1. #31
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    The morality of deathbed conversions is inversely proportional to the mortality of deathbed converts.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    The morality of deathbed conversions is inversely proportional to the mortality of deathbed converts.
    They should give them a chart graphing this relationship when they're in Seminary School.

  3. #33
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Ha ha. This isn't really an issue though if God is defined as "a being beyond that which can be conceived." Our psychological anthropomorphisms then become irrelevant.
    How are we supposed to discuss a statement made by a professed Christian using constructs from Christian theology if you're going to state that none of the examples, symbolism, or language involved is relevant?

    It seems clear Pascal himself was using that symbolism and notions of heaven/hell when he described his Wager.

    Just like Pascal himself, huh? He was of such poor character. *sarcasm*
    He was a human being and thus potentially faulty.

    There's also a problem where he could have easily just been speculating on paper (testing out his own theories), but the literalists in their anxiety try to recast his speculations into some kind of definitive rational support for their belief system. Do you know how many freaking times I have seen Pascal's Wager used to convert people over the last 45 years? Arrrg....

    I'm sure Pascal was intelligent enough to acknowledge the faults of his own speculations, if confronted with them.

    EDIT: Yes, I know that comment was directed at Mole, but I had an answer anyway.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #34
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    How are we supposed to discuss a statement made by a professed Christian using constructs from Christian theology if you're going to state that none of the examples, symbolism, or language involved is relevant?

    It seems clear Pascal himself was using that symbolism and notions of heaven/hell when he described his Wager.
    I didn't reject the symbolism, just the anthropomorphic comparison of God as a "naive intellectual lightweight" if he accepts the Wager.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    He was a human being and thus potentially faulty.

    There's also a problem where he could have easily just been speculating on paper (testing out his own theories), but the literalists in their anxiety try to recast his speculations into some kind of definitive rational support for their belief system. Do you know how many freaking times I have seen Pascal's Wager used to convert people over the last 45 years? Arrrg....

    I'm sure Pascal was intelligent enough to acknowledge the faults of his own speculations, if confronted with them.

    EDIT: Yes, I know that comment was directed at Mole, but I had an answer anyway.
    Really it's a pretty simple and straightforward issue and pragmatic argument. There's no character fault in going with the safe choice in the face of uncertainty.

    For example, if the FBI informs me that they've determined the boogeyman is real, can only attack me in the dark, and is likely targeting me and trying to hide in my closet, then I'm likely to think that's a bit silly. But, chances are, I'll probably turn on the light and check the closet before I go to bed. People might think I'm ridiculous, but it's not any significant extra effort for me because I walk within 3 feet of there when brushing my teeth before bed. Maybe it's a grand deception instigated by the power company moguls to get people to turn on their lights more often and generate more revenue, but it's insignificant to me.

    Do you know who the boogeyman checks his closet for at night before he goes to bed?

  5. #35
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    I didn't reject the symbolism, just the anthropomorphic comparison of God as a "naive intellectual lightweight" if he accepts the Wager.

    Really it's a pretty simple and straightforward issue and pragmatic argument. There's no character fault in going with the safe choice in the face of uncertainty.

    For example, if the FBI informs me that they've determined the boogeyman is real, can only attack me in the dark, and is likely targeting me and trying to hide in my closet, then I'm likely to think that's a bit silly. But, chances are, I'll probably turn on the light and check the closet before I go to bed. People might think I'm ridiculous, but it's not any significant extra effort for me because I walk within 3 feet of there when brushing my teeth before bed. Maybe it's a grand deception instigated by the power company moguls to get people to turn on their lights more often and generate more revenue, but it's insignificant to me.

    Do you know who the boogeyman checks his closet for at night before he goes to bed?


    Could you really have missed the point so badly, or did I miss something all these years?

    Heaven/Hell are not a naturalistic cause/effect of real life that you can "game" to produce a desirable result.

    The way it is approached is that you have to be in a "right relationship with God" to get to heaven, if you are going to accept Christianity. Some people disagree on the detailed specifics of this (aside from the "believe and commit to Jesus" aspect), but the whole idea of heaven is not as something you can game, nor is it some squidgy Wonderland meant to reward human beings for happening to pick the "correct solution."

    Heaven is being in proximity to God, and it is reserved for those who are in alignment with his wishes and with "his heart." Even if you don't anthropomorphize God, the gist still is that to reach heaven, you will have to have become the kind of person who is essentially aligned with the "good" of the universe.

    You can't "game a system" in order to fulfill that requirement. You can't "not be aligned" with Good/God in terms of who you are as a person, and just by saying some magic words on your deathbed to hedge your bets suddenly find yourself in heaven. (What such mechanism can even be shown to exist, naturalistically? heaven can't even be shown to exist.)

    In fact, such a "heaven" would be hell to you, if you were not aligned with it... just like Westboro can't comprehend the signs by protestors saying, "Sorry for your loss" at the death of their founder and relative. Selfish or self-centered people are unable to trust that unselfish people are authentic. Now put someone next to "God / the ultimate Good" for eternity; it would DESTROY them, not be bliss for them.

    Do you see where I'm coming from here? Unless your view of heaven is completely disconnected from morality, I'm not sure how you can support the idea that Pascal's Wager can work, it's just magical thinking. If you are just trying to save your own skin, either you don't get to heaven (because you're a selfish fraud) OR you get to heaven and it's hell to you. Neither outcome is "heaven."

    And of course, if one DOES anthropomorphize God (which Christianity does, actively -- sorry; even salvation and God's son is literally incarnate according to the tenets, that's the whole point of the "religion" of Christianity, although you could still follow some of its precepts if you think Jesus was a good guy), then you have an additional layer of a conscious eternal omniscient person being able to recognize the duplicity involved in anyone who thinks they can act selfishly all their lives and just get a free pass to heaven at the last minute because they cried the safe word.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #36
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    @Jennifer, I see (and saw) your point, but God as a "naive intellectual lightweight" seemed to be a different anthropomorphic perspective than the one you're describing now. It makes some big assumptions about a person's perspective. The assumptions could also be overcome at deathbed conversion time easily, so I don't see them as all that relevant. The following points/statements could overcome these, and I think these are fairly common beliefs and statements.

    God is love (rather than a naive intellectual lightweight).
    All that matters is your decision and state of mind and heart now, not the past.
    You are not saved by something you do, but by what God does.
    You can't play games with God or life, as you might not get the last turn.


    By the way, since you didn't know the answer to my question, the answer is Chuck Norris.

  7. #37
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    @Jennifer, I see (and saw) your point, but God as a "naive intellectual lightweight" seemed to be a different anthropomorphic perspective than the one you're describing now. It makes some big assumptions about a person's perspective. The assumptions could also be overcome at deathbed conversion time easily, so I don't see them as all that relevant. The following points/statements could overcome these, and I think these are fairly common beliefs and statements.

    God is love (rather than a naive intellectual lightweight).
    All that matters is your decision and state of mind and heart now, not the past.
    You are not saved by something you do, but by what God does.
    You can't play games with God or life, as you might not get the last turn.

    By the way, since you didn't know the answer to my question, the answer is Chuck Norris.
    Uhhh....why the diversion?

    Pascal's Wager does not discuss "authentic conversions," so I'm not sure why you are dragging "love" into it. The logic is: "If I'm not sure if God exists, I should convert and thus escape hell to hedge my bets." What on earth does that have to do with loving God, following God, or asking for forgiveness? Maybe that's where this discussion is getting sidetracked.

    If you examine the essence of Pascal's Wager, it should be clear that it refers to "fire insurance" conversions ("I voice belief in God to cover my ass") rather than authentic choices to repent ("I voice belief in God because I realize I was wrong and want to repent, even if I'm still a creep in some ways"), and that is what I have an objection to and what I think the faith itself + JHWH cannot accommodate.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #38
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    the purpose of a spiritual ritual is not to judge/grade the past but to make a difference in the present moment. if her soul changes, it is changed. all that matters. big irony here, christianity is occasionally on to something, for brief moments, until it relapses into the conformist kindergarden logic of judging you by the past and condemning you to be who you are forever. you can surrender to truth anytime, god forgives the past, always.

    it's neither amoral, nor moral, only a hackjob, because jesus doesn't really exist and you don't really know what happens in her soul (brain, whatever). but all of life is like that. a hackjob. the experience of being converted is no more than another dream she had. you have had many dreams of jesus, even though you are not a christian and even though jesus doesn't exist as anything but a symbol of our culture. it's your culture, after all. and even though jesus doesn't exist, the symbol has a function, that function may have been applied successfully. she may have experienced a moment of being accepted, at peace with all, etc. at least she doesn't have to fear jesus, the dream character, the symbol in her soul, if she makes friends with him. you can't get rid of ideas of that caliber, by disagreeing, you know.

    i'm an atheist with spiritual experience.

  9. #39
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Uhhh....why the diversion?
    Chuck Norris jokes amuse me more than this topic? Humor. Life is funny.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Pascal's Wager does not discuss "authentic conversions," so I'm not sure why you are dragging "love" into it. The logic is: "If I'm not sure if God exists, I should convert and thus escape hell to hedge my bets." What on earth does that have to do with loving God, following God, or asking for forgiveness? Maybe that's where this discussion is getting sidetracked.

    If you examine the essence of Pascal's Wager, it should be clear that it refers to "fire insurance" conversions ("I voice belief in God to cover my ass") rather than authentic choices to repent ("I voice belief in God because I realize I was wrong and want to repent, even if I'm still a creep in some ways"), and that is what I have an objection to and what I think the faith itself + JHWH cannot accommodate.
    I suppose so, if one values being part of a narrowly-defined Pascal cult. I'm more into Pythagorean Mysticism myself.

  10. #40
    Senior Member SensEye's Avatar
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    Re the OP: It's disrespectful of the deceased person to not honor their funeral wishes. As is revisionist history of her life. So it's kind of sad. But the whole post death ritual is for the living anyways, so if the believers need the conversion crutch to make them feel better, meh.


    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Do you know who the boogeyman checks his closet for at night before he goes to bed?
    If you read the book "I Am Legend" you'd know the answer to this (book, not movie).

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