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Moderated Forums => Free-For-All => Non-Religious Topics => Topic started by: TryingtoConvert on December 05, 2010, 03:14:05 PM

Title: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 05, 2010, 03:14:05 PM
In a simple answer, it reduces the value of your life as a human to nothing.

Afterparties, trips to IHOP after bar hopping, post-concert burrito eating, these are all true 'afterlives' of larger events. They provide a nice ender, a counterpoint to the activity that came before (except for afterparties, you just keep going  ;) ). They are not greater than the event that came before - a short way to wind down, get a bite to eat, discuss what happened, etc.

"Christian Heaven" is not, I believe, an afterlife. It is your life, as it consumes the majority of your existence (being infinite - all of your existence, really). It reduces your life on earth to 'before-life' and nothing more. Anything you accomplish here as a human is inevitably pointless, since once you get to heaven, you will not need anything, for God is perfection. Heaven removes any need for humans to create, be it more children, art, new technology, love - God, in his perfection, is greater than all of that.

I had an older brother who only lived a week and a half. I had a cousin who didn't live to be born. Christians believe that unborn children automatically go to heaven - they have to, I mean, sending unborn babies to hell is pretty harsh, right? Even though the Bible actually says otherwise, let's just assume that they do all go to heaven, regardless of their parent's beliefs.

What happens next? They can't mature, since there is no environment in heaven which would promote growth. Even if they could 'grow up,' what age would it be to? It is our lives that define us, that give us our characteristics, our sense of humor, our wants and needs. These children will never have a way to define themselves, they will be 'perfect angels' or something similar. Another blank face in the crowd of billions.

I guess my question would be - what do you do in heaven? How do you define your 'real' life, the one that is to come?

For me, my life is here. It will end someday, and people will be sad, and that will mean it had meaning. Christians shouldn't be sad at funerals - it's like they're crying because the beginning credits of a movie are over.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Anastasios on December 05, 2010, 03:43:55 PM
No growth in Heaven? Not in the Orthodox understanding, where Heaven is a unending, dynamic growth towards God, constantly becoming better and better, more and more.

Orthodox also don't understand Heaven as being utterly distinct from life on earth.  The Church is Heaven on Earth, although a foretaste, in the sense that the fullness of Heaven can only be experienced after the Final Judgment and Resurrection.  So what we do now has everything to do with what we experience in the afterlife.  What we do now contributes to the quality of our afterlife.  It really is one life, not two utterly different ways of existence separated by a thing called death.  That's why we believe in the communion of the saints as well; they are with us in the Church right now, and Orthodox have countless examples of saints appearing to those still on this earth to show their concern, etc.

As far as creativity is concerned, God created us to be creative, and that is what separates us from animals. Creating is essential to our life.  We do it in a Godly way, but it certainly has an impact on who we are and our eternal destiny, and the quality of that eternal destiny.  1 Cor 3:15 talks about the man  being saved even though his work is burned up; if he had done better work, it would not have been burned up.

As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.  I believe that God's grace refines humanity, and does not blot it out.  After all, we are still in his image, even if corrupted by sin. And that means we are creative.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2010, 03:44:45 PM
You're wrong.  In heaven, there is indeed growth.  It's not just a stagnant place.  We are by nature changeable, and God willed it that way that we forever growth, physically and spiritually in His Divine Grace.

Our life here on earth is a stage of growth, not merely a test as many Protestants have taught.  Within the Infinite presence of God, there is forever room for growth, and this earthly life we live is part of that life of growth.  After this earthly life, we don't know what else God has in store for us.  Being in the presence of God in Paradise is something no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor even the heart can contemplate.  Not even the intellect can understand what will happen.  But we do know, there is more to life than just do good and avoid bad and then you'll be in an unchangeable angelic state.  That is against Christian doctrine.  That is not Christianity at all.  That is merely live your life to the fullest, and it is one of the rational reasons of atheism.  But in Christianity, we live life to grow, and we always must understand no matter what age we are in, we will always grow.  And it is in our nature to understand that we never want to stop growing.  Every day with God will be a new experience, new knowledge, new nourishment.

(editing to just notify that I'm telling "Tryingtoconvert" is wrong, not Fr. Anastasios)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: stashko on December 05, 2010, 06:03:32 PM
It would be Bad For the ones that are
condemed to Hell for eternity ,suffering endlessly ...
Non existence would be preferable than that, i would say...... ???
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 05, 2010, 06:09:56 PM
stashko, maybe they'll just be condemned to an eternity of being stuck on an Internet forum and nor being able to log out. :D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: stashko on December 05, 2010, 06:21:16 PM
stashko, maybe they'll just be condemned to an eternity of being stuck on an Internet forum and nor being able to log out. :D

That could be Hell as well,  if there stuck on a religious forum , never being able to log out.... ;D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 05, 2010, 09:04:53 PM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2010, 09:57:24 PM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.

When Christians cry, their cry is no different than the cry of a loved one who will travel elsewhere for a very long time.  Can you help it that a friend cries when another friend will leave for a long time even though we try to tell her that you'll see her again some day?

You wrote earlier when you do, people will cry because your life had meaning.  This is the problem.  Your life HAD meaning.  Now, you're just a memory.  You don't really exist anymore, you're just merely remembered.  The life that you don't take for granted during the time you lived just ended.  That too me is a sad tragedy.  How can something end that had meaning when in the end, there is really no meaning.  There's no difference between you or the one who committed suicide.  And when the world or the universe one day ends, and all life is vanished, what then of the lives that were taken for granted?  Because when atheists believe they die, they die forever.  You will be missed forever.  There is no, "till we meet again" in the death of non-believers.  This is not only sad, it's depressing.

This is why no afterlife is no life at all.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: biro on December 05, 2010, 10:01:08 PM
I think I'm getting ready for a series of posts which begin, "Why (something pertaining to Christians) is bad." It's just goat-getting, and I don't even have a goat.  :P
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 05, 2010, 10:12:05 PM
stashko, maybe they'll just be condemned to an eternity of being stuck on an Internet forum and nor being able to log out. :D

Or worse, being stuck in this thread!  :o
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 05, 2010, 10:14:39 PM
I think I'm getting ready for a series of posts which begin, "Why (something pertaining to Christians) is bad." It's just goat-getting, and I don't even have a goat.  :P

Ya, if I had a goat I'd be watching him pretty closely about now...
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 05, 2010, 10:17:28 PM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.

 ::)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 05, 2010, 10:38:48 PM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: biro on December 05, 2010, 10:58:12 PM
He ignores passages like 1 Timothy 2:3-4: "3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Doesn't sound unloving, now, does it?  :)


This thread makes me feel better all the time.

 ::)

(http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c24/neon000/bearintrashcan.jpg)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Andrew21091 on December 05, 2010, 10:59:18 PM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?

We make the choice. We can choose between good and evil. We can choose to run to God or to run elsewhere. The torment that we can face is a separation from God. If we consciously reject Him, then that is on us. He gave us the power to choose. Its our choice.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: augustin717 on December 05, 2010, 11:05:18 PM
There is "no heaven" as such, distinct from the created world. There is this world we see that will become Paradise, as it was meant to be in the beginning, but got sidetracked by the Fall.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2010, 11:09:34 PM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?

Or you can die, decompose, and the molecules in your body will be used to make a tree grow, and then some guys will knock the tree down, process it to make paper, and make a Bible out of it. (courtesy of Dane Cook)

Choose your mode of infinite torture  ;)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 06, 2010, 05:20:12 AM
Sorry Fr. Anastasios I should have given a more proper response.

No growth in Heaven? Not in the Orthodox understanding, where Heaven is a unending, dynamic growth towards God, constantly becoming better and better, more and more.

Orthodox also don't understand Heaven as being utterly distinct from life on earth.  The Church is Heaven on Earth, although a foretaste, in the sense that the fullness of Heaven can only be experienced after the Final Judgment and Resurrection.  So what we do now has everything to do with what we experience in the afterlife.  What we do now contributes to the quality of our afterlife.  It really is one life, not two utterly different ways of existence separated by a thing called death.  That's why we believe in the communion of the saints as well; they are with us in the Church right now, and Orthodox have countless examples of saints appearing to those still on this earth to show their concern, etc.

As far as creativity is concerned, God created us to be creative, and that is what separates us from animals. Creating is essential to our life.  We do it in a Godly way, but it certainly has an impact on who we are and our eternal destiny, and the quality of that eternal destiny.  1 Cor 3:15 talks about the man  being saved even though his work is burned up; if he had done better work, it would not have been burned up.

As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.  I believe that God's grace refines humanity, and does not blot it out.  After all, we are still in his image, even if corrupted by sin. And that means we are creative.

For clarification purposes, how would you define worldly things?

After I had lost faith the arts really spoke to me. The arts provoke many questions and give many different answers to life's questions. With religion there was always one answer: Jesus. I grew rather bored of it. I also didn't have much of a work ethic when I was a young Christian because anything that wasn't pertaining to what I was told my life's purpose was to worship, was not worth my enthusiasm. The world also wasn't worth exploring because it was nothing more than a temporary host and surely there would be time to learn about it in heaven. Anything 'worldly', like working (even now at what I love most to do) was a chore; a distraction from what really mattered. Glorifying God.

I don't mean to say your faith doesn't allow you to appreciate the beautiful things in life such as it did to me. Different paths work better for different people. You're mindset as a Christian may be different than mine was.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 06, 2010, 05:22:17 AM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?

Or you can die, decompose, and the molecules in your body will be used to make a tree grow, and then some guys will knock the tree down, process it to make paper, and make a Bible out of it. (courtesy of Dane Cook)

Choose your mode of infinite torture  ;)
At least when I die my consciousness disappears with me. The atoms that make me were used in who-knows-what for millions of years before I was born, and they'll continue to be used after I die. It doesn't affect my current life in any way.

I always found it odd how Christians say that 'God is love.'

For example, and this didn't happen but just using it to illustrate a point, If I knew my girlfriend would be in a car accident that would leave her paralyzed for the rest of her life, but could actually stop it from happening by calling her on a cellphone, I would do so, because I love her. God doesn't do this. God wouldn't call her on her cellphone. No, he'd call one spot in town that she might be at, say... Wal-Mart, ask if she was there, and if not say 'Oh well!' and let her get involved in the car crash.

I hope I don't have to spell out the allegory for you, but that's not love.

I can almost understand the appeal of heaven, I used to look forward to it myself. But once you step back and question what it actually would be, what it makes the rest of your life into, and the ridiculous number of people who are unfairly denied its gates - well, it's shown as nothing more than wishful thinking.

It's not that heaven is unappealing. It's that the necessary baggage - hell, and the people unfairly sent there - is such a horrid, vile belief.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 06, 2010, 06:56:08 AM

I can almost understand the appeal of heaven, I used to look forward to it myself. But once you step back and question what it actually would be, what it makes the rest of your life into, and the ridiculous number of people who are unfairly denied its gates - well, it's shown as nothing more than wishful thinking.

It's not that heaven is unappealing. It's that the necessary baggage - hell, and the people unfairly sent there - is such a horrid, vile belief.

How do you know how many are denied entrance into 'heaven'? Check out this article about 'hell' from an Orthodox perspective. You might be surprised.

http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 06, 2010, 12:21:12 PM
Ditto Ortho-cat's suggestion!

Also, TtC, I suggest you learn a little more about Eastern Christianity before critiquing it - your criticisms seem based on Protestant fundamentalism which is NOT the same - as so many here have discovered to their surprise and delight! :D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 06, 2010, 12:25:49 PM
It should be noted that Heaven is earth restored.  It will be life as it was meant to be.  We won't be floating around on clouds somewhere "up there" in "heaven." 

That's why the key is resurrection.  It's not a disembodied existence.  It's the body you have now, raised back to life to a restored creation.  Sounds pretty damn good to me...
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 06, 2010, 12:35:21 PM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?

Or you can die, decompose, and the molecules in your body will be used to make a tree grow, and then some guys will knock the tree down, process it to make paper, and make a Bible out of it. (courtesy of Dane Cook)

Choose your mode of infinite torture  ;)
At least when I die my consciousness disappears with me. The atoms that make me were used in who-knows-what for millions of years before I was born, and they'll continue to be used after I die. It doesn't affect my current life in any way.

I always found it odd how Christians say that 'God is love.'

For example, and this didn't happen but just using it to illustrate a point, If I knew my girlfriend would be in a car accident that would leave her paralyzed for the rest of her life, but could actually stop it from happening by calling her on a cellphone, I would do so, because I love her. God doesn't do this. God wouldn't call her on her cellphone. No, he'd call one spot in town that she might be at, say... Wal-Mart, ask if she was there, and if not say 'Oh well!' and let her get involved in the car crash.

I hope I don't have to spell out the allegory for you, but that's not love.

I can almost understand the appeal of heaven, I used to look forward to it myself. But once you step back and question what it actually would be, what it makes the rest of your life into, and the ridiculous number of people who are unfairly denied its gates - well, it's shown as nothing more than wishful thinking.

It's not that heaven is unappealing. It's that the necessary baggage - hell, and the people unfairly sent there - is such a horrid, vile belief.

First off, God searches the hearts.  No one is condemning you to hell.  I was joking with you that last post.

Things happen here in this world that is out of your control.  Your job is to take whatever experience you get and try to conquer it, make the best out of it.  I know it's hard, but it's not impossible.

The thing is you are thinking too much about the afterlife as God's character.  The afterlife was written with allegory, but there's still not much to understand about it.  Those who profess more than needed about it are really not doing God a favor.  Even this River of Fire article will not help you and will only just make you turned off even more as you think about it more (at least it did with me).

You have to look at a certain perspective here.  It would be understandable that your attack on God's love doesn't make sense for a place of possible eternal punishment.  I must also say from my perspective, your love of your present existence also doesn't make sense for an end of sure non-existence.  So, it was a matter of choice.  For you, because you're so turned off by God, probably angry at God, you made sense out of your present existence without taking the logical leap, it's probably better I wouldn't have been born.  For me, because I'm so turned off by any lack of God, and I can't imagine life without having a relationship with this God, a relationship where I can grow, then for me, it didn't matter what afterlife there was.  I knew if I at least try and pray, I know I'm heading in the right direction.

I think personally, if you're thinking way too much on the afterlife, I'm trying to ask you have you really seriously thought about your death with your present worldview?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 06, 2010, 12:47:42 PM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.
Really? Because the honest conclusion of atheism is nihilism.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 06, 2010, 12:52:23 PM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?

And there is where you are lost. Yahweh, is not one of the thousands of gods out there. If you look at the Polytheistic world, the gods are finite limited beings, often created, and part of the overall limited system of nature. Yahweh, on the other hand is utterly transcendant and infinitely beyond the system of created nature. He is completely other. I think that before you try to understand Christianity, you need to understand this most fundamental point.

Next, you need to understand that hell isn't about God wanting to torture people. Rather, it is about people who do not want to be united to God in love. Since we were created to be united to God in this way, in such a way that it is the very fuel of our healthy being, choosing not be united to God as such would be absolute torture, a sort of eternal starving to death. God is not torturing those in hell. They are torturing themselves. The door out of hell is locked from the inside.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 06, 2010, 12:57:27 PM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?

Or you can die, decompose, and the molecules in your body will be used to make a tree grow, and then some guys will knock the tree down, process it to make paper, and make a Bible out of it. (courtesy of Dane Cook)

Choose your mode of infinite torture  ;)
At least when I die my consciousness disappears with me. The atoms that make me were used in who-knows-what for millions of years before I was born, and they'll continue to be used after I die. It doesn't affect my current life in any way.

I always found it odd how Christians say that 'God is love.'

For example, and this didn't happen but just using it to illustrate a point, If I knew my girlfriend would be in a car accident that would leave her paralyzed for the rest of her life, but could actually stop it from happening by calling her on a cellphone, I would do so, because I love her. God doesn't do this. God wouldn't call her on her cellphone. No, he'd call one spot in town that she might be at, say... Wal-Mart, ask if she was there, and if not say 'Oh well!' and let her get involved in the car crash.

I hope I don't have to spell out the allegory for you, but that's not love.

I can almost understand the appeal of heaven, I used to look forward to it myself. But once you step back and question what it actually would be, what it makes the rest of your life into, and the ridiculous number of people who are unfairly denied its gates - well, it's shown as nothing more than wishful thinking.

It's not that heaven is unappealing. It's that the necessary baggage - hell, and the people unfairly sent there - is such a horrid, vile belief.
You seem to think that God's love is some sort of emotional experience. But it is not. His love isn't about sparing us all of our temporary sufferings. It's about saving our souls from the ultimate suffering of hell. So if suffering here on earth will lead us to heaven, then God will allow it out of love. It may seem extreme to some, but God will go to any length to spare us from the fires of hell. Let's say that your girlfriend was invovled in a car accident, but God knew that this accident would lead her to repent of her sins in her final moments, and turn to his loving forgiveness, thus sparing her from hell. If this is the case, then God's love is so great, that he would let her experience the suffering of the car accident, so that she ultimately recieves the gift of heaven, and avoids the pains of hell. This is much like the parent who allows a child to go through a painful surgery that will spare the childs life.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 06, 2010, 01:00:35 PM


I can almost understand the appeal of heaven, I used to look forward to it myself. But once you step back and question what it actually would be, what it makes the rest of your life into, and the ridiculous number of people who are unfairly denied its gates - well, it's shown as nothing more than wishful thinking.


How many are denied heaven? Well, first off, we are not denied heaven. We can either choose it or reject it. Second, we don't know how many are in heaven. We do know that Christ said that the way is narrow, and those enter are few but Jesus was not speaking as a statistician. He wasn't speaking about exact numbers. For a loving Father, any not entering heaven at all is too many not entering. There are always "too few" even if only one person was excluded. We know from the scriptures that God desires all men to be saved. I mean goodness, Catholics and Orthodox are not Calvinists.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 06, 2010, 11:15:21 PM
I always found it odd how Christians say that 'God is love.'

Hardly odd.

Deus caritas est (http://www.drbo.org/x/d?b=lvb&bk=69&ch=4&l=8#x).

For example, and this didn't happen but just using it to illustrate a point, If I knew my girlfriend would be in a car accident that would leave her paralyzed for the rest of her life, but could actually stop it from happening by calling her on a cellphone, I would do so, because I love her. God doesn't do this. God wouldn't call her on her cellphone. No, he'd call one spot in town that she might be at, say... Wal-Mart, ask if she was there, and if not say 'Oh well!' and let her get involved in the car crash.

Oh please. This is just silly. Inventing a hypothetical scenario and citing it as proof is just as logical as me claiming that Queen Elizabeth likes maraschino cherries and then writing an original short story as proof.

I hope I don't have to spell out the allegory for you, but that's not love.

Your right, its something you just made up.

I can almost understand the appeal of heaven, I used to look forward to it myself. But once you step back and question what it actually would be, what it makes the rest of your life into,

Which all reinforce the desire for heaven....

and the ridiculous number of people who are unfairly denied its gates

I suppose "zero" is pretty impressive. Imagine that: God as judge has a 100% accuracy rate.

- well, it's shown as nothing more than wishful thinking.

Yes, hope is fairly foreign to atheistic nihilism.

It's not that heaven is unappealing. It's that the necessary baggage - hell, and the people unfairly sent there

Except it isn't unfair.

- is such a horrid, vile belief.

Which makes it no less true.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Nero on December 06, 2010, 11:21:00 PM
I mean goodness, Catholics and Orthodox are not Calvinists.

And thank God we're not - Calvinists would have you believe that people, before they are even born, are consigned to either heaven or hell with no way to alter the decision. That would be absolutely terrifying to me. Catholicism and Orthodoxy rightly reject that because it's absolutely not true.

Quote from: TryingtoConvert
"hell, and the people unfairly sent there - is such a horrid, vile belief"

Not so. People are not unfairly sent to hell. 

Sirach 15:
14 When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice.
15 If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will.
16 There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
17 Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 06, 2010, 11:23:11 PM
It should be noted that Heaven is earth restored.  It will be life as it was meant to be.  We won't be floating around on clouds somewhere "up there" in "heaven." 

That's why the key is resurrection.  It's not a disembodied existence.  It's the body you have now, raised back to life to a restored creation.  Sounds pretty damn good to me...

Well, at least for now it's a disembodied experience after death, until Jesus returns to establish his Kingdom, which may be tomorrow or 100 mil years from now...
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 06, 2010, 11:29:38 PM
TtC, I have a question for you which you may choose to answer honestly if you like. How do you feel about the nihilistic world-view? That is, there is no ultimate purpose for living, given that the universe will just end up suffering an eventual heat death and everything you did or ever will do does not matter in the grand scheme of things? I was once like you, a strident atheist, but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 06, 2010, 11:39:43 PM
as I progress in atheism.

How on earth does one "progress" in the belief that there is no God?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 07, 2010, 12:08:38 AM
TtC, I have a question for you which you may choose to answer honestly if you like. How do you feel about the nihilistic world-view? That is, there is no ultimate purpose for living, given that the universe will just end up suffering an eventual heat death and everything you did or ever will do does not matter in the grand scheme of things? I was once like you, a strident atheist, but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

Indeed, as Linkin Park sings, no matter how hard you try, in the end it doesn't even matter.
With God, no matter how little you try, it eternally matters.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 07, 2010, 12:23:05 AM
It should be noted that Heaven is earth restored.  It will be life as it was meant to be.  We won't be floating around on clouds somewhere "up there" in "heaven." 

That's why the key is resurrection.  It's not a disembodied existence.  It's the body you have now, raised back to life to a restored creation.  Sounds pretty damn good to me...

Well, at least for now it's a disembodied experience after death, until Jesus returns to establish his Kingdom, which may be tomorrow or 100 mil years from now...
Is it really "disembodied"? Or is the body a spiritual body? True "disembodiment" would seem to imply a consciousness that is infinite in scope, not limited to any body or point in space.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 07, 2010, 01:42:43 AM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.
LOL. You would be wrong. There is no progression in atheism, as it leads to nowhere but nihilism.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr3sYBqpW9o
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 07, 2010, 01:48:54 AM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?
So you want to take Him for granted like an adulterer, and then complain when He leaves you.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 07, 2010, 12:29:12 PM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.
LOL. You would be wrong. There is no progression in atheism, as it leads to nowhere but nihilism.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr3sYBqpW9o
Hmm. It seems that you and I actually agree on something. I think that Sartre was one of the most honest atheists who ever lived with regard to his conclusions.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 07, 2010, 07:39:37 PM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?
So you want to take Him for granted like an adulterer, and then complain when He leaves you.
I don't think your analogy quite fits, but thanks for trying.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 07, 2010, 07:40:54 PM
What does someones 'world view' ( a made up term by man ) have to do with reality?

Why would anyones 'view' fit into a man made catagory?

Do our views have any impact on the universe?

From my view, when I die, the universe ends, so I try to enjoy it, while it is still here.

as I progress in atheism.

How on earth does one "progress" in the belief that there is no God?
Are you saying that belief in a God or Gods helps to give you purpose and a reason for your existence. If this were the case I can understand some Christians struggle with understanding an Atheist or Agnostic view to life and death.

My answer, although of course I can only speak for myself, is that the no God/s viewpoint is liberating, builds independence and helps toward a higher level of free will. In this way it can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding. The progression is the journey of life and trying to make sense of it, finding out what is important and being able to live a fulfilling life.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 07, 2010, 07:42:42 PM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirming.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 07, 2010, 08:30:47 PM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirmingdeluding.
Fixed that for you.

You assUme that we have not pondered such things.  Few things, of course, are further from the Truth.  Indeed, that is why we chose to do them. Take for instance the Creed. The Fathers teach that you cannot say "I believe" (where English gets the term "Credo") until you make it your own.

Of course, one can reject the Creed or just give it lip service, but that changes you, not the Creed.  One can choose to obey the Law of Gravity, assign your own meaning and purpose to it. Or you can be self-affirming and jump off the nearest cliff. How's that for self-abnegation?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 07, 2010, 08:31:24 PM
What does someones 'world view' ( a made up term by man ) have to do with reality?

Why would anyones 'view' fit into a man made catagory?

Do our views have any impact on the universe?

From my view, when I die, the universe ends, so I try to enjoy it, while it is still here.

as I progress in atheism.

How on earth does one "progress" in the belief that there is no God?
Are you saying that belief in a God or Gods helps to give you purpose and a reason for your existence. If this were the case I can understand some Christians struggle with understanding an Atheist or Agnostic view to life and death.

My answer, although of course I can only speak for myself, is that the no God/s viewpoint is liberating, builds independence and helps toward a higher level of free will. In this way it can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding. The progression is the journey of life and trying to make sense of it, finding out what is important and being able to live a fulfilling life.

So if you are so content in your atheism as you describe, they why are you 'trying to convert'? Or is your only goal here to bring us into the fold of atheism along with you?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 07, 2010, 08:31:37 PM

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirming.
Self? What is this "self" of which you speak?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 07, 2010, 08:33:29 PM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirming.
Chose to follow meaning that already is there. That is not like you are trying to create meaning out of nothing, trying to change water into wine, with no supernatural ability to do so.
As for what is self-abnegating vs. self-affirming, is it really self affirming to asser that you are a nothing more than a collection of atoms with no free will?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 07, 2010, 08:35:01 PM

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirming.
Self? What is this "self" of which you speak?
Exactly. In a materialist world view, there can really be no "self". Again, nominalism and nihilism are the only real logical conclusions of atheism.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: livefreeordie on December 07, 2010, 10:32:23 PM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirming.

Interesting, considering that your posting here increasingly seems to be an attempt to gain affirmation.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 07, 2010, 10:40:07 PM
One thing it took me a long time, and at least two forays into full-blown atheism, to realize is that believers are actually MORE intellectually free than nonbelievers.

Why?  Because believers can, and do, freely express their doubts about whether or not God exists, and can expect to receive sympathy and understanding from most other believers, because most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything rrgarding God. Unless we're arrogant and prideful, we know that we don't know everything, and that we could be wrong.

But what happens to an atheist who suddenly starts doubting her atheism?  Well, I can tell you from personal experience - she either keeps it to herself, or gets trashed for being "weak", "emitional", "stupid", etc., by her fellow nonbelievers.  Doubt is FORBIDDEN - we KNOW there are no deities and anyone who thinks otherwise is just an idiot.

Give me the "shackles" of belief any day.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Father H on December 07, 2010, 11:40:24 PM
One thing it took me a long time, and at least two forays into full-blown atheism, to realize is that believers are actually MORE intellectually free than nonbelievers.

Why?  Because believers can, and do, freely express their doubts about whether or not God exists, and can expect to receive sympathy and understanding from most other believers, because most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything rrgarding God. Unless we're arrogant and prideful, we know that we don't know everything, and that we could be wrong.

But what happens to an atheist who suddenly starts doubting her atheism?  Well, I can tell you from personal experience - she either keeps it to herself, or gets trashed for being "weak", "emitional", "stupid", etc., by her fellow nonbelievers.  Doubt is FORBIDDEN - we KNOW there are no deities and anyone who thinks otherwise is just an idiot.

Give me the "shackles" of belief any day.

Good post
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Father H on December 07, 2010, 11:42:17 PM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.
You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.
Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.
The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirming.
Interesting, considering that your posting here increasingly seems to be an attempt to gain affirmation.
Yes, we need to stop feeding the troll
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 08, 2010, 02:02:16 AM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirmingdeluding.
Fixed that for you.
Wasn't broken, thanks. I wish you could have my life. You'd be happy with yourself.

Quote
You assUme that we have not pondered such things.
No, I can tell that you've given this much thought. I simply disagree with your results, likely because we input different starting values.

Quote
Few things, of course, are further from the Truth.  Indeed, that is why we chose to do them. Take for instance the Creed. The Fathers teach that you cannot say "I believe" (where English gets the term "Credo") until you make it your own.

Of course, one can reject the Creed or just give it lip service, but that changes you, not the Creed.  One can choose to obey the Law of Gravity, assign your own meaning and purpose to it. Or you can be self-affirming and jump off the nearest cliff. How's that for self-abnegation?
Analogy fail. Gravity brooks no disobedience, nor does it demand obeisance, nor does it forgive even if you repent your disbelief right before you hit the ground.

You may've thought much about your faith, but you've obviously not thought about gravity that much.

I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 08, 2010, 02:31:10 AM
No, it's not.  But you're perfectly free to reject it if you choose.

Just don't tell us we must reject it too.  That's above your pay grade.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 08, 2010, 02:45:19 AM

I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.

 I've heard of Christianity being called a lot of things, but a 'Cult of Death'?  You've clearly either been devouring Chick tracts or have not been paying attention.  Or, as others have charged, your weltanschauung is one of complete nihilism (in which case even this conversation is pointless for you but begs the question of why start it in the first place?)  

 Rather than being a 'Cult of Death', Christianity seeks to affirm life right here, right now.  The 'Pie-In-The-Sky' philosophy, (you know, the one where adherents are hyper-focused on the After Life), is not a part of Eastern Orthodox thought or doctrine.  I would even go so far as to argue that, for an Orthodox Christian, there is no afterlife; simply a continuation of this life, albeit in a deified or completely destitute manner.  Despite what Rick Warren or other folks would have you believe, the purpose of the Christian life is one of Theosis.  In order for this to happen, certain aspects of our lives are to die.  But these are things like selfishness, pride, the ego, apathy, etc... Christ doesn't ask us foresake this life, but to deify it.  That is, destroy the sinful old man and put on the New Man.  Think about what that means.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: stashko on December 08, 2010, 03:08:16 AM
 Western Catholic Christianity did bring a lot of darkness into the world...So it can be called the cult of death...




but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirmingdeluding.
Fixed that for you.
Wasn't broken, thanks. I wish you could have my life. You'd be happy with yourself.

Quote
You assUme that we have not pondered such things.
No, I can tell that you've given this much thought. I simply disagree with your results, likely because we input different starting values.

Quote
Few things, of course, are further from the Truth.  Indeed, that is why we chose to do them. Take for instance the Creed. The Fathers teach that you cannot say "I believe" (where English gets the term "Credo") until you make it your own.

Of course, one can reject the Creed or just give it lip service, but that changes you, not the Creed.  One can choose to obey the Law of Gravity, assign your own meaning and purpose to it. Or you can be self-affirming and jump off the nearest cliff. How's that for self-abnegation?
Analogy fail. Gravity brooks no disobedience, nor does it demand obeisance, nor does it forgive even if you repent your disbelief right before you hit the ground.

You may've thought much about your faith, but you've obviously not thought about gravity that much.

I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 08, 2010, 05:46:42 AM
Let's look at the Christian view on the afterlife. You get to spend literal eternity in infinite torment, just for not believing in one of the thousands of gods.

Yes, Yahweh is certainly a god of love, isn't he?
So you want to take Him for granted like an adulterer, and then complain when He leaves you.
I don't think your analogy quite fits, but thanks for trying.

Well, considering God is the very reason any of us, and the universe altogether, exist, I would say it is quite apt.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 08, 2010, 05:49:35 AM

as I progress in atheism.

How on earth does one "progress" in the belief that there is no God?
Are you saying that belief in a God or Gods helps to give you purpose and a reason for your existence. If this were the case I can understand some Christians struggle with understanding an Atheist or Agnostic view to life and death.

No, I was asking you how on earth you are capable in progressing in a non-belief in theism, not stating my own beliefs.

My answer, although of course I can only speak for myself, is that the no God/s viewpoint is liberating, builds independence and helps toward a higher level of free will. In this way it can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding. The progression is the journey of life and trying to make sense of it, finding out what is important and being able to live a fulfilling life.

And yet you yourself claim there is no higher purpose, and therefore, no "sense" to be made of it. And whatever importance and fulfillment you derive from life is ultimately meaningless as it is purely subjective.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 08, 2010, 05:56:52 AM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirmingdeluding.
Fixed that for you.
Wasn't broken, thanks. I wish you could have my life. You'd be happy with yourself.

A belief in one's own existence being ultimately pointless leading to existential despair can't be that much fun.


I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.

Correct, death to the world (http://www.deathtotheworld.com/articles/001/dttw.html).


"The last true rebellion is death to the world. To be crucified to the world and the world to us."

--Monk Justin Martyr, Death to the World
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 08, 2010, 07:18:53 AM
Man, this guy gives atheists a bad name.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2010, 10:14:55 AM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.

You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.

Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.

The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirmingdeluding.
Fixed that for you.
Wasn't broken, thanks.

Quite broken. But since you are quite broken, I can see how you miss that.

I wish you could have my life.

Why? You don't want it?

You'd be happy with yourself.

I'm happy with myself now, though always interested in improvement.

You assUme that we have not pondered such things.
No, I can tell that you've given this much thought. I simply disagree with your results, likely because we input different starting values.

I didn't rig my results. I can't speak for you as to what exactly how you fixed yours.  Have you answered yet the question about whether you admit of ultimate Truth or how it (we know He) is found?

Few things, of course, are further from the Truth.  Indeed, that is why we chose to do them. Take for instance the Creed. The Fathers teach that you cannot say "I believe" (where English gets the term "Credo") until you make it your own.

Of course, one can reject the Creed or just give it lip service, but that changes you, not the Creed.  One can choose to obey the Law of Gravity, assign your own meaning and purpose to it. Or you can be self-affirming and jump off the nearest cliff. How's that for self-abnegation?
Analogy fail.[/quote]
Because you don't like it?

Gravity brooks no disobedience,

Ever been on an airplane? Seen a rocket?

Quote
nor does it demand obeisance,

Jump off that cliff and see how much it doesn't.

Quote
nor does it forgive even if you repent your disbelief right before you hit the ground.

LOL. "Analogy fail," but it fails for you.  You seem to have a mechanical view of Faith and repentance: were you a "Once saved always saved" Born Againer?

Quote
You may've thought much about your faith, but you've obviously not thought about gravity that much.

Oh, you didn't mention your PhD in Physics.

Quote
I stand by what I said:

you are stumbling, and quite badly.

Quote
Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.

You stated that you are not American/in America IIRC.  Where are you from, because you seem to be quite confused on Christianity in general and Orthodox Christianity in particular. If you are not in America, maybe you are not aware of what a self-abnegating cult of death looks like, like the botox cult here.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2010, 10:24:20 AM
but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.
You have yet to arrive at the understanding that meaning and purpose are self-defined, I see.
Now, now, before you go crying that service to your god gives you meaning and purpose, ponder this: you chose to do those things. You assigned your own meaning, and purpose.
The only difference 'twixt thee and me is that your choice is self-abnegating, while mine is self-affirming.
Interesting, considering that your posting here increasingly seems to be an attempt to gain affirmation.
Yes, we need to stop feeding the troll
One post may be that last "leettle wafer" that bursts all that crap he has been gorging on that the atheists have been feeding him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlfcF1I5e_g
(WARNING: penile humor; vomitting)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 08, 2010, 11:25:35 AM
I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.

Such intellectual freedom!  Such reasoned and thought-out conclusions based on reality!  Nope, move along folks, there's no bias or prejudice here at all!  This is what any ol' person would find in an honest examination of Christianity!  Nothing to see here!  I'm not trying to be deliberately provocative!  Carry on!

I must admit, TryingtoConvert, people use "lol" a lot but this one literally made me laugh out loud.  Good job!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2010, 11:29:46 AM
If I knew my girlfriend would be in a car accident that would leave her paralyzed for the rest of her life, but could actually stop it from happening by calling her on a cellphone, I would do so, because I love her.
Do you love her enough to marry her, the mother of your daughter?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 08, 2010, 11:41:14 AM
I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.

I, I, I, I....me, me, me, me!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2010, 12:04:28 PM
I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.

I, I, I, I....me, me, me, me!
Don't leave out myself!

The Unholy Trinity of the Ego, claiming the place of I AM by denying He is.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Papist on December 08, 2010, 01:17:07 PM
Trying to convert, I have to say that I am not impressed by your worn-out, sophmoric attempts to defend atheism. Pretty much every arguement you have provided has been refuted at one time or another during the intellectual history of Christianity.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 08, 2010, 06:42:48 PM
I've gotten really bored of the atheist makes you a miserable nihilist claim. Trying to caricature us all on Nietzsche's epistemology isn't even an argument anymore, it just shows a huge misunderstanding.

One thing it took me a long time, and at least two forays into full-blown atheism, to realize is that believers are actually MORE intellectually free than nonbelievers.
What drove you into your two forays?

Quote
But what happens to an atheist who suddenly starts doubting her atheism?
What happens when you start doubting that Zeus doesn't exist?

Ew, that sentence doesn't flow right. You're lucky there's a word - atheism - for a lack of belief. It allows for something to be phrased coherently in the English language that doesn't flow smoothly at all in rational thought.

Quote
Doubt is FORBIDDEN - we KNOW there are no deities and anyone who thinks otherwise is just an idiot.
Actually no. Richard Dawkins made a scale to rank how "sure" one is of their theism or atheism. He himself was only a six, meaning he doesn't claim to know. There was a poll of this on his old forum. Overwhelmingly most atheists said 6.

Doubt is never forbidden among skeptics, it's simply a question of whether or not it's reasonable doubt. Doubt loses its virtue when it becomes erratic and irrational.

Why is it bad in Christianity to be a Doubting Thomas? But yet "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Jesus doesn't want you to doubt. He doesn't want you to be intellectually free.

iamslry - I think its amusing, and very revealing, that even with contrary evidence in front of him, iamslry here is still busy constructing his straw-man atheist, presumably in preparation for the funeral pyre.

It's pretty disappointing, actually; whom I thought was a different sort of believer turns out to be your run-of-the-mill stereotyping apologist.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 08, 2010, 06:53:05 PM
TtC, I have a question for you which you may choose to answer honestly if you like. How do you feel about the nihilistic world-view? That is, there is no ultimate purpose for living, given that the universe will just end up suffering an eventual heat death and everything you did or ever will do does not matter in the grand scheme of things? I was once like you, a strident atheist, but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.
I think the nihilism is myopic and childish (and isn't necessarily intrinsic to non-theism).

It's seems like, human beings are the only species that can think themselves into self-destruction. I think a lot of people go through that phase when they realize that this life is all there is and all our work may become nothing more than ashes in the void of space, but my reply to them is: So what? You going to stand around and cry about it? Do you want to spend your life cursing the indifferent heavens for the futility of mankind's existence? Even if there is no God or afterlife, it seems like a pretty big waste of time. The only meaningful question then becomes, what do you want to do with the life that is given to you? You can spend it creating chaos or building order. Only human beings seem to think they need to be TOLD which is better. Even an ant has the instincts to choose between the two. Hell, even an inanimate molecule of carbon has a preference between order and chaos. If these simple things can convey some "will" to build and grow, then how ignorant is it for humans to claim that we don't know which way to go, or that we can't tell the difference between destruction and creation, or order and chaos?

I've come up with two simple answers when people ask me about morality and meaning in life:

When asked about the basis of morality without religion or why should I as a non-believer try to be moral, I say, "Because my mother hugged me as a child."

When asked about what meaning life can have in the face of mortality and death, I say, "Look in the face of someone you care about; There is your 'meaning' in life."

Religious people see those things and might say that's not enough. I think it's MORE than enough (or at least it's a start). It's certainly enough for every other species on the planet to be a part of the world that's right in front of us and to be willing to fight to survive and reproduce. While we see ourselves as being above everything else around us, we are a part of this world too and we have our own role to play.

I actually think there IS ultimate "purpose" in the universe...us. WE are the ultimate purpose of the universe. I'm not trying to be self-aggrandizing and saying humans are the ultimate form of creation, but rather life itself is the ultimate form of creation. We are like the flow of energy and forces of the universe given consciousness and consciousness given form. But it's not about our individual existences, it's about the growth of life itself. It's like the directionality of the flow of water in a stream. The universe started with a bang and the movement continues not just with the expanding galaxies, but also in our own will to live. Even though death is inevitable for all living things, it is through our desire and will to oppose death and suffering and to spread life that we fulfill the greater "purpose" of the universe as a whole. It is in fulfilling that purpose that I believe that one day we may eventually even be able to break the cycle.

I don't know if any of that made sense. It may just be psychobabble to everyone else, but that's the way I see things. All the meaning and purpose we need in life is right in front of us. Anyone who claims they need more is either blind or greedy.

On a separate note, I've only become a "strident atheist" (although I don't care for the label), over the course of this past year. As I've mentioned before, for a long time I've been very ambivalent towards religion, even after I stopped being a believer myself (I'll still go to church with my mother occasionally). It's just this stuff like bans on gay marriage, bans on gay soldiers in the military and this situation for example with fundamentalists trying to screw with textbooks in Texas that has made me more belligerent towards religion. I could write off a lot of violence and discrimination in the world caused by religion as being the product of primitive extremists, but more and more I see discrimination and other forms of "violence" being propagated in our own society by people who also claim to be motivated by their religion. And when people say outright that my own way of seeing the world is based on ignorance, well, I just have a hard time letting things slide by unchallenged.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 08, 2010, 07:07:26 PM
Because believers can, and do, freely express their doubts about whether or not God exists,
Don't the majority of Christians hold the belief that one must believe in the Christian god to get into Heaven? Would it be right to say if you doubt that God exists then you wouldn't be a believer? I understand that you are saying that the doubts are momentary. What if you die at a moment of disbelief or doubt?

Quote
because most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything rrgarding God. Unless we're arrogant and prideful, we know that we don't know everything, and that we could be wrong.
Going by this statement of yours would I be correct in saying that you are Agnostic however tending more toward the possibility of the Christian god?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 08, 2010, 07:07:56 PM
Richard Dawkins made a scale to rank how "sure" one is of their theism or atheism. He himself was only a six, meaning he doesn't claim to know.
In The God Delusion, p. 73, Dawkins' scale goes:

1. Strong theist. 100 % probability of God. As C. G. Jung said, "I do not believe. I know."

2. Very high probability but short of 100%. De facto theist: "I can not know for certain, but I strongly believe, and I live my life as if God is Real."

3. Higher than 50% but not very high. Technically agnostic, but leans toward theism: "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

4. 50% probability. Complete agnosticism. God's existence is equally probable and improbable.

5. Lower than 50% but not very low. Technically agnostic, but leans towards atheism: "I don't know, but I'm inclined to be skeptical."

6. Very low probability, but higher than 0%. De facto atheist: "I can not know for certain, but I think God's existence is improbable, and I live my life as if God does not exist."

7. Strong atheist. "I don't believe that God does not exist. I know that God does not exist."
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 08, 2010, 07:12:15 PM
When asked about what meaning life can have in the face of mortality and death, I say, "Look in the face of someone you care about; There is your 'meaning' in life."

Religious people see those things and might say that's not enough.
Actually, religious people would say that that is enough. For Christians, e.g., the face would be the face of Jesus Christ.

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I actually think there IS ultimate "purpose" in the universe...us. WE are the ultimate purpose of the universe.
Now, by "we" do you mean just Homo sapiens? Or all primates? What about birds, and whales? How about benzene molecules, protons and quarks?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 08, 2010, 07:13:51 PM
Hmm. I notice TtC, like our other friend dattaspammi, answers the same post more than once (mine, at least).

Coincidence? I wonder ... ;)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 08, 2010, 07:16:13 PM
Hmm. I notice TtC, like our other friend dattaspammi, answers the same post more than once (mine, at least).

Coincidence? I wonder ... ;)

Nah, I had a few more thoughts on your post. I'll try to get to the rest later.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 08, 2010, 07:18:26 PM
Now, by "we" do you mean just Homo sapiens? Or all primates? What about birds, and whales? How about benzene molecules, protons and quarks?

Am I wrong to suggest if we found alien lifeforms that are more intelligent than us then that would make our purpose, or in this case TtC's, null and void?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 08, 2010, 09:48:13 PM
TtC, thank you for answering my question. However, I must say that I see a contradiction in your ardent defense of atheism and your previous statement:

I do want to believe in a 'God' or a higher transcendent being. I know about the baptist, lutheran, episcopal, etc faiths. All of that brought me here, I merely want to believe but there are obstacles that I have trouble accepting in.

So be honest with us. Are you really searching for God? Lately it doesn't sound like you're even open to giving religion or belief in a 'higher transcendant being' a chance; on the contrary, what you have been posting lately sounds more like musings from popular atheist manifesto's attributed to the likes of Dawkins and Dennett. So what really brought you to our humble forums, and why Orthodoxy in particular?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2010, 10:16:19 PM
TtC, I have a question for you which you may choose to answer honestly if you like. How do you feel about the nihilistic world-view? That is, there is no ultimate purpose for living, given that the universe will just end up suffering an eventual heat death and everything you did or ever will do does not matter in the grand scheme of things? I was once like you, a strident atheist, but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.
I think the nihilism is myopic and childish (and isn't necessarily intrinsic to non-theism).

It's seems like, human beings are the only species that can think themselves into self-destruction. I think a lot of people go through that phase when they realize that this life is all there is and all our work may become nothing more than ashes in the void of space, but my reply to them is: So what? You going to stand around and cry about it? Do you want to spend your life cursing the indifferent heavens for the futility of mankind's existence? Even if there is no God or afterlife, it seems like a pretty big waste of time. The only meaningful question then becomes, what do you want to do with the life that is given to you? You can spend it creating chaos or building order. Only human beings seem to think they need to be TOLD which is better. Even an ant has the instincts to choose between the two. Hell, even an inanimate molecule of carbon has a preference between order and chaos. If these simple things can convey some "will" to build and grow, then how ignorant is it for humans to claim that we don't know which way to go, or that we can't tell the difference between destruction and creation, or order and chaos?

I've come up with two simple answers when people ask me about morality and meaning in life:

When asked about the basis of morality without religion or why should I as a non-believer try to be moral, I say, "Because my mother hugged me as a child."

When asked about what meaning life can have in the face of mortality and death, I say, "Look in the face of someone you care about; There is your 'meaning' in life."

Religious people see those things and might say that's not enough. I think it's MORE than enough (or at least it's a start). It's certainly enough for every other species on the planet to be a part of the world that's right in front of us and to be willing to fight to survive and reproduce. While we see ourselves as being above everything else around us, we are a part of this world too and we have our own role to play.

I actually think there IS ultimate "purpose" in the universe...us. WE are the ultimate purpose of the universe. I'm not trying to be self-aggrandizing and saying humans are the ultimate form of creation, but rather life itself is the ultimate form of creation. We are like the flow of energy and forces of the universe given consciousness and consciousness given form. But it's not about our individual existences, it's about the growth of life itself. It's like the directionality of the flow of water in a stream. The universe started with a bang and the movement continues not just with the expanding galaxies, but also in our own will to live. Even though death is inevitable for all living things, it is through our desire and will to oppose death and suffering and to spread life that we fulfill the greater "purpose" of the universe as a whole. It is in fulfilling that purpose that I believe that one day we may eventually even be able to break the cycle.

I don't know if any of that made sense. It may just be psychobabble to everyone else, but that's the way I see things. All the meaning and purpose we need in life is right in front of us. Anyone who claims they need more is either blind or greedy.

On a separate note, I've only become a "strident atheist" (although I don't care for the label), over the course of this past year. As I've mentioned before, for a long time I've been very ambivalent towards religion, even after I stopped being a believer myself (I'll still go to church with my mother occasionally). It's just this stuff like bans on gay marriage, bans on gay soldiers in the military and this situation for example with fundamentalists trying to screw with textbooks in Texas that has made me more belligerent towards religion. I could write off a lot of violence and discrimination in the world caused by religion as being the product of primitive extremists, but more and more I see discrimination and other forms of "violence" being propagated in our own society by people who also claim to be motivated by their religion. And when people say outright that my own way of seeing the world is based on ignorance, well, I just have a hard time letting things slide by unchallenged.

With the little I've read from you, I must say personally, this is one of your best posts, and I'd like to see more of that quality and honesty in you rather than your other posts that seem to look down on our beliefs in a slightly insulting manner.

I have to say, it is your beliefs of life with consciousness that makes me see a purpose too.  Only this time, I don't see the purpose without God.

If life was to grow and evolve, and we were to grow smarter and more advanced, by the time we reach a certain level of advancement, we find that the more we evolve the more disease and obstacles in life evolve with us.  We find that in the end, the universe as we know it will end and all evolution and all purpose we struggle for doesn't even matter.  We are forced with one goal, that is simply to survive.  But why try to survive now when it will all end later, not just your life, but even the life of your progeny?

Your rejection of belief in God is a valid rejection.  Your rejection is based on the actions of people.  People around us are quite condemning.  People do not know how to separate between the condemnation of a particular sin and the sinner himself.  People have lost sight with the idea of how to become gods in this world, and instead have become accusers, wishing upon people hell, pronouncing upon people that "God hates you."

But who said Christianity was easy.  It's indeed a "narrow gate."  Even within Christianity, it's a narrow gate.  Thank God for a merciful God, knowing the weaknesses of people, and always willing to help those who seek it.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 08, 2010, 10:57:07 PM
I've gotten really bored of the atheist makes you a miserable nihilist claim. Trying to caricature us all on Nietzsche's epistemology isn't even an argument anymore, it just shows a huge misunderstanding.

Who is "we"? And of course, I have to wonder why you think there aren't any former atheists in this thread. Finally, you yourself have hardly refrained from caricaturing Christian belief in this thread.

Doubt is never forbidden among skeptics, it's simply a question of whether or not it's reasonable doubt. Doubt loses its virtue when it becomes erratic and irrational.

Why is it bad in Christianity to be a Doubting Thomas?

Can you show us in patristics where this is described as "bad"?


 But yet "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Jesus doesn't want you to doubt[/quote]

Which is a blessing of those who have faith, not a condemnation of those who doubt. Nice try.

. He doesn't want you to be intellectually free.

Perhaps because that freedom is an illusion?

"We desire our freedom. Why? In order to be slaves to our passions."

--Mother Gavriela (Papayannis)

It's pretty disappointing, actually; whom I thought was a different sort of believer turns out to be your run-of-the-mill stereotyping apologist.

Of course, you've hardly refrained from generalizing yourself.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 09, 2010, 03:26:14 AM
Yeah I agree with Papist, atheism only leads to nihilsm.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 04:41:13 AM
Yeah I agree with Papist, atheism only leads to nihilsm.
Precisely. Logically (I am a Nihilist myself).Yet the caricature is extended over from pedantic philosophy of epistemology (I say this only because it encompasses the nihilist view on ethics and value) to our personal lives; how we live. If those who caricature us after Nietzsche had actually invested any time in reading Nietzsche they would know he claimed that no one seeks to live as a Nihilist, and would have noticed what an obvious Romantic he was. That's the point of Existentialism. To create our own value, as he argued we all do, unwittingly or not.

OrthoCats entire argument is that one should not see value because nothing can have absolute value. From a cerebral perspective that's true but no man can think only cerebral thoughts. So are you also saying nothing can have relative value? If so, on what grounds? What is a bore to some is a life purpose to others. How can you possibly claim that in a world without value defined by an invisible authority or some immeasurable rule set in the universe that value cannot relatively exist among human beings? As the cliché goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So again, merely because we, nihilists, acknowledge that the universe takes no stance of its own on value doesn't mean we can't. There is no rule that value has to be objective in fact it's exactly the opposite.

As far as ethics go I see no reason why something must be pronounced Right or Wrong in order to be demonstrated as detrimental to humanity. I also don't see how an objective reality can exist simply because a creator says it's Wrong. Without the creator being able to prove real consequences in the material world for "immoral" deeds he has no persuasive reasoning
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 05:07:10 AM
Richard Dawkins made a scale to rank how "sure" one is of their theism or atheism. He himself was only a six, meaning he doesn't claim to know.
In The God Delusion, p. 73, Dawkins' scale goes:

1. Strong theist. 100 % probability of God. As C. G. Jung said, "I do not believe. I know."

2. Very high probability but short of 100%. De facto theist: "I can not know for certain, but I strongly believe, and I live my life as if God is Real."

3. Higher than 50% but not very high. Technically agnostic, but leans toward theism: "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

4. 50% probability. Complete agnosticism. God's existence is equally probable and improbable.

5. Lower than 50% but not very low. Technically agnostic, but leans towards atheism: "I don't know, but I'm inclined to be skeptical."

6. Very low probability, but higher than 0%. De facto atheist: "I can not know for certain, but I think God's existence is improbable, and I live my life as if God does not exist."

7. Strong atheist. "I don't believe that God does not exist. I know that God does not exist."
Yes I know. Most atheists claim to be a 6.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 05:09:29 AM
Can you show me in patristics where this is described as "bad"?

If one Jesus story isn't enough then maybe this will help:

And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. (Matthew 21:21)

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Which is a blessing of those who have faith, not a condemnation of those who doubt. Nice try.

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)

Does it sound like Jesus is praising the doubters to you?

Or what of these other verses:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

Faith and doubt are not friends.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 07:57:59 AM
I do want to apologize for using this board as a tool for myself to understand these religious labels. It is something I am quite confused about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNDZb0KtJDk&feature=player_embedded

So it seems that Agnostic means a lack of knowledge about gods, So I too would agree with theistgal's statement "most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God" so I would take this to mean that most Christian Theists are Agnostic, I would also theorise that most Atheists are also Agnostic.

The strange thing about Theist label and Atheist label is that they aren't reciprocal as I have previously thought. I though Theists believe that there is a god and that Atheist believe that there is no god. But watching the video clip it seems that Atheists have no belief in a god. So in that sense I am an Atheist as well as being Agnostic. I find this a bit confusing though because I would have thought that if a person were Agnostic (accepts that there is no known knowledge of a god) that they would also be Atheist because how can you believe in something that you accept there is no known knowledge about? Unless my definition of the term "belief" is incorrect. I take it that belief means 100% certain, so to be a Theist you would need to be 100% certain that god exists. So going back to theistgal's statement "most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God" but tieing that in with my definition of belief would become "most of us (Christian Theists) know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God however all of us (Christian Theists) are 100% certain that god exists" which doesn't make any sense. So I must be going astray somewhere. Can someone please explain where I am going wrong with this?

Something not of nature must forever remain unknown and unknowable to any biological or technological detection apparatus. But the "acknowledging" word is key. A Christian is agnostic if and only if the underlined word applies to that Christian. It is theoretically possible for the underlined word to apply to a Christian. It is also, unfortunately, rare for a Christian to acknowledge not only privately but also publicly the unknown and unknowable status of that which, not of nature, was nature's author.

I am agnostic and I am also atheist because I refuse to place my faith in something unknown and unknowable. I am first agnostic, and then, as a direct result, atheist. It makes no sense to me to place my faith in something unknown and unknowable. An agnostic Christian would be someone to whom it makes sense to place faith in something unknown and unknowable. An action only makes sense if it achieves, or is likely to achieve, an objective. The Christian's objective is to get into heaven. The Christian has been taught that placing faith in something unknown and unknowable is the method by which getting into heaven is achieved. The Christian, having the objective, takes up the suggested method and runs with it.

The word agnostic can also be used in a more general sense, to denote the acknowledgement that any claim X is unknown and unknowable. In this more general sense, I am agnostic toward the existence of heaven, and, even if I were to grant for the sake of discussion the existence of heaven, I would be agnostic toward how one manages to get in. Since it makes no sense to me to place my faith in something unknown and unknowable, I place no faith in the existence of heaven, and, even if I were to grant the existence of heaven, I would place no faith in any suggested method of how to get in.

The unknown and unknowable is to be set aside and forgotten, unless and until it emerges suddenly as newly known or knowable. Or so say I.

If the probability of X being true is 100% then X isn't merely believed, but known. If the probability of X being true is less than 100% then accepting X as true would be belief. Different people have different thresholds with respect to how probable X must be before it can or should be accepted. My own threshold is pretty high, certainly higher than 50%.

If X is not only unknown but unknowable, then its probability of being true can never be assessed. It is my position that if the probability of X being true can never be assessed, then the probability of X being true should be treated as if it were zero.

It is also my position that the desire that X be true should never be factored in when deciding whether or not to treat X as true. Truth is one domain, and desire is another. The two domains do not at all intersect. They are 100% incongruent. Accessing one domain for purposes of ascertaining the contents of the other domain is illegitimate. Desire does not and cannot determine truth, and truth does not and cannot determine desire. What is undesirable can be true, and what is untrue can be desired.

Incidentally, the desire for something that is currently untrue but which is deemed possible has a name, and that name is hope. It is my position that hope should be placed in X only if X is at least theoretically knowable, for if X isn't knowable, then one will never know if X has been achieved or encountered, and hope will never be satisfied.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 09, 2010, 11:33:02 AM
First of all, Trying to Convert, let me just state right out front that unlike you, I am not "trying to convert" you, or anyone else, to my way of thinking or believing.  I truly believe that the path to God is an individual one.  We can give each other suggestions and encouragement along the way, but it's up to each of us to find out what God wants - or whether there is even a God at all to follow.

If you are happy being a nihilist and an atheist, then that's the path you're on and I'm not going to try to dissuade you.  Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't, because I know from personal experience it wouldn't do any good.  All it would do - all the arguments others are offering you in this thread - just makes you feel more certain that you are right and we are wrong.  So what's the point?

I will only make one suggestion.  Have you ever heard of the late great +Martin Gardner?  Here's the Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Gardner  

Do yourself a favor.  Seek out and read his book "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener".  It's worth reading all the way through, but if you're in a hurry, at least read the chapter entitled "Why I Am Not An Atheist".  It made a difference for me, a long time ago.  Maybe it will for you.

If not, then go your way in peace.  I have no quarrel with you.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Iconodule on December 09, 2010, 12:06:53 PM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.

Perhaps one day you can expound for us the boundless splendours of Eminem.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 09, 2010, 12:40:03 PM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.
Interesting. I would say the same has been true of me as I progress in atheism.

Perhaps one day you can expound for us the boundless splendours of Eminem.

I'll be looking forward to that day!  :laugh:
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 09, 2010, 03:59:40 PM
The strange thing about Theist label and Atheist label is that they aren't reciprocal as I have previously thought. I though Theists believe that there is a god and that Atheist believe that there is no god. But watching the video clip it seems that Atheists have no belief in a god. So in that sense I am an Atheist as well as being Agnostic. I find this a bit confusing though because I would have thought that if a person were Agnostic (accepts that there is no known knowledge of a god) that they would also be Atheist because how can you believe in something that you accept there is no known knowledge about? Unless my definition of the term "belief" is incorrect. I take it that belief means 100% certain, so to be a Theist you would need to be 100% certain that god exists. So going back to theistgal's statement "most of us know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God" but tieing that in with my definition of belief would become "most of us (Christian Theists) know that we can't be 100% sure of anything regarding God however all of us (Christian Theists) are 100% certain that god exists" which doesn't make any sense. So I must be going astray somewhere. Can someone please explain where I am going wrong with this?

It's a matter of faith.  Faith is the construct by which you put your trust in a certain manner of thinking things through.

Here's how I would group people:

A. People who tend to treat materialistic matters as the only truth.
B. People who are open to the idea that life is more than just what we can sense, but are highly skeptical enough to be agnostic.
C. People who tend to treat materialistic matters as in unity with a more transcendant understanding of the cosmos and themselves.

Therefore, A goes by the faith of what they only sense and the empirical.  B goes by no faith at all.  C goes by a faith of transcendant realms.

You see, you interpret faith and doubt as different things.  In my view, one things leads to another.  A faith in something does not let you doubt it.  On the contrary, you trust it, especially when it's built out of your own personal experience.  You see, atheists don't like the word "faith" and attribute the meaning to something you trust that is supernatural.  It's not that at all.  When the Scriptures talk about faith, it talks about the Christian faith, that is the Christian way of thinking.  Faith is a way of thinking and trusting that thought.  B has a way of thinking and has no trust whatsoever.  A and C have little to no doubt (perhaps those with little doubt develops more humility in their arguments, and those with no doubt at all tend to be quite arrogant).  B is filled with doubt.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 09, 2010, 04:58:53 PM
^ Yes
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Nero on December 09, 2010, 07:40:12 PM
Can you show me in patristics where this is described as "bad"?

If one Jesus story isn't enough then maybe this will help:

And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. (Matthew 21:21)

That's an if-clause, not a command.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 10:23:04 PM
Quite broken. But since you are quite broken, I can see how you miss that.
Personal attacks are not only against the rules, they are the surest sign of a defeated argument. Attack my argument, not me.

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Why? You don't want it?
I seem to have found one limit to your understanding, right here. Perhaps you're smart enough to figure out what your error here is.

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I'm happy with myself now, though always interested in improvement.
Your interest is a good thing.

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I didn't rig my results. I can't speak for you as to what exactly how you fixed yours.  Have you answered yet the question about whether you admit of ultimate Truth or how it (we know He) is found?
You'll notice that I didn't say you rigged your results. And I didn't notice you asking such a mundane question. Please define what you mean by "ultimate truth".

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Because you don't like it?
Protip: Read entire post before responding.

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Ever been on an airplane? Seen a rocket?
Apparently you don't understand aerodynamics. Gravity is not being disobeyed; it is being outdone by different forces.

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Jump off that cliff and see how much it doesn't.
That, my friend, isn't a demand for obeisance -- it is not telling me to behave in any particular way; it is merely exerting brute force.

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nor does it forgive even if you repent your disbelief right before you hit the ground.

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LOL. "Analogy fail," but it fails for you.  You seem to have a mechanical view of Faith and repentance: were you a "Once saved always saved" Born Againer?
No.

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Oh, you didn't mention your PhD in Physics.
That's okay. You didn't mention you masters in theology. Or you doctorate in bs, for that matter.

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you are stumbling, and quite badly.
I'm happy to let the readership decide.

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You stated that you are not American/in America IIRC.  Where are you from, because you seem to be quite confused on Christianity in general and Orthodox Christianity in particular. If you are not in America, maybe you are not aware of what a self-abnegating cult of death looks like, like the botox cult here.
Agreed, like faith, it is largely a superficial phenomenon, which is performed for the sake of appearance, and doesn't outlive the person. Also, the two are similar in that they are a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others, and an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality.

This comparison is more apt than you realize.

Carry on!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 10:24:24 PM
I stand by what I said: Christianity is a self-abnegating cult of death.

Such intellectual freedom!  Such reasoned and thought-out conclusions based on reality!  Nope, move along folks, there's no bias or prejudice here at all!  This is what any ol' person would find in an honest examination of Christianity!  Nothing to see here!  I'm not trying to be deliberately provocative!  Carry on!

Wait, you came here not expecting an expression of opinion? Really?

I'm unsure how old you are, but I'm willing to bet that I've considered this matter longer than you've breathed air.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 09, 2010, 10:27:07 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I agree partially with some of the sentiment here against focusing on the afterlife.  I think Western Christianity in particular has gotten way to caught up in the afterlife, in eternal salvation, and not prioritizing this current life enough.  In Orthodox our worship is complete, fundamentally central to all the aspects of our daily lives and routines.  We do not just do these things for the afterlife, we do them to find healing, consolation, Spirit, joy, communion and love from God in this time, in our daily lives where we are all at right now in the here and now.

In focusing on the afterlife, unfortunately many Christians have forgetten the ever-presence of God and have limited themselves to an almost illusory pie in the sky God of the future.  God is not only about the future, but the here and now.  Jesus Christ heals us today! This is why we participate in the Divine Mysteries, to find the healing and love of God that we need here and now in this life we are living today in this current era.  Whatever the future and afterlife holds is truly up to the Will of God, but Christianity and specifically the worship and venerable Tradition of the Orthodox is not only to make some sense of the afterlife, but most importantly to give the people the direct Real Presence of God through the Mysteries.  The Apostles did not wander the earth would good speeches or kind words about consolation in the after-life, rather they came bringing directly the Church and its opportunities in the Divine economy of the Mysteries, especially the Qurbon.  That the Apostles recognized the offering of eternal life that Jesus gave them is only because their Jewish life was already rather full of beneficial worship and tradition, and so they were already fairly religious men, but Judaism gave no hope for the afterlife.  In Christianity, our afterlife is assured in Christ, its our day to day realities that pose the worst threats and problems, woes which Christ directly cares for in our reality here, now  and forever.  Jesus Christ is real today, not just in His Second Coming.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 10:29:09 PM
TtC, thank you for answering my question. However, I must say that I see a contradiction in your ardent defense of atheism and your previous statement:

I do want to believe in a 'God' or a higher transcendent being. I know about the baptist, lutheran, episcopal, etc faiths. All of that brought me here, I merely want to believe but there are obstacles that I have trouble accepting in.

So be honest with us. Are you really searching for God? Lately it doesn't sound like you're even open to giving religion or belief in a 'higher transcendant being' a chance; on the contrary, what you have been posting lately sounds more like musings from popular atheist manifesto's attributed to the likes of Dawkins and Dennett. So what really brought you to our humble forums, and why Orthodoxy in particular?

If you don't mind I'd like to add more to what you said earlier

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I have a question for you which you may choose to answer honestly if you like. How do you feel about the nihilistic world-view? That is, there is no ultimate purpose for living, given that the universe will just end up suffering an eventual heat death and everything you did or ever will do does not matter in the grand scheme of things? I was once like you, a strident atheist, but I eventually realized that this world-view of atheistic nihilism was utterly unnacceptable to me, and rendered all life ultimately meaningless and without purpose.
I think, honestly, that I would agree with a few of nihilism's ideas - lack of ultimate purpose being one of them. I feel that I do not need a purpose to live my life - every morning when I wake up, I don't feel a purpose driving me forwards beyond the simple needs of the day. There's no overarching goal for my life, beyond providing for my children, loving my wife and advancing my career and hobbies. I want to see new things, experience new stuff, and that's what drives me forward. I know that the world will end someday, everything I ever made will be gone - but that's what defines us as humans, our lack of permanence. I believe it is the end that gives the whole thing meaning, the border on the painting that gives it a focus. Some people have a drive for their lives to have meaning, but I'm just glad that my genes turned up out of the mind-bogglingly large number of possible DNA sequences.

If I wasn't searching for God why would I be here? I have two roomates that, one is Orthodox and the other is converting. They pointed me here to get some of my questions answered.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 10:40:13 PM
First off, God searches the hearts.  No one is condemning you to hell.  I was joking with you that last post.
I don't know the exact beliefs of Orthodoxy, but I don't think this is true. The Bible is pretty explicit in stating that you have to know Jesus to get to heaven - John 3:16 and John 14:6 off the top of my head. If we entertain the fact that you can get into heaven without knowing Jesus, then you start to call into doubt the entire purpose of Christianity. If God will just search my heart, than all I have do is live a moderately good life and I'll be cool. If he's searching their hearts, however, for belief in him, though, and not necessarily 'Jesus,' then we still have the same problem, due to the infinite number of potential gods you could believe in.

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You have to look at a certain perspective here.  It would be understandable that your attack on God's love doesn't make sense for a place of possible eternal punishment.  I must also say from my perspective, your love of your present existence also doesn't make sense for an end of sure non-existence.  So, it was a matter of choice.  For you, because you're so turned off by God, probably angry at God, you made sense out of your present existence without taking the logical leap, it's probably better I wouldn't have been born.  For me, because I'm so turned off by any lack of God, and I can't imagine life without having a relationship with this God, a relationship where I can grow, then for me, it didn't matter what afterlife there was.  I knew if I at least try and pray, I know I'm heading in the right direction.

The logical leap for humans is not to kill themselves - that's a rather odd take of things. I like my life, I like drinking coffee, writing novels, playing video games, laughing with my kids - these things are fun. They'll end someday, sure, that's what happens - and I'm fine with that. It's what makes these moments special, since I can't experience them again. Immortality takes that away - it says, 'Don't worry about doing anything cool now, you've got eternity to do it.' It takes away any motivation to do anything meaningful, because as I said earlier, due to the simple logical nature of immortality, your entire existence is spent in heaven. What's the point of earth? Just because we know some things will end doesn't mean we can't enjoy them. How could you get enjoyment out of anything in life with the attitude that "from my perspective, your love of your present existence also doesn't make sense for an end of sure non-existence". Things end. It's what happens.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 10:43:41 PM
It should be noted that Heaven is earth restored.  It will be life as it was meant to be.  We won't be floating around on clouds somewhere "up there" in "heaven." 

That's why the key is resurrection.  It's not a disembodied existence.  It's the body you have now, raised back to life to a restored creation.  Sounds pretty damn good to me...
What, then, is life supposed to be, beyond merely my wishes for a life without pain and end? Will my new body 'age'? If it does, to what age? What about unborn children? If I can't age, then they won't either - will I be surrounded by heaps of immortal, unborn fetuses? What about the elderly, what age will they be rewound to? Who picks? At first I though that an earth restored would be a difficult thing (where do you put everyone?) but then I remembered the vast majority of people are going to hell.

I'm not really interested in the specifics of heaven, i.e. what am I doing year 3x10^24, I'm more concerned about the fact that a lot of Christians aren't bothered by the notion of someone still being punished that same year for having had a lack of belief at some point, the duration of which was countless orders of magnitude less than the duration of their suffering. Take it even further - I believe there is no crime possible that would warrant eternal punishment. Sure, people will bring up ridiculous examples, but the point is that eternity is a grossly unbalanced punishment for any crime, no matter how grotesque.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 09, 2010, 10:57:54 PM
It's a matter of faith.  Faith is the construct by which you put your trust in a certain manner of thinking things through.
Isn't faith a particular type of belief that exists in spite of an absence of physical knowledge? The word is usually applied to supernatural belief systems and those who have beliefs in such systems frequently speak of faith as if it is a virtue; and the virtue is considered particularly great when there is involved a blind rejection of ulterior possibilities in which the believer seems to proclaim, 'My belief, no matter what!' I have come up against this wall time, and time again, in which discussion just shuts down.

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Here's how I would group people:

A. People who tend to treat materialistic matters as the only truth.
This would be me. I just don't see that other means of acquiring knowledge exist.

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B. People who are open to the idea that life is more than just what we can sense, but are highly skeptical enough to be agnostic.
There are things that we cannot sense, and perhaps truth is still stranger than fiction, but the only path to discovering the true nature of the world and its life forms is through physical investigation. We can't do as the Gnostics did, or as St. Paul did, and claim to posses knowledge from beyond ourselves. Anyone can made such claims, and many do, and some do it convincingly. Paul may have taken his introspective imaginings and turned them into a new reality for his disciples. He may have created the Christ, but many who proclaim the importance of faith also eschew even recognizing this as a possibility. Not doubting becomes a position on faith. Stubbornness becomes a virtue.

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C. People who tend to treat materialistic matters as in unity with a more transcendant understanding of the cosmos and themselves.
Does the transcendent only lend itself to investigating the supernatural, or can it be said that it is also a source of knowledge for the material world? Can it provide us knowledge on Mars and save the expense of sending rovers off-world? Can transcendent techniques find cures for disease? Can we do double blind studies to validate the that the results of transcendental investigations are repeatable? Could we use the results to toss out unvalidated transcendental claims about God?

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Therefore, A goes by the faith of what they only sense and the empirical.
We obviously don't agree on the meaning of faith. Your A personality doesn't doesn't believe in the validity of faith.

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B goes by no faith at all.
Are you sure you didn't mix-up A and B?

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You see, you interpret faith and doubt as different things. In my view, one things leads to another.
I am not following your meaning.

I think I will take your last paragraph separately, lest this response become too long.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Nero on December 09, 2010, 11:10:53 PM
I'm not really interested in the specifics of heaven, i.e. what am I doing year 3x10^24, I'm more concerned about the fact that a lot of Christians aren't bothered by the notion of someone still being punished that same year for having had a lack of belief at some point, the duration of which was countless orders of magnitude less than the duration of their suffering. Take it even further - I believe there is no crime possible that would warrant eternal punishment. Sure, people will bring up ridiculous examples, but the point is that eternity is a grossly unbalanced punishment for any crime, no matter how grotesque.

The whole idea of time, of something having a start and an end (a day for example: sunrise and sundown) - that is this life. The afterlife is not so: time literally doesn't exist. Eternal may be one word, but timeless is probably a better one. And after a lifetime of setting the decision before you, decade after decade, year after year, day after day, to choose right or wrong, there is simply a deadline.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: biro on December 09, 2010, 11:14:17 PM
Quote from: Nero
The whole idea of time, of something having a start and an end (a day for example: sunrise and sundown) - that is this life. The afterlife is not so: time literally doesn't exist. Eternal may be one word, but timeless is probably a better one. And after a lifetime of setting the decision before you, decade after decade, year after year, day after day, to choose right or wrong, there is simply a deadline.

 :)  Well said.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 10, 2010, 12:02:02 AM
A faith in something does not let you doubt it.
This is why having faith is such a problem in my estimation.  Those who take a faith position do see their stubbornness as a virtue.  They will stand by a faith claim even when they lack any way to defend it.  Is it any wonder faith is so often called blind, implying a stubborn rejection of all arguments against the position.  Faith is a matter of belief -- no matter what!

I do not hold my views as matters of faith.  I have on many occasions been compelled to take up a new position because the old one has become untenable.  Persons of faith will not do that.  They always reject any admission that their stance needs modification.

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On the contrary, you trust it, especially when it's built out of your own personal experience.
Personal experience is subjective.  The interpretive spin we put on experience is based on our belief system.  Two people having a similar experience may draw vastly different conclusions.  It is safe to say that an Ecuadorian native living one thousand years ago would interpret his dream experiences differently than a Catholic nun living at the same time, but in Madrid. A Christian evangelical living in Texas will interpret her dream experiences differently again.  Given that people around the world and through history have come to such vastly different conclusions about the supernatural world, I don't see that anyone can claim that personal experience provides any sort of legitimate insight into these matters.

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You see, atheists don't like the word "faith" and attribute the meaning to something you trust that is supernatural. It's not that at all.
I am an atheist.  It is not that I dislike the word faith, I dislike the implications of having faith.  Faith means taking a position and rejecting legitimate arguments against that position, and standing by the faith position even when one is incapable of defending that position against objections.  I have encountered this wall on many occasions, where individuals will finally admit that they can't defend their position, but insist they will stand by it as a matter of faith.

I do see Christianity as a belief in things supernatural.

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When the Scriptures talk about faith, it talks about the Christian faith, that is the Christian way of thinking. Faith is a way of thinking and trusting that thought.
Muslims may not talk as much about faith as Christians but I think they demonstrate a dogged belief in matters of faith.  They, as much as Christians, hold stubbornly to their beliefs, and it could be said they have as much faith in their scripture as do Christians in theirs.  You are not saying otherwise, are you?

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B has a way of thinking and has no trust whatsoever. A and C have little to no doubt (perhaps those with little doubt develops more humility in their arguments, and those with no doubt at all tend to be quite arrogant). B is filled with doubt.
I should have read on.  You didn't mix up A and B.

When you say that A exhibits little to no doubt, are you talking specifically about lack of belief in God?  When first I read your definition for A -- evolution came to mind, not questions on the existence of God.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 10, 2010, 12:25:57 AM
Quite broken. But since you are quite broken, I can see how you miss that.
Personal attacks are not only against the rules, they are the surest sign of a defeated argument. Attack my argument, not me.

You would first have to make an argument first for me to attack it. You just made a string of snide assertions that, while at least not plagerized this time, are hardly original.

Your posts are for the most part a confused jumble of parroted lines from atheists preaching to the choir with some incoherent thoughts.  It is not a personal attack to point that out.

Btw, since I don't spend much time on your posts (I haven't seen much reason) over the many threads you have cast about here, so I may have missed something, so let me bring up here what I've seen pointed out to you several times but I haven't seen a reply from you. You seem to know next to nothing about Orthodoxy-your comment about there being no growth in heaven is the surest sign of that.  Not that we expect everyone to know alll about us as they ought. But you came to a specifically Orthodox Christian site, as opposed to an Evangelical one (which I am guessing is your background or whatever familiarity you have with Christianity) or even a general theist one, to open threads on ideas you gather from atheist sites.  Given that, can you explain why we shouldn't feel like mud is beig thrown at our wall just in the hope that something will stick?

Why? You don't want it?
I seem to have found one limit to your understanding, right here. Perhaps you're smart enough to figure out what your error here is.

I'm sorry, like your friend Carl Sagan, I'm also a creature of the University of Chicago, and we have little patience to play games with sophmores. If you have something to say, spit it out.

I didn't rig my results. I can't speak for you as to what exactly how you fixed yours.  Have you answered yet the question about whether you admit of ultimate Truth or how it (we know He) is found?
You'll notice that I didn't say you rigged your results.
I"m not the one going on an atheist website not knowing their worldview/arguments/beliefs etc. and posting platitudes against them culled from here, with no substantiation.
I don't know if you think we don't think on your own, or if that is something you picked up from your websites, or both. But in any case, the underlying assumption of your posts that we accept assumptions without a reason and build on from there shines through.


And I didn't notice you asking such a mundane question.


Being underwhelmed by your brilliance, we have to resort to the tedious chore of figuring out a basis for discussion, as you make it clear you won't do that homework.

Please define what you mean by "ultimate truth".
Christ of course.  But you are not ready for Him, so we will have to settle for some agreed common ground of reality, where 2+2=4.

For instance, I asked you once how do you know that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. How do you prove it? Can one prove it? Can it be verified?  And if it is verified, can we also see and verify the consequences?

So is someting real, or is it all make-believe?

Because you don't like it?
Protip: Read entire post before responding.

I did. Your point got the counter point it merited. No more, no less.

Ever been on an airplane? Seen a rocket?
Apparently you don't understand aerodynamics. Gravity is not being disobeyed; it is being outdone by different forces.
I'm quite aware of them. So too, just because when you break God's commandments that He doesn't strike you down then and there doesn't prove the divine law isn't in operation. He has other concerns than just swift punishment.  Just like the operation of areodynamics do not disprove gravity.

Jump off that cliff and see how much it doesn't.
That, my friend, isn't a demand for obeisance -- it is not telling me to behave in any particular way; it is merely exerting brute force.
Brute force is quite within God's reach. But He is not restricted or limited to it. If we were Calvinists, you would know the difference between predestination and gravity. Since we don't know exactly what pre/misconceptions of your own about God that you bring here, don't know how further to go with that at this time.

Oh, you didn't mention your PhD in Physics.
That's okay. You didn't mention you masters in theology. Or you doctorate in bs, for that matter.
PhD in Islaimc thought, Muslim Theology and Early Islamic History, University of Chicago. ABD.

So, where did you cut your teeth on the books, or are you self taught.

you are stumbling, and quite badly.
I'm happy to let the readership decide.
Agreement at last!

But many of our readers have already voted on that.

You stated that you are not American/in America IIRC.  Where are you from, because you seem to be quite confused on Christianity in general and Orthodox Christianity in particular. If you are not in America, maybe you are not aware of what a self-abnegating cult of death looks like, like the botox cult here.
Agreed, like faith, it is largely a superficial phenomenon, which is performed for the sake of appearance, and doesn't outlive the person.
Depends on what the person places his Faith/faith in. Or in Whom.

Also, the two are similar in that they are a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others, and an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality.

Ah, there you go again, trying to sneak an assertion in without us noticing its lack of foundation.

Let's break this down:

"a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others" this may be the case where you are-you evaded, again, answering the question of where you are at, since you state you are not American-but such was not the case of Orthodox Christianity in the first three centuries, during which it was a capital offense everywhere. Getting yourself executed for your Faith doesn't demonstrate much concern with conformity and the opinion of others, particularly those in power.  It is still the case in much of the world: I've spent a lot of time in the Muslim world, where just wearing a Cross can and does get you killed.  And then there is the Church under Communism. Again, not an overwhelming concern with conformity and the opinion of others.

"an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality": you obviously haven't read any Orthodox spiritual literature about the remembrance of mortality.  You're way not ready for that, so I'll just ask: you characterized Christianity as a  "death cult" or some such nonsense. Explain then how does a death cult attempt to defy the reminders of morality?  If you are supposedly obsessed with death, how do you ignore the reminders of morality?

This comparison is more apt than you realize.

Carry on!

LOL. Sophmores.

This thread reminds me of a conversation I had with an American Communist in between undergrad and grad school at the U of C. The Communist, of course, was from rich priveledged background in Maryland, blue blood family, the whole bit. He was, not suprisingly, and alcoholic.  We had friends in common, but never talked much to each other (for a variety of moral failings on his part with several persons, I didn't care too much for him). Anyway, I came by the home of a common friend, and the communist was there, and he offered me a drink. Although far earlier than I was used to (11 AM), I took it anyway.

Well, we got to talking and he started asking about the Gnostic Gospels, which evidently he had just heard of.  Somewhere between bottles (he afterword was raving about how I could keep up with him, a sad commentary on his sense of priority) he made some comment about death and that I didn't have to worry about it because I thought that I would live again.  I replied that that didn't matter, as I looked at the afterlife like aging and death, and inevitable, and I don't worry about inevitable things. "So you aren't afraid of dying and not existing?" he asked. "No.  I think I would tire of existence after a millenium, two at most. Death meaning the end of existence wouldn't bother me a bit, as it would be inevitable" I replied.  He then went into his profound fear of death, something that the communism and alcoholism was feeding off of, but he wasn't aware of that.

So no, no opiate of the masses here nor afterlife morphine. Just dealing with the facts.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2010, 12:32:13 AM
Okay, let me give you a different perspective.  Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

True agnostics see the world through no particular understanding necessarily.  They doubt a strict materialistic worldview, but they also doubt transcendant worldview.

Faith is something you believe in.  It's the precursor to a philosophy.  We talk about the Christian faith, that is the beliefs, the theology of our Church, etc.  Faith is dogma, and everyone has a certain dogma they live by, whether it be atheists or believers.

The way we attain faith in the Christian understanding is by the trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises.  The way we attain faith in the scientific method is by personal experience of it and its trustworthiness and consistency to attain materialistic data.  At one point, I thought faith is only in the supernatural.  When I decided to stop prayer and spiritual exercises, I felt the difference in my personal life.  A friend of mind asked me how do you know that cussing is immoral.  I asked him, have you tried to stop cussing?  And he said, "no."  Unfortunately he wasn't up for the challenge, and still too stubborn to stop.  People who live their whole lives in garbage will not know what smelling good smells like, or have become numb to the bad smell.  So at least, faith is not something merely about prayer.  It's method of my thoughts and my actions.  Even agnostics have some faith to function in this world, but overall the strongest faith are in the extremes.

Other faiths talk about meditation, and how important it is for them.  People are realizing that these help find the spiritual part of them.  Prayer is not just meditation of a self-realization, but a step up, a bridge with the divine, a self-giving to God.

You say you have no purpose.  But you in fact do have a purpose.  What more important purpose is their than your wife and children?  You are performing an act of self-giving for them.  Your purpose is sacrifice.  Thank God this is instilled in us for the survival of our species.  However, the intellect is there also to question our sacrifice.  The intellect is there to remind us that there is a higher purpose.  We are not merely like the rest of the animal kingdom, where we just do.  We also actually analyze what we do, something no other animal can do, let alone care to even do.  What's the point of having this faculty to analyze what we do when life is to precious to even to think about it, and just do it?  That makes no sense to me.  You believe that the world will end anyway, so might as well enjoy it.  What's the point of analyzing the enjoyment of this life if it doesn't even matter?

When I see the world through the lens of Christian theology, my actions should reflect it, by self-sacrifice to the world through God, trying to make the world a better place.  The world is place for growth, as we said, and God made it essential that we grow here.  There's no such thing as "we have eternity to do it."  In order to attain the next stage of growth, we have to go through this one.  So this is a purpose as well.

God searches the heart, that is He will understand the struggle you are going through to try to believe.  It's not so much as this minimizes the truth of Christianity.  But it is a realization that the center of Christianity lies selfless understanding of love and mercy, and openness in understanding the other.  In the Trinity lies the selfless eternal love.  In Christ lies the selfless sacrifice for all mankind.  In the saints lie the selfless examples of what our lives should be.  Selflessness is a part of our growth and our understanding of the true and ultimate purpose of our position in the cosmos.  We are here on earth to learn and partake of the selflessness Christ taught and performed, and then through that to attain the eternal selfless love Christ has.

If we don't strive for that, we won't be easily able to attain communion with God in a selfless manner.  Everything that reminds us of our selfishness, we must sacrifice.  And I have to be honest with you.  I love atheists when it comes to discussions with them, and I am much more inclined to be friends with them than with believers.  But usually they are more selfish than they are selfless, at least the friends I have.  The genius of scientists who had spend hours in the laboratory for discoveries many times have to be selfish to attain those important discoveries.  What acts of selfless love have they performed for the world than lust for more knowledge?  I'm not saying they're unimportant.  I'm saying they simply turned their work into their idol sometimes at the expense of the world of suffering people that need help.

I feel that when you do become truly selfless, you open your heart to the divine, and you will tend to be a believer.  You reject faith based on the people not practicing what they preach, and you are correct.  Even Ghandi, a believer in something divine at the very least who surpassed Christians in his selfless deeds, taught that if it weren't for the Christians, he would be a Christian.  But I think there is merit to the freedom God allows even those who call upon Him as followers of Him.  If Christians cheapen the faith for the whole world into disbelief through their hypocrisies, God will be even more merciful in my opinion.  It's interesting then how Christians were able to turn the world upside down in the first centuries following Christ.  I think by that, we can see truth in Christianity.

I think the Bible is clear upon those who are already believers receive a strict judgment if their actions don't reflect their beliefs, and even more those who are teachers receive a much stricter judgment.  Not all who call Him "Lord, Lord" will enter heaven.  I think when "you're trying to convert" that means you're struggling to believe, and you have nothing to lose at this point.  If you truly want to believe, then consider prayer and consider greater self-sacrifice.  And don't depend on the hypocrisies of Christians, but look at Christ Himself as the greatest example.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 10, 2010, 12:33:23 AM
It should be noted that Heaven is earth restored.  It will be life as it was meant to be.  We won't be floating around on clouds somewhere "up there" in "heaven." 

That's why the key is resurrection.  It's not a disembodied existence.  It's the body you have now, raised back to life to a restored creation.  Sounds pretty damn good to me...
What, then, is life supposed to be, beyond merely my wishes for a life without pain and end? Will my new body 'age'? If it does, to what age? What about unborn children? If I can't age, then they won't either - will I be surrounded by heaps of immortal, unborn fetuses?

Now, is that REALLY keeping you up at night? The thought of that?

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What about the elderly, what age will they be rewound to? Who picks? At first I though that an earth restored would be a difficult thing (where do you put everyone?) but then I remembered the vast majority of people are going to hell.

And where did you pick up that last tidbit?

You seem too preoccupied with picking nitts to tackle the serious big questions. Hence why when one, like the last point, hits you go for the prepackaged atheist answers.

I'm not really interested in the specifics of heaven, i.e. what am I doing year 3x10^24, I'm more concerned about the fact that a lot of Christians aren't bothered by the notion of someone still being punished that same year for having had a lack of belief at some point, the duration of which was countless orders of magnitude less than the duration of their suffering. Take it even further - I believe there is no crime possible that would warrant eternal punishment. [/quote]

You do not have the place to decide such things.


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Sure, people will bring up ridiculous examples, but the point is that eternity is a grossly unbalanced punishment for any crime, no matter how grotesque.
And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Cognomen on December 10, 2010, 01:11:25 AM
And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?

Ahh, you must have forgotten that corresponding with his progression in atheism, he is entitled to be his own god more and more.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 10, 2010, 01:30:30 AM
And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?

Ahh, you must have forgotten that corresponding with his progression in atheism, he is entitled to be his own god more and more.
ah, yes. the self-crreated. How could I have forgotten? The wonders of atheosis!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Cognomen on December 10, 2010, 01:38:58 AM
And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?

Ahh, you must have forgotten that corresponding with his progression in atheism, he is entitled to be his own god more and more.
ah, yes. the self-crreated. How could I have forgotten? The wonders of atheosis!

Brilliant!  :D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 10, 2010, 01:44:28 AM
an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality.
(http://www.kazanmonastery.org/images/StSisoes.jpg)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 10, 2010, 02:24:36 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

First off, God searches the hearts.  No one is condemning you to hell.  I was joking with you that last post.
I don't know the exact beliefs of Orthodoxy, but I don't think this is true. The Bible is pretty explicit in stating that you have to know Jesus to get to heaven - John 3:16 and John 14:6 off the top of my head. If we entertain the fact that you can get into heaven without knowing Jesus, then you start to call into doubt the entire purpose of Christianity.



The issue which is not often addressed in this discussion is the scale of God's Time.  If the Church can agree that we need Jesus Christ to be saved, how can we suppose to know the mind of God in regards to when such need is fulfilled? The basic assumption has been before death from this life, but the Church believes in the Church Triumphant also (ie, a continuation of some kind of life beyond this kind of death) and as such leaves open the suggestion that God has it in His power to accept repentance at any time, even post-death.  I am not necessarily saying that is exactly the case, rather I am suggesting that with the Infinity of God, surely it is within the realms of possibility?  The catch about Infinite and Forever is that mathematically that equates to every single possible option inevitably occurring, an in an inconceivable way, all simultaneously!  If God is in Infinity, how can we understand His fullness? Better we should say, "Father, let Thy will be done, and not our own" and also "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners."

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 10, 2010, 10:42:12 AM
Immortality takes that away [in your view] - it says, 'Don't worry about doing anything cool now, you've got eternity to do it.' [in your view] It takes away any motivation to do anything meaningful, [in your view] because as I said earlier, due to the simple logical nature of immortality, your entire existence is spent in heaven.

In your worldview, you aren't what needs to change, everything else does.  If I were immortal, I wouldn't enjoy life now. Thus, eternity is stupid.

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What's the point of earth?

You must've skipped my last post.  Heaven is earth; restored.  Heaven is the continuation of this very life you are now living, just as Jesus now lives forever as the firstfruits of the Resurrection.  Jesus has the same body he had before, only now it has been glorified, just as we will be.

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Just because we know some things will end doesn't mean we can't enjoy them.

Precisely.

Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 10, 2010, 12:18:38 PM
An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! :) ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

That's an analogy for us, TtC.  We're in the womb right now.  What will happen after we leave it (i.e. when we "die" from our point of view) is something we simply can't imagine.  We can only speculate - and hope.

Or NOT hope, if you prefer - but that doesn't mean it won't happen anyway!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2010, 12:57:20 PM
An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! :) ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

That's an analogy for us, TtC.  We're in the womb right now.  What will happen after we leave it (i.e. when we "die" from our point of view) is something we simply can't imagine.  We can only speculate - and hope.

Or NOT hope, if you prefer - but that doesn't mean it won't happen anyway!

Good analogy  :)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 10, 2010, 01:53:12 PM
Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

Faith is something you believe in.  It's the precursor to a philosophy.
Thus Christian faith is your epistemology. This is what I have tried to get across in various ways on various threads. This is why you and a scientarian can never get anywhere by debate unless the topic is epistemology itself. Any other topic is a waste of time. First the matter of epistemology must be cleared up, if it can be. If it can't be, then debate remains pointless.

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The way we attain faith in the Christian understanding is by the trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises.
Do you agree that self-deceit, depending on the particular falsehoods that constitute the lie, could cause improvements in character, in effectiveness, in success, and in happiness, yet still be self-deceit, still be a lie, still be false?

Every last atheist who would read that question would mentally answer yes to my question. I know this in advance because they and I have the same epistemology, and our shared epistemology will always answer yes to the question I've posed, because our epistemology places zero, absolute zero, weight on character improvement, effectiveness improvement, success improvement, or happiness improvement, when assessing whether a proposition is true. Now, I will also say that most atheists (perhaps not all) would find it very interesting that so much improvement resulted from a falsehood, a lie, a self-deception. Most atheists would want to know the mechanism by which this occurred. They would want to do science, or they would want someone else to do science in this area. Hypotheses would spring to mind and they would want these hypotheses tested.


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When I decided to stop prayer and spiritual exercises, I felt the difference in my personal life.
What prompted your decision to stop?

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We also actually analyze what we do, something no other animal can do, let alone care to even do.  What's the point of having this faculty to analyze what we do when life is to precious to even to think about it, and just do it?
Analysis is a survival advantage, hence its ubiquity. More generally, it's an effectiveness advantage, even in areas where survival isn't in jeopardy. As effectiveness yields success; and success, happiness; analysis is, finally, a happiness advantage. But see my next point.

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That makes no sense to me.  You believe that the world will end anyway, so might as well enjoy it.  What's the point of analyzing the enjoyment of this life if it doesn't even matter?
I will agree that I wasn't saying life doesn't matter, but rather, that it doesn't matter in an absolute, universal sense. It doesn't matter objectively. I will agree with that nothing matters objectively, since subjectivity is necessary before mattering can come into being. To matter is to matter subjectively. There is no such thing as mattering objectively. I will agree that my life matters subjectively to me.

But here the discrepancy in epistemology comes into sharp focus. Because Christian faith is your epistemology, you will disagree with me when I say that nothing matters objectively. This is because you posit an absolute, universal entity. Because this entity is absolute and universal, everything it does is absolute and universal, which means its thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions are absolute and universal, hence objective. In your epistemology, thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions can be objective, if they're God's.

The importance of the above in us understanding one another cannot be overstated. Nor can the chasm between the two paragraphs directly above be bridged. One epistemology will come to rest on the first of the two paragraphs. Another epistemology will come to rest on the second of the two. The two paragraphs cannot be made to resolve, because the two epistemologies cannot be made to resolve.

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I love atheists when it comes to discussions with them, and I am much more inclined to be friends with them than with believers.  But usually they are more selfish than they are selfless, at least the friends I have.  The genius of scientists who had spend hours in the laboratory for discoveries many times have to be selfish to attain those important discoveries.
Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 10, 2010, 01:54:40 PM
An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! :) ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

That's an analogy for us, TtC.  We're in the womb right now.  What will happen after we leave it (i.e. when we "die" from our point of view) is something we simply can't imagine.  We can only speculate - and hope.

Or NOT hope, if you prefer - but that doesn't mean it won't happen anyway!

Interesting analogy.

I asked you a question earlier, and which I don't think you answered, although maybe I missed your answer, as this thread is dense with sub-threads, and my attention wanders or zooms in, depending on the particular sub-thread. You said previously that you made two forays into atheism. What prompted those two forays?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 10, 2010, 01:56:29 PM
An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! :) ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

Hmm wouldn't that technically be after-birth? Sorry, couldn't resist!  :laugh: :-*
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 10, 2010, 07:58:36 PM
You would first have to make an argument first for me to attack it. You just made a string of snide assertions that, while at least not plagerized this time, are hardly original.

Your posts are for the most part a confused jumble of parroted lines from atheists preaching to the choir with some incoherent thoughts.  It is not a personal attack to point that out.

Btw, since I don't spend much time on your posts (I haven't seen much reason) over the many threads you have cast about here, so I may have missed something, so let me bring up here what I've seen pointed out to you several times but I haven't seen a reply from you.  can you explain why we shouldn't feel like mud is beig thrown at our wall just in the hope that something will stick?

Your refused to answer my question, and instead rely on tired apologetics, and then have the temerity to call me a parrot. That's pretty funny. Physician, heal thyself. If I wanted to "throw mud at your wall", I would make personal attacks on you. That you initiated ad homs and the whine about "mud" is a double-standard.

Why? You don't want it?
I seem to have found one limit to your understanding, right here. Perhaps you're smart enough to figure out what your error here is.

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I'm sorry, like your friend Carl Sagan, I'm also a creature of the University of Chicago, and we have little patience to play games with sophmores. If you have something to say, spit it out.
Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.


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in any case, the underlying assumption of your posts that we accept assumptions without a reason and build on from there shines through.
No, the only thing I said is that both our positions differ because we both input different starting values. Here is a clear example of you assuming a combative stance when an attentive reading of my point reveals no such animus on my part.

Believe me, if I thought you were dishonest, I'd say as much.

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Being underwhelmed by your brilliance, we have to resort to the tedious chore of figuring out a basis for discussion, as you make it clear you won't do that my homework.
Fixed.

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Please define what you mean by "ultimate truth".
Christ of course.  But you are not ready for Him, so we will have to settle for some agreed common ground of reality, where 2+2=4.[/quote]
1) You must first evidence your lord's divinity.
2) 2+2=4 doesn't strike me a "ultimate", to wit, "final". Nor, for that matter, does any conception of god that I've looked into.

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For instance, I asked you once how do you know that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. How do you prove it? Can one prove it? Can it be verified?  And if it is verified, can we also see and verify the consequences?

So is someting real, or is it all make-believe?
You are equivocating "things" and "events". Because your god is asserted to be eternal, presumably his is not victim to the exigencies of historical uncertainty. Such an "ultimate truth" ought to be pretty obvious, it seems to me. To return to an earlier comparison, gravity has no need for a holy book.

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I did. Your point got the counter point it merited. No more, no less.
If that's the best you can manage, this conversation is a waste of my time.

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I'm quite aware of them. So too, just because when you break God's commandments that He doesn't strike you down then and there doesn't prove the divine law isn't in operation. He has other concerns than just swift punishment.  Just like the operation of areodynamics do not disprove gravity.
Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship. That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.

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Brute force is quite within God's reach. But He is not restricted or limited to it. If we were Calvinists, you would know the difference between predestination and gravity. Since we don't know exactly what pre/misconceptions of your own about God that you bring here, don't know how further to go with that at this time.
You could start with dropping the assumption that your god exists, and demonstrate his existence with evidence. Until then, you're sledding uphill.

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PhD in Islaimc thought, Muslim Theology and Early Islamic History, University of Chicago. ABD.
Why is it that a doctorate in physics makes one a physicist, a doctorate in mathematics makes one a mathematician, but a doctorate in theology doesn't make one a god?

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So, where did you cut your teeth on the books, or are you self taught.
Liberal Arts degree, and about 20 years of self-education following that.
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Ah, there you go again, trying to sneak an assertion in without us noticing its lack of foundation.
I speak from personal experience.

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Let's break this down:

"a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others" this may be the case where you are-you evaded, again, answering the question of where you are at, since you state you are not American-but such was not the case of Orthodox Christianity in the first three centuries, during which it was a capital offense everywhere. Getting yourself executed for your Faith doesn't demonstrate much concern with conformity and the opinion of others, particularly those in power.  It is still the case in much of the world: I've spent a lot of time in the Muslim world, where just wearing a Cross can and does get you killed.  And then there is the Church under Communism. Again, not an overwhelming concern with conformity and the opinion of others.
I was speaking of your immediate peers. I'm sorry I didn't make that plain enough.

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"an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality": you obviously haven't read any Orthodox spiritual literature about the remembrance of mortality.  You're way not ready for that, so I'll just ask: you characterized Christianity as a  "death cult" or some such nonsense. Explain then how does a death cult attempt to defy the reminders of morality?  If you are supposedly obsessed with death, how do you ignore the reminders of morality?
To answer your question, it demands that its members forgo many of the pleasures on this Earth in favor of a delayed reward -- or punishment, if they refuse to make these sacrifices. In espousing this, they cause many people to die without having truly lived. This is why I hold that this faith is largely self-abnegatng and a death cult.

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LOL. Sophmores.
I'm the wrong sex anyway, you old goat.

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This thread reminds me of a conversation I had with an American Communist in between undergrad and grad school at the U of C. The Communist, of course, was from rich priveledged background in Maryland, blue blood family, the whole bit. He was, not suprisingly, and alcoholic...Death meaning the end of existence wouldn't bother me a bit, as it would be inevitable" I replied.  He then went into his profound fear of death, something that the communism and alcoholism was feeding off of, but he wasn't aware of that.
I don't appreciate you insinuating alcoholism on my part by comparing me with one. So much for civility?

I shall leave you alone for now. For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 10, 2010, 08:18:47 PM
TtC, I didn't ignore you question about my previous experiences with atheism.  I decided not to respond because frankly, it would eat up qay too much bandwidth and wouldn't convince you anyway.

And as I already stated, I'm not "trying to convert" you yor anyone else). 

However, you might be able to find traces of my atheism still wafting around on the Net in various fora - try googling "windsofchange".
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 10, 2010, 08:21:27 PM
(addendum - google "windsofchange" + IIDB - otherwise you just get a bunch of New Age silliness :D !)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 10, 2010, 10:19:55 PM
You would first have to make an argument first for me to attack it. You just made a string of snide assertions that, while at least not plagerized this time, are hardly original.

Your posts are for the most part a confused jumble of parroted lines from atheists preaching to the choir with some incoherent thoughts.  It is not a personal attack to point that out.

Btw, since I don't spend much time on your posts (I haven't seen much reason) over the many threads you have cast about here, so I may have missed something, so let me bring up here what I've seen pointed out to you several times but I haven't seen a reply from you.  can you explain why we shouldn't feel like mud is beig thrown at our wall just in the hope that something will stick?

Your refused to answer my question,
I've traced this quote thread (the reason why I always use the quote function), and you didn't ask a question in it.  You made a string of assertions, attempts at profundity, without substantiation, and we were not impressed.

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and instead rely on tired apologetics,

I haven't engaged in any apologetics with you, tired or otherwise. Engaging you with them would seem like nailing jello to the wall.

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and then have the temerity to call me a parrot.

If it quakes like a duck.

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That's pretty funny. Physician, heal thyself. If I wanted to "throw mud at your wall", I would make personal attacks on you. That you initiated ad homs and the whine about "mud" is a double-standard.
Pointing out that your presentation is trite, pedantic and pedestrian isn't an ad hominem.

Why? You don't want it?
I seem to have found one limit to your understanding, right here. Perhaps you're smart enough to figure out what your error here is.

I'm sorry, like your friend Carl Sagan, I'm also a creature of the University of Chicago, and we have little patience to play games with sophmores. If you have something to say, spit it out.
Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.
Physician, heal thyself.


in any case, the underlying assumption of your posts that we accept assumptions without a reason and build on from there shines through.
No, the only thing I said is that both our positions differ because we both input different starting values.
So far we've mostly seen you piggy backing on the input of others. Not that that is necessarily bad, but 1) you have recognize you do it; 2) justify and defend who you depend on; otherwise 3) refrain from calling such reliance a weakness in you opponents. Unless they can't justify and defend their authorities.

Here is a clear example of you assuming a combative stance when an attentive reading of my point reveals no such animus on my part.

As has been pointed out, you come to an Orthodox forum knowing nothing of Orthodoxy and post a successive series of provocative assertions, either plagerize or imitated from atheists fora/sites.  It is evident that "Trying to Conert" is offensive, not defensive.

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Believe me, if I thought you were dishonest, I'd say as much.

projecting, are we?

Being underwhelmed by your brilliance, we have to resort to the tedious chore of figuring out a basis for discussion, as you make it clear you won't do that my homework.
Fixed.
If I wanted to argue with Carl Sagan, Matt Dillahunty etc. I can quote them and do that. I don't have to play cat and mouse with their plagerists.


Please define what you mean by "ultimate truth".
Christ of course.  But you are not ready for Him, so we will have to settle for some agreed common ground of reality, where 2+2=4.
1) You must first evidence your lord's divinity.

You're not ready for that yet: remember, you're an atheist. No point proving to you that the Son of Man is the Son of a non-existent God, now is there?

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2) 2+2=4 doesn't strike me a "ultimate", to wit, "final". Nor, for that matter, does any conception of god that I've looked into.

And what conceptions would that be?

For instance, I asked you once how do you know that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. How do you prove it? Can one prove it? Can it be verified?  And if it is verified, can we also see and verify the consequences?

So is someting real, or is it all make-believe?
You are equivocating "things" and "events". Because your god is asserted to be eternal, presumably his is not victim to the exigencies of historical uncertainty.
If Christ has not risen, the Orthodox Faith is futile.

On some silly thread you opened here, you brought the subject of history as regards the Truth of Christianity up
There exists little in the way of historical documentation for Jesus' life beyond the Biblical Gospel, and it is likely that these accounts were not written by eyewitnesses. This lack of evidence makes it very difficult to discern actual historical facts behind the Christian stories that describe him.
of course, you got caught in your plagerism
And this OP was pulled directly from here:

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Jesus

It appears we have quite the ironchariots fan here. Please start posting your sources, sir. I'm sure Matt wouldn't appreciate you shamelessly passing his work off as your own.
but that didn't deter you to make other silly threads on history. I do hope those novels you so enjoy writing at least have some of your own words.
I wasn't sure Christianity pulled us out of the dark ages. It was the Renaissance that was marked by people moving away from the church and religious doctrines that "pulled us out" of the Dark Ages, not Christianity.

Am I right?

But back to the point at hand: the question of the Rubicon is just an opportunity to see how you claim to know truth, as you seem to parrot the denial of things beyond history and the physical.


Such an "ultimate truth" ought to be pretty obvious, it seems to me.
IOW, you can't defend your assertions. We're just expected to take your word on it.

To return to an earlier comparison, gravity has no need for a holy book.
Neither does the Creator's intelligent design of the cosmos, His will or His moral law.


I did. Your point got the counter point it merited. No more, no less.
If that's the best you can manage, this conversation is a waste of my time.
Garbage in, garbage out.  I haven't seen any reason to get the pearls out. I'm just wasting time inbetween serious discussion, like getting a sandwich during the commercials while watching the news.

I'm quite aware of them. So too, just because when you break God's commandments that He doesn't strike you down then and there doesn't prove the divine law isn't in operation. He has other concerns than just swift punishment.  Just like the operation of areodynamics do not disprove gravity.
Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship.
See, there you go asserting something you cannot defend, let alone prove.

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That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.
It's a pity you don't recognize that it was addressed.  There is a moral and theological order in the universe.  Sir Isaac Newton's works on physics etc. are only about a tenth of his scholarly output. The rest is theological, and he often reiterated that his works on physics were only an adjunct to his theological work. That you seperate the two, or rather, those whom you imitate seperate the two, is the start of your problems.

Brute force is quite within God's reach. But He is not restricted or limited to it. If we were Calvinists, you would know the difference between predestination and gravity. Since we don't know exactly what pre/misconceptions of your own about God that you bring here, don't know how further to go with that at this time.
You could start with dropping the assumption that your god exists,
see, there you go again, demanding that we adopt you assertion which you have neither substantiaed nor defended.
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and demonstrate his existence with evidence. Until then, you're sledding uphill.
LOL. No, I'm just looking from Spaceland on you in Flatland, if not Pontland.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland#Plot

PhD in Islaimc thought, Muslim Theology and Early Islamic History, University of Chicago. ABD.
Why is it that a doctorate in physics makes one a physicist, a doctorate in mathematics makes one a mathematician, but a doctorate in theology doesn't make one a god?
It makes one a theologian.  You really have to get that analogy thing down. Or are you going to state that a physicist is a mole of gas, and a mathematician a quadratic equation?

So, where did you cut your teeth on the books, or are you self taught.
Liberal Arts degree, and about 20 years of self-education following that.
That's a suprise. So you're not young, just a sophmore.

Ah, there you go again, trying to sneak an assertion in without us noticing its lack of foundation.
I speak from personal experience.
so then you are projecting.

Let's break this down:

"a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others" this may be the case where you are-you evaded, again, answering the question of where you are at, since you state you are not American-but such was not the case of Orthodox Christianity in the first three centuries, during which it was a capital offense everywhere. Getting yourself executed for your Faith doesn't demonstrate much concern with conformity and the opinion of others, particularly those in power.  It is still the case in much of the world: I've spent a lot of time in the Muslim world, where just wearing a Cross can and does get you killed.  And then there is the Church under Communism. Again, not an overwhelming concern with conformity and the opinion of others.
I was speaking of your immediate peers.
So was I.
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I'm sorry I didn't make that plain enough.
you are avoiding the issue. There are plenty of Faithful Orthodox who do not fit your trite marxist and freudian characatures.

"an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality": you obviously haven't read any Orthodox spiritual literature about the remembrance of mortality.  You're way not ready for that, so I'll just ask: you characterized Christianity as a  "death cult" or some such nonsense. Explain then how does a death cult attempt to defy the reminders of morality?  If you are supposedly obsessed with death, how do you ignore the reminders of morality?
To answer your question, it demands that its members forgo many of the pleasures on this Earth in favor of a delayed reward -- or punishment, if they refuse to make these sacrifices. In espousing this, they cause many people to die without having truly lived. This is why I hold that this faith is largely self-abnegatng and a death cult.

Yes, teenagers hate delayed gratification, not having learned yet it virtues and caught up in instant gratification. But if you haven't learned that yet in your forties (is this a midlife crisis?), don't know if you ever will. Jim Morrison "lived" to the ripe old age of 27, OD'd in a bathtub. Actually his life in girlfriend gave him cocaine on which he hemorrhaged, she passing out instead of calling for help while he bled to death.  She OD'd 3 years later. I remember his biography "No one gets out of here alive." Indeed.


LOL. Sophmores.
I'm the wrong sex anyway, you old goat.
The sophmores I knew were male and female. You don't fit in those groups?
And if you have spent two decades+  in self education after a Liberal Arts Decree (I assume you did it in 4 years), who's the old goat?

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This thread reminds me of a conversation I had with an American Communist in between undergrad and grad school at the U of C. The Communist, of course, was from rich priveledged background in Maryland, blue blood family, the whole bit. He was, not suprisingly, and alcoholic...Death meaning the end of existence wouldn't bother me a bit, as it would be inevitable" I replied.  He then went into his profound fear of death, something that the communism and alcoholism was feeding off of, but he wasn't aware of that.
I don't appreciate you insinuating alcoholism on my part by comparing me with one. So much for civility?[/quote]
I didn't insinuate a thing about your drinking habits. That was, after all, just a symton of the same wallowing in existential angst that you demonstrate here.

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I shall leave you alone for now. For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.
Dozens have told me otherwise, and proved it by chrismation. By the Lord's gift I have the discernment of where and how to cast the pearls.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: biro on December 10, 2010, 10:34:46 PM
Of course, TTC is writing about it from the perspective of this life, and from various poor impressions he's taken from those who don't care about the concept to begin with.  ::) Whereas Christians believe that if you die in Christ, you have eternal life.

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1 Cor. 2:9: "But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Doesn't sound like we think it's too bad, does it?  ???

Seems TTC is stuck on an image of 'the afterlife' that draws more from shlock horror and bad televangelist polemics than anything in the Bible or other mainstream Christian writings. Sure, we Christians can't wait to see all the bad people tortured in hell!  ::)  No, we believe that "God desires that every man should be saved and come to knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:3-4) Again, doesn't sound that bad, does it?

Funny how people selectively remember what they want, to fit their pre-made decisions. If TTC would actually go to an Orthodox church, say hello to some people, or maybe even just pick up an Orthodox book, he may find the people to not be exactly what he had been led to think. Even if he doesn't want to be in the faith, knowing more about what it is would be an entirely different matter.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 11, 2010, 01:45:54 PM
Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

Faith is something you believe in.  It's the precursor to a philosophy.
Thus Christian faith is your epistemology. This is what I have tried to get across in various ways on various threads. This is why you and a scientarian can never get anywhere by debate unless the topic is epistemology itself. Any other topic is a waste of time. First the matter of epistemology must be cleared up, if it can be. If it can't be, then debate remains pointless.

Agreed.
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The way we attain faith in the Christian understanding is by the trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises.
Do you agree that self-deceit, depending on the particular falsehoods that constitute the lie, could cause improvements in character, in effectiveness, in success, and in happiness, yet still be self-deceit, still be a lie, still be false?

Every last atheist who would read that question would mentally answer yes to my question. I know this in advance because they and I have the same epistemology, and our shared epistemology will always answer yes to the question I've posed, because our epistemology places zero, absolute zero, weight on character improvement, effectiveness improvement, success improvement, or happiness improvement, when assessing whether a proposition is true. Now, I will also say that most atheists (perhaps not all) would find it very interesting that so much improvement resulted from a falsehood, a lie, a self-deception. Most atheists would want to know the mechanism by which this occurred. They would want to do science, or they would want someone else to do science in this area. Hypotheses would spring to mind and they would want these hypotheses tested.

In disagreement with the bold part, I think there is at least some truth in something when there's improvement in character for instance.

That science becomes a central faith is the problem.  Science is a method, not a faith to me.  It's a method I use that can help me understand the world around me.  When science becomes a faith, it makes sense as to why character improvement is not in the picture.  They instead would like to analyze what it is that leads one to believe in character improvement, but they already assume its falsehood from the beginning, and so they've convinced themselves not to be "ensnared" into this "garbage" concerning the validity of things that improve success and character, but understand, let's say, how it sociologically and neurobiologically works, which literally defeats the purpose out of anything really.  Humanity has logic, but it also has emotion.  Science by definition is only logic.  When humanity follows science alone, you pretty much seek to destroy the emotion out of anything.  Slowly, we turn pretty much into programmed robots.

You've probably heard the adage before, "science seeks to ask how, religion seeks to ask why."  Those who are rigid in following science as a faith say there's no such thing as a why.  It just is.  That's terrifying.  Instead of making sense out of why, the why in us is sought to be destroyed.

So, it is this "why" that scientists call a self-deception.  But if the why is always nagging at me, then I call the rejection of the why a delusion.

I don't know how scientists see this as self-deception.  Of course this goes both ways, but I wonder at people like CS Lewis, Francis Collins, Ann Rice, all who were atheists, all who understand what this is, and yet they decided to reject that this is a case of self-deception, that there is validity to asking the question "why."

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When I decided to stop prayer and spiritual exercises, I felt the difference in my personal life.
What prompted your decision to stop?

Laziness and curiosity.

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We also actually analyze what we do, something no other animal can do, let alone care to even do.  What's the point of having this faculty to analyze what we do when life is to precious to even to think about it, and just do it?
Analysis is a survival advantage, hence its ubiquity. More generally, it's an effectiveness advantage, even in areas where survival isn't in jeopardy. As effectiveness yields success; and success, happiness; analysis is, finally, a happiness advantage. But see my next point.

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That makes no sense to me.  You believe that the world will end anyway, so might as well enjoy it.  What's the point of analyzing the enjoyment of this life if it doesn't even matter?
I will agree that I wasn't saying life doesn't matter, but rather, that it doesn't matter in an absolute, universal sense. It doesn't matter objectively. I will agree with that nothing matters objectively, since subjectivity is necessary before mattering can come into being. To matter is to matter subjectively. There is no such thing as mattering objectively. I will agree that my life matters subjectively to me.

But here the discrepancy in epistemology comes into sharp focus. Because Christian faith is your epistemology, you will disagree with me when I say that nothing matters objectively. This is because you posit an absolute, universal entity. Because this entity is absolute and universal, everything it does is absolute and universal, which means its thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions are absolute and universal, hence objective. In your epistemology, thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions can be objective, if they're God's.

The importance of the above in us understanding one another cannot be overstated. Nor can the chasm between the two paragraphs directly above be bridged. One epistemology will come to rest on the first of the two paragraphs. Another epistemology will come to rest on the second of the two. The two paragraphs cannot be made to resolve, because the two epistemologies cannot be made to resolve.

When you says "objectively" I say, "in the end" or "ultimately" (i.e. in the end, it doesn't even matter).  Subjectively means that you can make it up as you go along, whatever you feel is right.  In that case, there is no right or wrong, just a competition of morals.  In a scientific sense, there is truth to subjectivity.  In a broader more sociological sense, I think this would be disastrous.  Even atheists agree that there are a certain set of morals to follow when interacting with others.  In subjectivity, good or bad, wrong or right is just an opinion of the majority or the strongest that aids in the survival of the fittest.  But when atheists agree that there are moral questions that are necessary for the survival of a species, I think then they are heading towards an objective truth.  In other words, even though no one is right or wrong, I better compete about fighting for what I believe is right over yours.  So, in practice, there is no subjectivity in the world.  When atheists are fighting against believers to tell them that believers are delusional, they throw away their subjectivity completely, fighting for the "objective truth" of no god.  Some atheists are simply scientists that wish to others to acknowledge at least the methodology of science.  But even those will fight for perhaps a moral truth, for example fight against tyranny.

So, I'm not really convinced by subjectivity.  It is extremely inconsistent to me.

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I love atheists when it comes to discussions with them, and I am much more inclined to be friends with them than with believers.  But usually they are more selfish than they are selfless, at least the friends I have.  The genius of scientists who had spend hours in the laboratory for discoveries many times have to be selfish to attain those important discoveries.
Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.

Doctors do much practical good in the world, but they can be a bunch of arrogant !@#$%^&* self-worshippers sometimes.  They too can be saints and heros in at least the work they do, but a lot of people can agree that they are necessary, but not necessarily good.

In a broad sense, I'm looking for someone more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiC_9RHTvsA

It doesn't require you getting a degree or being super intelligent at something.  It requires you to be human, to get in touch with that emotional side of you.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 11, 2010, 04:16:48 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.


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Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship. That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.
Agreed with introspection, it is in fact a fundamental corner-stone of Orthodox Christianity.

In regards to gravity, our explanations of gravity are far different from gravity itself.  Our scientific explanations are purely theoretical, and in fact there are several concurrent explanations vying for supremacy.  These theories are no different that religious interpretations of explanation of phenomena and other occurrences, just with a different standard of evidence.  For gravitation, the evidence is by no means objective, but is subjective to several factors, including technology and sophistication of understanding of the theories themselves.  To a common person, the phenomena observed which we attribute to gravity are hardly objective evidence, they could just as easily be explained by a number of reasonings, but to the scientifically educated person, the evidence seems sound.  It is the same with theology, to a person not well experienced in religion, the religious explanations are unobtainable because of a lack of depth or familiarity with the subject.  Theology is as foreign to many scientists as quantum mechanics are to your average bus-driver..  In other words, there is nothing wrong with either explanations, rather the divisions come from mutual misunderstandings, but neither explanations are by any means objective or provable in any real sense of the word.

Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.

Sure, like the machine gun, chemical and biological weapons, excessive consumption of natural resources, oh yeah and the nuclear warhead and the only true prospect of utter annihilation ;)

In any era science has proved as dangerous as it is beneficial, which implies that some kind of morality must be applied, it does not have to stem from religiousity, but none-the-less blind science as dangerous as anything.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on December 11, 2010, 04:59:26 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.


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Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship. That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.
Agreed with introspection, it is in fact a fundamental corner-stone of Orthodox Christianity.

In regards to gravity, our explanations of gravity are far different from gravity itself.  Our scientific explanations are purely theoretical, and in fact there are several concurrent explanations vying for supremacy.  These theories are no different that religious interpretations of explanation of phenomena and other occurrences, just with a different standard of evidence.  For gravitation, the evidence is by no means objective, but is subjective to several factors, including technology and sophistication of understanding of the theories themselves.  To a common person, the phenomena observed which we attribute to gravity are hardly objective evidence, they could just as easily be explained by a number of reasonings, but to the scientifically educated person, the evidence seems sound.  It is the same with theology, to a person not well experienced in religion, the religious explanations are unobtainable because of a lack of depth or familiarity with the subject.  Theology is as foreign to many scientists as quantum mechanics are to your average bus-driver..  In other words, there is nothing wrong with either explanations, rather the divisions come from mutual misunderstandings, but neither explanations are by any means objective or provable in any real sense of the word.

Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.

Sure, like the machine gun, chemical and biological weapons, excessive consumption of natural resources, oh yeah and the nuclear warhead and the only true prospect of utter annihilation ;)

In any era science has proved as dangerous as it is beneficial, which implies that some kind of morality must be applied, it does not have to stem from religiousity, but none-the-less blind science as dangerous as anything.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well said dear brother.

Selam
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 11, 2010, 05:12:45 PM
Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 11, 2010, 05:14:30 PM
Thanks for your reply minasoliman. The time you took is appreciated. I have chosen to respond to your discussion on faith in a later post. One problem we have here is that we work from different definitions. I use a different definition for the words faith and agnostic than you do. I've decided to address agnostic first, simply because its a bit quicker to answer.

True agnostics see the world through no particular understanding necessarily. They doubt a strict materialistic worldview, but they also doubt transcendant worldview.
I think you have reshaped the meaning of agnostic.  You see it as a middle ground between our two positions, accepting neither one: expressing skepticism on both the transcendent and materialist world views, agnostic to both; but that is not the original meaning, nor is it the Oxford dictionary definition.
 
Quote from: ODE, 2006
agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
 
To my way of thinking the word agnostic implies skepticism toward the legitimacy of the sources of knowledge used to prove the existence of God.  That is its meaning.  It does not imply skepticism to anything else.  The agnostic may be skeptical of other things, but the only thing you can know for certain is that he remains unconvinced that anything can be known for certain about God. Agnosticism does not imply skepticism toward science, the scientific method or those things examined by this method.

I think you have taken the word agnostic and modified its original meaning so that it implies skepticism toward all things.  I suspect most who call themselves agnostic have no difficulty perceiving materialistic explanations as trustworthy.  I don't think they doubt the 'materialistic worldview.'  I suspect most agnostics see the material world as the only certain source of knowledge that we possess.

----------

Are there any agnostics present who could way in and lend their view?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: chrevbel on December 11, 2010, 05:51:17 PM
Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 11, 2010, 06:18:46 PM
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Doctors do much practical good in the world, but they can be a bunch of arrogant self-worshippers sometimes
Do you challenge these doctors to their face or simply publish critical judgement on public forums?

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Okay, let me give you a different perspective. Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

I am going to play the old dictionary game again.  The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) offers two definitions for faith:

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i) complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

ii) strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

When you admit to seeing the world through Christian eyes your are admitting, it seems to me, seeing the world through the doctrines of a religion.  I would think you might also acknowledge basing your beliefs on spiritual convictions, thought I think you are less likely to admit not having proof.  This latter point, I think, is where you might have the biggest hang-up for the definition.  This 2nd definition, for me, is the one that immediately comes to mind when I think of the word faith.  You can see, then, why I would probably object myself to any assertion that I possess faith.

Though I do see the world through a lens based on evidence constructed from the physical world, I don't recognize this as a matter of faith.  Your faith, it would seem to me, precludes change.  You might correct me on this if I am wrong.  Because of spiritual convictions I imagine you are locked into believing the same things over time.  New evidence doesn't cause you to modify your beliefs about God, or does it?  Those, like myself, who rely on physical evidence from the world to establish our perceptions of it, change our views when conflicting evidence comes available.  I don't think that anyone who maintains views of the world based on physical evidence would ever insist they had complete trust in any scientific claim, as per the 1st definition.  My world view prevents me from having complete trust and so is the opposite of having faith.

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Faith is something you believe in. It's the precursor to a philosophy. I talk about the Christian faith, that is the beliefs, the theology of our Church, etc. Faith is dogma, and everyone has a certain dogma they live by, whether it be atheists or believers.

Dogma is tied closely to claiming possession of absolute truth.  Let's look at the dictionary again.

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dogma: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

That -- incontrovertibly true -- part, is an integral part of dogma.  This is what sets scientific theories apart from religious doctrine.  The demand that something is incontrovertibly true is never heard in science.  Conservative Christians frequently make much of the observation that hypotheses in science are often here today and gone tomorrow.  They perceive change in science as proof that scientists don't know what they are talking about.

I recognize that dogma is tied up with faith which is another reason I object to the assertion that I possess faith.  I hold that one species may evolve into something different, but  give me good reason to believe this view is wrong and I will change my mind.  I am not locked into an incontrovertible truth.  My views are not dogmatic.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 11, 2010, 06:24:58 PM
...By the Lord's gift I have the discernment of where and how to cast the pearls.

Read for comprehension:
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I shall leave you alone for now. For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.

Perhaps if you leavened your insults with some clarity, you'd make better headway.

eta: "No, you!" is not cogent argument.

eta2: This last post of yours was one long ad hom. Hope you're proud.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 11, 2010, 06:32:12 PM
theistgal would you classify yourself as an agnostic? Considering you say you don't know 100% if God exists or not correct?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 11, 2010, 06:39:14 PM
Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?

But a comet coming to Earth couldn't happen because I have enough faith in Christ will have his Second Coming.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 11, 2010, 06:41:12 PM
Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?

But a comet coming to Earth couldn't happen because I have enough faith in Christ will have his Second Coming.

Why does the latter negate the former?? Just because Christ is coming back doesn't mean that a large comet could never hit Earth.

By your reasoning, the Second Coming precludes all natural disasters from happening. But Creation is Fallen. So disasters do happen. Even comets.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: stashko on December 11, 2010, 06:55:43 PM
What about Fire from heaven that comes to ,consumes one third of humanity,How is that being interpreted ,Nuclear missles  or a comet from heaven......Or will the Lord loosen the demons bound in hell, plus Hell fire from hell itself is poured out on the earth , to consume the wicked and cleanse the earth....So that the meek can inherit the earth....
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2010, 06:59:46 PM
Thanks for your reply minasoliman. The time you took is appreciated. I have chosen to respond to your discussion on faith in a later post. One problem we have here is that we work from different definitions. I use a different definition for the words faith and agnostic than you do. I've decided to address agnostic first, simply because its a bit quicker to answer.

True agnostics see the world through no particular understanding necessarily. They doubt a strict materialistic worldview, but they also doubt transcendant worldview.
I think you have reshaped the meaning of agnostic.  You see it as a middle ground between our two positions, accepting neither one: expressing skepticism on both the transcendent and materialist world views, agnostic to both; but that is not the original meaning, nor is it the Oxford dictionary definition.
  
Quote from: ODE, 2006
agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
 
To my way of thinking the word agnostic implies skepticism toward the legitimacy of the sources of knowledge used to prove the existence of God.  That is its meaning.  It does not imply skepticism to anything else.  The agnostic may be skeptical of other things, but the only thing you can know for certain is that he remains unconvinced that anything can be known for certain about God. Agnosticism does not imply skepticism toward science, the scientific method or those things examined by this method.

I think you have taken the word agnostic and modified its original meaning so that it implies skepticism toward all things.  I suspect most who call themselves agnostic have no difficulty perceiving materialistic explanations as trustworthy.  I don't think they doubt the 'materialistic worldview.'  I suspect most agnostics see the material world as the only certain source of knowledge that we possess.
So you are saying that you have embraced inconsistency:the scientific method is just a method, one which Kuhn has shown has led to often contradictory results. But the agonstic, so you say, will swallow that and put away his doubt, while criticizing the theologians.

Btw, I first came interested in Orthodoxy coming across the statement that Orthodoxy teaches that agonosticism is the natural religion man, since finite man cannot comprehend the infinite God. But Orthodoxy does not lead to agnotiscism, because God has revealed Himself.

As for reshaping "the meaning of agnostic," perhaps it would pay to look at its creator.
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I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. I have no a priori objections to the doctrine. No man who has to deal daily and hourly with nature can trouble himself about a priori difficulties. Give me such evidence as would justify me in believing in anything else, and I will believe that. Why should I not? It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter...It is no use to talk to me of analogies and probabilities. I know what I mean when I say I believe in the law of the inverse squares, and I will not rest my life and my hopes upon weaker convictions...

That my personality is the surest thing I know may be true. But the attempt to conceive what it is leads me into mere verbal subtleties. I have champed up all that chaff about the ego and the non-ego, noumena and phenomena, and all the rest of it, too often not to know that in attempting even to think of these questions, the human intellect flounders at once out of its depth.

I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them.

When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble.

So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took.

In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism#Thomas_Henry_Huxley

Was Huxeley's physics the same as Einstein's?

As I'm typing, in the background I have "The Story of Us," another "History Channel" production, but better than most. They are now talking about Prohibition, and have Bill Maher speaking on it, of course saying "anyone can tell you that you cannot legislate morality." Though he has a BA in History from Cornell, they couldn't find anyone with more authority (say a historian, ethicist, social scientist, etc. rather than a stand up comedian) to speak on the subject, or did they just need someone to deliver a line?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2010, 07:14:20 PM
...By the Lord's gift I have the discernment of where and how to cast the pearls.

Read for comprehension:
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I shall leave you alone for now.

And yet here you are posting. So much for comprehension.

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For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.

I'm sorry. Where did I give you the impression that I cared for either your opinion or advice?

I'll be honest: coming here as you did plagerizing, you are not on my list of persons I would turn to for assurance of my rectitude.

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Perhaps if you leavened your insults with some clarity, you'd make better headway.

The posts are a little rushed. I don't want to waste too much time for, well, a waste of time.

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eta: "No, you!" is not cogent argument.

eta2: This last post of yours was one long ad hom. Hope you're proud.
Are you saying the failure of your assertions to make a sustained argument for ideas plagerized from others stems from a personal defect?

I can't even say "No, you!" as I don't have the time or inclination to see if they are really your words, or more verbage you have lifted from others.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Cognomen on December 11, 2010, 07:16:45 PM
As I'm typing, in the background I have "The Story of Us," another "History Channel" production, but better than most. They are now talking about Prohibition, and have Bill Maher speaking on it, of course saying "anyone can tell you that you cannot legislate morality." Though he has a BA from Cornell, they couldn't find anyone with more authority (say a historian, ethicist, social scientist, etc. rather than a stand up comedian) to speak on the subject, or did they just need someone to deliver a line?

I thought the same thing. They couldn't find a professor, or someone with greater knowledge than the two sentence myth/narrative of the American prohibition period?  It's a far more complicated issue than that and "people need to drink at the end of the day," wasn't a particularly illuminating summary.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Cognomen on December 11, 2010, 07:22:24 PM
I am not locked into an incontrovertible truth.  My views are not dogmatic.

You are locked into the concept of an incontrovertible truth, and yes, your views are dogmatic. 

You believe that truth, God, etc. must be scientifically observable; that is a dogmatic view that you appear to be locked into. 
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 11, 2010, 07:39:29 PM
So you are saying that you have embraced inconsistency: the scientific method is just a method, one which Kuhn has shown has led to often contradictory results. But the agonstic, so you say, will swallow that and put away his doubt, while criticizing the theologians.
If this is the Kuhn's I think you're referring to that was some number of years ago and he was looking at the broad history of science. Though I'm curious about what contradictions you think there are in the method itself.

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Was Huxeley's physics the same as Einstein's?
Huxley was a biologist. Do you mean metaphysics?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2010, 07:42:11 PM
So you are saying that you have embraced inconsistency: the scientific method is just a method, one which Kuhn has shown has led to often contradictory results. But the agonstic, so you say, will swallow that and put away his doubt, while criticizing the theologians.
If this is the Kuhn's I think you're referring to that was some number of years ago and he was looking at the broad history of science. Though I'm curious about what contradictions you think there are in the method itself.
I didn't say there there was any contradictions in the method itself.  Just in the claims made for it.

Was Huxeley's physics the same as Einstein's?
Huxley was a biologist.
Yes, I know that. Largely self taught too.

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Do you mean metaphysics?
No. Physics.  Einstein didn't specialize in metaphysics. The conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter can come under metaphysics, but I believe Huxley meant physics.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 11, 2010, 09:03:35 PM
Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?

But a comet coming to Earth couldn't happen because I have enough faith in Christ will have his Second Coming.

Nothing wrong with active faith (i.e. blowing up the comet) ;)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: biro on December 11, 2010, 11:34:28 PM
theistgal would you classify yourself as an agnostic? Considering you say you don't know 100% if God exists or not correct?

 ???

I'm pretty sure her faith description is 'Byzantine Catholic.' http://www.byzcath.org/

I've read about quite a few fallacies of logic, but I don't know what they call the one where you just decide names mean the opposite of what they say.  :P
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 12, 2010, 01:01:38 AM
TtC, believe it or not, most Eastern Christians are quite comfortable saying "I don't know" - it's one of the things I found attractive and refreshing when I discovered them.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 02:41:17 AM
Sorry minasoliman I should have gone a bit deeper into your response, I enjoy discussing with you.

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Science is a method, not a faith to me.

It's a method to me too.  But it rest on an epistemology, logical empiricism, which I think you would classify as my faith.  Since I place my trust in it, it would be tediously pedantic for me to split semantic hairs with you, so I won't.  Certainly I place my trust in logical empiricism.

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When science becomes a faith, it makes sense as to why character improvement is not in the picture.  They instead would like to analyze what it is that leads one to believe in character improvement, but they already assume its falsehood from the beginning, and so they've convinced themselves not to be "ensnared" into this "garbage" concerning the validity of things that improve success and character, but understand, let's say, how it sociologically and neurobiologically works, which literally defeats the purpose out of anything really.

Scientists, and I along with them, would claim a distinction between utility and truth.  A concept can be true yet lack utility in a particular circumstance.  Likewise, a concept can be false yet in a particular circumstance be highly utile.  If a lie is the only, or the best, tool currently available, one may legitimately employ it, but one would hopefully retain some reservations about doing so, and be on the look-out for a truth that one could employ instead, one with equal or greater utility.  After all, lies can be found out, at which point their utility evaporates.  I'm having this exact discussion on my thread about atheism and the 12 step movement.

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Humanity has logic, but it also has emotion. Science by definition is only logic.

True.

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When humanity follows science alone, you pretty much seek to destroy the emotion out of anything.

I would say instead that logic and emotion govern separate domains.  Aesthetics is largely emotional for most people, and certainly for me.  Arguments as to why it's illogical for me to like a particular song will fall on deaf ears.  I don't care about logic when listening to a song.  Likewise, I don't care about emotion when assessing a proposition about causality.    

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Slowly, we turn pretty much into programmed robots.

I'm a big fan of robots. 8)

I also happily view myself, and you, and all living creatures, as automotons, programmed by chemistry and history.

I suspect sapient robots, if they ever emerge, will have logic and will, but no emotion.  Thus happiness will be alien to them.  But purpose and its fulfillment will be front and center in their mental apparatus.  They will do what they must because they must, and in that, they won't be so very different from you and me.

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You've probably heard the adage before, "science seeks to ask how, religion seeks to ask why." Those who are rigid in following science as a faith say there's no such thing as a why. It just is.

The stream of causality stretches backward into what might as well be infinity, and forward, likewise, into what might as well be infinity.  The difference between past and future is this: the past can be known, whereas the future can only be guessed.  The present, meanwhile, can sometimes be controled.  Science, in its most actualized state, permits us to know the past, control the present, and guess with some confidence the future.  Interestingly, science has always assumed the stream of causality flowed only in one direction, from the past through the present to the future.  Recent experiments in quantum mechanics have yielded data suggestive of backward causality, the reversal of the stream, so that it flows from the future through the present to the past.  I mention this because backward causality is implied in Christian eschatology as some would interpret it.  The Parousia, being foreordained, reaches backward into the past to ensure its own present.  An interesting correlation between the underpinnings of theology and the latest findings in science.  Source regarding the science: Understanding Time and Causality is the Key to Understanding Quantum Mechanics - http://www.wheaton.edu/physics/faculty/wharton/time_and_causality.pdf (http://www.wheaton.edu/physics/faculty/wharton/time_and_causality.pdf)

In any case, when you talk about why, you mean purpose, hence will.  You want the universe to have a will, so you assume it does.  I don't have that particular desire, but if I did, and if I decided to fulfill it by fiat; I.e., by simply saying it was so; I would figure the will of the universe was mutation and natural selection, flux and struggle, innovation and competition, abundance and annihilation, diversity and brutality, since those are what I see around me.  But since those things I see around me would be there any way, willed or unwilled, I am apathetic as to whether will is present.

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That's terrifying. Instead of making sense out of why, the why in us is sought to be destroyed.

Terrifying to you, trivial to me.  The universe may or may not have a will, but you have a will, and I have a will.  You have reasons and I have reasons.  If the universe has a will, my own must align with it, since I'm part of the universe, so my most logical course would be to fulfill my own will, as this would likewise fulfill the universe's will.  If the universe doesn't have a will, then my own is as good as any other, so my most logical course would be to fulfill my own will, as this will make me happiest.  Thus, once again, as is always the case, the question of God's existence is irrelevant, and I am therefore apathetic toward it.
  
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So, it is this "why" that scientists call a self-deception. But if the why is always nagging at me, then I call the rejection of the why a delusion.

Yet the Earth abounds with purpose, and scientists acknowledge it.  I mean the purposes of earthly creatures.  Everywhere living beings pursue their goals.

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I don't know how scientists see this as self-deception. Of course this goes both ways, but I wonder at people like CS Lewis, Francis Collins, Ann Rice, all who were atheists, all who understand what this is, and yet they decided to reject that this is a case of self-deception, that there is validity to asking the question "why."

Usually what happens is a tap on the shoulder from death.  Suddenly mortality is brought into sharp focus, and up pops fear.

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Even atheists agree that there are a certain set of morals to follow when interacting with others.

I don't.  But I think we humans can agree to be good to one another for practical reasons.

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So, I'm not really convinced by subjectivity.  It is extremely inconsistent to me.

That's because very few people are willing to admit that there is no such thing as objective morality, and so they project their subjective preferences onto the universe. and imagine their own wills to be the will of God.  The only reason Christianity makes sense to you is because selflessness makes sense to you.

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Doctors do much practical good in the world, but they can be a bunch of arrogant self-worshippers sometimes. They too can be saints and heros in at least the work they do, but a lot of people can agree that they are necessary, but not necessarily good.

You mean morally good, which to me is irrelevant.  Practical results are what matter.  Help me for selfish reasons and you have still helped me.  I don't need you to be selfless.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: NicholasMyra on December 12, 2010, 03:14:46 AM
Why are you suddenly able to write in coherent English, sir?  :police:
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 12, 2010, 03:21:28 AM
I directed the Revelation discussion to another thread, if anyone is interested.

So if two people have opposing viewpoints, why are certain people so militant about them?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 03:34:41 AM
Why are you suddenly able to write in coherent English, sir?  :police:

Whenever a good discussion arises from it, you have anything you would like to contribute?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 03:35:52 AM
TtC, believe it or not, most Eastern Christians are quite comfortable saying "I don't know" - it's one of the things I found attractive and refreshing when I discovered them.

Hmm but you do know God does exist by Christ no? What I'm saying is you have faith Christ existed, resurrected and will come again. This is 100% right?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: NicholasMyra on December 12, 2010, 03:39:04 AM
TtC, believe it or not, most Eastern Christians are quite comfortable saying "I don't know" - it's one of the things I found attractive and refreshing when I discovered them.

Hmm but you do know God does exist by Christ no? What I'm saying is you have faith Christ existed, resurrected and will come again. This is 100% right?
There are things we know, yes, but also things that are left unexplained or undefined.

Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 03:40:13 AM
So your belief that their is a God is 100%, so it was wrong of me to say she is an agnostic? I guess I have trouble understanding that if you believe God 100% what exactly are you doubting? The theology of the faith?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: NicholasMyra on December 12, 2010, 03:43:36 AM
So your belief that their is a God is 100%, so it was wrong of me to say she is an agnostic? I guess I have trouble understanding that if you believe God 100% what exactly are you doubting? The theology of the faith?
In Orthodoxy, certain things about God are revealed. Certain things about God and the universe are not revealed. Orthodox are not compelled to over-speculate or synthesize information regarding what is not revealed, nor to appoint such information to the level of doctrine or dogma.

As to your demeanor on this site: An internet debate mindset is not the same as a scientific mindset. Remember that. One is centered on ego, the other on material truth.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 12, 2010, 04:00:11 AM
So your belief that their is a God is 100%, so it was wrong of me to say she is an agnostic? I guess I have trouble understanding that if you believe God 100% what exactly are you doubting? The theology of the faith?

I have heard several people express on these forums that the are agnostic theist. That is, they believe there is a God, but they do not think this will ever be able to be proved.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 12, 2010, 09:33:16 AM
So your belief that their is a God is 100%, so it was wrong of me to say she is an agnostic? I guess I have trouble understanding that if you believe God 100% what exactly are you doubting? The theology of the faith?

I have heard several people express on these forums that the are agnostic theist. That is, they believe there is a God, but they do not think this will ever be able to be proved.
Not even after they die?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 12, 2010, 12:44:07 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, TtC. But I'm a theist in the Martin Gardner tradition.  Look it up. ;)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on December 12, 2010, 03:52:36 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, TtC. But I'm a theist in the Martin Gardner tradition.  Look it up. ;)
So you are a mathematical Neoplatonist?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 04:58:33 PM
I'm going to go off on a different tangent until I get a response from minoslaimn.

Christianity preaches selflessness, different denominations to a greater or lesser degree. Preaching and praxis can differ and often do. Your denomination, Orthodoxy, is similar to the Roman Catholics, is one that preaches selflessness to a great degree. Your posts certainly glorify selflessness as a virtue.

I have the feeling that Christianity assumes everyone is selfish and hence dangles the carrot of eternal love and happiness for being good and eternal torment for being bad.
so long as you add belief in the Atonement as at least equally important, if not more so, depending on the denomination. Being good, from a Greek/Russian/Slavic Orthodox or Roman Catholic perspective, is largely selflessness.

The usual teaching would be, "Believe and try. At first your attempts may be inwardly false, but habit will start to make the inside match the outside; plus, more importantly, the Holy Spirit will go to work within you. Eventually the part of you that is in the divine image will have its Resurrection, and genuine selflessness will begin to manifest."

I don't defend the logic of any of that. I merely report it, as an anthropologist might.

Rocks are selfless because they lack the capacity to be anything else. Puppies, meanwhile, can manifest an instinctive loyalty to the pack, such that, in certain situations, self-sacrifice can occur. Some humans will demonstrate something similar. Both atheists and theists are theoretically capable of it. Moreover, an atheist could preach selflessness without engaging in contradiction. Lack of belief in a deity doesn't stop us from believing in the moral good, and our concept of the moral good might incorporate selflessness as a proposed virtue, perhaps the central or even the only one. Whether our praxis matched our preaching would be a separate question, as it is for theists. I personally don't propose selflessness as any kind of virtue, moral or practical. I don't propose moral virtues at all. I propose practical virtues, such as self-discipline, balance, and caution, called out for their utility both to self and to society. Practical virtues bring earthly benefit to earthly creatures and their earthly neighbors.

If God does exist, he'll know I've led a good life, and thus will not chuck me out of Heaven. If he would stop me entering Heaven then he's not quite the guy you all think he is - a god shouldn't really hold grudges, being perfect and all? If he'd prevent me from entering his Kingdom, then do I want to know him at all? Nope.

I can go throughout my life not believing in this deity because he is nothing more than a fabrication of men. If he did turn out to be real (not going to happen, but theoretically if) then I can still go throughout life not believing because he should in theory forgive me anyway.

Cheers God!

I'd like to live longer, a lot longer, but eternity is just too long maaaaan. I think fear of death meaning everything ending for ever is quite a frightening concept and therefore a big motivating factor to believe in God and heaven. That does not make it real unfortunately. If It did, I'm sure most people would jump on the bandwagon.

It is hard to accept the finality of it all. Even as an atheist, the ending of it all bothers me somewhat.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 12, 2010, 05:10:29 PM
I have the feeling that Christianity assumes everyone is selfish and hence dangles the carrot of eternal love and happiness for being good and eternal torment for being bad.

Perhaps a little research would go a long way in dismantling this "feeling" of yours.  This only serves the oft-put-forward notion that you know next to nothing about authentic Christianity/Orthodoxy.

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so long as you add belief in the Atonement as at least equally important, if not more so, depending on the denomination. Being good, from a Greek/Russian/Slavic Orthodox or Roman Catholic perspective, is largely selflessness.

Nope.

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The usual teaching would be, "Believe and try. At first your attempts may be inwardly false, but habit will start to make the inside match the outside; plus, more importantly, the Holy Spirit will go to work within you. Eventually the part of you that is in the divine image will have its Resurrection, and genuine selflessness will begin to manifest."

The usual teaching of who and what?

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If God does exist, he'll know I've led a good life, and thus will not chuck me out of Heaven.

If he would stop me entering Heaven then he's not quite the guy you all think he is - a god shouldn't really hold grudges, being perfect and all? If he'd prevent me from entering his Kingdom, then do I want to know him at all? Nope.

I can go throughout my life not believing in this deity because he is nothing more than a fabrication of men. If he did turn out to be real (not going to happen, but theoretically if) then I can still go throughout life not believing because he should in theory forgive me anyway.

Cheers God!

I'd like to live longer, a lot longer, but eternity is just too long maaaaan. I think fear of death meaning everything ending for ever is quite a frightening concept and therefore a big motivating factor to believe in God and heaven. That does not make it real unfortunately. If It did, I'm sure most people would jump on the bandwagon.

It is hard to accept the finality of it all. Even as an atheist, the ending of it all bothers me somewhat.

So, basically, whatever your raw intuition and gut feelings are is exactly what God should agree with and if He doesn't, it's all rubbish?  Brilliant!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 05:14:13 PM
Well Sleeper I'd rather talk about immortality on Earth, via reincarnation or transhumanism, then sign me up. On a planet where new books are continually being written, new movies made, new gadgets, toys, and games invented, and new social constructs attempted, I don't know why I'd want to leave if I still had a strong and agile body, or why I wouldn't want to reincarnate if I could. Couple that with the possibility of genetically enhancing other species all the way to sapience, developing robots all the way to sapience, and maybe encountering sapient extra-terrestrials, and the mighty cornucopia of books, movies, gadgets, toys, games, and social constructs just spirals into such myriad multiplicities as to transcend the limits of language's ability to describe. Only some horrific nightmare scenario would make me want to die or not reincarnate.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 12, 2010, 05:19:04 PM
I have no idea what you just said.  ;D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 05:23:49 PM
What I'm saying is I want to live longer, if there was a way sign me up. All sorts of stuff that is being created now and so forth would be awesome to keep experiencing.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: NicholasMyra on December 12, 2010, 05:32:16 PM
TTC, posts like your "different tangent" above frustrate us, because they assume that Orthodox christianity is the same as Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 12, 2010, 05:37:14 PM
What I'm saying is I want to live longer, if there was a way sign me up. All sorts of stuff that is being created now and so forth would be awesome to keep experiencing.

And your understanding of "Christianity's" Heaven would somehow negate the wonders of human ingenuity and culture?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 12, 2010, 05:48:11 PM
I'm going to go off on a different tangent until I get a response from minoslaimn.

In my five years here, I have never seen a username so butchered. Good job!

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I have the feeling that Christianity assumes everyone is selfish...

The Church knows that most people will be selfish. The Church also knows that God is merciful and desires the salvation of all.

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...and hence dangles the carrot of eternal love and happiness for being good and eternal torment for being bad.

The aim of the Church is not to make bad men good but to make dead men live.

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so long as you add belief in the Atonement as at least equally important, if not more so, depending on the denomination.

The vast majority of Orthodox believers reject Atonement as a false concept.

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Moreover, an atheist could preach selflessness without engaging in contradiction.

To an atheist, selflessness can only lead to the dissolution of the self into nothingness, aka nihilism. To a theist, selflessness can only lead to the dissolution of one's self into God, while at the same time revealing the true self.

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Lack of belief in a deity doesn't stop us from believing in the moral good,

With no higher power/deity, your concept of a moral good can only be based on your opinion, shaped as it is from your own opinion. You would have no right to force it on others, and certainly no reason to proclaim anything outside your own experience to be right or wrong. Thus, you are left with no possibility of moral outrage at the events which took place at Auschwitz, Dachau, the GULAGs, etc.

Or to quote Jeffrey Dahmer:“If it all happens naturalistically, what’s the need for a God? Can’t I set my own rules? Who owns me? I own myself.”

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If God does exist, he'll know I've led a good life, and thus will not chuck me out of Heaven.

The issue is that the experiences of Heaven and Hell for each person, are not the fault of God, but of that person. God does not change. He is the same for St John the Theologian as He is for Hitler or Lenin or anyone else. But how a person experiences God is wholly dependent on themselves. You yourself disbelieve in God. You have closed the door and barred it from the inside, refusing to let God in. Your morality hardly factors into it.

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If he would stop me entering Heaven then he's not quite the guy you all think he is - a god shouldn't really hold grudges, being perfect and all? If he'd prevent me from entering his Kingdom, then do I want to know him at all? Nope.

He does not stop you from entering into His Kingdom. You refuse to enter. He merely accepts your will. God refuses to override what you have chosen for yourself.

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I can go throughout my life not believing in this deity because he is nothing more than a fabrication of men. If he did turn out to be real (not going to happen, but theoretically if) then I can still go throughout life not believing because he should in theory forgive me anyway.

God forgives everyone. The issue is that not everyone thinks they need that forgiveness in order to repent and accept it.


Well Sleeper I'd rather talk about immortality on Earth, via reincarnation or transhumanism, then sign me up. On a planet where new books are continually being written, new movies made, new gadgets, toys, and games invented, and new social constructs attempted, I don't know why I'd want to leave if I still had a strong and agile body, or why I wouldn't want to reincarnate if I could. Couple that with the possibility of genetically enhancing other species all the way to sapience, developing robots all the way to sapience, and maybe encountering sapient extra-terrestrials, and the mighty cornucopia of books, movies, gadgets, toys, games, and social constructs just spirals into such myriad multiplicities as to transcend the limits of language's ability to describe. Only some horrific nightmare scenario would make me want to die or not reincarnate.

So you are saying that you won't worship God....but you have no problem setting up science, technology and the human mind as idols and worshipping them?? Gotcha.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 12, 2010, 07:44:21 PM
John maybe you could answer a question, or someone else, I have been pondering, but regarding the nature of salvation. I do apologize for my ignorance, but in the Orthodox faith what sort of sincerity must one have to come to God and repent?

What I'm saying is, I don't want to delude myself into thinking I'm saved just because I feel I was sincere in my confession for sins, etc. Is this were the Eucharist takes over, where there is some solid foundation for the remission of sins?

Also my biggest concern is if we are all going to be judged at the Final Judgment, would God forget the past sins that we did because of our repentence? We would only be judged from thereafter?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 12, 2010, 08:54:22 PM
Seriously though, have you ever heard any talk from the Christians about heaven and what they'd do there aside from offer praise to God? Jehovah's Witnesses, I think, expect heaven to be like Earth, but with all the problems resolved. Lions will lie down beside lambs -- that sort of thing. I guess the lions' teeth and gut will be modified to resemble that of sheep and perhaps their paws will be turned to hoves. What about us? Will we too be forced to become vegetarians or will we just not have to eat? -- being dead and all. Aside from that I don't think life in heaven is something Christians give much thought too, or am I wrong?

Also going back to some statements made before
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The way we attain faith in the Christian understanding is by the trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises.
I've heard this from others. I have just never had the experience. Prayer never worked for me, or perhaps I for it?

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The way we attain faith in the scientific method is by personal experience of it and its trustworthiness and consistency to attain materialistic data.
You are saying our confidence in the scientific method is derived from our success in attaining data, but I think greater than that is the technological success we see around us. Every aspect of our modern lives is touched by the fruits of the scientific revolution. The method by which we gather knowledge of it clearly works. It has transformed the world and our understanding of it. What equivalent transformation has prayer brought in the thousands of years its been practiced? What clear evidence is there that it works? Everyone, everywhere, can clearly see the benefits wrought by science, I observe nothing equivalent coming from prayer or spiritual exercises. I can understand how meditative experiences might benefit individuals, but society as a whole sees nothing transformative.

I must be honest. I don't see that faith plays a role in science. We say we have faith in God, but then we don't have physical evidence of God, so we require faith. I don't require faith in the internal combustion engine, I can see that it works. It powers my car. Faith is a requirement if we wish to believe in something for which we lack physical evidence. The 2nd OED definition defines faith as a "strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof." This "spiritual conviction rather than proof' is the hallmark of religious faith. Spiritual conviction does not provide answers to scientific issues. I have faith, perhaps, that the ISS will remain in orbit, for now, but faith is useless to keep it in orbit -- for that we need to use applications developed by the scientific method.

There is, however, a larger issue. If you've attained "... faith in... Christian understanding" through the "trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises" then how is it that there are so many Christian denominations and sects? If "prayer and spiritual exercises" provides "trustworthy" results how are all the discrepancies in religious belief around the world and through time explained? Where is the evidence that transcendent sources provide consistent results?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Tzimis on December 12, 2010, 09:14:56 PM
What I'm saying is I want to live longer, if there was a way sign me up. All sorts of stuff that is being created now and so forth would be awesome to keep experiencing.

I agree. Life is beautiful indeed.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 12, 2010, 09:26:21 PM
TtC, your posts are frustrating because, as others have pointed out, you don't seem to be aware that Orthodox Christianity does NOT teach the same things about eternity that you apparently have imbibed from Protestant fundamentalists.

What (if anything) have you read about Orthodoxy?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 09:31:05 PM
John maybe you could answer a question, or someone else, I have been pondering, but regarding the nature of salvation. I do apologize for my ignorance, but in the Orthodox faith what sort of sincerity must one have to come to God and repent?

What I'm saying is, I don't want to delude myself into thinking I'm saved just because I feel I was sincere in my confession for sins, etc. Is this were the Eucharist takes over, where there is some solid foundation for the remission of sins?

Also my biggest concern is if we are all going to be judged at the Final Judgment, would God forget the past sins that we did because of our repentence? We would only be judged from thereafter?
Once absolution is given, the past is wipped clean.  

As to sincerity, you must resolve not to sin again, and pick yourself up and dust yourself off with confession when you sin again, and continue on the Path.

The solid foundation for the remission of sins is that through an Orthodox priest (through ordination always an armslength from an apostle) of the Catholic Church  absolution is given you by the power of the keys given by Christ to the Apostles.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 12, 2010, 09:32:54 PM
John maybe you could answer a question, or someone else, I have been pondering, but regarding the nature of salvation. I do apologize for my ignorance, but in the Orthodox faith what sort of sincerity must one have to come to God and repent?

What I'm saying is, I don't want to delude myself into thinking I'm saved just because I feel I was sincere in my confession for sins, etc. Is this were the Eucharist takes over, where there is some solid foundation for the remission of sins?

"Repentance then isn’t asking God to forgive us for acting “badly” and vowing that we will live “better lives,” it is recognizing that the way we have been living is focusing on ourselves and then trying to fundamentally alter our world-view. Our salvation comes through this whole-hearted attempt to live the way which God wants for us, which we were created for. Salvation comes from recognizing that our individual efforts are not enough, that our individuality is a lie told to us by the world and that is symptom of a mis-directed will."

http://semantron.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/orthodox-personhood-sin-and-salvation/

I could recommend several books in the space, but as I am not ordained clergy, I will refrain.

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Also my biggest concern is if we are all going to be judged at the Final Judgment, would God forget the past sins that we did because of our repentence? We would only be judged from thereafter?

All of our sins are already forgiven. The issue is not lack of forgiveness on God's part, but rather lack of repentance on, perhaps not the part of others but certainly my part. So it comes down to "recognizing that our individual efforts are not enough, that our individuality is a lie told to us by the world and that is symptom of a mis-directed will."

Seriously though, have you ever heard any talk from the Christians about heaven and what they'd do there aside from offer praise to God?

Are these Christians Orthodox?? Does it matter what they say?? I could say, if I wanted to, that heaven is a facsimile of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, with no evidence to the contrary. My fantasies over what Heaven could or could not be is irrelevant. What matters is what Heaven is. Heaven is the unescapable presence of God as experienced by a repentant person trodding the narrow path.

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Jehovah's Witnesses, I think, expect heaven to be like Earth, but with all the problems resolved.

Does the perception of JWs on matters of theology matter on an Orthodox forum?? We are not JWs, and they are not us.

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Aside from that I don't think life in heaven is something Christians give much thought too, or am I wrong?

It seems to be a topic quite popular with people who believe in neither Heaven nor Hell.

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Prayer never worked for me, or perhaps I for it?

What exactly were you lacking that would make prayer "work?"

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What equivalent transformation has prayer brought in the thousands of years its been practiced? What clear evidence is there that it works?

Prayer is a practice whereupon its effects can only be seen in its absence.

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Everyone, everywhere, can clearly see the benefits wrought by science, I observe nothing equivalent coming from prayer or spiritual exercises. I can understand how meditative experiences might benefit individuals, but society as a whole sees nothing transformative.

Just because you can't perceive something, doesn't mean it's not there. The blind may lack sight, but that doesn't mean all the rest of us are all blind.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Tikhon.of.Colorado on December 13, 2010, 12:40:06 AM
As I progress in the Orthodox faith, I have less desire to do pointless, worldly things. I also seem to have a greater and greater appreciation for high culture, art, music, etc.  I believe that God's grace refines humanity, and does not blot it out.  After all, we are still in his image, even if corrupted by sin. And that means we are creative.

I think this is true with all Orthodox Christians!   :)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 13, 2010, 12:48:11 AM
Are these Christians Orthodox?? Does it matter what they say?? I could say, if I wanted to, that heaven is a facsimile of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, with no evidence to the contrary. My fantasies over what Heaven could or could not be is irrelevant. What matters is what Heaven is. Heaven is the unescapable presence of God as experienced by a repentant person trodding the narrow path.
Hang on for a second there. You just essentially shot down all non-orthodox christian views of heaven. Then, you proceeded to give us your (the orthodox) version of heaven as the truth.

Honest question here: How does that make any sense at all?

Here we go. It doesn't matter to me what other people say the Moon is. If I wanted to, I could say the moon was a giant rock orbiting the Earth. My fantasies over what the Moon is or isn't is irrelevant. What matters is what the Moon is. The moon is a giant ball of cheese in the sky and is the place fairies go to die when you stop believing in them.

I really would like to know how any of that made any sense at all.

And yes, if you're wondering, I do think it's more likely that heaven would be a facsimile of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Simply because in light of absolutely no proof or even evidence of heaven existing, I'm simply going to go with what sounds good to me. And I'll be damned if I don't like chocolate.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 13, 2010, 12:51:39 AM
Sorry, I posted this only after reading your two posts.  I didn't realize your third post.  I'm going to read it now :)

Thanks for your reply minasoliman. The time you took is appreciated. I have chosen to respond to your discussion on faith in a later post. One problem we have here is that we work from different definitions. I use a different definition for the words faith and agnostic than you do. I've decided to address agnostic first, simply because its a bit quicker to answer.

True agnostics see the world through no particular understanding necessarily. They doubt a strict materialistic worldview, but they also doubt transcendant worldview.
I think you have reshaped the meaning of agnostic.  You see it as a middle ground between our two positions, accepting neither one: expressing skepticism on both the transcendent and materialist world views, agnostic to both; but that is not the original meaning, nor is it the Oxford dictionary definition.
 
Quote from: ODE, 2006
agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
 
To my way of thinking the word agnostic implies skepticism toward the legitimacy of the sources of knowledge used to prove the existence of God.  That is its meaning.  It does not imply skepticism to anything else.  The agnostic may be skeptical of other things, but the only thing you can know for certain is that he remains unconvinced that anything can be known for certain about God. Agnosticism does not imply skepticism toward science, the scientific method or those things examined by this method.

I think you have taken the word agnostic and modified its original meaning so that it implies skepticism toward all things.  I suspect most who call themselves agnostic have no difficulty perceiving materialistic explanations as trustworthy.  I don't think they doubt the 'materialistic worldview.'  I suspect most agnostics see the material world as the only certain source of knowledge that we possess.

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Are there any agnostics present who could way in and lend their view?

By your definition really most atheists are not really atheists in the extreme sense, but agnostics.  Nevertheless, they've redefined atheism as a way of thought.  Most agnostics also who call themselves agnostic are really atheists.

In the old arguments against atheism, one would say, "It takes much more faith to not believe in God."  But atheists today tweek this.  Yes, they don't believe in God, but not in the sense that they are absolutely sure.  They're simply skeptical, and have a way of thought.

So in the old definition, faith meant a leap in belief without proper investigation.  But that's not really how faith I believe has been used in the Church.  Faith has been synonymous with theology, or a Christian way of thinking, or as you put it, an epistemology.  That really is the more accurate understanding of "faith."  Faith is what shapes our actions, and not just merely a belief.  We can say for instance, Satan believes that God exists, but he has no faith.

These definitions change all the time.  Oxford dictionary or no oxford dictionary, to be honest, you have to use the word within its context.  I think a lot of Christians really sullied the understanding of faith.  Therefore, to be consistent, "agnostic" a true agnostic is someone who is skeptical but open to the possibility of the transcendental.  For an agnostic to be just skeptical to the transcendental just teeter-totters one on the side of atheistic thinking.  Richard Dawkins redefined atheism as a way of thought really, not necessarily a label of firm belief.  So if anything, my definition of agnosticism is really no different than Dawkins' "4 scale."

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Doctors do much practical good in the world, but they can be a bunch of arrogant self-worshippers sometimes
Do you challenge these doctors to their face or simply publish critical judgement on public forums?

I'm working with these doctors.  Well actually to be more precise, I am being apprenticed by them.  Not all of them of course are arrogant.  But the more successful ones usually suffer the God-complex issue, or at least they pretend they care in front of you.

I'll add one more group of people.  Christians can be a bunch of Pharisaical arrogant hypocrites.

Since I belong to a group of physician-gonna-bes and Christians, I think I am entitled to give my opinion of my experience.

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Okay, let me give you a different perspective. Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

I am going to play the old dictionary game again.  The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) offers two definitions for faith:

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i) complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

ii) strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

When you admit to seeing the world through Christian eyes your are admitting, it seems to me, seeing the world through the doctrines of a religion.  I would think you might also acknowledge basing your beliefs on spiritual convictions, thought I think you are less likely to admit not having proof.  This latter point, I think, is where you might have the biggest hang-up for the definition.  This 2nd definition, for me, is the one that immediately comes to mind when I think of the word faith.  You can see, then, why I would probably object myself to any assertion that I possess faith.

So you don't trust the scientific method?

The second definition stems from a culture of atheistic misunderstanding of what faith really means.  It's no different than the bastardization of the word "theory" by creationist groups, misunderstanding its scientific usage.  So I'm here to tell you, the second definition is not true, at least for true Christians.  Since spirituality is by definition a certain transcendant way of life that materialism is not able to test, then the scientific method is not even valid to judge it to begin with.  There's a different way to "prove" it.

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Though I do see the world through a lens based on evidence constructed from the physical world, I don't recognize this as a matter of faith.  Your faith, it would seem to me, precludes change.  You might correct me on this if I am wrong.  Because of spiritual convictions I imagine you are locked into believing the same things over time.  New evidence doesn't cause you to modify your beliefs about God, or does it?  Those, like myself, who rely on physical evidence from the world to establish our perceptions of it, change our views when conflicting evidence comes available.  I don't think that anyone who maintains views of the world based on physical evidence would ever insist they had complete trust in any scientific claim, as per the 1st definition.  My world view prevents me from having complete trust and so is the opposite of having faith.

But you do have faith.  You have faith in what you see, hear, touch, etc.  I have no problem with that, but the proof for my faith is the incompleteness and inconsistency of such a thought for the general human nature.  Human nature is more than an animal.  Human nature is a phenomenon that is capable day by day to subdue all other nature around it more and more.  Human nature is an ever-growing powerful force.  While Nature may have been taken part in making us, we certainly take part in now shaping it.  Therefore, I don't have faith in scientific methodology alone, but also in transcendant force that allows human nature to be quite unique from everything else in this world at least.  This allows me to investigate in a different manner the many beliefs that seem to me most compatible with this truth, and how we are connected to a much higher purpose.

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Faith is something you believe in. It's the precursor to a philosophy. I talk about the Christian faith, that is the beliefs, the theology of our Church, etc. Faith is dogma, and everyone has a certain dogma they live by, whether it be atheists or believers.

Dogma is tied closely to claiming possession of absolute truth.  Let's look at the dictionary again.

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dogma: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

That -- incontrovertibly true -- part, is an integral part of dogma.  This is what sets scientific theories apart from religious doctrine.  The demand that something is incontrovertibly true is never heard in science.  Conservative Christians frequently make much of the observation that hypotheses in science are often here today and gone tomorrow.  They perceive change in science as proof that scientists don't know what they are talking about.

There's some truth in what you say, but truly practically, scientists today have now dogmatized many theories.  For one thing, evolution is considered both a theory and a truth.  It is now the driving force to learn all biology and other life sciences.  It has truly become dogma even if it's considered "falsifiable."  The idea now is that evolution occurs and it's definitely beyond a doubt now a TRUTH.  How evolution occurs is the falsifiable part of science, and this is not dogma.

So I don't know about you, but scientists have already dogmatized it whether they want to admit it or not.  It has stood the test of time, and it is pretty much have been far more established with better foundations than the theory of gravity.  The only way in which one can prove evolution is wrong is if one can prove I am not related to my parents or sister or cousin using the same DNA techniques (which in a sense makes it falsifiable, but at this point, about .0000001% falsifiable).  So since that has now been established truth, then you can't tell me there's no dogma in science.  There's even dogma in the how life is described, i.e. a degree of homeostasis, organization of cells, metabolism, growth, adaptation and response to stimuli, and reproduction.  Anything mathematical seems to be dogma to people anyway, which leads many to worship the field of mathematics, and probably theoretical physics.

I can say the same about Church dogmas.  The Church in a practical sense have already firmly established "theories" that help best explain their faith and spirituality.  Therefore, since the dogmas have firm grounding in our understanding of spirituality, there is truth in them.

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I recognize that dogma is tied up with faith which is another reason I object to the assertion that I possess faith.  I hold that one species may evolve into something different, but  give me good reason to believe this view is wrong and I will change my mind.  I am not locked into an incontrovertible truth.  My views are not dogmatic.

Indeed you might think you're not dogmatic, but practically, you make it impossible for yourself to think in any other way than with the senses.  You've essentially dogmatized that life is nothing more than your material senses, and your faith is nothing more than in not taking life for granted, for I will cease to exist eventually.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: SolEX01 on December 13, 2010, 12:55:07 AM
There is, however, a larger issue. If you've attained "... faith in... Christian understanding" through the "trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises" then how is it that there are so many Christian denominations and sects? If "prayer and spiritual exercises" provides "trustworthy" results how are all the discrepancies in religious belief around the world and through time explained? Where is the evidence that transcendent sources provide consistent results?

The answer to the first bolded item lies with the man-made Scientific Method.

The answer to the second bolded item rests with man and his free will.

Surprisingly, the answers are the same....
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 13, 2010, 01:27:58 AM
The vast majority of Orthodox believers reject Atonement as a false concept.

This intrigued me a great deal so I went googling and found this article, which confirms what you say, John, and fleshes it out nicely, as I hope you'll agree.

Salvation and Atonement - http://khanya.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/salvation-and-atonement/ (http://khanya.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/salvation-and-atonement/)

I look forward to hearing your opinion of the article.

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To an atheist, selflessness can only lead to the dissolution of the self into nothingness, aka nihilism. To a theist, selflessness can only lead to the dissolution of one's self into God, while at the same time revealing the true self.

I agree with all of that.  Rather than the self's dissolution, I pursue its actualization.  I would like to be more me today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today.

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With no higher power/deity, your concept of a moral good can only be based on your opinion, shaped as it is from your own opinion.

I agree!  But somehow some atheists satisfy themselves otherwise.  As noted in quite a few posts recently, I reject any notion of objective morality, and since I see no point in a subjective morality, I reject the whole kit and kaboodle, and focus instead on good and evil as defined by practicality rather than morality; I.e., as providing earthly benefit to earthly creatures for the sake of some of that benefit accruing to myself directly or indirectly, and also for the sake of the sense of accomplishment I get from making a positive material difference here in the material world.

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You would have no right to force it on others

You say that like it's a bad thing.  I, for my part, announce it as a triumph of reason.

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and certainly no reason to proclaim anything outside your own experience to be right or wrong.

Like it's a bad thing, you say that.  As a triumph of reason, I, for my part, announce it.  I want a Yoda icon. 8)

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Thus, you are left with no possibility of moral outrage at the events which took place at Auschwitz, Dachau, the GULAGs, etc.

Since moral outrage neither fills my belly nor beautifies my days, I don't miss its absence.

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Or to quote Jeffrey Dahmer:“If it all happens naturalistically, what’s the need for a God? Can’t I set my own rules? Who owns me? I own myself.”

I agree with his statement.  Eating people is grotesque and vile, however.  Yuck.  Incidentally, we don't need morality to deter people from what Dahmer did.  We have legislation and enforcement.  Bullets in a cop's gun and meeting Bubba in the prison shower are prospects more real and sobering by far than any imagined hellfire.
 
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So you are saying that you won't worship God...but you have no problem setting up science, technology and the human mind as idols and worshipping them? Gotcha.

No need to worship them.  Just employ them and partake of their fruits.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 13, 2010, 02:06:11 AM
Sorry minasoliman I should have gone a bit deeper into your response, I enjoy discussing with you.

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Science is a method, not a faith to me.

It's a method to me too.  But it rest on an epistemology, logical empiricism, which I think you would classify as my faith.  Since I place my trust in it, it would be tediously pedantic for me to split semantic hairs with you, so I won't.  Certainly I place my trust in logical empiricism.

Ya, we'll get into semantics.  I think by now, you understand what I mean when I say science to you is both a method and faith.  Science to me is a method, but the faith lies in Christianity.  I suppose when I do science, I do it as a way of praising God.  I know it's trivial to you if I in the end end up helping somebody along the way.  But this is a form of a Machiavellian philosophy, i.e. that the ends justify the means.  As I am reading this message, that's the impression I'm getting.

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When science becomes a faith, it makes sense as to why character improvement is not in the picture.  They instead would like to analyze what it is that leads one to believe in character improvement, but they already assume its falsehood from the beginning, and so they've convinced themselves not to be "ensnared" into this "garbage" concerning the validity of things that improve success and character, but understand, let's say, how it sociologically and neurobiologically works, which literally defeats the purpose out of anything really.

Scientists, and I along with them, would claim a distinction between utility and truth.  A concept can be true yet lack utility in a particular circumstance.  Likewise, a concept can be false yet in a particular circumstance be highly utile.  If a lie is the only, or the best, tool currently available, one may legitimately employ it, but one would hopefully retain some reservations about doing so, and be on the look-out for a truth that one could employ instead, one with equal or greater utility.  After all, lies can be found out, at which point their utility evaporates.  I'm having this exact discussion on my thread about atheism and the 12 step movement.

Where's this discussion?  What's the 12 step movement?

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Humanity has logic, but it also has emotion. Science by definition is only logic.

True.

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When humanity follows science alone, you pretty much seek to destroy the emotion out of anything.

I would say instead that logic and emotion govern separate domains.  Aesthetics is largely emotional for most people, and certainly for me.  Arguments as to why it's illogical for me to like a particular song will fall on deaf ears.  I don't care about logic when listening to a song.  Likewise, I don't care about emotion when assessing a proposition about causality.   

Forgive me, I don't mean to say that emotion justifies my faith.  Logic justifies science.  Emotion justifies morals.  Logic and Emotion together justifies the transcendant in my opinion.  I like what Archbishop Rowan Williams says here that I think Jetevan posts elsewhere:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POBKL0zHZyc
Beauty is an emotion.  It is an idea that we cannot prove scientifically, but while there might be some scientific principles of beauty, certainly science can only go so far, and emotion can only go so far as well.  I think both combine to develop the sense of the truth of beauty.

I've heard from many Christians, even ancient ones, that the spirit is the intellect.  I think there's more to the spirit than just intellect or emotion.  It's the means of transcending both, and bridge to the divine.  We can scientifically explain intellect and emotion.  But we also can see beauty in them.  To turn it into something meaningless as long as we can get practical results is essentially ignoring Nature's cry and praise.

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Slowly, we turn pretty much into programmed robots.

I'm a big fan of robots. 8)

I also happily view myself, and you, and all living creatures, as automotons, programmed by chemistry and history.

I suspect sapient robots, if they ever emerge, will have logic and will, but no emotion.  Thus happiness will be alien to them.  But purpose and its fulfillment will be front and center in their mental apparatus.  They will do what they must because they must, and in that, they won't be so very different from you and me.

This is a matter of glass half empty vs. glass half full.  You stress that they won't be very different from you and me.  But I can stress that their seemingly minute difference makes us very different from you and me.  I'm not sure though if you as a scientist is willing to agree that we won't be able to program emotion in robots as well.  I think there's a lot of faith in the scientific community that they can recreate humanity with nuts and bolts once they crack the human "neuro code," or "neurome," if you know what I mean.

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You've probably heard the adage before, "science seeks to ask how, religion seeks to ask why." Those who are rigid in following science as a faith say there's no such thing as a why. It just is.

The stream of causality stretches backward into what might as well be infinity, and forward, likewise, into what might as well be infinity.  The difference between past and future is this: the past can be known, whereas the future can only be guessed.  The present, meanwhile, can sometimes be controled.  Science, in its most actualized state, permits us to know the past, control the present, and guess with some confidence the future.  Interestingly, science has always assumed the stream of causality flowed only in one direction, from the past through the present to the future.  Recent experiments in quantum mechanics have yielded data suggestive of backward causality, the reversal of the stream, so that it flows from the future through the present to the past.  I mention this because backward causality is implied in Christian eschatology as some would interpret it.  The Parousia, being foreordained, reaches backward into the past to ensure its own present.  An interesting correlation between the underpinnings of theology and the latest findings in science.  Source regarding the science: Understanding Time and Causality is the Key to Understanding Quantum Mechanics - http://www.wheaton.edu/physics/faculty/wharton/time_and_causality.pdf (http://www.wheaton.edu/physics/faculty/wharton/time_and_causality.pdf)

In any case, when you talk about why, you mean purpose, hence will.  You want the universe to have a will, so you assume it does.  I don't have that particular desire, but if I did, and if I decided to fulfill it by fiat; I.e., by simply saying it was so; I would figure the will of the universe was mutation and natural selection, flux and struggle, innovation and competition, abundance and annihilation, diversity and brutality, since those are what I see around me.  But since those things I see around me would be there any way, willed or unwilled, I am apathetic as to whether will is present.

Let me take your thought a bit further.  I think science has faith that they can one day control the future.  With the way things are going, they've abandoned other faiths and seemed to go along with a hope that if not them, their progeny can be immortal, and maybe even time travel, collect DNA and Neurological circuits of people, where we can be recreated, reborn, and live while keeping our memories intact.  I think this hope really validates a true purpose in people that seem to want to fully and without a doubt invalidate other faiths that speak about afterlives and ever-existence.  It speaks to those who truly want to live forever, and so their actions and purpose of advancing what we know seems to show they have some hope perhaps in a form of scientific "resurrection."

In other words the hope is there.  The faith is there.  Without this, I don't think the scientific community really can function.  This is the underlying understanding of an ultimate purpose.  These people have a passion for science by a hope that really tries if anything to destroy the notion of nihilism.  The problem is not all will be saved  ;)

But this is the point.  It's not that I want the Universe to have a will.  I truly believe the will is programmed in us.  The truth of this will what I investigate.  I believe that a lot people seem to bank on living longer as an ultimate purpose.  But living longer is only a means of the ultimate purpose, and that is the communion with God.  I am convinced that communion with God is an experience that allows me to forget about everything else behind me, a true "high" so to speak, and I seek it because it's the same high I achieve when selfless love is given to me, and I give back.  If life was merely about trying to strive to live longer, then really, there's no point in faith in God unless there's no hope for man to achieve this, and even if there isn't hope, as you personally see it, you find no difference in living forever in God or dying forever because you don't understand what communion in God really means and really feels like.

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That's terrifying. Instead of making sense out of why, the why in us is sought to be destroyed.

Terrifying to you, trivial to me.  The universe may or may not have a will, but you have a will, and I have a will.  You have reasons and I have reasons.  If the universe has a will, my own must align with it, since I'm part of the universe, so my most logical course would be to fulfill my own will, as this would likewise fulfill the universe's will.  If the universe doesn't have a will, then my own is as good as any other, so my most logical course would be to fulfill my own will, as this will make me happiest.  Thus, once again, as is always the case, the question of God's existence is irrelevant, and I am therefore apathetic toward it.
 
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So, it is this "why" that scientists call a self-deception. But if the why is always nagging at me, then I call the rejection of the why a delusion.

Yet the Earth abounds with purpose, and scientists acknowledge it.  I mean the purposes of earthly creatures.  Everywhere living beings pursue their goals.

If all purposes seem to lead to non-existence as an ultimate end, there's really no point.

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I don't know how scientists see this as self-deception. Of course this goes both ways, but I wonder at people like CS Lewis, Francis Collins, Ann Rice, all who were atheists, all who understand what this is, and yet they decided to reject that this is a case of self-deception, that there is validity to asking the question "why."

Usually what happens is a tap on the shoulder from death.  Suddenly mortality is brought into sharp focus, and up pops fear.

But Christianity in its essence is totally against this.  "Oh Death" says St. Paul, "where is thy sting?"  Christians in history, true Christians, have been shown to be fearless to death.

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Even atheists agree that there are a certain set of morals to follow when interacting with others.

I don't.  But I think we humans can agree to be good to one another for practical reasons.

You know, the best salesman is one who believes in the product he sells.  If the salesman simply pretends and is indifferent, or worse, actually hates the product, he may be practical for himself for a while, but eventually, when the drive and passion is not there, you tend to hate it or drive yourself crazy.

If life is nothing more than practical, then those who are passionate about it really are just wasting their passion.  And certainly, there are those who definitely wish to choose, if won't choose, to do the opposite of what is considered good to certain others.

It seems to me also, the drive to be practical is fear of chaos, and fear of death.  I see more fear in this than in believing in the transcendant.

The ultimate reality of a perfect life is a life with no laws, where all truly live with understanding and love and a way to move forward fearlessly.  This is not just a spirit of practicality, but in essence a passion that aids in enlivening practicality.  Practicality is dead without actually feeling the necessity of its practicality.

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So, I'm not really convinced by subjectivity.  It is extremely inconsistent to me.

That's because very few people are willing to admit that there is no such thing as objective morality, and so they project their subjective preferences onto the universe. and imagine their own wills to be the will of God.  The only reason Christianity makes sense to you is because selflessness makes sense to you.

However, for practical reasons, you believe that we should do good to others.  First, that's assuming that everyone agrees what good means.  I think your intention was believing in the golden rule, "Do unto others as you want others to do unto you."  Even the golden rule becomes an objective morality now.  Practically speaking, we have to live as if there exists objective truth.

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Doctors do much practical good in the world, but they can be a bunch of arrogant self-worshippers sometimes. They too can be saints and heros in at least the work they do, but a lot of people can agree that they are necessary, but not necessarily good.

You mean morally good, which to me is irrelevant.  Practical results are what matter.  Help me for selfish reasons and you have still helped me.  I don't need you to be selfless.

There's that Machiavellian idea again.  The ends justify the means.  I know you don't take this idea strictly, because you still believe that there is a "good" man does, and that is this golden rule.  But I say practicality can also mean that if I have to kill a few people to get somewhere faster, I think this world would be up for some competition of traits once again.  Subjectivity only exists in an abstract sense it seems when looking at the world with its different cultures and rules.  Objectivity exists in a concrete sense when looking at the need to survive as a group, and so to make this practical, you also need to make it feel practical.  What this indicates to me is not the existence of subjectivity, but rather the existence of true objective rules and false ones, one that can stand out and invalidate all other rules.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 13, 2010, 02:37:27 AM
I agree with all of that.  Rather than the self's dissolution, I pursue its actualization.  I would like to be more me today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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But somehow some atheists satisfy themselves otherwise.

As if the whole goal is self-satisfaction. I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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As noted in quite a few posts recently, I reject any notion of objective morality, and since I see no point in a subjective morality, I reject the whole kit and kaboodle, and focus instead on good and evil as defined by practicality rather than morality; I.e., as providing earthly benefit to earthly creatures for the sake of some of that benefit accruing to myself directly or indirectly, and also for the sake of the sense of accomplishment I get from making a positive material difference here in the material world.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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You say that like it's a bad thing.  I, for my part, announce it as a triumph of reason.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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Like it's a bad thing, you say that.  As a triumph of reason, I, for my part, announce it.  I want a Yoda icon. 8)

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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Since moral outrage neither fills my belly nor beautifies my days, I don't miss its absence.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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I agree with his statement.  Eating people is grotesque and vile, however.  Yuck.  Incidentally, we don't need morality to deter people from what Dahmer did.  We have legislation and enforcement.  Bullets in a cop's gun and meeting Bubba in the prison shower are prospects more real and sobering by far than any imagined hellfire.

Quite the Macchiavellian, you are.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 13, 2010, 02:44:42 AM
Oh come on!  Just because I said "Machiavellian" doesn't mean we have to throw it at him in such a childish manner.  I think this really discourages people from the faith, more than it helps.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 13, 2010, 02:44:49 AM
It is unique that the theist is able to subjugate his self-desires in order perform truly selfless acts. There is no such as thing as a 'selfless' act, according to strict darwinian principles, because the animal is ultimately looking out for itself and the distribution of it's own genetic material as the highest purpose/goal, ultimately controlled by it's 'selfish' genes.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 13, 2010, 03:02:43 AM
Oh come on!  Just because I said "Machiavellian" doesn't mean we have to throw it at him in such a childish manner.  I think this really discourages people from the faith, more than it helps.

I was actually in the process of writing my reply when you wrote yours. So my reference to Macchiavelli wasn't connected to yours. At any rate, his might makes right approach is firmly Macchiavellian.

Of course, he rejects both objective and subjective morality, so even "might makes right" seems out of place in a world view where there is no "right."
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 13, 2010, 03:05:41 AM
Oh come on!  Just because I said "Machiavellian" doesn't mean we have to throw it at him in such a childish manner.  I think this really discourages people from the faith, more than it helps.

I was actually in the process of writing my reply when you wrote yours. So my reference to Macchiavelli wasn't connected to yours. At any rate, his might makes right approach is firmly Macchiavellian.

For the benefit of the doubt, how would it take you 30 minutes to write essentially I, I, I, me, me, me over and over again.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 13, 2010, 03:06:49 AM
Oh come on!  Just because I said "Machiavellian" doesn't mean we have to throw it at him in such a childish manner.  I think this really discourages people from the faith, more than it helps.

I was actually in the process of writing my reply when you wrote yours. So my reference to Macchiavelli wasn't connected to yours. At any rate, his might makes right approach is firmly Macchiavellian.

For the benefit of the doubt, how would it take you 30 minutes to write essentially I, I, I, me, me, me over and over again.

I was doing more than one thing at once.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 13, 2010, 03:14:29 AM
Dear Tryingtoconvert,

I just wanted to add one more thought that came to my mind.  It helps a lot at least in terms of practicality that people can help those who are in need.  Unless, one believes it's impractical and a waste of time to help them anyway.  But assuming practicality, we have to admit, a huge majority, even among the educated masses, are very impractical at best.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: chrevbel on December 13, 2010, 07:04:07 AM
There is no such as thing as a 'selfless' act, according to strict darwinian principles...
I'm not so sure this is true.  And I'm not even talking about the idea that there are no principles in Darwinian theory (simply a desire to explain our observations, although I guess that's a principle).  But already I digress...

I would consider it selfless for a person to devote their life's energy (for example) to understanding stellar formation.  And plenty of other pursuits seem to offer equally negligible "immediate impact" to our species' survival, at least as Darwin would describe it.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 13, 2010, 07:17:52 AM
There is no such as thing as a 'selfless' act, according to strict darwinian principles...
I'm not so sure this is true.  And I'm not even talking about the idea that there are no principles in Darwinian theory (simply a desire to explain our observations, although I guess that's a principle).  But already I digress...

I would consider it selfless for a person to devote their life's energy (for example) to understanding stellar formation.  And plenty of other pursuits seem to offer equally negligible "immediate impact" to our species' survival, at least as Darwin would describe it.

Perhaps your example isn't selfish from a Darwinian standpoint, (that is beneficial to reproduction, at least so far as we can tell on the surface) but wouldn't you agree it can be interpreted as ultimately selfish from a secular viewpoint? (That is, the person enjoys cosmology, so they study it.)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 13, 2010, 07:23:36 AM
There is no such as thing as a 'selfless' act, according to strict darwinian principles...
I'm not so sure this is true.  And I'm not even talking about the idea that there are no principles in Darwinian theory (simply a desire to explain our observations, although I guess that's a principle).  But already I digress...

I would consider it selfless for a person to devote their life's energy (for example) to understanding stellar formation.  And plenty of other pursuits seem to offer equally negligible "immediate impact" to our species' survival, at least as Darwin would describe it.

Or perhaps consider this; this person is being selfish from a Darwinian standpoint merely because they are refusing to devote their time to propogating their species!  ;) ;D (Or perhaps this could be interpreted as a form of natural selection, either way...)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 13, 2010, 03:16:04 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?
So even assuming such a silly plan would work instead of creating an even more dangerous bombardment of rubble like that which crashed into Saturn a few years ago creating explosions larger than the size of the earth itself, would you honestly argue that the risk of utter annihilation is worth the potential benefit of a truly one in a million shot and further supposing that we couldn't come up with a more effect, less dangerous non-nuclear weapon based solution to such a problem? Please, we are talking about real life here, not science fiction and considering there is a real nuclear treaty on the works and a vociferous public debate about nuclear proliferation in Iran and Korea and Israel etc etc I think we should all take it a bit more seriously.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: chrevbel on December 13, 2010, 03:26:55 PM
Please, we are talking about real life here, not science fiction...
Oh, sorry.  Never mind, then.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 13, 2010, 03:27:34 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
TtC, believe it or not, most Eastern Christians are quite comfortable saying "I don't know" - it's one of the things I found attractive and refreshing when I discovered them.

Amen Amen! The Orthodox is founded upon true, sincere and absolute humility, the teaching of the Sacramental Mystery of God's activity and economy in the world and our own limited, inability to fully understand ANY of it, which is why we pray, "Father, Thy Will be done and not our own" and also "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy on us, sinners!"

I agree with all of that.  Rather than the self's dissolution, I pursue its actualization.  I would like to be more me today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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But somehow some atheists satisfy themselves otherwise.

As if the whole goal is self-satisfaction. I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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As noted in quite a few posts recently, I reject any notion of objective morality, and since I see no point in a subjective morality, I reject the whole kit and kaboodle, and focus instead on good and evil as defined by practicality rather than morality; I.e., as providing earthly benefit to earthly creatures for the sake of some of that benefit accruing to myself directly or indirectly, and also for the sake of the sense of accomplishment I get from making a positive material difference here in the material world.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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You say that like it's a bad thing.  I, for my part, announce it as a triumph of reason.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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Like it's a bad thing, you say that.  As a triumph of reason, I, for my part, announce it.  I want a Yoda icon. 8)

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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Since moral outrage neither fills my belly nor beautifies my days, I don't miss its absence.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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I agree with his statement.  Eating people is grotesque and vile, however.  Yuck.  Incidentally, we don't need morality to deter people from what Dahmer did.  We have legislation and enforcement.  Bullets in a cop's gun and meeting Bubba in the prison shower are prospects more real and sobering by far than any imagined hellfire.

Quite the Macchiavellian, you are.

Amen amen! Until all folks, Christian or otherwise come to realize in their hearts and accept the true spirit of humility and repentance, then all this love of God will appear mysterious, unobtainable and even foolish! But once we in Christ grow out of that two-year old "me me" stage, then we truly begin to glimpse into complexity of God.  In our lives, we need it to always be about us all the time, but there are more than 7 billion living "us"s and 7 billion spirits of dead folks, all who have their own interests and free will, and God has to make ALL of these parameters somehow work together.. truly baffling, this is the Mystery of God.  Science thinks it has some clever observations, in answering a plethora of "how" questions and yet never ONCE even attempting the most significant question of "why"

"Why" is answered in Christian self-less love, not in dogmatic practice of writs and rights, but sincerely from the heart, in that we must love our associates as ourselves, which sums up all and any law, be it theological, Mosaic or scientific.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 13, 2010, 04:25:52 PM
I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: chrevbel on December 13, 2010, 04:40:49 PM
I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible?
Yes, Orthodox Christians would definitely not say this.  This doctrine is known as Sola Scriptura, one to which the Orthodox do not subscribe.

You didn't know this already?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 13, 2010, 05:14:17 PM
Yes I did. But I am trying to get a gauge on how you can claim the existence of a God in the Orthodox realm.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 13, 2010, 05:21:54 PM
I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

Actually Orthodox Christians (as well as Roman Catholics) would point out to you that the Church existed *before* the Bible; and plenty of Christians were born, lived and died without ever encountering a Bible in the way we know it today. 

Somehow that didn't stop them from believing in God or being Christians.  Why?  8)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 13, 2010, 06:50:59 PM
Yes I did. But I am trying to get a gauge on how you can claim the existence of a God in the Orthodox realm.

History, philosophy, personal experience, so and so forth.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 13, 2010, 07:31:02 PM
When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on December 13, 2010, 08:42:48 PM
When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?
TtC, I very much respect what you are doing here. I think that it is admirable for you to ask questions to challenge your preconceived notions. And to challenge us as well. You must not ignore what Sleeper also said regarding experience. While it is not always good to base everything on experience, I would almost bet that all the OC on here have had experiences that have made the historical AND the philosophical arguments for God/Christ even more meaningful. Please do not forget that Important point. We come from a whole other mindset within Orthodoxy. It isn't all science and microscopes. It is the experience and communion with the Living God spoken of by the prophets, and revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 13, 2010, 10:24:38 PM
I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

The Bible is not read by a scholarly way.  Sure, there is a scholarly way to read the Bible if you want to study it in a scientific manner.  But there's also a spiritual way, as was its true intent, since it's not primarily a history book (although it has some historical elements that can't be ignored) or a science book, but a book of spirituality.  So we acknowledge that some mistakes can be made, but its spiritual essence is infallible).  We "prayerfully" read the Bible searching for lessons and teachings in our lives, and sometimes passages are taken allegorically for these teachings to be made manifest for us personally as well as strengthening our faith in Christ.  There are tough passages no doubt, but I think most of these touch passages people deal with is in the Old Testament.  The way Christians read the OT is through the lens of the NT, not alone.  The OT at its time is believed to be a time of the veil that covered the true spiritual meaning of the text, which is the NT.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 13, 2010, 11:42:10 PM
I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

The Bible is not read by a scholarly way.  Sure, there is a scholarly way to read the Bible if you want to study it in a scientific manner.  But there's also a spiritual way, as was its true intent, since it's not primarily a history book (although it has some historical elements that can't be ignored) or a science book, but a book of spirituality.  So we acknowledge that some mistakes can be made, but its spiritual essence is infallible).  We "prayerfully" read the Bible searching for lessons and teachings in our lives, and sometimes passages are taken allegorically for these teachings to be made manifest for us personally as well as strengthening our faith in Christ.  There are tough passages no doubt, but I think most of these touch passages people deal with is in the Old Testament.  The way Christians read the OT is through the lens of the NT, not alone.  The OT at its time is believed to be a time of the veil that covered the true spiritual meaning of the text, which is the NT.

Prayer leads believers to interpret the Bible - or any Holy text for that matter - many different ways. So I don't really see how that can be the source for knowing the "true meaning" of anything.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 13, 2010, 11:58:11 PM
I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.
LOL. Since you think we believe in sola scriptura, it is obvious you do not know what you are talking about. Which means your humble-oops! sorry, I see you didn't have an "h"-opinion is worth just as much.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 14, 2010, 12:32:34 AM
When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?

Sure, among other things.

I think the hard part for seekers (not calling you one, just speaking generally) is that they really can't accept the fact that reason and logic will only take them so far in terms of "finding" God.  But it's true.  And many get hung up there and refuse to accept such a thing on those grounds.  But it must be noted that it isn't anti-reason or anti-logic, but is rather farther up and deeper in, than either of those could ever take you.

It's a mysterious journey and it requires humility and honesty.  Some just can't bring themselves to do it.  I was that way once myself.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 14, 2010, 12:39:49 AM
I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

The Bible is not read by a scholarly way.  Sure, there is a scholarly way to read the Bible if you want to study it in a scientific manner.  But there's also a spiritual way, as was its true intent, since it's not primarily a history book (although it has some historical elements that can't be ignored) or a science book, but a book of spirituality.  So we acknowledge that some mistakes can be made, but its spiritual essence is infallible).  We "prayerfully" read the Bible searching for lessons and teachings in our lives, and sometimes passages are taken allegorically for these teachings to be made manifest for us personally as well as strengthening our faith in Christ.  There are tough passages no doubt, but I think most of these touch passages people deal with is in the Old Testament.  The way Christians read the OT is through the lens of the NT, not alone.  The OT at its time is believed to be a time of the veil that covered the true spiritual meaning of the text, which is the NT.

Prayer leads believers to interpret the Bible - or any Holy text for that matter - many different ways. So I don't really see how that can be the source for knowing the "true meaning" of anything.

It's not something you can do alone.  One needs guidance.  That's the point of a spiritual adviser or priest in your life.  This way the whole Church can be of one mind.

In other places, text can be interpreted in different ways without compromising the central faith that unites the Church.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 14, 2010, 01:13:34 AM
Quote
Are these Christians Orthodox? Does it matter what they say...?  What matters is what Heaven is. Heaven is the unescapable presence of God as experienced by a repentant person trodding the narrow path.
Many Christians are quick to denounce others as false Christians and as an outsider looking in I don't really take sides. In the matter of the afterlife I see all religions as false. In essence I see heaven as an imaginary local.  Consequently I think differing views of heaven should be common place.  Given that diversity of belief in religion is a reality I feel pretty safe taking this stand. What surprises me is that considering the amount of time Christians expect to spend in the afterlife it isn't very well fleshed out. Is there scripture detailing daily life in heaven? I don't think there is. There is lots of information on how to get to heaven but not much on what to expect once you get there.

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Does the perception of JWs on matters of theology matter to an Orthodox? I am not a JW, and they are not me.
I may be more interested the the Witnesses than most because I have family members who are counted among the 144,000. My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 14, 2010, 01:32:46 AM
Quote
Are these Christians Orthodox? Does it matter what they say...?  What matters is what Heaven is. Heaven is the unescapable presence of God as experienced by a repentant person trodding the narrow path.
Many Christians are quick to denounce others as false Christians and as an outsider looking in I don't really take sides. In the matter of the afterlife I see all religions as false. In essence I see heaven as an imaginary local.  Consequently I think differing views of heaven should be common place.  Given that diversity of belief in religion is a reality I feel pretty safe taking this stand.

Because you can't tell the difference between the imitations and the real thing?

Quote
What surprises me is that considering the amount of time Christians expect to spend in the afterlife it isn't very well fleshed out. Is there scripture detailing daily life in heaven? I don't think there is. There is lots of information on how to get to heaven but not much on what to expect once you get there.
LOL. You sure don't know much about Orthoodxy.

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Does the perception of JWs on matters of theology matter to an Orthodox? I am not a JW, and they are not me.
I may be more interested the the Witnesses than most because I have family members who are counted among the 144,000.
LOL. Meaningless.

Quote
My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
Explains a lot.

You can be interested in your family, but as far as interest in what the Bible teaches, the JWs aren't going to help you any.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: SolEX01 on December 14, 2010, 02:10:59 AM
There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   :(
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 14, 2010, 09:26:02 AM
There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   :(
JWs believe do not believe in an eternal hell; they believe that the unrighteous will simply be annihilated.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 14, 2010, 09:31:41 AM
There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   :(
JWs believe do not believe in an eternal hell; they believe that the unrighteous will simply be annihilated.

Ouch. Better than eternal damnation I suppose.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: SolEX01 on December 14, 2010, 02:08:42 PM
There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   :(
JWs believe do not believe in an eternal hell; they believe that the unrighteous will simply be annihilated.

I was trying to use a nicer term than annihilated by making reference to how JWs "disfellowship" those who do not follow their ways.   :angel:
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 14, 2010, 02:30:36 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

We do not rely on the Bible, neither solely nor even primarily.  We take in the entire Tradition in all its cohesion and complexity, and this Tradition includes a rounded approach to worship based upon 1) organized, poetic prayer 2) religious texts such as the Bible but also including the Patristic Writings of the Church Fathers, the Canons, the Synaxarium (calendar of Saints' days), the Narratives of the Saints, the Psalter, the Divine Liturgy, the Hymnals, the Church music, the clothing, the dietary calendar/requirements, the socio-cultural expressions such as hugs, hand shakes and politeness, etc etc etc

Our Church is not caught up entirely in the Scriptures, because quite honestly our Church lives every aspect of the Scriptures through the mechanisms I posted above and a lifetime worth of more, indeed an eternity more!

We do not have specific scriptures or narratives of heaven (though to be sure Jesus Christ hints around at it several places of the Gospel when He says things like "The Kingdom of Heaven is as.." or "In the Kingdom" or the "The Kingdom of God is like unto..") because our entire life in Orthodox is a dress rehearsal for heaven, and all the aspects of our Church are heavenly.  In Heaven we believe the Angels and the Saints continually cry before Our Lord chanting, "Holy Holy Holy."  All the other prayers, songs, dances, clothing, mannerisms, chants, iconography, etc etc are all considered to be glimpses into the heavenly routine, and we believe the perfection of God in heaven allows for the Saints to live continually in eternal participation with these Mysteries, where as here on the earth we are limited to things such as hunger, thirst, sex, and fear, our carnal needs which supercede at times our spiritual needs.  Heaven is complicated, we chose to focus on more realistic approaches, dealing with the present here and now where we are at today, as who can know tomorrow?

Yes I did. But I am trying to get a gauge on how you can claim the existence of a God in the Orthodox realm.
We do not claim an existence of God, we experience this existence, and we here can not reiterate enough to you and others, that we can not explain God neither do we ever sincerely attempt to.  All we can do is witness what we have seen, felt and known, regardless if it is logically explainable or makes any sense, or if it even proves to be accurate or not.  It is our experience and it is all we can share with you or anyone or ourselves, take it or leave it as it is. 

Let me ask you the question quizmaster, have you ever honestly prayed to God and asked Him to reveal Himself, or have you only settled for asking all of us?  Kyrie Eleison, ask Him yourself, He is much more eloquent at explaining Himself than any of us, its no wonder you aren't necessarily getting it, you keep wasting your breath on us, when God can easily speak for Himself if you give Him have as much chance you gave Newton or Einstein to explain quantum mechanics to you ;)

Much like in math or music, it either clicks or it doesn't, you either get it or you don't, and you have to actually work through the examples, play through the music, in order to come to a complete realization.  Thus it is also with God, we can tell you all the postulates, theorems, rules, laws, scales, harmonies etc etc, but in the end, until you go through the exercises yourself, its all merely hearsay, and honestly I understand completely why none of our hearsay makes sense to you and all seems absurd, until God reverberates in your own heart, all of it will seem nonsensical, and by the way, daily I must convene with God to reestablish these connections, because my life starts to get nonsensical to.  Never forget that Christians' lives are not perfect, we are flawed, troubled and afraid as anyone else, which precisely why we cling to God in the first place, to find healing and consolation.  It is not even or ever about the afterlife, it is about finding grace to get through today and hope for tomorrow.

When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?

Sure, among other things.

I think the hard part for seekers (not calling you one, just speaking generally) is that they really can't accept the fact that reason and logic will only take them so far in terms of "finding" God.  But it's true.  And many get hung up there and refuse to accept such a thing on those grounds.  But it must be noted that it isn't anti-reason or anti-logic, but is rather farther up and deeper in, than either of those could ever take you.

It's a mysterious journey and it requires humility and honesty.  Some just can't bring themselves to do it.  I was that way once myself.
^ amen amen

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 15, 2010, 05:02:03 AM
Because you can't tell the difference between the imitations and the real thing?
If there was one truth writ large across the heavens would it not permit all seekers of religious truth to arrive at a more unified account? The enormous diversity of belief tells me the many interpretations are arrived at very subjectively. They are based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of religious texts. One believer's truths are another's false beliefs. It seems believers can't agree. It should be no surprise that an atheist would shrug and declare them all fal

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LOL. You sure don't know much about Orthoodxy.
I don't claim to know much about the Orthodox Church, and I don't understand much better what your laughter signifies. Do you mean to imply that there are numerous accounts explaining daily life in Heaven or do you laugh because the question highlights my ignorance for a different reason?

LOL. Meaningless.
Only because you disconnected the sentence from the following one that it belongs with. I am not implying that I buy into the Jehovah's Witness theology. I don't. I am simply amused by the claim that my great-grandparents are considered, by the Witness, to hold this special honour.

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Explains a lot.

You can be interested in your family, but as far as interest in what the Bible teaches, the JWs aren't going to help you any.
There isn't any belief system that can teach me anything about God, in my view, but each can inform me what they think their faith's theology reveals. As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to holding the truth than any other. I consider some more interesting than others, perhaps, but all are important in the history of Christianity.

All the reasons an Orthodox could give for holding onto faith, a Muslim could give, in precisely the same words.

ORTHODOX: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

MUSLIM: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

ATHEIST: "Uh, guys, either one of you is right and the other wrong, or both of you are wrong, or both of you are right. Which do you think is most likely?"

ORTHODOX: "I'm right. He's wrong."

MUSLIM: "Go to hell. I'm right. You're wrong."

ORTHODOX: "No, you go to hell. You will, by the way."

MUSLIM: "Infidel!"

ATHEIST: "Bye, guys. I smell Crusaders and jumbo jets in your future. I'll keep my distance."
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 15, 2010, 06:09:17 AM
If there was one truth writ large across the heavens would it not permit all seekers of religious truth to arrive at a more unified account? The enormous diversity of belief tells me the many interpretations are arrived at very subjectively. They are based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of religious texts. One believer's truths are another's false beliefs. It seems believers can't agree. It should be no surprise that an atheist would shrug and declare them all false.

Lack of agreement does not mean all are false. It simply means that man, limited and fallible as he is, can not comprehend truth on his own. This, of course, undermines any atheist who wishes to seek truth.

All the reasons an Orthodox could give for holding onto faith, a Muslim could give, in precisely the same words.

Except that a Muslim denies the Incarnation, while the Orthodox do not. Therein lies the difference.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 15, 2010, 12:52:32 PM
Why Christianity?  Because the Trinity and the Incarnation is central to our faith, which are essential for our salvation.  What does our salvation entail?  Living life as God Incarnate lived, dying with Him as He died, rising up with Him, and not merely eternal life, but growth and love being engrafted within the Triune relationship of the Godhead, from which my prayers have given.  God became incarnate so that I too may become a "son of God" by the life of the Holy Spirit living in me, putting me in direct relationship with the Father.  It is a profound and significant part of our theology.  It's blasphemy with the Muslims, unfulfilled with the Jews, incorrect with the Hindus, too much selflessness with the Buddhists, and contradictory to many other faiths.

Quote
Uh, guys, either one of you is right and the other wrong, or both of you are wrong, or both of you are right. Which do you think is most likely?

Both are right?  It would be deceiving to think so.  For religions to say that all religions lead to the truth, they would have to first say that some exclusive religions are wrong about something, which defeats the purpose.  In any case both can't be right.

One of them is wrong and one of them is right?  Well, you know what we'll say, so instead of looking at it from the outside perspective of disagreement, why don't you do study the two religions in more depth and see which one truly reflects selflessness and love in faith.

Both are wrong?  You don't even know anything about the religions and yet you convinced yourself both are wrong.  Does not that say that you are quite dogmatic in your thinking rather than being open-minded?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Iconodule on December 15, 2010, 12:57:29 PM
Let's put all of his threads into one omnibus thread like we did with Dattaswami and let that thread die too.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 15, 2010, 01:01:05 PM
As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to...the truth than any other.
Let me ask you this: do you perceive any one world-view as closer to the truth than some other view? For instance, if world-view A says "humanity evolved from non-human primates" and world-view B says "humanity did not evolve from non-human primates", would you state that neither world-view is closer to the truth than the other?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 15, 2010, 02:28:44 PM
Let's put all of his threads into one omnibus thread like we did with Dattaswami and let that thread die too.

I think we could merge all of these threads and title it "Atheism vs. Christianity" which is basically what all these discussions devolve into anyways.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 15, 2010, 02:38:28 PM
As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to...the truth than any other.
Let me ask you this: do you perceive any one world-view as closer to the truth than some other view? For instance, if world-view A says "humanity evolved from non-human primates" and world-view B says "humanity did not evolve from non-human primates", would you state that neither world-view is closer to the truth than the other?

Good question!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 02:41:24 PM
Let's put all of his threads into one omnibus thread like we did with Dattaswami and let that thread die too.
You mean weave his loose threads into a rope long enough to hang himself?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 03:24:31 PM
Because you can't tell the difference between the imitations and the real thing?
If there was one truth writ large across the heavens would it not permit all seekers of religious truth to arrive at a more unified account? The enormous diversity of belief tells me the many interpretations are arrived at very subjectively.

No, that is what you want to see, so you 'see' it?

The history of science doesn't present a unified account, yet you seem to hold that they all have been looking at the same objective reality.

That a 1000 people each have a different guess on how many jelly beans are in the jar doesn't change the fact that there is only one correct answer in that contest.

Quote
They are based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of religious texts. One believer's truths are another's false beliefs.

So you keep on asserting, and have yet to commence the proving.

And you are very fond of dumping all "believers" into a very broad trough.  Like saying because Ptolomy and Copernicus disagree, all astromony is based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of observations of the same sky.

Quote
It seems believers can't agree.

Nor should we, given your broad definition.  What concord to Christ with Belial?

Quote
It should be no surprise that an atheist would shrug and declare them all false

Of course. It's just a cop out that absolves them in their own minds. Atheism is the opiate of the dissolute.

LOL. You sure don't know much about Orthoodxy.
I don't claim to know much about the Orthodox Church, and I don't understand much better what your laughter signifies. Do you mean to imply that there are numerous accounts explaining daily life in Heaven or do you laugh because the question highlights my ignorance for a different reason?
I'm laughing because you come to an Orthodox forum to tell the Orthodox off, without a clue it seems about knowing about what the Orthodox belief.  

If this was just a general forum, I wouldn't laugh so heartily.  But to come where your ignorance on vital points is going to be seen right away, LOL. That takes hubris.

The Orthodox I trust know our attitude about the knowledge of the hereafter.

LOL. Meaningless.
Only because you disconnected the sentence from the following one that it belongs with. I am not implying that I buy into the Jehovah's Witness theology. I don't. I am simply amused by the claim that my great-grandparents are considered, by the Witness, to hold this special honour. [/quote]
I have family members who are counted among the 144,000. My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
I do believe that I bold faced it in the original response.
My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
I thought so.

Explains a lot.

You can be interested in your family, but as far as interest in what the Bible teaches, the JWs aren't going to help you any.
There isn't any belief system that can teach me anything about God, in my view,

Yes, and per the principles of invincible ignorance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invincible_ignorance_fallacy
you set out to "prove" that.

Quote
but each can inform me what they think their faith's theology reveals. As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to holding the truth than any other.

I've asked you several times if you hold to the existence of truth.  Have you posted an answer?

Quote
I consider some more interesting than others, perhaps, but all are important in the history of Christianity.

All the reasons an Orthodox could give for holding onto faith, a Muslim could give, in precisely the same words.

I know a thing or two about Orthodoxy, and, having passed the doctorate exams in Islamic theology at the U of C, a thing or two about Muslims, and no, they cannot. Wrong again. TtC.

Quote
ORTHODOX: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

MUSLIM: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

ATHEIST: "Uh, guys, either one of you is right and the other wrong, or both of you are wrong, or both of you are right.

No, both cannot be right.

Quote
Which do you think is most likely?"

ORTHODOX: "I'm right. He's wrong."

MUSLIM: "Go to hell. I'm right. You're wrong."

ORTHODOX: "No, you go to hell. You will, by the way."

MUSLIM: "Infidel!"

ATHEIST: "Bye, guys. I smell Crusaders and jumbo jets in your future. I'll keep my distance."
Do you use the same card-board characters and strawmen in your novels?

Seeing as many of us here, myself included, were not rasied in Orthodoxy-in fact, we have some members who were raised in Islam-and hence have changed, some of us more, some of us less, your little script seems a little out of place.

Btw, the atheists Stalin and Hitler killed more than even the Crusaders could dream of.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 15, 2010, 06:10:05 PM
ORTHODOX: "No, you go to hell. You will, by the way."

Except that statement is contrary to Orthodox theology as I understand it. I know it is definitely contrary to Orthodox living, according to a rather heated homily I heard an abbot give on the subject of evangelism.


You have really got to stop trying to shoehorn Orthodoxy into your experiences with Evangelical Protestantism.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 15, 2010, 06:56:03 PM
unfulfilled with the Jews

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Judaism quite different today than it was during Jesus' time? If I'm not mistaken, the only remaiing Jewish group that remained were the Pharisees.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 15, 2010, 08:01:53 PM
I know a thing or two about Orthodoxy, and, having passed the doctorate exams in Islamic theology at the U of C, a thing or two about Muslims, and no, they cannot. Wrong again. TtC.
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

Btw, the atheists Stalin and Hitler killed more than even the Crusaders could dream of.
Wow. I have been taking you seriously right up until this point. Your PhD apparently didn't cover Hitler. He remained a believer in god right to his death. Although there is much inconsistency with regard to what his true beliefs were (mainly because Hitler, himself gave conflicting statements throughout his life), he remained a believer in god and the supernatural. That excludes him from the atheist label.

Regardless, here's the thing. It wouldn't matter if Hitler (or Stalin) professed any belief whatsoever. They were insane, and their atrocities were created and carried out because of their insanity, not any belief system of religion. So even if Hitler went to mass every week, and took communion, I would never say something so atrociously silly as, "He committed all those crimes because he was catholic."

You just lost a what credibility you had in my mind with this arrogant and inaccurate statement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 15, 2010, 08:02:55 PM
dup post
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 08:12:10 PM
dupe post
LOL. That it is.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 15, 2010, 08:13:33 PM
My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 15, 2010, 08:35:33 PM
My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?

 My guess is that it's really about no longer wanting to bother with the sisyphean endeavor of teaching you about Holy Orthodoxy.  It was obvious from the get-go that you weren't here to learn.   ;)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 08:37:56 PM
I know a thing or two about Orthodoxy, and, having passed the doctorate exams in Islamic theology at the U of C, a thing or two about Muslims, and no, they cannot. Wrong again. TtC.
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.
LOL. Ignorance on parade. No, they don't. At least the majority: there are Sufis would speak of "a personal relationship with Allah", but the shar'i minded majority of Muslims, in particular the Sunni majority, do not.  Their goal is submission to Allah, a being of absolute will, not having a relatiohship with Him.  Except slave.
Btw, the atheists Stalin and Hitler killed more than even the Crusaders could dream of.
Wow. I have been taking you seriously right up until this point.
why did my BS meter just go off?
Quote
Your PhD apparently didn't cover Hitler.
Hitler didn't teach Islamic theology.
Quote
He remained a believer in god right to his death.
Yes, I have seen the desparate attempts of atheists to prove this and no I don't believe they have succeeded.
Quote
Although there is much inconsistency with regard to what his true beliefs were (mainly because Hitler, himself gave conflicting statements throughout his life), he remained a believer in god and the supernatural. That excludes him from the atheist label.
Orthodox atheism. What a concept. Are you speaking ex cathedra on that matter of faith?

One might consider believers in dialectical materialism, progressivism, Enlightenment, the Human Spirit, whatever, a believer in the Supernatural.  Indeed by your broad definition you must.  So he might consider Hitler to have been a believer in god, but not in God.

Quote
Regardless, here's the thing. It wouldn't matter if Hitler (or Stalin) professed any belief whatsoever. They were insane,


You said you got a BA in English.  You didn't say anything about your MD in Psychology/Psychiatry.

Quote
and their atrocities were created and carried out because of their insanity, not any belief system of religion. So even if Hitler went to mass every week, and took communion, I would never say something so atrociously silly as, "He committed all those crimes because he was catholic."

One can, and many have, make that argument.  That there is no truth to it-the Vatican doesn't teach racialism-is how it fails.

Quote
You just lost a what credibility you had in my mind with this arrogant and inaccurate statement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY
LOL. So I've lost credibility with the plagerist. What will I do :o ::).
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 15, 2010, 08:39:07 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

The Tomb is empty.

I might add that it is categorically impossible for a Muslim to have a personal relationship with Allah, because Allah is not a personal deity.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 08:40:42 PM
My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?
No arrogance. Your latest post is what popped up, and I started answering from the bottom up (though I find you posts all sort of settle at the bottom, among the dregs).  In the meantime, my coffee was ready.

My, aren't we impatient.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 08:44:14 PM
My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?

 My guess is that it's really about no longer wanting to bother with the sisyphean endeavor of teaching you about Holy Orthodoxy.  It was obvious from the get-go that you weren't here to learn.   ;)
That doesn't mean we can't teach him a lesson, especially given his wooden posts.
(http://mychinaconnection.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/take-him-to-the-woodshed.jpg)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 15, 2010, 09:00:08 PM
My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?

 My guess is that it's really about no longer wanting to bother with the sisyphean endeavor of teaching you about Holy Orthodoxy.  It was obvious from the get-go that you weren't here to learn.   ;)
That doesn't mean we can't teach him a lesson, especially given his wooden posts.
(http://mychinaconnection.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/take-him-to-the-woodshed.jpg)

But he hasn't shown any ability, let alone inclination, to listen.  Copy-and-pasters are the worst folks to try and have a conversation with. 
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 09:09:21 PM
something so atrociously silly
lost credibility
this arrogant and inaccurate statement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY
I see here you have gone from wet dreams of brilliance to mental masturbation.

If I am in the mood and have the time to kill, I might actually go through the silly skit. But off the top of my head:

Hitler can claim to be a "catholic."  I worked with a couple who were "catholic" and sent their children to "catholic" school for a better education and morals, but were very put out that they had to take the "supernatural" stuff too like first confession: they were agnostic/atheist in belief, but "catholic."  I've known atheists who insisted on having their children baptized for "cultural reasons" though they were "atheist" catholics, and I've known Jews in mixed marriages who were atheist but insisted on raising their children "Jewish" (oddly enough, two of them the gentile was devote Christians, the spent his childhood on mission in the Pacific atolls).  Like you said Hitler "gave conflicting statements throughout his life," but he was far from alone in that.

The phrase "Gott mit uns" "God with us" was on the belt buckles long before Hitler, who would have worn one like this
(http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/wwi-buckle.jpg)
in WWI. It had been the slogan of the German military since at least 1876 (I've seen collections of military etc. from then with the phrase all over)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gott_mit_uns

No time for more. My dinner is ready.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 15, 2010, 09:17:03 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 15, 2010, 09:49:03 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)

Correct me if I am wrong, but in Islam the individual believer's "Yes or No" to Allah has no affect on what really happens. If this is true, that the believer has no free will in his actions and all is fated by Allah, then how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??

If my contact with an acquaintance was of the nature that that whatever I did or said is irrelevant, how is that a relationship?? A conversation which is only one way, where the other person doesn't listen nor provide any feedback, how is that a relationship?? How would that God be in any way considered personal??

(Of course, I am open to any correction on these matters)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 09:51:50 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)

Correct me if I am wrong, but in Islam the individual believer's "Yes or No" to Allah has no affect on what really happens. If this is true, that the believer has no free will in his actions and all is fated by Allah, then how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??

If my contact with an acquaintance was of the nature that that whatever I did or said is irrelevant, how is that a relationship?? A conversation which is only one way, where the other person doesn't listen nor provide any feedback, how is that a relationship?? How would that God be in any way considered personal??

(Of course, I am open to any correction on these matters)
Umfortunately, most Muslims are not.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 15, 2010, 10:00:18 PM
Why are the Crusades and Islam even under discussion?  ???
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 15, 2010, 10:04:40 PM
Why are the Crusades and Islam even under discussion?  ???

Because TryingtoConvert tried to conflate Christianity and Islam as essentially being able to say the same thing. He also mentioned the Crusades as something that those horrible God-believers would do.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 15, 2010, 10:13:27 PM
Why are the Crusades and Islam even under discussion?  ???

Because TryingtoConvert tried to conflate Christianity and Islam as essentially being able to say the same thing. He also mentioned the Crusades as something that those horrible God-believers would do.

Would this be a good point to remind TryingtoConvert that the only officially atheist nation in history gave us this icon?

(http://www.allsaintsofamerica.org/martyrs/images/nmr.jpg)



There just was a certain bit of confusion that he would raise the Crusades against Christianity on an Eastern Orthodox website.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 15, 2010, 10:23:25 PM
Why are the Crusades and Islam even under discussion?  ???

Because TryingtoConvert tried to conflate Christianity and Islam as essentially being able to say the same thing. He also mentioned the Crusades as something that those horrible God-believers would do.

Would this be a good point to remind TryingtoConvert that the only officially atheist nation in history gave us this icon?

Good luck trying to get him to listen...

Quote
There just was a certain bit of confusion that he would raise the Crusades against Christianity on an Eastern Orthodox website.

Much of his time consists of building Protestant strawmen against us. Accurate history is a bit of a reach for him, I think.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 15, 2010, 10:44:14 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)
....how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??
One has a personal relationship with Allah, by loving Allah. From the Qur'an 3:31 (http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/ch003-59.pdf): "Say: 'If you do love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.'"

Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 15, 2010, 11:12:17 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)
....how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??
One has a personal relationship with Allah, by loving Allah. From the Qur'an 3:31 (http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/ch003-59.pdf): "Say: 'If you do love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.'"


Unlike Christianity, there is no "personal" relationship with Allah in Islam.  Muslims have their law's, as laid down by their corrupt vision of Allah, that they dutifully follow.  But a "personal relationship" is not heard of.  I know this because I was a Muslim for almost ten years and not once, neither by the Sunni's nor by my Shia friends, did I hear of having any sort of relationship with Allah.  And there's no need to quote the Qur'an to me, so save your time.  :)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Iconodule on December 15, 2010, 11:14:07 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)
....how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??
One has a personal relationship with Allah, by loving Allah. From the Qur'an 3:31 (http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/ch003-59.pdf): "Say: 'If you do love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.'"


Unlike Christianity, there is no "personal" relationship with Allah in Islam.  Muslims have their law's, as laid down by their corrupt vision of Allah, that they dutifully follow.  But a "personal relationship" is not heard of.  I know this because I was a Muslim for almost ten years and not once, neither by the Sunni's nor by my Shia friends, did I hear of having any sort of relationship with Allah.  And there's no need to quote the Qur'an to me, so save your time.  :)

But then what is Sufism for?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 15, 2010, 11:14:41 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)
....how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??
One has a personal relationship with Allah, by loving Allah. From the Qur'an 3:31 (http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/ch003-59.pdf): "Say: 'If you do love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.'"


Unlike Christianity, there is no "personal" relationship with Allah in Islam.  Muslims have their law's, as laid down by their corrupt vision of Allah, that they dutifully follow.  But a "personal relationship" is not heard of.  I know this because I was a Muslim for almost ten years and not once, neither by the Sunni's nor by my Shia friends, did I hear of having any sort of relationship with Allah.  And there's no need to quote the Qur'an to me, so save your time.  :)
You should have hung out with the Sufis. ;)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 15, 2010, 11:18:08 PM

There just was a certain bit of confusion that he would raise the Crusades against Christianity on an Eastern Orthodox website.

 Yes, he does seem to be confused about a lot of issues.  Maybe he just hasn't gotten that far on his cut-and-paste website.  
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 15, 2010, 11:28:17 PM
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. ::)
....how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??
One has a personal relationship with Allah, by loving Allah. From the Qur'an 3:31 (http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/ch003-59.pdf): "Say: 'If you do love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.'"


Unlike Christianity, there is no "personal" relationship with Allah in Islam.  Muslims have their law's, as laid down by their corrupt vision of Allah, that they dutifully follow.  But a "personal relationship" is not heard of.  I know this because I was a Muslim for almost ten years and not once, neither by the Sunni's nor by my Shia friends, did I hear of having any sort of relationship with Allah.  And there's no need to quote the Qur'an to me, so save your time.  :)
You should have hung out with the Sufis. ;)
I did.  Depending upon the sect, you get all kinds of answers to this question.  The Sufi's I knew were the Mevlevi's from Turkey (the famous Whirling Dervishes).  They got close to what we would call a personal relationship, but it was based on a lot of chanting the names of God, called "zikr".  Chanting His name over and over whilst spinning ain't a relationship though. 
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 15, 2010, 11:36:18 PM
Chanting His name over and over whilst spinning ain't a relationship though.  
Well, that's debatable.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 15, 2010, 11:48:24 PM
Chanting His name over and over whilst spinning ain't a relationship though.  
Well, that's debatable.
LOL. Only if you can call a school writing the name of the latest dreamboat on her notebook, over and over, true and lasting love.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 15, 2010, 11:49:59 PM
ialmisry, I'm curious, what part of "Gott Mit Uns" sounds atheist you? Why don't you try backing your assertions? Please, enlighten this stupid atheist....

LOL. Ignorance on parade. No, they don't. At least the majority: there are Sufis would speak of "a personal relationship with Allah", but the shar'i minded majority of Muslims, in particular the Sunni majority, do not. Their goal is submission to Allah, a being of absolute will, not having a relatiohship with Him. Except slave.

Submission is the relationship. Allah is Master, Muslim is slave. That's the relationship. It's personal, meaningful, inspirational, humbling, ennobling, and fulfilling for those who practice it.

Here's a link: People's Relationship with Allah - http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658516938&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

Here's another: Defining Your Relationship with Allah - http://www.helium.com/items/1534543-defining-ones-relationship-with-allah

It is self-evident to all disinterested parties that Islam and Greek Orthodoxy and Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism and Judaism and any others all have precisely the same right to claim their path is the true one. All base their claims on the life experiences of the individual and the collective, alive today and extending backwards into the past for centuries. All claim their paths are personal, meaningful, inspirational, humbling, ennobling, and fulfilling for those who practice them. All claim traditions that have stood the test of time. All claim lineages of wise and devout leaders who speak in the name of God by the grace of God.

Muslims are told to pray five times a day to keep a good relationship with Allah.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 15, 2010, 11:52:55 PM
ialmisry, I'm curious, what part of "Gott Mit Uns" sounds atheist you? Why don't you try backing your assertions? Please, enlighten this stupid atheist...

Because its a slogan. In the U.S., atheists use money that states, "In God we Trust". It is no indicator whatsoever of any religious belief.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 15, 2010, 11:54:28 PM
TtC, you would benefit from a good, basic World Religions 101 class.  Perhaps when you get to college you can enroll in one. 

(I'm assuming you are very young. :) )
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 15, 2010, 11:57:41 PM
Chanting His name over and over whilst spinning ain't a relationship though.  
Well, that's debatable.
LOL. Only if you can call a school writing the name of the latest dreamboat on her notebook, over and over, true and lasting love.
LOL!  :D :D :D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 16, 2010, 12:13:06 AM

Submission is the relationship. Allah is Master, Muslim is slave.
You're forgetting about free-will which is the hallmark of a genuine relationship.  In Islam, if you leave - you die.  Does that sound like a relationship?  If so, then you might wish to read up on co-dependency.

It is self-evident to all disinterested parties ...
Perhaps when you become genuinely interested and not just the cut-and-paste variety of interest, you'll have a better grasp of these things.  I won't hold my breath, though.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 16, 2010, 12:28:14 AM
It is self-evident to all disinterested parties that Islam and Greek Orthodoxy and Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism and Judaism and any others all have precisely the same right to claim their path is the true one. All base their claims on the life experiences of the individual and the collective, alive today and extending backwards into the past for centuries. All claim their paths are personal, meaningful, inspirational, humbling, ennobling, and fulfilling for those who practice them. All claim traditions that have stood the test of time. All claim lineages of wise and devout leaders who speak in the name of God by the grace of God.

Why did I, a formerly disinterested party, disagree with that statement? Fail.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 12:37:21 AM
Since ialmisry wants to act like a child...

why did my BS meter just go off?
I was impressed with much of what you said up until now. So your sarcasm doesn't fly with me. It's childish and uncalled for.

Quote
Hitler didn't teach Islamic theology.
So what? He murdered millions, and historians agree on many aspects of his life and thought processes. What's your point?

[quoteYes, I have seen the desparate attempts of atheists to prove this and no I don't believe they have succeeded.[/quote]
Show me the desperate attempts by atheists. Then I'll show you what legitimate historians say, what the people closest to Hitler said, and we'll see who's got the legitimate statement.

Quote
Orthodox atheism. What a concept. Are you speaking ex cathedra on that matter of faith?

One might consider believers in dialectical materialism, progressivism, Enlightenment, the Human Spirit, whatever, a believer in the Supernatural.  Indeed by your broad definition you must.  So he might consider Hitler to have been a believer in god, but not in God.
It's simple. Anyone who believes in a god is not an atheist. Or even better, one who believes in many gods, but not some, would be an atheist of some gods if it makes you feel better. For all your continued smart-assed, uncalled for remarks, you don't win by now trying to redefine atheism. A belief in the god of the bible, as Hitler had, disqualifies him as an atheist.

Quote
You said you got a BA in English.  You didn't say anything about your MD in Psychology/Psychiatry.
There's a lot you don't know about me. But the fact is that one needs no degree to repeat what is already widely known about Hitler. I don't need to be his personal doctor to be able to say that he was insane.

Quote
One can, and many have, make that argument.  That there is no truth to it-the Vatican doesn't teach racialism-is how it fails.
Ummm...I just said that. What's your point?

Quote
t credibility with the plagerist. What will I do :o ::).

If I were you, I'd try to regain it. This atheist doesn't appreciate that you to come off like a punk.

So I suggest an attitude change right quick. That fact is what you claimed is patently false and you should be ashamed to even trot it out and spout it like it's the truth when it has been discredited.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 01:10:20 AM
ialmisry, I'm curious, what part of "Gott Mit Uns" sounds atheist you?
what part of this did you miss?
The phrase "Gott mit uns" "God with us" was on the belt buckles long before Hitler, who would have worn one like this
(http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/wwi-buckle.jpg)
in WWI. It had been the slogan of the German military since at least 1876 (I've seen collections of military etc. from then with the phrase all over)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gott_mit_uns

The Nazis didn't put the slogan on the buckles:it was the motto of the Preussian then German military before Hitler was born. Here it is on the Royal Prussian Arms in 1709.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Preussen1709.jpg)
The phrase is in the blue banner below in Fraktur.  The Nazis made a lot of use of symbols the Germans already identified with, this being one of them. Another would be "Reich" Kingdom, used although the Nazis ran a republic and opposed the monarchists and a return of the Hohenzollerns. So too their adoption of the imperial flag over the black-red-gold flag of the republic: the Weimar republic's days became numbered as more Germans flew the old imperial black-white-red instead of the official flag.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/Plakat_Lasst_die_alten_Fahnen_wehn_1932.jpg)
[nationalist poster of the "Let the old flags fly"]
The Nazis made this official when they took power, the idea being portraying themselves as the heirs of Imperial Germany, not the Emperor's defenders.  The switch to the Nazi party flag was made after the Bremen incident
Quote
“Bremen incident” of 26 July 1935, in which a group of demonstrators boarded the ship, tore the Nazi party flag from the jackstaff and tossed it into the Hudson River. When the German ambassador protested, US officials responded that the German national flag had not been harmed, only a political party symbol.[31] The new flag law[32] was announced at the annual party rally in Nuremberg,[33] where Hermann Göring claimed the old black-white-red flag, while honoured, was the symbol of a bygone era and under threat of being used by "reactionaries".[34]

The design of the Nazi flag was introduced by Hitler as the party flag in the summer of 1920: a flag with a red background, a white disk and a black swastika in the middle. In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained the process by which the Nazi flag design was created: It was necessary to use the same colours as Imperial Germany, because in Hitler's opinion they were "revered colours expressive of our homage to the glorious past and which once brought so much honour to the German nation."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_flag#Weimar_Republic

Btw, the Soviets were not able to abolish phrases in Russian like "spasi bo[g]" Thank you, but literally "God save [you]," and the Moscow Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral, monuments of and to the Russian Czar and Russian Orthodox Church, continued to be used by the Communists as symbols of the Soviet Union.

But you're right. At least Enver Hoxha was consistent in Albania: he banned all religion, going so far as to have names that reflected religion chiseled off of tombstones. Having a colored egg shell found near your house around Pascha/Easter would get you 12 years hard labor. When communism fell after over two decades of that, the first Divine Liturgy was attended by 200,000. Hoxha is dead, Christ is risen.

Quote
Why don't you try backing your assertions?

I had, and have done so some more. Do let us know if you missed something.

Quote
Please, enlighten this stupid atheist....
I though you do not believe in miracles.

LOL. Ignorance on parade. No, they don't. At least the majority: there are Sufis would speak of "a personal relationship with Allah", but the shar'i minded majority of Muslims, in particular the Sunni majority, do not. Their goal is submission to Allah, a being of absolute will, not having a relatiohship with Him. Except slave.

Submission is the relationship. Allah is Master, Muslim is slave. That's the relationship. It's personal, meaningful, inspirational, humbling, ennobling, and fulfilling for those who practice it.

That's not what they tell me, the sufis excepted.  They have the same relationship as with the theory of gravity. What have they told you? Or haven't you asked?

but there is always the internet, for those who can't deal with persons.

Quote
Here's a link: People's Relationship with Allah - http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658516938&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

You will notice that it says "quran" and "sharia." Allah is very much in the background.

Quote
Here's another: Defining Your Relationship with Allah - http://www.helium.com/items/1534543-defining-ones-relationship-with-allah
Quote
However even the fact that a believer clings on to the outward action in times of weak iman is still considered acceptable by Allah
Some relationship

Quote
It is self-evident to all disinterested parties
Such as yourself  ::)

There you go, asserting again, without any demonstration of proof.

Quote
that Islam and Greek Orthodoxy and Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism and Judaism and any others all have precisely the same right to claim their path is the true one. All base their claims on the life experiences of the individual and the collective, alive today and extending backwards into the past for centuries. All claim their paths are personal, meaningful, inspirational, humbling, ennobling, and fulfilling for those who practice them. All claim traditions that have stood the test of time. All claim lineages of wise and devout leaders who speak in the name of God by the grace of God.

You side track the fact that such claims can be evaluated.  The Lutherans for instance (my former affiliation) don't claim to be founded by Martin Luther. They claim Christ, but can't explain away that 15 century jump from Christ to Luther.

Quote
Muslims are told to pray five times a day to keep a good relationship with Allah.
People who hold up a household of twelve wives as the model of perfection, and insist that a divorced couple must have another man sleep with the wife before they can be reconciled,  I don't trust to know what a relationship is, good or otherwise.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 01:25:48 AM
Hitler can claim to be a "catholic."  I worked with a couple who were "catholic" and sent their children to "catholic" school for a better education and morals, but were very put out that they had to take the "supernatural" stuff too like first confession: they were agnostic/atheist in belief, but "catholic."  I've known atheists who insisted on having their children baptized for "cultural reasons" though they were "atheist" catholics, and I've known Jews in mixed marriages who were atheist but insisted on raising their children "Jewish" (oddly enough, two of them the gentile was devote Christians, the spent his childhood on mission in the Pacific atolls).  Like you said Hitler "gave conflicting statements throughout his life," but he was far from alone in that..

The No True Scotsman fallacy is not the slightest bit persuasive. Besides, Hitler did not simply claim to be Catholic, he referenced belief in God and the Divine quote often (eg. "by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” [Mein Kampf]). This is especially evident throughout Mein Kampf, and after he survived so many attacks on his life he came to believe he was divinely protected. You claimed Hitler was an atheist. I am asking you to prove it. Arguing a case is a little more useful (and difficult) than throwing out meaningless arrogant insults and "LOLs".

And yes, of course the phrase "Gott Mit Uns" dates far back, but Hitler wouldn't have put it on the Nazi Party's belt buckles if he were an atheist.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 16, 2010, 01:28:06 AM

And yes, of course the phrase "Gott Mit Uns" dates far back, but Hitler wouldn't have put it on the Nazi Party's belt buckles if he were an atheist.

You claim to be able to know what a lunatic, dead ~70 years, would do based on a variation in his private religious beliefs? You are aware this comes across as completely ridiculous, right? Why would Hitler have removed that slogan? Is it possible that Hitler was actually intelligent enough to realize that such an action would simply be stupid?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 16, 2010, 01:30:30 AM
TtC, this being an Orthodox forum, you may well find some of the EOs here *agree* with you that Hitler was a Roman Catholic, emphasis on the "Roman".   ;D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 01:42:26 AM
Since ialmisry wants to act like a child...
The old goat speaks....

why did my BS meter just go off?
I was impressed with much of what you said up until now. So your sarcasm doesn't fly with me. It's childish and uncalled for.
Sarcasm is EXACTLY what you posts cry out for.

Hitler didn't teach Islamic theology.
So what? He murdered millions, and historians agree on many aspects of his life and thought processes. What's your point?
To show that your comment
I know a thing or two about Orthodoxy, and, having passed the doctorate exams in Islamic theology at the U of C, a thing or two about Muslims
Your PhD apparently didn't cover Hitler.
had no point.

Yes, I have seen the desparate attempts of atheists to prove this and no I don't believe they have succeeded.
Show me the desperate attempts by atheists. Then I'll show you what legitimate historians say,
What website?
Quote
what the people closest to Hitler said, and we'll see who's got the legitimate statement.
Our readers at least will.

Before we go there, take a look at his friend Mussolini's religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mussolini#Religious_beliefs

Orthodox atheism. What a concept. Are you speaking ex cathedra on that matter of faith?

One might consider believers in dialectical materialism, progressivism, Enlightenment, the Human Spirit, whatever, a believer in the Supernatural.  Indeed by your broad definition you must.  So he might consider Hitler to have been a believer in god, but not in God.
It's simple. Anyone who believes in a god is not an atheist. Or even better, one who believes in many gods, but not some, would be an atheist of some gods if it makes you feel better. For all your continued smart-assed, uncalled for remarks, you don't win by now trying to redefine atheism. A belief in the god of the bible, as Hitler had, disqualifies him as an atheist.
Hitler believed in the god of the bible? You mean Baal?  Because he certainly did not have Faith in the God of the Bible.

You are aware that the Christians were executed for atheism under the Romans, no?
Quote
Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, Be strong, and show yourself a man, O Polycarp! No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, Have respect to your old age, and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as], Swear by the fortune of Cæsar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists. But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, Away with the Atheists. Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, Swear, and I will set you at liberty, reproach Christ; Polycarp declared, Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?

And when the proconsul yet again pressed him, and said, Swear by the fortune of Cæsar, he answered,

Since you are vainly urgent that, as you say, I should swear by the fortune of Cæsar, and pretend not to know who and what I am, hear me declare with boldness, I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and you shall hear them.

The proconsul replied, Persuade the people. But Polycarp said,

To you I have thought it right to offer an account [of my faith]; for we are taught to give all due honour (which entails no injury upon ourselves) to the powers and authorities which are ordained of God. Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1 But as for these, I do not deem them worthy of receiving any account from me.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0102.htm
Btw, under your broad definition many Buddhist (especially the Theravada) are atheists.

You said you got a BA in English.  You didn't say anything about your MD in Psychology/Psychiatry.
There's a lot you don't know about me. But the fact is that one needs no degree to repeat what is already widely known about Hitler. I don't need to be his personal doctor to be able to say that he was insane.
Interesting scientific method of medicine you practice there.

One can, and many have, make that argument.  That there is no truth to it-the Vatican doesn't teach racialism-is how it fails.
Ummm...I just said that. What's your point?
No, you said it failed because you diagnosed Hitler as insane.  You didn't examin his beliefs and the Vatican's at all.
I lost credibility with the plagerist. What will I do :o ::).
If I were you, I'd try to regain it. This atheist doesn't appreciate that you to come off like a punk.

OOOhh. I'm quaking.

Quote
So I suggest an attitude change right quick. That fact is what you claimed is patently false and you should be ashamed to even trot it out and spout it like it's the truth when it has been discredited.
Only in your wet dreams of brilliance.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 01:47:33 AM
For good measure, here's a list of some of Hitler's extremely atheistic quotes:

Quote
"The anti-Semitism of the new movement (Christian Social movement) was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

"I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work."

[Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936]

"I have followed [the Church] in giving our party program the character of unalterable finality, like the Creed. The Church has never allowed the Creed to be interfered with. It is fifteen hundred years since it was formulated, but every suggestion for its amendment, every logical criticism, or attack on it, has been rejected. The Church has realized that anything and everything can be built up on a document of that sort, no matter how contradictory or irreconcilable with it. The faithful will swallow it whole, so long as logical reasoning is never allowed to be brought to bear on it."

[Adolf Hitler, from Rauschning, _The Voice of Destruction_, pp. 239-40]

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exposed."

[Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich on April 12, 1922, countering a political opponent, Count Lerchenfeld, who opposed antisemitism on his personal Christian feelings. Published in "My New Order", quoted in Freethought Today April 1990]

"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."

[Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 46]

"What we have to fight for...is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator."

[Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 125]

"This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief."

[Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.152]

"And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God."

[Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.174]

"Catholics and Protestants are fighting with one another... while the enemy of Aryan humanity and all Christendom is laughing up his sleeve."

[Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.309]

"I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so"

[Adolph Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941]

"Any violence which does not spring from a spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain. It lacks the stability which can only rest in a fanatical outlook."

[Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, p. 171]

"I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 1]

"I was not in agreement with the sharp anti-Semitic tone, but from time to time I read arguments which gave me some food for thought. At all events, these occasions slowly made me acquainted with the man and the movement, which in those days guided Vienna's destinies: Dr. Karl Lueger and the Christian Social Party."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 2]

"...the unprecedented rise of the Christian Social Party... was to assume the deepest significance for me as a classical object of study."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

"As long as leadership from above was not lacking, the people fulfilled their duty and obligation overwhelmingly. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, both together and particularly at the first flare, there really existed in both camps but a single holy German Reich, for whose existence and future each man turned to his own heaven."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

"Political parties has nothing to do with religious problems, as long as these are not alien to the nation, undermining the morals and ethics of the race; just as religion cannot be amalgamated with the scheming of political parties."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

"For the political leader the religious doctrines and institutions of his people must always remain inviolable; or else has no right to be in politics, but should become a reformer, if he has what it takes!

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

"In nearly all the matters in which the Pan-German movement was wanting, the attitude of the Christian Social Party was correct and well-planned."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

"It [Christian Social Party] recognized the value of large-scale propaganda and was a virtuoso in influencing the psychological instincts of the broad masses of its adherents."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

"If Dr. Karl Lueger had lived in Germany, he would have been ranked among the great minds of our people."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 3, about the leader of the Christian Social movement]

"Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 5]

"I had so often sung 'Deutschland u:ber Alles' and shouted 'Heil' at the top of my lungs, that it seemed to me almost a belated act of grace to be allowed to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim the sincerity of this conviction."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 5]

"Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success. This persistence, however, can always and only arise from a definite spiritual conviction. Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 5]

"I soon realized that the correct use of propaganda is a true art which has remained practically unknown to the bourgeois parties. Only the Christian- Social movement, especially in Lueger's time achieved a certain virtuosity on this instrument, to which it owed many of its success."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 6]

"Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 7, reflecting on World War I]

"The more abstractly correct and hence powerful this idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings... If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth... In its workings, even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder; its significance, however, lies in the direction which it attempted to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 8]

"To them belong, not only the truly great statesmen, but all other great reformers as well. Beside Frederick the Great stands Martin Luther as well as Richard Wagner."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 8]

"The fight against syphilis demands a fight against prostitution, against prejudices, old habits, against previous conceptions, general views among them not least the false prudery of certain circles. The first prerequisite for even the moral right to combat these things is the facilitation of earlier marriage for the coming generation. In late marriage alone lies the compulsion to retain an institution which, twist and turn as you like, is and remains a disgrace to humanity, an institution which is damned ill-suited to a being who with his usual modesty likes to regard himself as the 'image' of God."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

"Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth...Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 10, echoing the Cultural Warfare rhetoric of the Religious Right]

"But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

"While both denominations maintain missions in Asia and Africa in order to win new followers for their doctrine-- an activity which can boast but very modest success compared to the advance of the Mohammedan faith in particular-- right here in Europe they lose millions and millions of inward adherents who either are alien to all religious life or simply go their own ways. The consequences, particularly from a moral point of view, are not favorable."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

"The great masses of people do not consist of philosophers; precisely for the masses, faith is often the sole foundation of a moral attitude. The various substitutes have not proved so successful from the standpoint of results that they could be regarded as a useful replacement for previous religious creeds. But if religious doctrine and faith are really to embrace the broad masses, the unconditional authority of the content of this faith is the foundation of all efficacy."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

"Due to his own original special nature, the Jew cannot possess a religious institution, if for no other reason because he lacks idealism in any form, and hence belief in a hereafter is absolutely foreign to him. And a religion in the Aryan sense cannot be imagined which lacks the conviction of survival after death in some form. Indeed, the Talmud is not a book to prepare a man for the hereafter, but only for a practical and profitable life in this world."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 11]

"The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties-- and this against their own nation."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 11]

"....the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 11, precisely echoing Martin Luther's teachings]

"Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs less to change than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion, and the impetus to the mightiest upheavals on this earth has at all times consisted less in a scientific knowledge dominating the masses than in a fanaticism which inspired them and sometimes in a hysteria which drove them forward."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

"The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its will against all others."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

"The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

"All in all, this whole period of winter 1919-20 was a single struggle to strengthen confidence in the victorious might of the young movement and raise it to that fanaticism of faith which can move mountains."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

"Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 1]

"Of course, even the general designation 'religious' includes various basic ideas or convictions, for example, the indestructibility of the soul, the eternity of its existence, the existence of a higher being, etc. But all these ideas, regardless of how convincing they may be for the individual, are submitted to the critical examination of this individual and hence to a fluctuating affirmation or negation until emotional divination or knowledge assumes the binding force of apodictic faith. This, above all, is the fighting factor which makes a breach and opens the way for the recognition of basic religious views."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 1]

"Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 1]

"A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

"It would be more in keeping with the intention of the noblest man in this world if our two Christian churches, instead of annoying Negroes with missions which they neither desire nor understand, would kindly, but in all seriousness, teach our European humanity that where parents are not healthy it is a deed pleasing to God to take pity on a poor little healthy orphan child and give him father and mother, than themselves to give birth to a sick child who will only bring unhappiness and suffering on himself and the rest of the world."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

"That this is possible may not be denied in a world where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people voluntarily submit to celibacy, obligated and bound by nothing except the injunction of the Church. Should the same renunciation not be possible if this injunction is replaced by the admonition finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created?"

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

"For the greatest revolutionary changes on this earth would not have been thinkable if their motive force, instead of fanatical, yes, hysterical passion, had been merely the bourgeois virtues of law and order."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

"It doesn't dawn on this depraved bourgeois world that this is positively a sin against all reason; that it is criminal lunacy to keep on drilling a born half-ape until people think they have made a lawyer out of him, while millions of members of the highest culture- race must remain in entirely unworthy positions; that it is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator if His most gifted beings by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands are allowed to degenerate in the present proletarian morass, while Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs are trained for intellectual professions."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

"It may be that today gold has become the exclusive ruler of life, but the time will come when man will again bow down before a higher god."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

"Christianity could not content itself with building up its own altar; it was absolutely forced to undertake the destruction of the heathen altars. Only from this fanatical intolerance could its apodictic faith take form; this intolerance is, in fact, its absolute presupposition."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 5]

"For how shall we fill people with blind faith in the correctness of a doctrine, if we ourselves spread uncertainty and doubt by constant changes in its outward structure? ...Here, too, we can learn by the example of the Catholic Church. Though its doctrinal edifice, and in part quite superfluously, comes into collision with exact science and research, it is none the less unwilling to sacrifice so much as one little syllable of its dogmas... it is only such dogmas which lend to the whole body the character of a faith."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 5]

"The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 10]

"In the ranks of the movement [National Socialist movement], the most devout Protestant could sit beside the most devout Catholic, without coming into the slightest conflict with his religious convictions. The mighty common struggle which both carried on against the destroyer of Aryan humanity had, on the contrary, taught them mutually to respect and esteem one another."

[Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 10]

"For this, to be sure, from the child's primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission, until the timorous prayer of our present parlor patriots: 'Lord, make us free!' is transformed in the brain of the smallest boy into the burning plea: 'Almighty God, bless our arms when the time comes; be just as thou hast always been; judge now whether we be deserving of freedom; Lord, bless our battle!'

[Adolf Hitler's prayer, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 2 Chapter 13]

"The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, are creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life"

[Adolph Hitler, in a speech to the Reichstag on March 23, 1933]

"ATHEIST HALL CONVERTED

Berlin Churches Establish Bureau to Win Back Worshippers

Wireless to the New York Times.

BERLIN, May 13. - In Freethinkers Hall, which before the Nazi resurgence was the national headquarters of the German Freethinkers League, the Berlin Protestant church authorities have opened a bureau for advice to the public in church matters. Its chief object is to win back former churchgoers and assist those who have not previously belonged to any religious congregation in obtaining church membership.

The German Freethinkers League, which was swept away by the national revolution, was the largest of such organizations in Germany. It had about 500,000 members ..."

[New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 2, on Hitler's outlawing of atheistic and freethinking groups in Germany in the Spring of 1933, after the Enabling Act authorizing Hitler to rule by decree]

"I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker."

[Adolf Hitler, Speech, 15 March 1936, Munich, Germany.]

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life...."

[Adolf Hitler, Berlin, February 1, 1933]

"Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the *poison of immorality* which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of *liberal excess* during the past ... (few) years."

[The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872]
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 16, 2010, 01:52:09 AM
Ugh. Just to put you out of your misery, let me just tell you what Ialmisry was communicating; that Hitler's actions were so antithetical to Christianity that he could have possibly simply mouthed the right words for political expedience.

Translation: Adolph Hitler lied.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: theistgal on December 16, 2010, 01:54:16 AM
How did a simple discussion of the afterlife turn into a classic example of Godwin's Law?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 16, 2010, 02:10:04 AM
How did a simple discussion of the afterlife turn into a classic example of Godwin's Law?

Miller's Paradox.

On second thought, I'm not sure if Miller's Paradox applies here.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 02:24:24 AM
Hitler can claim to be a "catholic."  I worked with a couple who were "catholic" and sent their children to "catholic" school for a better education and morals, but were very put out that they had to take the "supernatural" stuff too like first confession: they were agnostic/atheist in belief, but "catholic."  I've known atheists who insisted on having their children baptized for "cultural reasons" though they were "atheist" catholics, and I've known Jews in mixed marriages who were atheist but insisted on raising their children "Jewish" (oddly enough, two of them the gentile was devote Christians, the spent his childhood on mission in the Pacific atolls).  Like you said Hitler "gave conflicting statements throughout his life," but he was far from alone in that..

The No True Scotsman fallacy is not the slightest bit persuasive.
Since assessing truthful heresy is a fool's chase, I don't go into who is a true follower of the Vatican or not. The "cultural catholics" say they do not believe in God, and yet they claim to be "catholic." Those are their assertions, not mine.

Quote
Besides, Hitler did not simply claim to be Catholic, he referenced belief in God and the Divine quote often (eg. "by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” [Mein Kampf]).
"Eternal nature is relentless in avenging transgressions of her laws. Hence, I believe I am acting in accordance with the wishes of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

Sorry, "Eternal Nature" is not the Lord, God and Almighty Creator of the Bible." The god of Darwin is not I AM.

Quote
This is especially evident throughout Mein Kampf,
Quite the expert on Mein Kampf, are you. Maybe you would like to quote his comments on the "Catholic Church."

Quote
and after he survived so many attacks on his life he came to believe he was divinely protected.

the first assassination attempt came over a decade after Mein Kampf was published.

Thinking that one has a charmed life means you are divinely protected, you would think would be off limits to an atheist. Arguing with enough atheist Zionists (Herzl was one of the same) who believe God gave the Jews Palestine but don't believe in God, I know that the theory doesn't always cover the reality. Human beings are funny things.


Quote
You claimed Hitler was an atheist. I am asking you to prove it. Arguing a case is a little more useful (and difficult) than throwing out meaningless arrogant insults and "LOLs".
LOL. Well, you should know about arrogant insults without proof.

Quote
And yes, of course the phrase "Gott Mit Uns" dates far back, but Hitler wouldn't have put it on the Nazi Party's belt buckles if he were an atheist.
He didn't: the SS wore "Meine Ehre heißt Treue" ('My honour is loyalty'). I linked to that information, do I have to read it for you too? that is, besides laconicstudent trenchant assessment of this statement. After all, Musslini through out pieties, although his widow testified that he was irreligious all his life except his last few years (when his fall may have taught him humility).
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 02:35:54 AM
For good measure, here's a list of some of Hitler's extremely atheistic quotes:

Plagerized from here:
http://issuepedia.org/Adolf_Hitler/religion
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 16, 2010, 04:00:33 AM
unfulfilled with the Jews

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Judaism quite different today than it was during Jesus' time? If I'm not mistaken, the only remaiing Jewish group that remained were the Pharisees.

I know this got lost in the debate, but anyone want to say anything to this?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: laconicstudent on December 16, 2010, 04:05:11 AM
unfulfilled with the Jews

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Judaism quite different today than it was during Jesus' time? If I'm not mistaken, the only remaiing Jewish group that remained were the Pharisees.

I know this got lost in the debate, but anyone want to say anything to this?

Its very true. I still have no idea how the Jews are justifying not offering the mandated sacrifices.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 04:10:44 AM
unfulfilled with the Jews

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Judaism quite different today than it was during Jesus' time? If I'm not mistaken, the only remaiing Jewish group that remained were the Pharisees.

I know this got lost in the debate, but anyone want to say anything to this?

Sorry.  Yes, you're right.  But at the very least what remains unfulfilled is the coming of the Messiah.  I think that's at the heart of the Jewish faith.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 16, 2010, 05:08:22 AM
Its very true. I still have no idea how the Jews are justifying not offering the mandated sacrifices.

My question precisely, I'd really like to hear why they stopped performing sacrifices.

Sorry.  Yes, you're right.  But at the very least what remains unfulfilled is the coming of the Messiah.  I think that's at the heart of the Jewish faith.

But what exactly has Jesus Christ not exactly "fulfilled"? The only group I know that remained after the death of Jesus, as I said above, were the Pharisees who I have no doubt modified their books so it would seem as though Christ didn't fulfill them.

Also, forgive my Protestant tendencies, the antichrist...will the Jews view that person as the Messiah then?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 05:55:18 AM
How did a simple discussion of the afterlife turn into a classic example of Godwin's Law?

Well I'll tell you this, neither myself nor any atheist can make a dent in the faith because your faith doesn't derive from your thinking, but rather, your thinking derives from your faith.

For you Orthodox, reason doesn't judge faith, but rather, faith judges reason. Facts don't test faith, but rather, faith tests facts.

I promise you I am right in this. Look at this very thread and the threads I've made.

For you all, reality doesn't measure faith, but rather, faith measures reality. Seeing with your own eyes won't put faith to the question, but rather, faith will put to the question what they see with your own eyes. The many logical contradictions that would cause myself to reject faith, cause you, instead, to reject logic.

The brains of the Orthodox, Catholics, Christians etc have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; I.e., you are brainwashed. Debate is futile. Your inner response will always be, "That contradicts faith so I reject that." I would take you all back in a time machine to Palestine in the years when Jesus supposedly lived, and walk you all through all that genuinely happened, whatever it was, to the extent anything happened at all. Rather than question the faith, you all will decide you are hallucinating, or I am tricking you, or the devil is tricking you all, or the science of time travel is false.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 16, 2010, 06:30:38 AM
Well I'll tell you this, neither myself nor any atheist can make a dent in the faith because your faith doesn't derive from your thinking, but rather, your thinking derives from your faith.

For you Orthodox, reason doesn't judge faith, but rather, faith judges reason. Facts don't test faith, but rather, faith tests facts.

I promise you I am right in this. Look at this very thread and the threads I've made.

For you all, reality doesn't measure faith, but rather, faith measures reality. Seeing with your own eyes won't put faith to the question, but rather, faith will put to the question what they see with your own eyes. The many logical contradictions that would cause myself to reject faith, cause you, instead, to reject logic.

The brains of the Orthodox, Catholics, Christians etc have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; I.e., you are brainwashed. Debate is futile. Your inner response will always be, "That contradicts faith so I reject that." I would take you all back in a time machine to Palestine in the years when Jesus supposedly lived, and walk you all through all that genuinely happened, whatever it was, to the extent anything happened at all. Rather than question the faith, you all will decide you are hallucinating, or I am tricking you, or the devil is tricking you all, or the science of time travel is false.

Your logic is circular. You criticise us because we side with faith, which in your eyes is oppositional to reason. Yet at the same time, you must invariably have faith that your faculty of reason reflects reality accurately. How do you know that you are not in a Matrix of sorts?? How do you know that reality is not an illusion etc?? Your perceptions rely on the ability of your brain to accurately interpret sensory inputs in order to derive conclusions. As someone who is a veteran of three major brain surgeries, I can assure you that relying on the brain to be accurate about much of anything is a rather tenuous proposition at best. Just because a blind man lacks sight, doesn't mean we all do.

Quote
The brains of the Orthodox, Catholics, Christians etc have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; I.e., you are brainwashed. Debate is futile. Your inner response will always be, "That contradicts faith so I reject that." I would take you all back in a time machine to Palestine in the years when Jesus supposedly lived, and walk you all through all that genuinely happened, whatever it was, to the extent anything happened at all. Rather than question the faith, you all will decide you are hallucinating, or I am tricking you, or the devil is tricking you all, or the science of time travel is false.

Scenario B
Jesus Christ really was the Son of God, really lived, really died, really rose again, and really ascended into Heaven. The Church which He founded with His apostles has endured over the last 2000 years, despite the most extreme persecution possible, and has left an enduring record of teachings, martyrs and miracles to testify to a reality beyond the comprehension of the human mind.

Which is really what it comes down to. You wish to believe, and would like us to believe, that the human mind (brain actually, as the term mind refers to conciousness, a concept which has no scientific basis) is able comprehend all that was, is and shall ever be. But if God doesn't exist, then you, I, and everyone else are nothing more than highly-evolved chimps. If this is true, then what I believe or do not believe is irrelevant. Humans are simply doomed to live on average 80 or so years and then die, on a planet that is doomed to die, orbiting a star doomed to die, in a galaxy doomed to die etc.

Even if this is the case, and I don't concede that it is, I would still choose to believe in God. Belief in God provides that flicker of hope in this dark dark world. And what else matters in the end, if not hope??
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 06:40:04 AM
Ugh. Just to put you out of your misery, let me just tell you what Ialmisry was communicating; that Hitler's actions were so antithetical to Christianity that he could have possibly simply mouthed the right words for political expedience.

Translation: Adolph Hitler lied.
That's a lovely assertion. But can you prove it?  There's a reason it's called the No True Scotsman Fallacy.
Here's a new outlandish assertion: Stalin lied about being an atheist. He was actually a Christian.
Apparently I can just make anything up about any mass murderer by claiming they lied. Or maybe it applies to anyone. How are your claims any more supported than by those who claim Barrack Obama is a muslim
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 06:45:28 AM
Since assessing truthful heresy is a fool's chase, I don't go into who is a true follower of the Vatican or not. The "cultural catholics" say they do not believe in God, and yet they claim to be "catholic." Those are their assertions, not mine.
And as I said, he did not simply claim to be a "cultural Catholic." He directly alludes to "the Lord" and being a "fighter" for his "Savior". No where does he claim to be some sort of Catholic atheist. He outlawed the German Freethinkers League.

Quote
Thinking that one has a charmed life means you are divinely protected, you would think would be off limits to an atheist. Arguing with enough atheist Zionists (Herzl was one of the same) who believe God gave the Jews Palestine but don't believe in God, I know that the theory doesn't always cover the reality. Human beings are funny things.

Again, you are really doing some gymnastics here. This is all hypothetical with zero proof.

Quote
LOL. Well, you should know about arrogant insults without proof.

That long list of quotes doesn't qualify as any sort of proof for you? Would you like more?

Why did Hitler demonize atheists and associate them with "the Communist enemy"?

"We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out."

"For eight months we have been waging a heroic battle against the Communist threat to our Volk, the decomposition of our culture, the subversion of our art, and the poisoning of our public morality. We have put an end to denial of God and abuse of religion. We owe Providence humble gratitude for not allowing us to lose our battle against the misery of unemployment and for the salvation of the German peasant."

That's interesting...don't all atheists deny God?

Quote
He didn't: the SS wore "Meine Ehre heißt Treue" ('My honour is loyalty'). I linked to that information, do I have to read it for you too? After all, Musslini through out pieties, although his widow testified that he was irreligious all his life except his last few years (when his fall may have taught him humility).
I never claimed he wrote it. But as the leader of a political party and the nation he would not have had it on those belts if he were against it. It is a curious thing that an atheist would outlaw atheist groups but not get rid of a religious motto plastered on uniform.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 16, 2010, 06:55:20 AM
Ugh. Just to put you out of your misery, let me just tell you what Ialmisry was communicating; that Hitler's actions were so antithetical to Christianity that he could have possibly simply mouthed the right words for political expedience.

Translation: Adolph Hitler lied.
That's a lovely assertion. But can you prove it?  There's a reason it's called the No True Scotsman Fallacy.
Here's a new outlandish assertion: Stalin lied about being an atheist. He was actually a Christian.
Apparently I can just make anything up about any mass murderer by claiming they lied. Or maybe it applies to anyone. How are your claims any more supported than by those who claim Barrack Obama is a muslim

Yes I can prove that Stalin was not a Christian. He regularly ordered the executions and exiles of thousands of clergy, the destruction of churches, and the forced starvation through famine of millions. Even if he claimed to be a Christian, which he didn't, his actions speak otherwise.

Back to Hitler. Here is a person who claimed to be supportive of faith/religion/Christianity. Which would be news to the hundreds if not thousands of Christian clergy and believers who found themselves to be residents in one of the SS's delightful (note sarcasm) institutions at Dachau, Auschwitz, etc etc. Such persecution of Christians cut across confessional lines and was not limited on the grounds of race, ethnicity, confession etc. The conclusion one invariably reaches is that Hitler gave lip service to Christianity where required, but could not be considered a believer by any means, except perhaps a believer in nihilism.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 11:36:27 AM

Sorry.  Yes, you're right.  But at the very least what remains unfulfilled is the coming of the Messiah.  I think that's at the heart of the Jewish faith.

But what exactly has Jesus Christ not exactly "fulfilled"? The only group I know that remained after the death of Jesus, as I said above, were the Pharisees who I have no doubt modified their books so it would seem as though Christ didn't fulfill them.

Also, forgive my Protestant tendencies, the antichrist...will the Jews view that person as the Messiah then?

I have no idea how to answer the second question.  I just don't know what the future holds, and I can care less what the future holds.  I care about what I do now, and how what I do helps me and those around me.

For them, Jesus Christ has not fulfilled their idea of a Messiah.  They're still waiting for the Messiah, and they don't believe Jesus was it.  That's all.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 16, 2010, 12:51:16 PM
Ugh. Just to put you out of your misery, let me just tell you what Ialmisry was communicating; that Hitler's actions were so antithetical to Christianity that he could have possibly simply mouthed the right words for political expedience.

Translation: Adolph Hitler lied.

The nerve!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 01:06:38 PM
Since assessing truthful heresy is a fool's chase, I don't go into who is a true follower of the Vatican or not. The "cultural catholics" say they do not believe in God, and yet they claim to be "catholic." Those are their assertions, not mine.
And as I said, he did not simply claim to be a "cultural Catholic." He directly alludes to "the Lord" and being a "fighter" for his "Savior". No where does he claim to be some sort of Catholic atheist. He outlawed the German Freethinkers League.

He also outlawed the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Freemasons (who don't admit atheists). In the camps the JWs wore these(http://jewishmemory.info/images/3000-3999/3273/m1.jpg)
Quote
The U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has devoted a section to the Nazi persecution of Freemasonry....In order to illustrate these fears, a film monitor shows photographs of an anti-Masonic exhibition that was organized by the Nazis. In a number of popular public exhibitions, the Nazis created mock Lodge rooms complete with skeletons of lodge officers.
http://www.masonicinfo.com/nazism.htm

Thinking that one has a charmed life means you are divinely protected, you would think would be off limits to an atheist. Arguing with enough atheist Zionists (Herzl was one of the same) who believe God gave the Jews Palestine but don't believe in God, I know that the theory doesn't always cover the reality. Human beings are funny things.

Again, you are really doing some gymnastics here. This is all hypothetical with zero proof.

You remind me of the communist French minister, when faced with a successful social program based on capitalism, who demanded in exasperation "Yes, I see it works in reality, but how does it work in theory?!"

No gymnastics on my part, though I agree with you that the atheists are doing some rather artifully (that includes the Muslim atheists who argued the Muslim position on the miracle of the Quran.  Many of them were also ashamed to admit that they couldn't bring themseles to eat pork. Iqbal once said that he didn't care if Allah existed, as long as Muhammad existed). Those people were not hypostheses. They were flesh and blood, and since they professed atheism, grey matter you would say as well.

LOL. Well, you should know about arrogant insults without proof.

That long list of quotes doesn't qualify as any sort of proof for you?
No. (except proof of plagerism and lack of origianl thinking on your part). Lord willling, I will return to that.

Would you like more?
I don't encourage plagerism.

Why did Hitler demonize atheists and associate them with "the Communist enemy"?
Same reason he coopted the deicide charge:propoganda purposes. The same reason the Communists allowed the Russian Orthodox Church to reconstitute its hieararchy and began restoring Churches.

"We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out."

"For eight months we have been waging a heroic battle against the Communist threat to our Volk, the decomposition of our culture, the subversion of our art, and the poisoning of our public morality. We have put an end to denial of God and abuse of religion. We owe Providence humble gratitude for not allowing us to lose our battle against the misery of unemployment and for the salvation of the German peasant."

Again the plagerism.

That's interesting...don't all atheists deny God?
Since, as I already posted, the Early Christian Martyrs were executed on the charge of atheism, no.


He didn't: the SS wore "Meine Ehre heißt Treue" ('My honour is loyalty'). I linked to that information, do I have to read it for you too? After all, Musslini through out pieties, although his widow testified that he was irreligious all his life except his last few years (when his fall may have taught him humility).
I never claimed he wrote it. But as the leader of a political party and the nation he would not have had it on those belts if he were against it.

A mind reader too. My, you are talented.

Such examples of atheists not acting according to your orthodoxy can, and have, been multiplied. Had he come up with it, or even if he had put it on SS uniforms, it might have meant something.  But letting a time honored tradition of the imperial past he was trying to coopt continue (and not used on the institutions he was inventing), no, nothing.

Quote
It is a curious thing that an atheist would outlaw atheist groups but not get rid of a religious motto plastered on uniform.
In the grand scheme of things, not curious at all. Not a jot more curious than the atheist Mussolini granting the Vatican sovereignty, nor the atheist Stalin restoring the Russian Orthodox patriarchate. Nor, btw, the claims of the Muslim Ottomans and the Muslim Secular Turkish republic over the Orthodox Christian Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 01:15:46 PM
unfulfilled with the Jews

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Judaism quite different today than it was during Jesus' time? If I'm not mistaken, the only remaiing Jewish group that remained were the Pharisees.

I know this got lost in the debate, but anyone want to say anything to this?
It's true. All the other sects of except the pharisees and the judeo-Christian sects (and of course, the Church) died out.

The Jews await someone who has already come (btw, this is reason to reject the claim of the Muslims that Christ predicted Muhammad's coming. If He did, we Christians would still be awaiting teh Prophet).

There are Jews today who want to rebuild the Temple and restart what one secular Jew called "the celestial barbeque."  They have a museum in Jerusalem with the equipment ready and waiting.

This is one way how Church continues Israel, not the Rabbis and certainly not the Zionist state: the bloodless sacrifice is still offered.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 01:30:49 PM
How did a simple discussion of the afterlife turn into a classic example of Godwin's Law?

Well I'll tell you this, neither myself nor any atheist can make a dent in the faith because your faith doesn't derive from your thinking, but rather, your thinking derives from your faith.
Ah, the assertions of invincible ignorance.

As has been pointed out to you already, since many of us converted to Orthodoxy, i.e. had to think our way into it.  Rather hard if your goal is where you start from.

Quote
For you Orthodox, reason doesn't judge faith, but rather, faith judges reason. Facts don't test faith, but rather, faith tests facts.

The facts is your assertions don't make facts. Your assertion that the Orthodox do not exercise their reason is refuted with every page of every theological tome we produce. But you would have to read at least one of those pages to know that.

Quote
I promise you I am right in this. Look at this very thread and the threads I've made.

And how your thinking derives from plagerism.

Quote
For you all, reality doesn't measure faith, but rather, faith measures reality. Seeing with your own eyes won't put faith to the question, but rather, faith will put to the question what they see with your own eyes. The many logical contradictions that would cause myself to reject faith, cause you, instead, to reject logic.

In Chicago we had the event of atheists, Muslims, and Jehovah Witnesses trying to deny the human tears that were streaming down an icon of the Holy Theotokos.  Seeing wasn't believing. Even my friend's skeptiv mother was dumb founded as the priest let the investigators come in and examin and found nothing. Except tears.

Quote
The brains of the Orthodox, Catholics, Christians etc have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; I.e., you are brainwashed. Debate is futile. Your inner response will always be, "That contradicts faith so I reject that." I would take you all back in a time machine to Palestine in the years when Jesus supposedly lived, and walk you all through all that genuinely happened, whatever it was, to the extent anything happened at all. Rather than question the faith, you all will decide you are hallucinating, or I am tricking you, or the devil is tricking you all, or the science of time travel is false.
The atheist's thinking is as rich as his faith, which you continue to demonstrate.

You haven't even handled the reality handed you, let alone you being able to speculate on time travel.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 01:33:37 PM
Ugh. Just to put you out of your misery, let me just tell you what Ialmisry was communicating; that Hitler's actions were so antithetical to Christianity that he could have possibly simply mouthed the right words for political expedience.

Translation: Adolph Hitler lied.
That's a lovely assertion. But can you prove it?  There's a reason it's called the No True Scotsman Fallacy.
Here's a new outlandish assertion: Stalin lied about being an atheist. He was actually a Christian.
Apparently I can just make anything up about any mass murderer by claiming they lied. Or maybe it applies to anyone. How are your claims any more supported than by those who claim Barrack Obama is a muslim
Actually, according to Islamic law, he is.

You are the one with the No True Scotsman fetish: you claim no true atheist would have "God with us" on his army's belt buckles.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 01:58:37 PM
For good measure, here's a list of some of Hitler's extremely atheistic quotes:

Plagerized from here:
http://issuepedia.org/Adolf_Hitler/religion

Quote
...Historian Paul Johnson wrote that Hitler hated Christianity with a passion, adding that shortly after assuming power in 1933, Hitler told Hermann Rauschnig that he intended "to stamp out Christianity root and branch."

As Hitler grew in power, he made other anti-Christian statements. For example, he was quoted in Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, by Allan Bullock, as saying: "I'll make these damned parsons feel the power of the state in a way they would have never believed possible. For the moment, I am just keeping my eye upon them: if I ever have the slightest suspicion that they are getting dangerous, I will shoot the lot of them. This filthy reptile raises its head whenever there is a sign of weakness in the State, and therefore it must be stamped on. We have no sort of use for a fairy story invented by the Jews."...

I could probably find more speeches in which Hitler claims himself to be a Christian, but I think the point has been made. He said it. Now, what did it mean?

It seems Hitler, like many modern-day politicians, spoke out of both sides of his mouth. And when he didn't, his lackeys did. It may have been political pandering, just like many of our current politicians who invoke God's name to gain support.

Also, it seems probable that Hitler, being the great manipulator, knew that he couldn't fight the Christian churches and their members right off the bat. So he made statements to put the church at ease and may have patronized religion as a way to prevent having to fight the Christian-based church.

In fact, Anton Gil notes in his book, An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945: "For his part, Hitler naturally wanted to bring the church into line with everything else in his scheme of things. He knew he dare not simply eradicate it: that would not have been possible with such an international organisation, and he would have lost many Christian supporters had he tried to. His principal aim was to unify the German Evangelical Church under a pro-Nazi banner, and to come to an accommodation with the Catholics."

In other words, while he was certainly evil, he also usually knew which wars he could win (at least until 1941) and only fought those. He knew he could beat the Polish, French, and British armies and he allegedly counseled the Japanese against attacking the U.S.; he also requested that they open up a front against Russia. He couldn't beat the church in open warfare--so he took control and then attacked them piecemeal while making statements to put them at ease. Think about it--how many other times did Hitler break his word or ignore a treaty? He said whatever would make things easiest, and then ignored it later.

Author Doug Krueger notes that "so many Germans were religious believers that Hitler, if not religious himself, at least had to pretend to be a believer in order to gain support." He adds, "If the [Christian] message won converts, it would seem that most Nazis were probably [Christians] too. After all, would appeal to divine mandate win more theists or atheists to the cause?" He also points out that "Even if Hitler was not a [Christian], he could still have been a theist. Or a deist" (www.infidels.org/library /modern/doug_krueger/copin.html).   Remember that being a non-Christian is not equal to being an atheist.....

An interesting side note: Two of my sources, both of whom are well-versed in WWII history, said something to the effect that Hitler acted as if he had a messianic complex and perhaps believed himself to essentially be a god or the messiah. As one put it, you could certainly make the argument that he was a firm believer in God, if by "God" you mean "Adolf Hitler."....
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1699/was-hitler-a-christian
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 16, 2010, 02:55:30 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
unfulfilled with the Jews

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Judaism quite different today than it was during Jesus' time? If I'm not mistaken, the only remaiing Jewish group that remained were the Pharisees.

I know this got lost in the debate, but anyone want to say anything to this?

Its very true. I still have no idea how the Jews are justifying not offering the mandated sacrifices.


Judaism is above all else, a strictly legalistic religion.  The mandates, religious ordinances, prescribed liturgical services, appointed prayers, laws, taboos, dietary restrictions, dress code, social structure, behavioral guidelines, etc etc are all STRICTLY obligatory, but also must be in strict accordance with the rule of Law.  So it is not legal to follow the Law in an illegal way. The Law, while requiring animal sacrifices specified by calendar and atonement requirements, also strictly requires that these sacrifices take place at Jerusalem, at the High Altar of the Temple.  The Law was very clear, as were the rabbinical commentaries which elucidate and clarify it (similar to our Patristic Writings) to explain that without a Temple, there can be no sacrifices.  The interesting point is what is stopping Jews currently from performing sacrifices somewhere in Jerusalem in the vicinity of the Temple Mount complex, as they are in legal control of the city now.  For the previous two-thousand years, the Jews did not necessarily have regular or legal access to Jerusalem, and much like during the Babylonian captivity which inspired Judaic reforms which gave us the specific Bible in an attempt to redefine Judaism around the Scriptures and sociocultural/religious traditions instead of the sacred geography of the Holy Land, Judaism became a religion organized around ideas, events, readings and the Synagogue, where as previously it had been deeply attached to specific geography.

Essentially, until a new altar is consecrated in Jerusalem, it is unlawful for Jews even to perform legally prescribed animal sacrifices, I am not quite sure how Judaism explains theologically the new concepts of atonement and forgiveness, and how Judaism survives as a religion of salvation, as initially the animal sacrifices were the sole source of atonement for sin and finding Grace with God.



Your logic is circular. You criticise us because we side with faith, which in your eyes is oppositional to reason. Yet at the same time, you must invariably have faith that your faculty of reason reflects reality accurately. How do you know that you are not in a Matrix of sorts?? How do you know that reality is not an illusion etc?? Your perceptions rely on the ability of your brain to accurately interpret sensory inputs in order to derive conclusions. As someone who is a veteran of three major brain surgeries, I can assure you that relying on the brain to be accurate about much of anything is a rather tenuous proposition at best. Just because a blind man lacks sight, doesn't mean we all do.


^ amen amen

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 02:57:58 PM
For good measure, here's a list of some of Hitler's extremely atheistic quotes:

Plagerized from here:
http://issuepedia.org/Adolf_Hitler/religion
http://www.doxa.ws/social/Hitler.html
Quote
Hitler said some Christian sounding things in his campaign speeches, of course he did. He would have been a fool to say "I am evil and i want to destroy society and launch us into a two front war we can't win, vote for me." Atheists naively assume we can trust his campaign speeches just as we would a personal diary, but most of us know you can't trust anything a politician says in a camping! In the 1930's voters in major Western countries expected Christian candidates even more than they do now.

The book Hitler's Secret Conversations 1941-1944 published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc.first edition, 1953, contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. The book was published in Britain under the title, _Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944, which title was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)

10th October, 1941, midday:

Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)

14th October, 1941, midday:

The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.... Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse.... ...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.... Christianity the liar.... We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)

19th October, 1941, night:

The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

21st October, 1941, midday:

Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer.... The decisive falsification of Jesus' doctrine was the work of St.Paul. He gave himself to this work... for the purposes of personal exploitation.... Didn't the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it's in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St.Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. (p 63-65)
13th December, 1941, midnight:

Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)

14th December, 1941, midday:

Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.... Pure Christianity-- the Christianity of the catacombs-- is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)

9th April, 1942, dinner:
There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)

27th February, 1942, midday:

It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-- but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch in the next 200 yearse will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.... My regret will have been that I couldn't... behold ." (p 278)
http://www.answers.org/history/hitquote.html
Quote
Hitler's Lies in action

From Webstie Adolf Hitler, Christian, Atheist, or Neither?

"As an example of Hitler's honesty, consider the following from a letter by Hitler to the French fascist Hervé and published in the Nazi Völkischer Beobachter on October 26, 1930 (Heiden, Der Fuehrer, p. 414)" :
"I think I can assure you that there is no one in Germany who will not with all his heart approve any honest attempt at an improvement of relations between Germany and France. My own feelings force me to take the same attitude... The German people has the solemn intention of living in peace and friendship with all civilized nations and powers... And I regard the maintenance of peace in Europe as especially desirable and at the same time secured, if France and Germany, on the basis of equal sharing of natural human rights, arrive at a real inner understanding... The young Germany, that is led by me and that finds its expression in the National Socialist Movement, has only the most heartfelt desire for an understanding with other European nations."



Obviously he was lying, here's an even bigger lie.

Ibid


In a similar vein, consider this, from a speech in the Reichstag on 30 Jan. 1939: "Amongst the accusations which are directed against Germany in the so called democracies is the charge that the National Socialist State is hostile to religion. In answer to that charge I should like to make before the German people the following solemn declaration: 1. No one in Germany has in the past been persecuted because of his religious views, nor will anyone in the future be so persecuted..."


No one is going to persecuted for his/her religious views in Germany? Its' well documented that Hitler persecuted any many groups for their religious views, including Protestants, and Catholics(more on that latter)

Hitler youth song:
Quote
No evil priest can prevent us from feeling that we are the children of Hitler / We follow not Christ but Horst Wessel / Away with incense and holy water / The Church can go hang for all we care
Horst Wessel was an early Nazi party Sturmabteilung street-fighter murdered by communists and turned into a martyr by propaganda chief Josef Goebbels. He had written the song "Die Fahne hoch" the national anthem with "Deutchsland uber Alles" during the Nazi regime. His group, the stormtroopers, also had a lovely song which said "Stormtrooper comrades hang the Jew and put the priest against the wall."
"Among Stormtroopers...anti-Catholicism was so pervassive that it seemed at times to have been almost as fervid as anti-Semiticism...once the war began, the party bannned radio transmission of religious broadcasts, seized church bells for scrap, and, pleading shortage of newsprint, shut down the Catholic press."
The Last Jews in Berlin By Leonard Gross
http://books.google.com/books?id=MeTRXbveYHMC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=We+follow+not+Christ,+but+Horst+Wessel,+Away+with+incense+and+Holy+Water,+The+Church+can+go+hang&source=bl&ots=YK0QYbbPAM&sig=S70trIp9kNDa3rhDKGdVyzTQa6c&hl=en&ei=El4KTYuZE9mxnAf05tD5Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=We%20follow%20not%20Christ%2C%20but%20Horst%20Wessel%2C%20Away%20with%20incense%20and%20Holy%20Water%2C%20The%20Church%20can%20go%20hang&f=false
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 03:24:14 PM
Your logic is circular. You criticise us because we side with faith, which in your eyes is oppositional to reason. Yet at the same time, you must invariably have faith that your faculty of reason reflects reality accurately.
The irony is you're trying to give a reason for abandoning reason. Your logic circular. Reason is inescapable when it comes to justifying ideas and concepts. Once you convince me to abandon reason I'll have no reason to believe that's reasonable anymore.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 16, 2010, 03:27:42 PM
For good measure, here's a list of some of Hitler's extremely atheistic quotes:

Plagerized from here:
http://issuepedia.org/Adolf_Hitler/religion
http://www.doxa.ws/social/Hitler.html
Quote
Hitler said some Christian sounding things in his campaign speeches, of course he did. He would have been a fool to say "I am evil and i want to destroy society and launch us into a two front war we can't win, vote for me." Atheists naively assume we can trust his campaign speeches just as we would a personal diary, but most of us know you can't trust anything a politician says in a camping! In the 1930's voters in major Western countries expected Christian candidates even more than they do now.

The book Hitler's Secret Conversations 1941-1944 published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc.first edition, 1953, contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. The book was published in Britain under the title, _Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944, which title was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)

10th October, 1941, midday:

Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)

14th October, 1941, midday:

The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.... Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse.... ...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.... Christianity the liar.... We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)

19th October, 1941, night:

The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

21st October, 1941, midday:

Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer.... The decisive falsification of Jesus' doctrine was the work of St.Paul. He gave himself to this work... for the purposes of personal exploitation.... Didn't the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it's in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St.Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. (p 63-65)
13th December, 1941, midnight:

Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)

14th December, 1941, midday:

Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.... Pure Christianity-- the Christianity of the catacombs-- is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)

9th April, 1942, dinner:
There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)

27th February, 1942, midday:

It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-- but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch in the next 200 yearse will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.... My regret will have been that I couldn't... behold ." (p 278)
http://www.answers.org/history/hitquote.html
Quote
Hitler's Lies in action

From Webstie Adolf Hitler, Christian, Atheist, or Neither?

"As an example of Hitler's honesty, consider the following from a letter by Hitler to the French fascist Hervé and published in the Nazi Völkischer Beobachter on October 26, 1930 (Heiden, Der Fuehrer, p. 414)" :
"I think I can assure you that there is no one in Germany who will not with all his heart approve any honest attempt at an improvement of relations between Germany and France. My own feelings force me to take the same attitude... The German people has the solemn intention of living in peace and friendship with all civilized nations and powers... And I regard the maintenance of peace in Europe as especially desirable and at the same time secured, if France and Germany, on the basis of equal sharing of natural human rights, arrive at a real inner understanding... The young Germany, that is led by me and that finds its expression in the National Socialist Movement, has only the most heartfelt desire for an understanding with other European nations."



Obviously he was lying, here's an even bigger lie.

Ibid


In a similar vein, consider this, from a speech in the Reichstag on 30 Jan. 1939: "Amongst the accusations which are directed against Germany in the so called democracies is the charge that the National Socialist State is hostile to religion. In answer to that charge I should like to make before the German people the following solemn declaration: 1. No one in Germany has in the past been persecuted because of his religious views, nor will anyone in the future be so persecuted..."


No one is going to persecuted for his/her religious views in Germany? Its' well documented that Hitler persecuted any many groups for their religious views, including Protestants, and Catholics(more on that latter)

Hitler youth song:
Quote
No evil priest can prevent us from feeling that we are the children of Hitler / We follow not Christ but Horst Wessel / Away with incense and holy water / The Church can go hang for all we care
Horst Wessel was an early Nazi party Sturmabteilung street-fighter murdered by communists and turned into a martyr by propaganda chief Josef Goebbels. He had written the song "Die Fahne hoch" the national anthem with "Deutchsland uber Alles" during the Nazi regime. His group, the stormtroopers, also had a lovely song which said "Stormtrooper comrades hang the Jew and put the priest against the wall."
"Among Stormtroopers...anti-Catholicism was so pervassive that it seemed at times to have been almost as fervid as anti-Semiticism...once the war began, the party bannned radio transmission of religious broadcasts, seized church bells for scrap, and, pleading shortage of newsprint, shut down the Catholic press."
The Last Jews in Berlin By Leonard Gross
http://books.google.com/books?id=MeTRXbveYHMC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=We+follow+not+Christ,+but+Horst+Wessel,+Away+with+incense+and+Holy+Water,+The+Church+can+go+hang&source=bl&ots=YK0QYbbPAM&sig=S70trIp9kNDa3rhDKGdVyzTQa6c&hl=en&ei=El4KTYuZE9mxnAf05tD5Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=We%20follow%20not%20Christ%2C%20but%20Horst%20Wessel%2C%20Away%20with%20incense%20and%20Holy%20Water%2C%20The%20Church%20can%20go%20hang&f=false

Yeah, but! He also said Churchy things, so we don't know what to believe! Best to ignore his actions and only use those portions that fit our agenda...
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 03:33:49 PM
Your logic is circular. You criticise us because we side with faith, which in your eyes is oppositional to reason. Yet at the same time, you must invariably have faith that your faculty of reason reflects reality accurately.
The irony is you're trying to give a reason for abandoning reason. Your logic circular. Reason is inescapable when it comes to justifying ideas and concepts. Once you convince me to abandon reason I'll have no reason to believe that's reasonable anymore.
No one has abandoned reason here.

Except the atheist.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 03:43:22 PM
I'll get to your Hitler pieces in a bit while I dig up some more findings.

Furthermore you claim that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man correct, I mean that is what I am getting from Orthodoxy that there are things we cannot know about God. Mortals cannot fully understand immortals, but the head honcho immortal has opened his rain coat a few times to some people, therefore one should believe in dancing waffles and also that man has a built in religion of agnosticism. You shouldn't try to understand why it is so because of how incomprehensible muffins are to us mere skin bags, just accept it as well as the concept behind not being able to understand ice cream shoes baking in the oven, but it is what it is. Obviously.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 03:47:49 PM
I'll get to your Hitler pieces in a bit while I dig up some more findings.

Furthermore you claim that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man correct, I mean that is what I am getting from Orthodoxy that there are things we cannot know about God. Mortals cannot fully understand immortals, but the head honcho immortal has opened his rain coat a few times to some people, therefore one should believe in dancing waffles and also that man has a built in religion of agnosticism. You shouldn't try to understand why it is so because of how incomprehensible muffins are to us mere skin bags, just accept it as well as the concept behind not being able to understand ice cream shoes baking in the oven, but it is what it is. Obviously.
'

I think I need to drink before I can understand that.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Sleeper on December 16, 2010, 03:52:56 PM
I'll get to your Hitler pieces in a bit while I dig up some more findings. utilize the search function on www.infidels.org
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 04:05:56 PM
I'll get to your Hitler pieces in a bit while I dig up some more findings.

Furthermore you claim that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man correct, I mean that is what I am getting from Orthodoxy that there are things we cannot know about God. Mortals cannot fully understand immortals, but the head honcho immortal has opened his rain coat a few times to some people, therefore one should believe in dancing waffles and also that man has a built in religion of agnosticism. You shouldn't try to understand why it is so because of how incomprehensible muffins are to us mere skin bags, just accept it as well as the concept behind not being able to understand ice cream shoes baking in the oven, but it is what it is. Obviously.
Can you restate that, with coherence?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 04:09:17 PM
TryingtoConvert,

Why are you here?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 04:12:04 PM
Your logic is circular. You criticise us because we side with faith, which in your eyes is oppositional to reason. Yet at the same time, you must invariably have faith that your faculty of reason reflects reality accurately.
The irony is you're trying to give a reason for abandoning reason. Your logic circular. Reason is inescapable when it comes to justifying ideas and concepts. Once you convince me to abandon reason I'll have no reason to believe that's reasonable anymore.
No one has abandoned reason here.

Except the atheist.
I'd say this right here is abandoning reason: "Even if this is the case, and I don't concede that it is, I would still choose to believe in God. Belief in God provides that flicker of hope in this dark dark world. And what else matters in the end, if not hope??"
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 04:13:12 PM
I'll get to your Hitler pieces in a bit while I dig up some more findings.

Furthermore you claim that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man correct, I mean that is what I am getting from Orthodoxy that there are things we cannot know about God. Mortals cannot fully understand immortals, but the head honcho immortal has opened his rain coat a few times to some people, therefore one should believe in dancing waffles and also that man has a built in religion of agnosticism. You shouldn't try to understand why it is so because of how incomprehensible muffins are to us mere skin bags, just accept it as well as the concept behind not being able to understand ice cream shoes baking in the oven, but it is what it is. Obviously.
Can you restate that, with coherence?
Yes I can, can you make your statement coherent (regarding orthodoxy as a basis for agnosticsm?)?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 04:36:40 PM
I'll get to your Hitler pieces in a bit while I dig up some more findings.

Furthermore you claim that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man correct, I mean that is what I am getting from Orthodoxy that there are things we cannot know about God. Mortals cannot fully understand immortals, but the head honcho immortal has opened his rain coat a few times to some people, therefore one should believe in dancing waffles and also that man has a built in religion of agnosticism. You shouldn't try to understand why it is so because of how incomprehensible muffins are to us mere skin bags, just accept it as well as the concept behind not being able to understand ice cream shoes baking in the oven, but it is what it is. Obviously.
Can you restate that, with coherence?
Yes I can, can you make your statement coherent (regarding oOrthodoxy as a basis for agnosticsm?)?
I didn't state that Orthodoxy is a basis for agnosticism.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 04:43:04 PM
However you do say that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man if I'm not mistaken.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 04:50:54 PM
However you do say that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man if I'm not mistaken.
Yes. And you are still mistaken.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 05:06:45 PM
However you do say that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man if I'm not mistaken.
Yes. And you are still mistaken.

Then what?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 05:12:46 PM
However you do say that agnosticsm is the natural religion of man if I'm not mistaken.
Yes. And you are still mistaken.

Then what?
Then what, what?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 05:26:12 PM
and then...

No, "and then".

and THENNNN

No, "And THEN".


AND THENNN!!!!!

NO, AND THEN!


AND THEN, AND THEN, AND THEN!
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: chrevbel on December 16, 2010, 05:30:45 PM
And then...

Then what

No, then watt

No, then wad

No, then wood

No, then would

No, then could

No, then cot

No, then what.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 09:37:22 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 16, 2010, 09:46:21 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Mary was immaculately conceived (according to Catholics). Jesus was born of a virgin.

"Three Kings" is a movie title, not a biblical description.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Marc1152 on December 16, 2010, 09:47:31 PM
Ugh. Just to put you out of your misery, let me just tell you what Ialmisry was communicating; that Hitler's actions were so antithetical to Christianity that he could have possibly simply mouthed the right words for political expedience.

Translation: Adolph Hitler lied.

The SS were deeply involved in Occult Rituals. They were hardly Christians.

Hitler was a Vegetarian though....Which I have always considered as very very funny.

www.westonaprice.org
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 16, 2010, 10:04:08 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Three Zoroastrian priests, clergy of a religion that had no links to the OT, but which did predict the birth of a savior in a cave, and who did place great store by studying the stars.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 10:22:38 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Three Zoroastrian priests, clergy of a religion that had no links to the OT, but which did predict the birth of a savior in a cave, and who did place great store by studying the stars.

Well, we don't know if it was three of them, but certainly three gifts were given on account of Christ's kingship, priesthood, and suffering.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 16, 2010, 11:23:13 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Three Zoroastrian priests, clergy of a religion that had no links to the OT, but which did predict the birth of a savior in a cave, and who did place great store by studying the stars.

Well, we don't know if it was three of them, but certainly three gifts were given on account of Christ's kingship, priesthood, and suffering.
And Zoroastrianism does have links to the OT.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 16, 2010, 11:29:28 PM
If you all don't know much about God but instead of what has been revealed that is being agnostic no?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: John of the North on December 16, 2010, 11:39:33 PM
Your logic is circular. You criticise us because we side with faith, which in your eyes is oppositional to reason. Yet at the same time, you must invariably have faith that your faculty of reason reflects reality accurately.
The irony is you're trying to give a reason for abandoning reason. Your logic circular. Reason is inescapable when it comes to justifying ideas and concepts. Once you convince me to abandon reason I'll have no reason to believe that's reasonable anymore.
No one has abandoned reason here.

Except the atheist.
I'd say this right here is abandoning reason: "Even if this is the case, and I don't concede that it is, I would still choose to believe in God. Belief in God provides that flicker of hope in this dark dark world. And what else matters in the end, if not hope??"

You seem to have painted yourself into a corner here. Faith in the Orthodox Church is participatory...it requires my agreement, my cooperation, and my actions. Reason does not require any such thing. In your world, what happens will happen regardless of my belief. The ultimate conclusion is that we are all dead. So if I choose faith AND reason, even where faith seemingly lacks evidence in your eyes, this has no bearing on what happens in the end. No harm is done by me embracing faith. In a world which lacks a supreme moral arbiter, on no grounds can you declare what is right or wrong to any degree of certainty, including even faith. So why not just let us be??

If you all don't know much about God but instead of what has been revealed that is being agnostic no?

I am not concerned about the verb "to know" but rather the verb "to believe."
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 17, 2010, 04:56:42 AM
Going back to an earlier discussion...
With the little I've read from you, I must say personally, this is one of your best posts, and I'd like to see more of that quality and honesty in you rather than your other posts that seem to look down on our beliefs in a slightly insulting manner.

I have to say, it is your beliefs of life with consciousness that makes me see a purpose too.  Only this time, I don't see the purpose without God.

If life was to grow and evolve, and we were to grow smarter and more advanced, by the time we reach a certain level of advancement, we find that the more we evolve the more disease and obstacles in life evolve with us.  We find that in the end, the universe as we know it will end and all evolution and all purpose we struggle for doesn't even matter.  We are forced with one goal, that is simply to survive.  But why try to survive now when it will all end later, not just your life, but even the life of your progeny?

Your rejection of belief in God is a valid rejection.  Your rejection is based on the actions of people.  People around us are quite condemning.  People do not know how to separate between the condemnation of a particular sin and the sinner himself.  People have lost sight with the idea of how to become gods in this world, and instead have become accusers, wishing upon people hell, pronouncing upon people that "God hates you."

But who said Christianity was easy.  It's indeed a "narrow gate."  Even within Christianity, it's a narrow gate.  Thank God for a merciful God, knowing the weaknesses of people, and always willing to help those who seek it.
If this life isn't enough for you, I'm not sure what to tell you. To me it's like having a plate of food in front of you the size of the moon. Saying that you need dessert (heaven, an afterlife, etc.) to give it all meaning, seems to me...absurd.

As finite beings we can choose to remain silent for our few moments on the stage of life, or we can sing our hearts out. Personally, whatever the end of the play may be, I'd rather yell as loud as I can for as long as I can. Even if we all face oblivion, rather than stay dark and inert, I'd rather burn furiously and brightly in the time I have, so much so that I light up the night sky long after I'm gone. This is the choice that has been made by living and even "non-living" things since the beginning of time. So, who the hell am I to say this life is not enough?

Also, my rejection of "God" is not based on the actions of people, but on my growing knowledge of the world. As I learned more, the more I could put my own beliefs into perspective and the more I began to see them as stories created by man to explain his situation. I know you don't agree with that conclusion, but that is the ultimate conclusion I continue to see more evidence of on an almost daily basis.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 17, 2010, 05:16:49 AM
Okay, let me give you a different perspective.  Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the...and don't depend on the hypocrisies of Christians, but look at Christ Himself as the greatest example.

God bless.
Cut that down to save room.

Well, the main thing I think I need to reply to here is that I don't reject faith only "based on the people not practicing what they preach". The fact that I see people not practicing their religion...religiously, to me just reinforces the idea that religion, belief in god, faith, or whatever you want to call it, is meaningless. People will live however they want regardless. The main reason I've come to "reject faith" is because I've come to see "faith" as belief in stories created by man. Based on the knowledge I have and the more knowledge I gain, the more I see that those stories, however entangled with actual events they may be, are not real.

From what I can say of selfishness versus selflessness is that either one can lead people astray. While we tend to think of selflessness as always being noble, it sometimes becomes a detrimental quality. If a person doesn't take care of themselves, they will be powerless to help others. If they only look after themselves, then the community around them will suffer. So, as with all things people need to develop a proper sense of balance to maximize our ability to flourish and deal with adversity.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: chrevbel on December 17, 2010, 06:09:26 AM
The main reason I've come to "reject faith" is because I've come to see "faith" as belief in stories created by man.
I for one wouldn't categorize Christian Orthodoxy as merely (or even primarily) being about belief in stories.  But this makes me reiterate my oft-repeated, and as of yet unanswered, question.  To what exactly are you trying to convert, and why?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 17, 2010, 06:11:14 AM
Actually, according to Islamic law, he is.
Are you a Churcher?

I'm sure you won't mind providing a source for this assertion. If you're basing it on Edward Luttwak's New York Times column (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/opinion/12luttwak.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin ), I suggest you find yourself a better reference. Luttwak's unfounded and apparently ignorant assertion that Obama is Muslim according to Islamic law was thoroughly debunked by Ali Eterez in an article for The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-eteraz/obama-islam-smear-changes_b_101337.html ). The whole article is well worth a read, but I'll quote one particularly telling section:

Quote
Luttwack and the other fake experts promoting this new smear do not understand Islam. Religion is not hereditary as it is in Judaism. Islam is not a race. Just because a child has a Muslim father -- which, again, Obama didn't -- doesn't mean anything unless the child is being raised as a Muslim. At the time of birth, Muslims engage in a symbolic act -- of saying the Call to Prayer in the child's ear -- that renders a child Muslim. If Obama's father was agnostic/atheist, then he wouldn't have done such a thing.

No call to prayer in the ear, not raised as a Muslim, born to an atheist father, and then abandoned to a Christian mother both by father and his family, equals not Muslim. Obama is right to say he had no religion until he became a Christian.

Quote
..Historian Paul Johnson wrote that Hitler hated Christianity with a passion
A Roman Catholic arguing that Hitler wasn't a Roman Catholic? Didn't see that coming.

Quote
I could probably find more speeches in which Hitler claims himself to be a Christian, but I think the point has been made. He said it. Now, what did it mean?

It means he actually said it, for starters, instead of relying on hearsay and translators. You're also quote mining the Table Talks because Hitler also said:
Quote
We don't want to educate anyone in atheism. Table-Talk [p. 6]

An uneducated man, on the other hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to the state of the animal)... Table-Talk [p. 59]


Luther had the merit of rising against the Pope and the organisation of the Church. It was the first of the great revolutions. And thanks to his translation of the Bible, Luther replaced our dialects by the great German language! -Table-Talk [p. 9]

Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism the destroyer. Nevertheless, the Galilean, who later was called Christ, intended something quite different. He must be regarded as a popular leader who too up His position against Jewry. Galilee was a colony where the Romans had probably installed Gallic legionaries, and it's certain that Jesus was not a Jew. The Jews, by the way, regarded Him as the son of a whore-- of a whore and a Roman soldier.

The decisive falsification of Jesus's doctrine was the work of St. Paul. He gave himself to this work with subtlety and for purposes of personal exploitation. For the Galiean's object was to liberate His country from Jewish oppression. He set Himself against Jewish capitalism, and that's why the Jews liquidated Him.
-Hitler [Table-Talk, p. 76]
Christ was an Aryan, and St. Paul used his doctrine to mobilise the criminal underworld and thus organise a proto-Bolsevism.
-Hitler [Table-Talk, p. 143]
Obviously the Table Talks are no silver bullet in his faith since this is included in them. Whatever he was at this point in his life he certainly wasn't an atheist (see first two lines in bold) which is what you asserted he was.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: TryingtoConvert on December 17, 2010, 06:13:41 AM
Why does it seem that ialsmiry is a troll in sheep's clothing since he started conversing with me. I'm glad he's finally showing his true colors to everyone now. It's been nothing but sarcasm, insults and zero constructive input from this guy.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 17, 2010, 07:41:32 AM
Atheism is immoral by definition. Ingratitude is a deep character flaw and a deadly sin. We cannot prove with their atheistic logic that God exists. Their logic says that:
a) laws exist in everything ( in the macroscopic and microscopic world) but no one made these laws; they are from themselves.
b) these laws have no purpose: man comes and goes forward until death and he is finished

For the Darwinist, if true to the Darwinian creation narrative that chaos/randomness (no preexisting logic) was the state of the beginning of the universe, has to conclude that the laws that govern the operations of matter actually arose from the matter itself. Marx thought that ideas (and thus meaning) have no independent existence at all; ideas are just a function of the neurological processes of the brain.

Extract God from your thinking, and the Logos — the comprehensive logic that interpenetrates all of the creation — disappears from view. It’s really a descent back into superstition; an incredulity about the elemental forces with no comprehension that they can be comprehended. For the atheist however, the incredulity is willful while for the ignorant it is merely naive.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Tzimis on December 17, 2010, 11:53:19 AM
Atheism is immoral by definition. Ingratitude is a deep character flaw and a deadly sin. We cannot prove with their atheistic logic that God exists. Their logic says that:
a) laws exist in everything ( in the macroscopic and microscopic world) but no one made these laws; they are from themselves.
b) these laws have no purpose: man comes and goes forward until death and he is finished

For the Darwinist, if true to the Darwinian creation narrative that chaos/randomness (no preexisting logic) was the state of the beginning of the universe, has to conclude that the laws that govern the operations of matter actually arose from the matter itself. Marx thought that ideas (and thus meaning) have no independent existence at all; ideas are just a function of the neurological processes of the brain.

Extract God from your thinking, and the Logos — the comprehensive logic that interpenetrates all of the creation — disappears from view. It’s really a descent back into superstition; an incredulity about the elemental forces with no comprehension that they can be comprehended. For the atheist however, the incredulity is willful while for the ignorant it is merely naive.
The actual laws that hold the universe together don't come into conflict with a belief or disbelief in a deity. I don't know why people automatically assume that the data leads to atheism. Until man can create from nil himself. Observable science can also be explaining a creative act.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: minasoliman on December 17, 2010, 12:12:25 PM
Also, my rejection of "God" is not based on the actions of people, but on my growing knowledge of the world. As I learned more, the more I could put my own beliefs into perspective and the more I began to see them as stories created by man to explain his situation. I know you don't agree with that conclusion, but that is the ultimate conclusion I continue to see more evidence of on an almost daily basis.

If that's why you're an atheist, then fine.  Somehow, I don't see it that way.  These words say you're an atheist because "you learned more," but your life seems to indicate another reason:

On a separate note, I've only become a "strident atheist" (although I don't care for the label), over the course of this past year. As I've mentioned before, for a long time I've been very ambivalent towards religion, even after I stopped being a believer myself (I'll still go to church with my mother occasionally). It's just this stuff like bans on gay marriage, bans on gay soldiers in the military and this situation for example with fundamentalists trying to screw with textbooks in Texas that has made me more belligerent towards religion. I could write off a lot of violence and discrimination in the world caused by religion as being the product of primitive extremists, but more and more I see discrimination and other forms of "violence" being propagated in our own society by people who also claim to be motivated by their religion. And when people say outright that my own way of seeing the world is based on ignorance, well, I just have a hard time letting things slide by unchallenged.

I'm not against gay marriage, or gay soldiers in the military.  I am against it in a spiritual and moral manner, but I don't believe I should impose my morals on others, neither should I shun these people.  You know my views on the textbooks, if I think I know what you're talking about.  Certainly I abhor violence.  But no, you base your disbelief off your own personal experience of people calling themselves religious.

I've met many honest atheists who said if it wasn't for their church's rejection of science, they'd probably still be believers.  But once it's because they see the hypocrisy going on around them by religious people, they leave, and then when they leave, they learn more only to solidify their epistemology, so to speak.

Likewise, many who see the validity of Christianity embrace it, and then learn more only to solidify their faith.

Quote
Well, the main thing I think I need to reply to here is that I don't reject faith only "based on the people not practicing what they preach". The fact that I see people not practicing their religion...religiously, to me just reinforces the idea that religion, belief in god, faith, or whatever you want to call it, is meaningless. People will live however they want regardless. The main reason I've come to "reject faith" is because I've come to see "faith" as belief in stories created by man. Based on the knowledge I have and the more knowledge I gain, the more I see that those stories, however entangled with actual events they may be, are not real.

From what I can say of selfishness versus selflessness is that either one can lead people astray. While we tend to think of selflessness as always being noble, it sometimes becomes a detrimental quality. If a person doesn't take care of themselves, they will be powerless to help others. If they only look after themselves, then the community around them will suffer. So, as with all things people need to develop a proper sense of balance to maximize our ability to flourish and deal with adversity.

Well, stories can be hard to believe.  But when I look at the Old Testament and the prophecies, and the stories it gives, which are sometimes prophetical, I don't have to believe these particular stories, but in fact, they affirm the story of Christ.  Why specifically the story of Christ holds more weight?  First because I believe he actually came and existed, and that he turned the world upside down through his followers who with sincerity and without aggression simply died for Him and His "story."  This particular story of Christ I admire.

Hindus are generally peaceful people, and the more educated of them seems not necessarily believing literally in the stories.  Muslims forced their stories by the sword.  Jews merely have stories with no purpose at the moment.

Because we expect adversity in this world, people want to make it as if they need to be selfish a little.  Certainly there's nothing wrong with protecting yourself.  But I don't agree with the balance.  The weight should tip more in the favor of selflessness.  "Love your enemies, go good to those who hate, bless those who curse.  If one strikes you in one cheek, offer the other.  If one asks you to go one mile, go two with him."  These sayings are derided by people as weaknesses.  But which is easier, to hate your enemy or love your enemy?  I think loving your enemy shows you're stronger, not weaker or vulnerable.  If Christ, MLK, and Gandhi can do it, even though they suffered, but brought success to their own campaigns, then anyone can.  Christ who brought forth unto us a way of life, which is Himself, helped those who are helpless, and while rebuking those who are self-righteous, continued to forgive and love them as well even on the Cross.  A story like that moves me to become like Him.  No greater story is there than the story of Christ, and this story people lived for and died for, with no aggression for those first couple of centuries, and through their deaths, they've grown.  In Christ, we are truly free.

Yes, there will be suffering.  But history shows the cries of suffering are much louder than the grunts of aggression.

But of course, this not easy for anyone.  But at the very least, what should be easier is helping the helpless.  Forget the love your enemies part.  That's too hard for most people, even Christians, sadly enough.  But at the very least, selflessness usually is very hard for those who reached an intellectual peak.  Only when you renounce your own selfish desires to help others will your eyes start to open up towards Christianity.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 17, 2010, 01:01:39 PM
Why does it seem that ialsmiry is a troll in sheep's clothing since he started conversing with me. I'm glad he's finally showing his true colors to everyone now. It's been nothing but sarcasm, insults and zero constructive input from this guy.
Odd.  I thought that summed up you. 
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Aindriú on December 17, 2010, 01:14:24 PM
Why does it seem that ialsmiry is a troll in sheep's clothing since he started conversing with me. I'm glad he's finally showing his true colors to everyone now. It's been nothing but sarcasm, insults and zero constructive input from this guy.
Odd.  I thought that summed up you. 

(http://www.overclock.net/attachments/software-news/117607d1248648910-cnet-palm-re-enables-itunes-syncing-oh_snap.gif)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1vxfGBEMmM&feature=related
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 17, 2010, 01:15:44 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Three Zoroastrian priests, clergy of a religion that had no links to the OT, but which did predict the birth of a savior in a cave, and who did place great store by studying the stars.

Well, we don't know if it was three of them, but certainly three gifts were given on account of Christ's kingship, priesthood, and suffering.
And Zoroastrianism does have links to the OT.
Actually, no, it does not. I think I know what you are alluding to, but I'll let you make you case.

(I'd open another thread, but since the afterlife is supposedly one of these developments, I'll leave it here).
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 17, 2010, 01:19:41 PM
If you all don't know much about God but instead of what has been revealed that is being agnostic no?
Are you trying to ask "If you all don't know much about God except what has been revealed, isn't that being agnostic?"
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 17, 2010, 01:47:42 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Three Zoroastrian priests, clergy of a religion that had no links to the OT, but which did predict the birth of a savior in a cave, and who did place great store by studying the stars.

Well, we don't know if it was three of them, but certainly three gifts were given on account of Christ's kingship, priesthood, and suffering.
And Zoroastrianism does have links to the OT.
Actually, no, it does not. I think I know what you are alluding to, but I'll let you make you case.

(I'd open another thread, but since the afterlife is supposedly one of these developments, I'll leave it here).
I have no dog in this fight. 8)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on December 17, 2010, 01:48:27 PM
I think it's pretty humorous that this fella came here wanting to boost his ego by attacking what he thought would be an easy target, all the while under the guise of "trying" to understand us.  The funny thing is is that instead of finding an easy target, Isa, along with others, turned the tables around and showed just how childish and boorish TtC is.  It's also pretty funny how angry TtC became and began accusing others of the very thing he's been all along.  My, my, my.   :D
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 17, 2010, 02:01:02 PM
Why does it seem that ialsmiry is a troll in sheep's clothing since he started conversing with me. I'm glad he's finally showing his true colors to everyone now. It's been nothing but sarcasm, insults and zero constructive input from this guy.

You seem to have confused him with someone else.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: chrevbel on December 17, 2010, 03:37:23 PM
Why does it seem that ialsmiry is a troll in sheep's clothing...
You seem to have confused him with someone else.
Coulda been the sheep's clothing.  Lotsa folks are wearing wool these days.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 17, 2010, 04:07:37 PM
Why does it seem that ialsmiry is a troll in sheep's clothing...
You seem to have confused him with someone else.
Coulda been the sheep's clothing.  Lotsa folks are wearing wool these days.

(http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/cgo0183l.jpg)
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 17, 2010, 10:18:39 PM
The actual laws that hold the universe together don't come into conflict with a belief or disbelief in a deity. I don't know why people automatically assume that the data leads to atheism. Until man can create from nil himself. Observable science can also be explaining a creative act.

But those laws were not created by ourselves and also of no purpose that these laws even exist is the point I'm making.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 18, 2010, 04:54:41 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Three Zoroastrian priests, clergy of a religion that had no links to the OT, but which did predict the birth of a savior in a cave, and who did place great store by studying the stars.

Well, we don't know if it was three of them, but certainly three gifts were given on account of Christ's kingship, priesthood, and suffering.
And Zoroastrianism does have links to the OT.
Actually, no, it does not. I think I know what you are alluding to, but I'll let you make you case.

(I'd open another thread, but since the afterlife is supposedly one of these developments, I'll leave it here).

Weren't the Zoroastrian priests expecting the incarnation of Mithras?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 18, 2010, 08:24:16 PM
Come on guys three kings following a star across the desert to bring presents to a god-man baby (who was immaculately concepted and had no father) whom they dreamed about is all about reason.

Really now.
Three Zoroastrian priests, clergy of a religion that had no links to the OT, but which did predict the birth of a savior in a cave, and who did place great store by studying the stars.

Well, we don't know if it was three of them, but certainly three gifts were given on account of Christ's kingship, priesthood, and suffering.
And Zoroastrianism does have links to the OT.
Actually, no, it does not. I think I know what you are alluding to, but I'll let you make you case.

(I'd open another thread, but since the afterlife is supposedly one of these developments, I'll leave it here).

Weren't the Zoroastrian priests expecting the incarnation of Mithras?
Something like that, yes.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 18, 2010, 08:38:23 PM
Something like that, yes.

Which is interesting because that Mithras cult didn't begin until around 90-100AD if I am not mistaken.

Is there any importance as to why the Zoroastrian priests were present at the birth? Was it to show how Christ came for both the Gentiles and the Jews?
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: ialmisry on December 18, 2010, 08:47:43 PM
Something like that, yes.

Which is interesting because that Mithras cult didn't begin until around 90-100AD if I am not mistaken.


The god Mithra predates Mithranism. The Yasht hymn to him is the longest in the Younger Avesta
http://www.avesta.org/ka/yt10sbe.htm

Quote
Is there any importance as to why the Zoroastrian priests were present at the birth? Was it to show how Christ came for both the Gentiles and the Jews?
Yes. Notice, too, how they are led by stars to discover what has happened, while the Hebrew shepherds have the news revealed directly to them by angels.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Shiny on December 18, 2010, 09:04:06 PM
The god Mithra predates Mithranism. The Yasht hymn to him is the longest in the Younger Avesta
http://www.avesta.org/ka/yt10sbe.htm
If I'm not mistaken, didn't the Romans twist the Mihtras account to try to make it parallel to Christianity, near 100 AD?

Quote
Yes. Notice, too, how they are led by stars to discover what has happened, while the Hebrew shepherds have the news revealed directly to them by angels.
That is very fascinating, in my opinion that is incredible.
Title: Re: Why an afterlife is bad
Post by: Jetavan on December 28, 2010, 01:44:38 PM
What happens next? They can't mature, since there is no environment in heaven which would promote growth. Even if they could 'grow up,' what age would it be to?
In traditional Christian theology, the corruptable body will be replaced by a resurrection body. The resurrection body, though, need not be un-changing, un-growable.