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Author Topic: Why an afterlife is bad  (Read 14566 times) Average Rating: 0
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TryingtoConvert
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« 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  Wink ). 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.
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« Reply #1 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.
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« Reply #2 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)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 04:05:56 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #3 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...... Huh
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« Reply #4 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. Cheesy
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« Reply #5 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. Cheesy

That could be Hell as well,  if there stuck on a religious forum , never being able to log out.... Grin
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« Reply #6 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.
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« Reply #7 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.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 09:58:49 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #8 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.  Tongue
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« Reply #9 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. Cheesy

Or worse, being stuck in this thread!  Shocked
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« Reply #10 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.  Tongue

Ya, if I had a goat I'd be watching him pretty closely about now...
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« Reply #11 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.

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« Reply #12 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?
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« Reply #13 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?  Smiley


This thread makes me feel better all the time.

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« Reply #14 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.
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« Reply #15 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.
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« Reply #16 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  Wink
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« Reply #17 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.
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« Reply #18 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  Wink
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.
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« Reply #19 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
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« Reply #20 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! Cheesy
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« Reply #21 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...
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« Reply #22 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  Wink
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?
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« Reply #23 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.
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« Reply #24 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.
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« Reply #25 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  Wink
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.
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« Reply #26 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.
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« Reply #27 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.

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.
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« Reply #28 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.
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« Reply #29 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...
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« Reply #30 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.
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« Reply #31 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?
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« Reply #32 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.
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« Reply #33 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.
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« Reply #34 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.
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« Reply #35 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.
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« Reply #36 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.
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« Reply #37 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.
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« Reply #38 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.
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« Reply #39 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.
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« Reply #40 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?
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« Reply #41 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?
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« Reply #42 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?
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« Reply #43 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?
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« Reply #44 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.
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