1. Hmmm . . .
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    08 Mar '07 18:53
    I do not think there is—nor do I have any “hope” for—an individual after-life, whether that entails reincarnation, resurrection or some kind of immortality of the “soul.” My chosen religious expression(s) was not determined by that fact, however, but by how I understand my existence in the cosmos, and what makes sense to me.

    I am curious about how a belief in an individual after-life affects how other people understand their own religious expression—particularly theists, such as Christians and Muslims, etc. The question is: if you concluded that there was no individual after-life, would you still find your chosen religion generally valid, and why or why not?

    For example, I would think that Christianity would be fairly easily re-interpretable as a valid religious expression if all talk of resurrection were seen as symbolic for living a different way in this life—as one “resurrected” from a life clutching to sarx and ego, living fully present in the “eternal now,” living from one’s true inner self as the “Christ-nature,” etc. I’m not arguing for any of those; they are not new. Nor am I suggesting that is an exhaustive list of what symbology would need reinterpretation from the conventional view. I only offer it as an example...
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    08 Mar '07 20:30
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I do not think there is—nor do I have any “hope” for—an individual after-life, whether that entails reincarnation, resurrection or some kind of immortality of the “soul.” My chosen religious expression(s) was not determined by that fact, however, but by how I understand my existence in the cosmos, and what makes sense to me.

    I am curious about how a beli ...[text shortened]... bology would need reinterpretation from the conventional view. I only offer it as an example...
    I am sorry you have given up on an after-life vistesd. For me this would mean that ALL is vanity. We then become "dust in the wind" so to speak and nothing more. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes when Solomon realized that despite having all the money in the world and all the wisdom in the world and all the women in the world he could want he surmized that all was vanity because it was temperal. Christ expressed a similar sentiment when he asked what it profits a man to gain the whole world but then loose his eternal soul. Paul also expressed a similar sentiment when he said that if Christ has not been raised from the dead then all of his preaching would be sheer vanity because we would then not be resurrected as well. For the Christian and Jew alike the hope of a resurrection from this world of pain is our ultimate hope. Whether you be a believer or nonbeliever the prospect of an impending death is what drives us. It determaines in large part how we spend our time and to attempt to make the most out of what time we have left verses spending time foolishly that we would one day regret. For the believer this means attending to the affairs of the Father and reaching out to others and for the nonbeliever this means making every second count to enjoy for themselves what time he or she has left. For me it is a comfort knowing that it does not matter how much suffering I do in the present life because the life to come will make such suffering trivial in comparison.
  3. Subscriberno1marauder
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    08 Mar '07 20:33
    Originally posted by whodey
    I am sorry you have given up on an after-life vistesd. For me this would mean that ALL is vanity. We then become "dust in the wind" so to speak and nothing more. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes when Solomon realized that despite having all the money in the world and all the wisdom in the world and all the women in the world he could want he surmized that all ...[text shortened]... o in the present life because the life to come will make such suffering trivial in comparison.
    The prospect of impending death isn't what drives me, but then I don't belong to a death cult like Christianity.
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    08 Mar '07 20:41
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The prospect of impending death isn't what drives me, but then I don't belong to a death cult like Christianity.
    If you are then not a pleasure seeker squeezing every second of life you can out of your failing body because you know you have a finite time to live then what drives you? What makes no1marauder tick?
  5. Subscriberno1marauder
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    08 Mar '07 20:56
    Originally posted by whodey
    If you are then not a pleasure seeker squeezing every second of life you can out of your failing body because you know you have a finite time to live then what drives you? What makes no1marauder tick?
    NOYFB. But consider this from the Introduction to the Upanishads, p. 96:

    The rishis of the Upanishads were not impressed by the theory of eternal retribution in heaven or hell. That theory shows a total disproportion between cause and effect. Life on earth is short, exposed to error and bristling with temptations. Many of our wrong actions are the result of faulty upbringing and environment. To inflict upon the soul eternal punishment for the errors of a few years, or even of a whole lifetime, is to throw to the winds all sense of proportion. It would be inconsistent with God's love for His created beings.

    You've created a bogey man, not a just and a loving God and you fear his retribution if you stray from a narrow path. That is no way for a Man to live.
  6. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    08 Mar '07 21:02
    Originally posted by whodey
    If you are then not a pleasure seeker squeezing every second of life you can out of your failing body because you know you have a finite time to live then what drives you? What makes no1marauder tick?
    If you know, with certainty that a blissful eternal life awaits you in heaven, why don't you kill yourself? Yes, I know, mortal sin, etc... However, why act to prolong your life? Why take any safety precautions, ever? Why wear a seat belt? Why go to the Doctor? Why have kids for that matter, you are taking their souls away from Heaven and bringing them to an earthly existence.

    The point being, should your goal be to get to Heaven in as short a period of time as possible?
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    08 Mar '07 21:42
    Originally posted by whodey
    If you are then not a pleasure seeker squeezing every second of life you can out of your failing body because you know you have a finite time to live then what drives you? What makes no1marauder tick?
    Not speaking for N1M here but for myself, what drives me is my desire to contribute what I can to this world - that includes doing right, raising my kids well, loving my wife and family and friends, etc.
  8. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    08 Mar '07 21:47
    Originally posted by whodey
    If you are then not a pleasure seeker squeezing every second of life you can out of your failing body because you know you have a finite time to live then what drives you? What makes no1marauder tick?
    Its very sad that you require something else to give meaning to your life, and can't find it for yourself.
  9. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    08 Mar '07 22:07
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    If you know, with certainty that a blissful eternal life awaits you in heaven, why don't you kill yourself? Yes, I know, mortal sin, etc... However, why act to prolong your life? Why take any safety precautions, ever? Why wear a seat belt? Why go to the Doctor? Why have kids for that matter, you are taking their souls away from Heaven and bringi ...[text shortened]... The point being, should your goal be to get to Heaven in as short a period of time as possible?
    Ooh, ooh! I've got a good one. If you know that all good Christians will go to heaven and that prolonged exposure to Earthly temptations could lead them to lose their faith or commit a mortal sin, wouldn't the right thing be to slaughter as many of them as possible? Obviously your mortal soul would be put into jeopardy, however, think of how many souls you could save. Lets say 1 Christian per week over 50 years of killing for Jesus... 2600 souls with a guaranteed place in Heaven!!! Wouldn't you have to kill? Wouldn't this be your moral and spiritual obligation as a Christian? God may even welcome you with open arms, afterall, you've sacrificed your own immortal soul for the sake of thousands of others. Very Jesus like!
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    08 Mar '07 22:36
    Originally posted by whodey
    I am sorry you have given up on an after-life vistesd. For me this would mean that ALL is vanity. We then become "dust in the wind" so to speak and nothing more. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes when Solomon realized that despite having all the money in the world and all the wisdom in the world and all the women in the world he could want he surmized that all ...[text shortened]... o in the present life because the life to come will make such suffering trivial in comparison.
    Hi Whodey,

    First let me say that I am not sad. By having no hope, I did not mean to imply any sense of loss or despair, or anything like that. Simply a refusal to pin hope on something I do not believe is real.

    With regard to “vanity.” The Hebrew word is hebel, which signifies vapor, breath, mist—that kind of thing. If by vanity, you mean something like worthless or wasted, then that is—to my mind—a bad translation. Emptiness, or insubstantiality, or transience capture it better—even illusion. What is futile is putting one’s hopes in—or clinging to—whatever is transient and insubstantial as if it were permanent. That is what the Buddha says is the cause of all anguish and inner turmoil.

    That does not, of course, imply that one should then should reach beyond reality—and that is most clearly not the message of Ecclesiastes (which is, for my money, the book in the Hebrew scriptures that could fit right in with the Upanishads). There is no after-life in Ecclesiastes. To reach for an after-life is, in my mind, to pin ones’ hopes on something even more hebel than the forms and phenomena of this existence.

    I accept the fact of the transience of this existence.

    For the Christian and Jew alike the hope of a resurrection from this world of pain is our ultimate hope.

    Just a slight correction: many, maybe most, Jews believe in an after-life—but many also do not. It is not a linch-pin of the religion, and the olam ha’ba (the “world to come” ) has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Further, I would speculate that, of Jews who do believe there is an after-life, most believe in immortality of the soul and/or transmigration of souls—not resurrection.
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    08 Mar '07 22:491 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    I am sorry you have given up on an after-life vistesd. For me this would mean that ALL is vanity. We then become "dust in the wind" so to speak and nothing more. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes when Solomon realized that despite having all the money in the world and all the wisdom in the world and all the women in the world he could want he surmized that all ...[text shortened]... o in the present life because the life to come will make such suffering trivial in comparison.
    What it means is we are in the same boat as animals, no more, no less. You don't expect a dog to have a soul, you only expect people to have souls. The real deal is nobody has a soul, there is no heaven, there is no hell, WYSIWYG, one time through, make the best of it and don't whine about invisible friends.
    We have one thing over animals, we can take refuge in the fact that our children will carry some part of ourselves. That should be enough, but NOOOO, we have to invent non-existant gods whom we think will cover our assses if we blow it. Guess what, a big asteroid comes down like it did 65 million years ago, ain't gonna be a god coming down and whopping it out of the way to protect poor whiney humans.
  12. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    08 Mar '07 23:49
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Ooh, ooh! I've got a good one. If you know that all good Christians will go to heaven and that prolonged exposure to Earthly temptations could lead them to lose their faith or commit a mortal sin, wouldn't the right thing be to slaughter as many of them as possible? Obviously your mortal soul would be put into jeopardy, however, think of how many s ...[text shortened]... ve sacrificed your own immortal soul for the sake of thousands of others. Very Jesus like!
    This is why the Catholics believe in that original sin crap. Otherwise aborting babies (read: fetuses) would be doing them a favour. With the original sin you can tie your flock to your neck like a yoke for the rest of their natural lives and leech money off them like a sponge absorbs salty tears shed by rape victims.
  13. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    08 Mar '07 23:58
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    This is why the Catholics believe in that original sin crap. Otherwise aborting babies (read: fetuses) would be doing them a favour. With the original sin you can tie your flock to your neck like a yoke for the rest of their natural lives and leech money off them like a sponge absorbs salty tears shed by rape victims.
    I must not have a very good understand of original sin, otherwise, drowning babies in the baptismal water would be a good idea.
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    09 Mar '07 01:53
    Originally posted by whodey
    I am sorry you have given up on an after-life vistesd. For me this would mean that ALL is vanity. We then become "dust in the wind" so to speak and nothing more. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes when Solomon realized that despite having all the money in the world and all the wisdom in the world and all the women in the world he could want he surmized that all ...[text shortened]... o in the present life because the life to come will make such suffering trivial in comparison.
    As I revisit this, Whodey, it strikes me that you really didn't answer the question. From the context of your post, I will take it as: if, for whatever reason you determined that there were no after-life, you would find no further reason to maintain your Christian religous expression--that without the promise of an after-life, all the rest of it must fall...
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    09 Mar '07 02:161 edit
    Wow! I've been shot at in so many directions I don't know which way is up. So let me get this straight. I am:

    1. Pathetic because my life has no meaning outside of looking forward to dying.
    2. I should drown all babies.
    3. I should then kill myself.
    4. I don't know why I should continue to keep track because by now I should already be dead I would think.

    Kids, all I said was is that my ultimate fate is vanity if I perish in the end. I never said I there is no meaning in my life outside of looking forward to dying. As a matter of fact, I presently enjoy living believe it or not and prefer doing so currently. In fact, if you were immortal whats the worry? It would then seem that you need have no need for anything from anybody. You would then be your own god. However, death presents a slight problem, does it not?
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