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Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. Standard member krisvictor
    Chess Student
    02 Mar '05 02:34
    There are those that will say there is no such thing.
    There are those that will say they have lived/died/lived it.
    There are those that will say there is heaven and hell.
    There are those that will say there is a purgatory.
    There are those that will say there is reincarnation.

    The fact is... people live and eventually die.

    If you believe (and stand firm in that belief because there is no way to "prove otherwise" that there is no life after death, then there is no need to be "good". After all, why bother? No worries. Do as you desire. Morality and ethics are out the window. There is no "good" or "bad". If it feels good, do it.

    If you believe there is life after death, then it must fall in the "heaven or hell"/purgatory/reincanation category.

    If you believe in "heaven or hell", then you must also believe in God and the devil and good/evil and you live your life accordingly.

    If you believe in purgatory, then you also believe in God and the devil and good/evil and hope that someone still living is praying for your soul to go to Heaven.

    If you believe in reincarnation, then you must also believe in good and evil because you must choose to be "good" so that you will return on earth as a better creature. If you're not good, you might end up as a fly and have to feed on excrement and such. And as a fly, will you still have the ability to choose between good and evil?

    In all these beliefs except the first one, the "soul" of man has to be acknowledged and accepted as fact.

    Someone once told me that man is created with three parts - the body, the soul, and the spirit.

    The body is the "flesh". The tangible part of man.
    The soul is the eternal being of man; unseen, reasoning, believing.
    The spirit is the part of man that is also unseen and acts upon the body based upon the reasoning of the soul.

    You can use your senses and generally accept the fact that you have a body.
    You can reason and ask why and give answers to the best of your reasoning. You can do math and calculus and argue the existance of God. Let's call this the soul.
    You see a stoplight. You decide to stop. You press on the break and stop your car or you step on the gas and run the red. Let's call this the spirit.

    If you believe there is no "body", then you don't exist in this realm. End of story.

    If you believe that man has no soul, then there is no need for accountability. You can do as you please and accept what is done to you.
    You are nothing more than an animal that can be owned, whipped, put to labor, beaten, chopped up and put in the stew. You can also be cherished, fed, petted, trained, and put in the pound when you get old.

    If you don't believe in having a spirit, then you are comatose and unable to respond. Again, end of story. A worm wriggling to get out from between your fingers would be more spirited.

    I know i've probably generalized quite a bit and there are many here that is very reasonable and, admittedly, quite intelligent in their reasoning.

    So, if I have missed something, please post.

    Is there life after death for humanity?
  2. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    02 Mar '05 03:19
    Originally posted by krisvictor
    There are those that will say there is no such thing.
    There are those that will say they have lived/died/lived it.
    There are those that will say there is heaven and hell.
    There are those that will say there is a purgatory.
    There are those that will say there is reincarnation.

    The fact is... people live and eventually die.

    If you believe (and sta ...[text shortened]... ing.

    So, if I have missed something, please post.

    Is there life after death for humanity?
    You've generalized quite a bit? I'd say that's an understatement. Of course I agree with nothing you've said here.

    1. Not believing in god or life after death does not mean you're free to do as you please. That's a ridiculous notion. People are still bound by a code of ethics. But that code is a human adaptation and is not handed down on stone by some mythical god creature. As people do not like being murdered, they decide to make murder illegal. To put it more broadly, that which aids and brings comfort to humanity is deemed good, while that which hinders and brings injury to humanity is deemed evil. Humans created the code and it is they who enforce it. No gods are needed for ethical behavior.

    2. Your definition of the "soul" and the "spirit" are pure gibberish. I will not waste my time by commenting on them further.

    3. I do not believe that there is a life after death for humanity. It's merely wishful thinking.
  3. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    02 Mar '05 04:32
    If you believe (and stand firm in that belief because there is no way to "prove otherwise" that there is no life after death, then there is no need to be "good". After all, why bother? No worries. Do as you desire. Morality and ethics are out the window. There is no "good" or "bad". If it feels good, do it.

    Rob's response is sufficient for this. I must ask you, "Is a perceived threat from a "supernatural" power all that is keeping you from murdering, raping, and generally being destructive to society?"

    If you believe there is life after death, then it must fall in the "heaven or hell"/purgatory/reincanation category.

    I disagree. What if the part of you that lives on after the body dies just floats around on earth? What if that part of you zips around the universe unconstrained by the laws governing matter? What if you enter into another reality that is neither a "heaven" in that it is a paradise nor a "hell" in that it is eternal torture nor a waiting chamber for either? Once you allow for a "supernatural," there are an undefined number of possibilities. It's all up to your imagination.

    If you believe in "heaven or hell", then you must also believe in God and the devil and good/evil and you live your life accordingly.

    Plenty of cultures have believed in a "heaven"-type place and a "hell"-type place without believing in anyone named God or anyone called "the devil. All of them that I have looked at had some standards of good and evil though you might be surprised by some of these standards. The Maya Quiche, for example, placed a high value on deceit and trickery.

    If you believe in purgatory, then you also believe in God and the devil and good/evil and hope that someone still living is praying for your soul to go to Heaven.

    Not sure about a waiting place, but I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the Greeks or any other culture had something similar, again without believing in "God" or "the devil."

    If you believe in reincarnation, then you must also believe in good and evil because you must choose to be "good" so that you will return on earth as a better creature. If you're not good, you might end up as a fly and have to feed on excrement and such.

    Again not true. Some who believe in reincarnation do think that your behavior affects your next life, but there is no reason to make this assumption. One could very well say that you are reincarnated, and nothing you do now affects how you will return.

    And as a fly, will you still have the ability to choose between good and evil?

    I like this question. It may be a conundrum for some people who believe in reincarnation and that your actions affect the form in which you are reborn.

    In all these beliefs except the first one, the "soul" of man has to be acknowledged and accepted as fact.

    If you rigorously stick to the definition of "soul" here as the part of man that lives on after the body dies, then I think we can use it. Be careful not to slip any extra, superfluous characteristics onto "soul" that may be unwarranted.

    Someone once told me that man is created with three parts - the body, the soul, and the spirit.

    Was (s)he ancient Greek? Anyway I guess since this whole discussion falls into dualism, we might as well go with it. Do you have any non-arbitrary way of distinguishing soul and spirit?

    The body is the "flesh". The tangible part of man.
    Ok, the body is material. I agree.

    The soul is the eternal being of man; unseen, reasoning, believing.
    What about the brain? Doesn't it do the reasoning and believing? Still in order to talk of afterlifes we must have something that lives on after the body is gone.

    The spirit is the part of man that is also unseen and acts upon the body based upon the reasoning of the soul.

    This is incredibly vague. Also couldn't we interchange the roles of spirit and soul without loss of generality? It just sounds like a very poorly thought out story. For instance, I could also say that there is a fourth component called the spiroul that is also unseen aids the spirit in acting upon the body or maybe a soulirit that is unseen and aids the soul in acting upon the spirit. Either one is as good as you've got there.

    Why not just stick with dualism? Body and Spirit (or Soul). No need for that superfluous intermediary.

    You can use your senses and generally accept the fact that you have a body.
    True.

    You can reason and ask why and give answers to the best of your reasoning. You can do math and calculus and argue the existance of God. Let's call this the soul.

    Uh . . . Ok I guess. Although scans of the brain on a patient doing math problems make me think that the brain is responsible for these things. I guess the soul is the homunculus in your head.

    You see a stoplight. You decide to stop. You press on the break and stop your car or you step on the gas and run the red. Let's call this the spirit.

    Where is the spirit here exactly? So far all I see is the effect of the brain and the neural system in coordination with the muscular system. I think your spirit is incredibly vague and superfluous. Why can't you say that the soul decides to stop, and then the brain and body take over from there?

    If you believe there is no "body", then you don't exist in this realm. End of story.

    Or you are a solipsist. Or maybe you just believe that you are only a soul and the rest is just a perception of the soul.

    If you believe that man has no soul, then there is no need for accountability. You can do as you please and accept what is done to you.

    See my first paragraph in this post.

    You are nothing more than an animal that can be owned, whipped, put to labor, beaten, chopped up and put in the stew. You can also be cherished, fed, petted, trained, and put in the pound when you get old.

    Gosh you can be awefully cruel to animals. Be careful. According to the hypothesis you've laid out so far, you can't be sure if animals don't at least have a spirit. I mean what else makes them run/swim/fly this way or that way? Also just because something can be done does not necessarily imply that it should be done.

    If you don't believe in having a spirit, then you are comatose and unable to respond. Again, end of story. A worm wriggling to get out from between your fingers would be more spirited.

    Oh so I guess animals do have spirits. I guess they must also have souls then. Since the role of the spirit is to "act upon the body based upon the reasoning of the soul."

    There is no reason to think that a "spirit," whatever that is, is required for you two interact with the material world. Again this is what the brain and rest of the body are for.

    If you say that without a spirit you are comatose, then why is it that a swift blow to the head, causing damage to the brain, can make you comatose? The same goes for a overdose of the right drugs. How do these material things damage the non-material spirit?

    I know i've probably generalized quite a bit and there are many here that is very reasonable and, admittedly, quite intelligent in their reasoning.

    So, if I have missed something, please post.


    Well, that's my thought on the matter. When I was a Christian, I used to come up with models of how the body, soul, and spirit interacted. In the end, just about anything worked for spirit and soul as long as they were unseen and some how connected to the individual.

    Is there life after death for humanity?

    Maybe. And if the animals have souls then maybe for them too. I doubt it though. I suspect that we are simply material beings and that the particles that make up our bodies become seperated, dispersed, and/or reassembled in a new way after we die.


  4. Standard member krisvictor
    Chess Student
    02 Mar '05 05:12
    Originally posted by rwingett
    You've generalized quite a bit? I'd say that's an understatement. Of course I agree with nothing you've said here.

    1. Not believing in god or life after death does not mean you're free to do as you please. That's a ridiculous notion. People are still bound by a code of ethics. But that code is a human adaptation and is not handed down on stone by ...[text shortened]... I do not believe that there is a life after death for humanity. It's merely wishful thinking.
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Not believing in god or life after death does not mean you're free to do as you please. That's a ridiculous notion. People are still bound by a code of ethics,

    Code of ethics? What ethics? Based upon who or what? Where is your standard? Where is your basis for determining what is ethical?

    Any action you make based upon your ethics will have a reaction.

    What will bind others to YOUR code of ethics?

    But that code is a human adaptation and is not handed down on stone by some mythical god creature.

    The "code" you speak of is a human adaptation from what? Where was it adapted from? Why would humanity want to adapt a "code of ethics" that will "inhibit" them from "excess behaviour"?

    As people do not like being murdered, they decide to make murder illegal. To put it more broadly, that which aids and brings comfort to humanity is deemed good, while that which hinders and brings injury to humanity is deemed evil. Humans created the code and it is they who enforce it.

    You realize that this is totally rubbish. For one thing, just because it is "illegal" doesn't mean it isn't done.
    Some will say that S&M is pleasureable and is deemed good; whipping though it brings injury, is pleasurable.
    Do you believe "beheading infidels" is evil? Some muslims believe this is good. Others believe it is fine to kill one to save many.

    A deed done behind closed doors is not held to account and therefore enforcing the "accepted code of ethics (the law) is not possible without proof.

    What I am asking is... who determines what is good and what is evil... And why? What for? So what if Hitler killed millions. There is no soul so there is no accountability after death. Genocide is ok. Euthanesia is fine.
    Molesting children is pleasurable to others. Just because you say "this is unacceptable" doesn't mean they have to listen to you, does it?

    Your definition of the "soul" and the "spirit" are pure gibberish. I will not waste my time by commenting on them further.
    In other words.... you haven't a clue.

    I do not believe that there is a life after death for humanity. It's merely wishful thinking.
    Why would anyone "wish" for accountability after death? Wouldn't it be more "liberating" if there is no accountability after death? You can do whatever you want! Then again... so can others. And you know what happens when people do what they want without being accountable.

    Kris
  5. Standard member krisvictor
    Chess Student
    02 Mar '05 05:50
    Response to Telerion

    I must ask you, "Is a perceived threat from a "supernatural" power all that is keeping you from murdering, raping, and generally being destructive to society?"

    You think not? Deed done in public, the public will deal with. Deeds done in secret... Who will hold you accountable?

    I disagree.... (shortened).... It's all up to your imagination.
    The part that lives on float about?!?!
    Enter into another reality neither heaven or hell?!?!
    I made a premise that man has a soul. What exactly are you talking about?

    Plenty of cultures have believed in a "heaven"-type place and a "hell"-type place... (shortened) The Maya Quiche, for example, placed a high value on deceit and trickery.
    Are you talking about ethics?

    Some who believe in reincarnation... (shortened) nothing you do now affects how you will return.
    How does reincarnation explain the population growth?

    What about the brain? Doesn't it do the reasoning and believing? Still in order to talk of afterlifes we must have something that lives on after the body is gone.
    Are you saying we are nothing more than chemical reactions and electrical impulses?
    Are we nothing more than animals that survive strictly on instinct?
    Animals in danger do two things... fight or flight.
    Humans have a third choice... reason.
    How do you explain your ability to reason?

    Why can't you say that the soul decides to stop, and then the brain and body take over from there?
    There are three women on a bench. One decided to walk away. How many women are left on the bench?
    If you answer "two", you are wrong. A decision without action is just a decision. An action upon a decision is an act causing a reaction (the other two decided to leave also because they all had to go to the bathroom and women don't like to go to the bathroom by themselves).
    I decided to play golf this Saturday. My wife decided I should stay home. I'm not playing golf this Saturday.

    Is there life after death for humanity?

    Maybe. And if the animals have souls then maybe for them too. I doubt it though. I suspect that we are simply material beings and that the particles that make up our bodies become seperated, dispersed, and/or reassembled in a new way after we die.


    So.. there is no accountability for you. You are not accountable to anyone for anything except for those based upon ethics you accept from others who agree with you.

    Again I ask... What's the point in "doing good" if there is nothing after death? What is the point in "improving humanity" if there is no reward? What's the point in having ethics based upon a "generally accepted good" when humanity cannot agree on what is "good"?

    However, if there is "life" after death, then we shall all be accountable to whoever gives us "life" after death.

    (Good response, Telerion, but you're still missing the point).
    Kris





  6. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    02 Mar '05 22:32
    Originally posted by krisvictor
    Originally posted by rwingett
    [b]Not believing in god or life after death does not mean you're free to do as you please. That's a ridiculous notion. People are still bound by a code of ethics,


    Code of ethics? What ethics? Based upon who or what? Where is your standard? Where is your basis for determining what is ethical?

    Any action you ...[text shortened]... hers. And you know what happens when people do what they want without being accountable.

    Kris[/b]
    All ethics are human ethics. Every ethical code that has ever existed is a manmade code. One of the first that we know of is the Code of Hammurabi, king of the ancient Babylonians. That code was created by men and not gods. Unless you are claiming that the Babylonian gods are real, that is.

    Ever since mankind has been able to conceptualize his own mortality he has fashioned ethical codes to suit his circumstances. As his circumstances change, his ethical codes have changed along with them. One thing that has never changed is that all men value their own life. Therefore every civilization has agreed that murder should not be allowed. This is a practical consideration that has nothing to do with some fictitious gods. People universally want to live their lives free from the fear of being murdered at every turn. So they pass laws against murder and use their collective strength to stop murderers and/or punish them. Murders still happen, yes, but murderers are villified and people who abstain from murder are praised.

    But what has changed is man's conception of what constitutes murder. There are many gray areas between what constitutes acceptable killing and what is unacceptable. Our attitude toward battle deaths, capital punishment, and self defense, have all been modified thoughout the ages, and will continue to be modified more. These are practical human considerations and not avenues for divine commandments.

    While there is undoubtedly much room for interpretation, ethical codes (as I've already stated) say that which enhances and aids human life is good, while that which hinders or injures human life is evil. Humans decide what is good and evil. They devise ethical codes which will suit their collective needs so that may all expect a chance to live and prosper in relative peace.

    Genocide is unnaceptable because people do not like being exterminated. So they take active measures to prevent genocide from happening so they can be free (as much as is possible) from the worry of being exterminated themselves. Molesting children is universally held to be evil. This is no guarantee from stopping its occurance, but it goes a long way toward that goal. People who would wilfully transgress in this area have to face the chances of being caught and punished. Once again, these are practical considerations which have absolutely nothing to do with any gods.
  7. 03 Mar '05 14:06
    Originally posted by krisvictor
    Again I ask... What's the point in "doing good" if there is nothing after death? What is the point in "improving humanity" if there is no reward?
    The point in "doing good" is to make our time here as pleasant as possible for ourselves and for others. Seems a worthy enough goal to me.

    If the only thing that motivates someone to do good is fear of divine punishment and/or the desire to be rewarded after death, then by all means, I hope they continue to follow their faith. However, I think people who do good simply because it's the right thing to do in the here and now are holding themselves to a much higher moral standard.
  8. Standard member wib
    Stay outta my biznez
    03 Mar '05 14:36
    Originally posted by padawan60
    The point in "doing good" is to make our time here as pleasant as possible for ourselves and for others. Seems a worthy enough goal to me.

    If the only thing that motivates someone to do good is fear of divine punishment and/or the desire to be rewarded after death, then by all means, I hope they continue to follow their faith. However, I think peop ...[text shortened]... e right thing to do in the here and now are holding themselves to a much higher moral standard.
    Amen. Well said.
  9. Standard member jimmyb270
    Top Gun
    03 Mar '05 15:42
    Originally posted by padawan60
    The point in "doing good" is to make our time here as pleasant as possible for ourselves and for others. Seems a worthy enough goal to me.

    If the only thing that motivates someone to do good is fear of divine punishment and/or the desire to be rewarded after death, then by all means, I hope they continue to follow their faith. However, I think peop ...[text shortened]... e right thing to do in the here and now are holding themselves to a much higher moral standard.
    Understood, but what is the point of making our time here pleasant...in fact, what is the point of living out our time here at all, if there is nothing later? I'm not talking about rewards or eternal happiness or any nonsense like that, I just want me to go on existing.
    For the record, I don't believe in the after life, not really. I just really, really hope there is one.
  10. 03 Mar '05 15:52
    Originally posted by rwingett
    3. I do not believe that there is a life after death for humanity. It's merely wishful thinking.
    Of course you only hope it is wishful thinking or else you may be woefully unprepared for what's next.
  11. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    03 Mar '05 16:15
    Originally posted by eagles54
    Of course you only hope it is wishful thinking or else you may be woefully unprepared for what's next.
    So might you. If there does turn out to be a life after death, what are the chances that it will turn out to be a specifically christian version? If there is a life after death then the Hindus have just as good of a chance as being right as the christians do.
  12. 03 Mar '05 16:19
    Originally posted by jimmyb270
    Understood, but what is the point of making our time here pleasant...in fact, what is the point of living out our time here at all, if there is nothing later? I'm not talking about rewards or eternal happiness or any nonsense like that, I just want me to go on existing.
    .
    I'd like to go on existing, too, but the older I get, the more I realize that it just ain't gonna happen. As for an afterlife, I don't believe in one, either, but would certainly like to find out post-mortem that I was wrong. The prospect of absolute oblivion is, to be sure, highly unappealing.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, there isn't any overall "point" to life -- it just is. But since we humans possess the (arguably unfortunate) knowledge that our lives are finite, many of us desperately want there to be some larger point to our existence, so we make one up. Thus the recipe for religion, which makes us feel cared about in a vast and very uncaring universe. And if a given religion helps get someone through the day, then that's fine by me -- I'll happily leave them alone about it as long as they grant me the same courtesy. It's only when believers start telling me that I need to respect and/or obey their particular flavor of security blanket that I start getting testy.

  13. 03 Mar '05 16:39
    Originally posted by rwingett
    So might you. If there does turn out to be a life after death, what are the chances that it will turn out to be a specifically christian version? If there is a life after death then the Hindus have just as good of a chance as being right as the christians do.
    I am not Christian. Just so you know.

    I don't feel that our personal expiration on this earth will lead to an eternal state or to one that is nihilistic and completely void.

    How can no result occur from the cause of our lives? Were our minds produced from no cause and now slip back into a void again? I don't understand how that would work.

    I don't believe that the belief of life after death is necessarily wishful thinking even if it is expected. After all, a person has no idea what lies beyond. It may not be pleasant at all and rather than wishing for it, it may be intensely feared. Especially on one's deathbed.
  14. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    03 Mar '05 17:11
    Originally posted by eagles54
    I am not Christian. Just so you know.

    I don't feel that our personal expiration on this earth will lead to an eternal state or to one that is nihilistic and completely void.

    How can no result occur from the cause of our lives? Were our minds produced from no cause and now slip back into a void again? I don't understand how that would work.

    I don ...[text shortened]... all and rather than wishing for it, it may be intensely feared. Especially on one's deathbed.
    What existed before your conciousness came into being? Why wouldn't you merely revert to that pre-concious state. The universe existed for billions of years before I was born. Why should it bother me in the slightest that it will continue to exist for billions of years without me after I'm gone?
  15. 03 Mar '05 17:19
    Originally posted by rwingett
    What existed before your conciousness came into being? Why wouldn't you merely revert to that pre-concious state. The universe existed for billions of years before I was born. Why should it bother me in the slightest that it will continue to exist for billions of years without me after I'm gone?
    Maybe your mind continues, propelled by all your previous actions. In that case, you might then take a new birth based on causes that had been established previously.