1. SubscriberFMF
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    13 Jan '18 22:541 edit
    Ragwort posted:"What if God gave humanity the notion of eternity to enable us to provide a societal narrative beyond our individual lifetime? Such a narrative might better help us to avoid conflict with our neighbours and environment in the here and now to give our species better chances to reach the next millenia. I might consider myself a theist but I am no fan of pie in the sky when you die. "

    Virtually all codified religions seem to promise a life after death in return for adherence.

    Does this not suggest that such a supposed 'reward' simply reflects the rather mudane and understandable aspirations and insecurities of mortal humans - across every culture, and right down through history - rather than reflect any truth in the notion of supernatural immortality for human beings?

    In short: [1] Why is there this link drawn, over and over again, by all manner of theist belief systems, between the existence of a creator god and the notion of life after death? [2] What's the matter with idea of a creator god creating beings with a finite opportunity to experience life?

    Is it just the human condition that results in this created-therefore-immortal link, as in [1] above, cropping up time and time again in religious creeds, while the possibility of a created-but-mortal reality, as in [2] above, is discounted (by religionists) as being implausible?
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
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    14 Jan '18 00:48
    Originally posted by @fmf
    Ragwort posted:[b]"What if God gave humanity the notion of eternity to enable us to provide a societal narrative beyond our individual lifetime? Such a narrative might better help us to avoid conflict with our neighbours and environment in the here and now to give our species better chances to reach the next millenia. I might consider myself a theist but ...[text shortened]... eated-but-mortal reality, as in [2] above, is discounted (by religionists) as being implausible?
    I think that you cannot see through your sneering that you are misusing the word 'immortal'.
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    14 Jan '18 01:041 edit
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    I think that you cannot see through your sneering that you are misusing the word 'immortal'.
    With the word "immortal", I am referring to never-ending life after death or to "life everlasting".

    "The belief in an afterlife is a fundamental tenet of most religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Judaism, and the Bahá'í Faith". [wiki]

    Also, "Eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, as outlined in Christian eschatology. The Apostles' Creed testifies: 'I believe... the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.'" [wiki]

    Just one more example: "Hindus believe in an immortal soul which is reincarnated after death. According to Hinduism, people repeat a process of life, death, and rebirth in a cycle called samsara." [wiki]

    And so on. Perfectly appropriate for this discussion (if there is one).
  4. Standard memberapathist
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    14 Jan '18 01:08
    Originally posted by @fmf...
    Virtually all codified religions seem to promise a life after death in return for adherence.
    Does this not suggest that such a supposed 'reward' simply reflects the rather mudane and understandable aspirations and insecurities of mortal humans - across every culture, and right down through history - rather than reflect any truth in the notion of supernatural immortality for human beings? ...
    All of the religions are talking about the same thing, but that doesn't make any of them right. Did I paraphrase fair enough?

    Reveal Hidden Content
    Immortality doesn't mean the individual survives as an individual. Even (or especially) among the secular, creating art or making babies or building a farm is seen as a type of immortality.
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    14 Jan '18 01:15
    Originally posted by @apathist
    All of the religions are talking about the same thing, but that doesn't make any of them right. Did I paraphrase fair enough?
    "All of the religions are talking about the same thing", so maybe this phenomenon is more about the reality of human nature than it is about the reality of there being a chance to experience unending existence.
  6. SubscriberFMF
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    14 Jan '18 01:181 edit
    Originally posted by @apathist
    Immortality doesn't mean the individual survives as an individual. Even (or especially) among the secular, creating art or making babies or building a farm is seen as a type of immortality.
    This sense of 'immortality' is perhaps beyond the purview of this thread but it may well be pertinent on Thread 175554.
  7. Standard memberapathist
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    14 Jan '18 01:451 edit
    Originally posted by @fmf
    "All of the religions are talking about the same thing", so maybe this phenomenon is more about the reality of human nature than it is about the reality of there being a chance to experience unending existence.
    We know that our thoughts memories desires fears are produced by the brain. Dead brains turn to dust. Those two dots seem easy to connect.

    I'm a nature pagan and so believe we are like drops of water that return to the sea. So I ask: why is it that human nature causes beliefs in immortality? A weird psychological quirk?
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    14 Jan '18 01:521 edit
    Originally posted by @apathist
    So I ask: why is it that human nature causes beliefs in immortality? A weird psychological quirk?
    I think it’s intelligence, the ability to perceive beyond the here and now; but we will never know if apes have aspirations of an afterlife.
  9. SubscriberFMF
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    14 Jan '18 01:55
    Originally posted by @apathist
    So I ask: why is it that human nature causes beliefs in immortality?
    I would suggest that it's both the prospect of death and the sense that there must be something more that our capacity for conjecture gives rise to. It's so widespread and enduring, I don't think it can be described as weird. I think it's an understandable upshot of the human condition.
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    14 Jan '18 02:02
    Originally posted by @divegeester
    I think it’s intelligence, the ability to perceive beyond the here and now; but we will never know if apes have aspirations of an afterlife.
    ... but we will never know if apes have aspirations of an afterlife.
    Sure we do: what do they build?
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    14 Jan '18 02:21
    Originally posted by @freakykbh
    Sure we do: what do they build?
    Go on...
  12. Standard memberapathist
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    14 Jan '18 02:32
    Exactly what may be so special about your experience or my experience that we wish it to be forever? If you live a thousand years, would you remember the first 900?

    It is what we share that has meaning. Not sure how to defend that concept. Ready to try, though.
  13. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    14 Jan '18 02:34
    Originally posted by @fmf
    Ragwort posted:[b]"What if God gave humanity the notion of eternity to enable us to provide a societal narrative beyond our individual lifetime? Such a narrative might better help us to avoid conflict with our neighbours and environment in the here and now to give our species better chances to reach the next millenia. I might consider myself a theist but I am no fan of pie in the sky when you die. "[/b]
    My first reaction on re-reading this quote is, "you'd have to be pretty dumb not to realize that society was going to continue after your lifetime."

    Seriously, any halfway intelligent society that could produce offspring had to realize that the offspring was destined to grow up and create their own offspring, and so on, and so forth.

    I do not see why any other construct is needed to convey this concept.
  14. SubscriberFMF
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    14 Jan '18 02:40
    Originally posted by @apathist
    Exactly what may be so special about your experience or my experience that we wish it to be forever?
    I think, for a lot of people, the 'afterlife' represents a paradise that is reached after navigating the trials and tribulations of life on earth. ~ Indeed, the prospect of that paradise is what gives people both a feeling of purpose and the nuts and bolts of an approach to navigating them.
  15. Standard memberapathist
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    14 Jan '18 02:58
    Originally posted by @fmf
    I think, for a lot of people, the 'afterlife' represents a paradise that is reached after navigating the trials and tribulations of life on earth. ~ Indeed, the prospect of that paradise is what gives people both a feeling of purpose and the nuts and bolts of an approach to navigating them.
    I agree. Life strives.

    I guess my problem here is the idea that a feeling of purpose is in some way possibly false.

    Predator/prey works, but does that mean there is not a better way.
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