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A big bloke in black carrying a scythe

post #1 of 227
Thread Starter 
Let's go way off topic, amigos.....As a newspaper journalist, The Blue Meanie comes into (indirect) contact with death, both sudden (car wrecks, etc) and expected (disease, etc), more often than he would like. And that can't help but set a bloke thinking. So, O estimable fellow Appleinsiderers, my questions to you are:
A) Is there an afterlife?
& B) And if so, does it depend on subscription to dogma and fixed religious belief?
The Blue Meanie's answers would be:
A) Yes
B) No, absolutely not

PS - My copy of iTunes just started playing "Don't Fear The Reaper" <img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" />
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post #2 of 227
A) I don't know and hopefully won't find out for another 60 years or so
B) I hope not

I figure, I can't know about the afterlife in this life, so why worry about it? Might as well live this life to the fullest, and whatever happens happens
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post #3 of 227
A) No. Sorry but when you die you die and that's it. Worm food.

B) Not applicable.

J :cool:
post #4 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Jamie:
<strong>A) No. Sorry but when you die you die and that's it. Worm food.

B) Not applicable.

J :cool: </strong><hr></blockquote>

I hope that was sarcasm..otherwise what good would it do to be living? I couldn't imagine living my life so that at the end That's it! nothing else.

Sorry, I just disagree with you. I would like to hope that there IS something after death.

As for B. well..I hope not too..but it gets me to thinking sometimes
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post #5 of 227
I defer my response to Captain Jean Luc Picard, who puts it quite elegantly:

"You're asking probably the most difficult of all questions. Some see it as a changing into an indestructable form, forever unchanging. They believe that the purpose of the entire universe is to then maintain that form in an Earth-like garden which will give delight and pleasure through all eternity. On the other hand, there are those who hold to the idea of our blinking into nothingness *snap* with all of our experiences and hopes and dreams merely a delusion.

"Considering the marvelous complexity of the universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of of this against that, matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension, I believe that our existence must be more than either of these philosophies, that what we are goes beyond Euclydian or other practical measuring systems and that our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality."

In other words... yo no sé. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

[ 03-09-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
post #6 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Josey Wales:
<strong>

I hope that was sarcasm..otherwise what good would it do to be living? I couldn't imagine living my life so that at the end That's it! nothing else.

Sorry, I just disagree with you. I would like to hope that there IS something after death.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

It wasn't sarcasm. I'd like to think that when my life ends it will end full of great memories. Too many people get hung up concentrating on what'll happen when they die rather than what they can do to make LIFE more interesting.

And don't apologise for disagreeing. It's healthy to have different opinions. Life would be pretty boring otherwise.

J :cool:
post #7 of 227
I'm with Jamie. You have one lifetime, make the most of it.
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post #8 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:

I'm with Jamie. You have one lifetime, make the most of it.<hr></blockquote>

I agree with the "make the most of it" part.

As for Blue Meanie's questions:

A.) Yes.
B.) Does it depend on a subscription to a particular religious belief? Of course not. Your existence doesn't require my belief in you. Why should God's? Something either is or it isn't. If my belief is misplaced, it won't matter a bit how hard I believe. And if it's not, the unbelief of another isn't going to undo anything.
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post #9 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>A) Is there an afterlife?
& B) And if so, does it depend on subscription to dogma and fixed religious belief?</strong><hr></blockquote>A: I don't believe in one.
B: Given my answer to A, I sure hope not.
post #10 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

I agree with the "make the most of it" part.

As for Blue Meanie's questions:

A.) Yes.
B.) Does it depend on a subscription to a particular religious belief? Of course not. Your existence doesn't require my belief in you. Why should God's? Something either is or it isn't. If my belief is misplaced, it won't matter a bit how hard I believe. And if it's not, the unbelief of another isn't going to undo anything.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well spotted, I don't think I worded that as well as I could have done. What I meant by question B was: does a good result in the afterlife depend on subscription to a particular religious belief?
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post #11 of 227
1. No, worm-food agreed
2. How could it? How would anyone know which religion was the correct one?.

I have raised this point several times in discussions here*. If you're a Christian and it transpires that when you die, Allah really was the GOD (Im not good at technicalities, just concepts), then are you ****ed?

Now, both Christians and whatever faith believes in Allah, genuinely believe they speak/get direction from their 'figurehead'. They make personal sacrifices all their life in the persuit of their faith. Someone has to be wrong? so whats the point?

I believe faiths were formed by primitive man to try to make sense of unexplained factors of human life. We'd all laugh now if someone started a raindance and they really believed it would rain as much as a christian believes he talks to jesus. But people used to do this before they discovered how rain really formed. They used to worship the Sun God. Their piers would tell them that if they did not do it, then they would die, and go to some hell like place. All stupidity now, but there are many parallels with modern religions.

Religion is created to keep order amongst the common masses. Crowd control. Do you really think that Bush means God bless us, when he sends 10k troops into Afganistan? Really, its just propaganda. He ond others have access to some of the greatest minds/technology in the world. There are people who have seen things that make 'praying to Jesus' seem just as stupid as praying to the sungod. But they can't tell us. Obviously because it would cause a revolt in middle America.

People, your life has no more a significance than a common earth worm. The fact that we have evolved into semi-intelligent beings is really a moot point. At the end of the day, we're all here just to ****, to keep the species alive. Now, it would be rediculious not to use our intelligence, to create something better of the world or ourselves.
After all, if we didn't have this intelligence, we literally would just eat, sleep and procreate. We wouldn't worry ourselves with worshipping God, because we have no understanding of the concept.

Accept, that were all here for a very short time, it means nothing in the big picture of things, so make the most of yourselves while it lasts.

Sadly, I'd like to believe there was something more, I really wish there was GOD, but im a smart guy, I've thought about this alot, and there is no way that there ever could be.

*Edit, and no-ones ever given me anything like an legitimate answer

[ 03-09-2002: Message edited by: MarcUK ]</p>
post #12 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>
People, your life has no more a significance than a common earth worm. The fact that we have evolved into semi-intelligent beings is really a moot point... Now, it would be rediculious not to use our intelligence, to create something better of the world or ourselves. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Why? Given your worldview this doesn't make very much sense.
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post #13 of 227
The atheists can't do a better job than the theists on this point. "If so, prove it," has an equally potent counter-point: "If not, prove it."

Neither is testable. Some will be tempted into a 'simplest explanation' route. It doesn't really apply here. It is not 'simpler' to say that there is no God. This kind of negative is untestable, as useless as the proposition, there is a God. This is not like testing a negative as, say, "Prove there is no Santa Clause." The causal foundation of a God question (of our science and our logic) suggests the very notion of God to us. I may be faulty, but we can no better test either side.

We're not talking about the fantastical permutations in the minds of the devout. That is, yes, a concept deployed as much to allay fears as to explain anything. God may not have any need, or concern, or perceptible connection with us. We may be irrelevant. We may not be. We do not know.

An 'impressive design' or 'glorious accident' exists. I don't think it would be meaningless either way for us to live 'it' at least once. And in either case wasting 'it' ought to be understood as a sin, as far as we understand sin.

This is such a difficult question because our faculties are generally not up to the task, and our emotions cheat us -- even in the cases where our intellect is nearly competent. The more I think about it, the more I think that both these answers of a god question are equally dishonest about their general motivations.
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post #14 of 227
A. Nope
B. Well, since there are many different religions who claim that they are the only true one, and that all others burn in eternal torment. It is logical to assume that everybody will suffer eternally. Hell must be one large place!
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post #15 of 227
Why make the answer hard?

A) yes

B) Not in the sense that you questioned it. But your afterlife does depend on something, and you know what that thing is. You just don't want to believe it.

Ok, maybe that was a little hard.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #16 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by RyanTheGreat:
<strong>B. Well, since there are many different religions who claim that they are the only true one, and that all others burn in eternal torment. It is logical to assume that everybody will suffer eternally. Hell must be one large place! </strong><hr></blockquote>

There are many different religions. And many teach that they are the one true religion. Some people look at all the religions in the world and think, what a scam. And others (like myself) feel that there is a God, and there is an afterlife. Being that we see as through a mirror only dimly it is hard for some to believe that anyone can "know" the truth.

And the size of heaven and hell is irrelevant. Either one will be big enough to handle whoever chooses which one. Yes I said chooses.
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post #17 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by RyanTheGreat:
<strong>
B. Well, since there are many different religions who claim that they are the only true one, and that all others burn in eternal torment. It is logical to assume that everybody will suffer eternally. Hell must be one large place! </strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, still no answers to my previous questions, come on someone must be able to debate this properly.

And I'll add an argument to the side in favour of pro-God.

Q. Could it be that whatever religion/faith we subscribe too, we will be judged by 'the Real God' as too how we have conducted our lives/faith, based upon our limited flawed understanding of the issue. He/she will look upon our devotion to the concept rather than the specific figurehead we worship. Therefore if we lead 'good' lives, whatever religion, we may all go to heaven.

Q2. in my case, as I follow no figurehead, I would still go to heaven, because I lead a 'good' life, after all, my rejection of a figurehead, is no greater a flawed decision, than choosing between Jesus/Allah/your cat, because they are all wrong choices.
post #18 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

Why? Given your worldview this doesn't make very much sense.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I should have added, that although 'human life' has no more significance than an earthworm 'in the big picture', the fact that we have 'intelligence' means we can choose to 'create' a sytle of life for ourselves, good or bad. As we have this intelligence, we start to think that we are 'more significant' than other species, and we can think about dying before the event, we don't like this thought, so we create scenarios where dying is equated with good thought. I suspect all other creatures, dont think about dying, other than the natural 'fight or flight' situations when they're directly 'under attack', certainly they do not worship Gods. But as humans, our emotional need to connect something positive with dying, has given us the religious concept, which allows us to deal with these thoughts. If you can put aside your emotions and think unbiasedly, you can easily come to the conlusion that there is no God, your life is no more 'significant' than earthworm, and when you die, that really is the end. Back to the Earth you came from.


As to the reason "WHY" should we choose to create something better for ourselves, given my view of things. The answer is purely selfish. Intelligence has given us the ability to think. Once you start thinking, you become greedy. You start to 'want' The means to fullfilling this need, is to do some work. whether this transpires as 'positive' work, or 'negative' work, depends upon many things. But probably the biggest, is social acceptance, of which the underlying motivation, is again to fulfill a 'selfish' need. I know it all sounds rather grim, but the truth does hurt. Once you accept that this may be all there is, you can start to use your intelligence, to fullfill your needs, but you can also use it to fullfill other peoples needs, but who can honestly say, that if you do someone a good turn, that it doesn't make you feel good aswell, even if there are 'bad' consequences for yourself. Afterall, we know that 'suffering a consequence' to help someone else, gives us 'respect' from another social group, which in a way, can help to benefit a self fueled need.

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: MarcUK ]</p>
post #19 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by starfleetX:
<strong>I defer my response to Captain Jean Luc Picard, who puts it quite elegantly:

"You're asking probably the most difficult of all questions. Some see it as a changing into an indestructable form, forever unchanging. They believe that the purpose of the entire universe is to then maintain that form in an Earth-like garden which will give delight and pleasure through all eternity. On the other hand, there are those who hold to the idea of our blinking into nothingness *snap* with all of our experiences and hopes and dreams merely a delusion.

"Considering the marvelous complexity of the universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of of this against that, matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension, I believe that our existence must be more than either of these philosophies, that what we are goes beyond Euclydian or other practical measuring systems and that our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality."

In other words... yo no sé. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

[ 03-09-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Which episode was that in? Its a fair few years since I watched any ST: The Next Generation, so my memories are a little hazy. I do remember liking it though.
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post #20 of 227
NoahJ,

Simplistic, but not without merit.
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post #21 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Jamie:
<strong>A) No. Sorry but when you die you die and that's it. Worm food.

B) Not applicable.

J :cool: </strong><hr></blockquote>

If The Blue Meanie can get a little personal for a second, Jamie, have you ever lost anyone close to you I mean a friend or family member (not including grandparents)? If the answer is yes, then Im surprised by your use of such glib phrases as worm food.
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post #22 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>I'm with Jamie. You have one lifetime, make the most of it.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Admirable sentiments, Belle, but Im with Roger Ramjet on this one. I dont think there is any contradiction between making the most of this life and believing that there is an afterlife.
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post #23 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>

Sadly, I'd like to believe there was something more, I really wish there was GOD, but im a smart guy, I've thought about this alot, and there is no way that there ever could be.

*Edit, and no-ones ever given me anything like an legitimate answer

[ 03-09-2002: Message edited by: MarcUK ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Really? You sound very certain, but do you have any real evidence? What makes you think youre so smart? I would certainly agree that the only logical response to the differences between the various religions is dismiss all of them as equally wrong and equally right. But it doesnt logically follow from that decision that therefore there is no afterlife, spiritual dimension, God (whatever term you prefer). This is a point which seems very obvious to the Blue Meanie but which seems to elude so many people. They decide that dont like whatever religion they came into contact with at school or at home but dont seem to give it any thought beyond that. You know what I mean: Christianity/ Catholicism/ Judaism/ Islam/ (whatever) doesnt make sense/ is hypocritical/ is step out of step with modern science/ (whatever), therefore is no God but in the Blue Meanies humble view, that is a massive logical leap. Concepts like life after death, God, spirit, are quite separate from the interpretations of those ideas presented by the various religions. If we found out that two people we knew had different opinions of a third person we ourselves hadnt met, we wouldnt conclude that that person didnt exist we would just accept the fact that they had perceived the third person in different ways.
The Blue Meanies belief is that survival after death just happens, regardless of belief or behaviour, that is an intrinsic part of life. If you sincerely that after death were just worm food, then that is a perfectly valid opinion to take, but I think it is wrong to suggest that it is anything more than an opinion.
Personally, I have never bought into the concept of faith, which is treated with such politeness and respect in our society but which seems to me to be just a demand that we believe something without any evidence. And there does seem to be more evidence for survival after death than evidence that there is no survival judging from what Ive read, anyway.
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post #24 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by RyanTheGreat:
<strong>A. Nope
B. Well, since there are many different religions who claim that they are the only true one, and that all others burn in eternal torment. It is logical to assume that everybody will suffer eternally. Hell must be one large place! </strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, this is just my opinion, but I dont think there is any such place as Hell or even Heaven in the conventional sense of the term. These are medieval concepts dreamt up by the Church to brain wash and control the masses through fear. We dont need these ideas any more, IMHO. But I still think there is an afterlife and a spiritual dimension to existence.
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post #25 of 227
Hell and Heaven can be deployed with more elegance than those medieval concepts.
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post #26 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>
As to the reason "WHY" should we choose to create something better for ourselves, given my view of things. The answer is purely selfish. Intelligence has given us the ability to think. Once you start thinking, you become greedy. You start to 'want' The means to fullfilling this need, is to do some work. whether this transpires as 'positive' work, or 'negative' work, depends upon many things. But probably the biggest, is social acceptance, of which the underlying motivation, is again to fulfill a 'selfish' need. I know it all sounds rather grim, but the truth does hurt. Once you accept that this may be all there is, you can start to use your intelligence, to fullfill your needs, but you can also use it to fullfill other peoples needs, but who can honestly say, that if you do someone a good turn, that it doesn't make you feel good aswell, even if there are 'bad' consequences for yourself. Afterall, we know that 'suffering a consequence' to help someone else, gives us 'respect' from another social group, which in a way, can help to benefit a self fueled need.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You wrote about creating something better of the world or ourselves. This doesn't sound anything like that. You'd help someone else to fullfill your need for social acceptance. How does that better you? Seems you've quickly run into a dead end. And if the people you "help" are destined to be nothing more than worm food what keeps you from seeing them as nothing more than an end to your means? People can be interesting, funny, clever, surprising but so what? Attaching any worth to these qualities is just a way of participating in the illusion. What's more helping someone else often means dealing with people who are frustrating, difficult, hard-hearted. Screw social acceptance. Why deal with that?
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post #27 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

If The Blue Meanie can get a little personal for a second, Jamie, have you ever lost anyone close to you I mean a friend or family member (not including grandparents)?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes I have, including my Father.

[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>If the answer is yes, then Im surprised by your use of such glib phrases as worm food.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You're surprised? I like to speak things as they are and, in my opinion when you die that's it. Dead.

We are living things and so are flowers. If I pull a rose out of the garden I kill it. Does it just die or does it go on to flower heaven?

J
post #28 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Matsu:
<strong>The atheists can't do a better job than the theists on this point. "If so, prove it," has an equally potent counter-point: "If not, prove it."

Neither is testable. Some will be tempted into a 'simplest explanation' route. It doesn't really apply here. It is not 'simpler' to say that there is no God.</strong><hr></blockquote>I'm not sure I get you here. It would be very easy to prove God's existence, but virtually impossible to disprove.

If God came down and performed some miracles that broke the laws of physics, or followed the end-time prophecies in the Bible, or made people live as old as some of the stories in the Bible, or healed people, or walked on water, etc. There are many ways that God's existence could be proven. But we're told that's not the way God works.

On the other hand, science has disproven specific religious ideas - like when the earth was created - but people still believe, because you can't once and for all disprove God.
post #29 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>Why? Given your worldview this doesn't make very much sense.</strong><hr></blockquote>Are you saying there is no sense in making the world a better place if you're not religious?

The same charge has been made against the religious - if you're going to heaven or hell, then this life is just a small temporary slice, so who cares what happens? It's all about getting to the next stage, after all.

I think humanism can be either religious or secular. And you can be either religious or secular and be anti-humanist, too. I'm sure everyone can name a few prominent religious people that seem to follow a definitely non-humanist philosophy.
post #30 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:

<strong>Are you saying there is no sense in making the world a better place if you're not religious?</strong><hr></blockquote>

No, I was addressing his particular non-religious worldview. He said it was ridiculous not to try to leave the world a better place even though we're all destined to be nothing more than worm food. That isn't at all apparent.

[quote]<strong>The same charge has been made against the religious - if you're going to heaven or hell, then this life is just a small temporary slice, so who cares what happens? It's all about getting to the next stage, after all.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Huh? Why wouldn't a believer care whether it's heaven or hell?

[quote]<strong>I'm sure everyone can name a few prominent religious people that seem to follow a definitely non-humanist philosophy.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, and they are called hypocrites for it.

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #31 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>

Well, still no answers to my previous questions, come on someone must be able to debate this properly.

And I'll add an argument to the side in favour of pro-God.

Q. Could it be that whatever religion/faith we subscribe too, we will be judged by 'the Real God' as too how we have conducted our lives/faith, based upon our limited flawed understanding of the issue. He/she will look upon our devotion to the concept rather than the specific figurehead we worship. Therefore if we lead 'good' lives, whatever religion, we may all go to heaven.

Q2. in my case, as I follow no figurehead, I would still go to heaven, because I lead a 'good' life, after all, my rejection of a figurehead, is no greater a flawed decision, than choosing between Jesus/Allah/your cat, because they are all wrong choices.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I didn't see this when I posted my earlier response. The Blue Meanie's perspective would be that that no one judges us after death except ourselves. A judging God looking down on us is another medieval concept from orthodox religions designed to intimidate people into being obedient and accepting the power structures of the day.
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post #32 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Jamie:
<strong>

You're surprised? I like to speak things as they are and, in my opinion when you die that's it. Dead.

We are living things and so are flowers. If I pull a rose out of the garden I kill it. Does it just die or does it go on to flower heaven?

J</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, if that's the case, then I respect your views that little bit more. I have found that people who throw such armour-plated opinions around often don't really know what they're talking about. I suppose all I'd want to say is much the same as in my rambling reply to MarcUK above - that the worm food scenario is just your opinion. The situation might not be as clear-cut as you think it is.And as for the roses in your garden, well I know this is a deliberate reductio ad adsurdam, but at the risk of a few jibes I'm going to stick to my convicitions here. I don't think there is a flower heaven in the sense that you mean it, but yes, a rose contains life force (if that's the right phrase), just like Jamie and The Blue Meanie and Canadian elks and Pacific sea anemones, and life force is eternal IMHO. So I would say yes, some aspect of the rose will survive you pulling it out of the garden.
I think if you're going to believe in life after death, the only logical stance is some kind of afterlife all living things, not just people as so often assumed.
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #33 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>I'm not sure I get you here. It would be very easy to prove God's existence, but virtually impossible to disprove.

If God came down and performed some miracles that broke the laws of physics, or followed the end-time prophecies in the Bible, or made people live as old as some of the stories in the Bible, or healed people, or walked on water, etc. There are many ways that God's existence could be proven. But we're told that's not the way God works.

On the other hand, science has disproven specific religious ideas - like when the earth was created - but people still believe, because you can't once and for all disprove God.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think we can completely throw out the Bible and nebulous concepts like faith (see my reply to MarcUK above). They've really got nothing to do with questions like whether there is an afterlife, IMHO.
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
post #34 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

Really? You sound very certain, but do you have any real evidence? What makes you think youre so smart? I would certainly agree that the only logical response to the differences between the various religions is dismiss all of them as equally wrong and equally right. But it doesnt logically follow from that decision that therefore there is no afterlife, spiritual dimension, God (whatever term you prefer). This is a point which seems very obvious to the Blue Meanie but which seems to elude so many people. They decide that dont like whatever religion they came into contact with at school or at home but dont seem to give it any thought beyond that. You know what I mean: Christianity/ Catholicism/ Judaism/ Islam/ (whatever) doesnt make sense/ is hypocritical/ is step out of step with modern science/ (whatever), therefore is no God but in the Blue Meanies humble view, that is a massive logical leap. Concepts like life after death, God, spirit, are quite separate from the interpretations of those ideas presented by the various religions. If we found out that two people we knew had different opinions of a third person we ourselves hadnt met, we wouldnt conclude that that person didnt exist we would just accept the fact that they had perceived the third person in different ways.
The Blue Meanies belief is that survival after death just happens, regardless of belief or behaviour, that is an intrinsic part of life. If you sincerely that after death were just worm food, then that is a perfectly valid opinion to take, but I think it is wrong to suggest that it is anything more than an opinion.
Personally, I have never bought into the concept of faith, which is treated with such politeness and respect in our society but which seems to me to be just a demand that we believe something without any evidence. And there does seem to be more evidence for survival after death than evidence that there is no survival judging from what Ive read, anyway.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Ok, Im not claiming Im a real smart-arse git, Im just saying that i've been smart enough to think alot about the subject, and in general, I would think that most of my friends/piers regard me as as generally above average intelligence. My main interests apart from others are Science and Psychology, which naturally has led to discussions/thoughts on God/death/afterlife, call it what you will. I don't know if Im right, but I base my confident point of view on my experiences in the above fields. Im certainly not saying I believe Im correct, and the rest of you are fools for not taking my word.
Certainly, the fact that we grew up (most of us) in a Christian society, means that we will become either Christians, or non believers. Most people, i agree don't give it any further thought. As for evidence of more proof of an afterlife, than simply worm food, personally I find the arguments to be flawed, though agree that there have been some amazing OBE's that can't readily be explained.

What I find interesting, is that whenever we've had these sort of discussions here, I get little/no answers to some of the questions I've asked. Why is that? Are my Q's stupid, or are you afraid to search deep to formulate a reply?
post #35 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

You wrote about creating something better of the world or ourselves. This doesn't sound anything like that. You'd help someone else to fullfill your need for social acceptance. How does that better you? Seems you've quickly run into a dead end. And if the people you "help" are destined to be nothing more than worm food what keeps you from seeing them as nothing more than an end to your means? People can be interesting, funny, clever, surprising but so what? Attaching any worth to these qualities is just a way of participating in the illusion. What's more helping someone else often means dealing with people who are frustrating, difficult, hard-hearted. Screw social acceptance. Why deal with that?</strong><hr></blockquote>

On the contrary, Until you really understand that this is all there is, you cant really understand how you can make the world a better place. Sure, it is difficult to accept, that take away our intelligence, and this is what we are. Selfish animals. So we should use this accidental gift of intelligence to do positive things for ourselves and the planet. But you can't deny that virtually everything you do, is designed to further your own self interest in one way or another, regardless of whether it appears to be or not. Accept the truth of what we are first, and you can do more to make the world a better place second.
post #36 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>Admirable sentiments, Belle, but Im with Roger Ramjet on this one. I dont think there is any contradiction between making the most of this life and believing that there is an afterlife.</strong><hr></blockquote>
There isn't necessarily a contradiction, just perhaps an argument that lives are altered by such a belief.

One possibility, amongst a million others, is that the whole idea of an afterlife is merely a fable thought up a long time ago to make sure the kids ate their greens, brushed their teeth, and didn't murder grandpa.

There's a code of ethics that one has to adhere to if you want to see the afterlife in most religions, and the offer of eternal life would be enough of a carrot to many people to persuade them not to stray.

I'm not suggesting it's a bad thing at all, in fact I'd gladly support any form of bribery that would stop people needlessly killing each other.

As for Jamie's reference to worm food, seems to me I can be safe in the knowledge I'm doing some good once I'm dead, even if it's just taking my place further down the food chain. Now if you'd said cat food...
Chicanery.
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Chicanery.
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post #37 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>
On the contrary, Until you really understand that this is all there is, you cant really understand how you can make the world a better place. Sure, it is difficult to accept, that take away our intelligence, and this is what we are. Selfish animals. So we should use this accidental gift of intelligence to do positive things for ourselves and the planet. But you can't deny that virtually everything you do, is designed to further your own self interest in one way or another, regardless of whether it appears to be or not. Accept the truth of what we are first, and you can do more to make the world a better place second.</strong><hr></blockquote>

But none of you are bothering to answer my question: WHY? Why bother to make the world a better place if our best efforts ultimately have no meaning anyway? All you keep doing is telling me that I need to accept the "truth of what we are" first. What are you - some kind of oracle? How do you know that what you say is the truth? There's a second question for you to dodge now.
shooby doo, shooby doo
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post #38 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

But none of you are bothering to answer my question: WHY? Why bother to make the world a better place if our best efforts ultimately have no meaning anyway? All you keep doing is telling me that I need to accept the "truth of what we are" first. What are you - some kind of oracle? How do you know that what you say is the truth? There's a second question for you to dodge now. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Sure I'll answer the Question WHY, I won't give a quick response, I've been pondering over the issue Why abit lately, and to be truthful, havn't yet come to a definitive reason as to WHY we should make the world a better place, given that I believe i'll be wormfood in 50 years time. The most obvious answer to Why, is that a better world for everybody, is a better world for me, again self interest. But in complete contradition to my above post on accepting selfishness, I'd like to think that maybe there was more to it than that, and that is what i'll think about as I go too sleep tonight, and post tomorrow. As for Question 2. Im not an oracle, if you read further up I think I answered a similar question. Im prepared to answer any Q, but I don't know everything, and may need to reason a few feelings, before I give an answer I am happy to accept as my own.
post #39 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>But none of you are bothering to answer my question: WHY? Why bother to make the world a better place if our best efforts ultimately have no meaning anyway?</strong><hr></blockquote>I think it goes like this: if there is no heaven, then we have to make this world the best place it can be.

What I don't get is if there is a heaven, and you've already made it there by believing in God, then what motivation is there to improve life on earth?

Maybe I don't understand exactly how you get to heaven, but I thought you did it through a decision to accept Jesus as your savior, not necessarily by doing good deeds for others.
post #40 of 227
A quick thought I've had. If you DONT try to make the world a better place, it will degenerate into a worse place, and this is bad for yourself?

Edit: IF anyone has any external links on the Afterlife, that are scientifically based and not religious, please put 'em up

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: MarcUK ]</p>
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