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Old 01-22-2014, 08:52 PM
 
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Well one thing for sure, if religion did not promise an afterlife, there would have been a great deal less martyrs.
It's been argued that atheists don't have anything to live for, but in truth we don't have anything to die for. I don't want to live forever but I do want to hold on to this life as long as possible. And yes, this life is enough, if you take it for what it is.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Originally Posted by Sizzly Friddle View Post
You should ask this over in the Christianity forum. I don't think anyone here wants to live for eternity.

I started this thread over there last year. The responses were surprising.
What if I don't want to live forever?
I have to go along with this I think because I wasn't taught to believe in an eternal life so I don't know exactly what it is.

I do, however, love the show "The Prisoner."
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:52 PM
 
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Default Questions or points regarding "eternal life"

What the eternal life advocates and wishers don't seem to ever think about or bring up is the question "What about the fact that we, since the time we were conceived and then born, are continually aging/maturing physically/mentally/cognitively?" And we can all undeniably see the effects of our aging (our maturation and development as a living organism). I mean you are not the same at age 15 that you were at age 5 or 8 and not the same at age 58 as you were at age 33 and not the same at age 92 as you were at age 60, and so on and so on.

So, the question(s) from me for the eternal life advocates and wishers to answer (being that they so often speak as though they know all these answers about what happens after we die) is:
"So are you saying that, for those who die and then go on to live eternally under the scheme advanced by your religious perspective, are said persons, after their leaving this lifetime, not going to age anymore and just stay at that same stage of aging and physical maturation that they died at forever-- frozen in time --in this spoken-of afterlife? So when they leave this life and are resurrected, are they resurrected as the 98-year-old that they died as? Or as the 5-year-old that they died as? And they remain in that state of age/maturation in the afterlife FOREVER? So if a person died at 2 weeks or 3 months of age and couldn't even speak a sentence or conceive a coherent thought yet at that age, when they die and enter the afterlife, is your God (by whatever name your God goes by) going to mature them to some age or mindset where they are now more-matured adult-like cognitive thinking beings? or is this God going to keep them with the mind of an infant forevermore in the afterlife?"
"If Charlie Chaplin died at age 88 (which he did) and George Burns and Bob Hope died at age 100 (which they did), will they forever be in the body and mind of an infirmed, diseased, and broken-down 88-year-old or 100-year-old in the afterlife for all eternity? Or will your chosen God revert them to some younger age and state of health for all eternity? And what younger age will this be?"

"So if my mother's father died in 1937 at the age of 37 (which he did) and my mother died at age 82 in 2008 (which she did), will my mother of age 82 meet her much younger father at age 37 in the afterlife you propose (so a young man will meet his daughter as an old woman in her 80's? Or will he instead be at age 37 and meet her at the age of 11 that she was when he left her? Or if an infant of 3 days of age dies, when her or her his mother or father dies many years later, will they meet their newborn infant in the state-of-being of an infant or as a young adult or middle adult or senior or very senior adult?"

Without going on and on, I think you all get this gist of my questions. Now what if some of the eternal life advocates and wishers say something along the lines of "Well, we live eternally as SPIRITS, but not or not necessarily in our born physical bodies"? So the deceased 5-year-old's "spirit" remains as that of a 5-year-old's psychological and cognitive maturation level for all eternity after their death and never advances beyond that?

I guess the assorted religions that bring up these topics never get too detailed (if at all) about these details.

================================================== ====================

Another line of questioning for them: "And what exactly is it that eternal beings DO with their eternal time for all eternity?" In the Bible, for instance, they talk about there being a great feast or banquet for the saved. So we will still have the same physical need to consume foods of whatever type? So will the consumption of such foods have a metabolic effect on us or not? If we are eternal beings, why do we need food? And will we need to sleep as well? Will we work at all?"

They talk about spending time in heaven "glorifying God". So we will spend most or all of our time singing and expressing praises of God for all of eternity? And is this voluntary or is it forced or compelled? Or are we just automatons who simply do whatever your named "God" wills us to do?

Will we be truly free-willed beings in the afterlife? Or will we have our natures altered by God to be incapable of "sin"? So if we ARE, in fact, truly free-willed beings, are we free to ever disagree with God or be contrary to Him on whatever matter(s)? If so, what is to stop some of us from "sinning" again and starting the cycle all over again? And if not so, why are we not simply to be described as automatons?

================================================== ====================

Another line of questioning for them: "And where (locationally) is this eternal life supposed to prevail? In some wholly immaterial realm? Or in a physically-manifested realm such as we experience now (i.e., on planet Earth or some other celestial bodies in the cosmos)? And if you say "on planet Earth", then how are we going to spend our time on planet Earth? Will we sleep or not? Will we work or not? Will we live in cities or some other mode of living? Will there be government or not? Will we have physical bodies or manifestations at all or not?" And so on and so on and so on with unending questions for them.

================================================== ====================

In conclusion, it all makes little to no sense to me (i.e., all these ideas bandied about regarding the so-named "afterlife"). I get a feeling that when you'd ask them to spell out the details of what this afterlife entails, it would all unfurl and come across as a disorganized mish-mash of incoherent thoughts.

Last edited by UsAll; 02-05-2014 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,102,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UsAll View Post
"And what exactly is it that eternal beings DO with their eternal time for all eternity?" In the Bible, for instance, they talk about there being a great feast or banquet for the saved. So we will still have the same physical need to consume foods of whatever type? So will the consumption of such foods have a metabolic effect on us or not? If we are eternal beings, why do we need food? And will we need to sleep as well? Will we work at all?"
A guy and his wife die in a car accident and Peter meets them at the pearly gates. "Come", he says, "let me show you your new home." There's a beautiful mansion, and within it, a table piled high with every kind of delicious delicacy. Peter says, "Take, eat, all you like." The guy says, "no, this food is too fattening." Peter says, "Look, you don't understand. This is heaven. You can eat all you want, anything you want -- sugar, fat, doesn't matter. It can't hurt you anymore."

At this the guy throws a complete fit and starts throwing things. His wife and St Peter finally calm him down. "What on earth has gotten into you?" The wife asks.

"Damn you!" Says the guy. "If it wasn't for your blasted bran muffins, we could have been here ten years ago!!"
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
A guy and his wife die in a car accident and Peter meets them at the pearly gates. "Come", he says, "let me show you your new home." There's a beautiful mansion, and within it, a table piled high with every kind of delicious delicacy. Peter says, "Take, eat, all you like." The guy says, "no, this food is too fattening." Peter says, "Look, you don't understand. This is heaven. You can eat all you want, anything you want -- sugar, fat, doesn't matter. It can't hurt you anymore."

At this the guy throws a complete fit and starts throwing things. His wife and St Peter finally calm him down. "What on earth has gotten into you?" The wife asks.

"Damn you!" Says the guy. "If it wasn't for your blasted bran muffins, we could have been here ten years ago!!"

I don't quite get the joke or anecdote (i.e., the punchline). Perhaps you could explain it to me.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
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Originally Posted by UsAll View Post
I don't quite get the joke or anecdote (i.e., the punchline). Perhaps you could explain it to me.
The bran muffins, (his wife made him take care of himself) she helped him live longer. He wondered why they would want to live longer when heaven was so awesome! Get it? LOL
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
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The problem with the afterlife theories is that there are so many, and they are so embellished that the religious populous is starting to act like they just have a choice. Which one should I pick? Life on earth free of the crapy stuff, heaven with puffy clouds, born again into another person, place or thing, etc, etc, etc. People think if they pick one, then that's the one they'll get when they croak. It's like the golden ticket. I find that odd since they all claim there is only one God, one afterlife.

So, would I want an eternal life foreign to me? I'm not so sure, it would depend. I do know I'd love to live the life I have right now, just like it is. I haven't seen one that promises this so I guess I still have no choice. This life I have right now will not become eternal. But, if I run across a religion that promises this, I'll have to ditch my atheistic ways.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
A guy and his wife die in a car accident and Peter meets them at the pearly gates. "Come", he says, "let me show you your new home." There's a beautiful mansion, and within it, a table piled high with every kind of delicious delicacy. Peter says, "Take, eat, all you like." The guy says, "no, this food is too fattening." Peter says, "Look, you don't understand. This is heaven. You can eat all you want, anything you want -- sugar, fat, doesn't matter. It can't hurt you anymore."

At this the guy throws a complete fit and starts throwing things. His wife and St Peter finally calm him down. "What on earth has gotten into you?" The wife asks.

"Damn you!" Says the guy. "If it wasn't for your blasted bran muffins, we could have been here ten years ago!!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsAll View Post
I don't quite get the joke or anecdote (i.e., the punchline). Perhaps you could explain it to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
The bran muffins, (his wife made him take care of himself) made them live longer. He wondered why they would want to live longer when heaven was so awesome! Get it? LOL

Oh, OK, I get it! Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk (laughter)!

Yup, why do believers strive to take all the steps they can to live so long (such as eating properly, getting enough sleep, staying safe, et al) & at all and any costs when an eternal PARADISE awaits them in the so-named "afterlife"? You'd think they'd want to get this life over with as soon as can be & enter the blissful perfect paradise-like existence that they speak of which will purportedly last for all eternity.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by UsAll View Post
Yup, why do believers strive to take all the steps they can to live so long (such as eating properly, getting enough sleep, staying safe, et al) & at all and any costs when an eternal PARADISE awaits them in the so-named "afterlife"? You'd think they'd want to get this life over with as soon as can be & enter the blissful perfect paradise-like existence that they speak of which will purportedly last for all eternity.
They're theists -- they have a rationalization for everything. Often two. In this case, heaven is a reward and you have to earn rewards. So you don't get to go until it's "your time" and god allows it. It's a sin to go there on YOUR timetable or for YOUR reasons.

The backup rationalization is that this life is some sort of training or test or both, that prepares you for the afterlife.

The REAL reason, of course, is that they have the same instinct for self-preservation and the same fear of death (and the process of dying) as anyone does. In fact, that's why fantasies of heaven are so compelling for them.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
They're theists -- they have a rationalization for everything. Often two. In this case, heaven is a reward and you have to earn rewards. So you don't get to go until it's "your time" and god allows it. It's a sin to go there on YOUR timetable or for YOUR reasons.

The backup rationalization is that this life is some sort of training or test or both, that prepares you for the afterlife.

The REAL reason, of course, is that they have the same instinct for self-preservation and the same fear of death (and the process of dying) as anyone does. In fact, that's why fantasies of heaven are so compelling for them.

I've noted over the years that, amongst the theist population-at-large, there ARE some (even many) who are very bright, intelligent, and then those who are even very highly intelligent (even brilliant). And yet, when it comes to matters theological, they all-of-a-sudden revert to an almost child-like level of thinking (i.e., weak-to-nearly-nonexistent logic in their thinking on these matters, lack of an appreciation for sound reasoning and logic and for what constitutes true evidence, who the burden-of-proof is on, an inclination to lend belief to those ideas that don't or can't have any real evidential basis, thinking that "believing" something is the same as "epistemologically-knowing" something, et al). And it makes one wonder "How can such intelligent, and even some rather brilliant, people allow themselves to have such a lack of intellectual rigor on these matters?"

It just shows you how much they fear death (i.e., the actual state of being dead and then the process of becoming dead) and the probability that death may well entail permanent extinction of all that you are . . . i.e., that they are willing to live in an inner world of make-believe and then take it upon themselves to propagate this make-believe upon others and turn their belief system into a political/cultural/social movement (i.e., to try to get as many people as possible to align with their thinking). Why (other than the desire of some for power over others or some type of gain)? It is that it has the effect of getting them to feel affirmed in the presumed rightness of their thinking if they have as many people as possible in the world-at-large to mirror and actively embrace and promote their thinking alongside them.

And apparently they don't find their own thinking to be too convincing to themselves, for they constantly feel this drive or need to join together to sing songs, recite incantations, pray both alone and together, always engaging in scriptural studies (e.g., Bible studies), etc. etc. etc. . . . in short, to build a virtual protective "bubble" around themselves with the aim to continually reinforce their thinking and behavior so as to not fall away from it. For they apparently instinctively KNOW that if they applied the same rigor to their thoughts that they do to all other realms of their day-to-day lives, their seeming certitude about their claims would very likely come apart and disintegrate.

The above verbiage of mine ISN'T promoting certitude about atheism; it is promoting skepticism and critical, evidence-based thinking and reason. THAT is the intellectually-honest approach to take about such matters.

Last edited by UsAll; 02-06-2014 at 12:38 PM..
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