Try to forget...

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by truestory, Oct 13, 1999.

  1. truestory Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    Hello All,

    If you would, for a few moments, please try to put aside what you believe or do not believe with regards to the existence/non-existence of God, the existence/non-existence of souls and their potential/non-potential for eternal life...

    If you are able to do this, I would then ask you to please contemplate the following three conditions and let me know which one you would prefer over the other two and why.

    1. Would you prefer to have the totality of your existence end at the time of the physical death of your current physical body? or...

    2. Would you prefer to have eternal life in your current physical body on the earth as you currently know it? or...

    3. Would you prefer to have a soul which becomes filled with the Holy Spirit so that your essence lives with God eternally, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, in a state so wonderful that it can not even be imagined by your mere mortal brain?

    P.S.

    Although it is generally considered unwise to give specific personal information about yourself on the internet, if you wouldn't mind, could you please give a general idea of your age... For example: Under 21, 21-40, 41-60, over 60. (I fall in the 41-60 age group).

    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited October 12, 1999).]
     
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  3. PercyPea Registered Senior Member

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    Im 20

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    Im a shambles, but Im Gods shambles!!
     
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  5. Lori Registered Senior Member

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    I'll pick what's behind door #3. I'm 32.

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    God loves you and so do I!
     
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  7. FyreStar Faithless since 1980 Registered Senior Member

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    truestory -
    In regards to the choices you gave; I would tentatively choose the first option. Here is my reasoning: I could dismiss choice two immediately, because it cannot compete with three in terms of enjoyment. Selecting between one and three was more difficult. In looking at three, one problem I had was the contemplation of eternity. Humans are ill-equipped to think of it as more than a concept. However, if I am to be somewhere for eternity, then I am essentially trapped there. If, sometime down the road I decide that I would rather be elsewhere, I could do nothing about it. If I would never get tired of it, then my essence would be in a state of stagnation. So, as little as a look forward to death, I would prefer an end to no end at all.
    I am 19.

    FyreStar
     
  8. Mierdaan Registered Member

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    Truestory-
    I know the response you're looking for in that question, and I'm not going to give it. Your question is quite obviously loaded to make everyone think "Well gosh, why aren't *I* religous? The finality of death vs. eternal happiness? What a fool I've been!" This question might achieve its purpose if it was aimed towards a semi-retarted five year-old. For those of us even remotely entrenched in our athiestic or agnostic tendencies, the deeper question behind your simplistic one is, which one of these choices is actually true? In my case, I tend to think that choice three is bogus (as I have seen no definate proof for the existance of "God," and thereby "heaven," as of yet), and that choice two is just silly, as given the repeatability of the phenomenom of death, it seems unwise to assume I might live out eternity in this body. So what would my answer be? Although for different reasons,I'd tend to go with my esteemed associate FyreStar and pick Door #1, simply because it is, in my mind, the only valid option.

    -Mierdaan
    p.s.- I'm 18
     
  9. truestory Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    Thanks to all who have responded so far.

    Just to reiterate though, not to criticize, I am looking for responses from those who are able to put their current beliefs aside... To become blank tablets, so to speak, and to respond with a preference based only on the three given states as presented.

    Thanks again for participating.

    There is no catch.
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    36,613
    Truestory--

    The difference between answers two and three bear another consideration:

    While I understand (well, theoretically, I think I understand) the stasis of joy which the Holy Spirit is alleged to give, I am wondering if we are assigning stasis to answer number two.

    The reason being is that, with stasis in the "current" selection, nobody really wants to continue this life forever. It's miserable, but not without hope. But if we allow the progress which life actually allows, then, yes, I would love to live forever in the current body and mind. What could possibly be more fun than watching the actual answer to universal expansion, or to see a quasar close up. Imagine if you were around to see humanity fill up the universe the way algae or fish do a pond.

    To the joy aspect, though, in option 3: James Joyce gave a wonderful model of Hell in "Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man". The priest in the story took great delight in reminding schoolchildren that you cannot learn to "live" with the torment. Each wound feels fresh. Each insult to the spirit hurts like the first time. Would the joy of the Holy Spirit be as such?

    And here is where I hit a paradox if I answer this question based only on the sum of my life experiences: I wouldn't like that eternal joy. Without darkness, there is no light. Without sorrow, there is no joy. And of the near-bliss experiences I've had ... well, after six or seven hours I'm ready to come back to reality. So if the joy of answer 3 is static, I can't appreciate it without a counterpoint. If the joy of answer 3 wears off after some time, what's the point of dividing the Kingdom, as such. If the joy of heaven wears off, why leave the earthly universe?

    Oh! Bio ... I'm 26, and fast approaching the landmark of having spent one-half of my life away from the Lutheran church.

    thx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    36,613
    Mierdaan--

    I know the question looks loaded. However, if you or I or anyone else looks past the assumption of the question's motive, there's a way around that obstacle.

    Furthermore, for those entrenched in atheism or agnosticism, what have you just said on their behalf? That no atheist or agnostic is willing to consider subjective questions or issues of fancy? And are you, on behalf of said atheists, declaring that the truth of death is definitive? I may not get along with Truestory's God, but I can't recall the last time I died, so it's tough for me to say what happens afterward.

    So I'm wondering if you are declaring absolute truth or observable truth. There's a big difference there. Should Truestory have actually aimed her question at a semi-retarded five year old, the difference between absolute and observable tells us if she hit the mark.

    --Tiassa
     
  12. Mierdaan Registered Member

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    11
    Tiassa-
    How could I be saying that no athiests or agnostics are willing to debate such issues? The very fact that I'm writing this reply right now, and doing so in what I feel to be a logical, open-minded manner signifies to me that that your assertion could not possibly be true. As for whether or not I feel qualified to judge the finality of death, of course I don't. Nobody here is. Truestory's question gives three choices, each of which must be considered in the light of what the reader believes. If the choice was to be made only on the basis of Truestory's description of the options, elementary statistics shows a definate bias in the wording of the choices to influence the reader towards choice #3. Give that we can't make our decisions based on Truestory's beliefs, we must base them on our own, and it is from those beliefs that my original post stemmed.
    I was not attempting to make a unilateral generalization of the viewpoints of *all* athiests and agnostics, to do so would be arrogant in the extreme as well as illogical. What I *was* trying to say was that the wording of Truestory's question was not likely to influence those of us with agnostic/athiestic tendencies.

    -Mierdaan

    "Not all who wander are lost..."
    -J.R.R. Tolkien

    p.s.- as for absolute vs. observable truth, in this debate on the subject of death I don't believe that any of us can declare either absolute or observable truth. We can only relate subjective truths.


    [This message has been edited by Mierdaan (edited October 13, 1999).]

    [This message has been edited by Mierdaan (edited October 13, 1999).]
     
  13. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    Tiassa,

    Stasis is not assigned.
     
  14. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    Mierdaan,

    With all due respect, you cannot possibly "know the response you're (I am) looking for" because I am not looking for a specific response. Although this is posted under Religious "Debate", I will not be debating any choices. In this case, I am only interested in hearing the responses of others to learn a little about what and why others in various age groups would prefer, if they had a choice. There is no ulterior motive.

    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited October 14, 1999).]
     
  15. H-kon Registered Senior Member

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    312
    I would actually hope for #3, otherwise i can just get someone to put myself out of my misery right now. It wouldn't matter anyhow.

    If i could come back, i would hope that i could come back as any living thing ( including plants) You'll learn a little from that too .

    22 years old. Believe in God, but there is no religion except maybe for the wiccan that i could say that i felt a little intrigued by.

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    "It's always easier to ask questions than to give the answers. The Questions are almost always innocent, but the answer's are most often not".


    Haakon T Haug ( aka H-kon)
     
  16. Plato Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    366
    If I must choose between those three options I think I prefer the first one by far ! But I would like to utter a fourth option : the none of the above one because we simply don't know what actually comes after death.
    By the way I'm 26.

    ps Truestory, are you trying to suggest perhaps that the more we grow older and approache the point of death we become more afraid and want to kling on (klingon ??

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    Isaac Newton
     
  17. Mock Registered Member

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    16
    Number three for me.
    I`m 37 and still goin strong!
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,613
    Mierdaan--

    Under no circumstances would I declare, or have I declared that atheists or agnostics are not willing to debate these issues. Nor would I contest your choice of answers. Rather, the logic which led to your conclusions puzzled me. You wrote that only one answer is valid; I am unable to reconcile that idea on the grounds that such a position overlooks the subjective nature of the question. Certainly, I have little proof of the existence of God, and none of it definitive. But it doesn't mean I cannot approach ideas of God.

    If the nature of death renders the second choice silly ... how does that affect the first answer? After all, all three answers are dependent on death, and our objective reality concerning death cannot speculate on what goes on afterward.

    And that's where I'm puzzled ... how does the nature of death disqualify one answer while supporting another, since the "after" of death--the most relevant death-perspective to the question--is entirely subjective?

    thx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  19. Mierdaan Registered Member

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    11
    Tiassa-
    The nature of death disqualifies the second choice for the simple reason that "death," and whatever it might entail as for as the afterlife is concerned, is definately a change. As far as I've seen, there is no dispute over this issue. Whether a being progresses on to a new life, an afterlife, or simple oblivion after death, that being does move on to something ELSE. Truestory's second choice seems to offer eternal life in your current body, which would seem, by the very nature of death, to be an impossibility.
    -Mierdaan

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    "Not all who wander are lost..."
    -J.R.R. Tolkien
     
  20. Mierdaan Registered Member

    Messages:
    11
    Truestory-
    Not being you, I obviously cannot know your true intentions behind the question you originally posed. What I do know is that choice #3 was presented in an unfair light, and it was with this that I disagree. Your wording was, at its most basic level, (mis)leading and destructive to the detachment of even a religious "discussion."
    -Mierdaan
     
  21. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    Hello again, Mierdaan, et al...

    My intention was to learn a little about what others, in varying age groups, would prefer if they were given a choice of the three options.

    Although I don't wish to debate anyone's chioce, I would like to ask you how I could have been more fair, let's say, with option number one? From what I understand, this is a belief of a number of posters on this board. (How would you have put it in a more favorable light?) Number two (immortality) is something that mankind has been known to strive for. (How would you have put that in a more favorable light?) Number three is also a belief of a number of posters on this board. (How would you have stated it differently?)

    Many people have stated on this board what they "believe" will happen, for various reasons. Others have stated that they "don't know" what will happen. Others have stated that they "know" what is going to happen. I was simply curious to know what people on this board would prefer, if these three options were actually made available to them.



    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited October 14, 1999).]
     
  22. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    Plato,

    Really... I wasn't suggesting anything at all. But, klingon

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  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Truestory ....

    Thank you for the clarification. I think I can give a more direct answer now.

    If the joy of the Holy Spirit is the ultimate joy of the universe, and its emotional weight is not static, it seems to me that the joyful sensation would diminish with the passing of time.

    However, if the condition of my being is not static, your second option gives me, quite literally, all the time in the universe to determine A) what is progress, and B) how to progress.

    So I'm left looking at one option that theoretically, can only diminish in its value to me (though I cannot say how I would measure the aspects of spiritual value in such circumstances); and one option which allows me the possibility of progress compared to the current state.

    From this snip-and-sew logic I have decided that Option #2 would be my choice. After all, to roll the dice and take a chance on seeing humanity actually get it right? And a chance to see all the things in the universe I've never thought I would .... And the processes humanity must undertake to accomplish those things, combined with the knowldedge we would gain .... Someday, I'm sure, Truestory, that you and I will spend some time hacking through that idea: that achieving human posterity in the universe brings us that much closer to God.

    thx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     

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