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Old 01-30-2006, 05:18 PM   #346
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so you believe in scientific progress and heaven.

the dichotomy never ends.
No I believe man is destined to be spritual based on how our ancestors interpreted their environment and this involves the quest to explain their surroundings and as these scientifically minded peoples evolved we got their DNA. As for science and religion? Until Darwin (which wasn't very long ago), they went hand in hand. I am not sure how that is a division? Let alone it never ending.

The most intelligent and respected of men until the 1900s loved god. Or Zues or feared Ra and respected Shiba. In some respect, the onslaught of Chrisianity is but a small speck of world religion and time.
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:54 PM   #347
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And finally, somehow magically transfers the consciousness of dying humans to some other plane of existence?
yes, i think we experience this other existence in some way.
This seems inconsistent with your other beliefs.
in what way does this seem inconsistent with my other beliefs ? i could comment further, if i knew what beliefs you are referring to. if you are referring to my physics background and such, then the answer is easy - science can only tell us stuff about this universe. it will never be able to give us information about outside this universe, if there is something. so i realize that the tools that i use to give me ideas about this universe are useless when discussing the existence of god and heaven and such.

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Why would such an intelligence do such a thing upon a human's death?
well i certainly dont know for sure WHY god has chosen to do this. from my christian upbringing, i believe that this is a testing ground of sorts. i think part of our purpose is to strive to get to know god at least a little bit better throughout our lives. and i think even more importantly, we are expected to help others. in fact, it is my suspicion, that it is in the helping of others that we might actually become closer to god.

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And, more to the point---how?!? It's one thing to state that the nature of this creator is "unknowable" because it existed before the universe, but it's another thing entirely to claim that it continues to violate the laws of this universe by continuing a non-coporeal existence for deseased people.
well i certainly cant answer that one for you. as i stated before, none of us know or can know anything about what is on the outside of our black box (the universe), until and unless we leave it. but the HOW part is not really as interesting to me as some of my other spiritual questions.

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As I mentioned before, I think the whole idea of an afterlife is a pleasant fantasy dreamed up by power-hungry priests: Give us money and believe in our god and no matter how bad your life is on earth, you will have eternal paradise after you die! Don't give us your money or believe in our god and eternal hellfire awaits! How do I know? Just take my word for it!
and as i have also agreed with you on that one, in the sense that the clergy has used that to its full advantage to brainwash and take advantage of its constituents. however, it does not mean that it is not true (i.e. an afterlife).

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I'm somewhat surprised to see you so accepting of this...
i can understand that. as i have told you before, i would probably be an agnostic if it had not been for my christian upbringing. in fact, i said that using "reasoning" alone, everyone is agnostic - i.e. on the fence unable to make an informed decision, because it is impossible to get any information about what is outside the universe. so i certainly can relate to your stance. i just dont refer to you as an atheist, but rather someone who is willing to admit that he has some doubts, just as i have doubts - - but while i fall on the side of the fence of "believing", you fall on the other side of the fence of "not believing".
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:53 PM   #348
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well i certainly dont know for sure WHY god has chosen to do this. from my christian upbringing
A Christian upbringing is one thing---swallowing the whole afterlife story hook line and sinker is another.

You don't believe that prayer works---why do you believe in a Christian afterlife?
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Old 01-30-2006, 11:28 PM   #349
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I don't understand why Gym feels that the after life exists. Just because your church says it does, doesn't mean it's true. I personally haven't been to church in over 10 years. I find it extremely boring and have better things to do with my time. It seems like you are one of those people from the South that has nothing better to do so you go to church and believe everything that is said there. It's almost like you are so narrow minded that you refuse to even consider the fact that heaven doesn't exist.
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Old 01-30-2006, 11:51 PM   #350
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I don't understand why Gym feels that the after life exists. Just because your church says it does, doesn't mean it's true. I personally haven't been to church in over 10 years. I find it extremely boring and have better things to do with my time. It seems like you are one of those people from the South that has nothing better to do so you go to church and believe everything that is said there. It's almost like you are so narrow minded that you refuse to even consider the fact that heaven doesn't exist.
seriously.

It's hard to convince the mentally ill to think logically.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:11 AM   #351
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I don't understand why Gym feels that the after life exists. Just because your church says it does, doesn't mean it's true. I personally haven't been to church in over 10 years. I find it extremely boring and have better things to do with my time. It seems like you are one of those people from the South that has nothing better to do so you go to church and believe everything that is said there. It's almost like you are so narrow minded that you refuse to even consider the fact that heaven doesn't exist.
your stereotype is so incorrect that i have to laugh. i was raised catholic. i do not go to any church, nor would i ever belong to an organized religion.

if i refused to even consider that heaven doesnt exist, then i would have no doubts. but i have already told you that i have my doubts.

perhaps it would be best for you to ask questions before assuming stuff.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:19 AM   #352
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well i certainly dont know for sure WHY god has chosen to do this. from my christian upbringing
A Christian upbringing is one thing---swallowing the whole afterlife story hook line and sinker is another.

You don't believe that prayer works---why do you believe in a Christian afterlife?
why do i believe ? i am not sure that i can give you an absolute definitive answer on that one. as i have said, my christian upbringing does have a lot to do with it.

but my gut feeling tells me that there is a god. so if we assume that there is a god, i think that we are here for some purpose. i have already previously explained what i think that purpose may be. and it seems likely to me that we also will have an eternal life with god, in some way.

in regards to prayer, i am also undecided. but i think i fall on the side of the fence of non-believing. one thing that comes to mind is that i do believe that god gave us free will to do whatever. so i do not think that god intervenes in our lives, at least in the way that we would typically think about it.

but i do believe that prayer in some way at least is calming and comforting to those who do pray. that in itself is probably helpful. and perhaps in doing so, it helps us make better decisions for ourselves.

i cant say that i have any answers, but i do plenty of searching.
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:41 AM   #353
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so if we assume that there is a god, i think that we are here for some purpose.
OK, I have a long reply on belief of prayer vs. belief in the afterlife, but I'll write that later.

If you believe in a god and you believe that the creation of mankind was intended, then I can see why you would believe that mankind is here for a purpose...but it does not follow that each individual human is here for a purpose. You said you believe in free will. That means that your father and your mother met and procreated of their own free will---a god didn't influence them to get together. So your individual self is not directly part of a god's design. You might believe that a god laid the groundwork for humankind, but your own DNA, with its characteristics from your own parents is just a matter of science, right?

So you were not designed, you are not here for a purpose, even if you believe that humanity as a whole is. And if you individually are not here for a purpose, then why would a god provide an afterlife for you to...what? As a reward or punishment? Or are you one of those people who believe in a heaven without a hell?
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:42 AM   #354
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It's not just Christianity that foresees an afterlife. Even pagans of the past and today see it. In the form of "progressive new age thought" which if not openly telling of a "place" of rest, speak of an afterlife or a recycling of energy, not in the form of elements like on of science and cosmology, but in the form of "life force". Not to mention the ideals of other much larger religions. Such as reincarnation of lower life forms if you are not worthy of your current form to ultimately transcend the material plane, which is earth but only if you sacrifice things here (be good). Ironically you have to give up "material" ideals in the "material" plane to reach this plateau. So given out past, present and evolution I do not understand the desire of one party to degrade another for their beliefs.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:57 AM   #355
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Even pagans of the past and today see it.
What do you mean "pagans of today"? Do you mean Wiccans?
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:35 AM   #356
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What do you mean "pagans of today"? Do you mean Wiccans?
Sure, Wiccans and - Voodoo - Gaia (Gaea) those who support the idea of earth as an organism of immense power and life giving - Native American ideology (bet you won't see a DEM on TV saying the native American idea of ancestral worship is flipping stupid or their power animal is a wash and they should just grow up and get a brain because they are all insane) - and countless others.

But hey dude if you are Catholic a baptist is "pagan". But i was talking about the religious and mystical ideals outside of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism (with its many deities), and Buddhism which has evolved into a "religion" based on ancient teaching of Budha. Oh and the religion of "peace", Islam. Where god talked to Mohammed in a cave near Mecca.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:30 PM   #357
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hi amnesia,

while god did not force my mom and dad to have me, god knew it would occur, so god loves me as an individual.

i am not sure that anyone has ever asked me the question about mankind, so i had to think about it for a bit. but i dont think of mankind actually having a purpose.

by that, i mean there is nothing that all of mankind is supposed to produce or do. so i think each of us has our own individual purpose, but not that mankind has a collective purpose.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:38 PM   #358
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i forgot to reply to your comment about heaven and hell. i no longer think of hell as the devil, fire and pitchforks. i tend to believe that hell is simply the absence of heaven. so i guess by your definition, i do believe in heaven and not hell.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:54 PM   #359
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god knew it would occur, so god loves me as an individual
I'm not sure what you mean by the word "so". Just because your god foresaw your birth it loves you? That doesn't follow.

And doesn't the notion of a god with foreknowledge exclude the possibility of free will? Maybe the god didn't force your parents to conceive you, but if it knew it would happen, that (to me) suggests that your parents ultimately didn't have a choice. Either they had a choice (free will) or they didn't (divine foreknowledge). You can't have both.

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i tend to believe that hell is simply the absence of heaven.
I'm not sure what you mean by "the absence of heaven".

You stated that your vision of heaven was "what was good". So good people are rewarded in your afterlife with neverending "good".

OK, but what about evil people? What is their afterlife like? Do they get one or is death the end for them? Are they punished by a vengeful god?

And what about people who are neither good nor evil? Are they sorted by a magical hat or maybe there's some sort of purgatory?

There was no pain,
No fear, no doubt
Till they pulled me out
Of heaven.

So that’s my refrain.
I live in hell
’Cause I’ve been expelled
From heaven.

- Buffy Summers, "Life's a Show"
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:58 PM   #360
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We have a vision of heaven here on earth. It's called Las Vegas.
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