Author Topic: Afterlife?  (Read 23882 times)

Offline Appelmoes??

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 14:12:25 »
I disagree with you. The scriptures contain verses which place women in a subserviant role. In fact the Quran 4:34  says men are given authority over women because Allah has made one superior to the other. Men are advised to beat their women if they do not obey.
The books should be read in context with the time and place they were written.

Offline Melo

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 15:06:19 »
Hmmmmmmmmm if this is the word of god how do you change it to suit the needs of the time? Look at the fact that the Vatican denies women the right to use contraception despite the problem of AIDS/HIV; to have an abortion; even to work as a priest.

Offline Appelmoes??

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 17:49:37 »
It's the word of God interpreted by men. We now have to interpret it the best we can, with new knowledge of history, science and culture. And that the guys in the vatican are idiots (imho) is no reason to think all religous people think the same.

Offline Melo

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 18:01:13 »
I have no irrefutable evidence to show that god exists - how do I know these works are the word of god when there is no proof that he exists?

Offline Appelmoes??

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 19:11:08 »
How do you proof love exists? Because you feel it, and cause other people say it exists.

Offline gelert

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #30 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 20:39:12 »
I have no irrefutable evidence to show that god exists...

How do you proof love exists? Because you feel it, and cause other people say it exists.

That's comparing Apples and Oranges...
...and also follows the old "a dog has a tail - a cat has a tail...therefore a cat is a dog" argument.

how do I know these works are the word of god when there is no proof that he exists?

I understand that "faith / belief" is based upon the fact that nobody can prove that God doesn't exist...hence it leads to reasonable conjecture that he MAY exist...

Ouch - I think that my head has just exploded...  ::)
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Offline gelert

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #31 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 21:23:11 »
Whilst hunting down some info for another post, I came across this, which seems rather relevant...

A Hell Of A Theory...


The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University chemistry exam.
The answer by one student was so profound that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is of course why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well…!


Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?


Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed), or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:


First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time.
So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell, and the rate at which they are leaving.
I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.
Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, that you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions, and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell. Because Boyle's Law states that,
in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately, as souls are added.


This provides two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell,
then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase, until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell,
then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.


So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my freshman year that,
"it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you", and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over,
it follows that it is not accepting any more souls, and is therefore extinct,
leaving only Heaven - thereby proving the existence of a divine being -
Which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."



(The student received an “A�)

  ;)
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Offline Melo

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 2005-04-09, 22:16:55 »

I understand that "faith / belief" is based upon the fact that nobody can prove that God doesn't exist...hence it leads to reasonable conjecture that he MAY exist...

Ouch - I think that my head has just exploded...  ::)

Yes, that is precisely it  ::)

Whilst hunting down some info for another post, I came across this, which seems rather relevant...

A Hell Of A Theory...

This is priceless...  ;D

Offline Appelmoes??

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #33 on: Sun, 2005-04-10, 01:27:31 »
@Gelert: I read that on another (religious) forum, very funny :)

About the comparison bit. A comparison is never the same, or elso you wouldn't need a comparison. So when you say: '...and also follows the old "a dog has a tail - a cat has a tail...therefore a cat is a dog" argument.' I say, a cat isn't a dog, but both are animals, both have for paws, both have a nose etc... It's not the same, but it makes a good comparison.

(Hmm, I hope I make sence, cause discussing in a non-native language is pretty hard :-\ )

Offline kmorse

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #34 on: Tue, 2005-04-12, 17:02:40 »
Melo,

I'm not sure if you meant to do this when you quoted the Quran, but I don't think it is fair to quote the scripture of one religion and use it to critique all -- or other --  faiths. My own faith is Christian so I will neither attack nor defend what the Quran says or what Muslims believe or do.

In addition, I am not Roman Catholic, so I will not try to defend Roman Catholic doctrine and practice where it might differ from my own beliefs and understanding.

But I can say this from 30 years of reading, studying and, I hope, understanding the Bible that nowhere can there be found in that book a command for a man to beat his wife under any circumstances. And, as for the Bible saying men are superior to women, there are some statements by Paul about women not having positions of authority in the church -- and these are much-debated today, for sure -- but nowhere does the Bible speak of the male gender's innate superiority over the female gender.

I would venture to say that Jesus Christ shocked quite a few people during His earthly ministry with the respect he accorded women who, no doubt, often were treated more like property than persons. But that was a cultural matter and, I think, a manifestation of sin's stain on the world rather than the result of some divine imperative.

On the broader issue, I agree fully that in the end, what we believe about God and the afterlife is a matter of personal choice. I also believe in absolute truth. Put another way, truth is truth whether you or I or anyone else believes in it.

I can believe that my car will start when I turn the ignition key, but that's not what makes it start. It starts because all its parts are functioning and it has fuel, etc. I *believe* it will start because I've experienced it starting before. So, I would propose that our belief is not the key but the object of our belief.

I chose many years ago to believe in Christ and commit my life to Him. Before I made that commitment, I sensed God's hand in the world around me and thought there must be a higher power. I also sensed something wrong or missing in my own life -- a separation from Him who had made everything and wanted to relate to me in a personal way. The Bible says that separation is caused by sin and that Christ's death on the cross paid the price for that sin. What I have to do is agree that I am a sinner, accept His payment, believe He rose from the dead, turn away from my old, sinful attitudes and life and follow Him. It's both easy and impossible to do -- it seems to be a paradox.

Back to the car analogy: How did I know or think I know this would work? I saw the results in other people's lives and saw God's promises in the Bible. Just as when I first put the key into the car's ignition and believed it would work, I believed it was possible for Christ to change my life. And He has.

Keith Morse




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Offline Melo

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 2005-04-12, 19:22:55 »
I will post here an excerpt from a presentation I did on "THE DIVISIVE, INTOLERANT & REPRESSIVE NATURE OF RELIGION" - this is my personal opinion - and these are my conclusions about religion per se.

All organised religions preach that their way is the only way to reach paradise. The Scriptures of Christianity, Judaism and Islam contain verses that are intolerant of other belief systems and go on to say that it is right to kill those who do not follow their God. In the Bible this can be found in the Old Testament in the Book of Deuteronomy 7.2 where it says “And when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.� In the Quran Chapter 9: 111 says “Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods in return for paradise. They will fight for His cause, slay and be slain.� Verse 123 of the same chapter is in similar vein.

God orders genocide as can be seen in the Bible in the Book of Numbers 31:17 where it says: “And they warred against the Midianites, just as the Lord commanded Moses, and they killed all the males.� In the Quran Chapter 8: 12 says “And when Allah revealed to the angels, saying ‘I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, smite the ends of their fingers.’� Verses 7 & 17 of the same chapter carry similar sentiments.

The Bible describes God as jealous in Exodus 20:5 where it says: “You shall not bow down to them nor serve them (other gods). For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me.� Similar verses are found in Deuteronomy 6:15 and Nahum1:2.

Vengeful is yet another word to describe the nature of God in the Bible and can be seen in both the New and Old Testaments. The following quotation is taken from the New Testament the Book of Hebrews 10:30 “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’� Similar verses on the vengeful nature of God can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:6, Nahum 1:2, and Romans 13:4.

God is also wrathful says Deuteronomy 29.20 “The Lord would not spare him; for then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this book would settle on him, and the Lord would blot out his name from under heaven.� Similar verses about God’s anger can be seen in Romans 1:18, Job 9:13, Judges 2:12.

The Bible also claims that God is loving, merciful, forgiving and compassionate. The chapters of the Quran start with Allah the Compassionate. To my mind there is no compassion, love, mercy and forgiveness in genocide, jealousy, vengeance and wrath.

If God can be equated with goodness and it is safe to assume that goodness seeks not to harm in any way then how is it possible for “goodness� to desire harm? Harm is a response that stems from fear and hatred. Further, God expresses His goodness by declaring His commands under threat of punishment and torture.


All the aforementioned make the very nature of religion intolerant and cruel. Hinduism is not untouched by this cruelty. Under the caste system which in the course of time moved from what could be loosely defined as a system of guilds to a rigid structure where upper caste Hindus wreaked unbelievable atrocities on lower caste Hindus - people of the same faith.

All religions have one thing in common – they follow a patriarchal societal system under which women have little or no say in the manner in which they live their lives. In fact I see religion as giving moral authority to men to ensure women do exactly what their men-folk want. Whereas more modern societies have moved away from seeing and treating women as subordinates, societies which are rooted in tradition and religion have not really given women freedom.
« Last Edit: Tue, 2005-04-12, 19:25:59 by Melo »

Offline Appelmoes??

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 2005-04-12, 20:51:42 »
Well, that easy, taking negative text's from the bible or quran and place them out of sentence. A man would do all these things out of love for his wife. God does all these things out of love for his people.
The bilbe is also a historybook. So there is a lot of (middle-east) culture of that time interwoven with the stories. In those time men thought women were lesser, so it's obvious this is also shown in the bible. Yet God used women for his work. These women are even mentioned in the register of Jesus or throughout the bible, next to the men (Eve, Ruth, Mary).
In the old testament God protects his people and teaches them, in the new testament his people must go into the world and tell the world of Him. This proves God is not intollerant to other people. If you read the bible, you will notice this change very clearly, from beginning to end.

One thing come very clearly foreward from everything you say Melo, and that the fact you think religions make women subordinate to men. What I am trying to say is that not God says women are, but men (mankind) which has fallen under sin. This is not something relious, 'cause until about 50 years ago, almost the entire world had this opinion about women, from non believers to believers. And now a lot of people have changed in that opinon, yet still some people haven't (again believers and non-believers).

(Also, I thing Peter could make a separate tpic of this, cause it´s a little bit offtopic :))

Offline kmorse

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 2005-04-12, 20:58:53 »
Melo,

It's obvious you've given a lot of thought to this subject and I respect that. It was interesting to read your take on the issue. I'll address only your references to the Bible and Christianity.

I see you have cited passages referring to his wrath, vengeance, etc. I have no quarrel with any of the citations; they describe some of the characteristics of the God of the Bible. You also acknowledged, although did not cite chapter and verse, that the Bible describes God as loving, merciful, compassionate, etc. This would also describe some of His characteristics.

Believers and unbelievers alike imagine what God *should* be like and when upon finding some aspect of His character that doesn't fit that notion, dismiss Him as unreal or unsatisfactory. We are free to do so, but that doesn't change His nature.

I fully accept the Bible's description of God: He is a God who opposes sin (his wrath); who is compassionate and forgiving (one need not suffer His wrath because He offers an escape); but who also will not tolerate sin forever (Judgment Day, the Day of Wrath, etc.).  God's command to the Israelites to exterminate certain people was His exercising judgment on them. In later years, He used other peoples to exercise judgment upon His own people as well. On Calvary, He poured out His judgment of all people on His own Son.

 I won't argue with you that women have been subjugated in the name of Christ, but it is not what God intended. The Gospel accounts give several examples of Jesus doing things that were positively extraordinary with regard to even speaking to a woman. Two examples, the Samaritan woman at the well and His rescue, if you will, of the woman caught in adultery who was about to be stoned -- when the man she had been caught with was nowhere to be seen in this scene.
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Offline gelert

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 2005-04-13, 19:57:03 »
"If God can be equated with goodness and it is safe to assume that goodness seeks not to harm in any way then how is it possible for “goodness� to desire harm? Harm is a response that stems from fear and hatred. Further, God expresses His goodness by declaring His commands under threat of punishment and torture."

Cruel to be kind...discuss.
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Offline kmorse

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 2005-04-13, 20:28:08 »
I think that first we'll need to arrive at a definition of "harm."
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Offline Simtere

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #40 on: Thu, 2005-04-14, 15:24:28 »
While I may not agree with all that has been said in this thread it has proved quite interesting at times.

I'll probably make a hash at making my point here, but I'll have a go anyway ;) 

One point though that is worth consideration is whether it is fair to make a judgement on the nature of god based on the bible (or any other holy text for that matter).  Books like the bible are just that .... books, and as such they are written by people.  For myself the bible is worth far more as a social comment on the people that wrote it than as a proof positive of the nature of god.

To say god did something becasue the bible says so is spurious to say the least .... all you can infer from the bible is that someone SAID that god did something and wrote it down ... it is not proof positive that god actually did do it (or even that such a being exists).

While much evil is done in the name of religion, this is not god's fault.  People invented religion (and maybe god too), and the evil that is done in the world is done by people not a supernatural being. 

Offline kmorse

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #41 on: Thu, 2005-04-14, 16:07:40 »
One point though that is worth consideration is whether it is fair to make a judgement on the nature of god based on the bible (or any other holy text for that matter).  Books like the bible are just that .... books, and as such they are written by people.  For myself the bible is worth far more as a social comment on the people that wrote it than as a proof positive of the nature of god.

To say god did something becasue the bible says so is spurious to say the least .... all you can infer from the bible is that someone SAID that god did something and wrote it down ... it is not proof positive that god actually did do it (or even that such a being exists).


Simtere,

If the Bible -- or some or any other scriptural text -- was not inspired by God, then your statement is correct. If God did actually move people to write down those words then your statement is not correct.

It comes down to belief and in that certainly is a tough thing to prove. You and I might look at nature -- creation -- and come to two different conclusions about the existence of God. From there we might move on to other deductions. It's not surprising that people come to different conclusions.

I agree with you when you say people invented religion. Religion is what man says about God and spiritual things. I've personally come to the conclusion that the Bible is what God says about Himself -- and that's a very different thing indeed. I didn't always think that way, so I can understand alternate viewpoints.

I also agree that many evil things have been done in the name of religion, not the least of which have been done in the name of Christ. No doubt that grieves God. But as you said, the responsibility there lies with the sinner, not God.
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Offline Melo

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #42 on: Thu, 2005-04-14, 23:12:52 »
While I may not agree with all that has been said in this thread it has proved quite interesting at times.

I'll probably make a hash at making my point here, but I'll have a go anyway ;) 

One point though that is worth consideration is whether it is fair to make a judgement on the nature of god based on the bible (or any other holy text for that matter).  Books like the bible are just that .... books, and as such they are written by people.  For myself the bible is worth far more as a social comment on the people that wrote it than as a proof positive of the nature of god.

To say god did something becasue the bible says so is spurious to say the least .... all you can infer from the bible is that someone SAID that god did something and wrote it down ... it is not proof positive that god actually did do it (or even that such a being exists).

While much evil is done in the name of religion, this is not god's fault.  People invented religion (and maybe god too), and the evil that is done in the world is done by people not a supernatural being. 

Oh I agree with that completely. But the evil that man does to other men in the name of god (who may or may not exist) makes my blood run cold.

In the middle ages they used to kill a Jew on the doorsteps of a church and the first person to strike the blow was the priest. Look at what happened in the USA - the same religious fanaticism and intolerance brought about 9/11. In India, the cow is considered so sacred by the Hindus that anyone who kills a cow (even accidentally) is as good as dead. Caste violence still takes place - lower caste women have been gang-raped in front of their husbands and children by upper caste Hindus. About 2 years ago, in the state of Gujarat, Hindus killed Muslims - in fact a pregnant Muslim woman was killed after ripping open her stomach and ripping the foetus out. The rightwing Hindu parties refused to even condemn such an act.

How can anyone justify such barbarity? But justification is found in the very intolerant nature of religion.  I must say here that my family (aside from my dad and myself) are practicing Hindus.

Offline kmorse

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #43 on: Fri, 2005-04-15, 16:15:24 »
Melo,

Perhaps it's ironic that Christ Himself was killed in the name of religion.

But as I've already said, there is religion and there is what God says about Himself. I believe that is found in the Bible.

We can all pick out heinous -- and good -- acts done in the name of many causes: religious, political, social, etc. But deeds one -- like faith exercised -- in the wrong thing are for naught in the end. It's the object -- not the faith, the believer or the act -- that is important.

Perhaps you've witnessed far more evil done than I have and I can understand why you'd feel that way. But in the end, you've got to ask yourself whether your feeling and opinions alone will be to any avail when you're asked to give an account for yourself on that final day.
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Offline Melo

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #44 on: Fri, 2005-04-15, 18:00:07 »
Melo,

Perhaps it's ironic that Christ Himself was killed in the name of religion.

But as I've already said, there is religion and there is what God says about Himself. I believe that is found in the Bible.

We can all pick out heinous -- and good -- acts done in the name of many causes: religious, political, social, etc. But deeds one -- like faith exercised -- in the wrong thing are for naught in the end. It's the object -- not the faith, the believer or the act -- that is important.

Perhaps you've witnessed far more evil done than I have and I can understand why you'd feel that way. But in the end, you've got to ask yourself whether your feeling and opinions alone will be to any avail when you're asked to give an account for yourself on that final day.

Well, I don't believe in that final day!!! So here you and I differ. I know that I am going to die one day. But rebirth whether on this earth or in some godly or demonic kingdom - I have no reason to believe  is a certainty. I live my life by certain ethics - and they include not harming anyone in any way. I care passionately about the down-trodden, under-privileged and marginalised sections of society. But I will not live my life to further the cause of intolerance and hatred.

Offline kmorse

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #45 on: Fri, 2005-04-15, 18:47:47 »
Well, I don't believe in that final day!!!
You have been granted the privilege to believe as you wish. Some day we will all find out.
I care passionately about the down-trodden, under-privileged and marginalised sections of society.
Those are worthy concerns. Christ spent the bulk of His earthly ministry with just such people. If you do that work in His name, you'll be richly rewarded.

Take care. It has been good conversing with you.

Keith
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Offline Melo

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #46 on: Sat, 2005-04-16, 15:29:56 »
You have been granted the privilege to believe as you wish. Some day we will all find out.Those are worthy concerns. Christ spent the bulk of His earthly ministry with just such people. If you do that work in His name, you'll be richly rewarded.

Take care. It has been good conversing with you.

Keith

I do it because I believe it is right. I do not care about rewards... and certainly not one linked to a god that I do not believe exists.

Offline Xanxtuary

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #47 on: Sat, 2005-04-16, 16:53:55 »
Well, yes... at least as far as we can tell here. You are mostly philosophical when show up and post, which is mostly on Sundays, so that conclusion could be made... You seem to be very advanced in terms of self-awareness.

Ugh, kind of a miserable try to keep up with your philosophicalisms ;)

OK ... well to break with tradition, here I am on a Saturday!  What a soul rebel, eh?  :o

Thanks for the compliments, Peter, and what a fascinating debate this is turning out to be!

As for religious beliefs, etc, everyone is always going to think that the system they believe in has got to be right, like others have said, you wouldn't believe in something that you didn't instinctively feel was right. 

And for those who definitely don't believe in an afterlife, obviously they don't have that kind of spiritual need within their deeper selves.  That's not an insult, merely an observation.  I've always had spiritual needs, even when my faith in "whatever" has been in crisis, as it has at various stages in my life.  It's easy to believe in a Creator when life is going smoothly, but tis a much harder thing to have faith when everything  seems to be going wrong around us.  But ironically, that's when we have the greatest need for something to believe in.

If believing in an afterlife helps us as human beings to come to terms with our own mortality, then it's got to be a good thing.
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Offline kmorse

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #48 on: Sat, 2005-04-16, 17:43:59 »
Melo,

I'll pose you this question: From where do you derive your sense of right and wrong?

Xantuary,

You are so right: we do tend to look for God when we're having bad times and forget about Him when times are good. I'm as guilty of that as anyone. For me, the issue comes down to, "If He's there, how to I come to terms with Him?"
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Offline Xanxtuary

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Re: Afterlife?
« Reply #49 on: Sat, 2005-04-16, 18:27:50 »
Morseman:

My reply to you is that like anything of a personal nature, spiritual beliefs are user-defined.  We all have our own perceptions of our Lord, and one person's perception might be hard for someone else to understand.  If we continue to live our lives believing in what inspires us, and our intentions are good, then hopefully it will be enough.  I don't believe for one moment that our Lord will judge us harshly if we fail in our endeavours, he knows us and understands that our intentions were conceived for the right reasons, even if our actions let us down.  We are in no way perfect, but if we try to do what we perceive as "the right thing" in any given situation, it will be the best that we could have done.  Making what we do count is what's important, especially in the small gestures.  It's the impression we will leave on this mortal planet after we move on to the next stage of existence, how we will be remembered, so let's try to make it a good one.  :)
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