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Post-Mortem: A Discussion on the Afterlife


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Yeah, you're right about that, Eliyyahu--and it isn't like we all couldn't have handled this better, but I've got to admit that I've gotten completely frustrated with Hwi's and Liar's behavior. It's completely beyond the pale of anything I've seen on this forum, and, quite frankly, it's motivated purely out of homophobia: this topic should have had very little, if anything, to do with "homosexuality," and once again, it's been brought to the fore by two parties who believe that it is an abomination to be stamped out. I'm sorry, this isn't 4chan or the Stormfront forums--this is a Dune forum and we should hold ourselves to a higher standard of respectability. You may have semi-legitimate grounds for disagreeing with things like governmental recognition of gay marriage (although this is becoming less true by the day), but to present such a derogatory view of homosexuality in general, and especially in the way that Hwi and Liar have, is no different than posting a racist or misogynistic rant. Views such as Hwi's and Liar's are hateful and offensive and should be grounds for disciplinary action.

Also, Liar: I just read your last post, I hadn't before since I recognized that it was an insult and skimmed over it, but I'd like to remind you of something--you actually identified me as a lawyer first, saying something along the lines of, "you speak the way my lawyer does." Now you're saying I'm just a paralegal, and want me to stop bringing up the lawyer thing? Hey, listen up, jerk: I don't bring it up. You do. And don't worry--I'm not a paralegal, and never have been. I'm actually a sucker for idealistic causes and do a lot of pro bono legal work, and not necessarily for your liberal antagonists... but I didn't want to bring that up because it's really gauche to brag about the good one does in the world.

You might have noticed, also, Liar, that you have a new name. Apologize for intentionally misrepresenting my posts so you could make insults, or it stays your name.

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In modern times, the promise of an afterlife may not be enough to attract adherents to Christianity in developed countries which already have a high standard of living.  This may explain why Christianity's continued growth may depend upon converts in so called third world countries who react favorably to material assistance.

Aw man, you just let out the biggest secret of religion. The Cargo Gods will smite you!

Cargo Cult, how gods and religions appear

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This may explain why Christianity's continued growth may depend upon converts in so called third world countries who react favorably to material assistance.
Quite true. Those are 'Rice Christians'.  This is in sharp contrast with Jesus' ministry. Yes Jesus performed miracles and cured the sick or fed the hungry ones. But he was not famous for this. He was known as the teacher. Eras and Hwi you are commendable for what you are doing, but take care as this may be exploited by Satan the Devil to distract you from the main mission of the true Christian: the preaching work. Material assistance is helpful only temporary. But Spiritual assistance will have eternal benefits.

"The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."-Mark 14:7

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I agree, Wolf.  I think if the offensive stuff had been dealt with it would have never come to this.  Controversy generates responses, but it is a short term solution.

Eras,

Surely you do not believe that you have been acting respectably in this thread and recent ones?  Would your family and your fellow congregants agree with how you have presented your arguments in these threads?  You have repeatedly crossed the line in the guise of "telling it like it is," but "telling it like it is" is often a euphemism for being unapologetically, brutally mean.  Nobody believes their own beliefs are wrong, but this is not an excuse to insult personally someone you believe to be wrong.  You've already established who you think is wrong and how.  Your facts should speak for themselves, and just because people do not agree does not mean you should perpetually repeat them with new insulting twists.  You are not being an example to be followed.

I'm not sure how it is that you would like me to act, or exactly what I have done wrong. It's never really been defined what I've done wrong, nor has it risen to the level of being banned in any way. In June's most commented upon thread, I simply described some of the sexual acts that the two men in Malawi were most likely performing on each other. 

In fact, the only science fiction threads I've ever been banned from was because of my view of the US military and the War. Imagine, getting banned because I don't take the Pledge, don't believe that it's good to go off to War, etc. But that's how it can be on the Galactica forum.

Oh Eliyyahu, Eliyyahu, you want it both ways. You want to be a good religious person, and condone sexual irresponsibility -- hetero- and homo-. You can't make God fit in your box. You probably agree with a great deal of what I have written, but don't want to express it, because you may want to just go along with the 'crowd'.

But, as a side note.

Everyone who works for me and with me, knows my views. If I so mean and hate-filled, why do so many gays and lesbians like to work with me, and for me? I will never let anyone call them names, hurt them, tease them, or play practical jokes on them.

So I have to say that 60 days later, I am still at a loss why some people on this Forum so intensely dislike me--when everyone around me thinks I am a great guy. So I will try to go easy for a few weeks, so that maybe people on the Dune Forum can be a bit happier.

After all, I am beginning to dislike the Heroes of Dune series, that should count for something.

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Aw man, you just let out the biggest secret of religion. The Cargo Gods will smite you!

Cargo Cult, how gods and religions appear

People who are hungry, sick and needy probably don't care about the motives of the people giving them aid.  It's no secret that many christian organizations send many kinds of assistance (including medical) to the less fortunate.

Afghanistan British Medic Among Foreign Aid Workers Ambushed And Killed By The Taliban

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Since they were spoiling the image of a 'satanic west' they were doomed... Poor people. :'( May YHWH remember them.

Wolf: Can you elaborate? Do you imply that all religions (or at least all Christian dogmas) lead to paradise? This is not Christian thinking at all.

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Athan-not-Anath: care to try not putting words in my mouth for once in your life? I was referring to the fact that your blatant sense of smug self-superiority that is central to your factional leanings is antithetical to the Christian ideal to love one's neighbors as thyself. But, don't worry: you've demonstrated that you're wrong on two counts, for what you did just now qualifies as "bearing false witness against thy neighbor." Good work.

I'm sorry that the rest of you (save for Hwi and Liar) have to see posts like this--I've really just run out of patience with what has to be the most monstrous display of self-righteousness I've ever seen. You people will never even consider it for a second, but your behavior marks you as profoundly un-Christian individuals. That you cannot even consider it--or will never admit it--further compounds your fault.

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Athan-not-Anath: care to try not putting words in my mouth for once in your life? I was referring to the fact that your blatant sense of smug self-superiority that is central to your factional leanings is antithetical to the Christian ideal to love one's neighbors as thyself. But, don't worry: you've demonstrated that you're wrong on two counts, for what you did just now qualifies as "bearing false witness against thy neighbor." Good work.

I'm sorry that the rest of you (save for Hwi and Liar) have to see posts like this--I've really just run out of patience with what has to be the most monstrous display of self-righteousness I've ever seen. You people will never even consider it for a second, but your behavior marks you as profoundly un-Christian individuals. That you cannot even consider it--or will never admit it--further compounds your fault.

Well Wolf, you seem to think that God is a Deist, akin to the Gods of many Fantasy novels series such as   The Creator in the Thomas Covenant Series, or Eru in the Lord of the Rings.

It may be better if you just let loose, and let go of Christianity. That way, without it, you may grow an affinity for the Christ of The Bible.

People who are hungry, sick and needy probably don't care about the motives of the people giving them aid.  It's no secret that many christian organizations send many kinds of assistance (including medical) to the less fortunate.

Usually, nobody else will help them.

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Liar: it would do damage to the English language to use the words available to attempt to describe your ignorance. There are Christians that believe in a trinity, and Christians that do not. There are Christians that believe that Christ came to America after the resurrection, and Christians that do not. There are Christians that believe that the wine and bread literally transforms into the blood and body of Jesus Christ, at a molecular level, at the moment of communion, and Christians that do not. Oh, and yes, there are Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin, and Christians that do not. "Christianity" is a diverse and tremendously large community of individuals who follow "a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament."

If you are so insecure in your faith (or your sexuality, at this point, its extremely difficult to tell, but that further sullies what you claim to be a religious position) that you have to police the religious beliefs of others, then I assure you, that you are far further from the message that Christ preached than you have ever imagined anyone else to be. You have neither the education, the intelligence, the experience, nor especially the right to attempt to "police" other Christians on what specific tenets they should believe. To attempt to do so is to commit the most mortal of sins--do you get it yet? No, listen up, you jerk and liar: I am a Christian, I am proud of it. As for you? Don't worry: I'm sure Christ still loves you, even if you're a terrible human being and a horribly repressed, desperate, secret homosexual.

EDIT: To everyone else, again, I'm sorry you had to see that. It may be "faith-baiting" on their part, but I really can't let this crap go unanswered. They suck, and if they're going to continue to suck, I might propose a moratorium on any faith-based topics on Fed2k.

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Those who believe that the wine is transformed to blood* or believe in a trinitarian God simply ARE NOT CHRISTIANS! Those beliefs are NOT found in the teachings of the apostles.

And maybe Jesus preached on Mars too... How can such morons even be referred too? ::)

*And ignorant idiots too, because they lack knowledge of the Greek language.

Now how you came to the conclusion that Eras is supposed to be a homosexual... maybe I am too, and Hwi is a lesbo?  ::)

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You said it, not me...

Wolf: Bullseye! A palpable hit indeed.

Now, where were we?

Right, I'm going to take another leap into the original topic (Valhalla, I note how that didn't catch on) by continuing with the whole "external life" idea that Dragoon, Lord J and I had opinions on.

This whole idea of the last moment of life being extended into near-infinite perception. I don't like that idea. I mean a) that's not an afterlife so much as tripping at the end of this life and b) it depends very much on reality changing depending on how it is perceived. While that latter point is very interesting discussion in its own right (do objects exist if they are not observed?), to examine it in detail sufficient to enhance this discussion would require a new discussion all of its own. Which, as an aside, might be a rather good idea, as it could finally distract the resident loonies from their spittle-flinging for long enough to get a reasonable debate going.

Anyway, if we're going to start at the very basics then we need to define exactly what it is that experiences an afterlife before we set about defining what an afterlife should be.

Obviously it isn't the body that experiences an afterlife, as it is destroyed following death. Unless the afterlife involves decomposing, that's not a reasonable assumption.

It could only be the mind if it finds some place to reside once departed from the brain. And it must depart from the brain, for the brain becomes unusable mere minutes after death, extendable depending on conditions. The idea of a mind surviving in the brain of another would make sense in that a brain is by default the most comfortable location for a mind, but I don't see how two minds could share a single brain without either impairing both or destroying one of them, probably the intruder since the brain is physical, chemical and electrical and it's not just going to rearrange itself to suit a newcomer.

You know what? This is a thought experiment that isn't going anywhere. I just don't see physical realities (synapses, neurotransmitter, axons, electrical potential across a membrane) suddenly changing should a new mind be installed, simply because those physical realities are the mind. For one mind to live in the brain of another would require the first mind to be erased and replaced with the new one, doubtless a long, difficult and time consuming process. No, living on in the minds or cells of others isn't an option either.

Also I don't count "living on" through works, deeds or whatever. Yes, we all still remember Henry VIII because he had six wives. He doesn't live on through polygamists the world over, nor indeed excommunicated Catholics.

Which leaves us, deprived of body and mind, with that handily undefined nothing, the "soul."

Isn't it interesting how all the vital aspects of religion, faith, spirituality, whatever are undefined and often proclaimed to be undefinable? The soul, the god, the paradise, the motives of a creator... Something worth noting.

So, the "soul." Just what is a soul? It's the vital essence, the innermost being, the ghost that makes the machine more than a machine. All of which means basically nothing. What can you learn from any of those descriptors? Nothing. Save that the soul is undetectable yet holds everything important.

Science used to have things like that. Probably still does (I'm looking at you, Higgs Boson). Time and time again, things that were assumed to exist simply to fill the empty holes in an explanation have been proven to be nonsense. Witness the long-held and ultimately debunked notions of Luminiferous aether or Phlogiston. If something is true neither by definition nor observation then it cannot be held to be true (thank you David Hume).

The soul, then, unlike the mind or the body, has no discernable effect on the world and cannot be logically proven to exist. We can't base any notions of an afterlife on it.

So my question to the sensible members of the forum: what is it that experiences an afterlife? Note that of my above examples, only the mind is considered a possibility. It simply requires a pattern-forming medium in which to house itself.

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You said it, not me...

Right, I'm going to take another leap into the original topic (Valhalla, I note how that didn't catch on) by continuing with the whole "external life" idea that Dragoon, Lord J and I had opinions on.

Could have caught on. The whole concept of a never-ending war being one's idea of a paradise-oriented after-life probably makes the Vikings the most interesting people to study on the issues of after-life.

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"If faith needs to be underpinned by some sort of doctrinal security, then inwardness becomes externalized and the strenuous rigor of faith evaporates."

In the article, Mr Cricthley misses the point.

People who asked Jesus for healing are people who had instant immediate needs, usually a friend or relative was very ill, and they had heard about the wonderful wandering Rabbi who could perform miracles. These are people who had never heard him preach, and Jesus expected very little from them.

But this man surprised Jesus in his level of belief that Jesus was a lord. (Matthew 8:6)

A Roman army commander calling a peasant Jewish carpenter a lord, a title you would only use for a person with great power?

Then, came the confirmation that the centurion understood his place UNDER Jesus. (Matthew 8:8-9) It was the centurion's belief in the concept of Authority of Jesus lording OVER him that won him a place in Heaven. Just as if an important Governor or maybe the Emperor himself were to come to the centurion's house, he would also be unworthy. The centurion completely understood that he, too, would be unworthy if this Lord, Jesus, were to come to his house, as well.

Jesus was happy that the centurion understood his place in the coming Kingdom, under Jesus, and he was rewarded.

What is sad about Critchley is that Critchley does not 'get it' either. He does not encourage his readers to recognize Jesus as a lord, and come under the commands of Jesus, as the centurion did, and get their place in Heaven.

In the article he semi-rambles with usual 'don't judge' passage from Kierkegaard, the indictment of a national church from centuries ago, etc. In fact, it is sad when agnostics/atheists like Critchley pluck a phrase from The Book, and get it completely wrong.

Wolf, I appreciate you posting this article. It gives us a chance to at least move forward true debate. I hope that this orderly discussion can be a benchmark for the future.

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Eras, I don't see how anything you said makes sense. The gist of the article was that true Christians wouldn't actually poke their noses in other peoples' business, Christian or not, because that would display precisely the sort of thing that Christ desired to eliminate from the spectrum of human behavior. "I should abstain from any judgment of what others might or might not do. To judge others is to view matters from the standpoint of externality rather than inwardness. It is arrogance and impertinence. What others owe to me is none of my business." Your post, and your behavior in this thread and others, is a model of precisely that arrogance and impertinence. It is un-Christian. It should also cease. That was my intent in posting the article. That you reject it outright is... telling.

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Eras, I don't see how anything you said makes sense. The gist of the article was that true Christians wouldn't actually poke their noses in other peoples' business, Christian or not, because that would display precisely the sort of thing that Christ desired to eliminate from the spectrum of human behavior. "I should abstain from any judgment of what others might or might not do. To judge others is to view matters from the standpoint of externality rather than inwardness. It is arrogance and impertinence. What others owe to me is none of my business." Your post, and your behavior in this thread and others, is a model of precisely that arrogance and impertinence. It is un-Christian. It should also cease. That was my intent in posting the article. That you reject it outright is... telling.

We live in a world where we all have to inter-act with one another, so we are making judgment calls all of the time. Besides the degrading nature of sin tells us that one thing leads to another.

For example:

The legalization of abortion leads to thoughts and deeds about infanticide.

Lottery legalization in the 80s, has led to a casino on every corner in 2010; so that people can gamble away their hard earned earnings.

I have mentioned here the two topics that are some of the most egregious examples of 'letting the cat out of the bag'. So the spread and love of sin always moves forward unless someone says, 'No, you have to change'.(John 8:11) That 'No, you have to change' is Jesus Christ and his followers.

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