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Post-Mortem: A Discussion on the Afterlife

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Do you see sin as good and bad, or as what God commands us to do / not to do? Or perhaps the latter, which happens to fall into the former?

The two are one and the same.

I think that the big plus of Christianity is the equalization of everyone in the after-life. Sort of like the great lure to girls to join the Bene Gesserit -- the great equalization.

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Did you even read Chapterhouse?

And is (for example) murder bad because god says it is, or does god say it is because it is bad?

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Did you even read Chapterhouse?

Yes. It is my least favorite of the 6. So I don't read it very often. What is your point?

And is (for example) murder bad because god says it is, or does god say it is because it is bad?

Murder is inherently bad, and God also says it's bad.

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My point is that you're an idiot.

Case in point, you didn't answer the question. Let me rephrase it. Does morality derive from god, or does god derive his instructions from a moral principle?

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My point is that you're an idiot.

boo hoo? Dante called me an idiot?

You really should try to 'get over' any perceived slight or insult you feel. Everything I believe, I have said. There is no alleged 'agreeing with you' as other may feign to feel, and then snickering behind your back.

You know, I am really trying not to extremist-ize these Threads. In other words, have it be a debate between the most perceived leftist (you) and the most perceived rightist (me). Can you keep it happy, peppy, and bursting with love, or at least restrain yourself?

Case in point, you didn't answer the question. Let me rephrase it. Does morality derive from god, or does god derive his instructions from a moral principle?

Obviously, God is the author of all morality. It comes from understanding the Creation principle. Morality is simply aligning oneself with the ONE and ONLY way that the Universe can work correctly.

Since the Universe is subject to Natural Law, we have guideposts that point us towards morality.

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I just wanted to understand how you view sin and morality Eras, since that is so entwined with afterlife consequences (even with some of the more natural theories purposed in this thread where "sin" develops a guilty hallucination experience at the time of death).

Now, we all align ourselves to different moralities based on outside and inside influences. I see good and bad where I've learned to see it, and with enough experience can judge an event or action as good or bad based on my morality.

When I see the "ONE and ONLY way that the Universe can work correctly" leading to first-borns being killed as a coercion for the Pharoah to let Moses and his people go, I judge that as bad. If you remove the biblical elements, and the metaphysical causes, and ask anyone with enough experience to judge that event, they will tell you that it is barbaric, evil, and tragic.

In the book Calculating God, there are alien creatures that are naturally adept at deciphering morality problems - just as we are naturally adept at solving mathematical problems. To them, this would be a very simple problem, akin to [X2 + 4 = Y, Y + 3 = X] for example.

If we can create a better alternative to God's Ultimate Morality, what does that say of Him? If I was asked which morality to trust, the one portrayed in the Bible or my own, I would invariably trust my own.

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Only God is good and holy by nature and only He knows what is right and wrong. So morality is defined by God.

Any human is evil by nature, we can't help it, but God can change us. I hope we can all argee that hitting and lying are bad. Now when a child grows up and learns to talk he will lie, even if he never has heard a lie in his life...its in his nature. And when another child takes his toys, he will hit, even if he has never seen this happen. Its in his nature.

When we look at the teaching of Jesus, we see that He put His finger on the heart of humans. Many sins we do not commit outwardly but inwardly (because we are either afraid or not capable of commiting them outwardly). A few examples:

- You hear or see some person doing or saying something bad and in your heart you feel like hitting/killing him.

- You desire someone in your heart

- In your heart, you consider yourself a better person then others (sin of pride)

- In your heart you imagin yourself stealing something valueble.

- In your heart you insult someone (but you smile when facing him)

- In your heart you hate someone (= sin of killing, you dont kill because you are afraid, incapable).

etc.

Now these things happen in your heart, they dont bother me, because I cannot see them. I only see a smiling person who is generally nice and helpful, but God sees your heart and will judge you by your heart. If we would look into our heart and thoughts we would see that we are indeed evil and thus we cannot make some moral law having such a nature. Thank God for giving His law to us.

Acriku, regarding your reply, the problem is that you do not look at eternity (because you do not believe in eternity). Good looks at eternity and His works are eternal, thus any action He does, He takes into account everything, we only take into account the current moment and judge accordingly, but God takes into account eternity and He judges fairly. Moreover, God knows the future and can act based on that knowledge.

I am sure that your morality will not tell you to love and take care of your enemy (=someone who wants to kill you and/or your family). I am sure your morality will not tell you to give your life for such a person, but Gods morality does. I am sure your morality says its okey to insult/kill/deceive/rob someone in your heart, as long as you don't do it outwardly, but Gods morality tells me that my heart has to be clean and that I have to love every human being in my heart, and any thought of insulting/killing/deceiving is bad and should not enter my heart. I am sure your morality puts you above some people, whether that be based on knowlegde, skills, income etc. But God tells me to consider every person better then myself and thus act in humbleness towards every person. I noticed earlier in the discussions that people where talking about each others jobs and incomes and where trying to judge the other based on this, well this is how human morality works, but Gods is different, it holy, its perfect.

If you would only consider the commandment that we are to love our enemies, you would see that it is a divine commandment. A human being cannot say such a thing, because the best a human being can say is: love those that love you and ignore your enemies or something along those lines. I am sure you cannot even imagin loving, as you love your friends and relatives, your enemy. This is beyond our nature, but it is possible to imagin and do with the love of God spread out in our hearts throgh His Holy Spirit.

Now regarding afterlife, this discussion is relevant for the afterlife. The only reason why you think that killing is bad, is because God wrote His law in your hart. That is also the reason that all people, everywhere, even before people from one country could go to another one, knew that killing, lying, cheating etc. is bad. You cannot say that this is caused by reasoning, because this would mean that some people who are less inteligent should think killing is fine. Of course, knowing that it is bad, it has not resulted in not killing. Many people have chosen to disregard the law written in their hearts, of which their conciousness witnesses and have thus killed, stolen, lied etc.

Thank about it, when an animals kills another animal, why doesn't it feel guilt? Because the law of God is not written in their hearts. If we would be evolved animals, then we shouldn't be different from them in this perspective, because conciousness is not an organ that can evolve, its infact something spiritual. So the fact that we know right from wrong and we generally agree that 6 of Gods 10 commandments are right (the other 4 are man-God contact, the 6 I talk about are for man-man contact) no matter where, when and how we are born, we can see that God has written His law in our hearts and that His law is the basis of morality for us.

Now this means that when we die, we have to face the God that put His law in our hearts. When we face Him, we cannot say: 'I did not know', or, 'I did not believe'. His law is written in your heart, you have the choose to obey or not to obey, so when you face Him you are without excuse.

I appologise if my english wasn't fully correct, english is not my mother tongue, so I hope you will bare with me.

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Now, we all align ourselves to different moralities based on outside and inside influences. I see good and bad where I've learned to see it, and with enough experience can judge an event or action as good or bad based on my morality.

But only God and the Enemy have the large muti-generational view.

For example, in this generation abortion is accepted, and let's be honest -- expected in The West, in all non-favorative pregnancies. A poor girl, who is an adolescent, non-married is sorely pressured to have an abortion, and usually does. 50 years ago, that concept would have been considered barbaric.

Now we have 'think tanks' in the West debating post-birth infanticide. The debate is now when 'does life begin' after birth.

So, your view may be skewed to the information available to you and the accepted morality of this generation.

When I see the "ONE and ONLY way that the Universe can work correctly" leading to first-borns being killed as a coercion for the Pharoah to let Moses and his people go, I judge that as bad. If you remove the biblical elements, and the metaphysical causes, and ask anyone with enough experience to judge that event, they will tell you that it is barbaric, evil, and tragic

What's really tragic in that situation was that a man (pharaoh) thought he was a god, and put his people through such misery in the previous nine plagues.

In the book Calculating God, there are alien creatures that are naturally adept at deciphering morality problems - just as we are naturally adept at solving mathematical problems. To them, this would be a very simple problem, akin to [X2 + 4 = Y, Y + 3 = X] for example.

What would X be? Softcore porn is okay, but not hard core? Y is Stealing for one's kids is OK, but not for electronic items? Everyone's X and Y is different. One major aspect of Dune I like is that man is theonly intelligent life in the Universe.

If we can create a better alternative to God's Ultimate Morality, what does that say of Him? If I was asked which morality to trust, the one portrayed in the Bible or my own, I would invariably trust my own.

What would be better than God's morality? There isn't any.

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Sure there is. One without tyranny.

You really should try to 'get over' any perceived slight or insult you feel. Everything I believe, I have said. There is no alleged 'agreeing with you' as other may feign to feel, and then snickering behind your back.

You know, I am really trying not to extremist-ize these Threads. In other words, have it be a debate between the most perceived leftist (you) and the most perceived rightist (me). Can you keep it happy, peppy, and bursting with love, or at least restrain yourself?

Your assumptions are amusing in their inaccuracy.

You seem to be labouring under a misapprehension. I don't insult you just for the fun of it (if I did, I'd use significantly more adjectives), nor out of pique, nor to troll for a negative reaction. I insult you because you are so very wrong on every conceivable level that to dissect just how wrong you are, to peel away each one of countless levels of ignorance, would take more time, effort and dedication than I currently possess. It would involve delving into years of prejudice, strata of blinkered xenophobia. And since I really don't care about you, at all, I suffice by summarising all of that in a single word. Remember, every time I call you an idiot, just what that means.

And on that note, seriously, stop with the scare quotes. It's pathetic, badly structured, and combined with the frankly insulting implication of false friends to make a rather ugly statement.

Also, just because you're honest doesn't mean you're not a moron.

I'm going to ignore the bit about natural law (you're an idiot) in order to get back to the original question.

Obviously, God is the author of all morality. It comes from understanding the Creation principle. Morality is simply aligning oneself with the ONE and ONLY way that the Universe can work correctly.

I see. Tell me then, what use is a system of morality that would be equally praiseworthy if it promoted exactly the opposite ideals?

Failing to understand the question in 3... 2...

And finally, one counterpoint to useless' post: you have no idea what other peoples' moral systems are, so stop making it up.

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Sure there is. One without tyranny.

Your assumptions are amusing in their inaccuracy.

You seem to be labouring under a misapprehension. I don't insult you just for the fun of it (if I did, I'd use significantly more adjectives), nor out of pique, nor to troll for a negative reaction. I insult you because you are so very wrong on every conceivable level that to dissect just how wrong you are, to peel away each one of countless levels of ignorance, would take more time, effort and dedication than I currently possess. It would involve delving into years of prejudice, strata of blinkered xenophobia. And since I really don't care about you, at all, I suffice by summarising all of that in a single word. Remember, every time I call you an idiot, just what that means.

And on that note, seriously, stop with the scare quotes. It's pathetic, badly structured, and combined with the frankly insulting implication of false friends to make a rather ugly statement.

Also, just because you're honest doesn't mean you're not a moron.

I'm going to ignore the bit about natural law (you're an idiot) in order to get back to the original question.

I see. Tell me then, what use is a system of morality that would be equally praiseworthy if it promoted exactly the opposite ideals?

Failing to understand the question in 3... 2...

And finally, one counterpoint to useless' post: you have no idea what other peoples' moral systems are, so stop making it up.

Let me re-phrase then. This Thread and other Threads in this Forum has become the most permissive sexually morally person (you) vs the most restrictive sexually morally person (me). Why do you want it to be like that? I am trying to get away from Dante v Eras as enemies. I am trying to find the areas where we can have sincere dialog.

You're right, I don't understand your question:

Are you saying that man has the natural tendency not to obey God?

Or that maybe the Christian God is not the Creator, and that there is another Creator that believes in 'free sexual expression', etc?

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Let me re-phrase then. This Thread and other Threads in this Forum has become the most permissive sexually morally person (you) vs the most restrictive sexually morally person (me). Why do you want it to be like that? I am trying to get away from Dante v Eras as enemies. I am trying to find the areas where we can have sincere dialog.

The real joke here is that Dante is a virgin (at least, to my understanding) and Liar isn't. Liar doesn't understand that he's fabricated a mental framework to shield his mind from any form of critical thought--probably because at one point in his youth, he thought critically about the world, and was scared by the sudden realization of his ignorance. A lot of people do this, but, in any case, it produces perverse results where Liar calls someone like Dante a sexual libertine when he is not. That's a lie, and that's why his name is Liar. The only way Liar can get out of this situation is to do what the rest of us did when we were 3-year-olds and embrace our ignorance and face the world as it is--only then can we begin to wonder about God, the universe, and everything with any sort of significant meaning.

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The real joke here is that Dante is a virgin (at least, to my understanding) and Liar isn't.

Not in thoughts. Dante is most likely not a virgin in thoughts. Whereas, I am committed to one woman, till one of us dies, in thought and deed. That's where Dante and I are diametrically opposed. But I will commend Dante on this, he has talked about himself -- whereas others have remained silent. So, I was simply responding to his comments about morality, and of course, his insults.

But I will say. I was an alcoholic womanizer in my 20s, when I changed, humbled myself, and began to follow God. Humbled myself--that's the biggee.

Liar doesn't understand that he's fabricated a mental framework to shield his mind from any form of critical thought--probably because at one point in his youth, he thought critically about the world, and was scared by the sudden realization of his ignorance.

No, until I read [rhymes with breed, not bred] it in the New Covenant that sexual permissiveness is okay'ed, I will stick with exclusive heterosexual marriage. The burden is always on you Wolf, really you are WiSC (a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing), leading others astray from God's True Good News.

So having said that WiSC, start coughing up New Testament oriented documents that okay sexual permissiveness. Oh, I forgot, there aren't any.

WiSC, I refuse to give in to The West's current propaganda, and if you understood where this whole world is going Biblically, so would you. Where else can it go? Downward. With demnominations like ELCA having a lesbian bishop, or that another misguided denomination is re-'affirming' their position on abortion until the 18th week of gestation.

A lot of people do this, but, in any case, it produces perverse results where Liar calls someone like Dante a sexual libertine when he is not. That's a lie, and that's why his name is Liar. The only way Liar can get out of this situation is to do what the rest of us did when we were 3-year-olds and embrace our ignorance and face the world as it is--only then can we begin to wonder about God, the universe, and everything with any sort of significant meaning.

WiSC, you are a lazy scholar. I thought that you were the type of person that I could have a debate about some of the views of the Early Church Leaders of the 100s and 200s, and their views on the after-life, and other topics that are Threaded-- but you're not.

Unless it's a snarky put down of traditional Christianity, or someone who just accepts anything in the name of Christ, it's just 'let the insults flow with you'.

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Oh hey, look, we're back to sex. Funny how Eracist keeps bringing that up, mm? If anyone's obsessed here, it certainly isn't me.

Also, Erac, monogamy is not the same as virginity. And my earlier chastisement to useless applies to you as well: you are not in a position to make assumptions about my thoughts - just because you don't know something doesn't mean you have to invent something to fill the gap (oh snap, I bet you don't get the message in that either).

You're right, I don't understand your question:

Are you saying that man has the natural tendency not to obey God?

Or that maybe the Christian God is not the Creator, and that there is another Creator that believes in 'free sexual expression', etc?

Neither, and thank you for giving me another opportunity (as I predicted) to point out that you are, in fact, an idiot.

It's very simple. If morality is based on the will of god then god is equally praiseworthy for doing entirely contradictory things. God saves a kitten from drowning, gives it wings and makes it a little kitty angel? That's good, because it's god. God burns a barn full of orphans and nuns to the ground, sends them all to hell because he feels ornery? Infinitely good, because it's god. God would be just as praiseworthy for saving a town as destroying it.

So, yeah, you were on completely the wrong track. And by the way, the traditional response to this argument is "you're trying to apply puny human logic to god, when god is above such things." I will take any application of that argument as an admission of defeat, because god is not above contradictions.

Let me re-phrase then. This Thread and other Threads in this Forum has become the most permissive sexually morally person (you) vs the most restrictive sexually morally person (me). Why do you want it to be like that? I am trying to get away from Dante v Eras as enemies. I am trying to find the areas where we can have sincere dialog.
No, you aren't, you're trying to get people to agree with you in a sad attempt to prove that you aren't entirely irrelevent. And for Lavoisier's sake don't try to pigeonhole me. You don't know how I feel about polygamy, incest, beastiality, rape, necrophilia, masterbation... I don't think I've even made a statement on mixed-race couples. The only thing you know about me is that I'm attracted to my own gender and don't have a problem with that. If not having a problem with same-sex attraction is "permissive" then, seeing how many people agree with me, I don't see how I'm the most.

Also, "most permissive sexually morally?" Were you taught English by a rabbit or something?

And for the love of Sir Charles Lyell, must you keep talking about sex? Seriously, all the time, it's sex sex sex sex sex sex. What is this fascination with sex, especially the sex acts of other people? I've never met a single gay person who liked to talk about sex as much as you do. What is this, some sort of escape from a loveless marriage by talking about sex with strangers?

Also, I'm not interested in being friends, nor even being civil. Stop antagonising me and I'll ignore you, that's about as good an offer as you're likely to get.

Unless of course you just admit that you've been wrong about everything. That'd be nice, but I won't hold my breath.

Unless it's a snarky put down of traditional Christianity, or someone who just accepts anything in the name of Christ, it's just 'let the insults flow with you'

I'm guessing that was supposed to be "Unless it's a snarky put down of traditional Christianity, or someone who just accepts anything in the name of Christ, it's just 'let the insults flow' with you." That would actually make sense, anyway.

1) The bible is just words anyway.

2) There are plenty of things in there about turning the other cheek and not judging people.

3) You're an idiot.

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Oh my God! Liar figured it out! My blatant, obvious and public username is a subtle allusion to the fact that I'm Satan! Goddamn! I thought the Allies would never crack that code.

No, buddy, listen up: I live life the best way I know how, as good as I know how, and that's the actual source of your feeble and offensive attempts to "correct" our behavior. You have a problem with what form our good-faith efforts to be good people take, and so you're lashing out because of a basic insecurity born of ignorance, the fact that deep down, you don't actually believe in God or the here-after and are attempting to make it real for yourself through manufactured zeal, and the fact that you're also probably deeply confused about your sexuality. You've never, ever thought of having sex with a woman other than you wife since marriage, huh? Really? Yeah, I mean, the obvious explanation is that you're a liar, and that you've just invented this point because you can't bear to lose this argument for the above reasons. But let me continue to be a better person than you are and assume that you're telling the truth. Hm, yeah--and in a topic about the afterlife every, single, one of your frakking posts deals with your hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality. Ever encounter a closet-case in your "ministry," Liar?

EDIT: And I must agree with Dante that use of the "human reason cannot comprehend God's meaning" argument is something that should be discontinued. This is true not only because it is essentially an admission of defeat and a variant of the "God works in mysterious ways" attempt to throw one's hands up in the air in a debate about God per se, but also because it is a notion that cuts both ways. If human reason is insufficient, and God may act inconsistently, then there is no point to scripture: any interpretation, however seemingly-contradictory, can be supported. This is why, for example, Crusaders can liquidate villages in God's name despite the "thou shalt not kill" order. And this reminds me: as always, Liar, the burden is actually on you to explain why, if homosexuality is indeed so evil, God did not include it in his list of 10 prime directives to the human race, and why, in order to enforce a rule against homosexuality, you will actually violate items on that list?

(Oh, and shh: I didn't want to say anything, but "Liar" has way more punch than a made-up and inscrutable acronym. Furthermore, imitation is the highest form of flattery, so, thank you. But I'd rather you start telling the truth, Liar.)

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Useless: There are plenty of examples of animals engaging in altruistic behavior. In fact, you should read up on Bonobos. Although I didn't read anything about "murder" specifically, there appears to be a strong taboo against incest, for example, though homosexuality seems to be fairly rampant. It seems more likely to me that animals kill out-species more frequently than in-species (as do humans), and in-species killings are typically socially motivated (as are human killings) by pain, resource management or dominance.

Would it not be more simple (again, retreating to Occam's razor) to attribute our moral nature on a tendency to behave socially respectful that has been selected naturally throughout generations? In this way, monkeys that are "antisocial" are killed off, as are their offspring (particularly when/if they reveal antisocial tendencies), which reduces the presence of antisocial tendencies in the genes, while prosocial tendencies (i.e., working to ingratiate yourself with the mother of your offspring, her parents and siblings, etc.) would be selected time and again for reproduction. Meanwhile, a few of the antisocial types would occasionally rape or steal which retains a small proportion of those tendencies within the overall group.

You see, IDiots have a tendency to use a very poorly elucidated concept of natural selection to "disprove" it, while essentially sounding like, well... you know... to those of us who are critical thinkers. The simple fact of the matter is that natural selection can easily be used to account for any tendency in behavior (yes, even platypi, choice, society and religion).

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Idiot, Liar, WiSC... This thread is heading for a lock. Please can you stop this? I can no longer follow your lengthy irrelevant posts.

And Wolf the Greek philosophers have spoken before you:

ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα - Sokrates.

So for you:

γλαῦκ

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Sorry, I find it hilarious that you're trying to act like you're somehow entitled to hold yourself aloft from all this, athanasios. :)  Also, for what is at least the third time in different threads, stop posting in Greek.  These forums are in English; it's in the rules.  Translate it yourself.

The off-topic posts in this thread were instigated by ErasOmnius and Hwi, as per usual.  In trying to respond to their hate-spewing, people like Wolf , Dante, Lord J and myself also attempted to bring the thread back on-topic.  At the end of this post, I will do so again.

To Eras and Hwi: you're wrong, no-one likes you or what you have to say, and no-one is in the slightest bit swayed by it.  Every effort you put in to try and prove yourselves right is wasted.  Your entire worldview is dying out, in the UK and elsewhere.  You ignore points laid against you while blithely repeating your own, never taking into account that they have been dismissed time and again.  Do everyone on this forum a favour and just shut up; stop crapping up other peoples' threads with your pathetic rhetoric.

Now, to content.  Shifting focus away from the actual substance of an afterlife (since we've touched on a wide variety of different ways one could exist, and how to get there), I'd like to take some time to think on how (if at all) we can have knowledge of it.

We've discussed the possibility of artificial afterlives, i.e. those that we create.  For those, there was the issue of whether or not it constituted an actual "afterlife", as opposed to simply a continuation of it.  There are arguments for both, but it boils down to whether you consider anything after body-death to qualify, or if it needs to be something abstracted from life as we know it.  But there would never be a problem with knowing of such an afterlife.  We could be certain it existed.

What I'm referring to are the more esoteric theories, assuming for a moment that they can exist.  If there is a heaven, hell, dream-state higher existence, etc., do people think that there will ever be a way to physically detect or otherwise confirm either their existence, or the existence of a "soul" or "essence" that goes there?  This is, again, assuming that such a spiritual entity exists.  While I understand that a lot of people will have pretty polar beliefs on this topic (i.e. there definitely is or isn't a soul), for the purposes of this question, simply assume that they do.

We've already determined that religion can't prove that an afterlife exists; believers have to exactly what their namesake suggests and have faith.  Can anyone think of a way for an afterlife of this definition to be objectively proven to exist?  To put it in a simple and familiar way, can there be scientific proof that heaven exists?

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Does the soul exist? I don't know. My question regarding the soul, is, what does it do? As we've already discussed, I do not see any reason to assert that there is some individual will at the root of human behavior (some Homunculus that dictates inside of our heads) while the illusion of conscious will (sorry, I just recently read the first chapter or so of a book on this very subject, by the same name) can be explained in terms of a tendency to observe and predict potentially causality. Memory, attention, and the process of experience, problem-solving, and will all exist as quite literal, physical processes that are scientifically measurable. Therefore, there is really no need for some spiritual existence of a soul or whatever outside of the physical reality. In other words, if all of the physical processes mentioned above turn off at the point of death, what remains for a soul?

Now, that being said, I differentiate science from religion/spiritualism/mentalism/whatever-you-want-to-call-it-ism in terms of what can clearly be manipulated and experienced by our senses (limited though they may be). If I can clearly say that, for example, everything that goes up must go down, I must be willing and able to test many different objects, at many different heights, and I must clearly define what up, down, and "everything" are. The problem with the soul and other spiritual constructs is that although many of us (myself included) have had spiritual experiences, the soul is not something that may be manipulated and meaningfully measured. For example, do I persist when doing something because I have great willpower, or I feel it in my soul? Or is it simply the fact that I've received encouragement all along the way, or had a relatively rich history of encouragement in a similar set of circumstances? Essentially, the argument of a "soul" or a "will" at this point is philosophical and meaningless because similar behavior can be asserted to exist simply by appealing to physical science.

What's interesting about this is how people cling to religious viewpoints because it's easier to say, "God did it" than to think clearly about how something works in the real world, and also because they have a long history of such statements being followed by encouragement (of a social or physical nature) and opposing viewpoints being ridiculed and discouraged. But again, I'm going off-topic.

Now. Can science ever support the existence of the soul or an afterlife? Possibly, but at this point the evidence would have to be pretty startling. We would need to set up some sort of telephone/virtual reality device whereby living humans could interact with dead humans and actually obtain meaningful information that they could not have known otherwise. Everyone would have to be able to use/build this device to support multiple replications. Even then, you would have thousands of differing theories on what was actually going on until the strongest theory (that there are souls who exist in an afterlife, and this device can reach them) is well-supported by years of debate and testing.

Here's the problem though. The afterlife and souls are said to have a spiritual (nonphysical) nature. How can something physical (a telephone or artificial reality) actually tap into something that is nonphysical?

EDIT: I just realized what I was describing here: a Ouija board.

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Oh my God! Liar figured it out! My blatant, obvious and public username is a subtle allusion to the fact that I'm Satan! Goddamn! I thought the Allies would never crack that code.

No, buddy, listen up: I live life the best way I know how, as good as I know how, and that's the actual source of your feeble and offensive attempts to "correct" our behavior.

Every Book in the New Testament is an attempt to correct behavior. Even every book in the Psuedoepigrapha is at least an attempt to inspire good behavior. Your books that you used to bring up, the Gnostic Books, attempt to redeem man, as well.

I know you don't bring them up anymore, like you used to in the Spring. Not since you know I'm here to de-bunk the myths that you spread about them.

You have a problem with what form our good-faith efforts to be good people take, and so you're lashing out because of a basic insecurity born of ignorance, the fact that deep down, you don't actually believe in God or the here-after and are attempting to make it real for yourself through manufactured zeal...

No, I'm actually here as an outreach. Someone didn't give up on me back in the 80s when I was a Dune-loving humanist, so I don't think I should give up just yet.

, and the fact that you're also probably deeply confused about your sexuality.

I'm not a homosexual, nor a bi. I am always reaching out to gays and lesbians because at times they are really open to the Good News. I have found that when they come in for change at the Center, they change.

You've never, ever thought of having sex with a woman other than you wife since marriage, huh? Really? Yeah, I mean, the obvious exp lanation is that you're a liar, and that you've just invented this point because you can't bear to lose this argument for the above reasons.

C'mon, I am a human male in The West, who works out, etc. Temptation from needy females is everywhere. But I don't dwell on it.

But let me continue to be a better person than you are and assume that you're telling the truth. Hm, yeah--and in a topic about the afterlife every, single, one of your frakking posts deals with your hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality. Ever encounter a closet-case in your "ministry," Liar?

Once again, from experience, they have the one of the highest Change rate from what I've observed. But look over a few days ago. I was minding my own business responding to others, when someone called me a name.

EDIT: And I must agree with Dante that use of the "human reason cannot comprehend God's meaning" argument is something that should be discontinued. This is true not only because it is essentially an admission of defeat and a variant of the "God works in mysterious ways" attempt to throw one's hands up in the air in a debate about God per se, but also because it is a notion that cuts both ways. If human reason is insufficient, and God may act inconsistently, then there is no point to scripture: any interpretation, however seemingly-contradictory, can be supported.

You've never seen me hide behind 'God is too mysterious to understand.'

This is why, for example, Crusaders can liquidate villages in God's name despite the "thou shalt not kill" order.

Probably most Crusaders are burning in hell, for the reasons that you just gave.

And this reminds me: as always, Liar, the burden is actually on you to explain why, if homosexuality is indeed so evil, God did not include it in his list of 10 prime directives to the human race, and why, in order to enforce a rule against homosexuality, you will actually violate items on that list?

The un-naturalness oh homosexuality is self-evident. The 10 Commanadments were designed to speak to 95%+ of the people. They were designed to get the 95% immediately 'back on track'. A few years later came The Rest of the Law -- which mentions the rest of what the remainder of the people may be doing.

(Oh, and shh: I didn't want to say anything, but "Liar" has way more punch than a made-up and inscrutable acronym. Furthermore, imitation is the highest form of flattery, so, thank you. But I'd rather you start telling the truth, Liar.)

I'm not going to flatter you Wolf. I could call you Liar, but I won't. I am not posting for you at all. You are the one person who may never repent.

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The burden is always on you Wolf, really you are WiSC (a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing), leading others astray from God's True Good News.

Well put, ErasOmnius.

Now, concerning the afterlife

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Idiot, Liar, WiSC... This thread is heading for a lock. Please can you stop this?

Right. I go away for a couple of weeks, and look what happens. Seriously, people, calm down. No one has a nefarious plan to serve Satan or build a lying theocracy or whatever by posting on an internet forum. Don't make me lock the thread.

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Edric, I'm sorry, but I think that calling someone a liar or an idiot when they have repeatedly misrepresented other peoples' posts to the end of making offensive points is the only option left available to us by a clearly-hateful, vengeful and agenda-driven cabal of trolls. I have tried time and again to be calm, reasonable, and fair, but have received only progressively more hateful and offensive responses in turn. I get called Satan, or a servant thereof? I'm told that I'm evil and that I need to repent or be saved? I'm sorry: the opposition on this thread is neither fair, respectful, or in the right, and I can only treat them with the fairness and respect they don't deserve for so long before I appear to legitimize their views. I'm tired of being called a flip-flopper or a demon in implication or in fact, where the only explanations for this behavior on the part of certain parties in this thread is idiocy or intentional misrepresentation. Either way, a mod should have stepped in long ago and made this behavior unacceptable from the beginning. The views of the 2.5 (Athan-not-Anath tends to go back and forth) posters who have escalated this topic and others are offensive, and would be inappropriate in almost every other public forum. I think they are inappropriate here.

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The off-topic posts in this thread were instigated by ErasOmnius and Hwi, as per usual.  In trying to respond to their hate-spewing, people like Wolf , Dante, Lord J and myself also attempted to bring the thread back on-topic.

I have no desire to go off topic.

To Eras and Hwi: you're wrong, no-one likes you or what you have to say, and no-one is in the slightest bit swayed by it.  Every effort you put in to try and prove yourselves right is wasted.  Your entire worldview is dying out, in the UK and elsewhere.

The Father wants it to appear to be dying off, actually it's being purified--here at the End of the Age of Grace for the Gentiles. The numbers are lessening of people who are walking into a building once a week to hear a short lecture about Jesus Christ. But the people who are going, are learning deeply about the The Book and the Son of God, is increasing.

Now that the Jews have returned to Zion, there is a world-wide government (United Nations) gaining power, and the spreading of the culture of The West, the End of this Age can begin. The Holy Spirit as the Restrainer on mankind's hearts has been lifted, and the people of the world who want to can sink into a pit of immorality. That way mankind can be judged. Those who want to live with the Son when He returns to rule the world in a few years, will answer the call. Those who don't answer the call, won't.

You ignore points laid against you while blithely repeating your own, never taking into account that they have been dismissed time and again.  Do everyone on this forum a favour and just shut up; stop crapping up other peoples' threads with your pathetic rhetoric.

This Thread is about the after-life. It can only really be so long. Either one believes in a religious after-life, which involves being judged; or evolutionary thought of some sort, in which your body dies, and a person ceases to exist.

But as far as me, Hwi, and others; and the back-and-forth postings. Do you really think that a Thread on the Internet in a science-fiction Forum can get over 3600 Views & over 270 good posts without such well-informed, well-structured debate? And do so in only 7 weeks?

This is real debate here. We're not debating whether or not Starbuck on Galactica should have joined  Felix Gaeta's mutiny, or if The Doctor and RiverSong should have their wedding shown on next year's Doctor Who. We are talking about good old-fashioned 'back and forth'.

I hope that others who are seeking intellectual debate from around the globe join in. New people are reading and posting. 'Wheel of Time' readers, here we are! 'Thomas Covenant/Linden Avery' readers, here is a Forum with some guts. Soon, even the 'Tolkien people' will take notice. 

To put it in a simple and familiar way, can there be scientific proof that heaven exists?

No.

Edric, I'm sorry, but I think that calling someone a liar or an idiot when they have repeatedly misrepresented other peoples' posts to the end of making offensive points is the only option left available to us by a clearly-hateful, vengeful and agenda-driven cabal of trolls.

I don't mind if Wolf calls me names. Been called worse.

Wolf, I have never mis-represented anyone's posts. In fact, I have simply responded.

I have tried time and again to be calm, reasonable, and fair, but have received only progressively more hateful and offensive responses in turn. I get called Satan, or a servant thereof?

I am saying that you are inadvertently aligning yourself with the Enemy. I know that you would never intentionally do this.

I'm told that I'm evil and that I need to repent or be saved? I'm sorry: the opposition on this thread is neither fair, respectful, or in the right, and I can only treat them with the fairness and respect they don't deserve for so long before I appear to legitimize their views. I'm tired of being called a flip-flopper or a demon in implication or in fact, where the only explanations for this behavior on the part of certain parties in this thread is idiocy or intentional misrepresentation.

Back to debating whether or not Paul was born on Kaitain or Caladan we go?

Wolf, here's a challenge, see if you can go a week without responding to something I write. You can't, because you like the debate. Like I said earlier in this post, where else can we go for such lively discussion? Not Galactica forums, the Caprica Forum comes close, certainly not The Doctor forums. Star Wars forums? Hardly.

Either way, a mod should have stepped in long ago and made this behavior unacceptable from the beginning.

Edric is a great Mod. He knows great debate when he sees it -- and does not wish to censor it.

The views of the 2.5 (Athan-not-Anath tends to go back and forth) posters...

You're forgetting UselessServant.

...who have escalated this topic and others are offensive, and would be inappropriate in almost every other public forum. I think they are inappropriate here.

I know, Wolf, that you are not for censorship.

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Wolf, I have never mis-represented anyone's posts. In fact, I have simply responded.

'zat so?

...'agreeing with you' as other may feign to feel, and then snickering behind your back.

Because that looks like an implication that Wolf is being less than honest with me, indeed is quietly mocking everything I say.

Not in thoughts. Dante is most likely not a virgin in thoughts. Whereas, I am committed to one woman, till one of us dies, in thought and deed. That's where Dante and I are diametrically opposed.

And that is just making stuff up. Very much a misrepresentation, I think you'll find.

Hwi, if those who don't believe in god yet still debate on the subject must secretly believe in god, then why did you start two anti-evolution arguments?

Edric, I suggest you wield mod powers with a bit more specificity.

Edric is a great Mod. He knows great debate when he sees it -- and does not wish to censor it.

1) Stop toadying.

2) This isn't great debate, stop flattering yourself.

3) Mods don't like to lock things because it leaves behind resentment which boils over in other threads. Witness Mahdi's spree a few weeks ago.

4) Mods don't censor opinions, they censor bad behaviour. It's a line that I have repeatedly danced along because I firmly believe that you are more in the wrong than I am.

And finally, if we assume the existence of a soul then I refer again to Hume's Fork. It must be proven by definition or observation or it is not true.

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Edric, I suggest you wield mod powers with a bit more specificity.

1) Stop toadying.

Not toadying. I'm saying that Edric is not a censorer of dialog.

2) This isn't great debate, stop flattering yourself.

Then why are you always the first to respond to me? Because it's debate, and its good dialog.

3) Mods don't like to lock things because it leaves behind resentment which boils over in other threads. Witness Mahdi's spree a few weeks ago.

I would say that locking Threads is not a biggee. Banning Users is a much bigger deal.

4) Mods don't censor opinions, they censor bad behaviour.

Mods censoring opinions? Obviously you have never participated in the Caprica Forums.

It's a line that I have repeatedly danced along because I firmly believe that you are more in the wrong than I am.

I don't mind the put downs, so much.

And finally, if we assume the existence of a soul then I refer again to Hume's Fork. It must be proven by definition or observation or it is not true.

Around half of humanity believes in some sort of after-life. Is half of humanity simply duped -- or wanting to aspire to something greater in the next Life?

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