The concept of an afterlife is inhumane and immoral. Belief in the continuation of your "soul" or consciousness after death is wishful thinking. Belief in an afterlife devalues the one life that actually exists: this one.
And thus it was so with all of the clubites for Techno had banished their love for our Savior from their hearts.
Aaron, FYI, not all Christians buy into the "Left Behind" nonsense. There are other views on the end of all things, that are much older, (and actually founded in good Biblical interpretation) than the Left Behind books. I would also advise that you not waist your time reading the series, , not only for the bad theology, but also for the lack of literary excellence. BTW, did you see my comments on how you can know if you are saved? I posted them to the post on "Christians Don't Know What Reality They Exist In".Paul C. Quillman
Jesus' General is a satire blog. This post was meant in humor, not as a serious criticism of Christianity or some kind of analysis of the Left Behind series. And yes Paul, I saw your post detailing the many passages in the Bible that promise salvation for true believers. I think it served as terrific evidence for my argument that Christianity and Christians themselves assume self-interest before and above their claim of putting God/Jesus first. The promise of the ultimate personal salvation/reward for the faithful, combined with the threat of ultimate damnation/punishment for the unfaithful, serves as the ultimate carrot and stick system to enforce the master/slave moral system of Christianity. It is clearly the prime motivator for obedience, and it clearly plays on everyone's self-interest. This of course, makes it clear that, despite their claims, Christians, like all humans, are primarily concerned with their own skin.
AaronThis of course, makes it clear that, despite their claims, Christians, like all humans, are primarily concerned with their own skin.PaulWell...duh. Being a Christian does not change the fact that we are still flesh and blood. The concerns we have for our own physical well being are the same as those who are not Christians. If someone has specifically told you otherwise, they are nuts. Actually, in all seriousness, they are denying the natural human responses to physical danger that God created us with.As to the prime motivator, that only works if you are talking about believers who live a comfortable life. And then maybe at that. There are others who leave the commforts of western civilization and go to places like Darfur, and Iraq, or Iran. I personally know a family that went into the Sudan for the purpose of getting contacts to distribute food and medical supplies to those who need it most, since the government there wont do it.Also, salvation is not tied to my obedience. Obedience is a by product of salvation. Salvation is of God, not of the whims of the will of man, nor in vain obedience. Biblical salvation rewards Christians because of Gods faithfulness, not human faithfulness.If I remember correctly, you have claimed to be a former Christian? If that is true, can you tell me what denomination the church you attended was? If that is not true, please correct me and accept my appologies.
Just a quick question for Paul here: Have you actually read the whole Bible? From cover to cover? ALL of the books contained therein, including the more sordid ones like Leviticus and Joshua? I'm guessing you haven't, because if you had then you would not be a Christian, but an athiest.
Anonymous,I have read the whole Bible, including the books of Leviticus and Joshua.Why would reading them make me an athiest? I will agree that there are some difficult passages in those books, espicially to post-modern western thought. However, you seem to be taking the parts of Scripture that you find dificult and using them as an excuse for disbelief, rather than looking at the whole of Scripture. Scripture should not be taken in bits and peices, with no connection between each bit and piece, rather it is to be taken as a whole.Anonymous, could you tell me what parts of leviticus and Joshua you think would makje me an athiest? Is it the parts against incest, the parts about respecting parents, or the parts that create "safe cities" for those accused of murder where the accused can go and not be in danger? Or maybe the part where trials should be public, and things like murder and rape have to be corroborated by at least 2 credible witnesses? Because, honestly, these really do seem like troubling and very bad ideas.Paul C. Quillman
I was raised a Lutheran mostly, although my parents and grandparents did a little bit of church/denomination-hopping throughout my childhood. But yes I was very involved in the church and I had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and everything. I went to church every Sunday, attended Bible study, and was also in the Youth Group and the Boy Scout troop at the church. I was a very active and enthusiastic Christian. Well Im glad that you at least agree with me that self-interest is the core of anyone's actions, and that even faith in Jesus and obedience to Him is only because of people's self-interest. You may not realize it now, but that admission of yours was a very secular thing to say. Im proud of you! :)
AaronWell Im glad that you at least agree with me that self-interest is the core of anyone's actions, and that even faith in Jesus and obedience to Him is only because of people's self-interest. PaulI said no such thing. Let me quote myself:"As to the prime motivator, that only works if you are talking about believers who live a comfortable life. And then maybe at that."There those who are wealthy, that still give of their wealth and time for those less fortunate, here in the States. Your theory on motivation is blown away in cases where whole families go to dangerious places of the world as missionaries. Sure they are afraid, who wouldn't be. Even Jesus didn't really want to endure the cross. So what is the prime motivator in those cases?AaronYou may not realize it now, but that admission of yours was a very secular thing to say. Im proud of you! :) PaulI wouldn't gloat quite yet. It was certainly not secular. It is simply understanding and accepting that God created all of life for a purpose, to live. We are given the instinct of self preservation, partially for our own protection. For the most part, while it may not keep us from stupid things, it causes us to think carefully about certain actions before we follow through with them. It is what keeps us from foolishly running in from of a semi truck on the highway.I still want to know how you theory works for those who go to minister in places on earth that they will surely die.
Aaron i would like to introduce myself to you:My name is Eric and i am apart of a group trying to redirect to train of thought of the typical man, women, and child to thiking about more important and less trivial and matierialistic things. I am new here so i dont have a blog quite yet.I find your blog about disproving this idea of the afterlife rather pointless although it is with good intention. It is completely beyond us as humans,(i will show you why is a sec) altough i can very safley say it is not how christians believe it to be, but whether its there or not is like asking how life first started.It is what i call a foundational question. (pertains to the foundations of the universe and how it works) I can't sit here and tell you how it is, but I can tell you how its not. For example, I dont know how atheists think life began but if you think it was by blind chance in the chaos of the cosmos you're sadly mistaken. To quote a book I read by a promenent PhD (though his name escapes me at this time) for life to have begun in a primordial soup of sorts (or randomly for that matter) "would be the equivelant of a tornado ripping through a junkyard and producing a fully functional 747 jet."I hope we can both agree thats^completely rediculous. This ties in to what i said before, i can't tell you how it is i can just tell you how its not. (as you mentioned in a post, for example why should only humans go to heaven and not all animals?) I think the same concept can be applied to an afterlife. If you want to use science to describe why an afterlife cant exist at all is barking up a wrong tree because it doesnt fully explain the situation on the level of meaning it should be explained which is a level beyond us. (e.g. i see a dead person, but what am i really seeing? A deceased quantum shadow of a being somewhere else now or a dead lump of mass no different than that table there) If you cant tell me how life began please dont try and convince me how it will end. I hope you understand my argument.Thanks for ur time,Eric
One question I have for you that just popped into my mind, What Do YOU think happens to a person when they die? I assume you will say a state of unbeing or a time-space void, simmilar to that from which we came. (from our perspective here in this life)That begs the question, so why have life in the very first place? I frequently ask friends of mine what if there is no afterlife what would you do? The answer, almost to a fault, is not "I'll live it to the fullest" it is "I will kill myself right now." The reason? If we come from nothing and return to nothing, why bother in anything? The non-existance of purpose does not enhance life, it degrades the meaning. (beacuse then, it has no meaning) So why bother? Why would we have this few years of life just to have it be pulled so coldly away? These are questions science cannot answer, just like science cannot answer art. It is this same thing that animates us and makes this organic machine feasible, that must have some greater purpose. If not, then we should save everyone the trouble of being born, because only eternal darkness waits for that being.
One last thing, (sorry about the triple posting but im major OCD in this aspect :) To clarify my position, I respect your position greatly on this matter. (It literally takes up 50% of the possiblitles XD!!!) I myself am an agnostic, and open to all posibilites, i will not rule out anything until I come to justafiable conclusion that it is certainly not that way. For example, i hardly believe in ppl saying there is no "afterlife" cause if half ur brain is cut out ur dumb like a vegtable forever. And on the other hand, maybe im just a stupid human with too much time on my hands trying to find purpose in a pointless existance.My personal belief? No "afterLIFE" however, maybe, an "after-something" definatly not life. But some form of consiousness, maybe.
Legionofeternaldarkness:Thoughts are created by neurons of the brain. Conciousness is a combination of those thoughts, our memories, and the input of our senses. How can these thoughts continue when there is no brain to generate them after death?I have plenty to live for even though I know there will be a time when I will no longer be conciously aware. I don't need to delude myself into believing I will live forever in order to enjoy life.Those who discount the possibility of the random origin of life ignore the fact that certain chemicals are attracted to other chemicals and thus form chemical compounds. With time, the right chemical compounds can unite with each other with lighting or something else as a catalyst to form the first primitive life which was more primitive than any extant life form. Most life scientists would disagree with the analogy of the tornado creating a 747 from a junk pile.
aaron......my friend is obsessed with mushrooms and he thinks that they r the derivative of all religions...especially christianityhe just joined the swiss church of mushroomshe believes that jesus' life=the life of a mushroom(seedless birth etc.) and that christmas is a holiday directly made from the ritual of doing mushrooms(they grown under pine trees and thats where we put our presents) there are more examples for both but i would really liek to know ur thoughts on this because he has told me that he is completely devoting his life to mushrooms and its scaring methank u
paul,My theory is not blown away whatsoever simply because people choose to evangelize in dangerous areas. In fact, these people are doing it within their own self-interest too. They think that they are doing something good by bringing Gods word to a dangerous part of the world, and it makes them happy to do things that they think are good. They do it because helping others MAKES THEM FEEL GOOD, and because they believe that God told them to evangelize, and because they believe that if they do what God tells them, they will get into heaven (instead of Hell). So my theory fits perfectly well into the dangerous ministry example.Now as a counter argument, I would like to ask you, why ELSE would a person evangelize in a dangerous place except for in his own self interest? To help others? Sure, but WHY does he want to help others? Because it makes him happy (self-interest), thats why.
Legionofdarkness:You said:"would be the equivelant of a tornado ripping through a junkyard and producing a fully functional 747 jet."This falacy has been disproved many times in many ways. Self-order is a natural property of the material of the universe. From the stars in the sky to the snowflakes landing on your tongue, they are all self-ordered as an inherent property of the material they are composed of. Complexity increases over time. For example, the beginning of the universe had only hydrogen, helium, and a bit of lithium. Oxygen and Carbon and other elements didnt even exist until a few generations of stars lived their course. And in your analogy, you forget the tornado. How did the tornado get there? Natural properties of atmosphere, wind, and the rotation of the Earth, etc... But that tornado is actually very ordered. Quite a few specific and orderly things must happen for a tornado to come about, you know. I challenge you to give me an example of actual chaos or disorder. I assert right now that order is constant in the universe: the total order of the universe never increases or decreases. Instead, it all just shifts from sequential order to grouping order and back again. I can give you examples of sequential and grouping order. Can you give me an example of disorder? Try it.And in fact, I CAN tell you how life began. Life began the same way snowflakes begin: through natural orderly properties that are inherent within the elements that life is composed of. From planets to galaxies to the geometry of a crystal: its all self-order as an inherent property of the matter/energy. When your body dies, your consciousness goes to the same place it was before your body existed: the state of non-existence. Your consciousness simply stops, just like the way your heart stops. Can you remember what you were doing the year before you were born? Of course not! That questions is nonsensical. And in the same vein, you will not be around to experience reality one year after youre dead. What goes up must come down.Now since you are the one implying some kind of other dimension or realm of existence, and I am not, then it is your burden to prove it, not mine. So the more proper question is, what kind of evidence or logic do you have to support your claim of an afterlife?
Aaron,So would you like to be my test subject? :P If what your saying is true, then in theory, if i were to cryogenically freeze myself, (which i plan to, not taking any chances) with little damage done to my tissue, then they should be able to revive me years later, but how? What keeps the nuerons in the brain firing? (which pretty much takes care of all other metabolic chemical reactions if im correct) Some people say its a "life-force" but what do you think makes us tick? (It could really go either way for me)
You're wrong.How can you prove that there is no higher power, a God, a higher being of existance?
legionofeternaldarkness:It is obvious that you have an extreme fear of death. First, you delude yourself into believing in a magical deity that will keep you alive and if that fails, you plan to rely on cryogenics.In cryogenics, the brain cells are not firing. The brain material is preserved by being frozen. The brain cells are to be reactivated to begin firing again at some point in the future when the technology is available, if ever available.The living brain itself is the lifeforce. It acts on its own. No outer force is needed to make it work.
joker,It is not up to us to prove God's existence, it is up to the claimant to prove it before we will believe it. If I say there are invisible men walking around on my desk, is it up to you to prove that they aren't there? No, it would be up to me to prove them before I could expect you to believe me.
Legionofeternaldarkness,Thank you for the joking implication/threat. As an atheist, I can say quite confidently say NOOOOO, I WILL NOT RISK MY DEATH FOR ANYTHING. As an atheist and an anti-afterlifer, my life on this Earth is incredibly valuable to me; much more so than it is for religious people or pro-afterlifers. You see, I only have this one life - this one chance - and when its gone, its gone. We currently do not have the technology to properly store people without causing permanent damage to their tissues, including brain tissues. Cryogenic freezing as we know it today is basically saying this: "We are going to freeze you in such a way as to minimize the damage, but there will still be damage so severe that we could not possibly revive any fozen patients today. Instead we are crossing our fingers, hoping that we will be able to undo the damage to the tissues in the future. Now please give us some money."Most experts have indicated that they think cryogenic freezing wont work in the long run. In other words, that the damage will be too severe for the patient to be revived with any future technology. As a skeptic, I tend to agree with them. But Legionofeternaldarkness, you dont have to believe me. If it makes you feel better to spend money on a cryogenic freezing, then I say go for it! If I had a lot of money I just might do it too. What do I got to lose, right? As far as what makes us tick, I would say its an electro/chemical reaction in our bodies. What makes fire burn? What "life force" is it that makes water crystalize at cold temperatures? What "life force" is it that makes my computer run? Here is a mind bender Mr. Legion: If you support the idea of an afterlife or eternal life force, then do insects and fish get an afterlife? What about dust mites? What about vegetables and mushrooms and mold? And what about bacteria and protozoa? Do they go to the afterlife too? What about a before life? Where was your "life force" before you were born? If a "life force" is never extinguished but only goes to a different dimension, then that "life force" was logically never created was it? I mean, the proprty of a thing being "eternal" means that it has no end NOR a beginning. So why dont you remember the first 7 billion years of your existence? Why dont you remember the big bang? And if ther is a life force, what is it made out of? Energy? What kind of energy? There are lots of different kinds. Electrical, kinetic, heat, etc... How can we detect such an energy? Energy is detectable, so how do we detect this life force energy?
Joker,you must be joking, right? It is not my burden to prove that there is no higher power. It is YOUR burden to prove that there IS one. Let me give you an example. If I claim that leprechauns live in the center of Jupiter, and you say that you dont believe me, then is it YOUR burden to prove me wrong? Or is it MY burden to support my positive claim? You see, by propoosing leprechauns in Jupiter, I am the one making a positive claim. You not believing me is not making any kind of positive claim but instead only rejecting mine. So it is the burden of the positive claimant (the god believer and the afterlife believer) to support their claims. I have nothing to prove, literally. But it sure is fun to refute the stupid beleifs of stupid superstitionists! No go read your bible or something, Joker.
Post a Comment