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Featured Attitudes to non-human life and how religious belief might affect this

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Mock Turtle, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I do not know the Genesis account, I only very generally know what Adam and Eve story was supposed to mean to Christians, regarding the Fall and original sin. I do not believe the Adam and Eve story mans that. Here is one possible meaning: 30: ADAM AND EVE

    Baha’is do not believe in original sin, that sin was inherited from Adam and Eve. We believe that man was born good but has a lower material nature that has the propensity to sin. In brief, Baha’is believe that the meaning of the serpent in the Adam and Eve story is attachment to the human world, or the material world, as opposed to God and the spiritual world. When Adam was born and entered the human world, He came out from the paradise of freedom and fell into the world of bondage. From the spiritual world, in the height of purity and absolute goodness, He entered into the world of good and evil... This attachment to the human world, which is sin, was inherited by the descendants of Adam, and is the serpent which is always in our midst and continues and endures... It is because of this attachment that men have been deprived of essential spirituality and their exalted position.
    Whys do you believe heaven is for if not for the afterlife (eternal life)? In other words, if humans and animals are going to live eternally on earth in resurrected bodies what goes on in heaven?
    We have free will here and we suffer and learn from our experiences and our mistakes and thereby develop our character, grow spiritual arms and legs so to speak. Our character which is the result of choices we have made is all we will need in a purely spiritual world, because that is all that we are, the sum total of our personality.

    “Death is regarded as the shedding away of the physical frame but no more, the real part of the person is the soul, which is indestructible. In this there is nothing new, but the Bahá’í thought added another dimension to this idea. The soul is the sum total of the personality it is the person himself; the physical body is pure matter with no real identity. The person, having left his material side behind, remains the same person, and he continues the life he conducted in the physical world. His heaven therefore is the continuation of the pure life that he conducted in the physical world, and his hell is the continuation of the immoral life, which he conducted on earth. The effort to come nearer to God in the physical world continues with coming near God in the heaven of the mystical paradise. Remoteness from God in the physical life means remoteness in the world to come. Or, in the words of Bahá’u’lláh, Heaven is reunion with the Manifestation of God in the Abhā Kingdom, and hell is remaining with oneself. Heaven and Hell exist everywhere in this world as well as in the world to come. The difference between the two is the difference between the state of perfection achieved leading to the nearness of God here and hereafter, and the state of imperfection, which is caused by the failure to attain to virtue and the falling away from God.

    The challenge of life in this world continues in the world of spiritual reality as well, only that in the latter the meeting of this challenge is easier because the person is free from physical needs.”

    From: Death and Dying in the Bahá'í Faith
    Obviously your beliefs differ from mine. ;) Just because the ancient Jews believed something I see no reason why people continue to believe it... We are no longer living in ancient times.

    However, according to my beliefs, there are angels who are interested in what humans are doing down here on earth and is aiding them in doing God’s work:

    “Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favored angels.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 140
    Hell in the Baha’i Writings is distance from God, and when we turn away from God’s Manifestation for this day that is distancing ourselves from God.... So what we believe that John means by “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,” is tied in with what Baha’u’llah wrote below The verses of God have been revealed, and yet they have turned away from them. His proof hath been manifested, and yet they are unaware of it.” In so doing they distance themselves from God: “They hasten forward to Hell Fire, and mistake it for light.

    John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Is really the same thing as the following but the grave is for those who are spiritually dead, not physically dead...

    “Say: The heavens have been folded together, and the earth is held within His grasp, and the corrupt doers have been held by their forelock, and still they understand not. They drink of the tainted water, and know it not. Say: The shout hath been raised, and the people have come forth from their graves, and arising, are gazing around them. Some have made haste to attain the court of the God of Mercy, others have fallen down on their faces in the fire of Hell, while still others are lost in bewilderment. The verses of God have been revealed, and yet they have turned away from them. His proof hath been manifested, and yet they are unaware of it. And when they behold the face of the All-Merciful, their own faces are saddened, while they are disporting themselves. They hasten forward to Hell Fire, and mistake it for light. Far from God be what they fondly imagine! Say: Whether ye rejoice or whether ye burst for fury, the heavens are cleft asunder, and God hath come down, invested with radiant sovereignty. All created things are heard exclaiming: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 41-42

    (Continued on next post)
     
  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    That was my point. If we have bad traits, we need to work on them now, because our conduct and worship whilst we are alive will determine if we even make it to heaven. There might be something akin to free will in the spiritual world, but we will no longer have to choose between good and evil or make moral choices because that is reserved for this world, something to learn and grow from.
    God is just, and merciful.....but he is not sentimental. If humans do not obey his directives of their own free will, he has no use for them. There is no heaven or hell...there is just life or death. How we live in this world determines if we get to enjoy the new one.....this is what the Bible teaches, but humans have put their own terms of existence to the fore with no regard for God's word or his eternal purpose....which will go ahead with us or without us.

    I agree that there are repercussions and that not everyone will end up in the same situation after they die. I believe that there is life or death, but that refers to spiritual life and spiritual death, not physical life and death.

    John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    Where did Jesus EVER talk about rising from the grave? Jesus said to let the dead bury their dead. Being born of the spirit has nothing to do with the body. It means spiritual rebirth, exactly the same thing that Baha’u’llah wrote about:

    “Incline your ears to the sweet melody of this Prisoner. Arise, and lift up your voices, that haply they that are fast asleep may be awakened. Say: O ye who are as dead! The Hand of Divine bounty proffereth unto you the Water of Life. Hasten and drink your fill. Whoso hath been re-born in this Day, shall never die; whoso remaineth dead, shall never live.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 213

    How can anyone possibly believe this refers to the death of a physical body? Are you going to believe in Jesus or in your interpretation of the Old Testament? It is no wonder Christians are confused. Instead of believing in the gospels they go back and read the OT and try to make it all fit together... But when Jesus same He brought an entirely new revelation from God... It superseded the Torah so even though some things are the same, many things are different. If you try to fit new wine (NT) into old wine sacs (OT) what do you think happens? Jesus tells us...

    Luke 5:37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

    Matthew 9:17Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

    I fully agree with that, but how do you think you know what the scriptures really mean? How do you know you are not misinterpreting the scriptures? As I said to InChrist tonight:

    “I believe in Jesus but I am not a Christian. As an outsider looking in, I cannot understand how it is possible to parse out which Christians have the true beliefs and which ones have the false beliefs. They are all reading from the same Bible so it is all a matter of interpretation, isn't it? What else can it possibly be? [​IMG]

    The obvious implication of all the disagreements among Christians is that Bible verses can have more than one meaning. How can anyone say the meaning they assign is correct and the other meanings others assign are wrong? Why do people think they are uniquely qualified to interpret the Bible? Even the early Christians did not understand the nature of Jesus, which is why they had to hold councils to decide upon the doctrines of the Church.”

    So what you are saying is that it is either heaven or hell... People either make it or they do not make it? I am sorry if that is the way the Bible depicted the afterlife but that is not at all logical. There cannot only be two groups of people, good and evil, because that is not the way people are in this world... There are shades of gray, even among believers there are degrees of nearness of distance from God. What kind of just God would condemn an entire group of people to hell for eternity? Are you saying that hell is that people just stay dead and have no afterlife, they just remain the the grave and that heaven is the people who rise from the graves?
    They will get better when people turn to God through the Revelation of Baha'u'llah...

    When I said that people can understand better now than they could thousands of years ago I meant that they have the capacity to understand intellectually, and mankind as a whole has made spiritual progress, but the reason that many people are turning away from God these days is because they can no longer believe in the doctrines of the church and the beliefs of Christianity, like Jesus rising from the grave, Jesus ascending into the sky into the clouds, Jesus descending upon a cloud to rule the world, and people rising from graves and meeting Jesus in the sky. That is the primary reason for secularism.

    Statistics show that Judaism and Christianity have the slowest growth rates compared to the other Abrahamic religions: The growth rates from 1910-2010 are as follows: Judaism .11%, Christianity 1.32%, Islam 1.97%, Baha’i 3.54%. Growth of religion - Wikipedia Obviously, the Baha’i Faith is still small since it is only 165 years old, but projections indicate that by 2050 Islam will be as large as Christianity. Also, agnosticism and atheism are on a sharp decline worldwide.
     
  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I believe that only God can judge. Baha’u’llah writes about God’s judgment, but we are not told exactly what God will do:

    “Dost thou believe thou hast the power to frustrate His Will, to hinder Him from executing His judgment, or to deter Him from exercising His sovereignty? Pretendest thou that aught in the heavens or in the earth can resist His Faith? No, by Him Who is the Eternal Truth! Nothing whatsoever in the whole of creation can thwart His Purpose. Cast away, therefore, the mere conceit thou dost follow, for mere conceit can never take the place of truth. Be thou of them that have truly repented and returned to God, the God Who hath created thee, Who hath nourished thee, and made thee a minister among them that profess thy faith.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 220

    “Say: There is no place of refuge for you, no asylum to which ye can flee, no one to defend or to protect you in this Day from the fury of the wrath of God and from His vehement power, unless and until ye seek the shadow of His Revelation. This, indeed, is His Revelation which hath been manifested unto you in the person of this Youth. Glorified, then, be God for so effulgent, so precious, so wondrous a vision.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 257

    Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    You make the assumption that God’s original purpose was for humans to live in a physical body forever and I assume that is connected to Adam and Eve. So that is why you believe that is what Isaiah 55:11 is referring to.
    It does not matter what God said he would do thousands of years ago. That was terribly misconstrued and there is no point even referring to it now that we have a new revelation form God. The truth is probably embedded in those scriptures somewhere but nobody knows what they mean so what good are they?

    If those scriptures are in such plain English then why doesn’t EVERY Jew and Christian believe the same thing? This is logic 101 stuff. Not only one group of Christians got it right and all the others are wrong. I know you would like to think that your group has the Truth, but all Christians think that. :rolleyes: Jews also think that. Sure, Baha’is also think that, but we have a reason to think that since we have an entirely new revelation from God. It is untenable that the Bible is the only Truth that was ever revealed by God because then Jews and Christians have to explain why 22% of the world population follows the Qur’an. There is no way to do this and remain logical, if that matters.
    It matters little to me if I see the fulfillment of God's promises later rather than sooner, but judging by the conditions of today's world, I cannot see the human race lasting much longer if there is no intervention. The Doomsday clock is set closer to midnight than it has ever been. When you have infantile leaders governing rogue nations out of fear, then a nuclear holocaust is just an insult away.

    Baha’is believe that the intervention already occurred in the 19th century when Baha’u’llah came and that the world will eventually get better as a result, but the darkest hour is just before the dawn:

    “God’s purpose is none other than to usher in, in ways He alone can bring about, and the full significance of which He alone can fathom, the Great, the Golden Age of a long-divided, a long-afflicted humanity. Its present state, indeed even its immediate future, is dark, distressingly dark. Its distant future, however, is radiant, gloriously radiant—so radiant that no eye can visualize it......

    What we witness at the present time, during “this gravest crisis in the history of civilization,” recalling such times in which “religions have perished and are born,” is the adolescent stage in the slow and painful evolution of humanity, preparatory to the attainment of the stage of manhood, the stage of maturity, the promise of which is embedded in the teachings, and enshrined in the prophecies, of Bahá’u’lláh. The tumult of this age of transition is characteristic of the impetuosity and irrational instincts of youth, its follies, its prodigality, its pride, its self-assurance, its rebelliousness, and contempt of discipline.” The Promised Day is Come, pp. 116-117

    I agree with that but I do not believe that will happen in the blink of an eye. It will be a process and it will take a long time. That is why it is called “the Messianic Age.”
    No, it is not like communism or socialism. It will be an entirely new system wherein wealth will be more equalized but it will still have components of the present economic system. You are right about human imperfections getting in the way and that is why the hearts of man have to change before there will be any real change.
    The Baha’i Faith has a different interpretation of those verses and what the New Jerusalem is. It is the Law of God which is the new religion of God which has come forth from the Revelation of Baha'u'llah., the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the Scriptures. It is called the Day of God because it is the day in which God has spoken again through Baha’u’llah.

    “The time foreordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and land thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation. Happy is the man that pondereth in his heart that which hath been revealed in the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Meditate upon this, O ye beloved of God, and let your ears be attentive unto His Word, so that ye may, by His grace and mercy, drink your fill from the crystal waters of constancy, and become as steadfast and immovable as the mountain in His Cause.

    In the Book of Isaiah it is written: “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty.” No man that meditateth upon this verse can fail to recognize the greatness of this Cause, or doubt the exalted character of this Day—the Day of God Himself.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 12-13
     
  4. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    Don't talk rubbish. You have a very limited understanding of science to state this. Guesswork is the whole basis of religion. Facts and theories are the realm of science. There are plenty of wild theories in science - we are human after all and extremely fallible - but there is a tendency for the better theories to survive and even to become widely recognised as being the most likely explanation. Few theories make it so as to be decidedly believed as being the only or the full explanation.

    Then I suggest you test the theory of gravity - a fact - by jumping off a tall building. Fact or not? The concrete one hits might laugh at the suggestion.

    You will be on my ignore list very soon if you continue to dismiss science so cavalierly. If you are a typical reperesentative of JWs then I was completely right to dismiss all those who came knocking at my door - which I invariably do anyway. You probably think you are doing a good job by posting here but you are doing the opposite by being so dismissive of science. No sensible scientist working in this field believes we have anything like a true picture involving any fossil evidence.

    Whoever said it did? The problem lies with you assuming your belief = truth. Which one is delusional then?

    I'm sure it doesn't. We can find meaning in all sorts of things. Have a look at pareidolia. JWs seem to have a rather rosy picture of life on Earth. Looked much into parasitic life or infanticide or siblicide in many animal species?

    No it doesn't. It is theorised as being such. Try to write reasonably rather than just writing what comes to mind.

    Because they made just as little sense as they do now. I haven't wavered, even though I have looked, simply because religions and all things associated with them just do not fit into the overall understanding I have with regards reality. Which I believe is what many non-believers in religions might say. The clue to them not being right was the simple fact of there being so many different faiths. Some might have assumed that this verified a religious view, even if the beliefs did differ, but for myself it did the opposite. This became apparent when the origins of each could be seen as being much the same, their progress and divisions much the same, and the associated phenomena much the same. And where much of this could not be tested but simply understood by 'having faith'. Not how I understand reality. And there are quite adequate reasons as to why religions formed in the first place besides any divine source being involved.

    Fortunately I didn't have the 'benefits' of any religious indoctrination. It seems you cannot break free from yours.

    Humans are hardly role models for other life - we are the only species we know of having such intelligence and knowledge - but that doesn't mean that we are deliberately destructive towards other life or this planet. Hopefully we will learn, and it is fruitless being so negative about humans so it can accord with any particular religious belief. I am a little more positive I believe than many because I do not think humans are inherently bad or destructive - they just need to do a little more thinking and be a little more controlled in their behaviour. And no, religions are not necessarily the only means of doing this, and in fact are delaying any such progress.

    No idea, and it is the main thing that I will miss when I die - not knowing how humanity will actually do in the future. I certainly hope that all religions eventually die the death they so deserve.

    I snipped a lot because it is not fruitful to get so bogged down in detail. I would ask you to refrain from doing so too if you do want to continue receiving replies from me, otherwise I will add you to the ignore list - you being the first actually.
     
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  5. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    You can believe whatever you wish. It must be difficult to have a religion that tries to be all things to all people by incorporating bits of all faiths and the teachings of all prophets into one belief system. It's not about what you choose to incorporate, but what you choose to ignore it seems. It is so contradictory.

    Then you cannot refer to the Bible which teaches that humans lost their perfection due to disobedience.

    "Sin" (an archery term that means "to miss the mark") entered into the world through Adam and his wife and was carried genetically as a defect to all their offspring. (Romans 5:12) There was no death mentioned in Eden except as a consequence for disobedience. There was no natural cause of death because God designed mortal humans to live forever on this earth, giving them the means to do so. (Genesis 3:22-24)

    So you think God makes defective junk? He created humans in his own image but gave them a defect on purpose? Really? :confused:

    Our material nature makes us mortal, not defective. We are not created to accept death as a natural part of life. We find getting old to be burdensome because we don't really age in our mind (unless we develop a neurological disorder like dementia) we feel as young in our minds at 70 as we did when we were 30. It's our bodies that age and we hate it! Accepting our own mortality is a frightening prospect for most people. If God had intended for us to die, he would have programmed death into our psyche. No one with a measure of health and happiness wants to die, no matter how old they are.

    When Adam was born???? Who was his mother? Adam was created, not born. He was a fully formed adult and so was his wife, with instructions to "fill the earth and subdue it"...hardly something you would say to a baby.

    That statement makes no sense at all to me. And again it is useless to quote your prophet's writings to me as I find them irrelevant to any discussion. Baha'i's claim to accept "scripture", (when it suits them) which is why I sometimes quote the Bible to you. It's the only scripture I accept but not the only one you accept apparently.

    Where do you get the idea that animals are going to be resurrected? Show me where in all of the Bible that animals are promised everlasting life. That was the major difference between us at the start, but when sin entered our mortal bodies and the tree of life was no longer accessible, humans had no advantage over the animals....we all died the same death meaning that we all went to the same place.....the place where Adam went.....back to the dust. (Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:19-20) There is no immortal part of us that lives on, in some other realm, according to the Bible. We "sleep" in the grave awaiting the call of our King to come out of those tombs. (John 5:28-29)...just like Lazarus did. (John 11:11-14)

    The very reason why God did not destroy the original rebels in the first place was because the issues raised by the devil were serious charges. Like all cases of slander (devil means slanderer) the accused has a right to clear his name and vindicate his reputation.

    Was God a liar? Would humans be "like God" if they knew good and evil for themselves? Would they really die as a consequence of their disobedience in breaking the only law that carried the death penalty? Unless these issues were settled, none of his intelligent creatures could be confident of his sovereignty.

    This is the reason why we are all under test in this world...we can prove our own character by taking sides with our God against his opposers, proving that his rulership is the best one for the human race. The devil has had ample time to show what an utter failure he is.

    LOL not even in the same ballpark.

    Jesus said that the Jews were God's people and that salvation originated with them. He said Jewish worship was the correct one....that lets out all other faiths including Islam as the origin of salvation. If God provided Jewish beliefs and he does not change....where does that leave those who follow a different spiritual path? Your beliefs appear to be a collection of bits and pieces from a celestial supermarket shopping trip. One set of beliefs appear to laugh at the other. But...to each his own.

    We believe that angels are working in close association with God and his son too....but in nothing like the way you see them.

    The literal grave is a reality for all of us sooner or later. If death is a natural part of life, then why do we grieve? Surely a God who knows what it is like to experience the deaths of so many of his children would make such an experience less of a trauma? He would create in us not only an expectation of death, but a feeling of joy, since many believe that it is a gateway to another life.....a better one. The Bible says that death is an enemy, so would God create in us an enemy to cause such grief? It also says that death is the last enemy to be conquered and that humankind will return to God's original purpose of unending life on earth in paradise conditions.

    It was never in God's plans to have humans live anywhere else. The fact that a few were chosen to make up a heavenly governmental arrangement to facilitate that outcome is something that was introduced after the fall in Eden. (Revelation 21:2-4)

    By allowing the slanderer ample opportunity to prove his case, precedents are set for all time to come. No rebel will ever be able to challenge God's right to rule again.

    God doesn't need any more spirits in heaven....nor were any of his angelic creatures former humans. This is not a training ground for heaven, it is a training ground for the new world to come....still very earthly. (2 Peter 3:13)

    No way we will ever agree about anything I'm afraid.
     
    #85 Deeje, Feb 28, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  6. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Sorry, but I am a stickler for detail....so obviously no further conversation is possible. Feel free to add me to your ignore list if it makes you feel better. :)
     
  7. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    How I feel is irrelevant. It is just the tedium of having to answer every little detail that I find annoying.
     
  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    @Deeje

    The Baha’i Faith does not “take” anything from any other religion and incorporate it. We do not need to do that because Baha’u’llah got a revelation from God and wrote over 15,000 Tablets. We have a separate religion. Baha’u’llah and the appointed interpreters of His Writings unsealed the book, as it says in Daniel 12. Christians are still running to and fro and understanding not much of what the Bible means because they have rejected the Baha’i Faith.

    No, the Bible does not teach that humans lost their perfection due to disobedience. Christian doctrine teaches that. There is a big difference between those two.

    Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    That is not inconsistent with what Baha’is believe. Adam passed down sin, but not because Eve ate an apple from a tree. That story is so obviously symbolic, not literal.

    “No; it means what has already been said: Adam is the spirit of Adam, and Eve is His soul; the tree is the human world, and the serpent is that attachment to this world which constitutes sin, and which has infected the descendants of Adam. Christ by His holy breezes saved men from this attachment and freed them from this sin. The sin in Adam is relative to His position. Although from this attachment there proceed results, nevertheless, attachment to the earthly world, in relation to attachment to the spiritual world, is considered as a sin. The good deeds of the righteous are the sins of the Near Ones. This is established. So bodily power is not only defective in relation to spiritual power; it is weakness in comparison. In the same way, physical life, in comparison with eternal life in the Kingdom, is considered as death. So Christ called the physical life death, and said: “Let the dead bury their dead.” 8 Though those souls possessed physical life, yet in His eyes that life was death.

    This is one of the meanings of the biblical story of Adam. Reflect until you discover the others.” Some Answered Questions, p. 126


    There is nothing in Genesis 3:22-24 that says there was no natural cause of death because God designed mortal humans to live forever on this earth, giving them the means to do so. It is not even in the ball park. Do you have other verses you believe say this?

    It is Christians who believe that God makes defective junk, because they believe we were all born with original sin and needed it removed by Jesus... Tough luck for all the people who do not believe in Jesus, they go to hell. No just and benevolent God would ever do that. That is one reason I know it is not true. I said that humans were born good. I did not say they had a defect. A propensity to sin is not a defect. It just means that we have two natures and free will to choose between them.

    Maybe you did not understand what I meant by material nature. I did not mean our physical body. The following passage explains it. The terminology might be a little different, but it means the same thing as what Jesus and Paul taught.

    “In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone. Signs of both these natures are to be found in men. In his material aspect he expresses untruth, cruelty and injustice; all these are the outcome of his lower nature. The attributes of his Divine nature are shown forth in love, mercy, kindness, truth and justice, one and all being expressions of his higher nature. Every good habit, every noble quality belongs to man’s spiritual nature, whereas all his imperfections and sinful actions are born of his material nature. If a man’s Divine nature dominates his human nature, we have a saint.” Paris Talks, p. 60

    God did not intend for us to die; God only intended for our body to die. Our body is not who we are. It is just a vehicle that carrier around our souls while we are alive in a physical world with a body. After we die we will no longer need a physical body because our soul will be assigned a spiritual body made up of elements in the spiritual world.

    “A friend asked: “How should one look forward to death?”
    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “How does one look forward to the goal of any journey? With hope and with expectation. It is even so with the end of this earthly journey. In the next world, man will find himself freed from many of the disabilities under which he now suffers. Those who have passed on through death, have a sphere of their own. It is not removed from ours; their work, the work of the Kingdom, is ours; but it is sanctified from what we call ‘time and place.’ Time with us is measured by the sun. When there is no more sunrise, and no more sunset, that kind of time does not exist for man. Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 95-96


    The Baha’i Writings confirm that Adam was created, not born. I just found this passage below... So what Abdu’l-Baha actually said in the chapter on Adam and Eve is that Adam entered the human world, but in an excerpt from another chapter below, it says that Adam came into existence from the Spirit of life.

    “It is said in the Old Testament, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” 2

    Observe that it is said that Adam came into existence from the Spirit of life. Moreover, the expression which John uses in regard to the disciples proves that they also are from the Heavenly Father. Hence it is evident that the holy reality, meaning the real existence of every great man, comes from God and owes its being to the breath of the Holy Spirit.” Some Answered Questions, pp. 89-90


    This paragraph explains how we inherited sin from Adam. In brief, we sin because we are born into a material world where we can choose between good and evil and we choose evil.

    “The meaning of the serpent is attachment to the human world. This attachment of the spirit to the human world led the soul and spirit of Adam from the world of freedom to the world of bondage and caused Him to turn from the Kingdom of Unity to the human world. When the soul and spirit of Adam entered the human world, He came out from the paradise of freedom and fell into the world of bondage. From the height of purity and absolute goodness, He entered into the world of good and evil.” Some Answered Questions, pp. 123-124

    Maybe the other realm is not depicted is not in the Old Testament, but why the heck do Christians go back to the Old Testament? Jesus said: John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Obviously, Jesus is referring to the same spiritual world that Baha’is believe in; many mansions = many worlds of God. We will all find out when the time comes. I do not know what it will be like but I do know what it will not be like. It will be nothing like this world, it will be so much better, at least for those of us who are close to God. I cannot say what will happen to the others, except that they will continue to exist and they will still have a chance to advance.

    705. How to "Get to Heaven"--Is Dependent on Two Things
    To 'get to heaven' as you say is dependent on two things--faith in the Manifestation of God in His Day, in other words in this age in Bahá'u'lláh; and good deeds, in other words living to the best of our ability a noble life and doing unto others as we would be done by. But we must always remember that our existence and everything we have or ever will have is dependent upon the mercy of God and His bounty, and therefore He can accept into His heaven, which is really nearness to Him, even the lowliest if He pleases. We always have the hope of receiving His mercy if we reach out for it.
    (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 12, 1957)
    Lights of Guidance (second part)


    Baha’is believe that there have been many Prophets and many religions and they are all legitimate. That is called Progressive Revelation and is the core underpinning of Baha’i beliefs. We believe that Adam was a Prophet but there were other religious cycles and Prophets before Adam, since we believe in evolution. There will be many more Prophets in the future.

    Death is the gateway to a better life, just not in this world in a physical body. That would not be better. I cannot even imagine how anyone would think that the reward for suffering and enduring this world would be living in this world on earth for eternity in a physical body! Why would anyone want to do that, no matter how paradisiacal it was? The spiritual world depicted by Baha’u’llah IS paradise.

    “It is clear and evident that all men shall, after their physical death, estimate the worth of their deeds, and realize all that their hands have wrought. I swear by the Day Star that shineth above the horizon of Divine power! They that are the followers of the one true God shall, the moment they depart out of this life, experience such joy and gladness as would be impossible to describe, while they that live in error shall be seized with such fear and trembling, and shall be filled with such consternation, as nothing can exceed. Well is it with him that hath quaffed the choice and incorruptible wine of faith through the gracious favor and the manifold bounties of Him Who is the Lord of all Faiths…” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 171

    “The mysteries of man’s physical death and of his return have not been divulged, and still remain unread. By the righteousness of God! Were they to be revealed, they would evoke such fear and sorrow that some would perish, while others would be so filled with gladness as to wish for death, and beseech, with unceasing longing, the one true God—exalted be His glory—to hasten their end.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 345


    You are free to believe you will live forever on earth but do not say I did not warn you when you die and wake up in a completely foreign place. Your interpretation of the Bible is not the same as that of other Christians as all Christians do not believe that we will live forever on earth. I sense that you are looking forward to that but did it ever even occur to you that could be wrong and the repercussions of that?

    God is ruling again, through Baha’u’llah. God will never rule through Jesus again because Jesus had His reign; it ended and He went to heaven. Christians will all find out someday when they see Jesus in the real heaven which is not a physical place. It is near to this earth, but it is not this earth. It is another unseen realm of existence. :D
     
  9. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Out of all that you posted I wanted to address this part because I believe it is the basis for most religious beliefs, regardless of the faith. Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Bahá’í......ancestor worshippers...you name it....all subscribe to the belief about life continuing after death.

    This idea that there is some immortal part of us that survives death is nothing more than a continuation of the first lie that the devil told Eve in the garden. He told her that she "surely will not die" if she ate the fruit....when God told them that they would. Which one was lying? What did the penalty for disobeying that command involve.....heaven?....Hell?.....NO!...the penalty was death.....the opposite of life.

    This "heaven" for the good people and "hell" for the wicked is IMO, the thread that is strung through all worship sown by the devil. There is no hereafter according to the Bible and to believe that there is, is to go on believing the devil's first lie. Adam was given no such option as 'heaven or hell'...he was told that if he obeyed he would live, but if he disobeyed, he would die. Very uncomplicated.

    The Bahá’í, like all the rest, basically adopted satan's lie. Let's face it...its more appealing.

    The Jews did not believe in an immortal soul that survives the death of the body. They believed that the living breathing creature is the "soul"...be that animal or human. Consciousness needs a brain in earthbound creatures. All breathe the same air and die the same death, going to the same place. (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)

    If animals are given no promise of life in heaven, but are still called "souls" the same as we are, then something is wrong with your interpretation. Every religious idea formulated by the devil carries the idea that humans don't really die. They go on living in another realm and can sometimes communicate with their loved ones still living.
    Do you believe this? If that is true, then why would God forbid such communication? (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)

    Who said? This idea is not in the Bible but if your prophet says it must be true then you are free to believe him. I would rather trust the Creator in this.

    Again...who said? This is gobbledygook to me. But you can believe it if you like.

    If you say so.....:confused:

    I like the Bible's simple explanation.....God created everything perfect. He created free willed spirit creatures to live in heaven and those he wanted to enjoy life in a material existence on earth. Earth at no time was intended to be a training ground for heaven. They are two separate realms with no need to crossover......until one angel rebelled and dragged all humanity into that rebellion with him. That action alienated them from God, so he stepped in with a plan to rectify the estrangement, choosing a small number of humans to form a kingdom with his son that will facilitate a reconciliation with God. Then, once that has been accomplished, all rebels will be eliminated from existence and everything will go back to what God purposed in the beginning.

    Angels will stay in heaven and humans will enjoy paradise on earth forever as God first intended.....its not complicated or mystical, or airy fairy. Its just logical.
     
    #89 Deeje, Mar 1, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    You mean physical death. So, big deal. The physical body is not anything. Who cares if it dies? They won’t care after they are dead and go to the spiritual world, as long as they were not attached to the things of the flesh. :D
    Get real. You do not like it because it is NOT appealing to you. What appeals to you is living forever in an immortal physical body on earth in a Garden of Eden. This is what you want so you will never be anything but a Christian. But no such thing that is ever going to happen. It is a fantasy. Bodies do not rise from graves. The world will not get transformed from what it is now into a Garden of Eden. This is a fairy tale. I do not think all Christians believe this.

    All the other religious traditions and ancient philosophers are not wrong about the immortal soul whereas Christians are right.
    I am checking with some Jews I know on another forum to find out what they believe about an afterlife... stay tuned. According to Baha’i beliefs, the difference is that animals might be called souls because they are living creatures but animals do not have an immortal soul; they have an animal spirit. I do not know for sure if it survives death.
    I do not believe it is forbidden, just admonished against.
    That was not a direct quote from Baha’i scriptures. It came from an article written by a Baha’i who was explaining her understanding of what is in the Baha’i scriptures. Who do you trust when you believe in the Old Testament? Who wrote it? Baha’u’llah wrote His own scriptures so we have the originals. We believe they are the Word of God revealed directly (not just inspired) by the Holy Spirit.

    What do you think this refers to? Where was Jesus going, if not to heaven?

    John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
    That was not a direct quote from Baha’i scriptures. It came from an article written by a Baha’i who was explaining her understanding of what is in the Baha’i scriptures. So, you do not believe it is important to come nearer to God in the afterlife?
    I think that if you looked in the New Testament you would find the same ideas espoused by Jesus, even if worded a little differently.
    Oh, now I see. Those poor angels have to stay in heaven worshiping God and the Christians will get to live forever on earth in a paradise living for things of the flesh. There is absolutely nothing logical about it. A paradise on earth forever is a fairy tale. It works for you as long as you are alive and can believe it, the problem is when you die and realize you are in another realm of existence. That could be quite frightening if you were not expecting it, or should I say if you were expecting to just be dead until your body resurrected in a physical realm. I have heard that those who are attached to the physical realm and realize there is no more physical realm will be in a kind of hell because they continue to want what they can never have again.

    By contrast, an atheist who was not hoping for anything might just be pleasantly surprised that he was not dead and adjust and move on along the road. :)

    There are also some logistical problems here. If nobody ever dies that means nobody can ever be born since this earth has a limited capacity. Also, everyone else who is not a Christian remains dead in a grave. No benevolent and just God would have any such arrangement. It works for Christians but everyone else goes to hell, which is death. What a thoroughly selfish belief system. You excuse it by saying that those people deserve death but that does not work. All people who reject Christian belief are not worthy of death. There are many good people in the world who do not even believe in God. Baha’is believe that every soul goes to the spiritual world and has a chance to progress. Those who were closer to God and did good deeds here will be ahead of the game, but everyone has an eternity to advance.

    What do these bodies do in the Garden of Eden if they have already achieved everything in God’s eyes; eat, drink and have sex for eternity? Where does God fit into this schema? This sounds really boring to me, but then if you really enjoyed the physical life before you died I guess you might like it... However, there is one small problem; Jesus and Paul both said that we are not supposed to live for the flesh, but rather for the spirit. One reason they said that is because there will be no flesh after we die, so they wanted us to be prepared for that before we die. :eek:
     
  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The Bible does not teach that there is a separate part of us that leaves the body when we die.....satan invented that lie because he could not keep his worshippers alive. The only means for humans to go on living was forbidden to them, so the only way to carry on the lie was to imply that it was an invisible existence in some spiritual realm.

    According to the Bible, the only ones who inhabit the spirit realm are God and his angels. Demons lurk there too, though right now they are confined to the earth and having a great time deceiving lots of people. There were to be no humans going to heaven originally for the simple reason that God had enough company in heaven already.

    Psalm 115:16..."As for the heavens, they belong to Jehovah, But the earth he has given to the sons of men."

    God made the earth for us. [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Thank God!

    You are right.....the only ones who believe this are the ones who will reside there. If you don't want to...that is entirely up to you.

    So the Christians have got it right just in that one belief then?
    If they agree with you, maybe you are all wrong? [​IMG]

    I am talking about the ancient Jews not the modern ones. Judaism became apostate (again) long before Jesus first appearance....they adopted belief in an afterlife from the Hellenic influence, just like Christendom. It is not what the ancients believed.

    In Israel it warranted the death penalty.....a little more than 'warned against' I feel.

    Jesus returned to heaven to prepare a place for those who would follow him there. These "chosen ones" will make up the government that will take over world rulership by crushing all opposing forces out of existence. (Daniel 2:44)The purpose of his coming back was to take his holy ones to heaven and bring the benefits of the kingdom to mankind.....if your prophet was Jesus returned, then where are the fulfilled prophesies? The world is getting worse, not better.

    The next time we 'see' Jesus it will be to gather the remaining ones of his kingdom government, and to judge this world. We will all know about it.
    Jesus said...."Whoever is not on my side is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Matthew 12:30)

    I believe it is more important to get nearer to God in this life.....or there may not be a next one.

    Why did God put angels in heaven and humans on earth? What was 'poor' about any of it?

    What is illogical about God telling humans to "fill the earth"? Once that was accomplished, what is the logical thing to do next? Think about it....unless you imagine that God hasn't quite thought that one out yet...? [​IMG]
    Is he really that stupid? Should you send him a memo?

    Who said that? Jesus said ..."Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28-29)

    Does it say only Christians get raised? Read it again.

    You know what? God never said he was going to save "good" people....they also had to be "obedient" to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It has always been about obedience right from the get go. Life is not unconditional...it never was. If we are not "doing the will of God" there will be no future for us. (Matthew 7:21-13)

    You may as well believe in reincarnation. I find no such teaching in the Bible. You see, when inconsistencies come up you can't claim that all religions are right and that all prophets are from God.....he doesn't give us mixed messages. There is one truth and it is up to us to find it.....like it was hidden treasure in fact.

    If you read Genesis tell me what role God played in Eden.

    Both Jesus and Paul are part of the heavenly kingdom arrangement.....I am not. I am happy to be an earthly subject of that kingdom. Jesus is seen with his "bride" bringing the benefits of his rulership to "men". (Revelation 21:2-4) The blessings of the kingdom are spelled out and I am more than happy to spend eternity in peace and security with all my family members and resurrected loved ones, enjoying the life God planned for us all along. If that is not good enough for you then I am sure it is duly noted. You will not be forced to endure such a boring existence I can assure you. [​IMG]
     
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  12. Guy Threepwood

    Guy Threepwood Mighty Pirate

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    I'd say we should love and respect animals, but that we are certainly distinct from, given dominion over them
     
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  13. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    Fine, but doesn't the distinctiveness and dominion aspects hold us back from seeing them as having perhaps more rights than we currently seem to see as being appropriate?
     
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  14. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    I don't know....most scientists believe in evolution, yet how many use animals in experiments, to the animals' demise?

    They certainly don't use other humans, where survivability is in question.
     
  15. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    Animal experimentation is controversial I will agree (especially regarding cosmetics), but the alternatives are equally painful. That is, we get human volunteers or we try to find other ways which might slow down progress enormously. I don't know the solution and I don't really have enough information to say otherwise. I can certainly see why so many support either position.

    There is a general trend to try to understand other life better than we do and hence to perhaps alter the ways in which we treat them.
     
  16. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    There's a large and growing resistance to animal testing in the scientific community since non-human animals are poor analogues even in the best of times and the vast majority of information gleaned from animal testing is unusable.

    I think it's @Nous who has done a lot of research in this, if I'm not mistaken.
     
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  17. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Well, distinction has no particular moral implications, as far as I can see. I'm distinct from my own brother, in fact, from all other people that presumably have claim to moral consideration.
    Dominion is a horse of a different color. "Given dominion" sounds like an appeal to religion/folklore. It's essentially a might-makes-right argument. We have a right to exploit animals because we have the capability to do so.
    I don't see the connection. What does evolution have to do with moral obligation?

    True, but what does this imply?
    Do humans have qualities that place them in a unique moral category? What would these be?
     
  18. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    I've done a little research on the issue. There is unequivocal evidence showing that the results of animal-model experimentation are not predictive of effects in humans (BTW, I am impressed at how well you have stated the same). And there is a growing awareness of this fact. But I don't know how much resistance to such experimentation there is in the scientific community. The practice certainly continues, seemingly reformed or checked only by the small legal imperatives that have been imposed in some places. And there certainly remain vociferous supporters of such experimentation.
     
  19. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    First....
    Then....
    Huh?
    Faith is trust.

    It's reality to accept that complex digital information systems governing growth and purpose originated by chance? That is not what we've learned through observation and experience; whenever a discovery is found that exhibits useful information, intelligence is always accepted as its source in every other field of science......except biology.

    The reality, i.e., what Is observed and what experience (tests) tells us, is that information displaying function, even on an elementary scale, always has intelligence as its source.
     
  20. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    Nice try. I think it is called deception though - the full quote (from me) was:

    "Most of us don't have any faith in science, we just recognise that science is the best means to reflect reality and religions are just unproven theories."

    Hence it wouldn't really be seen as any sort of faith - no more than you have in science - which I presume you do or do you pray every time you use anything derived from science? So are you duplicitous in having two faiths? God will not be pleased. :rolleyes:

    Don't know what exactly you are on about here. Plenty of things don't seem to come from any intelligence. Just look at some posts on this forum. :rolleyes:
     
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