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Featured Belief in god/a higher power but not afterlife

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Meandflower, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    According to my beliefs, if you love God you won't go to hell, because loving God/nearness to God is heaven.
    By contrast, hating God/distance from God is hell.
     
  2. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Please allow me to correct you here...it is his interpretation of scripture that he presents....I believe he has swallowed 'the immortal soul doctrine' hook, line and sinker....like every other religion, no matter the label. It is a favorite ploy of the devil to offer people what they want....people don't want to die, so he gives them a way to go on living by misinterpreting scripture and ignoring the verses that tell us differently.



    The Bible does not teach a "heaven or hell" scenario.....it teaches everlasting life or everlasting death....that's it. This is Christendom's version of the Bible....it has nothing to do with what Jesus taught.

    No, it is congruent with what this person has been led to believe that the Bible teaches. Israel was never offered a "heaven or hell" afterlife.....Jesus was Jewish. He taught from Jewish scripture.

    Deuteronomy 30:15-20....
    "Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, 16 inasmuch as I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, so that you will live and increase, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land to which you are coming to take possession of it.
    17 But if your heart deviates and you do not listen, and you will be drawn astray, and you will prostrate yourself to other deities and serve them, 18 I declare to you this day, that you will surely perish, and that you will not live long days on the land, to which you are crossing the Jordan, to come and take possession thereof.
    19 This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses [that I have warned] you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life, so that you and your offspring will live; 20 To love the Lord your God, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him. For that is your life and the length of your days, to dwell on the land which the Lord swore to your forefathers to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob to give to them."
    (Tanakh)

    Life or death.....its our choice. We cannot serve other gods or practice false worship....or we will perish.

    There is only one truth. A resurrection is what what Jesus performed on his friend Lazarus.....he was dead for four days and Jesus called him out of his tomb. (John 11:11-14)

    We have Christ's promise in Revelation 21:2-4...
    "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.

    5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

    A "new earth" is promised (2 Peter 3:13)...not a new planet, but a new "cosmos"....a new world of mankind where all the things (and people) that cause sorrow and pain will be gone. Those approved by God will live...those not approved, will forfeit life. There are only two roads......all of us are on one or the other. (Matthew 7:13-14)

    The "new heavens" are not a new universe but a new ruling authority over mankind...God's Kingdom, seen bringing blessings to those on earth.

    A very misquoted scripture seeing as how Solomon, (who wrote it) did not believe in life after death.
    As a Jew, he believed that the "spirit" in man was the lifeforce that animated him whilst ever he breathed.

    Jews believed in a resurrection, not in an immortal soul that went on living....you cannot resurrect a person who has not died. Immortal souls do not die.

    Solomon also wrote...
    "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for their remembrance is forgotten. . . .Whatever your hand attains to do [as long as you are] with your strength, do; for there is neither deed nor reckoning, neither knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, where you are going." (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10 Tanakh)

    Only God can restore the breath (spirit) that animates a soul. In the resurrection, Jesus will call the dead from their graves, because they are all still in them. They haven't gone anywhere. (John 5:28-29)

    Solomon did not say that just the body goes into the grave, but "you" meaning the whole person. As with Adam, Solomon believed that life ends when the spirit or breath leaves the body. If you have ever sat with a dying person, that last breath is something you will never forget. The "soul" that is the whole person, dies. (Ezekiel 18:4)

    There is no mention of immortal souls in the Bible. It was adopted from false religious ideas by Judaism and also by Christianity from Platonic Greek influence.

    It is our experience in studying the Bible that those who defect from God adopt the ways of those who practice false worship.....but the true worshippers of God will never adopt things from paganism because they know how God feels about that. Christendom is full of pagan adoptions and they will soon see how God responds to what they believe and practice. What the world is celebrating now, has nothing whatever to do with Jesus Christ. We cannot mix true worship with false worship and expect God's blessing. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

    He leaves us in no doubt about that.
     
    #42 Deeje, Dec 25, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    The Bible does not teach anything. People interpret the Bible to mean various things, usually what they want to believe or what they were taught as children or by the church.

    The Bible does not teach the resurrection of bodies from graves, that is a belief that came about as the result of interpreting verses to mean that.

    Won’t the Dead Rise Again?

    The Bible does not say that humans were intended to live forever in physical bodies in a paradise on earth. Again, that is a belief that came about as the result of interpreting verses to mean that.

    The Bible can be made to say whatever people want to believe and that is why there are so many Christians who believe very differently about Jesus, God and the afterlife. Most Christians believe they know what the Bible means, but they cannot all be right since their beliefs differ. So who is right and who is wrong?

    But not all Christians believe they have it all figured out and they know exactly what the Bible means; some say that don't know for sure and they are seeking to learn more.
     
  4. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    I know one person who says she saw an alien spacecraft. I don't think she is lying. I think she really believes she saw an alien spacecraft.

    Do I believe she actually saw an alien spacecraft? No. Her belief is not evidence.

    I know no one who claims to have been "on the other side".
    I know no one who knows someone who claims to have been "on the other side".

    You seem to know many. Unless you are a researcher and sought out such people how is it that you know so many?

    Did you meet them all at church services?
     
  5. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Deuteronomy 29 and 30 are very long passages attributed to Moses. Who wrote down all these words?
     
  6. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    While I would say maybe she did or maybe she's mistaken. I can't know with certainty. An alien spacecraft is not something I consider ridiculous. I would judge her, her credibility and competency and the details of the story and form a likelihood opinion. That likelihood opinion is then added to my accumulated database. That is all evidence for consideration.

    You are illogically forcing a Yes/No belief on this when 'can't be known' is the only correct answer.

    There are books, television, internet and personal conversations through which I can hear other people's experiences. I search out such things.

    I am not a member of any organized religious group through which I would meet experiencers.
     
  7. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    What is the purpose in believing in, or caring about a God you will never have any contact with, who creates you, only to let you disappear into nothing, with absolutely no contact at all?

    Isn't that a lot like a deadbeat father who abandons his child?
     
  8. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    I don't know why anybody would.

    A God such as that certainly wouldn't be worthy of praise or worship, IMO, since such a God is removed from eternal love. Such a God could only represent temporal love, that fades away.

    In fact, many people, such as many mother's, would have love greater than such a God's love, because a mother would end her own life for her child to live on... That's real love.

    ...Many fathers, such as myself, would also do the same. So how could I "worship" a God morally beneath me..?
     
    #48 Cooky, Dec 26, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  9. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    So, in addition to life after death, and god(s) you also believe that aliens have recently traveled to earth in spaceships that have been seen by humans.

    Kinda strange. Almost everyone today has a cell phone, yet there are no good, clear photos of alien spacecraft.

    There is also solid scientific evidence gleaned from many studies and experiments that show that life after death incidents are, at best, imagined. Do you also take these into consideration?

    Previously you said...(my emphasis)
    So now we see that the "vast majority" that you spoke of are not people you actually talked to in person. Rather they are stories compiled by believers for the consumption of believers and youtube contributors. IOW hearsay.
     
  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Why would you have to know them personally? Would that make a difference?
    Why isn't their testimony in a book adequate?

    Either way, you would have to believe that person really experienced what they reported because you cannot actually know until you experience it for yourself.
     
  11. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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    Hm.. Good question. I have to think about what you wrote.
     
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  12. SeekingAllTruth

    SeekingAllTruth Well-Known Member

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    I find no sense or purpose to life. I think that everything in life is roll of the dice. If I had my choices I'd have been born into royalty for the easy life it affords. But I wasn't and so I endure misery like the rest of us poor schmucks. I've read thousands of NDE accounts but I've decided they are all delusions because only 3% of those who come that close to death report experiencing anything. What about the rest of those who died and said when they were revived that it was one big blank, like the lights going off and then immediately going back on even though a half hour passed in between? The evidence or lack thereof says there isn't anything after death, and if there is only about 3% of us will experience it; the rest of us, our consciousness will disintegrates when we close our eyes for the last time. I think there might be a higher power out there because I cannot come up with a rational explanation for the complexity of DNA/RNA.
     
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  13. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I believe there is a purpose to this life and an afterlife, but that is because that is what my religion teaches, and it makes logical sense to me. I believe this life serves as preparation for the next life which is where we will spend eternity, and as such what we do in this life is very important.

    I have had a very difficult life and it continues to be difficult in spite of how hard I struggle. I think our lot in life is very complex and some of what happens to us is fated by God. A fate that is pending can be altered by God but some of our fate is irrevocable so we just have to accept it.

    I believe that humans have the will/ability to make choices based upon their desires and preferences. Our desires and preferences come from a combination of factors such as childhood upbringing, heredity, education, adult experiences, and present life circumstances. How free they are varies with the situation. Certainly what we refer to as “free will” has many constraints. However, we have the ability to make choices. Otherwise, we would just be at the mercy of our past experiences and our heredity.

    I do not believe that NDEs are proof of the afterlife because those people were not fully dead. They might have caught a glimpse of the other world, but a glimpse is not what we will actually experience once we are fully dead. Had these people been fully dead, they could not have been revived.

    I believe in what my religion teaches about the afterlife/next world/spiritual world. We are not told much but what we are told is very similar to what I have read in books about the afterlife on which mediums communicated to spirits who had been dead a long time, although time as we know it does not exist in the spiritual world.

    A couple of interesting books you can read are as follows. The first book is short and free to read online.:

    Private Dowding

    The Afterlife Revealed
     
  14. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    There are hundreds and hundreds of books by people who have "visited the afterlife". None of these people can present any evidence.

    Accounts of what they experienced differ greatly from person to person. Did god make little individual heavens for all these people? If not, they can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.

    There are testimonials of people in hospitals who raised up out of their bodies. Some experimenters put (for example) books and objects on high bookshelves. No one has ever correctly identified the book or objects. No one. Why is that?








    I need evidence. You believe on blind faith.

    That's probably also why I'm an atheist and you are a God-believer.
     
  15. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Many Royals, especially in the past were assinated by younger siblings or court rivals or even the people.


    Scientists cannot come up with a rational explanation for what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance". It's OK to accept I DON'T KNOW.

    Thousands of years ago, men invented gods because they could not come up with rational explanations for locusts eating all their crops, or volcanoes erupting, or tsunamis wiping out villages. You needn't make the same mistake.
     
  16. SeekingAllTruth

    SeekingAllTruth Well-Known Member

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    Re the royals, I'd take my chances in today's world. I haven't heard of of princes murdering their older brothers to get to the throne. I'd just want to kick back and take it easy. Let someone else do the heavy lifting of running a country.

    I agree men invented thousands of gods. They had to. Today, we have no need for them. I mean if there is a God He's chosen to go AWOL on us so we have to make do by ourselves with disease, famine, hunger, mass murders, starvation, etc. Just don't an idiot like the Christian god come to me and say on judgment day, "Why didn't you accept my son Jesus?" I'd answer "Where's the proof he's your son?"
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    You mean proof. Of course nobody cannot present verifiable proof of that which is immaterial, but you'll have your verifiable proof when you die and are no longer a material being.
    Of course accounts differ. It is illogical to think that all souls will experience the same thing in the spiritual world. Yes, they can all be right because they all have different experiences, just like we all have different experiences in THIS world. However, just like we have certain common experiences in this world we will have some common experiences in the next world. In this world, we all have to eat and sleep, we walk and talk. In the next world we will have no need for food or sleep, because we will not be physical beings, and because we won't be physical, we will no longer have the physical problems we have here --accidents, injuries, sickness, aging, and fear of death. All that will be no more.

    I do not like to call it the afterlife because that is not really what it is, it is simply a continuation of this life in another dimension.

    “Physical death is nothing. There really is no cause for fear.....
    You see, I was so little 'dead' that I imagined I was still physically) alive. Think of it a moment before we pass on. I had been struck by a shell splinter. There was no pain. The life was knocked out of my body; again, I say, there was no pain. Then I found that the whole of myself--all, that is, that thinks and sees and feels and knows--was still alive and conscious! I had begun a new chapter of life. I will tell you what I felt like. It was as if I had been running hard until, hot and breathless, I had thrown my overcoat away. The coat was my body, and if I had not thrown it away I should have suffocated. I cannot describe the experience in a better way; there is nothing else to describe.” Private Dowding, p. 14, 16

    We will have another form made up of heavenly elements, not physical elements.

    “The answer to the third question is this, that in the other world the human reality doth not assume a physical form, rather doth it take on a heavenly form, made up of elements of that heavenly realm.” Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 194
    I do not know what experiments you are referring to, but I heard the exact opposite, that the people who left their bodies DID identify the objects and everything else that happened while they were unconscious.
    You want proof that cannot be acquired. There is evidence but no proof. The only proof you will get is when you die, then you will know. Nobody really knows what will happen after that because as Baha'ullah wrote, God is keeping that under His Hat...

    “Death proffereth unto every confident believer the cup that is life indeed. It bestoweth joy, and is the bearer of gladness. It conferreth the gift of everlasting life.........
    As to those that have tasted of the fruit of man’s earthly existence, which is the recognition of the one true God, exalted be His glory, their life hereafter is such as We are unable to describe. The knowledge thereof is with God, alone, the Lord of all worlds.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 345-346


    So we are told something about the fate of believers, that they will experience joy and gladness, but we know nothing about what will happen to nonbelievers. Christians believe they go to a place called hell, but Baha'is have no such beliefs. We believe hell is distance from God, but there is no way to know exactly what that means or how it will play out in the next world.

    As far as faith in the unseen is concerned, I will leave you with this.... How logical is it to say you know that there are no more solar systems out there just because they have not yet been discovered? The same applies to the spiritual realm of existence.

    So far, astronomers have found more than 500 solar systems and are discovering new ones every year. Given how many they have found in our own neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy, scientists estimate that there may be tens of billions of solar systems in our galaxy, perhaps even as many as 100 billion.

    How many solar systems are in our galaxy? - NASA Space ...
     
    #57 Trailblazer, Dec 27, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    What do you imagine an afterlife is for? Why did God give us this life if it wasn’t good enough? He is the Almighty Creator....does he make imperfect junk? What was he thinking?

    I would like to know what people imagine an afterlife to be like?
     
  19. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    No, I do not mean proof. If I wanted proof I would have asked for proof. What I said was there is no credible evidence.

    That is your hope based on blind faith. I have no need to pretend.

    Do you read and understand what you are quoting?

    If a body is made up of heavenly elements why would it be running hard and hot and suffocating? That's what I alluded to when I said everyone describes the afterlife differently.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    There is nothing wrong with this life, but its primary purpose is preparation for the afterlife, which is the main act of the play since that is where we will spend all of eternity. This is not just a Baha'i belief; if you study the Bible you will find that theme embedded throughout.

    When I say afterlife I mean the next world. The word afterlife is a misnomer, since the next world is simply a continuation of our life in this world.
    For starters..... #57 Trailblazer, 13 minutes ago
     
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