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So what’s so great about a Christian heaven?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by s2a, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    Michel, s2a did not accuse you of straight plagiarism. What he said is that you should have placed the link at the beginning of your post instead of at the end. Without telling him at the beginning, this fooled him into believing that what he read until the end was composed by you, until right to the very end. I think he has too much cognag :flirt: before replying to your post. He sounds a bit aggressive in the post. However, I think there are substances in his post that everyone can enjoy and digest and make own conclusion. It is safer to say that we do not know how heaven is like except some vague pictures painted in various scriptural text. Arguing like s2a figuring out from revealation the exact size of heaven is again falling into literal interpretation and is not going to convince anyone either way.

    There is one point raised regarding heaven:
    Heaven is the place where you will be with your love ones. All my family members love each other very much. There are seven brothers and sisters in my family. Only two sisters embraces Christianity. I failed to get any answer (or satisfactory answer) from them, with this question "Will you be happy in heaven, if only two of you are there, and our parents and the rest of the siblings will be moaning in the eternal fire of Hell?" Their answer is God will have a plan that will not let that happen. I can only presume that there are two ways (1) God can wipe out their memory of their earth experience, completely forgotten about their parents and brothers and sisters, or (s2a, if you are in heaven, you will not remember any of your former encounter, so do not have to worry too much about this point) (2) all of us will have a free ride to heaven without needing any effort of faith, baptised etc. I like option (2):bonk:
     
  2. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Heh, I always quote the source at the end of the part I have quoted; You think we ought to do it before the quote?


    One (amusing - not 'serious' thought) - what happens when, as in my Dad's case, he was married twice (The second by divorce) - does he get both his wives waiting for him, ready to argue it out with him?[​IMG]
     
  3. huajiro

    huajiro Well-Known Member

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    It is my belief that the Christian "Heaven" could have been just about anything good enough as long as it made them continue tything, and "Hell" could have been anything bad enough to make them not stop and think about whether or not they should.
     
  4. DreamQuickBook

    DreamQuickBook Active Member

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    I thought the Christian heaven was perfect. What could be better than that?

    Ok ok. Another Red Sox v. Yankees Playoffs...but besides that.
     
  5. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    s2a,

    I'm sorry you went to so much trouble for nothing. In all honesty, I have a really, really hard time with posts as long as yours. Maybe I shouldn't feel this way, but I always feel compelled to address every statement. If there are a hundred statements, I respond to each of them and come back to find a hundred more. It gets so out of hand that I just don't feel like bothering with any of them. So, if you would like to narrow the focus of your thread, I'll be happy to comment further. Otherwise, I guess you'll just have to find someone else who enjoys this style of debate. It's just too disorganized for my taste.

    Kathryn
     
  6. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    God may decide to clone your dad, one for each wife. Also, the two couples will not be able to feel the presence of the other.:D
     
  7. KirbyFan101

    KirbyFan101 Resident Ball of Fluff

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    I tend to agree. I feel responsible to read the entire thread, and I find long ones like these especially tedious (not as bad as those bible quoting ones though, sheesh!).

    If you could sum up your responses I would be happy to continue with this.
     
  8. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    This is known as binary pyramid debate, you got 2 to the power n, where n is the number of times you reply to your opponents. So you have to have lots of Vokha next to your computer to keep you going to debate with s2a:bounce
     
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  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    :biglaugh: Well, I guess that, as a Mormon, I'm in a lose-lose situation. I don't even drink coffee! :biglaugh:
     
  10. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello DeepShadow,

    You said:

    Perhaps...perhaps not. I would not presume to suggest that I have never posed a premised question without flaw, or one unworthy of reflective consideration - but at the moment, this isn't one of them.

    I am well aware that Scripture is primarily concerned with establishing and validating the concept of faith. Part of the "problem" is that believers (the adherent faithful) claim Heaven as unequivocal fact - beyond mere faith alone.

    Heaven is the goal (in attainment thereof) of all believers - as the promised reward for a mortal life spent in subservience, worship, and idealistic (dogmatic) devotion to their God. This (Heaven) is not offered as suppositional, hypothetical, or theoretical Scriptural conclusion - but as veritable fact.

    If Heaven is not "real" (or if Christ's "resurrection" isn't true), then what's the point of faith/belief in a Christian God? If there's no "reward" and no "afterlife", then why would anyone "believe"? Not only that, but if an eternity playing "Pong" is all that's offered, then gaining additional "converts" would be all that much more difficult. You wouldn't presume to entice potential/prospective believers with a promise of trillions of years of non-stop "Pong" playing, nor (hopefully) would you presume to offer any eternal (or final) travel destination from life as a "trust me, you'll love it" proposition.

    The simple question/rationale that not ONE believer has even bothered to acknowledge, much less attempt to address or answer is..."Would you send a loved one to a final resting home/place predicated solely upon such a vague and unspecified promise? Sight unseen? Without detail? Without question? Would you really?".

    Would you even buy a refrigerator (or a house, car, or boat) for yourself that way? Would you marry a prospective spouse, sight-unseen, unmet, and utterly unknown...upon such a promise? If not...then can you understand why unbelievers doubt such claims of Heaven? If believers can exercise discretion, discernment, and skepticism regarding earthly claims that seem "too good to be true"; yet can unquestionably accept Biblical claims of Heaven and profess such as veritable truths - then just whom is peddling the snake oil, and why? Should we question the salesman of such cure-all remedies, or disparage those that doubt the salesman's claims? Is it a matter of "trust" (or faith); resistant "hardened hearts"; or simple reasonable doubt? If the purchased miraculous snake oil doesn't cure all my ills, is it due to a lack of faith in it's efficacy? Should I blame the salesman, or myself for it's failure?

    You tell me.

    "Was John supposed to say, 'heaven will have music, and dancing, and sex, and all the things you enjoy here on earth, as well as immortality?'"

    I don't know. I can't account for the Scriptural claims offered by John. As far as I know, there was nothing preventing him from providing the specificity you offered (and, btw...other beliefs do offer greater detail).

    You said:
    OK. But if I were your travel agent, I'd do my best to answer honestly any questions you might have regarding your destination - and the laws, government, and culture you might expect to encounter, as well as specific details regarding your accommodations while you were there. Once you are there, thusly fully informed about what to expect; what to see; where to go; and whom your exploring companions are likely to be...you'd be more than welcome to partake in the "differences" of the people you might encounter once suitably arrived.

    But that's not what Scripture suggests or promises...

    Call it an inference based upon available evidence. Is it your position that Heaven will provide those hedonistic indulgences; or will you not claim so beyond any equiviocation; or do you simply not know?

    If you do know, but won't say, then why the concealment?

    If you don't know, and won't simply state as much...I am left but to wonder what would preclude you from saying so...

    I said:
    >>"Matt. 10:26 - "So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known."<<

    If everything is to be disclosed, and all hidden things are made known, then what is there to learn? What question will God not provide answer to, if asked? What knowledge will be needed, if immortality - free of effort, or profit, or pain - provides an eternity of "been there, done that", or "I knew that already"?"

    You offered:
    Is Isaiah talking about a mortal existence, or an immortal one here?

    Fair to say that most Christians accept (and espouse) the notion that the "soul" is risen "complete", or "in toto" (as some might jest, your "permanent record" follows you everywhere).

    But you do raise an interesting point suggesting that "smarter", or more "experienced" risen souls will enjoy some sort of advantage in Heaven. An advantage towards/realizing gain? Of what benefit, exactly? How does one "better" an immortal existence devoid of pain, suffering, sin, or evil? Recall, everyone is promised eternal joy in Paradise. Everyone. How does one top that?


    You address Matt. 10:26 again, saying:

    Perhaps this is simply a matter of semantics, but "...nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." seems pretty straightforward to me. The operative word being "nothing" (withheld). If something is already "revealed", or "made known" (to you), than it leaves "things" unrevealed and unknown to "discover"...except...those unknown/unrevealed things will be made known too...

    [Note: You are unwise to attempt to gauge/qualify what levels or study, or experience garnered, that may be retained by someone you do not know. I offer no assessment of your piety, knowledge, or depth of understanding of your own professed beliefs. As always, such qualities tend to "speak for themselves".]

    You revisited my statement of:
    .."What about entertainment? Again...no movies. No TV. No Nintendo. No magazines. No newspapers (no news). No competitive sports. All winners. No losers.",,

    And challenged me with:
    I don't claim Heaven as a "real" place. The Bible does. It's not my burden of proof to substantiate/validate Biblical claims. That's your burden to bear as a faithful believer (and especially as witness to unbelievers that would like to know these details before committing to a complete change of behavior, values, and life-long perspective). Can you provide C&V that categorically "disproves" my assumptions?

    When I make a claim, you are hereby invited and most welcome to demand support of that claim; and it's left for me to satisfy burdens of (your) reasonable doubt with empirical fact.

    s2a
     
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  11. KirbyFan101

    KirbyFan101 Resident Ball of Fluff

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    Book of Satan, IV:2

    There is no heaven of glory bright, and no hell where sinners roast. Here and now is our day of torment! Here and now is our day of joy! Here and now is our opportunity! Choose ye this day, this hour, for no redeemer liveth!

    That said, It would be impossible to have heaven as a single existance. Who is to say Television, Alcohol and Cigars are forbidden in heaven? If that is your ultimate state of pleasure (it certainly isn't mine! :p) then why do you dismiss it as a version of heaven? Heaven would have to be very individualistic to earn the title "heaven".

    Then again, if you aren't allowed to commit any of the Seven Sins up there, I would really focus on living!(No more cigars!)

    Edit: For anyone who wishes to know the answer to the question "What is hell for a Masochist", please watch Ichi: The Killer. Uncut version preffered. (Warning, extreme violence, don't say I did not warn you.)
     
  12. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Can I play too?:D
    I disagree. To me, before I came to have faith, the Bible was jibberish.
    Here's one who has faith alone in a Heaven.
    It shouldn't be....
    Not how I see it.
    It is a hypothetical, or theoretical Scriptural conclusion... that I believe is a fact.... if you don't?... super.
    There would be no point.
    I wouldn't... but I don't get to make that choice.

    yechhh... I guess I should leave this for DS... I guess I'm missing your point s2

    Have fun,
    Scott
     
  13. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello Michel,

    You said:

    OK. Then spare me your puerile/condescending entreaties along the lines of: "I was just wondering if you would allow me back onto your own personal forum - oh silly me! it's a thread on the forum I belong to - for a minute thenm I thought this was the 's2a forum'".

    As you are well aware (as is every other participant within), I have no controlling influence as to what posts may be sustained (beyond moderated editorial discretion), or mitigated as to content or acceptable participatory rebuttal commentary. Moderators retain that "godly" power, and moderators alone may wield such at their own discretion. So, even in sarcastic jest, such special pleading on your part smacks of little more that condescension and patronizing effort in attempts of inferring some projected guilt or remorse to be accepted on my part. A wasted effort in your regard, and an unacceptable inference for myself to concede or validate as matter of doleful contrition.

    Regarding the issue of "borrowing" expositional commentary (by means of unnecessary cut&paste excess), you inferred that you had devoted laborious effort and sweat of brow in providing "rebuttal" for my consideration - when in fact (as I illustrated) that it involved absolutely no excetional effort or concerted diligence on my part to find the lengthy sermon you provided. When you imply great effort on your part, it's not unfair to assume and conclude that any such provided "commentary" is of original craft.

    And yes, it is common practice (and deferential courtesy to the original author) to place such "borrowed" commentaries within quotation marks at the outset.

    You said:
    Unfair (and inaccurate) mischaracterization on your part. I called a spade a spade. What you offered (by implied "sweat of brow") was a sermon on faith, not a pointed rebuttal. It's as simple as that. I devoted quite a bit of personal (and original) pointed reply to the proffered referenced Scripture within the "borrowed" sermon, and illustrated why such references were moot (or otherwise inapplicable) to the question at hand. Quite frankly, I was not going to expend the additional effort and time trying to rebut further points (by referenced Scripture) that you did not make of your own volition - or especially for the benefit of a deceased author.

    I never "trash" (or casually dismiss) any reply made in earnest. I note that you offer no contradictory reply for the commentary I offered regarding the passages addressed in the "sermon" on faith, that you suggested entailed exceptional effort on your part in so providing.

    Again, you choose to impugn my character (as an alleged employer of devious/disingenuous/unfair "tactics"), instead of simply addressing what I say.

    As Yoda might have suggested, "That...is why you fail".
    You choose to infer a personal bent of commentary that offers nothing of your character - only of what you say. I offer that your proffered "argument" is lacking in substance and merit, but you prefer to assume (and counter-infer) such as a personalized "attack" upon your character and person instead.

    If you persist in such a perspective, I predict that I will continue to "disappoint" you in my evinced style and "tactics". I don't know you well enough to "attack" you personally, or to land blows "below the belt". But alleging such don't make it so either...

    [Note: If you would actually quote what I said, and then illustrate such as being the offending phrase/quote of acquired offense (or "below the belt" statement), I might reconsider with expression of due regret anything I offered that was demonstrably inaccurate or untrue. Upon rereading of what I actually imparted in my previous posts intended for your consideration, I can find no especial nor heinous example of willful or undeserving emotional hurt that you may have presumed for yourself].

    You suggested:
    The "accusation" was that of unartful misrepresentation, latent attribution, and generalized laziness in reply (whilst being presented as daunting and complete - of which neither was accurate). As such, I offer you no apology; "appropriate" or otherwise. My conscience is quite clear in this regard. No retraction is due or forthcoming.Take such conscious unequivocation (on my part) however serves your sensibilities best.

    [Note: I intend you no ill will on a personalized basis. As I have said, I don't know you well enough to even offer attempt at such a personalized attack upon your character (or motives). As far as I can determine, you are a person of pious faith, with firm convictions of/in what you believe. At best, all I can do is question the rationale of what you say, and challenge the claims you present as foundation/support of your beliefs. As always, you are invited to offer similar challenge of what I say; as opposed to who or what I may offer as a suggested claim of/for myself.]

    s2a
     
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  14. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello Katzpur,

    You said:

    No trouble at all. Fortunately, I retain the right to choose how much or how little effort I may expend in offering reply. As such, I did not indulge exceptional nor extraordinary "trouble" in offering you considered reply.

    As far as "narrowing the focus of my thread"...I thought the concluding question (predicated upon the provided rationale) focused things well enough. If lengthy and pointed debate does not suit your sensibilities or preferences, I would offer that I understand; and further suggest that such engagements should only be entered with sincere forethought and willful diligence.

    You are invited (if you like) to address the pointed questions I offered as premised to the generalized question/conclusion at hand. Understand that I, as a skeptic (and heretical unbeliever) can accept ( and acknowledge) "I don't know" as a legitimate answer to a premised question...but in so doing, it's only fair to expect claimants (as believers) to accept the notion that faith alone, for many, is no answer at all.
     
  15. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello Scott1,

    You asked:

    Of course. You could play better by answering the question at hand...;-)


    You quoted me in saying:
    >>"I am well aware that Scripture is primarily concerned with establishing and validating the concept of faith"<<

    You offered:
    Thanks for your personalized testimony in that regard. I don't care. Please acknowledge that your prior lack of understanding is yours to account for, and not mine to explain or rationalize. I understand the claims of the Bible...I just don't accept them as veritable fact.

    I offered:
    >>"Part of the "problem" is that believers (the adherent faithful) claim Heaven as unequivocal fact - beyond mere faith alone."<<

    You said:
    OK. Fine with me. I will therefore assume that you do not testify or witness to others that Heaven is anything more that a faith-accepted theory.

    >>"Heaven is the goal (in attainment thereof) of all believers..."<<

    Why not? What's 60-100 years of a mortal existence compared to say...10 Trillion years...or "eternity"?

    >>"...as the promised reward for a mortal life spent in subservience, worship, and idealistic (dogmatic) devotion to their God."<<

    As you are a self-professed Roman Catholic, I assume you can separate your personalized viewpoint from that of the dogma of R.Catholic Church.

    >>"This (Heaven) is not offered as suppositional, hypothetical, or theoretical Scriptural conclusion - but as veritable fact."<<

    Is it your position that the Roman Catholic (sect) Church presents Heaven as a theoretical concept predicated upon faith alone? If one doesn't "believe" (or accept), then Heaven just doesn't exist?

    >>"If Heaven is not "real" (or if Christ's "resurrection" isn't true), then what's the point of faith/belief in a Christian God?"<<

    Exactly. So the "point" of preaching and evangelizing Jesus' resurrection and the promise of Heaven is...?

    I said:
    >>"The simple question/rationale that not ONE believer has even bothered to acknowledge, much less attempt to address or answer is..."Would you send a loved one to a final resting home/place predicated solely upon such a vague and unspecified promise? Sight unseen? Without detail? Without question? Would you really?"."<<

    You replied:
    Sure you do. The offered question above has nothing to do with a belief (or lack thereof) in some promised afterlife...it's a real decision that many must make within this very mortal realm every day. If you have no loved ones in imminent need or want of sustained professional care, then you are fortunate...and can only imagine the responsibility and culpability inherent in making such a choice for another.

    I don't think you're missing the point...I think you're evading the point without devoting too much consideration beyond a personalized statement of pious faith...

    ...but you are still invited to answer the question at hand...;-)
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    s2a-- (What does that stand for by the way, if you don't mind my asking? Stew A., or perhaps "Steway"? :) )

    Interestingly, the descriptions you offer in your OP which paint the Christian concept of heaven as boring and pointless are the very same that many Christians offer when asked why God doesn't simply make this Earthly existence perfect (because then life would be boring and pointless).

    Both of these arguments challenge the idea that an omnipotent being (which, by definition, can do anything) could create a perfect heaven and/or Earth (in other words, a heaven and/or Earth that is bliss, yet not boring or pointless).
     
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  17. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry... it's a long thread... what's the question at hand?
    Super... I don't care.
    I don't proclaim to know anything for certain.. my faith is just that: faith.
    Please acknowledge that your lack of understanding is yours to account for, and not mine to explain or rationalize.
    I'm not a Priest... I don't speak for the Church....just myself.
    Happiness....
    No... I don't.:areyoucra
    Again, I apologize for missing it... just let me know what it is and I'll take a crack at it.
     
  18. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Hello s2a,

    Maybe my post was a bit 'reactive' rather than proactive - I'll grant you that.

    Not many people get under my skin; for the sake of the record, I have nothing against you - apart from your vociferous belief that you know better than others, and that you tend to use your verbosity as a weapon.

    I will stop posting on this thread, because I have nothing to offer - besides, I have come to the conclusion that you would never accept any answer.

    Good luck, and I hope ypu continue to enjoy your being here on the forum. No hard feelings on my side; I hope you can reciprocate the 'tendered hand of peace'.

    Michel:)
     
  19. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Mr. Spinkles asked:

    I don't mind...though the answer may provide you little insight (unless you are a fan of sci-fi novels).

    "s2a" is an appropriation and condensation of "speaker-to-animals" - a named character in the "Known Space" of Larry Niven (most applicably to the novel "Ringworld").

    In short, "speaker-to-animals" is a "kzin" - a "feline-like" predatory species that (on average) stand eight-feet tall; have razor sharp teeth (akin to stainless steel); and view humankind as so much edible prey (or in their disdaining view..."plant-eaters"). "s2a" is an especially notable kzin, because he has been assigned to peacefully (and diplomatically) commiserate with human specie representatives (without eating them). He is a deadly foe in combat, but also an unwavering ally of those he chooses to respect and befriend.

    [Note: My decision to connote myself as "s2a" dates back to the early days of the internet (pre-WWW days: circa 1986 - and reflects a more youthful and arrogantly ignorant supposition/assignation of self). Admittedly, I would choose a more apt "nom-de-plume" today...but such as it is...the virtual realm that is the internet and WWW - has forever recorded my historical ruminations as "s2a" (though the moniker "s2a" is not unique; nor are all referable historically recorded posts ascribed as "by s2a" of my own craft). Just the same, I "own" the pen-name of "s2a" as a matter of historical record and accountability in numerous discussion forums and websites, and I assume accountability and responsibility for such (even those made in haste, hubris, or habitual inebriation).

    And so, I am today, as I ever was..."s2a".

    But if you buy me a cocktail (or, in fact, quite a few)...you can call me Cal. ;-)
     
  20. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello Scott1,

    You asked:

    Just read post #1. That should cover it...

    When I said:
    >>"I understand the claims of the Bible...I just don't accept them as veritable fact."<<
    You said:
    Acceptable to me.
    Is your "I don't care" position acceptable to your Creator as He has charged you otherwise?

    Fine with me. Not especially compelling or convincing testimony in favor of an invisible yet omniscient god 'tho...

    When I asked:
    >>"Why not? What's 60-100 years of a mortal existence compared to say...10 Trillion years...or "eternity"?"<<

    You parroted reflexively (and unoriginally) in suggesting:
    I did not profess a lack of understanding of Scripture. It was you that lent such a ("lacking") "confession"...not I.

    My bad. I wasn't aware that only Catholic clergy were qualified to evangelize God's Word. I will therefore infer that testimonial witness from Catholic laypersons is useless and meaningless, as such adherents of the Church only "speak for themselves".

    When I asked/suggested:
    >>"Exactly. So the "point" of preaching and evangelizing Jesus' resurrection and the promise of Heaven is...? "<<

    You offered the vagarity of:
    What if I'm happy now? What future need or want of a Christian Heaven is there for someone like myself?

    Unrequested and unnecessary apology accepted...just see...Post #1 in this thread. I'm unsure/ignorant as to what specifics or Scriptural "truths" you are willing to reference as Biblical validation/answer to the question at hand...but rest assured that facile testimonials of "I don't know, but I believe what I believe is true" are not answer, nor especially interesting to contemplate from an unbeliver's perspective (absent abject and empirical fact).
     
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