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Afterlife

  1. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 13 months ago

    http://usercontent2.hubimg.com/12420369_f520.jpg
    Is the afterlife real?  Or is the afterlife an unrealistic fantasy, used by people to justify being passive, even resigned about their lives, hoping that there will be something better after this life?

    1. Disappearinghead profile image89
      Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      It would be nice if it was real but the qualifications typically proposed as requirements for entry are illogical at best and immoral at worst. I've met a large number of Christians though who are very much passive about their lives,  seeing striving to make their lives better as pointless pursuits when compared to the rich rewards they will receive in the afterlife. I enjoy cycling, I love the speed, the achievement of conquering a steep climb, doing 45 miles before lunchtime, and beating my times. Yet I get Christians with confused faces asking me why I want to spend £2000 on a bicycle. Says it all about their mindset.

    2. Oztinato profile image84
      Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      We humans face immense moral and ethicsl tests in life. This basic fact implies a reward to those who pass such tests. No other life form has to pass these many tests. Animals are without ulterior motives or malcious intent and have no need for moral tests.
      Here we are on Earth as if on a stage going through dramas and daily ethical decisions big and small. This implies something to all honest thinkers: that we are being tested and that there will be rewards. The only logical strongly implied reward is an afterlife.
      As Shakespeare said only a madman like McBeth could see life as "a tale told by an idiot". McBeth failed to pass his test.

      1. Disappearinghead profile image89
        Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        The assumed moral tests that we face implies an assumption that there is an external agency devising these tests and applying them to us. The tests that we face are merely the consequences of the societies that we live in. A government can choose to spend its limited funds on defence, education or social health care, but this 'moral' test is a result of limited tax income and the economy. Morality is defined by our culture and society. To Islamic State it is perfectly moral to behead infidels and in fact utterly immoral to not punish them. Swingers explore their sexual desires with multiple free love partners and cause harm to nobody or society except the perceived sensibilities of an Abrahamic God. Perhaps you eat meat in which case millions of vegetarians believe you commit immoral outrage.

        Each society has its own set of morals which evolve with time. What is moral in one is immoral in another. But you make the assumption that we must all be tested and judged by the moral dictates of your religion. I'm sure the Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist societies would disagree with you.

      2. jonnycomelately profile image86
        jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        You can stop right there.... no need for an afterlife, or someone "up there" waiting to judge us.  All those ethics and the judgments are made by human beings, just like you and me.  They are all conjured up in the minds of people, mainly for the purpose of making and passing judgment upon someone else.  They have the ability to deflect attention from one's own responsibility and deflect the attention onto someone else.

        1. Oztinato profile image84
          Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          Perhaps you might need to read a little Shakespeare instead of scriptures to get a better grasp of the complex tests people are put through. Or maybe read up on how the existential dilemma facing mankind has propelled all philosophy forwards.
          Don't be hung up about people being judgemental all the time. Relax no ones judging you. As the scriptures say we judge ourselves.

          1. Disappearinghead profile image89
            Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            Speaking as an Englishman Shakespeare is overrated, and largely ignored by the vast majority of Brits.

          2. Jewels profile image80
            Jewelsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            I agree wholeheartedly, the judgement is within.  It's all an inside job smile

    3. oceansnsunsets profile image89
      oceansnsunsetsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Yes, I think the afterlife is real.  I also think that if there are people that use it to justify being passive, etc, that is unfortunate and not encouraged.  When I say not encouraged, I mean by my set of beliefs.  I am a Christian, and I don't find anything in Christs teachings that encourages that. 

      I guess I would need to know more about what is meant exactly by the questioner about being passive or resigned about their lives to answer more fully. 

      Also, I don't know why if there isn't an afterlife, you couldn't be as passive or resigned about life?  Or even more so, perhaps?  Why not just be passive and resigned as you like, in that case?  So some food for thought.

    4. Jewels profile image80
      Jewelsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Perhaps it is the human physical existence that is the 'afterlife' or 'other life', and the afterlife is the real existence.

      Our sense of reality is determined by our physical experiences and perceptions and a doubting mind that at best lacks intelligence, especially when it is only interested in logic and rational thinking.  Logic and rational thinking is a box that requires expansion, otherwise it remains a small box with walls that become dull and boring.  Safe, but nonetheless dull and boring.

      Wonder and awe will keep the mind sane and the heart happy.

    5. 60
      dachirajuposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Yes there is life after. First thing we are not these bodies we are all souls and we are immortal, we identify with the body and falsely think I am the body the more you are attached to the body the more you are under illusion thinking am this body. Truth remains life after.

      1. jonnycomelately profile image86
        jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        dachiraju, welcome to HubPages.

        I respect your opinion, and obviously your conclusions about the "Afterlife" will have come from your meditations and the insights you will have obtained from that.  It's possible that such opinion is pointing to the truth.  I am not willing to accept it fully or reject it fully.  Maybe every opinion depends upon the point of view "of the beholder."

        For now, I do not accept there is anything beyond my life, my consciousness.  I arrive at this conclusion from my own experiences in life.....mixed with thinking logically and sometimes illogically... my individual course that is surely unique.   Each other person, yourself included, is also unique, with unique pathways, although we often walk in parallel.

        Nothing is 100% final, even opinions and understandings.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
          Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          Reality is found beyond the five senses.
          Some really do have the key so we can pass through the door.
          Some of us are just sharing what we believe based on trusting those who claim they have the key.
          But sometimes you have to take that step ...
          Faith could lead to knowledge, but you must test it out.
          It kinda starts with a hunch as to who has the genuine golden key.
          By testing the key you have found, one knows for sure or not.

          TWISI

  2. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    How are we to know one way or the other??

    1. Oztinato profile image84
      Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      By using logic, commonsense and inner contemplation. If a person puts effort into researching spiritual matters, living by ethics and correcting their errors their inner vision develops. If they cloud it by doubting, drinking and carousing plus lying and cheating etc the universe will look very depressing to them.

      1. Disappearinghead profile image89
        Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        Sweeping generalisations and assumption. I enjoy getting completely drunk with friends occasionally because it is such a good laugh and it strengthens social bonds. I'm disappointed that I didn't get up to much carousing when I was younger. I might lie or be economical with the truth occasionally, as the truth can lead to a lot of unnecessary unpleasantness. Is the universe depressing to me? Nope.

        1. Oztinato profile image84
          Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          I work in the hospitality industry and see the results of people allegedly enjoying a drink. Statistics speak for themselves ie cirrhosis of the liver, assaults,car accidents, dementia, alcoholism   etc. It's no secret. You must be totally unique or have "beer goggles " on:)
          Have you ever read the statistics on the health effects of alcohol,

          1. jonnycomelately profile image86
            jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            So, what are you suggesting is/might be the solution to such debauchery? Believe in Jesus?

            1. Oztinato profile image84
              Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

              Its not debauchery just ill health.
              I suggest in this case to stop drinking oneself to death and to get a life. Looking at life through beer goggles is not the answer to clear thinking. Booze clouds the vision literally and figuratively. Natural spiritual highs are healthy and based on reality not on chemicals. High alcohol consumption is often turned to by  atheists because they are trying to fulfil the existential void in an unnatural way. Inner meditation, faith and humble contrition is the natural way.

              1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                Your bias against atheists is laughable.

                1. Oztinato profile image84
                  Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                  It's not a bias. There are many believers with drinking issues.
                  It's a fact that non believers are more prone to drug and alcohol use as they need to fill the inner void left by leaving the spiritual behind. I see it every day.

                  1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                    jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                    This again proves your bias.  Give proof of yout claims.

          2. Jewels profile image80
            Jewelsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            It's certain alcohol creates a fog, and disconnects from reality, which for those who are totally sozzled by it is likely the reason they use it.  Dealing with your reality can be sooooo hard.  In spiritual practices - alcohol is not helpful, in fact it's a disaster for gaining centerdness.

            1. Disappearinghead profile image89
              Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

              There's a huge difference between a regular drinker and an alcoholic. Drinking does not lead to alcoholism in and of itself. To suggest that everyone who gets drunk is an alcoholic demonstrates a misunderstanding of what alcoholism is. To an alcoholic the alcohol is simply a tool to avoid reality and is a symptom of much bigger issues. To a social drinker the alcohol is a social lubricant and a tool for a good laugh.

              1. Oztinato profile image84
                Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                Medical opinions differ hugely as to what a safe level of alcohol consumption is. Certainly a daily intake of several drinks can be damaging.
                Alcoholism is a huge problem. All alcoholics start as social drinkers. They become "alcoholics" only when they admit they have a problem.
                Most drinkers with a problem often smoke as well plus take recreational  drugs and or abuse pills etc. The combined effects of all this is ill health, budgeting problems and social ills.

                1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                  Yet only a minority of "social drinkers" are alcoholics.
                  Your religious bias once again shows through.

                  1. Oztinato profile image84
                    Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                    Extreme alcoholism is rare. Once again it's when an individual themselves decides that they have a problem that is the key. They might be spending more than they should for example or maybe their work suffers etc. These are lesser states of alcoholism.
                    The point is alcohol is a drug and not a natural spiritual state.
                    Are you and Wilderness related?

          3. Disappearinghead profile image89
            Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            Of course everyone knows about the effects of binge drinking. Of course you didn't read what I said. I used the word 'occasionally'. Besides we are grown ups here.

            1. Jewels profile image80
              Jewelsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

              I was using it in the context of doing full on spiritual practices.  It creates a fog that blocks vision, among other things!  I was not speaking of it in terms of a drinker or alcoholic who does not do spiritual practices. 

              Not intending to offend smile

            2. Oztinato profile image84
              Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

              Of course I read everything. So we agree that alcohol causes huge problems but you don't necessarily have any of these problems.
              If we want to see the negative results just read the statistics.

              1. Jewels profile image80
                Jewelsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                Experientially a person who undertakes long sessions of meditation - ie days to weeks, would be affected greatly by consuming alcohol.  Paradoxically people doing full on spiritual practices are not attracted to alcohol anyway. 

                So separating the adept from the passive believer here.  Of course the passive believer has no knowledge of their subtle bodies and will never know the difference.

    2. colorfulone profile image88
      colorfuloneposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Good question! 
      Mine is...
      Why do Spirit-filled baptized-believes believe it is by the witness of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)?

  3. Oztinato profile image84
    Oztinatoposted 13 months ago

    I am totally inter faith and study all religions both past and present. Classical Hinduism ranks very highly
    in the evolution of religious philosoph. Stereotyping all religions as you have here is a symptom of low ethics and possibly hate speech. It is truer to say some people who claim to follow a religion use it as a political tool or to make money. Such people are badly failing the ethics test, but so have you by stereotyping.
    Common denominators of compassion and love are endemic to all societies. The ethical rule of love is a good way to simplify the process.
    As stereotyping lacks love it fails the divine test by a mile.

    1. Disappearinghead profile image89
      Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Who is stereotyping but the one who says that those who doubt, drink, carouse etc have a depressing view of the universe? If I have made any assumptions here it is that you were a Christian. I stand corrected.

      1. Titen-Sxull profile image92
        Titen-Sxullposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        Hi DH,

        Notice how quickly you were accused of being of low moral character AND possible hate speech just for speaking your opinions.

        Nothing you said was a stereotype or a generalization, but you said something someone else didn't like and the immediate leap in logic they made was that you are dangerously close to "hate speech".

        The self-righteous judgment of some is absolutely astounding, especially when they fallaciously argue from their own authority.

        I completely agree with all of what you said, such "moral tests" only have the slightest resemblance to anything that might be designed. The fallacy of logic being employed is equivocation with the meaning of the word test. This is similar to when believers say that Natural Law needs a law giver, they are conflating two meanings of the word Law. Here we have natural "tests" of our moral character which are simply ordinary situations that occur in all of our lives and the only reward received is a pat on the back from the chemistry of our brain and perhaps, in those instances where practicality and moral rightness overlap, a practical real-world benefit.

        It seems to me quite superstitious to look to the sky after we've done some good deeds waiting for our reward be it from some celestial Karma or from the Abrahamic God or from any other source. The world owes us nothing for good deeds.

        I would also like to add that one man's reward is another man's punishment. Submitted for the approval of the thread is the excellent Twilight Zone episode: A Nice Place to Visit. In the episode a career thief is gunned down. He awakens in a penthouse suite with a genie like man attending to his every whim. He can have women, he can have booze, he can never lose at gambling and get away with any crime he wants... so naturally he assumes this is Heaven.

        The twist, of course, is that he's actually in Hell. In life he lived for the thrill of almost getting caught, he had come to love the challenge of planning a heist or a robbery. Now he spends eternity with his every wish and whim being completely catered to... and that, FOR HIM, is Hell.

        Perhaps the ancient tales of bejeweled cities in the clouds were tempting to some. For others the idea of seeing dead loved ones is the draw. For others it is a fear of death. For some it is going back the Source, being one consciousness again.

        And yet all the medical and empirical evidence suggests that death is the end, that we are flickering flames lit for but a moment. Regardless of who is right I do not feel at all obligated to pass moral tests because of some reward that awaits me or punishment that may befall me, I pass them because it's the right thing to do and actions have consequences in the here and now.

        1. Disappearinghead profile image89
          Disappearingheadposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          Yep that about sums it up. Nothing would more wonderful and reassuring than to know an afterlife exists, but there simply isn't the evidence. Christians say they know there is but they don't. What they have is a continual internalised insistence that there is which they call faith or knowing in their spirit. I'm sure they are all very happy and secure with their minds convinced but I wish they would just be honest and accept that the majority of us need more than happy feelings or the claims of others.

        2. Oztinato profile image84
          Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          I note no response to "the lack of empathy shown for religions" by many but certainly not all atheists. Why is that? Why when cornered by logic does it get nasty and personal? Is it the first amendment that guarantees freedom TO religion, not FROM religion?

          1. jonnycomelately profile image86
            jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            "..cornered by logic..."   I suppose a person with a particular set of beliefs can come to that situation via his/her own sense of logic.   But surely it's a questionable logic?   When there is no agreed empirical proof to support a belief, how can any religiously inclined person claim adherence to Logic?

            1. Oztinato profile image84
              Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

              Stephen Hawking totally agrees with famous theist Kurt Gödel's "Incompleteness Theorem" which states that science and maths can never answer all questions. Hawking has a permanent free online essay about his support for this theorem. In other words scientists agree that it has limits to its own ability to understand "everything". (note: the incompleteness theorem is NOT the "god theorem" of Gödel).
              Kurt Gödel was Einstein's successor and history shows he spent much of his last years with Gödel.
              The way to understand what science can't is by experiencing one's own inner spiritual being. This is beyond science as Gödel's theorem proves science can't answer such questions. There are simply other degrees of experience beyond just the scientific method. We all can glimpse such experience when we feel the awe and mystery of the universe, feel love, or experience deeply moving moments (even watching a good play can elicit such deep inexplicable experiences).
              Science can not answer the existential mystery that faces us all as sentient beings. The fact that there is an "existential mystery" is in itself an experience of God/soul.

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                … also without this mystery there is no point to life.

                1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                  That might be and obviously is the way that some people choose to see it.

                  1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                    And to you, life is not a mystery?
                    Like even the scientists know it all?
                    If anything they discover how much they do not know.
                    Believe me, they are scratching their heads.
                    And it spurs them on and on and on …


                    ~ of course …
                    According to MY View of Things.

              2. jonnycomelately profile image86
                jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                I am happy to agree with what you have said.  No problems with that
                "Science" as such is, after all, just one way to explore and understand reality.

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    Empathy is the "religion" of atheists.
    Is empathy good enough? (no need to consider the after-life.)
    If so, could atheism save the world?

    Can empathy save individuals (self and others) from negativity, depression, hatred, loneliness, alienation, rebelliousness, meanness, addictions, etc?

    Would belief in an afterlife or empathy help us more, while on the earth?

    Which mental propensity is more natural to develop?
    Empathy or belief in an afterlife?

    1. Oztinato profile image84
      Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Empathy is just a different word for compassion and love but instead of giving religion any credit many atheists jettison their own cherished principle of evolution.
      This happens a lot: mindfulness is another word for meditation; placebo is another word for faith healing; kooky new age magnet therapy is now embraced by science; acupuncture quakery re chi is now accepted as "body electricty" etc etc

  5. Oztinato profile image84
    Oztinatoposted 13 months ago

    I'm saying the general impression is that certain people here lump all religions together.
    In my view there is no such thing as one religion being superior to another.
    The essence of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism etc is the same. In essence I am a Chrustian and I am a Buddhist etc.

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
      Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Exactly. It is hard to tell based on the evidence.

  6. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    If all religions were leading to the top of the same mountain we would all eventually get to the same mountain top,
    The extremists, however, have another mountain all together, don't they?
    When they get to the top of their mountain they will look over at our mountain and realize they climbed the wrong one.

    Jesus says heaven is within. Do the extremists know this? Do we? We are no better than the extremists. I wonder what if we just said, look guys, what do you want from us?
    I mean what if we really talked to them and they perceived us to be listening sincerely.

  7. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    In the final analysis, positive thinking is regarded as New Age mumbo jumbo, as well. Religionists really want us to blindly believe. But I say there is no such thing as blind belief. To believe is to know something, somehow. Although it is really a mystery as to how some things are known.
    One can affirm with positive thinking and poof! there it is: a belief! or one can actually experience a certain thing and poof! there it is: a belief!
    Which has the greater validity? Atheists would rather just believe in empathy. It is more concrete to human actuality.

    1. Oztinato profile image84
      Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Then why do they criticize and disparage religions? Why don't they "empathise" with religions and religious people? What happened to their empathy in this regard.

  8. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    If heaven/afterlife is up, how far up?
    If heaven/afterlife is here, where is here?
    The answer is found in the words of Jesus, but people are afraid to read what Jesus said and doubt the validity of the Bible.
    In that case, we are left with very little to go by.

    Unless, one understands where Bliss is found.
    If Bliss is something to experience, the after-life would involve our consciousness either in or out of the body.
    The question becomes this:  How do we cultivate our knowingness or perception of Bliss?

    Bliss is all there is.

    1. Jewels profile image80
      Jewelsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      I have been in the state of Bliss many times.  It is cultivated through practice, a daily practice or long term meditation practices.  I've done many 10 day solo sits, short for some adepts.  It is not a difficult state to get to.  Luckily being in a school where mapping consciousness is part of the teachings is a major plus for the expansion of consciousness.  It's a big topic, doable however.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        ~ Addiction to alcohol:  sad

        ~        "         "       bliss:   smile

        1. Jewels profile image80
          Jewelsposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          No hangover with bliss!

  9. Aime F profile image83
    Aime Fposted 13 months ago

    Life is hard and if you think about it as a series of random events it can actually be pretty scary.  Good people die early and tragically.  Someone you love could be fine one minute and gone forever the next.  It's terrifying.  I think it's only natural for people to use the afterlife as a way to cope.  It's much nicer to think that someone who died too young just gets to spend more time in a better place, or that you'll see the people you care about again one day.  It's not what I believe to be realistic but I don't fault anyone for believing in it, I think it must be nice to truly believe that everything ends nicely.

    As human beings our minds search for patterns and ways to make sense of things.  It's hard for us to think that random, bad things can happen to us for no reason at all so people give them labels like "tests of faith."  Again, I think it's all perfectly normal for people to think that way, but I don't think that makes it reality. 

    I don't believe in heaven or hell so my actions and morals aren't motivated by ultimate consequences.  I consider consequences that affect me and others now, in this life, on this earth.  I try to be a good person because I think this life is all we have and I want to make the most of it and touch other people's lives positively.  That's the best motivation I can think of, personally, and I think it runs far deeper than making choices because you're scared of hanging out with the devil.

  10. mtariqsattar profile image77
    mtariqsattarposted 13 months ago

    After life is real! If is wasn', whole human existence would not have made sense to me. Blessings.

    1. jonnycomelately profile image86
      jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Blessings to you also, Sir. 
      You wrote, "After life is real!"   That is a statement that implies others should adopt your opinion, is that what you mean?
      If you had written, "After life, for me, is real!"  then I could accept that with greatest respect for your opinion.   But when you imply that, because you believe it, others need to believe it also, then I take exception to your opinion.
      Regardless of which religion you adhere to, evangelism and demanding that entire populations must take up the tenets of your particular religion, is a function of political domination.   
      It sounds like you are just as much indoctrinated as many Christian people in the United States....all because you have that inner desire to "believe," instead of facing the facts of this world... .In my humble opinion, of course.

  11. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    … there is a Unitarian church in Pasadena. The church building is old and potentially a beautiful structure, but alas it is in desperate need of tending to. It is literally crumbling before our eyes year after year as anyone can plainly see as they whiz past in their cars.
    I stopped in and spoke to some of the congregation out of curiosity. They explained to me they are secular humanists… atheists!  They believe in the power of themselves.
    Well, the power of themselves ALONE doesn't seem to lend toward taking care of this building in the least.
    How Come?

    1. jonnycomelately profile image86
      jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Maybe the metaphor of that old building no longer rings true for them.
      Is your god of the past or the future or the present?  Surely, past and future is for physical beings to worry about.  How about the present?   What would those humanists say to this idea?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        They probably just can't get people to donate enough money. They are not inspiring their "congregation."
        They are not inspiring awe, appreciation, love or devotion to some force greater than themselves.
        I have to believe in this force because in my life I have been given way more than I have ever wanted or planned to get. And IN MY MIND I have gotten it one day, one miracle at a time.

  12. Oztinato profile image84
    Oztinatoposted 13 months ago

    All evolved religions are about the present. The here and now is a common spiritual phrase. Mindfulness was stolen from religious ideas about meditation. The eternal has often been likened to the eternal present. My god is your god and ehveryone's

    1. jonnycomelately profile image86
      jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Yet the image (imag-ination) of that "god" is a figment of each human mind.  As far as we know those animals that don't have the sort of abstract thinking that we have, don't have an image of a god.  They are far mor in touch wth the here and now. 
      Maybe this is what the metaphor "Adam and Eve" is all about.
      Were the the first to worry about a "Life Hereafter?"

      1. Oztinato profile image84
        Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

        The visual image that each person has is almost irrelevant. It is the inner wordless and imageless experience that matters. This experience of pure compassion and love deepens until there are brief flashes of pure consciousness and the eternal present. Apparently after death this same experience becomes far deeper still. As I said even alleged atheists can experience these brief flashes of breathless awe at the beauty of the universe. Who can say they haven't experienced a momentary flash of silent meditation without thought when falling in love or looking at the proverbial sunset?

        1. jonnycomelately profile image86
          jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          I know that state.

          1. Oztinato profile image84
            Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            That state can be deepened by practice. It's encouraged by meditation, study and prayer. It's rare and it takes time.

            1. jonnycomelately profile image86
              jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

              And your presumption that you, by believing in god, are in a better position to teach me how to get closer to that god.....?
              Your theism can only retain credibility when it draws on belief....that old argument which gains strength for you when it can't be proven or disproven.
              I know a little of that state in meditation.  At all times while experiencing it I depend only on personal choice as to how "deep" I go.  And yet it's totally un-selfish since, having arrived at the central awareness of Self, comes the enlightenment that Self is One with All.
              No need to be "better," or more informed, or seen to be closer to that enlightenment.
              Comparison takes a backwards step.

              1. Oztinato profile image84
                Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                You were giving me and others the clear impression you were ignorant about such matters therefore I was selflessly trying to lead you forwards.
                As it is now clear you are practicing some kind of religious method  (ie meditation) it now seems logical to ask why you think you're an atheist? ?

                1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                  "....You were giving me and others the clear impression you were ignorant about such matters...."  You made up in your own mind a picture of my ignorance that suited your presumptions.
                  ".....therefore I was selflessly trying to lead you forwards....."   Selflessly?!   Please don't try to kid me that it is my welfare you are concerned with.   You are only trying to justify your own beliefs, surely.

                  I am not practising some kind of religious method.   Meditation can be part of a "religious method," agreed, but I do not practise a religion.   Meditation occasionally, yes, if I choose to do so.  And I have experienced various methods of meditation briefly, over the years, and found it very helpful.  But I would not presume to tell you that meditation is what you should, or must do, in order to have a better life.  It's entirely your own business.....in the same what that what I do, or how I do it, is my business.

                  None of this is a prerequisite for belief in an Afterlife.  And for me, there is no such thing.

                  The presumption that a "God" exists and that you, I, we are all going to be subject to the judgement of that "God" when our lives end, is a human construct designed to control the actions and responses of other fellow humans.  In this respect, I am a-theist.  Adjective.  Not a noun!   I am not AN Atheist!

                  I can accept the idea that there might be some kind of force/entity which somehow brought about the pattern and design of our physical existence.  This we can never prove one way or the other, although it does give me a sense of awe and marvel, a sense of mystery which is appealing to my active mind and it opens me up to the infinite possibilities.  But in no way is this akin to that judgmental "God" that you and your religious fellows talk about.  Your "God" seems to be more concerned with restriction, constriction, limitation of what is acceptable, control, separation.

                  1. Oztinato profile image84
                    Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                    Going by what you are saying there is no way you can be described as an atheist of any persuasion.
                    All meditation has its roots in religious practices although I note that " science" likes to conveniently forget that.
                    I am inter faith and have nothing to do with fundamentalism at all.

                  2. Oztinato profile image84
                    Oztinatoposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                    I am not included in the fundamentalist camp. I have clearly stated it is we who judge ourselves. There is an inbuilt karmic principle. JC expressed it too as "as ye sow so shall ye reap". The same atheist trend  (or confused agnostic/a-theist) of constantly painting everyone as a fundamentalist is very apparent in your post.

                2. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                  Please understand that I am not trying to turn you from your own, current religious/spiritual concepts or beliefs.   I am not trying to "evangelise" you in any way towards my own concepts.
                  I merely state what are my own concepts and understandings at this time.  I am not even arguing these things.  They are my own property, open to other ideas, from other people, other minds, yes.  But not open to argument from others who would wish to turn my mind to accepting their concepts, as if they are more qualified and justified in their thinking.  I have been there, done that.....and left christianity behind...it's no longer for me, thanks all the same.

                  In my background of being involved with the christian church throughout the first 40-50 years of life, I have acquired a love and appreciation of church music (without having to agree with the liturgy) and still find some solace in entering the ethereal atmosphere of a cathedral.  I admire and respect some of the art forms which have given illustration to various metaphors and historical happenings down through the ages. 

                  I can equally give respect to people of Islam beliefs, and their customs, heritage, traditions, provided they don't in turn limit my freedoms....from their position of beliefs.

                  All I ask of yourself, and any other person who thinks they have superior knowledge to mine, is to simply allow me to have my own understanding as of now; to follow any avenue of further exploration that I choose..... without trying to impose your own parameters upon me which indicate your perception of what is "right" or "moral."

                  So you see my position is in defense of myself against the christian presumption of superiority, not offensive.  If the christian person is happy to lay off, then we can all get along fine.  We might even learn something new and useful from each other.

                  1. Oztinato profile image84
                    Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                    Well spoken!
                    However, why do you class your self as an atheist and argue so vehemently against religion? Surely you can see how confusing that is to people who want to duscuss these matters.

        2. jonnycomelately profile image86
          jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          I would disagree with your statement.  In the religious context, I would suggest every person who claims to be Christian will have his/her image of what god looks life.  And it is that image which attracts him/her to their god.   

          If one were to argue with another, claiming the Virgin Mary was a reasonable likeness of God, yet the other were to disagree and say that a guy who looked like a drop-out, had a long beard, piercing eyes and a way of lifting men out of their life-long rut, I am sure that an argument would ensue.  But which one would be right? 

          It's the center of much disagreement, so the "visual image" is far from irrelevant.

          1. Oztinato profile image84
            Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            In the higher realms of spiritual philosophy the external appearance matters very little. Notice I have never said "not at all" because the wonderful cultural variety is a part of healthy religion. People have a right to choose their external object of focus as it aids concentration.
            Once again, the Hindus understand and teach this. External appearances have a value but the greater value is the Inner Meaning which is carried forth by an external means of concentration like an image.
            By analogy we may initially love a person but as that person's appearance deteriorates due to age and illness our invisible inner love does not.

        3. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          "As I said even alleged atheists can experience these brief flashes of breathless awe at the beauty of the universe."

          An interesting choice of words - I would have said that even a theist can experience awe at the majesty of the universe although they simplify it greatly with a "Goddunnit" and lose much of the awe thereby.  The majesty of enormous periods of time, a feeling of total insignificance, and forced acknowledgement of just how little we understand is lost when it is all turned over to an omniscient figure that creates it all with a (figurative) snap of it's fingers. 

          So, although the theist gains much in the way of ego ("Wow!  And all just for me!"), he loses even more when the inspiration to learn disappears into "Goddunnit".

          1. Oztinato profile image84
            Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            You've really got to get away from what appears to be your narrow concept of God. Try reading the Hindu theories or the Buddhist ideas. Think more of "sentient energy" rather than "an old man in the clouds". Perhaps try to imagine the entire electro magnetic spectrum and the real plausibility of other forms of perception. New electronic instruments are widening our perception. The human body has acknowledged and unacknowledged forms of perception. It has been recorded some people can see infrared etc. Open your mind just a crack

        4. jonnycomelately profile image86
          jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

          "Apparently after death....."  Would you please direct me to someone with actual experience who can confirm the truth of the matter, one way or the other.

          1. Oztinato profile image84
            Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

            Certainly. Just Google "near death experiences". Also read a wide variety of scriptures for examples. Finally re read the New Testament to refresh your mind about JCs resurrection. Good luck!

            1. jonnycomelately profile image86
              jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

              "....near death experiences...."   Only something to do with the Afterlife if you want to believe it so.  Otherwise, there is evidence that such phenomena are associated with anoxic conditions in the neural pathways of the brain. 
              ".... read a wide variety of scriptures..."  from a book of writings of doubtful origins, from ancient people about ancient living conditions.   Very authentic, I don't think!
              "..... read the New Testament to refresh your mind about JCs resurrection...."   Only something to do with the Afterlife if you want to believe it so.   Otherwise, just what some one or some church organisation wants you to believe.... and if you want to swallow that bait, it's your choice.

              1. Oztinato profile image84
                Oztinatoposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                Unless you open your mind to the wealth of information regarding unexplained NDEs and numerous cases of medically verified resurrections of dead people the science won't reach your ears or intellect.
                Science admits it can't explain everything(re Godels Incompleteness Theorem) and it's area of expertise doesn't touch philosophy. The field of study re matters of the soul are the world scriptures. To sweep them aside as of no value to existential questions or philosophy could be seen as foolishness. There is no science to cover this area. Science makes gizmos and a lot of pollution, it can't answer these spiritual questions.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                  You're right - there is no science to cover philosophy.  So we'll make up answers that satisfy what we want to believe and decide they're true because they can't be verified or tested?

                  (Godel's theorem concerned number theory, not NDE or any other phenomenon)

                  1. DasEngel profile image60
                    DasEngelposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                    Wake up. I say wake up to life!

                2. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

                  1.

                  "Dead" is dead!   Not living.  If medical technology is able to revive a person's ability to continue living, then that person was not dead. 

                  2.

                  "re Godels Incompleteness Theorem" - Let's exclude this reference as irrelevant from the discussion.  I am in no way qualified to discuss mathematics and its relationship to philosophy.

                  I totally agree that scientific research cannot, nor will it ever, explain everything.  You are right, its area of expertise does not tough philosophy.  Scientific method was only able to advance when it went against accepted philosophical demands and presumptions.

                  3.

                  It does NOT.  Poorly applied technology makes pollution.... that plus human greed and carelessness.  And when people are so stuck in their spirituality that they ignore their responsibility to treat this world with much more respect, then we see pollution as a result.

                  1. Oztinato profile image84
                    Oztinatoposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                    Ok we agree that science can't answer existential questions. It's the realm of philosophy and religion.

                3. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                  Maybe in my defensiveness towards you, oztinato, I am being too critical of you.  It is not my wish to belittle you, because you are obviously a thinking person, searching for answers.  Yet there is a tendency to push a religious point of view, as if that spiritual view is eminent. 

                  The "religious point of view"  has been responsible for great injustice and subversion of people around the world, since time immemorial.  It has been the excuse for so much cruel and ugly oppression, all in the name of a god and the afterlife belief.

                  Your insistence that an atheist point of view is so inferior to that of the Believer's sets me apart from you.  Maybe this is my fault.

  13. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    and my conclusions are my own conclusions. Really, just because I believe them why would I expect others to?

    We can inspire others by what we have experienced, but even Jesus explained,
    "He who the ears to hear ..." he who has the WILLINGNESS to hear. And willingness never comes from force or expectation from without. It is an inner acceptance, belief, knowingness, and ultimately CHOICE.
    I would say.


    PS

    Those who push their beliefs onto others are not following The Golden Rule in the least.

    AND Those who deny others' rights to hold onto whatever beliefs they so choose are bullies.


    Right?

    1. jonnycomelately profile image86
      jonnycomelatelyposted 13 months ago in reply to this

      Right! As you and I understand it........

  14. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 13 months ago

    lol

  15. 61
    Asia Sandersposted 13 months ago

    Tru

  16. Oztinato profile image84
    Oztinatoposted 12 months ago

    I can see a degradation of ethics due to new atheism myths, particularly the myth that total religious intolerance is somehow a good thing. Just that atheist claim alone proves my point.
    A closer examination of the facts reveals religious failings have always been human failings and motivated by politics and greed. Those negatives are not official religious doctrines at all. Anything can be used as a weapon by power mongers. Therefore it is wrong to blame religion as a whole for errors.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 12 months ago in reply to this

      I don't know...it has always been my experience that religious intolerance comes from the religious believer, not the atheist.  Perhaps that is what you actually meant?

      1. Oztinato profile image84
        Oztinatoposted 12 months ago in reply to this

        While it is true that certain fundamentalists show intolerance to others there are much more advanced religions that do not show intolerance  (Bahais,Hindus, Bhuddists and a growing trend in general mainstream religions ). The average atheist debater like yourself is constantly stuck with an antiquated concept of religion that refers only to backwoods fundamentalists. It appears that no matter how much information is provided about this flaw in such thought the average atheist keeps getting stuck in the same narrow definition of religion. Why? It has to be deliberate obfuscation.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 12 months ago in reply to this

          Or simple ignorance and familiarity.  I don't know but one bhuddist and no muslims - that leaves Christianity to draw information from. 

          As far as a definition:
          re·li·gion
          [riˈlijən]
          NOUN
          the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods

          Should you wish to use your own personal definition of religion instead of a dictionary one, you need to make that clear and provide that definition.  Communication is so difficult when people want to make new meanings for words without ever explaining that they are doing so.

          1. Oztinato profile image84
            Oztinatoposted 12 months ago in reply to this

            And out of religion came such practices as meditation which will always be a part of religious practice.
            Meditation is solidly a religious practice. There's no grammatical contradiction about it.
            Try to get away from narrow fundamentalist religious stereotypes. You are only drawing from that one narrow concept.
            PS are you somehow related to JCL??

            1. jonnycomelately profile image86
              jonnycomelatelyposted 12 months ago in reply to this

              Oztinato, you come over as a very abrasive and angry individual.  You have much more angst towards us of an a-thiest persuasion than I have towards ignorant fundamentalism.  I find the latter simply pathetic and a waste of energy in discussion.
              I have tried to treat your points of view with respect and tolerance, coupled with a reasonable statement of my position in the argument.
              Yet all I receive back from yourself is not worth further discussion .... and it borders on insulting my intelligence.
              Any chance of you lifting your standard of debate?
              By the way, in case you can't work it out, "a-theist" simply indicates a negative acceptance of theism.  I hope that helps to build your knowledge base

              1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                jonnycomelatelyposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                Since writing that last post, I have heard about the shocking happenings in Paris.  Hundreds of people killed and injured.  Pathetic and evil people who think that their religious/political objectives can be satisfied by violence and turmoil. 
                So, I intend not to reply or respond to ANY arguments here about our differences or agreements in relation to what has been discussed hitherto. 
                Out of respect to those who have suffered, their families, their friends and all citizens of France....indeed of the world... let us all here at HubPages call a truce for 24 hours, whatever our treasured point of view.

                1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                  We are now into the aftermath of the terrorism in Paris.  Is anyone willing to carry on an argument as to whether we can expect an "afterlife?"

                  It's a paradox, don't you think?   On the one hand, people (individuals) can get a great amount of solace, comfort, inspiration, from their belief in the existence of an "afterlife."  It can help make sense of what we do, what we suffer, what we celebrate here in this life.  It can relieve one's mind of unimaginable hurt and catastrophe, allowing all cares to be passed onto the shoulders of the "Loving Father," or "The Virgin Mary," or any other desired focus of the mind.

                  Yet!   It is the belief in such an "afterlife" which allows fanatics to blow themselves up in support of a religious or political objective.   

                  Not one of those often very young persons would blow him/herself to oblivion if he or she did not believe they were going onto a better place, a better life.  They are not courageous individuals.  They really believe there will be something else beyond their death, so it's a selfish act on their part.  At the same time they have no concern, no care, no love for the persons they know will be killed as a consequence of the explosion. 

                  I contend these matters are very much appropriate to this discussion we have been having.   It does not matter whether we are talking about Christian matters or Islamic matters.   The desire to "believe" is central. 

                  It is up to each of us to decide what effect our beliefs will have upon our neighbours, then act responsibly.

                  1. Oztinato profile image84
                    Oztinatoposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                    Any attempt to demonise religion is the same as an attempt to demonise homosexuals or other groups we don't happen to agree with.
                    Attempts to preach total religious intolerance have no moral value at all and are an affront to basic human rights. Therefore logic tells us that both crazed terrorists who have zero religious tolerance share a quality with latte sipping atheists who also practice total religious intolerance. One practices extreme physical violence the other a subtler form of psychological violence.
                    No one can pretend that the only religious folk are a group of fundamentalist Christians from the backwoods: there are peaceful Buddhists and Hindus, and many Indigenous groups whose religion is pivotal to their cultural identity. To mock and advocate the eradication of their religion is to promote cultural genocide.
                    Why thinkers here can't see this is due to failing ethical standards and extremely poor study.
                    Such practices as meditation, prayer, belief in the after life etc are essential to religious freedom which is a basic human right. Therefore to argue against human rights is very poor form and bears no resemblance to true intellectualism.

            2. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 12 months ago in reply to this

              Except that meditation has exactly zero to do with a belief in a god.  As the accepted definition of religion is all about that belief, I repeat: do you wish to make up a new definition, and if so, may the rest of us know what it might be?

              1. Oztinato profile image84
                Oztinatoposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                Firstly, I am wondering why you keep following up on a separate conversation I had with JCL!
                This seems to be becoming a pattern therefore I am asking if you are related to each other. Acting in tandem (collusion) may be against the rules as it is shady and unethical.

                Secondly, I have already answered your question. Religion is certainly a belief in a higher power and religious beliefs include prayer and definitely meditation (see dictionary definiton below, part 1 and 2). To try and claim meditation is not a religious practice is incorrect. Meditation was and is a way of contacting that Higher Power be it one's higher self or "God".
                noun
                1.
                a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
                2.
                a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects:
                the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
                3.
                the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices:
                a world council of religions.
                4.
                the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.:
                to enter religion.
                5.
                the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
                6.
                something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience:
                to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

                I note for the record you are claiming to know nothing about any other religion other than a low brow fundamentalist type and that you have never met or presumably studied anything about any other religion.

                1. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                  I have seen so-called christians claim that their's is not a relgion but a faith.
                  Presumably that's in the attempt to appear superior.

                2. jonnycomelately profile image86
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 12 months ago in reply to this

                  We are not related or in any degree of collusion......!

  17. Oztinato profile image84
    Oztinatoposted 12 months ago

    I get stuck into the fundamentalists too. It is unacceptable to have blanket religious intolerance by anyone. Atheists should have more sense.
    ok mate I'll do my best to politely scold hard core atheists. Abrasiveness seems suited to religious intolerance.
    I'm at my Saturday night piano gig so I will sign off. My respect has grown for you but I still see you as an agnostic. As you know there are many atheists on HP who are more than abrasive..

  18. Jewels profile image80
    Jewelsposted 12 months ago

    I agree wilderness, meditation is not about belief in anything, it's to experience your own self.  If one finds 'god' within, then all hail to you, or me, or anyone who does it.  It is an inside job, it always has been.  Religion was intended to be a guide to self revelation.  Obviously as we know very well - the books were bastardized to the hilt and most people are believing sh*t.  and I make no apologies for that statement.  Meditation and spiritual practices, and supposedly religion (I too hate that word because of it's wayward directions) are intended to find the 'god' within.  It is not about an arms and legs creature in the clouds.    It never has been. 

    You can attempt to persuade a person to your way of thinking, but it's a misled guidance unless you have the experience.  These discussions are circular at best.  You can flip through the history of the hubpages forums and see no different to this discussion, and most other religious forums!

    1. Oztinato profile image84
      Oztinatoposted 12 months ago in reply to this

      For the record I also include the dictionary definition of religion which quite obviously includes it's practices.
      noun
      1.
      a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
      2.
      a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects:
      the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
      3.
      the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices:
      a world council of religions.
      4.
      the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.:
      to enter religion.
      5.
      the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
      6.
      something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience:
      to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

  19. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    We all have the right to our own subjective truth.

    1. jonnycomelately profile image86
      jonnycomelatelyposted 12 months ago in reply to this

      Agreed.  It's  always good to hear your version of  truth Kathryn even when I might not agree with.

 
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