Would you still have faith in your chosen religious belief if it didn't guarantee you heavenly rewards in the afterlife? Doesn't it make a person selfish to have faith in something simply for reward?
yes because the reward is in the belief that i am part of a whole ecosystem and not a tiny seed lost in the parking lot having nowhere to plant myself. that makes me feel i have roots.
lol I was talking about the traditional religious beliefs such as getting into heaven for accepting jesus or getting rewarded with multiple virgins for accepting mohammed.
I believe that this idea is what undergird all religious systems anyway, this is why "god" whosoever they consider him to be, is the head.
Shouldn't it be obvious to everyone of how odd it is that religions must offer rewards to gain believers faith?
In my 20's and 30's my faith in christianity felt like the right way to live. It helped me be a better person in day to day life and have reasons why I should be less selfish. The reward of heaven was not the focus for me as I could not comprehend heaven at all.
Since I was diagnosed with terminal cancer - I have thought about heaven a bit more. The promise of heaven in exchange for living a life fashioned in Jesus teachings doesn't seem selfish. What I have learned from my faith is how to live everyday in relationship to the people in my life rather than for a reward. I think I would have chose to live my life with faith even if the reward of heaven was not known. JMHO, Holly
This is a very good point, a complicated point, but a good one, as most of your points are Marine.
I do not believe that heavenly retirement is next. Heaven and Hell are states of mind to me, not physical places. I think that a religious system that must bribe people to believe and/or join, is flawed in it's most fundamental base. Do this or be punished is manipulation and tyranny, plain and simple. Societal Laws are necessary and if they are laws of the people by the people that is different.
Truth, is it's own reward. Though truth is not enough for most, most people are searching for community, friendship, help for life problems, safety and the sense of being a part of something. Do this and you get that has to do with commerce, not with faith in a supreme being, or understanding the nature of existence.
The flawed belief that God somehow needs us to be subservient, and perform acts of obedience or sacrifice in order to gain favor with God is simply more manipulation. The consequences to your actions, to your choices, are the laws of God. For every action(or in-action), there is some kind of consequence. Some good, some bad.
The true laws of God are not breakable by humanity, the rules other people set for us are just that, societal rules that help to maintain order/peace within the society.
Being 'Benignly Neutral' and doing only good, is what I believe God hopes we will choose, and the consequence to those choices are happiness and inner peace. God's greatest gift is the comfort of knowing that God is... That God intended us... That God has many beautiful things in store for us... That God isn't bribing us to believe, in fact if we believe or not changes nothing for God, it just changes things for us.
"Give unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's, Give unto God that which is God's"
The trick is...knowing the difference...
I agree, everyone likes rewards hinted at, promised or otherwise.
To say enternal life of pain or happiness is a compeling argurment for living the good life wheather that life is religion or simple moral conduct.
The rewards are not exclusive to the afterlife per say...in my opinion, the rewards are also available to life in the now.
I have read that any relationship regardless of its kind can survive only when some sort of mutual gratification is reached.
I do, and I chose Judaism (I converted from Christianity).
Judaism believes that everyone ends up in the "world to come" (Olam Haba), no matter what their beliefs and actions were on earth. There can be a delay of up to 11 months according to Jewish Law (a place of spiritual purification called Gehenna), but even "bad people" end up in the same place as the righteous. No such thing as Hell.
Forgive my ignorance, but wasn't this the reason the Catholics came up pergatory?
You'll have to forgive mine, because I have no idea! Maybe. The difference it would seem would be that Christians believe in the concept of Hell, while Jews don't, and Christians have a more explicit understanding of Heaven and the afterlife while Jews don't (Olam Haba is not explicitly described).
Jews don't believe in the need for carrot-stick reward/punishment - you're supposed to do good deeds because...you're supposed to. Christianity and Islam follow more of the carrot/stick approach to enforce compliance.
This brings to mind. The other day I was trying to remember if burning in hell or lake of fire is described at all in the OT or just the New?
As far as I know the only reference to hell in the old testament a brief reference in Daniel.
The place reserved for the wicked dead was called Gehenna. A place of temporary punishment...purgatory in Catholisism.
Gehenna is not punishment, although it depends on interpretation (as does just about everything in Judaism). Most Jews consider it a place of silent reflection, where you must evaluate and understand your actions in your lifetime, not a place where you're tortured or punished.
Revelations. The most insane hellfire-and-brimstone book of the New Testament, apparently.
Sometimes certain translations of the OT call Gehenna "Hell" but this is a mistranslation.
There are many references in the OT concerning The Pit or The Grave, also the word Hell is considered derived from the Teutonic word Hel meaning to Conceal. Best description Dante's inferno.
I just saw a post on this thread that I know that was posted on a diffrent thread.. or thought that it was. OOps
Concerning Revelation and the lake of fire. I just can't help but think that The book of Revelation was a record of a vision that John did have... But.. I think that it was altered just enough to disfigure its intended meaasge.
And the "Lake of fire" was a part of this disfigurement.
Or at least a mis interpretation derived from a mistranslation. Or something like that.
Feel free to correct me here as I am not a student of theology. My understanding of the writings of St. John where those of a man opressed by Roman influence and warnings of this.
Many things concerning this time in history will always be a mystery open to speculation.
It seems strange to me that there is nothing said in scripture after around 64 AD and until John was on the Isle of Patmos some 30 years later(Revelation).
Flavius Josephus recorded his views of historical events and conditions in and around Jerusalem. His descriptions apears to me to be describing a great tribulation for the Hebrews of this time period. This is one reason that I believe that most all of the prophesy as recorded in the Old testament were applicable to that Hebrew Nation that these prophesy were given to.
I think that the end of days as described in these prophesy was reffering to the "End of days" for that Hebrew Nation.
The book of Daniel specifically describes four kingdoms that is given dominion over "The Earth". The first three are specifically identified by Gabriel as being Babylon, Medes/Persia, and Grecian Empires. These kingdoms did not have dominion over the entire Earth; so the reference of the whole earth must be speaking of something else.
The Roman Empire was the fourth kingdom to have dominion over the earth. It was this kingdom that dismantled the Hebrew Nation, scattering it through out the empire.
The end of days had come for that Heberw Nation came shortly after 135.
These are not only opinions! These are clearly written facts that are found in our history books, and clearly described in scripture.
I just do not understand why people interpret these scriptures to be reffering to events that are to happen at some time in our future.
Yea I do.
I agree Jerami the historical record backs this although debated by theologians, the book of Revelations...in my opinion, was a warning to fellow practicers of events happening during that time period, any more knowledgable students feel free to dispute this view.
Got distracted for a bit.
If the these prophesy of Daniel were fulfilled before that Hebrew Nation ceased to exist; the question should be;
Why does the Church teach diffrently? It is my opinion that theologians are not recognized as being credible unless they agree somewhat with that of the established criteria.
Old habits are hard to break
OF course people pray to get reward and if they believe in anything then they wish they could get something in return no matter a simple seconf of peace.. :-)
Belief and reward go hand in hand.. people pray because they would like to get some reward and they pray or have belief on something for the same reason.. so I guess its two sides of the same coin..
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and believing, you will receive. Matthew 21: 22
But Jesus also says that one shouldn't be selfish in prayer for God knows our needs.
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