Were it not for Death, do you think Religion and Faith would even Exist?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Namaste Jesus, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Many times I've been asked, why is there death? Like everyone else, I know the physiological reasons for death, but am hard pressed to come up with a spiritual explanation.

    That got me to thinking, would religion and faith exist without it? Who knows, but I seriously doubt it.

    What do you think?
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Religions explain the unexplainable.... so as long as the sun rose and set...as long as there were inequalities in the world...as long as we contemplate our navel and creation....religions would be created to explain it... death and afterlife are as small portion of the religious picture...

    But a spiritual explanation for death? As if the physiological is not good enough?
     
  3. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Oh goodness no, the physiological is nowhere near good enough. Which is the reason for the spiritual explanation. Most all religions, ancient and modern, give us that all important gift - that we do not end when our bodies die.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I don't believe that is the question.... yes there is often a spiritual explanation of what happens after we die... but what is the spiritual reason for dying itself I believe is the contemplation.
     
  5. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    No, the question is, were it not for death, would religion and faith exist? In other words, is human mortality the reason for faith and religion?
     
  6. Senthil

    Senthil Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean death of the physical body? Or 'death' in general, like death of a certain political ideology, death of ego, etc.?
     
  7. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Human mortality. Our death. The fact that we die.
     
  8. Senthil

    Senthil Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. In Hinduism, (and I suspect other eastern traditions) that death is merely a transition. What is immortal is the essence of the soul, termed the Self, transcendent Reality. The ego, physical body, personality, all cease to exist. So the 'we' you speak of is being looked at from two very separate paradigms.

    But back to your original question... it's kind of odd, because death (the kind you're referring to) is there, period. Are you suggesting somehow that religion is a result of people pondering, "What happens when we die?" of "Why do we die?" if that's the case, then I would disagree, simply because there is much more of the unexplained going on while we're living than just that idea, which is far more easily understood than some of the other mysterious events, like mystical realisations, for example.

    I have always found these sorts of things difficult to discuss when the beginning paradigms (subconscious programming as to what religion is) are so far apart.
     
    Hermes likes this.
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I don't believe so... for reasons expressed above... But you also said...

    I know the physiological reasons for death, but am hard pressed to come up with a spiritual explanation.

    And this.... is what I don't think exists.
     
  10. EdgyDolmen

    EdgyDolmen Well-Known Member

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    Death is merely natural progression. Without death, humankind would cease. Death is absolute, necessary and finite. Spiritual? I see nothing sacred in death.

    Two very strong motivating factors in revealed religions are hope and fear. As long as that is true faith will survive because faith along with hope is all that fills the void. Religion is the benefactor...ED
     
  11. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    If I am understanding the flow of the conversation, then the question being posed is "What is the spiritual explanation for why we die?' Is that correct?
     
  12. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Haha, this is great! I might be wrong here but it really looks like everyone answers the question as if it's turned around. It's not "would death..." it's "would religion...". What is the nature of religion, is it connected to our morality?
    Am I right Namaste Jesus?
    I don't have any insight into this one, but my quick and dirty go-to is that everything is too complicated for single answers.
    And I'm wondering, doesn't religion exist because there is a god? Or even more then one?
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    It isn't that we've turned it around. We answered the question... To me the answer is Yes, Religions and faith would exist in the presupposed world without death... and I haven't seen any discussion that provides a reason to continue that yet...

    So I've moved on to (back to?) the contemplation that got to that question.... I know the physiological reasons for death, but am hard pressed to come up with a spiritual explanation.
     
  14. izniss

    izniss Member

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    I don't think the spiritual reasons for death are all that different from the physiological ones. In both cases "death" is a way for life to move on out of broken or worn out "forms" into new ones or remain formless. The spiritual equivalent of a physical body is the mind made sense of self sometimes called an ego and, like a physical body, when it's utility if over it is time for it to die. This mentated sense of "me" can die before a physical body does -- this is known as "awakening". But it will happen for all when the physical body dies because the mechanism that projects it no longer functions.

    Life itself, God, the Allness of Isness, etc., which is what we all ever truly are anyway goes on.

    Like ACIM says nothing "real" can ever be lost or threatened and therein lies the peace of God.
     
  15. EdgyDolmen

    EdgyDolmen Well-Known Member

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    Hey Tea - I suppose I was included in your remarks so I will respond. I will try this: Religion has nothing to do with death. Death has nothing to do with religion. Blessed assurance or faith is only a precursor for religious fulfillment. I see nothing spiritual or sacred about death and it certainly is not the cinch pin for religion. (IMHO) ED ∞
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Thanx izness... now the crux of the bisquit...

    If the human body dies because of physiological reasons (worn out, cancer, old age) does that mean that entity is ready to move on? Does it also mean this if one is shot in war (as a soldier, or collateral damage) or in a gang fight, or gets pushed off a building? Was the aggressor part of the plan? (as described by some as sacred contracts? Or the child that dies of cancer, drugs or by a drunk driver?....which spurs the parents on to create foundations and awareness programs? All part of the picture?
     
  17. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    I did say that W!l and it may well be a point to ponder, but it wasn't intended to be the main focus of the thread. I only said it as a way of showing what prompted me to ask the question. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  18. izniss

    izniss Member

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    When you wake up from a nightmare (or dream) by whatever means all its violence, wounds, anguish, death, desires, enchantments, longings, destruction, beauty, attachments, and drama begin to fade in the light of a new reality (a context swap). And the plot of the dream/nightmare, it's whys and wherefores, either make sense in the new context or cease needing to. What matters in the middle of it doesn't matter so much anymore when you are not there. But while you are, showing compassion to your fellow dream characters is the best and finest thing you can do and will build the "soul" you will be when you wake up from it, even though, like all dreams, the experience itself will be seen for what is really was and also seen to be absolutely perfectly suited for the work/education it was there to accomplish even though it cannot be said to have been truly "real" anymore when you are no longer in it. Doesn't change how real it seems and feels while you are though.
     
  19. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    I'm glad you brought that up. For me, the Hindu religious traditions have the best handle on the whole issue of death and the circle of life. The Bhagavad Gita in particular has provided me with enormous insight and solace on this topic and that's really my point.

    Suppose death were taken out of the equation. No illness that could not be cured. No negative effects of aging. No trauma that could not be healed. No circle of life to consider. Body and soul remain intact for all eternity regardless of how we live our lives. If that were the case, would religion as we know it still exist?

    As I've said, I seriously doubt it, because when it comes right down to it and at the risk of over-simplification, all of the major religious traditions, though differing in conceptual detail, only address two things. How we came to be and how to live our lives in order to assure the best possible outcome when our physical existence ceases to be. So, if we take death out of the equation, the entire outlook of society would change. No need to worry about where we came from since we're not going back. No need to worry about how we live our lives since we live forever regardless. I should think, under these circumstances there would be no need for religion either.

    Then again, there would also be no incentive to do the right thing. In that case, perhaps the need for religion would be even greater!
     
  20. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Right on all counts Tea. I threw the wrench in the works as it were when I attempted to explain the question I posed. Some just decided to address that part of the post as well. No harm. It is a good point to ponder.

    Certainly the idea of God is the reason for religion. I just think that without death or the prospect of a good or bad outcome after death, religion would hold much less importance. Just an opinion though.
     

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