The Abrahamic Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Devils' Advocate, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    See post 26. Nick sees accountability and forgiveness as incompatible, which is why he can't grasp Christianity. His way is the law of retaliation.

    As a general note, Exodus says 'an eye for an eye' (Exodus 21:24-25) but this was never interpreted literally in the Hebrew Tradition. Again it's one of those instances where people read literally, without access to the relevant commentary and teaching, and so assume a meaning ...

    This rule was interpreted in a number of ways. The most obvious being financial reparation for damage done, and also that to bear false witness renders the liar liable to the punishment he desired to be inflicted on the victim of his lies.

    The more profound spiritual interpretation is that one should meditate upon the injustice done to others, and realise that when we harm another we harm ourselves.

    Christ correlated this with the idea of forgiveness: we should forgive if we wish to be forgiven. Forgiveness is then a higher and more noble form of justice. Reparation is more worldly and often the cause of seemingly unending cycles of violence – it's all part of the suffering the Buddha speaks of, and as long as we cling onto it, there is no escape from it ... the many lives and the many hells are there not because we have to pass through them, but because we won't let go of them. They're self-generated. They're part of maya.

    In Kyudo, Japanese archery, they talk about releasing the arrow the way a baby lets go of your finger – it's called 'mushin' and is often translated as 'no-mind'. The baby just ... lets go. Forgiveness is the same, it's a letting go of suffering and the desire for suffering.
     
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  2. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    "Annihilation is relative" means what is annihilation isn't really so but merely appears to be so from our level of being, and upon further investigation we realize it's really transformation in progress or regress. Hence Abdu'l-Baha states: "This dust beneath our feet, as compared with our being is non-existent. When the human body crumbles into dust we can say it has become non-existent; therefore its dust in relation to living forms of human being is as non-existent but in its own sphere it is existent, it has its mineral being." In my understanding of the Baha'i view, annihilation is impossible. It's an assertion of the old maxim: there's an infinite qualitative difference between existence and nonexistence. Considering this, to say existence can become nonexistence is an impossibility. Here's another related quote:

    ". . . the everlasting bestowal of God vouchsafed to man is never subject to corruption. Inasmuch as He has endowed the phenomenal world with being, it is impossible for that world to become non-being, for it is the very genesis of God; it is the realm of origination; it is a creational and not a subjective world, and the bounty descending upon it is continuous and permanent. Therefore man the highest creature of the phenomenal world is endowed with that continuous bounty bestowed by divine generosity without cessation. For instance, the rays of the sun are continuous, the heat of the sun emanates from it without cessation; no discontinuance of it is conceivable. Even so the bestowal of God is descending upon the world of humanity, never ceasing, continuous, forever. If we say that the bestowal of existence ceases or falters it is equivalent to saying that the sun can exist with cessation of its effulgence. Is this possible? Therefore the effulgences of existence are ever-present and continuous."​
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Ahanu,

    Ah, I see, you are using the word "annihilation" in the Baha'i sense of the word. I thought you were using it in the Buddhist sense of the word.
     
  4. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Well, Nick, it seems like Thomas has you on this point when he wrote your way is the law of retaliation. I agree with him here. How do you square this with a God of love? In my opinion suffering in the afterlife hinges on the individual's will to cling to notions of a false self. Individuals will continue to experience God's judgement and wrath for as long as they continue to cling to their lower natures.
     
  5. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply, Thomas. I agree with your view that Nick's perspective shows he is a retributivist.

    I do agree with Nick when he wrote: "I do not see why we should go through a lot of trouble and suffering in life, go through a lot of work to improve ourselves, just to have ourselves annihilated later." He has a good point here.

    I would also add we can think of "an eye for an eye" in terms of eliminating excessive punishment. As far as I can tell Nick believes in equal punishment and Thomas believes in excessive punishment. One form of excessive punishment is this belief in the annihilation of the soul that goes way beyond an eye for an eye. Perhaps we can start another thread about it later. I'm off topic. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  6. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Ahanu,

    It must be comforting to think that we can escape divine punishment for the bad things we do, but I do not think it works this way. The way I see it, "God's love" includes "giving out" divine punishment for the bad things we do.
     
  7. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Tough love, eh?
     
  8. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    I am amazed that people think they can do terrible things and then escape divine punishment.
     
  9. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I only "escape" divine punishment if I believe there is such a thing. If I don't believe in it I don't "escape" anything.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    LOL, no he doesn't. Quite the reverse!

    In Christianity, the idea of forgiveness requires the practice of detachment, and in that sense the teachings on forgiveness correspond to the Buddhism teachings on dukkha – suffering – in that to escape from the wheel is to let go and not harbour resentments … man harbours the desire to ‘get even’, but to suppose God or Heaven does is an anthropomorphic projection. It’s the same sentiment that, in extremis, gives rise to the worst cases of religious intolerance.

    Try and get away from the idea of punishment.

    Men require punishments, God doesn't.

    As discussed with DA, I tend to favour the metaphysical argument rather than the sentimental one. Extinction in that sense is nothing to do with punishment. Rather it’s the case that it depends on what one is attached to – as someone once said, ‘you become what you think about’.

    If one is directed towards the illusory, then eventually one’s existence is exhausted because the illusory has no essence that the person can draw on for sustenance.

    It’s not a case of punishment, it’s simply a case of what is …
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    The toughest love is to forgive. Punishing is easy ...

    That's what Dukkha is all about, we are attached to the wheel of suffering not by sin so much as our refusal to let go of sin ...
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    LOL. No-one does ... I am amazed you think in those terms.

    Where do any of the world's sacred doctrines talk about escaping divine punishment?
     
  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Tea,

    I am curious. What do you think happens to you after you die?
     
  14. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I have no idea
     
  15. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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  16. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    This is something I have seen in too many people over the years to think it is anything but true. This is something I had to learn the hard way about myself. We create our own realities in many, many ways. More so than most of us are probably willing to admit. It is no stretch for me to believe that on the cosmic scale it is the same. If there is some form of existence after this one, it follows that what we made of ourselves here we take with us onward.
     
  17. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon everything is in pencil

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    There is no escaping the Will of God in the journey through many worlds. The most important factor is that fallible human judgment has no role in the consequences of other's journey in this world or the next.

    I do believe that sincerity of the will of the individual has a significant deciding factor in the journey of this world, and when the cage is opened, the journey in the next, and the next.
     
  18. Courage

    Courage Member

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    The problem here is that humans don't know when and how they die. You can't ensure that you will die in a dead bed to repent. Moreover, those who sincerely repent are most likely those who won't sin at will in the first place. So it's matter of chances and possibilities. Statistically, perhaps only 0.00001 percent out of the humans you described here may get saved in the end.

    Normal folks will get a much higher rate in terms of getting saved. Have you ever seen a murderer who truly repent by heart?
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    None at all in determining eschatological possibility?

    Hang on ... Haven't you just refuted your prior point?

    Isn't ones choices a matter of judgement?
     
  20. Elfiet

    Elfiet Comme je fus

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    Just reading 'A course in Miracles" ... There are two stages.... a person repents.. and process is completed in receiving forgiveness. Quote from 'A Course':

    Forgiveness is an empty gesture unless it entails correction. Without this it is essentially judgement rather than healing. Miraculous forgiveness is only correction. It has no element of judgement at all. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" in no way evaluates what they do. It is strictly limited to an appeal to God to heal their minds.

    I read this as a person needs to receive miraculous forgiveness to be 'free' from the past deed. Meaning, true repentance and healing in the thoughts (mind). Connecting spiritually is the only way to accomplish this.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016

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