Motivation for Life after Death

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Ahanu, Jul 25, 2022.

  1. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    @wil, I have some green tea to help calm you down. :D

    @Cino, I would agree.

    2 Maccabees, for example, is loaded with it.

    2 Maccabees 7.14: When he was near death, he said, “It is my choice to die at the hands of mortals with the hope that God will restore me to life; but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”

    Tertullian had a field day:

    "At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates liquefying in fiercer flames than they ever kindled against the Christians; so many sages philosophers blushing in red-hot fires with their deluded pupils; so many tragedians more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings; so many dancers tripping more nimbly from anguish then ever before from applause.

    What a spectacle. . .when the world. . .and its many products, shall be consumed in one great flame! How vast a spectacle then bursts upon the eye! What there excites my admiration? What my derision? Which sight gives me joy? As I see. . .illustrious monarchs. . . groaning in the lowest darkness, Philosophers. . .as fire consumes them! Poets trembling before the judgment-seat of. . .Christ! I shall hear the tragedians, louder-voiced in their own calamity; view play-actors. . .in the dissolving flame; behold wrestlers, not in their gymnasia, but tossing in the fiery billows. . .What inquisitor or priest in his munificence will bestow on you the favor of seeing and exulting in such things as these? Yet even now we in a measure have them by faith in the picturings of imagination.” [De Spectaculis, Chapter XXX]
    Personally, I don't take the flames literally. I don't believe in eternal damnation, but across the spectrum there is a belief that justice must occur in some form or another for the unjust and just.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I AM CLAM!

    LOL...clam I am.

    No need brother.... I live in the moment and allow my fingers to respond with my thoughts.

    You guys just get what oozes out in the moment.

    I have no need for life after death, amusement parks, or a yacht...but if I find myself there I will surely enjoy it...and be grateful.

    Green tea on the other hand....
     
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  3. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Any form of evil, such as injustice, is unavoidable since creation is separation from God. Hence there is distance, so you will often hear or read that heaven is described as "nearness" in the Baha'i Faith, whereas hell is the opposite of nearness. Your question assumes that, if we inhabit God's creation, then the world should be perfect and free from injustice and other manners of evil. A derivative cannot possess the absolute perfection of that which it was derived from, because that would make it God as well. Because of creation's separation from God, the heart longs for reunification, and so there are infinite degrees of perfection in this world as we make progress in our own degrees towards Him.

    See the explanation above.

    I guess I can blame the Universal Soul. Then again, the appearance of evil prompts us to seek the good in this worldview, so, ultimately, placing blame here would be the result of my own limited perception of the flow of all things and where the direction of the river's current is heading.

    I hope this answers your questions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
  4. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    So, if materialism is true, why wouldn't you be indifferent given that natural selection, the process driving this whole thing, is indifferent? Why begin a quest for justice assuming materialism is true?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
  5. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    My question was, "Does God allowing natural catastrophes mean he is indifferent?", referring to your OP where you wrote how human atrocities and natural catastrophes leave so many unsettled scores, and how a belief in an afterlife offers possibilities to settle these scores. Your answer was:

    Your explanation didn't address my question in a way I could understand it. I'm certainly not assuming that to a Baha'i believer this world ought to be perfect. I'm interested in how your faith deals with the difficult questions you yourself raised in your OP. "God did it this way" (to paraphrase your answer according to my understanding of it) never satisfied me, but you're not me.

    Materialism is a description of the world, not a prescription for proper behavior.

    I sometimes hear people claim (not you or anyone around here, just making a general observation), how this or that is justified because it is "natural".

    To me, this kind of reasoning is silly. It is natural for me to freeze to death in winter in the area where I live. But we human beings have developed technology which helps us survive in an environment "unnatural" to us. We're tricking natural selection, because we can!

    Similarly, we came up with ethical codes of behavior. We have the capacity to shape our circumstances.

    To repeat: Materialism is a way to understand our situation, so we can change it to our advantage, according to our possibilities. It is not a set of rules of behavior we should follow.
     
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  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    A quick look at wiki says "Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve..."

    I view the universe as finite and contingent, so what you seem to view as unjust, in terms of natural phenomena, I see as the way of things. So from a value perspective, 'bad' things are inevitably going to happen. From nature's viewpoint, it just is what it is. We have sunsets and blue seas, mountains and valleys, rainbows and night skies ... we have volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis ... we have the possibility that some random object might strike the planet a glancing blow and then it's an extinction event and game over ...

    Is that not an anthropomorphic determination? Are we here for the universe? Is it here for us? Or, are we just ... here?

    Is that not us? There are many who would say there's nothing particularly wrong in that. World leaders declare wars and are far removed from the traumas of the front line. It's been a long time since kings led their troops into battle.

    Is there any evidence to the contrary?

    Ah, is that not us, again?

    Are you saying nature can be held accountable?

    I rather think that a sentimental judgement.

    We can at least try ...
     
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  8. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    What if God didn't allow natural catastrophes? In other words, what if He didn't allow earthquakes and volcanoes to express themselves and renew the Earth? We wouldn't even exist. Earthquakes in and of themselves are good. After all, many geologists believe the recycling of the planetary crust is essential to life on Earth. Can we say they are a form of love for creation from this perspective? Sure. It is only in relation to us that they cause problems at our current level of being.

    "Know that the order and the perfection of the whole universe require that existence should appear in numberless forms. For existing beings could not be embodied in only one degree, one station, one kind, one species and one class; undoubtedly, the difference of degrees and distinction of forms, and the variety of genus and species, are necessary (Abdu'l-Baha, SAQ 129).​

    It is inevitable that while each being is perfect in itself, their interactions are not always perfect (SAQ 263). Also, in relation to this, created beings are able to acquire endless perfections, even after leaving this world (SAQ 230; 235). One reason natural catastrophes exist is to prompt us to purify ourselves, seek the good, and, in that process, we can make it such that these occurrences do not do any harm to us.

    Perhaps a person can object: "Well, why doesn't God intervene and protect the child from a crumbling building in the midst of an earthquake? No intervention means indifference." For me, this question is like asking, "Can God make 1 +1 = 3?" Such interference would be to negate God's own nature and act lawlessly since He values order, lawfulness, and reason. We can imagine a better world and a better relationship with our environment, and so we seek to improve that relationship to such an extent that we aren't harmed by natural catastrophes. To me, that desire is proof God cares and intervenes.


     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
  9. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Thanks for clarifying your beliefs. I really misunderstood your initial post.
     
  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    You are in denial. No evidence for God or after-life.
     
  11. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Elaborate, please.
     
  12. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Universe is what it is, and we have to accept it as such.
     
  13. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Universe is directed towards mind.
     
  14. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Thomas, you are correct in stating it is wrong for me to attribute "injustice" to natural phenomena like a tsunami, for example. Despite how irrational it is, I still feel children have been wronged by natural disasters. It is our human tendency to anthropomorphize natural phenomena.
     
  15. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Of course not. There are so many different religious views. Some are more compatible than others.
     
  16. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    I wish you would take it more seriously, @wil. I do take the afterlife of those undergoing immense suffering seriously. Especially children. Why? My little brother has a severe form of cerebral palsy because of a doctor's mistake at birth. Every day he goes through a lot of pain because of that one mistake. Every day my family takes care of him and tries to make life as comfortable and pleasant for him as humanly possible.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Ah ... like @Cino, I think I misinterpreted your initial premise.
     
  18. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I'm sorry for what happened to your little brother, @Ahanu.
     
  19. powessy

    powessy Well-Known Member

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    Just my 2 cents worth on this topic.

    first of all the perceivable and visible universe is something here it does not figure things out, it will never be aware or conscious of itself.

    When things die they become nothing here where they will find time inside their yourself. The saying is, when you become nothing here you will become yourself inside yourself to become yourself again.

    every yourself in the universe that becomes nothing here will become part of the universal consciousness which is made up of many many minds.

    So why doesn’t the universe figure itself out very well? Foremost we are not the most abundant life form in the universe. The universe is everything inside itself to figure things out. Can it figure itself out? Sure but it will need to become something here first. Just because we can think and figure things out means nothing to the universe, it is looking for a mind that can figure itself out more than anything else, a mind that has been around longer then anything else to become something here all the time. An example of this would be like an alligator which has been here many more times than anything else to become itself here. It is many more minds then we are to become itself again and again.

    I believe the universe is trying to figure itself out.

    Powessy
     

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