So last night I was laying in bed blasting some good old Pink Floyd through my headphones and something hit me. One day soon or not so soon I am going to die. Now I have always known that life is not endless and I would end up dead no matter how hard I tried to not have that happen, but last night I really understood what that meant. One day I will never wake up. I will stop experiencing all things, and never be able to remember anything happens to me in life. Hell I won't even know I am dead in the first place. At first it was kind of hard to wrap my teenage brain around the concept of not being alive anymore, but I eventually did and when I did I have to say I was scared shit less. Now the point of this thread is to state what you think happens when you die. Now I know many of you will say "go to heaven" or something similar, but I am looking for something a bit more informative. If "go to heaven" is your answer try and describe what you think heaven is.
Nothing happens when you die.
Recall a time where you went to sleep, and after a dreamless night, woke up again the next morning.
Now imagine you don't wake up. That's death.
That is the conclusion that I came to last night, but it is really hard (and scary) to imagine that. I mean never waking up again for all eternity, no dreams, no memories, no feelings, nothing at all is just such a foreign concept that destroys everything that I know about life is just so horrifying.
Agreed, that's why I try my best to think as little about death as possible lol.
Good Idea. lol
Feeling horrified requires feeling so death wouldn't be horrifying. People associate death with this boredom of never being able to do anything but you wouldn't be aware of not being able to do anything so it couldn't be unpleasant.
Precisely, like when you close your eyes at night and have a dreamless sleep, then open them again and it's the morning. You don't know that it's been a while (at least not while your still asleep) untill you woke up, because the sleep was in a flash. The actual boredom associated with it is the time where you're waiting with your eyes clothes hoping you fall asleep.
But since your question was about heaven, I didn't respond since I honestly have no clue what it wuold be like. it might be fluffy and full of clouds, but who knows.
I suppose you are right JJJ. Bo my question isn't about Heaven it is about what you think happens when you die. I was just saying if "go to heaven" is your answer, then explain what you think heaven is.
Heaven, I guess, would probably just be everyone standing on fluffy clouds, which would then lead into a very white world. Of course, there is no worldly things like in earth. :P
According to the Bible, when a person dies their soul goes to one of two places. Heaven or Hell, no in between. And when we are in either of these places we are fully aware of what is going on, not in a dream like sleep.
In heaven, people who have accepted Jesus Christ into their life join Christ in heaven. In Luke 23: 43 Jesus said, "...Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
That's how Jesus describes heaven. If you want more details on heaven you could also read Revelation 4:1-11 as it describes the throne of heaven. And while there, you could also read the rest of the book of Revelation because I think it reveals more about heaven than just the verse I gave. Finally, the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ alone. He said in John 14:6 that, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
On the other hand, people who have not accepted Jesus into their hearts and know him as Lord and Savior will go to hell, a place of eternal torment where they realize they have rejected the true God. I believe somewhere in the Bible it states that there is "gnashing of the teeth" in hell. It's a place where people are forever separated from God. And it's like Heaven in that it lasts forever.
That's where people go when they die. Heaven or Hell. This is where people will spend the rest of eternity.
Doesn't the Bible talk about Purgatory though? That's a temporary in between
JMG, didn't you read the Bible close enough? There was a purgatory, which leads to heaven afterwards. Of course, there's no midway to Hell, just directly down to it.
Where does the Bible teach Purgatory? Verses please.
They talk about it, but don't use the term "purgatory" just like the term "Bible" is never used - although that's more because the Bible wasn't around, just a bunch of texts that were combined. Here's a good site to look up, it helps rather than showing a bunch of verses alluding to it http://www.aboutcatholics.com/life_in_christ/where_purgatory_bible/
I'm not going to respond to the verse in Maccabees because it's not actually a book of the Bible. I will respond to the others though.
First of all, we must always look at the context of these verses.
Matthew 12: 31:
"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come."
Jesus is speaking about people who know he is God and the Savior but yet reject him regardless. And when he says "Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come." He's talking about eternity. A person who rejects Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life, even though they know full well he is God, cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. And I think the argument of Purgatory is weakened when he says "or in the age to come." because, assuming Purgatory is real, that means even there that sin can't be forgiven.
You're still going to hell regardless.
Give me time to respond to the others.
I thought that meant by denying the Holy Spirit, you will go to hell. I also thought that Purgatory was a place where although you still are guaranteed passage into heaven, so as long as one would be there for the appropriate time.
All I know about Purgatory is this:
It's not Biblically supported. Jesus didn't talk about it, the disciples didn't talk about it, it hasn't been revealed in scripture. People, like that link Bo showed me, try to take things out of context and try to put a "It's Biblical" mark on it but it's not. Jesus died for the penalty of our sins. And I don't know how, according to Catholic doctrine I assume, people are saved in Purgatory but I believe that when Jesus said, "It is finished."(John 19:30) he meant it. Jesus is the only way to the Father. He taught that and I believe him.
You do realize that Maccabees is actually a biblical book at one point. It and many others were removed by the catholic church before the printing press was invented. The bible was copied by hand by monks and many books were removed because they were considered unnecessary or too controversial by the Catholic church. For example there is an entire book dedicated to Adma and Eve that was originally included in Genesis. But, it was removed because it referenced incest. Genesis is basically the watered down PC version of the original book. -_-
And why would we go to hell? If God is all powerful, then can't He accept the worship of humans even if they call him by a different name than Christians call Him? He is a God of many names, suggesting that eventually all the names of every deity in every pantheon and religion is actually God.
That's why in my religion it's normal to pray a wide variety of Gods/Goddesses, but in reality there is only three. But, they accept all the names and worship humans offer to them. I think it's a little belittling of the Christian God to assume that He does not accept Worship from his people just because they don't use the same name as a group of people on the other side of the world that they have never heard of...
Yet again, context. God is talking about the Glory of the New Jerusalem, not hell because God has already dealt with people who haven't accepted him as Lord and Savior in chapter 20:10.(He also dealt with Satan.) These verse speaks about the new place of eternal dwelling for all of those who have been saved by the blood of Christ, not those who people think are still waiting to be saved.
In the end, one way or another, we are all going to die. Every person who has ever lived has faced this reality. I'll face it, my parents will face it, everyone on this site will face it, and anybody ever born will face it too.
So where does that leave us?
Do we try and earn our salvation like in other religions? Are we supposed to count up our good and bad deeds and then hope and pray that we pass the test?
That won't work.
See the thing is, everyone sins. Me, you, the pope, a kid, a mentally retarded person, etc. Everyone does. We are born into it. And because of this we are eternally separated from God because God is holy and his character cannot accept or condone it. And God clearly teaches that we can't earn our salvation. Our good deeds are like filthy rags before him because compared to his holiness our "acts of righteousness" are nothing.
We can't earn our salvation.
We can say that God doesn't exist but that doesn't help because deep down we know he does. Romans 1:18-23 states, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things."
We know God exists.
So the debate, really, isn't intellectually. There are very smart people, smarter than me, on every side of this argument. atheism, evolution, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc. See, the real issue is the morality that we are to be held too, and our own sinful state and how we look at it.
No one, including Christians, can stand up under God's holiness. We are far too gone in our own sin, and we don't like being told that. If God exits, and he does, then that means there is a moral standard that we can't ever pass. So we go off in our own sins- find different religions, indulge in perverse sins, live only for ourselves, say he doesn't exit so we don't have to be held accountable- but the fact remains that there is still a standard to be held too. We all have consciences that convict us when we are wrong and affirm us when we are right. That's a God given thing.
So what are we too do? How can anyone be saved if, by Christianity's doctrines, we A)Can't save ourselves B)We are sinners and C) The wages of sin is death.
That's where Jesus comes in.
See Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to die for us. That's amazing. People will rarely die for a good person who they love but can you imagine dying, willingly and lovingly, for someone who hates you? Who is trying to kill you?
That's just above me.
See, where I am dead in my sins, and deserving of justice from a moral and righteous God, Jesus steps in and says, "I'll pay for that." He paid my debt so that I may live. He loved me, and not just me but everyone, that he was willing to die for them, no matter who they are. Atheists, Muslims, you name it. You could be the worse sinner in the world and God still wants you to come to him, no matter who you are or what you've done. And all we have to do is to trust Him and accept him into our lives as Lord and Savior. To reject all that we were before (Dead in our sin.) and all the behaviors we had before but to instead love Jesus with all our hearts.
He loves you and is not happy when people reject him(He's not in the sky chortling to himself watching people suffer. He's sad.) and die without ever loving him.
I know I kind of went on there for a bit and this is the last thing I'm going to say. I know that a lot of people won't believe what I say and that's fine. It's not my job to convert you to Christianity, that's God's job. My job is to just tell the good news.
So I think I'm finished on this thread.
I do encourage you look at this video though.
There is a difference between sharing good news and belittling other people's beliefs. You say you aren't here to convert, but that is what you are coming across as attempting. It's one thing to share informational facts about your religious beliefs, but when you go into directing it at people it can be a little irksome.
I hate to say this... but, I swear I have never seen you do or say anything that doesn't pertain to this. It's like you pop up whenever a spiritual discussion appears in the thread. It's like having a pamphlet shoved into my hands while the person doesn't really want to talk me while I walk down the street... -_-
Well, now you know more of the site. :D
Can't really blame him. If he really believes in his religion as much as he says, then attempting to sway people to his side is akin to saving them from eternal damnation. As long as he isn't bringing it up in unrelated topics I don't see why it's an issue.
Ah I see your point... I guess I'm touchy since I'm used to the Hellfire and Brimstone street preachers in my southern town. I just don't understand why he would say he 'wasn't' trying to convert when he really is. My issue is with saying 'it's not my job to convert' then say 'it's my job to share the good news'. It's basically the same thing. I was just pointing that out I guess. :/
I believe that Earth is a mixture of purgatory and hell. Our souls are sent here again and again (Reincarnation) until they are good enough to get into heaven.
Sucks to be born in the bush in Africa away from the knowledge that a person like Jesus even existed.
"Sorry bud, that's just bad luck. Off to hell with you now!"
Yeah, I'm not buying into that one. I mean, if Sidartha Guatama (or referred to more as Buddha) did so well, how the hell is he not in heaven? Because he doesn't think the same heaven? No, I think God has a place for everyone.
Lewis believed that many Buddhist were effectively following Christ without being aware of it. Whereas many 'Christians,' who believed themselves to be following Christ, were really only following their own pride.
I'd say Lewis is:
A) Very egotistical and
B) Very condescending
"Hey, Brian! You're a great guy so you must believe what I believe."
"No, C.S, we have entirely different beliefs but thanks for the compliment."
"No, Brian, you're wrong. You believe in my beliefs, you just don't know it."
I've had that feeling a few times as well. I enjoy his comparisons though, they're fairly entertaining.
Haha, you're entirely wrong. Read his stuff and you can make judgment calls like that.
For one, he never said the Buddhist BELIEVED what he believed. You threw that in there to make a point. But I don't have to defend Lewis to you.
My dear friend C.S.Lewis has words about that.
"Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him. But in the meantime, if you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself."
I can't speak for all branches of Christianity but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin
If you subscribe to any of the branches of Christianity which propagate this belief (and there are many) then you believe that people are born sinners and can only be forgiven through Jesus. Therefore, it's pretty easy to conclude that anyone who hasn't heard of Jesus will die a sinner and go to hell.
Well, if Christ died, might he have removed original sin? I mean he did die to remove sin, but I'm getting confused now...
Nah, Christ died to give sinners the chance to be forgiven, not to remove original sin.
Yeah, especially since Africa has some very beautiful religions. -_-
Well, can we continue down here?
This thread is entirely on-topic, actually.
As I was taught by my mentor when I was originally initiated, there is no Heaven or Hell(Not stating a fact, just the general Wiccan belief. So no offense to those who believe in it). Anyway, I was mentored by a Dianic Wiccan, although I am not Dianic myself, so my beliefs may differ slightly from other Wiccans. The soul is, essentially, energy. It is imprinted with our emotions, memories, ect. Also, I believe in karma. To me karma is just positive and negative energies which attach and are absorbed by the soul as the result of what the soul put into the world in life coming back to it in death. Like a boomerang that picks up speed as it comes back to the thrower.
When the body dies, the soul is no longer held to it. The body no longer creates or sustains energy. The soul may linger on earth after death, but typically will 'pass on' to a different plane of existence. 'Heaven' if you want to call it that, is a resting place and not a final destination. There souls which have achieved good karma and thus bettered the state of their soul's purity, may rest there. It is a spiritual place which takes on the setting which will best put the soul at peace(no two souls inside 'Heaven' would perceive it as the same thing. I have heard some stories about ancestors present in 'Heaven' coming to you when your soul enters 'Heaven' and showing you a mirror so that you can remember yourself.
When done resting, the soul is then sent to a new body on earth. I was taught that the Goddess puts souls into newborns more often than a new soul is created. She will send the soul to a body located in a certain place in a family with a specific situation that will best put the soul on a path to better itself. However, with negative karma it may be reborn in a highly difficult situation in order to atone through suffering.
Supposedly, this process is repeated until the soul eventually is completely purified and can achieve something similar to the belief of Nirvana. It will be joined with the Goddess, an existence that would be similar to sleep without waking up, but with deeply happy and spiritual dreams and emotions.
Anyway that's the info on the Wiccan beliefs about death. It's very close to Hindu beliefs. Basically reincarnation, karma, and nirvana. ;)
That was a nice read.
interesting. and informative
Thanks :) I love sharing info on religious beliefs. But, I think it's rude to do it in a manner that belittles other religions. So I try to keep it informative and not evangelical.
Very nice. I may even look a bit more into this.
Sure, but I'll warn you internet info on Wicca can be really confusing. The religion doesn't have sacred books, so the beliefs and history are passed down by word of mouth from mentor to initiate. You'll find a lot of different info online. It's generally easy to pick out which is genuine and which is hogwash(IE. the misguided belief that Wiccans think they can conjure elves to clean their house lol)
But, if you want to study up on the beliefs of life after death. I'd suggest looking into the Hindu beliefs before the Wiccan ones ;)
Will do, thanks for the info. Very happy you cleared up the whole conjuring elves thing, I was actually falling for that one.
Haha, yeah if sounds like Harry Potter don't take it seriously on a religious level lol. ;)
You don't have to worry about that.
Don't worry, I love learning about wierd things.
Since everyone else is sharing, here are my religious beliefs:
Hahahahahhaa, I missed this post. So good.
An interesting thought I have about ‘existence’ is that regardless of your idea of an afterlife (or lack thereof), the very fact that we are self-aware is an indicator to me of an eternal consciousness.
I’m not really sure how to explain it, but I’ll try –
The human lifespan is so finite compared to the expanse of infinity, that were our consciousness limited only to that infinitesimally small span (by comparison), then we would instantly cease to exist the moment our consciousness sprang up and we could have no self-awareness. To exist and then not exist on the backdrop of eternity (no matter how long our lives extend) is to virtually never to have existed at all. We are reduced to nothing more than a small flash in a very large pan as it were.
But because we can comprehend ourselves now, and our past, it leads me to believe that a person’s consciousness is eternal; just like matter, which cannot be destroyed, but can only be changed (as to its state). Our consciousness will never cease, even after death, but might undergo changes.
If it wasn’t so, then I don’t believe we would remember anything or even be self-aware, as there would not exist anything beyond the now to remember it compared to eternity.
I should probably also mention (as I posted in a thread about time travel) that my views are partly shaped by my belief in the non-existence of time itself. As far as I’m concerned, there is no march of time, only an eternal now.
I really like your opinion on time. I've always seen it as something that was created by humans in order to explain the life cycle of organisms around them. In reality, it's just the planet rotating around the sun. ;) I really like how you call it an "eternal now". Can I quote that phrase in the future? :)
Interesting, certainly never heard it before.
The problem I have of it is the lack of a bridge. What I hear is "We can remember, therefore we're eternal". But unfortunately, I don't see a connection there. The human brain functions as a sort of computer, we can process logic and store more memories than the most powerful supercomputer on earth. Why we developed like that, I dunno, and I don't pretend to know. Hell, I don't even have an idea as to how or why life started (my historical knowledge doesn't exactly span that far back).
That's what probably lead to my current system of religious belief. I don't know what happened, but I do know that every belief that was told to me so far wasn't believable enough for me to follow, and most required some form of indoctrination to truly believe. I guess you could call me an agnostic because I don't completely count out the possibility of a higher being (I simply haven't found one yet so I don't believe in anything atm), but I call myself an athiest simply because - as the name states - I lack a faith of any religion.
Then you would be Agnostic, not atheist.
Please refer to the above statement :P an atheist is literally one that doesn't believe in any theism, or religion.
But yeah, I'm along the same lines as Bo. While I think it would be great if a heaven or whatnaught existed, none of the religions really make any sense and just seem to be ways for people to feel better about themselves. A higher power could exist, I wouldn't argue with that, but it certainly wouldn't be from any known religion.
I identify myself as an agnostic atheist, mainly because while no religion seems believable, I have no way of disproving all of them.
I have no way of completely disproving any of them :p Just enough to keep me from believing.
I hope you don't mind, but I felt like this might be good information for the topic on a bridge. :)
One thing I've come to believe for myself(a mixture of religion and personal pondering) is that memories and consciousness imprint on the soul. In the end it could be a mass of energy all with a person's memories and such imprinted within in it. So if the soul were to continuously go through a flow of birth, life, death, and rebirth. That is how I think we 'are eternal' in a sense.
Some of my studies into Hindu beliefs about reincarnation has left me with the impression that reincarnation may or may not be 'remembered' by an individual. So past 'lives' may not be known at all due to new memories and experiences which have been witnessed first hand by the body and the brain within it that the leftover memories in the soul are 'muffled'.
Although I believe in reincarnation, I'm still a little skeptical about some of the 'past life' stories that have popped up around the world. Many people within my own religion do past life regression rituals, but it seems so unreliable in my opinion. If someone is openly trying to learn something, then it's so easy for the imagination to take over. I think that, for the most part, it makes more sense to me personally that we would not remember our past lives. If only because the brain in our current body never experience them and therefore cannot store the memories inside it, but they would still be imprinted on the soul.
I hope that makes sense. It's something I'm still studying, so please correct me if I go any of the facts wrong(reincarnation and past life stuff was all based off Hindu beliefs)
Well, one of my personal beliefs is that the "soul" is simply how we perceive our consciousness, and so is about as immortal as we are. That's how I rationalize it. I see where you're coming from with the "imprinting", and I like the theory.
I believe that when you die, that's it. I don't believe in a deity nor an afterlife. There is no eternal consciousness nor eternal soul in my opinion. After all, we can't prove any of this.
Can't prove there isn't an afterlife either. At least not until anyone comes back to tell us.
Can't prove there isn't not an afterlife either ;)
Actually there a lot of testimonies from people who have died then been brought back to life by doctors(typically they are not dead for even a minute). But, some of them say that while they were dead they had out of body experiences and other such things. They are all very different, but still really interesting ;)
The biggest problem with anything, is that the observed firsthand evidence is only observed firsthand evidence for those that actually observed it firsthand. Sometimes you’ll never get anything more supporting than what someone else says they witnessed. It’s still not proof one way or the other to yourself though.
For example, If you tell me that water is composed of H2O (two hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom ) and that science has even proved it – well bullshit. I haven’t looked at water that closely and seen it for myself. Just because everyone else believes it, it isn’t proof to me. You all could be working together for some grand H2O conspiracy or something for all I know.
It’s similar with religion in general. There are billions of ‘witnesses’ for religion, (just like with science), but it is still easily dismissed (if you choose to) because you haven’t experienced it for yourself. (Or maybe you have…)
Another thing, a bunch of the drug DMT (A hallucinogenic) is released when you die. So those out of body experiences could just be the bodies last trip. Well at least the body thought it would be its last trip if you get revived.
There are others who say "the next thing I knew" was waking up later after they died. Didn't know about that hallucinagen though, that's cool.
I think part of the outer-body stuff can be explained by 'tripping' but there are cases, where the 'traveler' was able to describe details of earthly places they visited in spirit-form with detail that could only have come from having been there - such as who was in such and such room on the second floor of the hospital and what the nurses were talking about there at the time, even though they hadn't ever physically been on the second floor.
I'm pretty certain for myself that the spirit and body really are two separate things and in some instances can be removed from one another.
This was made for me. Just yesterday, I sat up at night pondering on where we all go after death. I am a Christian, but nevertheless I have no clue of where we could possibly go. I actually began to cry after thinking too hard about the hard-fought thought of going into eternal slumber. Do we go to Heaven automatically? Do we reincarnate as Chinese people or something? Or do we simply just lose consciousness forever? The thought is too confusing to bear, and simply places a burden on us. I think it's a really good idea of what you're all doing here, and I'll pitch in as much as I can. The thought of going to Heaven is the only thing that keeps me from spazzing out every time I think about death. Even though I research all these things about the afterlife, I have not gotten any closer than any of you, and I will never find out until the day comes. I just hope that Jesus comes for the Rapture and let's me avoid death. For those of you who don't know, the Rapture is an unknown day that Christians believe that Jesus is going to return to earth and take all of his followers to Heaven.
That is a good point. Never thought about that before, I just blamed all those tails on a fantastic trip.
I don't know what happens when we die, so I don't think about it. I'm not religious, so I expect it will most likely be a non-experience.
When I started this thread yesterday I was pretty scared about death, but reading everyone else's opinions on the matter has calmed me down quit a bit. I just wanted to say thank you to all the people that have helped me cope with my mortality.
Computer Simulation Terminating In Three...
I maybe late for this but I think death is the most painful thing you can feel on this planet.
So if you're randomly walking down the street and get shot by a sniper and die before anyone even notices you were shot, it was painful?
Painful enough that you died :p
I'm pretty sure the gaping hole in the brain had more of a role in that.
The wound itself would probably cause the victim some pain but what I meant was when the victim lay there dying the angel of death would come to tear the soul from the body due to the unwillingness of the soul to leave the body this process will become more painful as the more sins the person commited the stronger he will hold on to the body .From my religion it could be described as your skin being skinned off over and over again and that was for people who sinned the least.
Maybe if the Grim Reaper carried a giant potato-peeler instead of a scythe, that wouldn't be so much of a problem...
I never said he pealed it I just said it felt like it.
Did you even read his post?
I reckon he's already died, met the Angel of Death and been peeled to a bloody pulp, hence the name Blob
Yeah,I'm just gonna ignore what you guys said
Considering that the Goth of Death did that to a bunch of people, I'm not really interested in having my soul get aids. Not my idea of a fun time.
I don't know about that. Considering it's called GHOST AIDS, i'd expect the bacteria to be ghostly as well. The question is, if you are righteous, would you be immune, or does Goth God remove it from you soul.
Guys, just wear a GHOST condom and you wouldn't have to worry about this in the first place.
She's a hot gothic chick that's totally a sadist and who will very slowly peel the skin off of your flesh while laughing maniacally and doing lewd acts to herself.
Does this mean you become a zombie?
I don't know but since your already dead it won't happen.
BTW, tangent-wise how are the 7 (i think) dead Eternals doing?
Actually I have to say that I have no idea that when the angel of death tears(is that the right word?)the soul from the body that the if the process becomes more painful if the soul holds on to the body or not.What I do know is that it is more painful.Also I am not sure whether the feeling is like a lamb being skinned alive once or many times.Really had to get that off my chest.Now iI am going to never log in again at least for a few months as I am too shy to see what you guys are going to post about this.
I don't know if there is something after death. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. I believe that we are all made only to evolve. We live to leave something behind, it can be a theory, a discovery, a kid or something like that. But what happens after we die? I have really no idea. Maybe there is nothing, maybe there is something like heaven, maybe we even reincarnate to help humankind to evolve again. I really, really have no idea. But I always wondered, what if heaven is actually nothingness? We are free from pain and suffer.
If Heaven = Nothingness then you could still consider that "heaven" in a fashion.
Off topic response to comment
"A sad thing about humanity's relationship with evolution is that for some reason everybody believes our "natural evolution" in the future lies only with genetic manipulation or cybernetics of some sort. This also seems to be a common theme in video games and Sci-fi movies." -Some random person i was talking to at the library
I remember reading Socrates around 22, in college, and feeling comfort from his words. In speaking of death, he says (right before they kill him):
Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is
great reason to hope that death is a good; for one of two
things - either death is a state of nothingness and utter
unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and
migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you
suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the
sleep of him who is undisturbed even by dreams, death will be
an unspeakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in
which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to
compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then
were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the
course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I
think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the
great king will not find many such days or nights, when
compared with the others. Now if death be of such a nature, I
say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night.
But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men
say, all the dead abide, what good, O my friends and judges, How blessed to have a just judgment passed on us; to converse with Homer and Hesiod; to see the heroes of Troy, and to continue the search after knowledge in another world!
can be greater than this? If indeed when the pilgrim arrives in
the world below, he is delivered from the professors of justice
in this world, and finds the true judges who are said to give no
judgment there, Minos and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus and
Triptolemus, and other sons of God who were righteous in
their own life, that pilgrimage will be worth making. What
would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and
Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me
die again and again. I myself, too, shall have a wonderful
interest in there meeting and conversing with Palamedes, and
Ajax the son of Telamon, and any other ancient hero who has
suffered death through an unjust judgment; and there will be
small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own sufferings with
theirs. Above all, I shall then be able to continue my search
into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in the
next; and I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be
wise, and is not. What would not a m an give, O judges , to be
Odysseus or Sisyphus, or numberless others, men and women
too! What infinite delight would there be in conversing with
them and asking them questions! In another world they do not
put a man to death for asking questions: assuredly not. For
besides being happier than we are, they will be immortal, if
what is said is true.
Basically: Death either a good or nothing: - a profound sleep.
Either way, I'm down with it.
I take a more pagan view on death. I don't believe there is a Heaven or Hell, but a state of existence in this world, yet not in this world at the same time. And I was in the line of thinking you have described in your post, for a long time, but I was introduced to this in College, and it was proven to me. My friend's fiance was possessed by my friend's ancestor. It was freaky, but it proved to me that we are still in this world after we die.
So say you're a Christian and do everything right (depending on the branch of Christianity) so when you die you get into heaven. What happens to loved ones that aren't following your faith?
I mean I'm assuming they're all going to hell. But I'm just wondering how the eternal bliss in heaven can come about if you're aware that the rest of your family is burning in hell. Doesn't seem like you'd be happy if you knew loved ones are suffering eternal torment.
Does God mind wipe you so you don't remember your hell bound family members burning in the underworld and you can blissfully go about your eternal life in heaven? (I'm guessing this is what happens.)
Does God pull them out of hell for you? (That seems unlikely, but a cool loop hole for the sinning bunch. "Yeah I'm on good terms with ol' bible thumping cousin Suzy, she'll help me out of hell when she dies!")
Does God make divine clones of your family that you can interact with to keep you happy? (This seems like a good compromise. Follows the rules and gives you a nice illusion without resorting to a divine lobotomy)
Or does none of that happen and things are just so great in heaven that you just laugh at everyone that went to hell?
Just sort of wondering how it worked.
"Does God mind wipe you so you don't remember your hell bound family members burning in the underworld and you can blissfully go about your eternal life in heaven? (I'm guessing this is what happens.)"
A good question.
Foremost I do not believe that such relations, mother father, son daughter, are the same.
I don't believe there is any differentiation at all on that front. Even if there is, its hardly relevant.
To all your solutions the answer is no.
The core of Christianity is simple, accepting Christ's gift and allowing him to work in us. The thing about God is that once he gets to work on something, he doesn't stop until it's perfect. Of course God doesn't finish his work while we live here on this earth, we won't let him. Death though, as any Christian can tell you, hasn't stopped Christ before. Perhaps that is what Heaven is, a place where God finishes his work. A place where the time for grief is over.
When I was a Christian, I always imagined that you just didn't care. Not that you didn't care about your family, but that by being in Heaven you were in paradise and because of that you would always be happy.
Like someone else said, and ole Socrates said, death would be like going to sleep and never waking up. It's only horrifying when one does wake up and finds that they are paralyzed on side of their body and demented. It's also horrifying and terrible for those left behind, but for the person dying, they just decay into worm food and then carbon.
Maybe the "soul" or "spirit" reincarnates. If so, then according to most philosophies I've read, one is more likely to reincarnate as something other than a human. I, for one, am hoping for a huge owl like in Secret of NIMH. Or maybe our soul somehow retains consciousness without a brain and gets to go hang out in "Heaven." Or....maybe our energy just dissipates back into the universal whole.
Regardless, you probably won't mind, unless of course you don't die and are instead a barely sentient lifeform screaming in their bed, demented. Unfortunately I deal with nursing home patients on a daily basis, so these thoughts cross my mind quite often.
As far as tangible afterlives go, like heaven or hell, I highly doubt there is a hell.
There's probably some sort of evil dude rehabilitation center. (Notice that the bible and other such works were written many MANY centuries ago, when shit was horrible, and the only way you could get people to really listen outside of their own problems was to threaten to throw them into a firepit.) And if there is some perfect being out there, I highly doubt perfect would qualify as being overtly sadistic enough to hurl someone into a furnace to die over and over again at the hands of their worst nightmares until they become someone's nightmare and start killing everyone else. (I? would feel bad, why wouldn't this compassionate god feel bad, especially if he's done this billions of times before?)
Also, i highly doubt he'd simply try to make enemies like that. If you've read Revelations (A.K.A. The Televangelist's profit plan/doomsday prophecy) you'd have to make note that it was also written thousands of years ago. Everyone but the new Christians (at least the saner ones) had their horrible myth monsters that threatened the wicked, and killed and ate humans. What he was probably trying to say was that if Jesus was the Christ, then Caesar, who hanged him, was the Antichrist, the false prophet also likely fell into the role of people who imitated Jesus pretending to be saviours, though less overtly and protestfully. (traveling healers were a common sight back then, Jesus was just a religious one.) So no, sorry Hollywood moviemakers, sorry all you corny-ass reporters who think you're onto something, Hitler was not the reincarnation of Satan, just another crazy bastard, there are no hooded people sitting invisibly in your basement, and there are no demons. I'm not going to say I haven't had my share of paranormal experiences, because everyone has, however subtle, it's just that they've never had the aggression or evil personifying a demon. Things have yet to come forth and disprove that there is no hell, but yet, that's all the shit I can put together to show that there isn't one.
I don't mean to say I'm the BS'er that's trying to impose my beliefs on you by stating "THERE ARE NO ___!!!!!" It's just that is my train of thought.
You do know this is 6 months old right?
Really, I've yet to see a good movie, Hollywood or Christian that portrays Revelations like how it should be portrayed given its content.
I want to see something that shows all the fucked up horrible mass chaos and mayhem, but doesn't do a sanitized version of it like the Christian movies do. I also don't want some Hollywood movie where they throw in some stupid love story subplot or an action hero punches out the devil and everyone goes home in the end.
Besides, the games based on it suck too. It's not supposed to just look cool and namedrop everyone from demonology, it's supposed to reference this shit. And it doesn't! It just puts the word "Mephistopheles" out there like it means more than anything but a trope started by the Dr.Faustus play, (which it is) and drag Leviathan into it. Leviathan has NOTHING TO DO WITH REVELATIONS! It's just a Hebrew dragon-eel! Absolutely no reference whatsoever was made to the actual revelations book other than "HURRR BER DERP DER! THE WERLDZ ENDING OLOLOLOlOLOLDOEDSFJAWEOGJNVDSAV." And then 82,000 gallons of stageblood later, the devil gets a foot up his ass and they all live happily ever after.
That would probably make a better movie or game if they just followed the above plotline and nothing else and didn't just pretend it was anything more, but they have too much pride.
In other words, I agree with Endmaster, as well as on the fact that similar shit goes on in almost every other medium portrayed modernly.