Forum: Arts / Religion

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re: Life or afterlife?
By MrsFinnigan
On Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:42 AM
NadiaLadida wrote:

But anyway, I disagree. I am no dewy-eyed optimist. I have seen human nature at its worst when I worked with adult and child victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, but I hold fast to the theory of inherent goodness existing at our core being, as do many many people who deal with crisis on a day-to-day basis. In fact, I would challenge that dealing with these extreme opposing forces would increase the believability of inherent goodness if one's eyes are truly open, blinders of dualism cast off. I'd like to add that I am only using the term 'good' here for the sake of the discussion, as the term 'good' demonstrates yet more dualism.

People are not inherently good. We are whatever we choose to be. Being good often takes a lot of patience and hard work, often for little to no payback while being selfish, rude, or even outright evil takes considerably less effort and can have immediate results.


But isn't that the work associated with being a part of the human condition? Whittling away at the selfishness of the ego and walls of defense we acquire through suffering to uncover divine potential?


I don't believe in any such thing as "divine potential," either. I believe a part of God once became a human being. I don't believe people become divine, any more than I think a copy, even an exact copy, can ever become the original.

I also must note that if that work were all part of the human condition, more people would do that work, and more easily. The simple fact is that actually being good, rather than just doing a good deed whenever you feel like it, very often takes going against human nature. When a telemarketer interrupts your family time, are you more likely to be polite, or get annoyed and behave rudely? When you get a speeding ticket, are you more likely to take responsibility and thank the police officer for doing his or her job well and reminding you that you need to drive more safely, or are you more likely to try to weasel out of it, blame faulty radar, or whatever?

And do you think the perpetrators of those heinous crimes are inherently good, just "blinded" to their own "divine potential?" If I entertained such a belief, not only would I have been denied a job working in the prisons, I might have been laughed out of the interview, and for good reason. The fact remains that the ease with which people fall into being anywhere from comfortably indifferent to others, to being selfish and rude, to downright criminal proves that such behavior comes naturally to us, and to be good and do right, heck even just to behave in a regular decent manner, is often not to reveal one's nature, but very often to fight and to overcome aspects of it.

Not to let you hog all the cheesiness, I've heard it said that who you are is God's gift- and often His challenge- to you.
re: Life or afterlife?
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 10, 2008 02:57 AM
Those of you who do not believe in Hell...then were do all of the rapist, murders, liars, thieves and blasphemers go?? Why would the Almighty Lord allow them into His Kingdom along side his true followers of His word?

You question an afterlife? The TRUTH is all in the Bible. (Rev 21: 1-4) If you are not in the Holy bible and reading what is says on a daily basis then you have no true knowledge of this topic of afterlife. Those who do not know the truth will suffer for lack of knowledge. IT clearly states in the Holy Bible that there is an afterlife and a Judgement Day(Rev.20:11-15) WILL come to ALL who have been on this earth. There is Heaven and Hell and the book of Revelation is being played out in this day and age of 2008. If you think otherwise, you are being mislead by demons who appear as "Angels of Light". Good works alone do not place place you in Heaven. You must serve God and OBEY his commandments.


No disrepct intended but the only book that claims the bible is the absolute truth is the bible itself....sure others have said this after the fact....but the bible claims to be the "only truth" 1st.

As for rapists, Murderers, I believe You reap what you sow. Some people call it Karma, some people call it hell. For me and my religious/spirital path I call it both.

This is a great post Jenny.
re: Life or afterlife?
By Liritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 10, 2008 03:08 AM
MrsFinnigan wrote:

The simple fact is that actually being good, rather than just doing a good deed whenever you feel like it, very often takes going against human nature.


By whose measure are you defining human nature?

Actually, it's interesting to me right now that you've chosen that particular couple of words. I've been reading quite a lot of Harold Kushner recently, and while he has quite a bit to say that I strongly disagree with, he has an interesting perspective on the creation of man and what is implied by excusing, nay explaining, any behavior as "human nature."

When you read Genesis it's stated that first G-d created the heaven, earth, so on and so forth, day after day, until He had created fish and fowl and every other living creature you can imagine at which point He said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. The emphasis, obviously, is my own. If we accept that G-d is the only G-d out there, who was He speaking to? And in who else's image are we made?

Kushner suggests (and I tend to agree) that He was speaking to the animals He had just finished creating. So in some ways, we're like other animals - we need to eat, to sleep, to procreate - but unlike animals, we're not ruled entirely by our instincts and habits. We are fully capable of making moral distinctions and allowing those distinctions to guide our choices. And in an act of infinite wisdom or insanity (you get to decide which) He also gave us the free will to make use of that ability.

To say that making moral choices, such as choosing the type of work Nadia speaks of, is going against the grain of human nature is, in my opinion, dehumanizing. It may not be an easy choice to make, but that has less to do with our nature than it is to do with the strength of our convictions - convictions which are in our nature to have.

MrsFinnigan wrote:

The fact remains that the ease with which people fall into being anywhere from comfortably indifferent to others, to being selfish and rude, to downright criminal proves that such behavior comes naturally to us, and to be good and do right, heck even just to behave in a regular decent manner, is often not to reveal one's nature, but very often to fight and to overcome aspects of it.


The ease with which people form habits is no indication that such habits come to us naturally. The more often a person chooses to be good and do right, the more easily it comes to them throughout their lives. Likewise, the more often a person chooses to be indifferent, rude, and criminal the more desensitized they become. I'm inclined to lean towards nurture instead of nature in these cases - because at the end of the day, every criminal (of sound mind and body) still made the choice to commit their crime. That does not define them as evil. It defines them as a person who made a really bad decision.
re: Life or afterlife?
By NadiaLadidamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:29 PM
Well, MrsFinnigan, I must respectfully disagree with you on all points. I suppose that's why you are a Catholic and I'm an unofficial Buddhist (if I claimed to be an 'ist', that's what it'd be). I'm flattered that you think I'm cheesy, that means a lot coming from you. :)
re: Life or afterlife?
By Giselle55member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Aug 10, 2008 06:27 PM
I reached out to God because I had had enough of life and was about to pull a Sylvia Plath (stick my head in the gas oven) and call it a day. I called on Him instead and His presence and love were so overwhelming that I realized He was really there and that He DID love me. I've since learned that, unlike humans, He loves us unconditionally and without fail - not everything we do, but it is US He loves. So my intro to Christianity was out of desperation but it has enriched my life exponentially.

I came across a site a year or so ago that has people's revelations of heaven and hell and I truly believe some of the testimonies. The site is: www.insightsofgod.com
It's intriguing, to say the least.
re: Life or afterlife?
By jazzblaster
On Mon Aug 11, 2008 08:51 AM
Edited by jazzblaster (111926) on 2008-08-11 08:56:55
Edited by jazzblaster (111926) on 2008-08-11 08:57:53
Edited by jazzblaster (111926) on 2008-08-11 08:59:54
Edited by jazzblaster (111926) on 2008-08-11 09:01:00
Lirit wrote:
When you read Genesis it's stated that first G-d created the heaven, earth, so on and so forth, day after day, until He had created fish and fowl and every other living creature you can imagine at which point He said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. The emphasis, obviously, is my own. If we accept that G-d is the only G-d out there, who was He speaking to? And in who else's image are we made?



Hi Lirit, I decided to comment on this one paragraph you posted :)
In reference to Genesis 1:26... the word 'us' refers to God announcing his crowning work to the members of His heavenly court...the angels. The angels were His first creation in heaven and given free will. However, being an angel they too were created in his image as well as to glorify God.
The word "Image" refers to and includes such characteristics as 'righteousness and holiness' of God. Being knowledgeable of God's ways. God's intention for humans were to become Christ-like and glorify Him and not to come against Him.

(sorry I cant seem to post the 'somebody wrote box' to appear correctly. I'll get it right one of these days.)
re: Life or afterlife?
By monUmentalgyal
On Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:23 AM
^to jazzblaster I'd most respectfully point out that you have to be very careful of how you present your views when it comes to the topic of the afterlife, especially when your views include heaven and hell. Nobody wants to be told that they're going to hell and it can turn into a pointless arguement; I say pointless because a lot to do with Christianity is about personal faith (despite the fact that many books of the Bible have been proven to be very accurate historically and otherwise) and no one can really prove
prsonal faith. However, I respect your faith and as a fellow Christian I say well done for having the bravery to say something you believe has to be said.

As for Lirit's question, I look to the afterlife. Not to disregard anyone's beliefs, but I find it hard to believe in an inherent goodness everyone. I have always, even before I became a Christian, believed that people are born with a bit missing, or as some people say, born evil.

I don't necessarily think we're born evil, I just think that we're born with sin in our nature (as well as good
and freewill), and with that sin comes a sort of silent self hatred that manifests itself in everyone in different ways. Please don't take what I'm saying and twist it, I know that there are a lot of people who are perfectly happy with themselves, but I think it's deeper than what most people realise. I believe that this self hatred is caused by the absence of God in our lives. Without God we have no purpose and aren't complete, so we're unsatisfied and deep down think the reason lies within us.

It's this 'self-hatred' (I'm using this phrase for lack of a better word) that causes people to treat others without love, and as a result we're in a world full of crime, war and death. I don't think this world is the end, I think there is a better place where no one has that 'self hate' and instead people love each other and love God.

This is pretty much a summary of how I see the afterlife, obviously I don't think everything's as simple as I just laid out but if I explained any furthur I think I'd just be saying things that aren't relevant to this discussion. I'm not interested in a theological debate, I just wanted to say my piece.
re: Life or afterlife?
By Liritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Aug 13, 2008 02:32 AM
jazzblaster wrote:

Hi Lirit, I decided to comment on this one paragraph you posted :)
In reference to Genesis 1:26... the word 'us' refers to God announcing his crowning work to the members of His heavenly court...the angels. The angels were His first creation in heaven and given free will. However, being an angel they too were created in his image as well as to glorify God.


Cite your sources, please. I've read Genesis several times over and not once in any of those readings does it suggest that G-d is addressing the angels in that moment of Creation. Just sayin'.
re: Life or afterlife?
By WildSpiritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Aug 13, 2008 05:05 AM
I was obssesed with afterlife some years ago.I still believe in it but now I just realise it`s important to live this life in a beautiful way and learn from our mistakes.I`m on the idea live this life so no matter when death will come after us we won`t regret nothing.
I strongly believe that the next life deppends if it will be better or worse of this life.Just take a look inside you and you`ll se some regrets and some things that you were born with..strange feelings,unfinished feelings,etc.These are from the past life in my oppinion.We must find the inner peace,we must evolute,we must correct our mistakes so in the next life to not have this baggaje full of regrets and bad feelings
re: Life or afterlife?
By jazzblaster
On Wed Aug 13, 2008 09:05 AM
Lirit wrote:

jazzblaster wrote:

Hi Lirit, I decided to comment on this one paragraph you posted :)
In reference to Genesis 1:26... the word 'us' refers to God announcing his crowning work to the members of His heavenly court...the angels. The angels were His first creation in heaven and given free will. However, being an angel they too were created in his image as well as to glorify God.


Cite your sources, please. I've read Genesis several times over and not once in any of those readings does it suggest that G-d is addressing the angels in that moment of Creation. Just sayin'.


Sorry... the sources are from the Zondervan NIV study bible. There are lots of notations and cross references in this bible. Also, resource study guide on "What the Bible Says about Angels" from Dr. David Jeremiah. If you aren't familiar with reading the bible,You have to also keep in mind that the bible is full of cross references and does back up what is written through out the entire bible. But you have to read it to find out about these cross references or it's confusing.

I can elaborate more from the text and references from the Bible. Also references on a study about angels. Most religions believe in angels so this may make sense to some people?

So bare with me because I will jump from verse to verse.

Prior to the fall of Man. Lucifer(now known as Satan)...the angel who's purpose was to 'cover' was in the Garden of Eden, he was an anointed Cheribum(Ezekiel 14). And God was speaking to him (including the other angels) announcing his next move about creation... Gen. 1:26"Let 'us' make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over... {now remember this statement was made before God found Lucifer to be wicked. Meaning all of Gods angels were holy and righteous. He spoke to them because they are in his court.}

Lucifer who was the most beautiful of all angels " Model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty" (Ezekiel 28:12-15) Is described as being adorned in gems. He was a 'serpent' which translates to 'the shining one'...he reflected light, but had no light of his own. He was to reflect God's perfection and glory. (source:What the Bible says about Angels) I think...[No wonder Eve was tempted by a serpent he had all of those jewels on him and then was tempted and ate from the tree.]

Cross reference back to Gen.3:4-5...And the serpent said unto the woman "ye shall not die: For God knows that when you eat of it(the tree) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Right there Lucifer/Satan is perverting the truth. Adam and Eve are just walking around all naked and completely vulnerable only knowing what God tells them. They think they will physically die if they eat from the tree... they chose to trust someone other than God. What happened? They ate it and didn't die physically. The death they experienced was a spiritual death because they chose to disobey God. No more lovely feel good feelings...they were the opposite...Scared, embarrassed and wanting to hide from God. So God appointed another Angel to guard the Garden of Eden.

Cross reference in the Study Bible Genesis 3:22 "And the Lord said, "The man has become like one of US, knowing good and evil. He Must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

Keep in mind that all the angels including Lucifer/Satan knows of God's will, holiness, righteousness and words. This story is an example of how Satan will twist the truth. Satan still twist the truth today.

While watching TV yesterday, Gen.1:26 was discussed (how weird is that?) Anyway, Dr. Miles Munroe stated that us humans were created for God's will, to uphold God's MORAL standard, put into the flesh, in nature. Humans were given domain over his creation but only intended for Gods will, righteousness and holiness. What is done on earth should be a reflection of what is done in heaven. (I think, since Lucifer was sent by God to 'cover' over earth prior to the creation of man. Lucifer got pissed off with the thought of people having dominion in the earth and sharing it with him. So then Lucifer/satan corrupted God's truth and purpose for our lives. Lucifer wanted to be God and call the shots. In the book "what the bible says about angels" by Dr. David Jeremiah (Christian pastor),It states that angels have free will. So when Lucifer/Satan made a free will choice to go against God. God respected Lucifer's choice to go against Him and then kicked him to the curb to roam the earth never to enter heaven again.

Anyway, going back to life or afterlife.
My take is this: That God's will for us is that we live a life that is in alignment with His so we can live an abundant life in many ways. Even as Christians we believe we are saved by the blood of Jesus and by His grace. Grace comes only after we see that we are not worthy of God and can't live up to his Moral Law (10 commandments). The story in Genesis is validation to me that we are completely vulnerable and easily mislead by things of the world. It might not seem like such a big deal. But remember too, we are all very desensitized because Satan and his demons(fallen angels) are here roaming the earth and he wants our life to reflect his and his life is perversion of the truth. He told a "white lie" to Eve. She didn't die physically but she did die spiritually. Instead of having love, acceptance, confidence and serving God at all times. We have to deal with despair, rejection, insecurity and being 'self-centered' because these are the ways of the enemy. It's extremely hard in this world to not give into negative vibes and hang onto them. This is why giving your life over to God will help you and aid you in Faith to live a life that would reflect the life that you will live in Heaven. But it has to be lead in Faith in God. "He will never leave you or forsake you." This is what "presses" on me.

In retrospect to my other posts, I know I came across abrasive. But it was at the pressing of bitter truth from someone else that turned my life towards God. Hopefully, I pray that what was said even in it's boldness,would aid in just one person to reflect on how their life is lived now and contemplate... "is my life being lived to serve our Creator or is it self-centered"[:?]
re: Life or afterlife? (karma: 1)
By MrsFinnigan
On Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:14 AM
Lirit wrote:


The ease with which people form habits is no indication that such habits come to us naturally. The more often a person chooses to be good and do right, the more easily it comes to them throughout their lives.


No offense, but I find that terribly naive. We have examples from Job, to the prophets all the way up through the lives of modern saints that actually, the opposite is not just often the case, but it's probably typical. The more you resolve to do right and be good, actually, the more difficult it gets, with the greatest challenges coming from one's own fallen nature.

I believe we were created with dualistic nature, good and bad, so we could choose at any given moment which aspect of our nature to follow, and so good would be real, honest, freely given goodness rather than what you get when you program a computer well. And the real test of a person's goodness comes in adversity. Who is a better person- someone who receives an unexpected phone call from an old friend and behaves nicely, or someone who was awakened from a nap by a telemarketer yet behaves just as nicely?

I think where I differ from a lot of people is that I don't consider "as decent as the average person" to be especially good. What's so good about acting just like everyone else, following the path of least resistance, and not going the extra mile?

As for yet another interpretation of Genesis, common among Trinitarian Christians is the interpretation that it was God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit speaking within and among God's self. Otherwise, why else would God refer to "our image," (plural and singular both!) rather than, "my image" or "our images"?
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