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The soul - good and/or evil?

  1. May 17, 2006 #1
    Those who believe in the existence of a soul often anticipate a day when they will be judged for heaven or hell. However, what marks the transition from one's worldly, morally relative being to that of absolute good and evil? Would there be segregation by overall ethics in this afterlife?
     
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  3. May 17, 2006 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    Of course the believers in heaven and hell specifically are the Christians. Other belief systems have other constructions, such as morally driven reincarnations. Christians take their beliefs from descriptions of Jesus' sayings in the gospels, and some inferences by others (Paul, mainly), together with the visions attributed to John in the apocalypse that closes the New Testament. These sources are available, but it doesn't seem that we could discuss or argue about them without treading on forbidden religious ground.
     
  4. May 17, 2006 #3
    No, what there would be is a union of knowing what absolute morals are since we would not have to make judements with brains that no longer existed.
     
  5. May 18, 2006 #4
    The premise of a divine creator who will one day impose a divine judgement implies that humans must have (libertarian) free will.

    But (libertarian) free will is an illusion.

    What place is there for divine judgement in a universe without (libertarian) free will?

    MF

    Humans put constraints on what they can achieve more often by their limited imaginations than by any limitations in the laws of physics (Alex Christie)
     
  6. May 18, 2006 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    Well the god of the Old testament has no problem with that. He first tells Moses that he will harden Pharaoh's heart, then punishes Pharaoh for things he did with that hardened heart.
     
  7. May 18, 2006 #6
    Does physics negate the possibility that the whole of reality manifests intelligence? Put another way, anything (a galaxy, say) that contains reasoning beings (humans, say) might itself qualify as intelligent.
     
  8. May 19, 2006 #7
    And you mean to tell me there are rational human beings who genuinely believe this is the act of a loving supreme being?

    That kind of mean, nasty, conniving and tricky supreme being I can do without, thank you :biggrin:

    Best Regards

    MF
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  9. May 19, 2006 #8
    How do you define "intelligence" in this context?

    MF
     
  10. May 19, 2006 #9
    moving finger,

    Assuming I am intelligent, and I am a subset of the universe, would the universe therefore be considered intelligent?
     
  11. May 19, 2006 #10

    DaveC426913

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    It is shamefully easy to take potshots at ultra-simplified factoids such as this.
     
  12. May 21, 2006 #11
    Hey, don't shoot me, I'm not the one who pasted up the example of Pharaoh as a defence of the logical consistency of God in a universe without free will. I was just responding to it!

    My point remains : The idea of a supreme creator in absence of genuine free will for his/her/its created beings is incoherent and nonsensical.

    In other words, to remain coherent a belief in theism entails a belief in libertarian free will.

    Best Regards

    MF
     
  13. May 21, 2006 #12

    selfAdjoint

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    Scuse me, but I was the one who posted the Pharaoh "factoid". It was a sufficient problem that St. Paul thought he had to deal with it, so it;'s not something a Christian of today is really free to shrug off.

    And mf, I wasn't defending theism, I was sort of setting you up to express what we both believe. Naughty me.:devil:
     
  14. May 21, 2006 #13

    arildno

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    The Christian idea of "sin&judgment", as for example developed by Augustine, has nothing whatsoever to do with a freely willed breach of some moral code, and the appropriate punishment of such acts.
    It is only the "inherited sin" concept that makes sense of Jesus' role as "saviour".

    What the Christian idea of sin really is, is the primitive idea of "evil as filth/defilement" something that adheres to you whether you want it to be there or not (See for example Paul Riceour's book on "The symbolism of evil").
    The logical way to remove such a stain, is through an act of CLEANSING.

    That is what "salvation" means in the Christian mindset; in affirming your "faith in Jesus", he in turn cleanses you of that stain which otherwise would make you unfit to meet the Creator.

    There is nothing concerning the relevance of "free will" in this mindset,; it is just an extremely dumb deterministic model.
     
  15. May 22, 2006 #14
    Free will is fundamental to the idea that faith leads to salvation.

    If the world is deterministic (ie if free will in the libertarian sense does not exist) then my actions are determined by antecedent conditions; hence whether or not I have faith in Jesus is determined by those same conditions.

    Why should I be refused salvation for something that is determined by antecedent conditions? The idea is nonsensical, therefore for the theist the premise that the world is deterministic must be false, and the theist is forced to believe in libertarian free will.

    Best Regards

    MF
     
  16. Jun 19, 2006 #15
    :confused: You are a human, and thus a subset of the universe, would the universe thus be considered "human" ? I do not understand what you are asking.
     
  17. Jun 21, 2006 #16

    Les Sleeth

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    If we can research the history of ideas behind any belief, why evaluate beliefs on face value or accept common opinion as worthy of discussing seriously?

    The concept of judgment in Western religion, for example, is linked to the very old Jewish idea that bad things happen to people because they have not pleased God. It stems from pagan days before Moses, where each tribe had their own patron god. If you pleased your god, then you won wars and things went well; if you displeased your god, watch out! So when things were going bad, the priests would be wondering who was screwing up. This became a very strict thing, so much so that it became incorporated into the law of the land, the basis for theocracy, and the best followers obeyed not just the ten commandments, but all 633 precepts the faithful imagined God needed abided by to be pleased. In a way, it is fear of misfortune that drove this desire for perfect behavior.

    Now, you can blame it on Moses, but he doesn’t come across as so anal; he just said, be good and love God. It was later interpreters, with all their karmic fears and concepts, who created the “religion.”

    It is similar with Jesus. You cannot find anything concrete about hell and the devil in his words, which makes little sense if it is the threat that theologians today make of it. If hell/devil is real, then Jesus should have talked about it openly and often.

    My view is that most people are superficial in their contemplation of all this. Moses had an inner experience and tried to communicate it in the language of and to the mindset of the time. Jesus had the same inner experience and spoke to how people understood then. You can’t blame guys having the original experience for what people developed over the centuries from their own ordinary experience.

    The only choices I see are to accept that Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, et al found a new potential of consciousness, one that allowed them to experience something unavailable to ordinary consciousness, or we have to write them off as deluded.

    However, real or deluded, that has nothing to do with the theological speculations that followed over the centuries.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2006
  18. Jun 21, 2006 #17
    Rade
    It would have the potential to be human. As far as information is additive, knowledge (intelligence) for a whole is at least the knowledge for any one of its parts.
     
  19. Jun 25, 2006 #18

    arildno

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    Essentially, because you stink in the nose of God, whether you want to or not. He doesn't bother with handing you the soap.

    What about "virtuous heathens"?
    They are consigned to Hell all the same..
    It is the ideas of "salvation" and the idea that a non-human has absolute authority in saying how humans should act that are non-sensical.

    Also, you should learn a bit more about church and doctrine history before you make breezing (and incorrect!) statements as to what theists should mean.
    (Review for example, the highly influential tradition with Augustine's pre-destination theory)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  20. Jun 26, 2006 #19
    And this is supposed to make rational sense? If God created me the way I am, and I had no choice about it, I sure hope He realises the smell is His own doing! :yuck:

    Your response is not a rebuttal to my statement that the theist is forced to believe in libertarian free will (in fact your response is totally irrelevant to the issue). :uhh:
    Which particular “heathens” are consigned to hell depends on which “God” is in charge, doesn’t it?

    With respect, I have studied such things, and I can respond to your above comment by saying that you should take the time and trouble to discuss issues rationally before accusing others of needing to learn more. If I have made an incorrect statement please do point it out.

    Augustine's arguments are incoherent and ambiguous at best. If one takes his predestination argument as being that God simply has foreknowledge of human actions then what does that prove? Divine foreknowledge is not incompatible with free will. In the 6th century Boethius maintained that God is not in time and has no temporal properties, so God does not have beliefs at a time. It is therefore a mistake to say God had beliefs yesterday, or has beliefs today, or will have beliefs tomorrow. It is also a mistake to say God had a belief on a certain date, such as June 1, 2004. The way Boethius describes God's cognitive grasp of temporal reality, all temporal events are before the mind of God at once. To say "at once" or "simultaneously" is to use a temporal metaphor, but Boethius is clear that it does not make sense to think of the whole of temporal reality as being before God's mind in a single temporal present. It is an atemporal present, a single complete grasp of all events in the entire span of time. There is no incompatibility with free will.

    What I am arguing here is not that divine foreknowledge is incompatible with free will but that the lack of human free will is incompatible with theism.

    I welcome any theist telling me that he/she believes human free will does not exist, and being prepared to defend that notion from a theistic perspective….. o:)

    Best Regards
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  21. Jun 26, 2006 #20

    arildno

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    Yet again, you attribute human qualities,motivations and justifications to a non-human being in a simplistic and naive manner.
    Oh dear, oh dear!
    Whenever was a BELIEF in someone as your saviour an ETHICALLY RELEVANT CRITERION?
    It is religionists who set up belief in some saviour as the prime criterion for not being punished by God, that is, religionists are propounding a fundamentally non-ethical (in my view, un-ethical) theory.
    Furthermore, whenever has devotion to a non-human been an ETHICAL or MORAL issue??


    This shows that properly ETHICAL concerns (like that of free will) are, at best, secondary for religionists (and, in my view, for the most part absent).
    If you re-read my original post, that's what I was concerned with.

    There IS no rational (or moral) sense in the theist's worldview, his premise is nonsensical.
    End of story.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
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