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Do you think that people would still believe in god if all the scriptures said that there was definitely NO after-life?

(40 Posts)
Tinker Fri 17-Aug-07 17:39:56

Is the promise/threat of an after-life what makes some people behave the way they do?

cylon Fri 17-Aug-07 17:40:53

without the promise of an afterlife, this life would be too depressing to tolerate.
its barely tolerable now.

aloha Fri 17-Aug-07 17:42:28

I don't feel like that at ALL. This life is great. The idea of an eternity of virtue with no change or progression, surrounded by other virtuous people, while the people you actually loved/liked in life are all suffering eternal torment, with no escape for any of you, is honestly the worst horror I can imagine.

meandmyflyingmachine Fri 17-Aug-07 17:44:08

All of them in eternal torment? You should pick nicer friends aloha...

Tinker Fri 17-Aug-07 17:45:32

The idea of an after-life makes me shudder. But I do wonder if this is really the pull for a lot of believers.

cylon Fri 17-Aug-07 17:46:51

aloha, i think the idea is that heaven will be a place where we can do as we want. not necessarily lack free will.
but personally i think this life is crap. and i really need to believe there is a better one out there without the pain and suffering of this one.

kittywits Fri 17-Aug-07 17:49:12

I believe we come back many times.

aloha Fri 17-Aug-07 19:39:27

They are nice actually, they just don't happen, in the main, to believe in imaginary friends
And who wants to spend eternity with a psychopath who dooms folk to everlasting misery just because they have a certain level of rational scepticism?

aloha Fri 17-Aug-07 19:40:30

This life is fab. Wine, trees, sunshine, babies, pizza... I feel so lucky to be alive. Earth is amazing.

FioFio Fri 17-Aug-07 19:44:05

Message withdrawn

aloha Fri 17-Aug-07 19:45:55

But religions are v clear, doesn't matter what you do - if you don't believe/worship, you are doomed

FioFio Fri 17-Aug-07 19:47:45

Message withdrawn

Tranquila Fri 17-Aug-07 19:49:35

im with aloha.

i think its a bloody shame and a stinking waste to write off this life in hope of some fantasy of the next. whether its there or not.

if there were any such thing as the pearly gates, id hope to roll up there and say 'yep, had a fair old innings tghere... gave it a bloody good go. didint always get it right but in the main, my heart was in the right place and i didnt go around sqandering the magic gif of the only life i know i'll have'

call me crazy if you will.

KerryMumbledore Fri 17-Aug-07 19:51:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

oxocube Fri 17-Aug-07 19:51:22

According to scripture, I would most certainly go to Hell yet I am a really nice person . Ask any of my friends!! Personally, I think you have to make the most of every day in the best way you can. My life is far from perfect and there are some things I worry about a lot but I am blessed with great friends, fantastic children, a house I love and am working very hard to keep, a job I enjoy and of course, Aloha's wine and trees!!

I would prefer to live my life to the full now and perhaps pay the consequences later (eternally?) rather than live virtuously and hope for better things to come when I am dead!

startouchedtrinity Fri 17-Aug-07 20:39:12

I used to be a Christian, now am heading towards some kind of Taoist/Buddhist belief. IME there are so many reasons why people want to believe in Christianity. For some it is a need for forgiveness, in this life, for what they have done (imagined or real) - they need absolution and the organised structure of the church to give it. For others it is the belief that they are loved (by God/Jesus) unconditionally that is the draw. Thinking about the people I used to go to church with dwelling on the afterlife plays little part in their everyday faith, but there are branches of Christianity that spend so much time trying to behave/believe in ways to get them into heaven/avoid going to hell that they stop living this life, and certainly don't live by any of the social justice teachings of Jesus Christ.

My belief these days is that I live in the hope of an afterlife, and if it exists I think it is okay. But in case it doesn't, I'm making the most of this one.

Tranquila Fri 17-Aug-07 20:43:39

KM -agree heartily. its SO feckin obvious too, no?? its SO OBVIOUSLY about control and nothing else... i mean, how could anyone be so gullible??

oxo, km, aloha - look forward to any afterlife filled with people of a like mind to us, personally! (tho, really, im pretty happy with the idea that when this life is over, its all done, finished up and all im getting.)

yama Fri 17-Aug-07 20:50:16

Didn't Nietchze say something like "Fear is the mother of morality"?

Sorry to turn the question on its head but isn't fear of hell or not getting into a 'good' afterlife more the driving force for believers?

Otherwise doing good without recompense is surely the most worthy.

KerryMumbledore Fri 17-Aug-07 20:52:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yama Fri 17-Aug-07 21:11:04

I remember a priest once saying that Christianity isn't a menu - you can't pick and choose what you want to believe.

I thought - that's EXACTLY what it is. Why can't we pick and choose? If we can read and are critical thinkers then we can interpret for ourselves.

startouchedtrinity Fri 17-Aug-07 21:13:24

Again, as a former believer with friends who still believe the driving force behind the way most of them live is the idea of service and gratitude, for a variety of reasons. For many it is that they believe Jesus really did sacrifice himself for the sake of their sins. For others it is gratitude for what they have in this life, and for believing themselves to be loved by God. Being 'good' to avoid going to hell may b epopular in the US Bible belt but I've araely encountered it here.

Organised religion isn't so much about control - I never felt controlled by the church, although I was extremely pissed off with it - but it does exist to serve itself. All churches tie themselves in knots trying to get more people (esp. families) and it isn't so that they can control them, it is so that they can continue to exist and to justify their existence and the voice that they have in society.

I don't agree with organised religion simply because it is divisive. Anything that makes me say, 'I am this but you are that' is a recipe for war.

ProjectIcarus Fri 17-Aug-07 21:19:12

I think the afterlife is a reinforcer for those who are worried about hell.

Some people really like being told what to do so they are not responsible for their own actions too so the idea of a divine force controlling everything negates any input from them.

<not thinking of anyone in particular oh no >

yama Fri 17-Aug-07 21:25:02

Personally I think that the actions of some churches show that they haven't interpreted the words and actions of Jesus the same way I have (and I'm not decided as to whether I believe he was the Son of God).

I interpret forgiveness, compassion and love of the poor/outcasts as being particularly important.

Churches may preach forgiveness and compassion but do they all practice it (to all people)?

startouchedtrinity Fri 17-Aug-07 21:26:59

I do think the idea of an afterlife is a massive comfort to those who cannot cope with the idea of loss.

And the idea of hell (and karma/reincarnation) comforts some of those who see little justice in this world.

GodzillasBumcheek Fri 17-Aug-07 21:30:48

I do often wonder if when my mum was well...did she do any of the nice things she did because she wanted to, or because she was scared of what would happen to her after she died if, say, she turned my sister away when she needed to return home? But that is only because my mum was Very Very religious - i wouldn't have the same doubts about my sister for example.

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