The ethics of afterlives
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25-10-2017, 07:49 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2017 07:56 AM by Free.)
RE: The ethics of afterlives
(25-10-2017 01:52 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  For the purposes of this thread, I'll be discussing the theists who believe something like this:

1) There is an intelligent being who decides which kind of afterlife everyone gets.

2) To qualify for the best conditions in the afterlife, possibly among other things, you have to be in the right religion.

3) For those who don't qualify (including everyone not in the right religion), they have something less desirable happen to them. This could be anything from a less nice but positive place, all the way down to torture.

4) The being could just as easily give everyone the best afterlife.

If someone truly believes that all of this is true, fair enough. I'm not going to question that in this thread. But what I don't understand is how anyone could endorse this system as being fair or desirable, and how they could consider this being to be in any way ethical, let alone worthy of worship.

If you buy into the whole system, it seems you're supposed to figure out which is the "correct religion" by reading a load of ancient texts and listening to adherents trying to convince you. What on Earth is the point of that, and what is really being tested here? To someone like me who wasn't indoctrinated into any religion, they all read like the same sort of primitive nonsense. How one is supposed to play this game of lottery over your soul which is being held to ransom, I don't know.

I understand the practical approach, that if you really believe this is how the system works (and you somehow know what the right religion is), that you're going to get in the right lane so as to get the best rewards. It makes sense, especially since you're usually described as spending eternity there. But aren't these people secretly thinking that this whole setup is a load of crap, and blatantly unfair? Secretly thinking this being is a douche? If they are, it's odd that it doesn't care about this. Well, the whole thing is odd from start to finish. It seems like a bizarre experiment at our expense, with absolutely no point in following through since those still alive don't see the results.

This seems grossly unethical to me, and I'm surprised it doesn't cause more people to leave their religion on these grounds. As well as being a completely stupid system, it's also obviously unfair on all the billions of people who get born into the "wrong" religion. That being should be aware that statistically a very high percentage of these will stick with this religion, and thus fail; while people who are born into the "right" religion do exactly the same thing and "pass".

I guess it's all part of the indoctrination that no matter what this being does, it must be ethical, and still worthy of worship. In Christianity I've noticed a lot of people shying away from the Hell concept, filling in the blanks with all manner of strange ideas. To be fair, the Bible does not focus a whole lot on this and isn't especially clear. In contrast, the Quran routinely mentions how non-adherents are going to suffer forever, leaving no doubt at all. Obviously, I don't understand how any being that would torture another being could ever be consider ethical.

There's nothing ethical about lying to the masses. It's like:

"Want some candy, little girl?"

Organized religions have given carte blanche to every damn scam artist who makes any kind of claim about some ethereal superman hovering somewhere above the clouds, and who promises a reward to do his bidding.

"Want some candy, little girl?"

Why is this not a crime? Since we condemn those who do make promises but never deliver on them, why do we allow these bastards to get away with fleecing the masses of their hard earned money?

There is nothing ethical about this criminal activity at all. Selling false hope at a premium, while preaching how science and reason is a lie and denying the people the opportunity to be properly educated all in the name of what-the-fuck-ever/flavor-of-the-month.

"Want some candy, little girl?"

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25-10-2017, 09:08 AM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
(25-10-2017 01:52 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  For the purposes of this thread, I'll be discussing the theists who believe something like this:

1) There is an intelligent being who decides which kind of afterlife everyone gets.

2) To qualify for the best conditions in the afterlife, possibly among other things, you have to be in the right religion.

3) For those who don't qualify (including everyone not in the right religion), they have something less desirable happen to them. This could be anything from a less nice but positive place, all the way down to torture.

4) The being could just as easily give everyone the best afterlife.

If someone truly believes that all of this is true, fair enough. I'm not going to question that in this thread. But what I don't understand is how anyone could endorse this system as being fair or desirable, and how they could consider this being to be in any way ethical, let alone worthy of worship.

If you buy into the whole system, it seems you're supposed to figure out which is the "correct religion" by reading a load of ancient texts and listening to adherents trying to convince you. What on Earth is the point of that, and what is really being tested here? To someone like me who wasn't indoctrinated into any religion, they all read like the same sort of primitive nonsense. How one is supposed to play this game of lottery over your soul which is being held to ransom, I don't know.

I understand the practical approach, that if you really believe this is how the system works (and you somehow know what the right religion is), that you're going to get in the right lane so as to get the best rewards. It makes sense, especially since you're usually described as spending eternity there. But aren't these people secretly thinking that this whole setup is a load of crap, and blatantly unfair? Secretly thinking this being is a douche? If they are, it's odd that it doesn't care about this. Well, the whole thing is odd from start to finish. It seems like a bizarre experiment at our expense, with absolutely no point in following through since those still alive don't see the results.

This seems grossly unethical to me, and I'm surprised it doesn't cause more people to leave their religion on these grounds. As well as being a completely stupid system, it's also obviously unfair on all the billions of people who get born into the "wrong" religion. That being should be aware that statistically a very high percentage of these will stick with this religion, and thus fail; while people who are born into the "right" religion do exactly the same thing and "pass".

I guess it's all part of the indoctrination that no matter what this being does, it must be ethical, and still worthy of worship. In Christianity I've noticed a lot of people shying away from the Hell concept, filling in the blanks with all manner of strange ideas. To be fair, the Bible does not focus a whole lot on this and isn't especially clear. In contrast, the Quran routinely mentions how non-adherents are going to suffer forever, leaving no doubt at all. Obviously, I don't understand how any being that would torture another being could ever be consider ethical.

(25-10-2017 01:52 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  To someone like me who wasn't indoctrinated into any religion, they all read like the same sort of primitive nonsense.

I'm in the same boat. I was never indoctrinated into any religion so when I started to read about religious beliefs I could immideiately see the similarities between all the religions. Some of the details are a little different but it's mostly the same nonsense the world over.

Humans have written god stories to have all the abilities and atributes that we ordinary folks don't have but wish we posessed. All the gods, from Jesus to Lord Shiva to Odin, defy the physics of the Earth that constrain the rest of us poor schmucks. The greatest of all human fears is death, which limits us regular Earth bound humans to this one small space of time but which the gods amazingly seem to have completely overcome. And what keeps religions going, what is common among all religions, is the promise of an eternal afterlife for us ordinary folks. Of course this ALWAYS involves a lot of rules and regulations to follow in order to get to that afterlife. If we follow the rules carefully then the promise is fulfilled, if not then we're cooked!

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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25-10-2017, 09:10 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2017 09:34 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: The ethics of afterlives
(25-10-2017 01:52 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  But what I don't understand is how anyone could endorse this system as being fair or desirable, and how they could consider this being to be in any way ethical, let alone worthy of worship.

The concept of Hell is just revenge porn for people who feel undervalued in life and who believe that the world isn't what it should be if their God really exists. They think people must be punished for rebelling against their God, since their God always has the finally say (but obviously doesn't in this life).

So I don't think ethics had much to do with it.
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25-10-2017, 10:20 AM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
(25-10-2017 09:10 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(25-10-2017 01:52 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  But what I don't understand is how anyone could endorse this system as being fair or desirable, and how they could consider this being to be in any way ethical, let alone worthy of worship.

The concept of Hell is just revenge porn for people who feel undervalued in life and who believe that the world isn't what it should be if their God really exists. They think people must be punished for rebelling against their God, since their God always has the finally say (but obviously doesn't in this life).

So I don't think ethics had much to do with it.
Ya pretty much.

The usual fundamentalist riposte to all this would be that god is our creator and therefore has total rights to decide right / wrong and reward / punishment. Heaps of special pleading are added to allow god to do as he pleases while denying this right to all lesser beings, especially those of us subject to his all-seeing Eye.

On another forum today a fundamentalist also reminded us that "god hates sinners". I asked him whatever happened to "hate the sin, love the sinner". He said that's a good guideline for us humans but not for god, as the scriptures teach that he "hates sinners". I thanked him for admitting that his god is hateful and has double standards [shrug]. Like I said: special pleading, through and through.
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25-10-2017, 10:42 AM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
(25-10-2017 01:52 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  But what I don't understand is how anyone could endorse this system as being fair or desirable, and how they could consider this being to be in any way ethical, let alone worthy of worship.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, free will, and God doesn't want robot friends. That's as deep as the rabbit hole goes. Never mind that it means that God has to allow you to actually rape someone to know whether or not you really love him.
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25-10-2017, 10:49 AM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
If there is an afterlife or if I can be a ghost I am gonna fuck with people like crazy.

[Image: im-gonna-fuck-the-cuddle-out-of-you-a-6244524.png]

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25-10-2017, 04:17 PM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
I'm going to pretend this god exists for a fictional moment.

Either it controls my every action while I'm alive or I control my actions.
If it controls my actions, then there is NO judgement in an after life situation. It would be judging it's own actions.

If I control my actions, and it doesn't judge me each and every day, then why would it judge me after I died ?
If it doesn't interfere in my life, there is no reason to think it would interfere in my after life.

If there is an after life, why would it suddenly BEGIN to care about what I did just a few moments ago when I was alive ?

Why would the milestone of death be the deciding factor for this being to suddenly jump in and say "I'm going to control where you go and what you do from now on" ?

I find the idea of a god only making itself known to you after you are dead to be rather stupid.

God character "I'm going to judge you now."

Me - "Why judge me now ? What is so important about judging me right now the moment after I died ? Could you wait one more week and judge me then ? How about wait a year or 500 years, maybe 500 million years ? What is so urgent ? Everything I did in the past isn't going anywhere. It's still going to be there tomorrow. Is it possible for me to leave or escape ? Where would I escape to ? And what makes you think that you have any power over me ? I'm an undefined entity. I can see no reason why I wouldn't have limitless, infinite power. You say you are here to judge me, but by all accounts, I don't think you can."

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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26-10-2017, 01:09 AM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
That's a very good point, I hadn't thought of that.

And of course, any sort of infinite punishment (or inconvenience) is an unethical way to respond to a finite lifetime of actions. It achieves absolutely nothing except as a deterrent for others, and why would God want to coerce people so badly? Seeing as they don't see what's happening, it doesn't even make sense in that regard.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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26-10-2017, 06:45 PM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
(26-10-2017 01:09 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  And of course, any sort of infinite punishment (or inconvenience) is an unethical way to respond to a finite lifetime of actions. It achieves absolutely nothing except as a deterrent for others, and why would God want to coerce people so badly? Seeing as they don't see what's happening, it doesn't even make sense in that regard.
Well it isn't much of a deterrent or at least a really half-assed one, given that only single-digit percentages of humans are evangelicals with the "correct" understanding of how to appropriate god's forgiveness. It's not so much a deterrent as a threat to cudgel fence-sitters into compliance.

The real objective of any useful penal system is rehabilitation, and of course infinite eternal punishment holds out no hope for reform or returning to the general human community. The only possible thing it can satisfy is a sadistic desire to inflict pain on whoever is in charge of the joint. This is one reason Satan is nominally considered in charge of operations even though the scriptures don't teach that this is the case. That way he does god's dirty work and masks the fact that it's god's need for vengeance that really drives things.
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26-10-2017, 07:13 PM
RE: The ethics of afterlives
(25-10-2017 01:52 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  For the purposes of this thread, I'll be discussing the theists who believe something like this:

You do realize you're an odd duck, right? Big Grin

#sigh
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