The great problem of eternal life.
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12-08-2011, 09:40 AM
 
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
(12-08-2011 08:29 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(11-08-2011 05:58 PM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  I think I should add this to my "Why I hate atheists" thread...

...because an all knowing, all powerful, all capable god could never correct a problem like this.

I think the main problem atheists have with a claim like this is because we don't live in eternal bliss right now, and this is also a world created by a being that claims he could make such a world.

I know the argument against "Why does God allow evil?", which is obviously that we were given free will. However, there doesn't seem to be a need for free will in Heaven, and if there were, eternal bliss could not be guaranteed. And if we don't need free will in Heaven, why do we need it now? Couldn't a God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow create a "Heaven on Earth"? And I think every reader's personal experience could testify that we don't live in such a state.

So... it's logical to doubt that a creator of this world could create a happy afterlife.

The argument against the problem of evil is a maddeningly lousy one, if you could even justify calling it an argument. An omnipotent God would have an infinite number of ways he could create life with free will and still not permit evil and suffering. Even people harming each other isn't an issue. Arguing that we need to be able to hurt each other to have free will is like arguing that we don't have free will because we can't telepathically attack another person's mind, or harm them in some other way that isn't possible. Free will seems to be replaced with omnipotence. Then you also have the immense suffering caused by natural occurrences unrelated to our "free will", which is even more obviously unnecessary. Each and every one of these arguments is pathetic, and they boil down to an inability of theists to admit that, if an omnipotent god created the universe, he either a) created all the evil and suffering intentionally or b) didn't/doesn't give a shit.

So to say that we cannot have a heaven or eternal life without sacrificing the heaven aspect or the free will aspect is a very poor argument, because it's based on the notion that theists actually had a solid argument in response to another problem with their belief system Tongue

It is, however, a good point to bring up if somebody wants to use the free will excuse to solve the problem of evil
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12-08-2011, 03:10 PM
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
(12-08-2011 09:40 AM)Zach Wrote:  So to say that we cannot have a heaven or eternal life without sacrificing the heaven aspect or the free will aspect is a very poor argument, because it's based on the notion that theists actually had a solid argument in response to another problem with their belief system Tongue

Solid argument or not, it is the argument that is presented in defense of Theodicy. Obviously you and I agree that it is a bad argument, because we are atheists. It didn't and doesn't convince us.

There are plenty of people, though, that think it's perfectly reasonable.These same people believe that God created Hell and never wanted people to fill it. He created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil but didn't know that humans would end up eating from it, even though He's omnipotent. He's a perfect creator but made imperfect creations. I could go on, but the ThinkingAtheist videos have already made fun of these perceptions.

I believe it's all nonsense, but it would be silly to assume that it is actual nonsense just because a lot of people like me think it is - just like it would be silly to assume that it's Great Truth just because a lot of people think it is.
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13-08-2011, 01:16 AM
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
(11-08-2011 05:39 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Wouldn't it depend on the kind of life?
Not in our old bodies, obviously, so that's one problem solved. If pure mind, maybe it could keep learning and growing, absorbing non-physical experiences, perhaps to evolve into something quite different. Maybe it could enter material vessels, animate and inanimate, on various planets, for however long it wants to; go dormant for however long it wants to. Intergalactic, dimensional and time travel. Christians have little imagination - better to consult sf writers instead.

Hi Peterkin.
I think the points you raise are quite sensible.
We could be part of an ever evolving phenomenon the point of which may have very little to do with all of the worlds religions. Within eternity many things are possible.
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13-08-2011, 09:01 AM
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
You ever have those moments when you've just said or done something out of character, inexplicable? Ever used the excuse: "I'm not myself today"? Ever gone someplace in your dreams that you've never seen or imagined?
Maybe it's the spirit of some dead Ming dynasty peasant, or Klingon warrior or Centuran whale, taking a short vacation in your head.

No, i don't for a second believe a word of it. But, hey, if you're going to fantasize, don't settle for the petty xtian bs - have fun; go big!

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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13-08-2011, 12:53 PM
 
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
(12-08-2011 03:10 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(12-08-2011 09:40 AM)Zach Wrote:  So to say that we cannot have a heaven or eternal life without sacrificing the heaven aspect or the free will aspect is a very poor argument, because it's based on the notion that theists actually had a solid argument in response to another problem with their belief system Tongue

Solid argument or not, it is the argument that is presented in defense of Theodicy. Obviously you and I agree that it is a bad argument, because we are atheists. It didn't and doesn't convince us.

There are plenty of people, though, that think it's perfectly reasonable.These same people believe that God created Hell and never wanted people to fill it. He created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil but didn't know that humans would end up eating from it, even though He's omnipotent. He's a perfect creator but made imperfect creations. I could go on, but the ThinkingAtheist videos have already made fun of these perceptions.

I believe it's all nonsense, but it would be silly to assume that it is actual nonsense just because a lot of people like me think it is - just like it would be silly to assume that it's Great Truth just because a lot of people think it is.

I completely agree with you, I just think that if we're going to discuss the afterlife we shouldn't consider flawed premises. We can construct a plausible scenario with a happy afterlife because there's so little we can say about one if it existed. It would just be based on our complete ignorance, and it would be stupid if we went from allowing the possibility to arguing for its existence.
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14-08-2011, 09:52 AM
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
Great point. We don't know what an afterlife looks like, or even what it's like to live in a state of happiness or bliss (point #4, but the whole article is a great read). It's all constructed from the imagination.
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14-08-2011, 07:59 PM
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
I don't know about "eternity." I'd like to have many thousands of years in this reality to explore some exoplanets in person. In fact I've had arrangements for my cryonic suspension with the Alcor Foundation since 1990.
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23-08-2011, 03:23 PM
How would you like your funeral to be?
Down here in Oz a radio station often asks this question in an advertisment for funeral parlours.
Death of course is a thriving business with the remaining parties given the guilt treatment in order to spend up big on elaborate coffins and funerals.
Recently a prominent undeground figure here was buried in a $50000 casket.
What a hell of a waste; I really can't see the point and wonder if atheists needs in this area vary much from theists.
Are really elaborate funerals a belated sign of love and respect or simply a corporate gimmick ,and what of burning up expensive coffins?
Cardboard is an option I had contemplated before deciding that I did't want a funeral at all.
The best option ,as I see it, is body donation to the anatomy department of a university.
How would you like your funeral to be?Big Grin
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23-08-2011, 04:10 PM
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
I've always wanted to composted and spread under an apple tree. Seems that's not legal yet. Next best - and by far the most hygienic - thing is simple cremation: no mourners, no ceremony, no memorial, no marker.

Tibetan sky burial is good, too. Put the corpse out on a rock for the vultures. Me and Jack Nicholson... yeah.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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23-08-2011, 04:47 PM
RE: The great problem of eternal life.
I wanted someone to plant a new tree over me while I'm buried in one of those eco-coffins. What's this about it not being legal? Who made that law?? Federal? State?

Although, honestly the donation to science/medical students option is beginning to appeal to me even more now. I see the value. The tree idea was personal and emotional. The donation idea seems more utilitarian and social. Geez, they may have to cut me in half!

As for eternity...my luck isn't good enough for me to want to push it that far. With my luck I'll still be paying my mortgage...for eternity. And still working. Yeesh.

"If pleasure remains, does it remain a pleasure?"

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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