Posted by Exodus 22:19 on September 01, 2001 at 08:20:26:
: We live in a world where people are growing more educated, information spread more widely and the foundations of belief are tested every day. The advent of new technology and inventions have meant that a growing moral crisis is occuring in society.
One person's 'moral crisis' is another's 'progress'. How can you say the advent of new technology causes moral crisis? Are you referring to topics such as cloning? Is it really a moral crisis that we are now able to clone human beings? We have always been able to murder/steal, and most people consider these activities to be wrong just as currently most people consider human cloning wrong. That may or may not change, but 'moral crisis' suggests a radical change in people's fundamental beliefs which hasn't happened.
: Religion is a means of defining one's own brand of morals and beliefs and is in the majority a reasonable system. The christian faith (after numerous crusades and inquisitions) now preaches a message of goodness which is heeded by many worldwide. As the world expands, and if Christianity begins its decline, what becomes of this world?
People have always found something to believe in whether that be religion or fate or themselves. Is this a suggestion that if Christianity declines then a measure of good in the world will decline?
: God as well as law was a method of keeping society in line. The belief that there was severe punishment in the afterlife kept many on the straight and narrow. The growing number of disbelievers has possibly meant more moral decay and growth in crimes. Undoubtedly, honesty is playing a far lesser role than in the past. Divorces are now prevalent in 50% of marriages and lawsuits grow constantly.
True, God was used by many churches to keep people in line. It was also used by those in power to manipulate, often in ways which would be considered immoral by most today, even against the law. The decline of organised religion would not mean moral decay imho, as those who have the inclination to commit crimes will do so and those who have faith will always find something to believe in. As for divorces and lawsuits..... blame the lawyers! :)
: As more mundane issues are sorted out, humanity has more time than ever to ponder issues and beliefs. What causes crime? Is it genetic, societal, free-will or combinations of the three? Is there a God? What is the meaning of life? Are questions which are being asked more commonly and more people are seeking different answers to find their own truth.
Absolutely... this is a very good thing. And in the end, it does come down to the individual finding their own truth, possibly with some outside influence.
: However, I believe the issue that underpins this search for 'meaning', for 'God' is death. This is an issue which is not discussed in polite society yet is becoming a more frightening prospect as belief in religion frays. Believing in God and Heaven and a blissful afterlife is a means of allaying these fears, and has been the balm for billions untold in the past and present.
See above point... a question for you though - is it ego that underpins the yearning for an afterlife? Do individuals feel that their lives are too significant to disappear at death, or do they think there is just something more to life?
: The question remains, if there is no heaven what remains for the rest of us? Nirvana, reincarnation, karma, spiritual dissipation are all suggestions commonly brought out. These suggestions prompt hope, and are grasped at to avoid thinking about the alternative.
Yes, but people are finding these answers within themselves, and this is the only place you can really look for answers of this kind.
: What is the concept of void? An eternity of darkness and endless sleep. What happens at night when we lose consciousness? Billions have lived on this world before us, billions are undoubtedly likely to follow. What is one life in the midst of so many others in the grand scheme of things, particularly on one planet in the middle of a wide cosmos?
A void is a space which contains nothing. If you did cease to exist in death, then you would not leave a void and there would be no concept of darkness/cold etc. There would be nothing.
: Some may welcome death as a release from the sufferings of life, but the bleakness is one which should be considered carefully. An endless coma from where there is no possible awakening beckons perhaps instead of blissful heaven. A period of time where your consciousness will never ever exist again. In the scheme of history we are mere letters in a lengthy book.
Again, the assumption is that in death you still exist, even if perhaps not in your current form if at all. You are using words which are from the reality you experience now such as 'endless coma' and 'bleakness' when infact as we all know, when you die you are no longer in this reality (or at least this version of this reality).
: This is the fear that lies within our heart of hearts, the modern society where wealth and power are the tangible goals sought. Hedonism becomes more prevalent as we seek to enjoy every moment of life before the end eventually befalls. Death comes to all, good, evil, poor or rich. It is a scary concept where every person seeks to cope in their own way.
: Perhaps the best method is to never even consider it.
If you could, I'd like you to explain how it is scary? Khe sera sera...
: What hope is there then? Religion offers a possible solution and a life-line to grasp at. After all as they say, what is there to lose? Denial is always comforting. Maybe we should enjoy life as much as we can, maximising our own pleasure at the cost of others, for what does it all matter in the grand scheme of things? Certainly, that is also a possibility, and many choose to do so.
You have a strange definition of hope.... no one beats death, it comes to us all at somestage and is essentially unpreventable in the end. Therefore why would you lose hope in death? No-one is singled out to cheat death, so hope doesn't come into the equation. Again it comes down to people's fear of death, and that comes from in the individual. Only the individual knows for sure why they fear death, and it is different for different people.
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