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Re: Death and Religion (very very very very very long)

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Posted by Ezekiel 25:17 on September 02, 2001 at 00:41:32:

In Reply to: Re: Death and Religion (very very very long) posted by Exodus 22:19 on September 01, 2001 at 08:20:26:

Wow, another intelligent post, who would have thought :)

What is Exodus 22:19?

Before I go any further here, I'd just like to clarify my main point in this post was that 'fear of death' is one of the foundations of religion.
My other point was 'fear of death' leads to hedonism and alternative beliefs and seeks to clarify what other options are available.

: 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? That may or may not change, but 'moral crisis' suggests a radical change in people's fundamental beliefs which hasn't happened.

Cloning, euthanasia, drugs, abortion, suicide are all issues which are the talking points of current society. I didn't mean new technology was the cause of 'moral crisis', in any other terms than as growing societal thought on the value of human life.

Personally I believe, that fundamental changes in belief (namely the belief in God) has undergone rapid change due to the advent of new technology (space travel, cloning etc.) Even though, God has made himself fully aware of the new internet techonology and seems to be present at various sites :)

:Is this a suggestion that if Christianity declines then a measure of good in the world will decline?

That is the belief of many. I disagree. I merely state that Christianity provides the basis for the morals of a relatively large section of the public. Is it cynical to suggest that lack of belief in Christianity results in many people finding it difficult to behave in a humane fashion?

: 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! :)

That's a very cynical approach to things :)
I totally agree with that. However, blaming lawyers for divorces is like blaming doctors for causing sickness.

I think the key point to this is 'free will' which I think I'll cover in another long, windy post later on.

: 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?

A good question and a tough one. My perception is that life is short when compared with the totality of human existence. Our lives no matter how mundane are ours alone, and the sudden ending of life, ours or someone close to us, is a period where people mourn. Undoubtedly the ego has a large role to play in this, but then again, few things in life don't revolve around the ego.
Basic human instinct revolves around survival primarily, thus fear of death is just part of the natural process for most. (Do I overly generalise here?)

If heaven truly existed, we should not mourn the death of others, but celebrate their passing into a better place. Furthermore, why would those who believe in heaven rather spend their lives here in an imperfect world rather than speed their own way to heaven and a perfect existence? Isn't this because this is where some doubt may creep in?

: 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.

Nothing for eternity and beyond, doesn't that scare most people?

: 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).

I would think that when we die, we are no longer in any reality :) Its difficult to explain, but I'm not trying to state that we exist in any way or form but I lack the vocabulary to be succinct.

: If you could, I'd like you to explain how it is scary? Khe sera sera...

Don't you fear death? or do you fear public speaking more? (stupid statistics)
The only possible reason for not fearing death is if you have another cognizant explanation of what the afterlife consists of, or a very strong sense of will. If you believe, life is all there is, what prevents you from whole-heartedly seeking a life of pure hedonism?

: 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.

Hope springs from various sources. Some find inspiration in a poem, others in a religion, whilst some find it internally. (don't try self-operation at home kiddies, hope and souls are non-extractable)

Losing hope in death, if I may be so bold, is to have the totality of all your achievements in life reduced to nothing. What does it matter if you were President, or written about in history books if you have no consciousness to remember it. When even these history books will be nothing but dust in a few centuries more. Who will remember whether you were a good or bad person, and will it really matter?
The only real hope, is that just before you die, you manage to inspire enough converts to start a new religion based on you, and someday these converts will conquer the world and find a way to resurrect you. :) (start now, time's ticking away)
: (continued)

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