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Passions in Poetry

Tuck Everlasting

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IcyFlamez89
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0 posted 02-20-2003 11:11 PM       View Profile for IcyFlamez89   Email IcyFlamez89   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit IcyFlamez89's Home Page   View IP for IcyFlamez89

The book was so touching it actually made me cry. It made think hard about immortality. It is so overrated. To live forever is not as great as it sounds. With immortality, you have the time to achieve all goals, all dreams. You can witness and discover every secret of this and every other universe out there. But what happens when you've seen all things? What do you do? Maybe the first trillion years are the most exciting part of your life exploring a planet, meeting an alien, but after that you have an eternity left, and you have nothing to witness anymore. You've done evrything there is to do. You deserve peace, but you won't find it. You'll be bored out of your mind that you will wish for death, and it will not come. Does anyone wish for life everlasting? for me, I just wish to see what I want to see and choose when to pass away, so I can have closure. I would never want to live forever. Life rite now is too short, immortality is too long, is there a good life span between these two extremes that we can be content with? (Let me know if I make any sense, b/c most of the time I only know half of what I'm sayin, lollz)

Emotions and Philosophy, my source of Inspiration

Stephanos
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1 posted 02-22-2003 09:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I haven't read the book.  Maybe you could summarize the story for me.


Given immortality, boredom would only be a problem if we were confined to a finite world having infinite desire, or if placed in an infinite world,  being forever ill equipped to experience it rightly.  For example, a blind man would probably not care one whit more if he were placed in a world where the spectrum produced 400 more visible colors.  But if you had infinite desire with infinite experience fitted to that desire, then life would be literally Heaven.  It really depends on what you believe is the nature of immortality and death.  If the "world to come" couples limited experience with unlimited duration and desire ... then boredom would, as you say, be intolerable.  

Your suggestion is interesting that death might  be preferred to such an incongruous state, when most views people hold of "eternal life" are in the main beyond dying.  When we speak of closure, peace, and rest, in referring to the grave, we are smuggling in the experiences of life.  Any tolerable view of death involves life itself.  Annihilation for me is hopeless.  If that is true then any comforts we may derive from thinking about closure would be illusory.  We may know that finishing a day's work, or a good meal, or a college exam, brings satisfaction.  But passing from life into nonentity is not something that we know at all.  In fact the concept itself makes all  knowledge futile.  Life would be the greatest and cruelest of enigmas.  Goals and dreams (as you mentioned as your standard of value in life) would be perfectly meaningless.  


To answer your question, I do desire "life everlasting".  But I guess that's because of what I believe is true about the nature of God, reality, and humanity.  Because God created all things, and because of his benevolence, he gave us desires that might ultimately be met.  Only a diabolical mind would create desires that would go unmet.  But the meeting of these desires was made contingent upon himself.   As humanity has tried to meet them outside of God's will and plan, frustration and despair has ensued.  I see the Christian worldview as the fullest expression of eternal life because it promises us infinite supply to meet our infinite desire.  As God is also called the "Creator", he is able to create infinite expressions of his love and grace.  I don't think anyone will ever be bored in Heaven.  But whichever way, I think that we are all created with that boundless desire.  Often it is nameless and elusive to our definition, but we all reach for it in some form or another.  Even your desire for peace and closure envisioned in physical death, is a positive and opaque something that meets want.  When I hear you say that, I really am hearing you say that you want life.  


Perhaps the greatest imageries connected with both Heaven and Hell are those which speak of fulfilled or unmet desire.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (02-22-2003 10:06 PM).]

IcyFlamez89
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2 posted 02-25-2003 10:48 PM       View Profile for IcyFlamez89   Email IcyFlamez89   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit IcyFlamez89's Home Page   View IP for IcyFlamez89

I dont wanna be a spoiler, so Ill give the jist of it. Its about a family (the Tucks) who accidentally drank from a spring that have them eternal life, kinda like a fountain of youth. This is their blessing and their curse. They cannot get hurt, age (physical appearance), or die. Then a girl named Winnie Foster accidentaly stumbles onto their secret and she tries to protect the family from those tryin to exploit them. Near the end, one of the Tucks gives her a small bottle filed with the water that gives immortality. So now she has to choose whether she should live on forever or let her life pass naturaly. However, this immortality is different from your view of having eternal life with God. Unlike a christian view of eternal life, she must live immortal in this earthly world still full of sin. The book touches some very spiritual themes like the value of like, the natural cycle of the balance of life and death, and how it should not be disturbed by those who are greed and seek immortality for personal gain. It's a simple story and a 5th grader could understand it. Read it and see what you get out of it. Tuck Everlasting by natalie Babbitt.
Stephanos
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3 posted 02-26-2003 12:45 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Thanks for the synopsis.  Is the movie a pretty good representation of the book?  I've got so many backlogged books to get to that I can't say that I will read it any time soon.  But perhaps I'll get to it.


You wrote:

"this immortality is different from your view of having eternal life with God."


That's a good point.  I guess that in your initial statement and question, you had this particular "immortality" in mind (fresh from reading Tuck), or either your own view of immortality was closer to what was represented in the book.   Either way, the nature of immortality must be addressed, either before, during, or after answering your question.  Whatever answer may be given to your question depends on it.  If you had instead given the statement and question:  "I prefer to sleep in room B.  Would you prefer to spend the night in room A or room B?"  I would have to know some things about both of those rooms before I would venture an answer.  Or perhaps I am very familiar with rooms A & B, and you are not.  Maybe I have spent the night in both, but you have only read about them in an ad.  I might then attempt to inform or correct, and persuade you that room A is far better.  Then again, maybe we both don't know anything about these rooms, and our answers are mere speculation.  A lot would influence our discussions about these rooms and of course, the analogy breaks down at certain points when it comes to eternal life.  Because while there aren't many who believe that we can't really know anything about rooms, or that rooms don't really exist, there are certainly those who believe such things about these matters.  My epistemic belief is that we can know such things, though I don't claim it's cleared up quite as easily as walking a skeptic into a parlour, to show him that rooms are real.


you also wrote:

"Unlike a christian view of eternal life, she must live immortal in this earthly world still full of sin. The book touches some very spiritual themes like the value of like, the natural cycle of the balance of life and death, and how it should not be disturbed by those who are greed and seek immortality for personal gain."


I would have to agree that a world full of sin and progressive corruption would not be a desirable eternal abode.  This idea is also expressed in the book of Genesis (chapter 3:22-24).  When Adam and Eve had sinned and were ousted from the paradise, an angel with a flaming sword was set to guard the way back in.  The purpose apparantly was to bar the way to the tree of life (immortality).  The idea seems to be that an eternal duration of sinful life would be the ultimate nightmare.  Humanity would be permitted to eat from the tree of life again, but only after another Adam (Christ) came forth to another garden and another tree.  This would also show physical death to be a mercy of God, as well as a judgement.  Many of the ideas from "Tuck", from what you say seem agreeable to the ideas in scripture.



Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (02-26-2003 12:58 AM).]

fractal007
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4 posted 03-06-2003 08:30 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

You are making several assumptions in this post:

1>  Nothing new will ever be created:

"With immortality, you have the time to achieve all goals, all dreams. You can witness and discover every secret of this and every other universe out there. But what happens when you've seen all things?"

Also stemming from this statement is an assumption that one's personal dreams and ambitions never change with time or accumulation of knowledge and experience.

"I just wish to see what I want to see and choose when to pass away, so I can have closure"

I too have seen what I've wanted to see.  But after seeing it, I have found that new questions and things to see always arise after I have reached a certain goal in my life.  After all, once you reach the top of a mountain you've always wanted to climb your perspective on things changes.

Check out the beginning of Stephen Hawking's essay "An End in Sight For Theoretical Physics?"  

"If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"
-- Magus
"there is no good and evil, there are just sides."
-- Local Parasite

Opeth
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5 posted 05-23-2003 12:02 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Annihilation for me is hopeless."

~ What do you mean by that statement? Or did you mean to say, hopelessness?

"If that is true then any comforts we may derive from thinking about closure would be illusory.  We may know that finishing a day's work, or a good meal, or a college exam, brings satisfaction.  But passing from life into nonentity is not something that we know at all."

~ People who know that they are dying would know either satisfaction or dissatisfaction, but where in the rules of life does it say dying should be comforting as in passing a college  exam?

"In fact the concept itself makes all  knowledge futile.  Life would be the greatest and cruelest of enigmas.  Goals and dreams (as you mentioned as your standard of value in life) would be perfectly meaningless."

~ I completely disagree with that statement, and logically so, because life on earth indeed lives on providing meaning to one's life, if one deserves any meaning to begin with.  

Stephanos
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6 posted 05-24-2003 12:15 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

"What do you mean by that statement? Or did you mean to say, hopelessness?"

I don't really see the difference between using hopeless and hoplelessness.  One is an adjective and the other a noun, but of the same idea.  

What did I mean?  I meant that living 70 or so years then passing into oblivion seems a hopeless prospect.


"where in the rules of life does it say dying should be comforting as in passing a college  exam?"

That's not my thrust.  I was not trying to trivialize death, or to say that it is, in itself, comforting.  I was trying to say that when people connect thoughts of "peace" or "rest" or "closure" to death, they do so only by projecting life images onto death.  Since death is hitherto unexperienced by living people, they draw on the resources of life for their expectations, hopes, desires, or even fears.  In a roundabout way I was asserting that having hope in death at all, must presuppose life.  And thus, death without immortality is a hopeless prospect.


"I completely disagree with that statement, and logically so, because life on earth indeed lives on providing meaning to one's life, if one deserves any meaning to begin with."

I don't really understand your sentence fully.  Maybe you could rephrase it.  However, again I was simply expressing that without immortality or some goal beyond physical life, that all values are meaningless .... whatever is loved, hated, cherished, acheived, dreamed, lost, etc... is of no consequence.


Stephen.  
Ron
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7 posted 05-24-2003 01:54 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Stephen, it would be equally true (and equally false) to conclude that immortality makes all values meaningless. Wouldn't every day be a like a dollar bill to a billionaire? What matter love or hope or achievement when there are none of the limitations imposed by time?
Opeth
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8 posted 05-24-2003 11:11 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"I meant that living 70 or so years then passing into oblivion seems a hopeless prospect."

~ It is too bad you feel that way. To me, living 70 or so years and then passing into oblivion seems natural. Afterall, it is the standing fact of life, at least until those of us living actually meet a person who has died.

As for rephrasing my previous statement, I meant this...

I believe that life having meaning is not predicating on living eternally, but rather in how one's life had an affect on another's life, or on society as a whole.
Ron
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9 posted 05-24-2003 12:27 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Why would having an effect on another or on society as a whole give one's life meaning? Even assuming you meant to say a postive effect, even assuming you had a very specific effect in mind, I see no valid reason for choosing this particular criteria.
Kamala
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10 posted 05-24-2003 06:20 PM       View Profile for Kamala   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kamala

I have to say... I'm with Opeth on this one... I think that meaning in life has to do with the reverberations we leave behind in the form of our affect on others and the world around us.  However, even that meaning is a meaning that we create.  Things have meaning because we give them meaning.  Likewise, things are meaningless if we do not give them meaning.  In this sense, what Stephanos said about goals and dreams and such being meaningless is absolutely true.  It's all very existential.

But that meaninglessness does not have to be a negative thing.  Even nothingness does not have to be negative.  (Just for the record, I'm coming from the Tibetan Buddhist standpoint here.)  If we accept that nothing has inherent meaning, that nothing we take as real/solid/meaningful really is such outside of our minds -- then the world is completely spontaneously perfect.  There is no good/evil... black/white... the world is devoid of the various concepts and judgements and meanings we ascribe to it.  As such, it simply IS.  And in that "is"-ness is a tremendous amount of freedom and joy.

I think the idea of death -- with no afterlife, etc. -- has gotten a bad wrap.  Ceasing to be does not have to be viewed as annihilation.  Nor does the fact that it renders "meaningless" what we have found meaningful in our lives have to be a bad thing.  There is beauty in letting go... joy in non-existence.  And I think this is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Buddhist religions... and one of the reasons that people tend to view them as nihilistic: "I am nothing, I mean nothing, etc."  But it's actually a profoundly joyful, warm, loving, unconditional acceptance of beginnings, middles, and ends.  Including the end of life that goes to nothing.  But nothing doesn't mean "nothing" in the negative sense of the word.  Everything is contained in nothing... the real nothingness, anyway.  But, again, this is something that takes years of profound thought and insight to fully understand.  But once you do (and I'm not saying I do, though I've been fortunate to have glimpses)... life, death, mortality, immortality, meaning, meaninglessness... it just doesn't matter.  There is only spontaneous ever-present perfection and joy.

Okay -- did anyone get that?

Kamala
Ron
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11 posted 05-24-2003 08:33 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
However, even that meaning is a meaning that we create. Things have meaning because we give them meaning.

Which was precisely the point of my question, Kamala. Ascribing meaning to the effects we have on people and society is very much a cultural bias and, in fact, is largely the result of Christian influences. Ask someone else and you might hear that family is the nexus of meaning and that continuation of the line, with all its attendant traditions and values, is all that matters to them. For others it may be their art or their business or, dare I say it, their faith. Those who look for meaning will find it everywhere.

BTW, Kamala, were you to do a Search in this forum for "Buddhism," I suspect you might find one or two previous discussions. With luck, I'll find some time to respond to your excellent overview with more depth in the future, but will have to short-hand it a bit today. Personally, I find the tenets of Buddhism to have much value, especially in the pragmatic sense, but do not agree with many of its goals. Ever-present perfection and joy, for example, are just as illusory as good/evil and black/white, and not a goal that interests me. There is value, I think, in struggle. (And, yea, that really is my short-hand answer. )
Stephanos
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12 posted 05-24-2003 10:19 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron ...

"Stephen, it would be equally true (and equally false) to conclude that immortality makes all values meaningless. Wouldn't every day be a like a dollar bill to a billionaire? What matter love or hope or achievement when there are none of the limitations imposed by time?"


I was oversimplifying really by using the concept of longevity.  What I meant to contrast is the naturalistic concept of looming non-existence ... over against the arbitrary values we might enjoy in the present, were life to be finite.  


Every value that we hold must be completely arbitrary if we are destined for nonentity.  I agree that time restraints as we know them often create tension and make things more interesting, valuable, and precious etc...  But this colorful interplay between ability and boundaries is not necessarily dependent upon a looming dead end.  Theoretically couldn't such dynamics exist in a community of immortal beings, ie ... in Heaven?  I see no reason why not.  So for me it is easy to see how meaning can be had in an endless succession of life where meaning is rooted in the source of our life... God.  But I still cannot see how meaning and purpose can be retained in the face  of a finite "life" with no promise of immortality.  If everything and everyone ends up in one single black hole, what can anything or anyone matter now?  And explain this in such a way that I might see "mattering" as able to transcend mental placebos conjured just to make a more enjoyable trip to nowhere.  Ever read Jean Paul Richter's dream about such a universe?


Stephen.


    

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-24-2003 10:25 PM).]

Stephanos
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13 posted 05-24-2003 10:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Kamala,

"If we accept that nothing has inherent meaning, that nothing we take as real/solid/meaningful really is such outside of our minds -- then the world is completely spontaneously perfect.  There is no good/evil... black/white... the world is devoid of the various concepts and judgements and meanings we ascribe to it.  As such, it simply IS.  And in that "is"-ness is a tremendous amount of freedom and joy."


If nothing has meaning, then the world is perfect?  What is perfect then?  Even the concept of perfection depends upon an ideal or a "meaning".  Or is "perfect" in Buddhistic terms just another way of saying "is"?  Then it seems to me a catch all phrase that is meaningless itself, and not very savory.  Is this similar to a Pantheistic view of things where Cancers and Crops are ultimately equal on the value scale because each is a part of the whole?  Good and evil is discarded as an outmoded distinction, but who really lives as such?  I'll bet a Tibetan Buddhist Monk responds generally to good and evil deeds in the same manner as others do ... offended when harm is done, and glad when benefit is bestowed.

Though I see some value in Buddhist philosophy and thought, this type of transcendence that you describe doesn't seem compatable or consistent with some of the deepest assumptions of human life ... even ones which we know are right and good.  But it is not merely Buddhist thought which I think is incompatable, but any system of thought which does not allow for an absolute foundation for morals and meaning.  


One question I've had regarding the Buddhist goal of ridding oneself of desire... is this itself not a "desire"?  If not, how is it essentially different than other desires which are considered at odds with enlightenment?      


I once read a book by Ravi Zacharias called "The Lotus and the Cross" where Guatama is fictionally portrayed as having a conversation with Jesus Christ.  It was a very thought provoking book that deals with the similarities and difference between Christian and Buddhist thought.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-24-2003 10:59 PM).]

Stephanos
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14 posted 05-24-2003 11:09 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

"I believe that life having meaning is not predicating on living eternally, but rather in how one's life had an affect on another's life, or on society as a whole."


If ALL lives are eventually obliterated in the cosmic expanse of nothingness ...   (Let's say that in millions of years, no life exists)...  will it matter in the least how one's life affected another's?  If so, how and why?


You are describing relative meaning and purpose, not ultimate meaning and purpose.  Unfortunately relative meaning and purpose vanishes when it's framework of relativity dissolves.  


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-24-2003 11:10 PM).]

Ron
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If everything and everyone ends up in one single black hole, what can anything or anyone matter now? And explain this in such a way that I might see "mattering" as able to transcend mental placebos conjured just to make a more enjoyable trip to nowhere.

Tennyson already did that, Stephen. (In Memoriam, Stanza 27)

Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Just because something of great value doesn't last forever doesn't mean it never had great value. Many Christians, at some point, go through a crisis of faith. If you stopped believing in God tomorrow, would that mean that your love for Him today was meaningless? If your faith was to fail, does that mean that God had no value in your life? If you had never heard of God, does that mean that His gifts to you would cease to exist?

Nothing in this mortal realm is constant. Peace, love, joy, faith, all are transitory or, at best, ebb and flow with the ticking of a clock. You can't be happy all the time, and even your faith in God won't be of equal intensity every moment of every day. Joy will always pass, love might die, and faith may fail. But death, both in the physical sense and in the metaphorical sense, cannot diminish the value of our love. What we gain, and the meanings we find, can never be taken from us. To quote another poet, Dylan Thomas said, "Though lovers be lost love shall not,/And death shall have no dominion."

I believe those who best love God, love Him in the Now. That is where they find their personal meaning and value, not in hopes of reward and not in promises of eternal bliss. And I think human love is very much a reflection of that. I can love today, and find meaning in that love, without any guarantees or assurances. Should my love one day fade, everything I found in that love will still be of value to me. Whether that love is for God, a woman, a son or a daughter, the future cannot change the present. And were I to fall into your black hole of nothingness tomorrow, my Today will still have meaning for me.

Stephen, I think you see the meaning of life only as a final destination. But if peace, love, joy, and even faith are all transitory, then the meaning of life can never be a destination. Not for the Christian. Not for anyone. The meaning we give to our life is a path, one we have to walk every single day. For many that path can be a terrible struggle, but even those who find and embrace a guide as reliable as the Bible aren't getting a free pass. I believe God meant for our lives to be a scavenger hunt. Else I suspect He would have skipped all this and went straight to the eternal bliss.

I can't believe that the meaning of one's life can ever be defined by eternity. At best, promises of immortality can define the meaning of eternity. But the meaning of life can only be defined by Life and, individually, by those who live it. One day at a time.


Stephanos
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16 posted 05-25-2003 11:09 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

you wrote, "Stephen, I think you see the meaning of life only as a final destination. But if peace, love, joy, and even faith are all transitory, then the meaning of life can never be a destination. Not for the Christian. Not for anyone. The meaning we give to our life is a path, one we have to walk every single day"


Ron, you think wrongly.  If you knew me more personally, outside the narrow confines of a discussion forum, I hope you would judge me differently.  I think the daily life of a Christian is the most important part of all ... But I also see the necessity of integrating it with escatology.  To use a concept which is more often stated by you than by me ... it's all connected and interrelated ... integrated.  You and I seem to be describing two halves that are both valid and necessary for each other to make sense.  My last intention is to make faith in God only concerned with the "sweet by and by", and "Pie in the sky".  But I also think that people don't think enough about that kind of thing ... about their ultimate state of affairs, and what bearing that has on the "now".  I know the addage about being so Heavenly minded that you're no earthly good.  But could we ever be so earthly minded that we're no heavenly good?  It's worth pondering I think.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-25-2003 11:12 PM).]

Stephanos
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17 posted 05-26-2003 11:12 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

Here is an interesting passage of Scripture...


"But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no ressurection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  Be he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. . .
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile;  you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men."

1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Stephen.
Ron
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18 posted 05-27-2003 06:59 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

Accurate, Steven, but I think it's not really relevant to this discussion. How do you interpret the phrase "hope in Christ?" Are they talking about love? Worship? Emulation?

Let's rephrase. "If we hope to live forever and find out otherwise, we are to be pitied."

Eternal life is a promise. So is the anti-Christ. Neither of those, nor any of the many "details" revealed in the Bible, affect the way I live my life today.
Opeth
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19 posted 05-27-2003 09:04 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?"

~ So did Christ actually die or was he still alive in a Spirit form, which would mean then that technically he never died.  The Greek word for death/dead is "thanatos" meaning - non-existence.

"If there is no ressurection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."


~ But why would you need a ressurection, Stephanos, if upon death your soul/spirit goes to either heaven or hell?  What would be the purpose of ressurecting your body at a later time?

"More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  Be he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. . ."

~ It is clear that Paul here is not talking about a person dying and then that person's soul goes off somewhere, but that death is actually death (non-existence) and not a "separation from God."

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile;  you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost."

~ It sounds pretty clear to me that those who have died in Christ are asleep in the ground, not off in heaven or hell. Asleep, meaning in a state of rest, no thoughts, similiar to non-existence, but in this case, they are as good as sleeping because of the promise of a ressurection to come later.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (05-27-2003 09:59 AM).]

Opeth
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The Ravines


20 posted 05-27-2003 09:08 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"If ALL lives are eventually obliterated in the cosmic expanse of nothingness ...   (Let's say that in millions of years, no life exists)...

~ But who is to say that life will not exist in a million years or so?

"will it matter in the least how one's life affected another's?

~ Yes, even if life eventually does not exist.

"If so, how and why?"

~ Example: If my children live happy and productive lives and they can attribute that productiveness and happiness to the teachings, and what they have learned from their now deceased parents, then to me, that is more than enough for a how or a why.

Why look to the sky for answers to prayers when one can find the answers to those prayers within themselves?

[This message has been edited by Opeth (05-27-2003 10:01 AM).]

Stephanos
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21 posted 05-27-2003 08:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

"Eternal life is a promise. So is the anti-Christ. Neither of those, nor any of the many "details" revealed in the Bible, affect the way I live my life today."

Ron, God IS eternal life, and his actions and promises are bound up with his character and person.  Your separation I cannot understand.  The future ressurection is more than just a detail of insignificant dogma.  In fact the whole message of scripture is that these things MUST affect the way we live our lives in the now.  It is in view of his promises that scripture says we are to perfect holiness .... and yes I know that is something we cannot just do ourselves.  Paul himself strove that he might somehow attain to "the ressurection from the dead".  At least scripturally, these "details" were supposed to have profound effects on our lives.  Knowing that my eternity rests in God's hands both comforts me and concerns me.  After all Paul wrote to Titus that the Grace of God teaches us how to live in this present age.  

Stephen.

Opeth,

What's the point in debating doctrinal teachings of the Bible with you, when you have already stated that you do not consider scripture as authoritative.  


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-27-2003 08:36 PM).]

Stephanos
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22 posted 05-27-2003 08:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

"Example: If my children live happy and productive lives and they can attribute that productiveness and happiness to the teachings, and what they have learned from their now deceased parents, then to me, that is more than enough for a how or a why."


My question was, what does it ultimately matter if we are to be snuffed out anyway.  You merely answered that you find some measure of happiness in your temporal life, and in your children's prosperity ... almost an "Eat drink and be merry for tommorow we die" kind of mindset.  But in light of a final irreversible death that means non-existence for all life ... I am asking what significance do we have as individuals and as a race.  Consider this question ... if nonexistence wipes out our very being and all memory, satisfaction, and any sense of accomplishment, with no soul in the mindless cosmos to even recall it, ... how would that be essentially different than if life never was?  It all ends the same.  And that which lasts the longest, IS the ulimate reality.  

Of course I do not believe that God created us to be obliviated.  But I think it's good to follow a belief out to it's  logical conclusion ... after all we need to be willing to bear the consequence of our beliefs in the future as well as now.  


Stephen.


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-27-2003 08:53 PM).]

Opeth
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since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


23 posted 05-28-2003 06:43 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"What's the point in debating doctrinal teachings of the Bible with you, when you have already stated that you do not consider scripture as authoritative."

~ Was that statement supposed to be a question?  
Opeth
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since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


24 posted 05-28-2003 06:53 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"My question was, what does it ultimately matter if we are to be snuffed out anyway."

~ The first part of my answer was that we should not presume a future non-existence of the human race.

"You merely answered that you find some measure of happiness in your temporal life,..."

~ Your paradigm confines you...You call it temporal. I call it, life.

"and in your children's prosperity ... almost an "Eat drink and be merry for tommorow we die" kind of mindset."

~ You are completely mistaken, not lying, but mistaken. My mindset has nothing to do with the King Solomon verse. You are inferring that it does..

"But in light of a final irreversible death that means non-existence for all life ..."

~ It does not. You are, imo, thinking quite selfishly. This whole idea you and others have about, "What is in it for me" mentality, I don't get. Non-existence for all life? Says who? You? How do you know that? Are you God?

I think we as a human race can continue to survive throughout time. Where does it say in writing that we can't?

Think bigger, than just saving your behind.

"I am asking what significance do we have as individuals and as a race.  Consider this question ... if nonexistence wipes out our very being and all memory, satisfaction, and any sense of accomplishment, with no soul in the mindless cosmos to even recall it, ... how would that be essentially different than if life never was?"

~ By what we have contributed or not contributed to our race. Why is everything have to be centered around the "individual?"

Selfish thought, indeed.

Why are you a Christian? What if God promised you nothing but non-existence upon death, would you still worship Him?

Christianity = What is in it for me?
 
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