Then you have heaven vs. oblivion, heaven or purgatory or hell with purgatory being an escapable middle state, heaven or hell with hell terminating in either oblivion or all of the remaining wrongs having been burned away leaving the soul free to go to heaven…
It’s interesting how many alternative ideas humans have come up with just withing the criteria of “afterlife scenarios including heaven as an option.”
The problem that leads people to inevitably ponder this notion is the same problem that all people inevitably encounter as their personalities develop: the desire to “win”.
In Greek myths, you can go to the Fields of Adphosel if you’re good, Tartarus if you’re bad, and I forget the last one.
IIRC the Greek underworld has Erebus for particularly vile creatures (generally monsters like the Minotaur), Tartarus for mortals who defied the gods or were repulsive or evil in life, Asphodel for neutral to good mortals and Elysium for the greatest heroes.
Does talking about personal growth after death strike anyone else as somewhat missing the point?
Not in many religions. Catholicism has Purgatory, Buddhism and most other East Asian religions have whole hierarchies of systems after death, and some forms of Spiritualism hold that we do at least as much learning and growing after death as in physical life.
Anyone here watch “The Good Place”? That show involves a lot of people undergoing personal growth after their own death.
Millie, you aren’t including one thing: God’s love. No matter how horrible you have been, if you accept Christ as your personal savior out of love for Him, you are saved. That’s a pretty clear line to me.
That’s right folks! Be as horrible a person as you like, but so long as you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there are no consequences!
Yeah, hey, drop a couple nukes on the US, or be a terrorist. As long as you accept God as your lord and savior, you STILL get to go to Heaven! Heck, find some way to destroy the entire universe. You STILL get accepted. Pretty good deal, I haveta say. 😛
I’m sure it’s more complicated then that, and the recurring joke of Millie finding creative ways to avoid getting in trouble for destroying things makes a shockingly appropriate metaphor.
If Millie just incinerated all the living room furniture, (how she pulls that off, or why she would think it’s worth the effort is not part of the metaphor) not even the most adorable puppy eyes in the history of time could possibly stop her mom from giving her a punishment of astronomical proportions.
If god is perfect, there would be a limit to how much bonus karma the accepting jesus thing can get you. But you make a good (if disturbing) joke about what would happen if it were that simple.
But if God was actually perfect, then how would he understand the imperfections of humans. And being unable to understand us and our imperfections would mean that he would be unable to forgive us for them. Of course we would first have to figure out if a God(s) actually exists, which interpretation of them is actually true and whether they are benevolent, malevolent or neutral.
Perfection comes with an understanding of imperfection. After all, he’s also said to be omniscient, which literally means, “knows everything.” Also omnipotent which literally means, “capable of everything.” And in both cases, they really do mean everything in the broadest sense of the word. So who wants to talk about the omnipotence paradox?
Before reading this, please note that I am not a Christian and am not trying to convince anyone of anything at the moment, just explaining my understanding.
The way that it works is that no sin is completely unforgivable, and that the soul can always be saved right up until at least the moment before death, but the prerequisite is repentance for sins. The reason this isn’t a get out of Hell free card is because it as sin becomes more and more habitual, true repentance becomes harder to achieve. If you plan on doing evil and then earning forgiveness with repentance, it probably won’t work because you will be acting repentant to get into Heaven, not feeling repentant because you are genuinely sorry for the evil you have committed. I think that all makes decent sense, the big reason why I am not religious is because most religions accept as fact or at least strongly imply the idea that religion is the source of human goodness, which simply isn’t true.
Omnipotent and Omniscient are actually pretty much the same thing; if you know everything, you know how to make anything happen. Why you’d bother to if you know the whole future is another issue.
Omniscience does not equal omnipotence if there are things that are genuinely impossible.
The way I always saw it is that if you TRULY repent of your sins- and God IS capable of telling the difference- then WHEN you repent is irrelevent, as is what you did. (I personally think the requirement to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour as a prerequisite in life for getting into Heaven postmortem is an example of a human failing in interpreting God’s word. Specifically, I think it’s a case of misinterpreting the situation- God ISN’T trying to find reasons NOT to let someone into Heaven, he’s trying to find reasons TO let someone in. That’s not really compatible with “if you didn’t do this specific thing in life, it’s off to hell you go”
If Ozy is Zen Buddhist, what are his afterlife beliefs? Reincarnation?
Chrisleech said “But if God was actually perfect, then how would he understand the imperfections of humans.”
This is the essence of Christianity. The way our perfect God learned our imperfections was by becoming fully human, and experiencing our imperfections for himself. Born of Mary, living as full a life as he could, trying as a human to do right as well as a mere human can, dying on a cross and begging God to forgive us all because we humans just are not perfect.
See, this is where I don’t understand Christianity. They invent a supposed problem called “hell”, then say their guy has the escape. If you don’t obey their rules, some galactic bogeyman swoops down and burns you. Yeah. Oh, and you have to put up with folks in power ignoring the “morals”, not being punished and you have to wait for said bogeyman to make it right after you die. Your savior shouldn’t punish too.
God doesn’t have to kill you for your sins, your sins will kill you all by themselves, all he has to do is step aside and let you face them.
the bible never says that God will kill you if he doesn’t like what you’re doing.
Tell that to the people in Sodom and Gomorrah.
Or Er, the first son of Judah, who was “so wicked that the LORD killed him.”
We don’t earn Heaven. It simply doesn’t work that way. Humans are born with a sin nature and are destined for eternal separation from God. Now, the Bible never talks about children in Hell, so the Age of Innocence seems to be a very real thing. However, conscious, willful sin condemns us, and nobody has ever been perfect (except Jesus). He took the punishment we deserved, and now offers Heaven as a gift that we can’t possibly earn.
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