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I'm a little confused about the concept of Heaven





Drawingguy
I'm not trying to be one of those people who feel that they have discovered the 'dark secret of Christianity,' and that they have finally seen whatever falsehoods lie in the faith. Nor am I some sort of religious person, but this was just a curious question that I had.

Now, I understand Heaven to be some sort of paradise- the cliched utopia where 'all of your dreams come true.' What about this, though. What if you were a person who really enjoyed sinning, or doing wrong. Like what if stealing gave you a rush, or you 'coveted your neighbor's goods,' or you enjoyed hitting, or killing (or whatever...that's kind of weird, but I digress). However, what if you were still a rational person, and you acknowledged that those were unjust/sinful things to do, and thus, all of your life, you refrained from doing those dark deeds. Supposing that you lived an otherwise 'unevil' life, then in my understanding, you go to Heaven.

Once in Heaven, do your dreams come true? Do you finally get to steal, covet, kill? If not, is it really such a paradise? At least while you were alive, you could, but now, in Heaven, it's impossible, so it's like a torture; waiting eternity to do what you never can. But consider an alternative. What if, once you reach Heaven, you no longer want to do all those things. Instead, more wholesome activities are more your liking. Is that paradise either? Your free will would have been violated, I think, and even if you don't recognize it, I would hardly call that a paradise.

I can't think of another alternative (unless you just say that Heaven doesn't exist, which isn't the point of my question). Again, I'm not trying to bash/promote religion, I was just thinking about this, is all.
coreymanshack
Drawingguy wrote:
I'm not trying to be one of those people who feel that they have discovered the 'dark secret of Christianity,' and that they have finally seen whatever falsehoods lie in the faith. Nor am I some sort of religious person, but this was just a curious question that I had.

Now, I understand Heaven to be some sort of paradise- the cliched utopia where 'all of your dreams come true.' What about this, though. What if you were a person who really enjoyed sinning, or doing wrong. Like what if stealing gave you a rush, or you 'coveted your neighbor's goods,' or you enjoyed hitting, or killing (or whatever...that's kind of weird, but I digress). However, what if you were still a rational person, and you acknowledged that those were unjust/sinful things to do, and thus, all of your life, you refrained from doing those dark deeds. Supposing that you lived an otherwise 'unevil' life, then in my understanding, you go to Heaven.

Once in Heaven, do your dreams come true? Do you finally get to steal, covet, kill? If not, is it really such a paradise? At least while you were alive, you could, but now, in Heaven, it's impossible, so it's like a torture; waiting eternity to do what you never can. But consider an alternative. What if, once you reach Heaven, you no longer want to do all those things. Instead, more wholesome activities are more your liking. Is that paradise either? Your free will would have been violated, I think, and even if you don't recognize it, I would hardly call that a paradise.

I can't think of another alternative (unless you just say that Heaven doesn't exist, which isn't the point of my question). Again, I'm not trying to bash/promote religion, I was just thinking about this, is all.


The human mind is not supposed to understand infinity. That is exactly what you are trying to do.
Keran
coreymanshack wrote:

The human mind is not supposed to understand infinity. That is exactly what you are trying to do.


Heh, that is always the only anwser when someone comes up with something that makes religion look bad or brings up suspicions in something of that matter....

But really, who knows, the only way to find out if heaven actually exists and is a paradise or not, is dying, provided that you are a good person with evil mind... and Christian too I think.
HereticMonkey
How can you be a good person with an evil mind? Weird...One of the more interesting responses...

The problem is that most religions don't exactly define "Heaven" (or its equivalent, depending on religion) very well. You know that it's a great place to be, but that's it. It's interesting that Judaism has even tried to define the afterlife in a number of different ways, including that souls simply disappear when the person dies....

HM
EanofAthenasPrime
Well I could just bash this topic and say heaven does not exist...

Well for the sake of argument lets just pretend that it does

Lets pretend we all have souls

Okay, this soul we have is connected to our brain so what ever our brain likes our soul likes, whatever our brain dislikes our soul dislikes

So after we die our brain disappears but our soul either: a. is reformatted to accomodate heaven or
b. heaven is reformatted to accomodate the soul

Kind of like a client sided multiplayer online game...they are both in the same game but one person has modded models so to the other person, his character model is green but the other person sees the character model as blue even though they are both the same characters.
spinout
I think heaven, or hell actually, was made up by people that wanted to scare others... To use it as a power.

Well, if you get into a strict heaven then, as it was written, it will be no fun. Since if you don't have any bad thing there won't be any good...

Perhaps heaven is just the meetingplace for souls - just like the pub - Cheers!!!!
coreymanshack
Keran wrote:
coreymanshack wrote:

The human mind is not supposed to understand infinity. That is exactly what you are trying to do.


Heh, that is always the only anwser when someone comes up with something that makes religion look bad or brings up suspicions in something of that matter....

But really, who knows, the only way to find out if heaven actually exists and is a paradise or not, is dying, provided that you are a good person with evil mind... and Christian too I think.


I think you proved my point Very Happy
Drawingguy
So, what you're saying, Ean, is that each person gets their own 'individual Heaven,' that exists via whatever. It's kind of hard to describe what I understand you to be saying, without actually parroting you. Although each person enjoys their own version of Heaven, every other person sees it as their own, unique paradise? Perhaps I butchered your concept...

Quote:
The human mind is not supposed to understand infinity. That is exactly what you are trying to do.

It's fun to try, right?
EanofAthenasPrime
Drawingguy wrote:
So, what you're saying, Ean, is that each person gets their own 'individual Heaven,' that exists via whatever. It's kind of hard to describe what I understand you to be saying, without actually parroting you. Although each person enjoys their own version of Heaven, every other person sees it as their own, unique paradise? Perhaps I butchered your concept...

Quote:
The human mind is not supposed to understand infinity. That is exactly what you are trying to do.

It's fun to try, right?


No no that is correct. But the Christian concept of heaven tells that everyone is free to communicate with all the other souls in heaven...and these souls are all in the same heaven...so I had to have a deeper explanation...multiplayer online games are one of the few analogous concepts.
rshanthakumar
Here is one more question. What with so many souls already dead and gone and billions living and many more billions coming up... will some body update on the capacity of heaven please?
EanofAthenasPrime
According to religious text heaven has no physical capacity as it is meta physical.
bantoo_4u
Dude all this is fiction so everybody is allowed to have his own interpretation...

So build your own castles in the air Very Happy Enjoy
Yantaal
my heaven would be spying on everyone elses heavens
Yantaal
my heaven would be spying on everyone elses heavens
moworks2
heaven was invented by the communists to control the masses...just like they invented god and politics...

oh, wait, maybe it was cavemen that invented god and heaven and politics came later?...

what, no, wait...cavemen afraid of the sun and moon and hurricanes invent god to explain all the things out of their control...odd that it continues to this day...i guess it was romans and jews that organized the rules so everybody could follow along easily...

a guide to live by...follow rules and go to heaven, don't follow and go to hell...

have you talked to anyone that's been to heaven?...how would anyone on earth know how to explain what goes on there?...

oh, i get it...it's infantile behavior and childish thinking...that's it...get a prize if your good and go to heaven...be punished if you don't behave and go to hell...

wait, wait, but you can say your sorry and all is forgiven...i get that...it's fun believing in heaven...you don't have to take responsibility for your behavior, you can treat yourself and others like crap...

but, but...that implies there's some meaning to this, to all this, to our lives...that we know what we're doing here and heaven is the goal...oh joy, now i don't have to think for myself, i can just follow someone else's thought for the rest of my life with that dangling carrot of heaven to guide me...

oh joy, oh joy, but still, what if it's not true?...i've never met anyone that's gone to heaven or hell...what if 'belief' and 'faith' are the product of a sick mind, a mind that's lost and confused?...

wait, wait...why think we need meaning, a meaning to our lives...why not just live...i think life is to be lived, to live is to live is to be...isn't that enough?...

apparently not...so you have time to think about the paradox of heaven do you?...i wonder what they're thinking in iraq these days...

kind regards...

M



Drawingguy wrote:
I'm not trying to be one of those people who feel that they have discovered the 'dark secret of Christianity,' and that they have finally seen whatever falsehoods lie in the faith. Nor am I some sort of religious person, but this was just a curious question that I had.

Now, I understand Heaven to be some sort of paradise- the cliched utopia where 'all of your dreams come true.' What about this, though. What if you were a person who really enjoyed sinning, or doing wrong. Like what if stealing gave you a rush, or you 'coveted your neighbor's goods,' or you enjoyed hitting, or killing (or whatever...that's kind of weird, but I digress). However, what if you were still a rational person, and you acknowledged that those were unjust/sinful things to do, and thus, all of your life, you refrained from doing those dark deeds. Supposing that you lived an otherwise 'unevil' life, then in my understanding, you go to Heaven.

Once in Heaven, do your dreams come true? Do you finally get to steal, covet, kill? If not, is it really such a paradise? At least while you were alive, you could, but now, in Heaven, it's impossible, so it's like a torture; waiting eternity to do what you never can. But consider an alternative. What if, once you reach Heaven, you no longer want to do all those things. Instead, more wholesome activities are more your liking. Is that paradise either? Your free will would have been violated, I think, and even if you don't recognize it, I would hardly call that a paradise.

I can't think of another alternative (unless you just say that Heaven doesn't exist, which isn't the point of my question). Again, I'm not trying to bash/promote religion, I was just thinking about this, is all.
poly
I don't believe in heaven..
coreymanshack
poly wrote:
I don't believe in heaven..


I also don't beleive this added to the conversation. The guy is confused about the concept of heaven and it seems you are too, asking the same question in his post is useless.
studprog
coreymanshack wrote:
poly wrote:
I don't believe in heaven..


I also don't beleive this added to the conversation. The guy is confused about the concept of heaven and it seems you are too, asking the same question in his post is useless.


People who don't believe in heaven are NOT waiting for the grace to come.. the Second Advent of Christ.
Means..doing for nothing..USELESS..living
EanofAthenasPrime
studprog wrote:
coreymanshack wrote:
poly wrote:
I don't believe in heaven..


I also don't beleive this added to the conversation. The guy is confused about the concept of heaven and it seems you are too, asking the same question in his post is useless.


People who don't believe in heaven are NOT waiting for the grace to come.. the Second Advent of Christ.
Means..doing for nothing..USELESS..living


Not as useless as living for a myth.
Fyrelle
Does heaven exist?

Whose concept of heaven?
The christians believe in heaven and hell and that those who believe in their concept of God go to heaven and those who don't go to hell for eternity.

Some other religions believe in purgatory. I don't know very much about that concept.

Some people believe that angels live in heaven and evil spirits/devils, demons, live in hell.

The spiritualists believe in the spirit world and through their various communications with spirits who have 'passed on' have determined somethings about this place people end up when they die. These spirits can interact with the living, mostly those who are pychically sensitive to their presence. There are those who believe that people exist after death on earth because they've been visited by relatives or friends who've passed on.

I have studied some of these ideas extensively and have learned the following:
When someone dies on earth, they discard their material body and can no longer interact with the world using their material body. They become aware, contrary to what belief they may have had on earth, that they are still alive but a change has come over them.

Some find themselves in a happy and bright location and others find themselves in a dark and unhappy place.

Some people believe that they must remain in whatever condition or location they find themselves in, for all eternity as taught mostly in the christian religion. This concept is very damaging to souls who find themselves in a dark place.

Some religions teach of progression of the soul and this progression of the soul is a possiblity. So that those who are darkened and evil have a chance to be forgiven once they become aware of their condition and can progress to a higher/happier condition/location.

The various locations in the spirit world are refered to as spheres, or heavens.

Quote:
2 Corinthians 12:1-4 (NAB version)
1 I must boast; not that it is profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I know that this person (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows)
4 was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter.
'italics mine'

Here from this verse there is a mention of a 3rd heaven.

The various spheres in the spirit world are numbered. From the 1st to the 7th sphere. Then on to the celestial heavens up to even more numbered spheres. After the celestial heavens is the Soul World.

1st sphere which is closest to the earth conceptually, contain locations that are most like the earth and which are in some cases darker. It is also said to contain the hells.

The 6th sphere is the highest sphere that a spirit can progress to who is highly intellectual and followed the path to the perfect natural man.

The 7th is the last sphere before entry to what is called the celestial heavens, for those spirits that have progressed sufficienlty enough and followed the path to at-onement with God through prayer.
coeus
Heaven from a Christian point of view is a paradise. The question is that if you have evil thoughts, wouldn't your paradise be evil. The Christian answer is the idea that there is a sin in you, an original sin. Those desires for dark deeds are wrapped up in that sin. When you realize this, and realize that God has sent his son to die for that desire so that you may live in paradise in His love, and become what Christians call "saved", your sinful nature is seperate from you, always there to poke, but seperate non-the-less. What that means from a biblical standpoint is that your sinful nature will die with your body, so that when you goto Heaven, you will no longer have those desires for sin.

In short, those thoughts are evil and die with your body, never making it to heaven with your soul.
a.Bird
I think a possible interpretation could be that if one lives by acts of selflessness and contribution, then one develops a sense of community. With a community established, one has less to fear, more to live for, and a deeper relationship with anything meaningful one's life. So, if you have nothing to fear, everything to live for, and feel an integral connection to reality and meaning in your life, perhaps this is paradise?
Afaceinthematrix
In Christianity, Heaven is a place where the Devil cannot be. Therefore, in Heaven, you wouldn't want to do those things. The Devil is what temps you and is responsible for any sin. So if the Devil is not in Heaven, everything will be perfect.
coeus
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
In Christianity, Heaven is a place where the Devil cannot be. Therefore, in Heaven, you wouldn't want to do those things. The Devil is what temps you and is responsible for any sin. So if the Devil is not in Heaven, everything will be perfect.


Actually, the Devil is a fallen angel from heaven, so he came from heaven, and as it states in Job (jobe), the devil attends meetings held in heaven. But I think you meant he doesn't dwell in heaven, which is true.
king_jofy_joe
WE LIVING IN HELL RIGHT NOW, YOU GOING TO HEAVEN HOMIE! Exclamation
auldwyrm
Heaven is a place (as I understand it) that is the same for all it is not different for different people. At least from a Christian view. Stories in the bible illustrate that the rewards paid out by God are the same for all.
liljp617
Heaven has gates. It can't be in a good neighborhood..think about it. Smile Were kids sneaking in and using the pool or something? How can such a great place be a gated community?!?!

I realize this added nothing.
videoguy
Does heaven exist?

Whose concept of heaven?
The christians believe in heaven and hell and that those who believe in their concept of God go to heaven and those who don't go to hell for eternity.

Some other religions believe in purgatory. I don't know very much about that concept.

Some people believe that angels live in heaven and evil spirits/devils, demons, live in hell.

The spiritualists believe in the spirit world and through their various communications with spirits who have 'passed on' have determined somethings about this place people end up when they die. These spirits can interact with the living, mostly those who are pychically sensitive to their presence. There are those who believe that people exist after death on earth because they've been visited by relatives or friends who've passed on.

I have studied some of these ideas extensively and have learned the following:
When someone dies on earth, they discard their material body and can no longer interact with the world using their material body. They become aware, contrary to what belief they may have had on earth, that they are still alive but a change has come over them.

Some find themselves in a happy and bright location and others find themselves in a dark and unhappy place.

Some people believe that they must remain in whatever condition or location they find themselves in, for all eternity as taught mostly in the christian religion. This concept is very damaging to souls who find themselves in a dark place.

Some religions teach of progression of the soul and this progression of the soul is a possiblity. So that those who are darkened and evil have a chance to be forgiven once they become aware of their condition and can progress to a higher/happier condition/location.

The various locations in the spirit world are refered to as spheres, or heavens.

Quote:
2 Corinthians 12:1-4 (NAB version)
1 I must boast; not that it is profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I know that this person (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows)
4 was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter.
'italics mine'

Here from this verse there is a mention of a 3rd heaven.

The various spheres in the spirit world are numbered. From the 1st to the 7th sphere. Then on to the celestial heavens up to even more numbered spheres. After the celestial heavens is the Soul World.

1st sphere which is closest to the earth conceptually, contain locations that are most like the earth and which are in some cases darker. It is also said to contain the hells.

The 6th sphere is the highest sphere that a spirit can progress to who is highly intellectual and followed the path to the perfect natural man.

The 7th is the last sphere before entry to what is called the celestial heavens, for those spirits that have progressed sufficienlty enough and followed the path to at-onement with God through prayer.



wow, i never know there was that much biblical backing for the concept of heaven. But i prefer chris hitcens "if you want to know what heaven is like, just go to north korea" many of the ultimate freedoms of heaven is that you GET to praise god forever and worship him, but how is that so good when most people dont even want to go to church once a week

and is heaven based on a universal "paradice" idea, or is it to each his own? and if the latter, what if one person's heaven is another's hell? are there many diff heavens for each person, or what?

heaven doesnt make any sense, its just an illogical idea to make people hopeful when people die, and a reward for "good" behavior
Bikerman
videoguy wrote:
I have studied some of these ideas extensively and have learned the following:
When someone dies on earth, they discard their material body and can no longer interact with the world using their material body. They become aware, contrary to what belief they may have had on earth, that they are still alive but a change has come over them.
And your evidence for this is? Your extensive studies must include some source materials which support this assertion, I presume?
Quote:
wow, i never know there was that much biblical backing for the concept of heaven. But i prefer chris hitcens "if you want to know what heaven is like, just go to north korea" many of the ultimate freedoms of heaven is that you GET to praise god forever and worship him, but how is that so good when most people dont even want to go to church once a week
If you think Hitchens makes sense then I would advise prompt medical attention....
horseatingweeds
I don't particularly appreciate the common depictions of heaven or hell. Most of my study has been in Christianity but I also enjoy studying other religions. Logically, I don't see either as punishment or reward.

Here is my logic, tell me what you think:

First, it is evident that the creator gives us free will. According to Jesus, and other profits, God would like us to follow His will and basically love Him. We follow His will by caring for each other and reaching out to him in a number of ways, prayer, following rules, fasting, sacrifice, ect.

We seem to have been created for this purpose. One can't create something and make it love, not sincerely. This is one reason I disagree with the fire-and-brimstone theology, hell being a punishment and all. An evident PUNISHMENT would seem to remove free will. God made us and we have to choice to love and reach out to him, the choice is ours.

Jesus only described hell as bing a place people go who deny Him. Evidently, humanity had strayed so far that God decided to send his Son to rescue ALL. So, ALL are on the path to him - heaven. Of course, this is the second point, we have free will - to deny Him, to deny His gift. He who rejects we will be cast out and all that.... It is free will.

So, those who reach out with love for the creator, as nearly every people has had some version of doing, will find themselves in his presence after death. Those who do not will find themselves outside of his presence, which is described as being very uncomfortable.
Bikerman
Quote:
Jesus only described hell as bing a place people go who deny Him. Evidently, humanity had strayed so far that God decided to send his Son to rescue ALL. So, ALL are on the path to him - heaven. Of course, this is the second point, we have free will - to deny Him, to deny His gift. He who rejects we will be cast out and all that.... It is free will.


I would have to disagree.
The notion of hell largely depends on several passages in the New Testament. First, though, we should agree on the translation used. The greek 'Hades' is often translated to mean hell but many scholars would argue that this is incorrect and should, instead, translate to 'place of death' or 'grave'. The word 'gehenna' is used for hell and it is this translation that most scholars would agree upon as meaning a place of torture after death.

Jesus himself is reported, by the NT, to use the word 4 times.
  • 1. Matthew 5:21-22 - 'But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool' shall be liable to the hell (gehenna) of fire.'
  • 2. Matthew 10:28-31: - 'And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (gehenna).'
  • 3. This occurs in both Mark and Matthew. From Mark we have
    Mark 9:33-37; 42-48 - 'And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; if is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell (gehenna) to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell (gehenna). And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell (gehenna), where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'
    (Matthew is similar so I'll omit the passage).
  • 4. Matthew 23:29-34, 'Fill up, then the measure of your fathers, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell (gehenna). Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town . . .'
We can see then that according to the Gospels Jesus did indeed refer to 'hell' or 'gehenna' several times and that it seems to be a place of eternal flames, not just simply a place for people who deny him...
horseatingweeds
I'm not sure these passages are best for describing hell.

'Ge(h)enna' was a ravine the city burned garbage in.

1. Here, in context, Jesus is talking about murder and that hating is just as bad.

2. Here, Jesus is instructing his disciples and encouraging them not to fear man.

3. You REALLY must take this into context. This is hyperbole.

4. This, read alone, seems He is calling Hell a sentence. If you read before and especially after, you see his overall point is that God has been reaching out to his people but they reject him, through his profits thus far.

Better areas to see:

Matthew 8:8-13
Here Jesus talks about 'subjects of the kingdom' - Jews who thought their Judaism was a passport into the kingdom of God - being cast out into darkness. This better represents hell, opposite of heaven.

Matthew 13: 36
Here Jesus explains his parable from 13:24. Here, God sows good seed, the evil one bad, God doesn't want to pull the weeds because it will uproot his people so they wait until harvest, the end of age, pull everything, separate good from bad, and cast the bad out. The question here is what marks people as good or bad. This is one of several parables in a row in describing the kingdom of God and who will go there.

This same point is made similarly in Matthew 13:47, catching a net of fish and sorting out the good from the bad. I think the general point is that God will know the good from bad and it's not people's job to decide that before. This seems to have been a tendency even then.

Matthew 22
This is the most striking I think. It is another parable. A king plans a wedding banquet but those he invites ignore his invitation so he sends his servants out to gather anyone they can find. One person who comes is not wearing wedding clothes gets cast out. The summary is, "For many are invited but few chosen."

Taking all into account, I think this means that all are invited but the invitation must be sincerely accepted. Wearing wedding clothes would be proper conduct representing a person's love for God - thus being chosen.

Matthew 24:36
This parable focuses on the 'Time,' the end of age, will be at an unknown time. It is about servant when their master is gone. He is pleased when he returns unexpectedly and finds his servant doing his work. But if he finds him not, he'll put him amount the hypocrites.

Matthew 25:14
Another parable. Here a master gives two servants money. One buries it and the other invests it. The one who buries it and produces nothing with what he is given is then thrown outside.

Luke 13:22
this parable is about a narrow door that will close. Again signifying that few will enter but adding that some will wait too long, after the door is shut - perhaps signifying the end of age when such people are cast out of his presence.

Understand the difference here?
Bikerman
horseatingweeds wrote:
I'm not sure these passages are best for describing hell.

'Ge(h)enna' was a ravine the city burned garbage in.

1. Here, in context, Jesus is talking about murder and that hating is just as bad.
Yes I agree but the point is that the punishment is the hell of fire or do you interpret it some other way?
Quote:
2. Here, Jesus is instructing his disciples and encouraging them not to fear man.
Yes, again I agree but again the point is that the punishment is gehenna.
Quote:
3. You REALLY must take this into context. This is hyperbole.
The point is that Gehenna is specifically described as the place of unquenchable fire and the undying worm. Whether it is hyperbole or not it is a fairly clear description of hell, or is this not what is meant?
Quote:
4. This, read alone, seems He is calling Hell a sentence. If you read before and especially after, you see his overall point is that God has been reaching out to his people but they reject him, through his profits thus far.
But again hell seems to be a place does it not?
horseatingweeds
I don't know if it is a place or if it has actual fire. In the descriptions of hell, when hell or salvation are the actual subjects, being 'cast out' or 'thrown out' seems to be the main focus, also with gnashing of teeth.

In revelation, the kingdom of God describes his presence as light. this is another point, light and absence of light. It leads me to suspect that 'heaven' is simply being in the presence of God. Perhaps hell is simply the absence of being held in His presence. According to the physics we understand in our dimension, being in the absence of light is cold. Perhaps not being in God's presence simply leaves the spirit of a person to disperse or exist in some ungoverned dimension. Perhaps the pain of fire, on of the worse pains the common person is familiar with, is best to describe such a state.

Viewing hell as a punishment I have trouble with. For one, what productive result will come from punishing anyone for eternity?

It seems logical to me that a creator would offer his creations to follow him. If they follow him in life they will continue to do so once released from the body. If they choose to go off on their own, they will continue to do so once they loose their body.

I certainly don't thing 'heaven' is anything anyone can earn. I also have trouble accepting that any religion has a monopoly on the path to God. Christianity, I think, is the closest by accepting the gift of his son's sacrifice. As Jesus showed, God seems very interested in mercy and fair play. If I were to put my money down, I would put it on a jungle man who has met 18 people in his life and assumes some special bird created him and dedicates himself to caring for his people and honoring the bird before I would put it on some prominent clergy. God is certainly above religion and I would suspect that he appreciates sincere efforts.
Bikerman
It seems to me that you are basing this view on a personal interpretation of Christianity. Don't misunderstand me - I think that is fine and dandy. The problem is that it does not neatly fit with the New Testament unless one chooses to cherry-pick and 're-interpret' the passages therein.
Personally speaking I have no problem with doing this - I have always believed that the Bible should be seen as sort of adult version of Grimms Fairy tales - a set of stories which, though not necessarily based in fact, are designed to make one think about morality seriously and which offers a reasonably coherent code of behaviour to follow. I have never had a problem with the basic teachings of Christianity - only with the supernatural part and with the literal interpretations that are put on the scriptures by some.
horseatingweeds
That is the exact opposite of my intention. I'm not interpreting, I'm looking at what the people are actually saying. I hate it when people call it interpreting. You could get equally 'interpreting' people magazine or the TV guide. I'd rather learn the history and purpose to reveal the perspective of the people who wrote it and who it was written for. I don't think I'm cherry-picking.... Rather cherry-picking may be the source of the confusion I'm trying to resolve.

I wouldn't describe the Bible as you have. It's a collection of very different books, history, poems, letters, ect. Some books you can just read, others require a lot of study before they make sense.

As fare as monotheism is concerned, I think Christianity is the closer one, not necessarily the popular Christianity with its catch phrases and traditions and structures. In particular, Jesus' teachings are logical here and now. The more complex stuff, sending a son to die in order to rescue the world, at first seems far-fetched or outside of our comprehension. However, if you count free will and a God who has based the universe on justice, it become the only logical solution.
Bikerman
Fair enough...we will just have to agree to differ on this one.
Personally I do not think it is possible to come up with an objective reading of the New Testament. It is impossible to know exactly what people meant and what their perspective was because so little is actually known about many of the authors. Any attempt to put perspective on the writings is, almost by definition, interpretation.
horseatingweeds
There's plenty of history surrounding the authors of the new testament to make their perspective a bit more obvious than that, not perfect of course, but certainly enough to not leave huge valleys open for interpretation.

For example, just knowing that the first and second book of Corinthians were a letters written by Paul to the Christians in Corinth makes his instructions for women not to speak in church or braid their hair understandable. Yet, I know of groups that do not believe woman should speak in church.
Bikerman
Some things are certainly known but many/most are not.
Here are a few issues that I see:
1) The exclusion of the Gnostic and other gospels. There are many contemporaneous gospels that are not included in the NT which differ from, and in some cases contradict, the 4 that are included.
2) The 7 Pauline epsitles (Romans, First Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, First Thessalonians, Philemonare, Collassians) are the only books of the NT whose authorship is fairly universally accepted by biblical scholars. The authorship of the rest is widely disputed.
3) There are many contradictions within the existing 4 gospels. I can go into detail if necessary but they are well known.
aames_prov356
I'm not trying to be one of those people who feel that they have discovered the 'dark secret of Christianity,' and that they have finally seen whatever falsehoods lie in the faith. Nor am I some sort of religious person, but this was just a curious question that I had.

Quote:
Now, I understand Heaven to be some sort of paradise- the cliched utopia where 'all of your dreams come true.' What about this, though. What if you were a person who really enjoyed sinning, or doing wrong. Like what if stealing gave you a rush, or you 'coveted your neighbor's goods,' or you enjoyed hitting, or killing (or whatever...that's kind of weird, but I digress). However, what if you were still a rational person, and you acknowledged that those were unjust/sinful things to do, and thus, all of your life, you refrained from doing those dark deeds. Supposing that you lived an otherwise 'unevil' life, then in my understanding, you go to Heaven.

Once in Heaven, do your dreams come true? Do you finally get to steal, covet, kill? If not, is it really such a paradise? At least while you were alive, you could, but now, in Heaven, it's impossible, so it's like a torture; waiting eternity to do what you never can. But consider an alternative. What if, once you reach Heaven, you no longer want to do all those things. Instead, more wholesome activities are more your liking. Is that paradise either? Your free will would have been violated, I think, and even if you don't recognize it, I would hardly call that a paradise.

I can't think of another alternative (unless you just say that Heaven doesn't exist, which isn't the point of my question). Again, I'm not trying to bash/promote religion, I was just thinking about this, is all.


First of all, by refraining from doing what you know to be wrong isn't what will get you to heaven. It is by having a relationship with Jesus Christ. When you have a realtionship with Him, He will begin to change the way that you think, your desires (by controlling what goes into your mind and what you dwell on), and the actions that are products of the first two. So you do become a better person, but that is not what gets you to heaven. When you get to heaven it isn't like disney world, where you get to fulfill all of your desires (sinning). If God said that all liars, murderers and such went to hel (which it says they do) then there won't be sin in Heaven becauz it is in Hell.
amicalindia
Drawingguy wrote:
I'm not trying to be one of those people who feel that they have discovered the 'dark secret of Christianity,' and that they have finally seen whatever falsehoods lie in the faith. Nor am I some sort of religious person, but this was just a curious question that I had.

Now, I understand Heaven to be some sort of paradise- the cliched utopia where 'all of your dreams come true.' What about this, though. What if you were a person who really enjoyed sinning, or doing wrong. Like what if stealing gave you a rush, or you 'coveted your neighbor's goods,' or you enjoyed hitting, or killing (or whatever...that's kind of weird, but I digress). However, what if you were still a rational person, and you acknowledged that those were unjust/sinful things to do, and thus, all of your life, you refrained from doing those dark deeds. Supposing that you lived an otherwise 'unevil' life, then in my understanding, you go to Heaven.

Once in Heaven, do your dreams come true? Do you finally get to steal, covet, kill? If not, is it really such a paradise? At least while you were alive, you could, but now, in Heaven, it's impossible, so it's like a torture; waiting eternity to do what you never can. But consider an alternative. What if, once you reach Heaven, you no longer want to do all those things. Instead, more wholesome activities are more your liking. Is that paradise either? Your free will would have been violated, I think, and even if you don't recognize it, I would hardly call that a paradise.

I can't think of another alternative (unless you just say that Heaven doesn't exist, which isn't the point of my question). Again, I'm not trying to bash/promote religion, I was just thinking about this, is all.




Any kind of enjoyment is not real but an illusion in your mind. One act may be enjoyable to a person but detestable to another. Which means that the act itself has no enjoyment value of its own but your mind's perception. Once you understand this you will know that there is no need to commit actual action to derive enjoyment out of it. A spirit soul can get the enjoyment on mental level without the need of a physical body. So in heaven/paradise you may not physically commit any act but still enjoy the fruit.
Just some idle guesswork without proof or evidence. Smile
amicalindia
amicalindia wrote:
Drawingguy wrote:
I'm not trying to be one of those people who feel that they have discovered the 'dark secret of Christianity,' and that they have finally seen whatever falsehoods lie in the faith. Nor am I some sort of religious person, but this was just a curious question that I had.

Now, I understand Heaven to be some sort of paradise- the cliched utopia where 'all of your dreams come true.' What about this, though. What if you were a person who really enjoyed sinning, or doing wrong. Like what if stealing gave you a rush, or you 'coveted your neighbor's goods,' or you enjoyed hitting, or killing (or whatever...that's kind of weird, but I digress). However, what if you were still a rational person, and you acknowledged that those were unjust/sinful things to do, and thus, all of your life, you refrained from doing those dark deeds. Supposing that you lived an otherwise 'unevil' life, then in my understanding, you go to Heaven.

Once in Heaven, do your dreams come true? Do you finally get to steal, covet, kill? If not, is it really such a paradise? At least while you were alive, you could, but now, in Heaven, it's impossible, so it's like a torture; waiting eternity to do what you never can. But consider an alternative. What if, once you reach Heaven, you no longer want to do all those things. Instead, more wholesome activities are more your liking. Is that paradise either? Your free will would have been violated, I think, and even if you don't recognize it, I would hardly call that a paradise.

I can't think of another alternative (unless you just say that Heaven doesn't exist, which isn't the point of my question). Again, I'm not trying to bash/promote religion, I was just thinking about this, is all.




Any kind of enjoyment is not real but an illusion in your mind. One act may be enjoyable to a person but detestable to another. Which means that the act itself has no enjoyment value of its own but your mind's perception. Once you understand this you will know that there is no need to commit actual action to derive enjoyment out of it. A spirit soul can get the enjoyment on mental level without the need of a physical body. So in heaven/paradise you may not physically commit any act but still enjoy the fruit.
Just some idle guesswork without proof or evidence. Smile



Also according to hindu scriptures there are seven havens with increasing levels of enjoyment. And beyond that there is spritual world where time dimension is not present. Which heven do you refer to
rshanthakumar
amicalindia wrote:
amicalindia wrote:
Drawingguy wrote:
I'm not trying to be one of those people who feel that they have discovered the 'dark secret of Christianity,' and that they have finally seen whatever falsehoods lie in the faith. Nor am I some sort of religious person, but this was just a curious question that I had.

Now, I understand Heaven to be some sort of paradise- the cliched utopia where 'all of your dreams come true.' What about this, though. What if you were a person who really enjoyed sinning, or doing wrong. Like what if stealing gave you a rush, or you 'coveted your neighbor's goods,' or you enjoyed hitting, or killing (or whatever...that's kind of weird, but I digress). However, what if you were still a rational person, and you acknowledged that those were unjust/sinful things to do, and thus, all of your life, you refrained from doing those dark deeds. Supposing that you lived an otherwise 'unevil' life, then in my understanding, you go to Heaven.

Once in Heaven, do your dreams come true? Do you finally get to steal, covet, kill? If not, is it really such a paradise? At least while you were alive, you could, but now, in Heaven, it's impossible, so it's like a torture; waiting eternity to do what you never can. But consider an alternative. What if, once you reach Heaven, you no longer want to do all those things. Instead, more wholesome activities are more your liking. Is that paradise either? Your free will would have been violated, I think, and even if you don't recognize it, I would hardly call that a paradise.

I can't think of another alternative (unless you just say that Heaven doesn't exist, which isn't the point of my question). Again, I'm not trying to bash/promote religion, I was just thinking about this, is all.




Any kind of enjoyment is not real but an illusion in your mind. One act may be enjoyable to a person but detestable to another. Which means that the act itself has no enjoyment value of its own but your mind's perception. Once you understand this you will know that there is no need to commit actual action to derive enjoyment out of it. A spirit soul can get the enjoyment on mental level without the need of a physical body. So in heaven/paradise you may not physically commit any act but still enjoy the fruit.
Just some idle guesswork without proof or evidence. Smile



Also according to hindu scriptures there are seven havens with increasing levels of enjoyment. And beyond that there is spritual world where time dimension is not present. Which heven do you refer to

Heaven or hell, is in the world that we live in. The saying that good people go to heaven mean good people make this world a heaven whereas the bad make it hell. It is not that you need to seek heaven and hell in other places.
HalfBloodPrince
rshanthakumar wrote:
Heaven or hell, is in the world that we live in. The saying that good people go to heaven mean good people make this world a heaven whereas the bad make it hell. It is not that you need to seek heaven and hell in other places.


I'm curious, and mildly amused, as to where you get this philosophies from?
Poetsunited
'heaven' itself is an idea designed by plato, its a perfect world, with only one of each object, in its pure and perfect form...

for example:
on this planet, there isn't something like the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend... because we are just mirror images of that ideal world
i found a picture to illustrate it

shaduwen op de muur= shadows on the wall
de muur waar voorwerpen over gedragen worden= the wall where they put objects on basicly
vuur= fire ( in this case wisdom)
de gevangenen= we, the people who live in the second world
de uitgang= the exit ( the philosopher is the only one who escapes,because he thinks about his problems )

so basicly, we are the chained ones, we see a shadow of an image casted on the wall by the fire (wisdom) the wall is 'heaven' , its the ideal world with the original objects.
Bikerman
Poetsunited wrote:
so basicly, we are the chained ones, we see a shadow of an image casted on the wall by the fire (wisdom) the wall is 'heaven' , its the ideal world with the original objects.
No. 'Heaven' is the world outside the cave. The shadows cast onto the wall represent our earthly perceptions of 'heavenly reality'. In fact it's not really an allegory about 'heaven' but about the nature of reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave
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