Here’s a New Take on Life After Death.

Just what is meant by “heaven and hell”?  Where are they and what are they all about?

I know the Bible makes some reference to what one would find if they existed, but it’s not very specific.  So, when I find someone who claims to know something, I always read it.

The link below claims to know.  He says we will find something we do not expect and it definitely is not about reliving relationships and experiences we had in our “first life”.

I regard such articles claiming to know about heaven and hell as part of the original propaganda used to control people.  The Bible plays the old carrot and stick game with its readers.  “Believe in me, you get heaven.  Don’t and you get hell.”

The link doubles down on this.  It says if you have had a happy marriage, you will not just have endless happy years together.  Instead, you will have endless years of something unknown, but better.

His version is almost like the 30 virgins available to martyrs in Islam.  It’s as cruel and controlling as well.

The concepts of living past death are so far fetched, it is no wonder they are not taking the world by storm.  Instead, young people, especially, are skeptical and the majority not identifying with existing denominations.

So much better for the long term survival of humans on our planet would be belief we should devote our lives to making the world better for future generations, people other than ourselves.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-the-afterlife-bores-us-91117/

FaceBook, Red River Freethinkers

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Here’s a New Take on Life After Death.

  1. entech says:

    I have long suspected that many Christians dread not just death but heaven what a strange opening sentence to a strange article.
    Of course, it is true, with so many quotes being thrown around about who and who will not be saved it will be awfully lonely.

    Let’s talk about eternity. But it’s no mere “afterlife.” Instead let’s start thinking of this little puff of time, the next eighty or so years, as what it is: the pre-life.
    And an even stranger final sentence. It is only speculation after all. Still waiting for someone to come back with confirmation.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 11:13 Whoops, meant to save that to later write the blog. Now I have written it.

      Yes, strange is one way to describe what he wrote. Another is cruel–writes like many as if he knows.

      • entech says:

        I don’t think the article really needs much commentary. All you can do is point out the more obvious bits of nonsense. But it is fascinating reading in other places what the different perceptions of an afterlife is, I read of one woman who gave up the church and all because she was told that dogs do not have a soul and so her pet would not be in heaven with her, new meaning to love me love my dog :) .

        As I am convinced it is all wishful thinking I am not favorably impressed by what so many wish for, eternal joy for me and my friends, eternal agony for the rest. Love your neighbour indeed.

        In the words of Rabbi Boteach “Live a good life now, the afterlife should be an afterthought”.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          entech 1:04 “..obvious bits of nonsense”.

          I can’t think of a more seductive proposition than claiming an offer of life after death. But, as the huckster PT Barnum said (he denied ever saying it) “A sucker is born every minute.” I think the actual authors of that idea have been shamans since the earliest humand beings.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “I think the actual authors of that idea have been shamans”

            I guess atheists would know. Some have a background in hoaxes that would even make PT Barnum proud (and wealthly). This hoax even originated in Iowa.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Giant#Creation_and_discovery

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 3:05 “..atheists would know.”

            I’m proud at least one atheist came up with a hoax. The rest of us have been unsuccessful.

            The giant came from Ft. Dodge Gypsum, only 20 minutes from where I grew up. I still have relatives and classmates there.

          • Henry says:

            Cool history albeit unsavory.

          • entech says:

            Don’t knock it Henry, the book of yours can be inspiration even to none believers; did actual real giants wander the earth?, did the sons of God really take all the female humans they liked the look of to spouse?. The none believers have a lot of inspiration from crooked and dishonest preachers, and some very strange Biblical stories
            .
            What I can never understand about the defenders of the faith is that frequent argument for the existence of Gd is the existence of moral values without Gd anything goes; history shows for many believers anything goes anyway. The point is, though, people like Henry forever invent ways to deride “the Atheist”, even though by his own statements they can’t be expected to know better while at the same time going to any lengths to defend those whom he considers to be one of his own kind.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “The point is, though, people like Henry forever invent ways to deride “the Atheist”

            Don’t have to invent. Just staying within the terms discussed by the atheist. When Jon uses the keywords, “sucker”, “PT Barnum”, “huckster”, I can stay within those parameters and discuss atheism on an atheism site. No?

          • T says:

            The Cardiff Giant hoax actually originated in New York, but was put into play in Iowa where a ready supply of gypsum was to be found. George Hull, the perpetrator of the hoax, was indeed an avowed atheist, but he did what preachers did and still do today: use the Bible as a means of getting money out of people. More than 32,000 people traveled far and wide to see what they believed was physical proof that the nephilim did indeed once walk the earth. It was members of the scientific community (geologists and archaeologists) who decried the Giant as a fraud from the start.

          • Henry says:

            Yes. An atheist creates the hoax, then Christians are blamed for trying to get money out of people by supposedly setting the example. Then the 19th century scientific community saves the day. Never mind the science of geology was originated and matured by Christians/theologians. Meanwhile, the other 19th century atheists were doing what? Scratching? Maybe at the pharmacy buying some colloidal silver.

          • T says:

            Yes, it’s true. Some early archaeologists and geologists were indeed members of the clergy. And they were making discoveries of fossils and ancient stone tools that ironically contradicted their own belief systems.

  2. Candyman says:

    Why would you want to go to heaven if you don’t believe in hell? For not believing on eternal absolutes, you sure try to beg to differ, Jon. The worst words you will EVER hear is “depart from me, I have never known you”. All who call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved, Jon! There is still time! Confess with your mouth and believe with your heart and you will be saved.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Candyman 4:13 “..believe with your heart and you will be saved.”

      Other than that the Bible says this, how do you know it is true. That is, where is the source, other than the Bible, to verify such a bizarre idea.

    • entech says:

      The worst words you will EVER hear is “depart from me, I have never known you”.
      The preamble to “I never knew you” is, presumably from Mathew 7.
      15 “Beware of false prophets, …
      21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, …
      23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

      All who call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved
      This is a plain contradiction of your first statement.
      If everyone who calls is saved then who are the ones that will be told, “I never knew you?”

      • Candyman says:

        the ones who nvr called on Christ to be save, of course! Therefore, choosing to pay their own sin debt, which is eternal seperation from God in the Lake of Fire. Rev 20:14

  3. buzz says:

    If you are unable to believe it’s ok to just want to believe. Be honest and open minded. It works

  4. Stanta says:

    72 virgins. Just saying.

    • entech says:

      So many different views of the afterlife:

      Buddhist and Hindu have the idea that the goal is to overcome this life and achieve perfection to escape samsara , the cycle of rebirth – this vale of tears?

      Islam being more puritanical even than Christianity has a very sensual idea (also the same male dominated idea). Females are not even allowed to be alone with a strange man, lest they be at it like rabbits.

      Christianity is probably the worst. One of the pleasures of paradise is to witness the torment of the damned.

      Jews are probably the best, when you die you simply wait until the end of days when you will be judged on the life you lived. If you were good there is some view of a good future if not just the end.

      • Henry says:

        entech: “Christianity is probably the worst. One of the pleasures of paradise is to witness the torment of the damned.”

        1. I don’t see that described as a pleasure.
        2. You seem a little hung up, perhaps jealous on this. I notice you making a number of comments on this lately. It apparently is on your mind. I can’t help you.

        • entech says:

          “That the saints may enjoy their beatitude more thoroughly, and give more abundant thanks to God for it, a perfect sight of punishment of the damned is granted them.” Summa iii Suppl. Qu 93, i., St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274 AD)

          “At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates liquefying in fiercer flames than they ever kindled against the Christians; so many sages philosophers blushing in red-hot fires with their deluded pupils; so many tragedians more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings; so many dancers tripping more nimbly from anguish then ever before from applause.” Tertullian (c. 155-230 AD)

          • Henry says:

            Neither Aquinas nor Tertullian in the above passages described the pleasure you alleged from one observing those in hell. From the context, Tertullian poses the question, how shall he admire?

          • entech says:

            There are none so blind as those that will not see.
            See the words Henry a perfect sight of punishment of the damned is granted them.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “a perfect sight of punishment of the damned is granted them.”

            It is statement by Aquinas to support the saint’s thankfulness in their own salvation. He does not say the saint is thankful for the lost burning up as you allege. You make a leap that doesn’t follow the context.

            I can see your frustration with your blindness although it is misdirected. You can’t help yourself at this point.

          • entech says:

            At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult This would indicate more than being grateful or thankful, this is laughing and rejoicing in exultation according to Tertullian.

            On the other hand not all believed it to be a joyous sight, but did exopect to be kept informed, up to date about the latest in agony
            “They who shall enter into [the] joy [of the Lord] shall know what is going on outside in the outer darkness. . .The saints’. . . knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted. . .with the eternal sufferings of the lost.” Augustine

            Or perhaps I am going to early for you the founder of your Protestants said:
            When questioned whether the Blessed will not be saddened by seeing their nearest and dearest tortured answers, “Not in the least.” Martin Luther

            But I keep forgetting that the things mean what Henry wants them to believe, nothing else – sometimes the rest of the universe can be and is wrong.
            Help? I really think that you are the one that needs help, such ill concealed sadism must be bad for you.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “this is laughing and rejoicing in exultation”

            Again, the question was asked by Tertullian, how shall he admire?

          • entech says:

            Yet again, whatever you say Henry.

      • Stanta says:

        Entech, you always do what you accuse me of doing. I just try to point out that the number of virgins is generally considered 72. Jon has a problem with fact and religions and I am trying to help out.

        Then you pull out the “but Christians are way worse!” ok, I guess the rules only work one way in your world. When the Crusades and the Inquistion or brought up I will always bring up the big three, especially since they were in a supposedly much more enlightened and secular era. You condemn me of defection.

        I am sure you have some way of justifying the above deflection since the same rules don’t apply to Enlightened and believers.

        • entech says:

          Merely quoting the church fathers. Personally I doubt that many Christians believe such things. You say yourself that your thoughts are to keep people out of hell.

          But it is likely that without the belief in heaven and hell Christianity would not have the power that it does, is a belief in hell a requirement to be a Christian?

          • Stanta says:

            What weird question from a usually intelligent man. Every religion has things they believe in right? Since salvation is a core belief of Christianity and Christ dying for our sins to keep us out of Hell is another, a belief system with no heaven or hell would NOT be Christianity correct?

          • entech says:

            Intended to be purely rhetorical Stan. I know very well that without heaven and hell, without vicarious atonement by torture on the cross, by suggesting that man is born a sinner and so on there would be no Christianity. I often say I could be wrong, but, I do invite you to consider whether all these things go well with your own good nature, whether a truly just God would punish all of humanity for the mistakes of a couple of innocent garden attendants who really did not know any better.

          • Stanta says:

            I questioned it for many years, at the age of fifty and after many experiences being outside of the faith I finally found happiness and joy being in it. I gain nothing from what I am doing on this earth but friendship and love. In fact it costs me in both treasure and time, both which I don’t have in abundance. Pascal Question for me us answered by the feeling that even if there is no heaven, I have helped others and have come to enjoy my time here on earth for the first time.

  5. Matt says:

    If you need more proof than the bible there are books full of miraculous events that can not be explained by you, science, medicine, or anything/one else. Pray, Hope, and Dont Worry True Stories of Padre Pio by Diane Allen would be an excelent place to start.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Matt 8:45 “..books full of miraculous events that can not be explained by you, science, medicine or anything/on else.”

      Atheists generally agree there are things that cannot be explained. In this way, they are different than believers. Believers think when something cannont be explained, they can explain it. They claim it was due to the god, even though they have no evidence this is so.

      • Brad says:

        Can someone give me an example of someone who deserves to suffer and burn for eternity? Yeah, I know someone like Hitler probably would, but wouldn’t something like 9000 trillion years of burning and torture be long enough even for someone as heinous as that? I mean that’s one long damn time to suffer and burn, more than I can imagine. And what actual purpose does that serve? Does the eternal suffering of someone else help anyone in any way, other than satisfying a burning desire for vengeance? Wouldn’t it be just as effective to cast the evil into their own non-existence where there is neither pleasure nor pain?

        I don’t think too many people actually think about what eternity is. It’s not a million years or a billion years or 9000 trillion years. Take the largest number you can possibly imagine, and even it is a tiny drop in the bucket.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Brad 3:57 “Does the eternal suffering of someone else help anyone in any was, other than satisfying a burning desire for vengeance?”

          Well said, Brad. I’ve alway wondered why religious posters feel the need to remind me of my hell-bound fate. There is nothing in their theology that says, “If he goes to hell, my eternity is threatened.” So, the only reason remaining is what you eloquently call, “…a burning desire for vengeance.”

          • Stanta says:

            Jon, I would much rather you arguing with me in Heaven then suffering in hell. I answer similarly when an inmate asks why I give up weekends and vacation time to do retreats. I tell them I just want a chance to keep them out of hell. Our mission is not to put people into hell but keep them out of hell.

  6. buzz says:

    Some clarity and different takes on all of this can be seen and/or heard on Shepherds Chapel on KCPM Grand Forks TV channel Sunday thru Thursday at Midnight. First half of show is Bible Verses, second half of show Questions from letters writen in are explained. Give it a look. Helps me and I am a Huge Skeptic.

    • Henry says:

      SCN is actually not a bad primer for transitioning from skepticism to Christianity. After a few years, the SCN message of the criticism of the “rapture theory” can wear a little old (even if they are theologically correct concerning their criticism). All bible passages seem to revolve around the criticism of the”rapture theory” when they review. Some accuse him of disbelieving in the Trinity. That is not true. It is also refreshing he doesn’t beg for money. Anybody who can fight their way out from behind enemy lines of the frozen Chosin reservoir at 10:1 inferiority odds commands a little respect. A tough guy to be sure. However, there comes a time when one may have to move on to a little more meat (think Hebrews), and this actually may require a little investigation and legwork when the time comes. Soldier on.

  7. Jinx says:

    Jon,

    Wanted to send this op-ed piece your way. It is off topic, sorry about that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/opinion/sunday/dowd-how-mary-feels-about-being-a-virgin.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>