Heaven: Is it that great?

 

Am I the only one who thinks Heaven sounds pretty shitty? I think I’d rather take a cheese grater to my nipples than spend eternity in a place where I can’t even be stoned whilst singing hymns.  Growing up a Christian, Heaven was the predominantly confusing aspect in the bible.  The bible’s viewpoint on this magical kingdom is derived directly from who? That’s right, the king.  How many times have you heard a king bad talking his own property?  I’m interested more in the most-viewed yelp reviews of Heaven’s slums before trusting the words of a genocidal tyrant. Because really that’s all God essentially is; an omnipotent, bloodthirsty, incest condoning, pro-slavery tyrant.  The idea of a God who requires you to come into his house every week to sing to him and beg for his love in order to evade an eternity of suffering. This doesn’t sound like a very loving God to me.  However, these are tiresome oft-repeated arguments and points.  My issue is with Heaven and the weird flaws that most don’t seem to tend to.

What is Heaven like?  Asking this question to a roomful of Christians will most likely get a different answer from each one.  The one question that will really baffle them is this:  What form will you take in Heaven?  By asking that I ask will you be a child? Will you be reborn? Or will you enter your new life as you left your old one? Say you get decapitated in a 24 car pileup with a door handle in your stomach.  Will you arrive in Heaven with your head in your hand?  Perhaps Heaven has kiosks akin to what we see at Sheetz, with St. Peter handing out those tickets you get a deli.  And on these kiosks maybe you can choose what you’d want to look like.  Could you imagine that with our materialistic society?  You’d have every guy walking around as either Brad Pitt or Idris Elba with no penis being under 10 inches.  Speaking of genitalia, can you have sex in Heaven?   Doesn’t sound much like heaven to me if you can’t have as much fun as you want every once in a while.  I mean even if God were to forbid you from making love, wouldn’t we still have that human intuition to fantasize?  I mean really who hasn’t lusted upon thy neighbor?  In Matthew 22:30 the bible tells us:  “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”  Hence, it seems there will be solely neighbors to lust once entering the pearly gates.  This leads me to ask, will Heaven or Hell be the afterlife of fun?

Hell is portrayed as a place of eternal suffering where sinners will go for their lives that were void of a relationship with God.  However, is it that bad? Will you be able to get drunk in Heaven? Smoke a cigarette? What if you’re lonely at 3 a.m. and want to call up a holy hooker?  And what about psychedelics?  Weed, psilocybin, LSD, DMT, etc.?  You know, those unjustifiably illegal, non-lethal drugs that do no more than expand your mind.  I think if psychedelics were to be unleashed upon a devout Christian in heaven, he’d had a Descartes-level questioning of the Kingdom and would probably dive head first into Hell.  If you ask me, the afterlife filled with drinkers, gamblers, sports addicts, porn enthusiasts, intellectuals, pot-smokers, and other outstanding members of society is much more appealing than an afterlife full of boot-lickers, non-drinkers, non-profane, and just generally unexciting people who sing hymns in unison.  

And you really mean to tell me we will be without sin in Heaven? Say that the 10 commandments are very literal in Heaven. We’d see thousands of men being thrown to Hell by God himself. And what’s heaven if you can’t kill a few people that pissed you off on Earth. What if Jesus is pissing you off? I could imagine Jesus as being one of those rich kids ya know? “Well my Dad owns Heaven so you have to listen to me!” Let’s create a scenario: We’re at the annual Last Upper celebration,that’s everyone in Heaven, sitting at like a 500 mile long table. And you’re sitting there drinking your wine & as you go for another sip Jesus comes by and steals your last piece of mana! So naturally, you backhand the asshole just out of pure instinct. What happens? I mean that’s gotta be a sin right? Sounds like a one-way ticket to hell. So, after being on your greatest behavior on Earth you have to be on just as good of if not better behavior? 

Also can we please stop it with the idea that Heaven has some NSA level system that every citizen has access to. How scared of dying are our religious friends? Not only do we have to have an eternal magical kingdom we arrive at upon death, we are able to watch our loved ones suffer a shitty existence on Earth until they arrive. 

And stop trying to pray to your loved ones in heaven. Don’t you think they have better things to do? I highly doubt your dead father wants to hear about your football game while he could be riding on the back of a pterodactyl whilst having a threesome with Marilyn Monroe and Cleopatra. But all in all. that’s just my opinion, you’re entitled to your own.  But I encourage you to challenge everything you are told. 

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85 thoughts on “Heaven: Is it that great?

  1. I so agree. I don’t really understand heaven. Humans learn by being exposed. We learn the good because we have seen or experienced the bad. We know what being healthy is because we have been sick. We know what being in love is because we’ve been alone. If everything good is on the table and there are no bad results, how can true happiness be found? Do people disagree with each other or just get along. How do they develop and learn if there aren’t a couple of heated arguments? I don’t really understand how it works because being too peaceful just isn’t how humans are meant to be. Our beauty comes from how imperfect we are. Perfection sounds both boring and terrifying.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The author is long dead, you can’t really be certain what they intended, so whatever you think they intended is going to match your own prejudice, therefore you’re making it all up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “That’s a very stupid argument. According to that idiotic logic I can say Darwin was arguing for young earth creationism.”

        Darwin explained his reasoning. Your book is a collection of unsupported assertions, the two are not even comparable.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You don’t understand. You said that I couldn’t determine authorial intent because the authors are dead. Darwin is dead. Therefore you cannot determine authorial intent. See? It’s an incredibly stupid argument.

        Which book are you talking about? And yes they are comparable if we are discussing hermeneutics, semiotics, etc.

        You really don’t know enough to intelligently discuss these things. I’ll try to be patient with you.

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      4. // You don’t understand. You said that I couldn’t determine authorial intent because the authors are dead. Darwin is dead. Therefore you cannot determine authorial intent. See? It’s an incredibly stupid argument.
        Which book are you talking about? And yes they are comparable if we are discussing hermeneutics, semiotics, etc.//

        This is an equivocation error; you mix an “authorial intent” obviously open to interpretation (like religious claims, dreams, prophecy, visions, etc…) with a scientific “authorial intent” (which offers a demonstrable “method” open to correction and also falsifiable).

        The first relates to supernatural claims and symbolism, while the latter relates to empirical claims.
        — I just thought it was useful to make the distinction.

        Like

  2. //aarong3eason
    JANUARY 15, 2017 AT 7:54 PM
    I’ve answered it twice now and you have yet to provide any evidence for atheism, materialism, or relativism. Which is good actually because there is none, but it would be nice to see you try//

    —Atheism does not have the burden of proof to disprove your claim that God exist.
    But I will indulge you…

    First I am NOT saying there is no godlike intelligence out there. How could I know? How can you know?
    What I DO say is that ALL the cultural gods created by mankind are written claims from authors that have absolutely no divine insight on the realities we know today.

    As I often say, is that I do not question God because I first question the writers who claim his existence to be real. Like I have also argued, is that we live in a 3-dimensional Universe, so we have no other choice but to trust our 5 senses and trust empirical evidence and logic in our everyday life. It’s all we have!

    Sorry to quote myself, but for lack of time, here it is:
    “It is also demonstrable that the claims on nature and the cosmos were in tune with what the neighboring beliefs were, for lack of scientific tools and proper methods of observation. (…) Our presuppositions must be rooted in empirical experiences. Otherwise, we are just blowing air on what we simply CANNOT know and just pretend to know.”
    “It’s a question of humility.
    We are Humans that trust the sources we feel most honest—but our sources are always from imperfect and biased humans, often with an agenda. This is true of both science and religion. But only science has a method that we can understand empirically, and self-corrects itself constantly.”

    I like to say I’m in a process, not a conclusion.
    As for the conclusions I make, they are open to correction as to new and better information.

    This is an epistemological issue. A lot to say on this…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There is, of course. Scientific materialism, or empirical naturalism is all around us!

        What I am saying is that nobody can claim to know what is beyond nature, like claims on the supernatural.

        If you can give me ONE example of the supernatural, it would not be super-natural now, would it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would like to have an honest unbiased discussion here, and avoid unsubstantiated statements like you seem to offer. Correct me if I’m wrong by all means.
        —Please let me ask you why you think that the authors of the many books that were collected in one book, the Bible, are telling the Truth?

        What I mean by that is — what solid evidence outside the Bible can you state that does not make your argument a circular one (ex. the Bible is true because the Bible says so)?

        That is my main problem: believing human writers that make supernatural claims while being no more educated on the universe than their peers at the time. Doesn’t it make sense to you that one would be justified to question the validity of these extraordinary claims? Do you not question the validity of other religious books for the same reason I question the Bible?

        I am not trying to make this an atheist vs theist issue. Can we just drop the bias and exchange logical and justified ideas? Heck, if I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I don’t presuppose anything that can’t be corrected—do you?

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      3. Wow…the “bible” in the Christian tradition is two collections (3 for non Protestants) of writings. That’s a total of 66 books. I treat them like any historical text. I read them the same way I read Josephus. That’s why I think they’re basically historically reliable. That’s the standard intellectual position. If you want to deviate from that you need a reason. That’s “unbiased”. I don’t need to think they’re telling the truth about everything exactly. I don’t think Herodotus is telling the truth about everything but I basically accept that the battle of the hot gates went down pretty much the way he said. I don’t even think the Persian numbers are inflated that much because he records consensus data about it but modern historians often discount the number out of hand because they don’t know how 1 million troops could be fed…well neither do I but at least it seems like Herodotus thought there were a million Persian soldiers. Maybe he was wrong, I don’t know. But we only have one source for that event. We have 7 for the resurrection. Most events of ancient history have 1 source, 2 is excellent, anything more is an embarrassment of riches of evidence.

        I haven’t made a circular argument…circular arguments are only fallacious when it’s a vicious circle, really more like question begging.

        You’re opinion is insanely biased and anti intellectual because you want to exclude the best evidence. That’s like saying prove to me Lincoln existed without any of the evidence Lincoln existed. It’s stupid. It’s biased. I don’t know why anyone would think that’s a good idea. In other words you need to stop pretending to be unbiased and logical if that’s the sort of conversation you want.

        I don’t even know what you mean by saying presuppose anything that can’t be corrected…I presuppose lots of things that can’t be corrected. Logic…the law of identity…that the universe is intelligible…that nature is essentially uniform & rational…you are presupposing that “supernatural” events are if not impossible then so unlikely that 7 independent sources to an event are mistaken…I feel like I’m teaching a class on history, logic, hermeneutics…almost everything.

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      4. Not sure why I cannot reply directly to your answer to me. Hmmm…
        So I will take you point by point on your comment, here.

        You say “I treat [the Bible] like any historical text.”
        —That’s your first problem. Just because the Bible has a mostly correct historical background and represents the zeitgeist of the time, it does not mean the characters and stories are true.
        Fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes are set in historically correct backgrounds. Conan Doyle’s London is verifiably true. His story and characters are fiction.
        By your standards, there is no reason to doubt the veracity of the Quran, or even the story of Gilgamesh.

        What you must understand is that I do not automatically dismiss all the Bible’s historicity or even the existence of the players involved. What I have absolutely NO reason to believe are the “supernatural” claims, such as the resurrection. You mix them all together as if one proves the other. Again, we could do that with any other “holy books”. Your claim is weak and your evidence for miracles null.

        AND… about the 7 for the resurrection, You can kick and scream that you “haven’t made a circular argument” but you absolutely have!
        Your 7 “proofs” are all taken from the Bible, which must be true because it says so in the Bible. It’s like that meme: The napkin religion is the only true religion because it says so on this napkin.” You like the word “irrelevant” —so may I use it here for your 7 circular pieces of evidence.

        But I hear you already—that this is “irrelevant”—a cop out when the argument is not worthy for you and your bias to discuss.

        You say “That’s like saying prove to me Lincoln existed without any of the evidence Lincoln existed.”
        —I’m not saying Jesus never existed—but Lincoln never claimed to have walked on water.
        You confuse what you CAN know, with what you CANNOT know; the non-empirical. Your Faith is just that: Faith.
        It’s not knowledge and your epistemology is faulty on many levels. I do understand, I was there as a Christian minister myself for over 3 decades… you are stuck in a conclusion, while it is wiser to stay in a process.

        We all presuppose things. That’s normal. What I was talking about is that you ironically presuppose while leaving logic out of the equation. I don’t have time right now, but I can expound on how your argumentation is wrong. I’m not even addressing the claims themselves, but the construct of how you defend them.

        I personally do not question the God idea, because his ontology is secondary.
        I first question the intent and knowledge of the writers who claimed his existence and actions to be true.

        But I’m guessing it’s like you said: You don’t care.

        If that be the case, why should I bother with the exchange? Your mind is made up.
        I, on the other hand, open my conclusions to correction upon better knowledge and evidence. I have no idea how you think your conclusions are set in stone. What you are saying is that you have no doubt that your understanding is so true it can’t be reasoned or questionned.

        I will let your readers decide which intellectual position is more reasonable.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. “You say “I treat [the Bible] like any historical text.”
        —That’s your first problem. Just because the Bible has a mostly correct historical background and represents the zeitgeist of the time, it does not mean the characters and stories are true.
        Fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes are set in historically correct backgrounds. Conan Doyle’s London is verifiably true. His story and characters are fiction.
        By your standards, there is no reason to doubt the veracity of the Quran, or even the story of Gilgamesh.”
        What you must understand is that I do not automatically dismiss all the Bible’s historicity or even the existence of the players involved. What I have absolutely NO reason to believe are the “supernatural” claims, such as the resurrection. You mix them all together as if one proves the other. Again, we could do that with any other “holy books”. Your claim is weak and your evidence for miracles null.”

        I’m having trouble keeping some of this stuff straight, I was arguing with 3 different people at one point. I think I may have been treating you like a mythicist, and that seems to be wrong. Sorry about that confusion.

        I have no reason to distrust “supernatural” claims. Materialism/physicalism is false because of the existence of mind. A “supernatural” claim should be treated like any claim, I don’t see any reason to treat the Disciples’ claim that Jesus was raised from death differently than any other claim.

        My standard is the scholarly standard. Treat each text according to its genre with other relevant data. Gilgamesh is clearly meant to be taken as a myth, it falls within that genre. The Koran also has many genres very few of which are historical as far as I can tell. I don’t know much about Koranic interpretation because I find the Koran boring. But I’m pretty sure most of the historical content associated with the Koran comes from the Sunna and the Hadith (life of the prophet & sayings of the prophet, combined these are sorta similar to the genre of the 4 gospels) and neither are contained in the Koran. Well I think some of both are recorded in it. But the apostolic witness was written by eyewitnesses or are based on eyewitness testimony. The attestations for the sunna and Hadith are not eyewitnesses, they are explicitly based on generations of oral tradition. That’s really a red herring though. I’m just demonstrating that the texts you claimed can’t be doubted based on my normal scholarly treatment of the apostolic witness really makes no sense. The Koran is as credible as it can be. Conan Doyle wrote fiction, that is yet another genre… really the only thing you’ve demonstrated thus far is your bias towards a western white male worldview by disregarding miracles.

        “AND… about the 7 for the resurrection, You can kick and scream that you “haven’t made a circular argument” but you absolutely have!
        Your 7 “proofs” are all taken from the Bible, which must be true because it says so in the Bible.”

        This is very important.

        I) only viciously circular arguments are fallacious
        II) this is a viciously circular argument:

        “Your 7 “proofs” are all taken from the Bible, which must be true because it says so in the Bible.”

        That is an invalid argument because it takes this form:

        P1: The “Bible” is “true”
        P2: The “Bible” says the Bible is “True”
        C: Therefore the Bible is true

        P1 is identical to C and C depends on P1 being true.

        III) I never made that argument
        IV) my argument is that the apostolic witness is generally credible history…something you don’t seem to deny…and that one of the things that the AW clearly and strongly attests to is that a man died and three days later was seen alive again…no evidence has been provided to make this seem false or unlikely. That argument is valid, it’s form is:

        P1: AW is reliable history
        P2: AW attests to an event R
        C: Therefore I have good evidence to believe that R happened

        Unless you can prove P1 or P2 to be false the conclusion necessarily follows.

        “It’s like that meme: The napkin religion is the only true religion because it says so on this napkin.” You like the word “irrelevant” —so may I use it here for your 7 circular pieces of evidence.
        But I hear you already—that this is “irrelevant”—a cop out when the argument is not worthy for you and your bias to discuss.”

        It is irrelevant because that’s not the argument I made. If you can show that one of the numerous red herrings I’ve addressed as irrelevant was actually relevant then please do so. Otherwise calling it a “cop out” is a cop out…and also irrelevant.

        “You say “That’s like saying prove to me Lincoln existed without any of the evidence Lincoln existed.”
        —I’m not saying Jesus never existed—but Lincoln never claimed to have walked on water.”

        Right, I don’t know why I thought you were a mythicist. I’ve become very used to responding to that view. Sorry about that.

        I reject your arbitrary materialist/physicalism.

        “You confuse what you CAN know, with what you CANNOT know; the non-empirical. Your Faith is just that: Faith.
        It’s not knowledge and your epistemology is faulty on many levels. I do understand, I was there as a Christian minister myself for over 3 decades… you are stuck in a conclusion, while it is wiser to stay in a process.”

        I don’t think the resurrection is non empirical. I think it’s non “scientific” but I think it’s accessible, just as accessible as any other piece of history.

        I do have faith but my faith is based on the resurrection not in the resurrection. The content of my faith is essentially eschatological.

        How is my epistemology faulty? I don’t see how my epistemology is really relevant here. I tend to think of myself as a virtue epistemologist and an externalist. Epistemology is about theories of knowing or how we know not about how we know specific things, like an event in history. For our present purposes that’s the discipline of historiography.

        If the conclusion I’m “stuck” in is true then how would it be better to be stuck in a process? “Sage advice” really isn’t relevant to this discussion.

        “We all presuppose things. That’s normal. What I was talking about is that you ironically presuppose while leaving logic out of the equation. I don’t have time right now, but I can expound on how your argumentation is wrong. I’m not even addressing the claims themselves, but the construct of how you defend them.
        I personally do not question the God idea, because his ontology is secondary.
        I first question the intent and knowledge of the writers who claimed his existence and actions to be true.”

        There’s nothing for me to respond to here, this section doesn’t really make any sense. I don’t think you know much about logic otherwise you would be able to tell the difference between a valid argument and a circular question begging one.

        “But I’m guessing it’s like you said: You don’t care.”

        About that one post yeah…I couldn’t understand it so how could I know if I cared or not. I chose not to care in that instance.

        “If that be the case, why should I bother with the exchange? Your mind is made up.”

        I don’t know why you should bother, that’s up to you. And yes my mind is pretty “made up” on whether or not Jesus came back from the dead. Your mind is convinced that miracles are impossible (impossible? Or you just haven’t been convinced of any miraculous claim so far?). But this is all irrelevant to the topic at hand.

        “I, on the other hand, open my conclusions to correction upon better knowledge and evidence.”

        That’s good. I think the same is true of myself but I haven’t been given any evidence to correct me on this topic. But also irrelevant.

        “I have no idea how you think your conclusions are set in stone. What you are saying is that you have no doubt that your understanding is so true it can’t be reasoned or questionned.”

        No I don’t think I ever said anything remotely like that. If I did show me and I’ll correct myself. Also irrelevant.

        “I will let your readers decide which intellectual position is more reasonable.”

        Irrelevant. They were going to do that anyway…there aren’t many of them yet.

        Please give me some scholarly recommendations for reading and study that inform your view. Even a YouTube video or debate would be greatly appreciated.

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      6. I would give you scholarly references, but I doubt you would find them relevant.
        Sam Harris and Richard Carrier come to mind. Robert Price too. For linguistics, Steven Pinker is very insightful, and Daniel Dennett for philosophy.

        All of these men have high credentials but argue the other side of your faith.

        I apologize for having repeated myself on another comment I made this morning. I read this comment after.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. They are relevant but if you think Carrier and Price are doing good work not only are you mistaken but that really seems to indicate that you have mythicist leanings. Why not just go with Ehrman or the numerous other critical scholars that don’t defend the lunatic fringe of mythicism? Price and Carrier are the Cream of the Mythicist crap but bad thinking is bad thinking. Based on that and the other post I responded to by you today I think you’re a mythicist. If that’s true I will admonish you again to do better. Mythicism is idiotic. Price and Carrier are not idiots, but they are choosing to believe something very idiotic. They are way to smart for that nonsense.

        Sam Harris and Daniel Dennet are very well educated & accomplished but they also happen to be wrong about pretty much everything, at least anything relevant to this discussion. The worst discussion I’ve ever heard about “free will” was between the two of them. It was actually worse than listening to 2 young Calvinists go at all. What are you referencing them for specifically? I can show you why they are logically incorrect.

        Also my “faith” isn’t really relevant to this discussion. I haven’t argued for anything distinctly Christian.

        I’m not sure who Pinker is…I know I’ve heard that name. I’ll look him up.

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      8. I didn’t deny them. I said they are wrong. I can show you why they’re wrong. I’m working through your resurrection post and I’ll respond on my blog, when I complete the post I’ll link to it in your comments.

        I was beginning to wonder if English was your first language based on some of the things you wrote. I’m sorry if I’ve been cruel. I didn’t mean that.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I have re-read your syllogism for the argument that the apostolic witnesses are generally credible history.

        You present it like this:

        P1: AW is reliable history
        P2: AW attests to an event R
        C: Therefore I have good evidence to believe that R happened

        Here is my thought on this:

        P1: AW is reliable history
        —Some is, some not. But in any case (sorry if I repeat myself), even a perfectly correct historical background does not make the characters and story true. And when supernatural claims are in the mix, it should trigger natural and justified skepticism, at the least.

        P2: AW attests to an event R
        —See above.

        C: Therefore I have good evidence to believe that R happened
        — Whitin the story, yes. The issue is to know if it’s fiction or Truth.

        Your conclusion is questionable because your 2 premises are justifiably questionable.

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  3. This really had nothing to do with biblical eschatology. “Heaven” isn’t really a biblical concept in the way you’re describing it here. Check out the book A New Heaven and a New Earth by Middleton. Great refutation of the popular western notion of “Heaven” and clear defense of the consistent biblical view.

    That’s a recommendation for everyone who commented as well sense none of it made much sense.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually thought this was on a different blog post.

        My point was that you aren’t satirizing actual Christian eschatology, you’re satirizing a heterodox popular view of “heaven.” I can think of some ways to poke fun of the actual view, I just thought you deserved to know what the actual view is.

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      2. Listen, the simple fact here is that I’m an atheist at 21 years old. Through the first 18 years of my life I was a devout Christian. A loyal Christian. A Christian who would argue with atheists until I lost my voice. But I was introduced to the other side, the non believers. I tried really really hard to retain my faith but it simply just doesn’t compute in my mind. While I don’t pretend to know everything , I tend to believe the evidence of history and science over a religious book. A book that for all we know was intended to be non-fiction. Or what I believe it’s intention was, a means of control for the docile minds who were afraid and had no answers. The Bible come from a period in time where science was archaic and had no answers, hence, why the Bible caught on. You continue to bring up evidence and proof as if there is some type of evidence to prove the existence of God? Religion in my eyes is no more than an answer to the questions that the religious want to hear. A fear of death is solved by the existence of Heaven. “How did we get here?” Is answered by an omnipotent being who created us. “How should I live my life?” Is laid out for us through the Ten Commandments. The Bible was an answer to fear and a way to control the masses. If anything is truly a tool used by the elitists, it’s the brainwashing of religion. The idea that if we’re “bad” we suffer forever. The idea that if we don’t worship a tyrannical, pro-slavery, pro-incest, pro-misogyny, pro-genocide sky fairy that we will not be accepting into his “loving” arms and we will perish forever. Imagine a government set up like this. “Follow these 10 rules or else we will torture for the rest of your life. If you do follow these 10 rules, you can lively happily. Not only that but you must come into my house and sing songs about how great we are. But don’t you dare even question our greatness or you’re done for!” You would hate that, and it would not last long before a revolution. Just think about it, it’s all crap. Just away to put the docile minds at bay and control them. I respect your beliefs and have no problem at all with them, but I’m very firm in my disbelief of Christianity. Just asking you to think it over.

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      3. Like I said you need to deal with arguments & evidence, your personal “story” (I don’t care how old you are) isn’t relevant & neither are your feelings or beliefs. Nothing in that comment was relevant to the truth in this discussion. That’s nice that you claim to respect my beliefs, even though we both know you think my beliefs are probably evil. I don’t respect your beliefs because they are false, anti-intellectual, anti-historical, illogical, and have evil consequences. I respect your right to believe false things but there is no truth in the above comment, just an expression of your “view” but your severely uninformed opinion is not helpful or relevant.

        Watch the video, or provide some evidence.

        Read Bart Ehrman’s Did Jesus exist?

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      4. “I think the resurrection is the most persuasive evidence for Jesus’ messiahship and that isn’t possible without God.”

        You have this book which says that some people say that this man Jesus rose from the dead and you think that’s good evidence?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That a historical event occurred? Absolutely. That’s called history. We have 7 independent sources that attest to the basic facts about Jesus’ life. Nothing in the ancient world comes close to that level of evidence. Nothing.

        That’s just a truly horrible argument. I can use it to become incredulous of literally anything:

        “You’ve got all these science books that claim such and such and you think that’s good evidence.”

        Try again. Give evidence. Make an argument. Give me a reason to think they aren’t telling the truth. Your question is question begging and frankly anti intellectual.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Well the apostolic witness is a collection of historical writings. They should be treated like any other set of historical writings. You’re treating them like they’re special. I’m treating them like texts. There were no historical textbooks during that time. That’s a very modern genre and not a very reliable one for non pedagogy. I’m sorry but you don’t really know enough to discuss these things in an intellectually responsible way. You’re just begging the question. Paul actually uses a source that’s dated to within 2 years from Jesus’ resurrection.

        You keep making terrible “arguments” but at least you’re trying now. I don’t really need to provide evidence that Jesus or the resurrection took place, those are essentially data points of history. The “skeptic” needs to provide evidence that the standard view is incorrect and begging the question against primary sources is just irresponsible and lazy. Try again.

        Watch the Habermas video or the Craig video I posted. I think you should probably just buy Ehrman’s book on whether Jesus Existed. But you gotta start educating yourself somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Science books include explanations of experiments to demonstrate that which is known.

        The resurrection is an ancient claim from an ancient culture which you can never know for certain happened.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Yes they do…history books don’t and we don’t say they are unreliable because of it. Scientism is a horribly naive form of fundamentalist anti intellectualism

        I don’t need to know for “certain”. That’s an unfair standard. Just treat it like history. I don’t need a proof. I just need evidence. And it’s clearly evidence. It’s good evidence that it happened. Multiple sources attest to it. It’s better attested to then almost any event in the ancient world. The creed Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians is dated to within 2 years of the resurrection. That’s pretty damn good evidence. Read Ehrman’s Did Jesus exist?

        Being an ancient claim is irrelevant, you’re making the assumption that your time is more reliable. Guess what? Fake news. Put yourself a hundred years from now…could you trust sources from our time? It would be pretty hard wouldn’t it. Sources from that time are far more reliable. I can give loads of evidence for that if you’d like, it’s clear you don’t know much about the relevant sources and it’s not hard to learn about them.

        Ancient culture…also irrelevant. That’s privileging your culture over another. Your culture is white, male, and western. That smacks of anti Semitic white supremacy. Probably not a good idea.

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      9. Also mental qualia makes no sense in a purely materialistic universe, which defeats any attempt to make God “impossible” and if one concept is possible and the other is impossible which ever has clear benefits over the other is the one that should be chosen. This means atheism is essentially excluded by simple logic.

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      10. Oh my god, I keep forgetting what post we’re commenting on…I’m sorry about that, makes things very confusing.

        If I interpreted you correctly then your statement about interpretation is incorrect. You see that right? Relativism makes no sense. Some opinions are wayyyyy better than others. In some people’s opinion we didn’t land on the moon…that opinion is false. In some people’s opinion Obama was a great president but that is a very very weak opinion, based almost entirely in emotion instead of reason. In other words naive relativism is BS. Mythicism and the historical truth about Jesus cannot both be correct. That’s lunacy

        Liked by 1 person

      11. That’s not really evidence or an argument.

        We have loads of evidence for basic immateriality, they’re called minds. And our minds are what essentially do everything, so that’s evidence that immaterial substance interacts with the physical world constantly but that the reverse isn’t true. And since the general consensus is our universe has a beginning that means it’s cause must be immaterial, which isn’t a problem since we have examples of immaterial things having an effect on the material world all the time. But most of the atheists you read are full on reductionists. You know what that means? Remember that post you wrote about self love? They don’t believe love exists. Sam Harris thinks murderers should be treated like insane bears that kill someone. Except you can’t claim a should at all if all there is is material. Because there would be no will, no anything except rocks. No love, no nothing. Just stuff bouncing around. So there are no shoulds or shouldn’ts there just ares. That makes your worldview extremely evil. Because you can’t claim anything is evil anymore. Homophobes? Nah, don’t exist. Racists? Nah, you can’t be evil if you can’t be held responsible. Atheism is insane. It leads to the worst things in the world. It means the holocaust was fine, the crusades, misogyny, etc, don’t matter. And it means these things by definition. This is why Atheists spend so much time trying to prove they’re good people because their worldview destroys every good thing. Can atheists be good? Of course! Is atheism good? Absolutely not.

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      12. You mention that atheists in some way support the holocaust, homophobia, misogyny, racism & evil all around but fail to acknowledge the fact that the Old Testament is riddled with the support of all of those. While Pot, Stalin, and Mao may have been atheist they developed a statist religion with themselves being the God. Hitler also was a Roman Catholic. You don’t need a belief in God to be a moral human.

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      13. Are you asking me why they are wrong because you don’t believe they are? If so I’m gonna have to leave this debate. If you’re asking me why these things are now social stigmas, I’m gonna have to say it’s because our societal standards and morals have evolved. I’m guessing you’re implying that religion makes these things wrong but slave masters used the Bible to justify slavery. Women having no rights was justified by patriarchal views in the Bible. I can go on. Moving away from these views was not because of the Bible, but rather hindered by it.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. You’re misreading this whole thing. Why do you think it is wrong to murder someone? Societal standards aren’t right or wrong they’re just “popular”. You think misogyny is evil yes? Why? Tell me why it’s wrong. We both agree it’s wrong but I can tell you why evil things are evil, but this is why atheists have managed to murder so many during the 20th century. There isn’t a way to account for good and evil on an atheist view of the world. Sam Harris has basically admitted this.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Hitler was an atheist who was also a baptized catholic. In other words he wasn’t a real catholic. That’s a red herring and one you still lose by. It’s actually a claim anti semites make but that’s not surprising since you have pro Palestine leanings.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. You said you leaned more towards Palestine since you think Israel is always trying to drive Palestine into the Sea. Let’s say they are, Hamas is evil and should be driven into the sea. But they aren’t, they’ve been trying to live in peace during constant war.

        Yes Hitler used his “Catholicism” politically. It’s clear he hated Christianity and everything connected to it. That’s what’s called a Nominal Catholic, a in name only catholic. He was an atheist. Atheists are directly responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths during the 20th century. Every horrible regime, every catastrophe of the 20th century has atheism firmly at its center. A historian or a “scientist” would be forced to conclude there’s some sort of correlation between mass death and atheism.

        I guess that means you agree you were wrong about Hitler? Since what you said has nothing to do with whether or not he was a Christian. I’m not aware of any historian who thinks the Nazis were Christians. The only religion they seemed to possess was a very perverted form of Asatruism or Odinism.

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      17. Mind is what we call the experience of the brain processing stuff. The mind is not immaterial, it’s the product of chemical reactions.

        Take away the brain and all the experience that we call mind disappears with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. No that’s not what anyone thinks except for dogmatic material reductionists. The “experience” is mental which is immaterial. Any experience is a mental event not a physical one. Even what you’re saying is actually self refuting.

        It’s the product of chemical reactions? Let’s say that’s correct. What is the thing being produced? Unless what you actually mean is that it just is chemical reactions then you’re denying mental qualia in which case there are no experiences, feelings, etc. That’s fine but it’s patently false. You experience things all the time. That’s mental qualia. Experience simply isn’t physical. All philosophers of mind acknowledge this but neuroscienctists are extremely bad philosophers so they teach that hogwash. But it’s simply a childish error.

        If you mean that the chemicals actually are producing the mental qualia then you acknowledge a) mental states b) and they are immaterial since the state being produced by the chemical reactions clearly isn’t physical c) and that mind is essentially magic that matter makes.

        A) means you don’t believe your own claim that mind isn’t immaterial
        B) means you don’t believe your neuroscienctists, which is good because they are embarrassingly bad at philosophy
        C) means that you think matter does something it can’t do: magic

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    1. “I don’t need to know for “certain”. That’s an unfair standard.”

      Then don’t make statements of certainty based on something which can’t be known with certainty.

      “Just treat it like history. I don’t need a proof. I just need evidence.”

      If you’re going to claim something happened with certainty and there is no way any other explanation is possible, then yes you do need proof. Evidence only gets you so far.

      “Multiple sources attest to it. It’s better attested to then almost any event in the ancient world.”

      Multiple copies of half a dozen accounts copied from a single source is still a single source. The Trojan War is a well attested historical event, does that mean the golden apple legend is true?

      “Being an ancient claim is irrelevant, you’re making the assumption that your time is more reliable.”

      Being an ancient claim is entirely relevant, many ancient events include element that are unnatural, see the golden apple and the Trojan War as just one of many possible examples. I am making no assumption on my own time, stop attributing to me you own anti intellectual biases. If I am making any assumption, it’s that without further confirmation, I can not be certain of the truth of any written account, ancient or otherwise.

      “Put yourself a hundred years from now…could you trust sources from our time?”

      Not without addition support, there are plenty of written accounts from our time of people being abducted by aliens, claims of the moon landings being faked and that the twin towers were destroyed by mini nukes.

      “Sources from that time are far more reliable.”

      That’s a big claim.

      “I can give loads of evidence for that if you’d like,”

      Go for it.

      “Ancient culture…also irrelevant. That’s privileging your culture over another. Your culture is white, male, and western. That smacks of anti Semitic white supremacy. Probably not a good idea.”

      There you go, projecting onto me your own disdain for things that disagree with you. How typically Christian.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1. I didn’t.
        2.i didn’t claim certainty. I made a claim that I have evidence for (I may have said I was certain…if I did I certainly didn’t mean Cartesian certainty, I meant confidence…I try to avoid the term certainty so if I did I apologize for the confusion on my part.
        3. The apostolic witness contains 27 works. But since Paul (or writers claiming to be Paul) wrote most of it we only count 7 independent sources. The Trojan war isn’t well attested, the primary account has always been treated as mythology and it’s clearly in the genre of mythology. The Persian Wars would be a better comparison (they were essentially cast within the structure of the Iliad).
        4. Exactly. Though the Iliad is a bad example. Everything from the time of the apostolic witness recounts things you find dubious. That means you privilege white western male culture as credible and all others as not. I’ll stop attributing biases to you when you stop draping yourself in them.
        5. That’s irrelevant. Give me a reason to think it’s false.
        6. Okay, you clearly know very little about the subject matter at hand so here’s a few things to read:

        Jesus and the eyewitnesses by Bauckman
        Did Jesus Exist? By Ehrman
        Anything by NT Wright
        Anything by Joachim Jeremias

        Essentially it’s easy to see because the vast majority of texts since the printing press was invented (and made far worse by the internet) are unreliable. But there aren’t that many texts from the 1st century. If you assume they’re all unreliable because of your racist biases the argument doesn’t work but if you see the truth that these texts are essentially reliable then it’s pretty clear that ancient sources are more reliable
        7. Irrelevant. Show how what I said is wrong. Atheism is essentially dominated by white, western, men, as is science in general and scientism as a belief system is quite exclusively white, male, and western. I don’t know if saying things like that is typically Christian or not…I don’t really see how that’s relevant.

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    2. “Any experience is a mental event not a physical one. Even what you’re saying is actually self refuting.”

      Our mental experiences are the product of chemical reactions. Change or remove the chemicals and you change or remove the mental experience. This is a fact that you can not get away from. it is not an can not be self refuting, your claim is nonsense.

      “Unless what you actually mean is that it just is chemical reactions then you’re denying mental qualia in which case there are no experiences, feelings, etc.”

      It doesn’t help your case when you misrepresent what is said against you. Of course we experience those things, the question is, are those things the result of the chemical make up of our physical bodies? The answer is yes.

      “then you acknowledge a) mental states b) and they are immaterial since the state being produced by the chemical reactions clearly isn’t physical c) and that mind is essentially magic that matter makes. ”

      You need to more clearly define what you mean by ‘mental states’ and that they are ‘immaterial’.

      Of course the mind isn’t magic, the believing in magic belongs on your half of the discussion with the all seeing immaterial god that dies and lives at will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1. You didn’t understand. No one thinks that the brain isn’t related to mental qualia. Your explanation assumes the existence of mind but you hold to supervenience. I don’t know which kind because as far as I can tell they’re functionally the same. All you’re actually saying is that consciousness which is by definition immaterial is produced by chemical reactions. So you aren’t a materialist/physicalist.
        2. I didn’t misrepresent you because I didn’t represent you, so your own words back, i was explaining that either you are claiming reductionism or supervenience. You clearly believe mental qualia so you aren’t a physicalist.
        3. It’s clearly defined. I’m starting to think you just don’t know anything about philosophy of mind…sadly like most neuroscienctists. Mental states are by definition not materiel states.
        4. If you believe in mind (which you do) but you think that an immaterial substance is completely dependent upon a physical substance…that sounds like magic. I don’t see how a physical state could lead to a non physical state.
        5. I don’t see how an immaterial person is Magic
        6. “Dies and lives at will”…what are you talking about?

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    3. Forgive me if I’m on the wrong thread, but I wanted to address your comment to someone else than myself:
      “Try again. Give evidence. Make an argument. Give me a reason to think they aren’t telling the truth.”

      (Can’t seem to reply directly.)

      I would hope with your credentials that you are familiar with the problems related to translation and the inconsistencies of the gospels to name a few.
      I often like to read the opinion of people that have every reason to argue my position.

      Here are a few scriptures that do have inconsistencies:

      • John 20:1; Luke 24:10; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1 — all tell a different story about the tomb and Mary Magdalene (and who was with her).

      • Matthew 28:2; John 20:1: Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4 — all contradict how many (or none) moved the stone of Jesus tomb.

      … I could go on, and also talk about the different canons of the Bible. Just in the Christian Faith, different canons were compiled (as I’m sure you know)…

      So there are reasonable questions to be asked about the true validity of the Bible and the resurrection in particular. Or is this subject taboo and inquiry demonized? If so, why?

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      1. Red herring. Not relevant at all.

        But since you brought it up none of those verses contradict. None. Even if they did we’re not arguing about inerrancy we’re arguing about historicity. But explain to me how any of those accounts are contradictory or how they make the apostolic witness a bad historical source…it’s just false and irrelevant.

        What do the various canons (the differences all being related to the apocrypha and not the apostolic witness) have to do with the reliability of the gospels? Fallacies all over the place! Non of this is relevant.

        Yes there are reasonable questions to be asked but you have asked none of them! A reasonable question is something like which party was Jesus affiliated with or any number of good interesting questions to do with interpretation or genre but this list of red herrings is just…irrelevant. I haven’t made any ridiculous claims from an academic or intellectual perspective the claim that Jesus’ earliest followers believed he had been brought back to life is very well attested. This is a matter of history. The apostolic witness to Jesus should be treated like other sources. If those 4 non contradictory passages did explicitly contradict each other that would have no bearing on the history of the matter. It would simply be part of the data at hand that John told a different story from Luke, and he does in deed tell a different story from Luke but it isn’t contradictory. In fact those 4 accounts in the verses you cited all corroborate the most amazing and important point in favor of the credibility of the initial witness to the resurrection: women. The testimony of women was highly suspect in that culture yet each of the four writers attests to the fact that women were the first to spread the good news of Yeshua conquering death. That means it did happen. You can believe whatever you want about how it happened but the minimal thing you must accept based on that bit of evidence alone is that Yeshua’s followers truly believed he had died and come back to life. You can think that they’re crazy or mistaken but they believed it otherwise they would have never used the testimony of women at that point in the story. The most crucial point of the narrative rests on the credibility of the uncredible! So all accounts harmonize perfectly on an embarrassing truth, that means it’s good history. It’s quite amazing that you managed to set that trap for yourself.

        Bart Ehrman is not a Christian, he is some kind of skeptic agnostic that’s why I keep recommending his book Did Jesus Exist? Go read it. It’s not expensive.

        If you don’t want to read that watch the veritas forum video by Gary Habermas called the resurrection argument that changed a generation of scholarship.

        Taboo? Don’t be childish I’m discussing these things with a bunch of people I don’t know and who clearly know very little about biblical scholarship, clearly I don’t think these questions are taboo I think they are very very easy to answer.

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    4. ” you think that an immaterial substance is”

      I think no such thing, stop telling me what I think or believe, each time you do that you make an error. it’s a frustrating and peculiarly Christian habit.

      By definition, anything that is immaterial can not be a substance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1. It’s not my fault that you don’t understand philosophy of mind. That is a peculiar & frustrating trait of atheists, physicalists, etc. I haven’t actually erred in explaining your beliefs to you. Your assertions to the contrary aren’t relevant, you clearly believe what I have said you do you simply don’t understand the issues so you aren’t able to see that I am correct. I’ll try to be patient with you.
        2. That’s just not true unless you are assuming materialism but you aren’t assuming materialism since you referenced mental qualia numerous times.

        Check out Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos and his classic essay What it is like to be a Bat. Also the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy should be helpful.

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      2. ” It’s not my fault that you don’t understand philosophy of mind.”

        “You really don’t know enough to intelligently discuss these things. I’ll try to be patient with you.”

        You’re an arrogant prick, grow up and learn some manners.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Since angels don’t copulate, the answer is that heaven will take your genitals if you still have them. Maybe people will get a cloaca instead? If Revelation is any guide, heaven will be an eternity of telling the Christian deity how awesome it is. Without any genitals or regret-free sex to pass the time.

    At least in hell, you’re on fire, but you can still get it on if that’s your thing. In fact, there will probably be a bunch of people there because it was their thing. Well, if it’s real that is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like heaven will only be ‘heaven’ for one being, that is the being that is told constantly how great it is. How self absorbed does one need to be to need to be reminded constantly how great one is?

      “This is my heaven, I made it great, it’s the greatest heaven you’ve ever seen. Now worship me because I’m great and I made you great. But you’re only great if you worship me and tell me how great I am. Because I’m great!”

      urgh!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The issue with Heaven is that Christians have different ideas on it.
      However in general, many believe it’s a destination of peace and perfection. A reward for a good life.

      But Heaven was never perfect. Free will was used by perfect angels for evil.
      Need I quote the Bible on the angels that were sexually attracted to women and came down to have sex with them—triggering a genocide of human, vegetal, and animal life?
      How about fallen angels?
      There are different opinions on who the serpent was in the original paradise, but many think it relates to Satan. It is alleged that he was the first rebel, and he was in Heaven before Adam & Eve existed. So who sinned first?

      *(I want to remind everyone I believe none of this, so I don’t really care who the Serpent was.)
      I am arguing on one side of the Christian Faith: of the fundamentalists and presuppositionalists.
      —Christians are not united on any idea (as the supposed Jesus predicted his followers would be). So this argument may not fit everyone’s version of Christianity, which in itself is odd.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very thought provoking and funny! There are so many “holes” in the typical religious view of “Heaven/Hell” and you pointed out many of them!

    The original Greek word that our English word, “eternal,” replaced was “aionios;” “aionios” was a Greek adjective that was used to describe “life” (heaven) and “death” (hell) and did not mean “forever” as our English word “eternal” is defined. With that in mind, Heaven and Hell begin to become a lot more easily understood.

    Hence, “aionios” life (Heaven) = love, happiness, peace, joy, etc. that is RIGHT NOW and “aionios” death (Hell) = emotional suffering, agony, pain that is RIGHT NOW! Heaven and Hell have nothing to do with being religious or not religious; Having “Heaven or Hell” within you right now is solely based upon your ability and action to Live in LOVE– LOVE your internal self, first, and then LOVE your neighbor AS YOURSELF! Now, the LOVE I am referring to is not “easy, fluffy, or soft” as how society may view “LOVE” as choosing to live in LOVE is hard work and not for the faint of heart! “Living in LOVE” means LOVING your personality, your past/present/future, your “mistakes,” and most importantly LOVING YOUR MIND and ability to think/perceive as your MIND ultimately is either your biggest ally or your biggest enemy.
    Think better= Live better
    Thing worse= Live worse

    When reading the Bible, the following terms are pretty much interchangeable:
    1) Heaven, Light, Love, God (when Jesus is speaking), “Fruits of the Spirit”

    2) Hell, Darkness, Devil, “Fruits of the Flesh”

    Lastly, “God (Living in Love) is Supernatural” in the sense “Living in Love/Light is NOT Natural” as the majority of people “Live in Hell/Darkness/Emotional Suffering.” Hence, How many joyful, positive, uplifting people (who live in Love/God/Heaven) do you see or associate with? Probably not many– at least I don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Up in the air and I’m down here for sure.
    I have a friend that says not everyone can hold in heaven so some of us have to go to hell and I crack up each time I hear it. Believe what you choose and let no one guilt you into anything else.
    I’d probably not put a grater to my nipples, I kinda like them after all, but yep I totes get your drift.
    You have found a friend here…
    Cheers!

    Like

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