What makes you think you're going to heaven?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Dr. Fudd, Mar 8, 2014.

?

Are you going to heaven or hell?

  1. Heaven

    50.0%
  2. Hell

    12.5%
  3. Neither exist

    37.5%
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  1. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I'm not being coy. Or maybe I am, but it's with what I think is good intent.

    I'll say this much: One of the analyses I had at the crux of my conclusions was, "If I was placed on the planet without prior religious training or knowledge, after making a reasoned investigation of the options around the world, what would I believe, if anything?" It allowed me to step outside my biases (nine years of presecondary Catholic education, altar boy service, religion class every school day, devout Catholics on one side of the family, and about 14 million interactions with clergy within and without church services, and even teaching a Sunday school class for one term).

    I'm comfortable with my belief status. In fact, a lot more comfortable than when I was immersed in religion and when I was going through the questioning phase.
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  2. Dr. Fudd
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    Dr. Fudd Bored Taster

    It's interesting that your experience is the complete opposite of mine and similar as a result. I'm so at peace now in Christ than I was in the world. One difference being, I'm not catholic. I have a feeling had I been brought up in the church of religion as a child I would have become jaded and probably would have rejected it at some point. Even as a sinner, catholicism (my mothers childhood religion) was incredibly depressing to me as a child. My parents were not saved by any stretch of the imagination, but we went to church for a short period of time in the episcopal church. I really don't have any memory of that. I was pretty young.
    I've had a similar experience, if I was dropped on the face of the earth with no religious beliefs, would I eventually believe in God. By what I see of the world around me I would believe in God. One striking similarity is what you say about your experience in religion. That's my experience as well, not as a child but as an adult. Having possibly experienced more versions of Christianity I may have developed a more broad view than someone that primarily was involved with just one or a few denominations.

    All very interesting.
  3. Dr. Fudd
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    Dr. Fudd Bored Taster

    Sorry to miss your post. You sound a little like me before I got saved. Actually years before I got saved. I had a mishmash of belief systems and no systems going and ones I had abandoned. I thought there was a "god" but I didn't believe that Jesus was God or that there was one God. I can't believe what I've been able to believe if that makes any sense. I had all of your contentions about a divine loving God and more. I think that you're still searching is the key. I'm not a good Christian either. they don't exist. It's just different people on different points in their walk of faith if we're talking about Christians. And where you are, is where you are in your walk trying to figure it out. I wish you good fortune. Let me know if I can be of any help.
  4. blunthead
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    blunthead Well-Known Member

    To see we all rely on what is visible, and are not expected to see anything else without belief that anything else is. Without revelation no one ever sees what's invisible, yet nonetheless those things are there. To His disciples, with whom he spent many hours in the flesh, Jesus said Blessed are they who have not seen [Him] and yet believe. True, without feeling a need for more than what's visible, a person won't see anything else unless God chooses to reveal it to him/her.
  5. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    To be at peace with one's beliefs (as long as they're not destructive) is a good thing. On that point, we're alike.

    I wasn't jaded with Catholicism. In fact, it was a couple Jesuits that contributed to my going on the personal discovery quest. And I can walk into a Catholic church this Sunday and I'll be quite comfortable with the surroundings and the rituals. My quest of "what is correct?" simply took me on a different path. It wasn't a rejection as much as making a different choice.

    But maybe in the big scheme of things, Catholicism is the correct way to go. Or being Lutheran. Or self-actualized Christian. Or Muslim. Or Buddhist. Or agnosticism or atheism. I know plenty of people at peace with themselves in all those disciplines. I've got mine, I'm happy with it, and I'm enjoying that it's from information that I gather for myself.

    Espiscopalians and Catholics are pretty much the same in ritual. Even Lutherans. They differ in hierarchy and some minor differences in dogma not worth fighting over, although that has happened.

    Oh, I've been to lots of different churches. I've been to open-air prayer gatherings. Catholic, Episopalian, Lutheran, First Christian, Baptist, Presbyterian, Jesus-freak meeting, evangelical, foursquare, LDS temple (not The Temple), general prayer gathering, a few others like Nazarene and Methodist (I can't remember which; maybe both)(edited to add: whoops, how could I forget the Unitarians?). Synagogue. Buddhist temple. I'll disclose that I've not had the opportunity to visit a mosque. I've done the intellectual wrangling with very spiritual types and very anti-theist types.

    I would say my experience has been broad-based, and not because I was seeking these out, but because I was willing to see what they were about when the opportunities arose. And I'm quite comfortable with where I ended up. Maybe I'll be this comfortable till I die. Maybe I'll find something else that fulfills me more. Who knows.

    Indeed, as I mentioned above. Hence my interest in discussion.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
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  6. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    Do you mean such things as planetoids, subatomic particles, EM wavelengths, and dark matter? We can't see them. We know they're there. We hypothesized according to the universe's consistency, tested, and sure enough, we detected a number of things that we couldn't see that we still devised means to discover.
  7. Dr. Fudd
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    Dr. Fudd Bored Taster

    Maybe in the big scheme of things, there's only one answer. The disparity in the ways you've listed can't possibly lead to the same result. Wouldn't someone have to be wrong? But if being at peace was the only indication for salvation, or anything else for that matter, lots of people would be fine with any number of things they could justify doing. The fruit of their lives needs to be looked at. What are they producing in the midst of their "peace"?

    So similar as to be indistiguishable. as far as I've seen.

    Well if you don't find something else, it won't be for want of looking.
  8. Terry B
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    Terry B Well-Known Member

    There's too much attention paid to what happens and where we go after death. We need to spend more time concentrating on the here and now and how we treat our fellow humans during our time on Earth.
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    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

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  10. Dr. Fudd
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    Dr. Fudd Bored Taster

    I think just the opposite. Since you're dead for a much longer time than you're alive I'm more concerned about how my life will effect my eternity and the eternity of others. Something happens to you after you die and that something lasts forever. I don't want to get that something wrong.
  11. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with that.

    More cynically, it's my observation that offering a happy afterlife can motivate people into good behavior that they might not otherwise engage in. (And to be fair, sometimes they're motivated to bad behavior too.)
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  12. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I don't know that someone would have to be wrong. I've had it advanced to me that the different religions are a result of God appealing to different peoples in the way that they are inclined to accept. I don't believe that, but it's one theory.

    But yes, you'd think that one of them, or some of them, or most of them, or even all of them could be wrong.

    That's an individual thing. If they're producing children before they die, they've met the biological standard of the meaning of life. If they promote comity and harmony, and raise their children to be good citizens, they're good as far as I'm concerned.

    Acceptance of the papacy (or not), infant baptism (or not), belief in transubstantiation (or not) seem to be a few of the things that they're willing to kill each other for.

    Thank you. It's a good journey. Lots to see along the way.
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  13. Terry B
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    Terry B Well-Known Member

    We quit breathing, we die, all conscientiousness is gone then there's nothing. What eternity? Be a good human citizen now. Why worry about later?
  14. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    Going back to the dust mite on page 4...

    Saying that we need to understand, or can understand, everything there is to know about the universe is kinda like that dust mite on that grain of sand on one of the beaches of the world saying, "I need to know my place here!!"

    Now, we're a lot smarter than that dust mite (that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it), and we've made all kinds of discoveries with all kinds of instruments that that frustrated mite doesn't have available.

    But in terms of scale, it's relevant. There's no need or right for us to know the truth, whatever that may be. Like billions or trillions of other organisms on the planet, we're born, we struggle, and if we're successful as a species, we procreate before we die.

    I'd like to know Ultimate Truth. I've seen no reason to believe that any book or belief has it more than another, except that which can be directly observed, tested, and proven, and a lot of times you don't even know then. So what I'm stuck with is trying to provide for me and mine, advance knowledge, advance understanding, and try to make this corner of the planet a little better than I found it. I don't know that I'm doing that, but if I think so by the time I croak off, that'll be good.
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  15. Dr. Fudd
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    Dr. Fudd Bored Taster

    If you're right, no problem. If you're wrong, you're wrong for eternity. That eternity. Unless you've died for a considerable amount of time and come back to say there's nothing beyond the life we live here and now, there's no way you can assert that there is no life after this life. Since energy is never destroyed but only converted, why wouldn't your consciousness be transferred to another level?
  16. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. There are those who say that being a good person will get you through the pearly gates whether you believe right or not. Those who say that God has already chosen you, or not, regardless of your beliefs and actions. There's the reincarnation model, which also doesn't give much regard to what you believe.

    I've never been much of a fan of, "You better believe, because if you don't, you have a bigger chance of going to hell." My belief doesn't respond well to that stimulus.
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  17. Dr. Fudd
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    Dr. Fudd Bored Taster

    Same answer, If you're right, no problem. If you're wrong you're wrong forever. Doesn't really matter what you believe if you're wrong. As a people, what predominates our species? Being right or being wrong?
  18. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I think that's an inaccurate dichotomy. What predominates our species are things like opportunistic survival, striving for convenience, and social dominance. When we developed tools, invented and refined language, devised protection against the elements, and other events that have predominated our development, it wasn't being right or wrong. It was meeting our perceived needs.

    Respectfully, if one is going to stand on the literalness of Genesis despite plain, obvious, and ubiquitous evidence to the contrary and then say, "Are we usually right or wrong?" I see that stance as being on fairly shaky ground.
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  19. Terry B
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    Terry B Well-Known Member

    My life. My death. My eternity. My problem. I'm not going to force my beliefs on others. So - no problem.
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  20. Dr. Fudd
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    Dr. Fudd Bored Taster

    What we have today, from lights to structures and technology is derived from learning from previous mistakes. Whether or not you agree with it doesn't make it an inaccurate point of view.
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