Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby Fortigurn » 20 Apr 2012, 13:38

bob wrote:
There isn't a single passage in the entire Bible which says any bit of anyone goes to heaven when they die. This is verifiable.


In Heaven our souls will be united with new incorruptible bodies - 1 Corinthians 15

It took like two seconds to find that.


Well let's read 1 Corinthians 15:

* Number of times heaven-going is referred to: zero
* Number of times souls are referred to: zero
* Number of times souls re-united with new incorruptible bodies are referred to: zero

In this chapter Paul actually says that unless there is a resurrection, Christians have perished and have no hope (1 Corinthians 15:18). This is the complete opposite of your claim. Did you have another passage in mind?

bob wrote:I think he is actually lying.


bob, because I'm an incredibly tolerant guy I'm going to ask you to edit out this breach of forum rules. Alternatively I can edit it for you, and issue you a formal warning. Make your choice. Meanwhile, let's look at your completely uncritical copy/paste from a Fundamentalist website.

bob wrote:Matthew 10:28
"And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”


So the first quotation here says explicitly that both body and soul are destroyed in what is translated here as 'hell'. Not 'preserved forever', but 'destroyed'. The complete opposite of an immortal soul, both body and soul are destroyed. Let's move on.

bob wrote:"But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

Were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob alive at the time of this statement? No. So how can they be described as living? Only if they are actually immortal souls that were alive after death (and prior to their physical resurrection in the future). If they are immortal souls, immaterial beings, then the passage begins to make sense.


The passage quoted here states explicitly that God is the God of the living because Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be resurrected in the future, not because they are immortal souls in heaven in the present. This passage is well within orthodox Second Temple Judaism, and is almost identical to several rabbinical statements defending the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead using the Old Testament statement 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living'. In Second Temple Judaism this passage was understood as a reference to the resurrection, not as a reference to immortal souls. Unsurprisingly, this is explicitly the interpretation given here by Jesus.

bob wrote:Matthew 17:1-3

[snip]

In this scene from the scripture, Jesus is talking to Elijah and Moses. They obviously died long before Jesus was born, so how could this scene be true unless they exist truly as immortal souls, and not simply as physical bodies? Here once again we have another example of disembodied life after death, something that is ONLY possible if we exist as living immortal souls.


Ah, the false dichotomy again. In this case the claimant tries to make too much of the passage, to the extent of contradicting the doctrine of the immortal soul; if these are immortal souls, how are they even visible? Bodies are visible, visions are visible, but since when have immortal souls been visible? I note that the claimant carefully omits Jesus' own description of the event in verse 9; 'Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead'. In the words of the text itself, this was a vision, Moses and Elijah were not actually present.

bob wrote:Luke 16:19-31

[snip]

In this passage, the dead are repeatedly described as performing actions that are characteristic of the living. But that’s not all! God tells the rich man that it is at least hypothetically possible that the dead could “go” to the living. Once again, the dead are not dead. How can this be? It can only be possible if the physically dead are still immaterially alive. That’s why as Christians, we recognize and believe that what we are living souls who are immortal by nature.


Even as early as Martin Luther (who believed in the immortal soul, as well as heaven and hell), this was understood as a parable directed against the beliefs of Jesus' religious opponents and not to be interpreted literally. The key reasons for this are firstly that it was spoken directly to the Pharisees, not taught to Jesus' disciples (Luke 16:14-15, 'The Pharisees (who loved money) heard all this and ridiculed him. But Jesus said to them'; the parable of the rich man and Lazarus follows), secondly because it takes a well known belief of Second Temple Judaism and deliberately changes it in a manner not found in the contemporary literature, thirdly that the listeners to whom it was directed would have been shocked and offended at the story since it contradicted their beliefs concerning heaven and hell, and finally that when Jesus actually taught explicitly on the subject of death and judgment (as he did on many occasions), he consistently taught that no one is rewarded or punished until they are resurrected; there is no doctrine of an 'intermediate state' with 'immortal souls' in Jesus' teaching.

zender wrote:I just think he had a terrible dream. Maybe he'd been reading Revelations or some other scary part of the Bible earlier in the evening, but I don't doubt that he sincerely believes what he is saying.


I agree.

zender wrote:Anyway, I think Hell is a "real place" for a lot (40-60%?) of Christians, and I think Heaven is a "real place" for the vast majority (90+%?).


These are still dominant beliefs among Christians in the US, but not elsewhere; the Anglican Church (one of the largest Christian denominations), abandoned the traditional doctrine of hell in the 1940s.

zender wrote:ETA- I'm not sure if a person's vision is more credible if it happens now (and you can get it straight from the person's mouth), or if it happened thousands of years ago in a time when miracles and talking with God were apparently more common. Is it possible that if this man had lived thousands of years ago, he would have been considered a prophet, and his story might have made it into the Bible?


According to the Law of Moses, anyone claiming to speak for God or to have a vision had to pass a few key tests; they had to hold to religious orthodoxy within the Judaism of the time (which this guy does not), they had to perform miracles, and they had to prove they could foretell the future accurately. I think this guy would have had a problem with all of those issues.

bob wrote:No, no, didn't you get the memo? Back in the middle ages people started reading the Bible for themselves and realized there was no mention of soul or hell etc.


If you're going to refer to what I wrote, please do it accurately. It would help to quote me directly.
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Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby bob » 20 Apr 2012, 20:05

Fortigurn wrote:
bob wrote:
There isn't a single passage in the entire Bible which says any bit of anyone goes to heaven when they die. This is verifiable.


In Heaven our souls will be united with new incorruptible bodies - 1 Corinthians 15

It took like two seconds to find that.


Well let's read 1 Corinthians 15:

* Number of times heaven-going is referred to: zero
* Number of times souls are referred to: zero
* Number of times souls re-united with new incorruptible bodies are referred to: zero

In this chapter Paul actually says that unless there is a resurrection, Christians have perished and have no hope (1 Corinthians 15:18). This is the complete opposite of your claim.


WTF on the bolded bits?

And what claim? This...

... if you believe that the original versions were inspired by god (and there are literally THOUSANDS of reasons you would NOT believe that) how is that God suddenly got so lazy that he allowed versions to exist that have been steering people down the garden path for the following seventeen hundred years? It isn't as though the impact has been insubstantial.


There is absolutely NO question that the Bible with all it's references to eternal this, everlasting that, firey torments, eternities in heaven and all the rest of it has contributed to a good many people believing in heaven and hell, and by extension an eternal soul. We don't need a philosophy lecture to prove it, and we scarcely need a history lesson. The fact that you STILL have to explain that not all christians believe it is almost proof enough. The Anglican church abandoned the notion of hell in 1940. Big deal. The miracle there is that it took them that long to figure out that is what God intended, if in fact you even believe it is what he intended. The Bible is so filled with contradictions you can use it to argue any position. I just read it and the impression I came away with is that everyone would be judged and sent one of two places.

"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed." (Rom. 2:5)
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books." (Rev. 20:12)


I am assuming that the first quote is referring to everyone since someone with a repentant heart actually would be Christian, but who knows? (Who EVER knows what the hell Christianity is on about?)

If there isn't some continuim of consciousness what difference would it make where "you" went? It wouldn't be you, and if it was you it'd be your "soul" as people generally conceive of it. The English version of the Bible is filled with referances to heaven and hell, with no implied continuim of consciousness such referances are meaningless. That is likely why people think one is assumed? What's your take on that professor?

The quotes I gave weren't intended to be great examples of scholarship either but examples of what a good many people still think.

Anyway, regardless of how you end up interpreting the Bible after all these centuries, my point is this...

It makes no sense that a loving, all powerfull god ( a fairly standard accepted definition I think although the Bible actually describes something A LOT different) would allow such a confusing doctrine to have existed and fucked people up for as long as it has.

Do you agree with that? To remain even remotely logical you must. I know you are very intelligent, and it doesn't seem like you are crazy. In fact I enjoy your posts immensely. However your arguments in this thread were neverthelss designed to show that my essentially indisputable position was essentially wrong. (If it was wrong we wouldn't be having THIS conversation.)
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Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby bob » 20 Apr 2012, 20:23

NOTES:

TO MODERATOR: I edited the initial post. If that is agreeable to you we can delete these last two

PLEASE NOBODY RESPOND TO EITHER ONE.
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Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby Fortigurn » 20 Apr 2012, 21:34

Thank you for the edit bob, I have removed the last two posts at your suggestion.
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Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby bob » 20 Apr 2012, 21:42

No problem. It's a good discussion. I'll be interested to hear a response to the edited version.
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Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby Fortigurn » 20 Apr 2012, 23:59

bob wrote:No problem. It's a good discussion. I'll be interested to hear a response to the edited version.


I'll get the edited version and a reply posted here later tonight. Edit: actually why rush, since I'll simply be repeating much of the answer I provided previously. I'll get to it tomorrow.
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Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby bob » 23 Apr 2012, 12:48

Thank you.
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Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby Fortigurn » 06 May 2012, 23:25

Tempo Gain wrote:Thanks, that's very interesting.


You're welcome.

Fortigurn wrote:No, I'm quite enthusiastic about the idea of a resurrection. I'm just not going to cry my eyes out if it doesn't happen (obviously), and conversely the idea of annihilation doesn't really fuss me. I'm a small bag of temporarily animated chemicals, only marginally different from the dirt on which I walk and to which I will return one day. On the broader cosmic scale of things, I don't even register. I quite like the idea of living forever, but the idea of no longer existing at some point isn't terrifying to me.


Well said. Are you sure many religious people subscribe to this line of thought? :) It's news to me. Don't get me wrong, I like it. It sounds almost like you may as well be religious as be an atheist.


I don't know how many religious people subscribe to this line of thought, but it's well attested in the Judeo-Christian tradition, most famously (in the canonical texts), in the Psalms and especially in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 3:
19 For the fate of humans and the fate of animals are the same: As one dies, so dies the other; both have the same breath. There is no advantage for humans over animals, for both are fleeting.
20 Both go to the same place, both come from the dust, and to dust both return.

Ecclesiastes 5:
18 I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work on earth during the few days of their life which God has given them, for this is their reward.

Ecclesiastes 6:
3 Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years – even if he lives a long, long time, but cannot enjoy his prosperity – even if he were to live forever – I would say, “A stillborn child is better off than he is!”
4 Though the stillborn child came into the world for no reason and departed into darkness, though its name is shrouded in darkness,
5 though it never saw the light of day nor knew anything, yet it has more rest than that man –
6 if he should live a thousand years twice, yet does not enjoy his prosperity. For both of them die!

Ecclesiastes 7:
2 It is better to go to a funeral than a feast. For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart.

Ecclesiastes 9:
10 Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, the place where you will eventually go.

Though obviously resurrection makes sense this way, eh.


Well exactly. Predicating salvation on resurrection is an explicit attestation that humans are dead and gone just like the animals, unless they're reconstituted.

bob wrote:WTF on the bolded bits?

And what claim?


Your claim that 'In Heaven our souls will be united with new incorruptible bodies - 1 Corinthians 15'. There isn't a single verse in 1 Corinthians 15 which says anything remotely like this. You're an excellent example of why people believe the Bible teaches people have immortal souls, when it doesn't; you come to the text already convinced of what it says, so you don't actually read it.

There is absolutely NO question that the Bible with all it's references to eternal this, everlasting that, firey torments, eternities in heaven and all the rest of it has contributed to a good many people believing in heaven and hell, and by extension an eternal soul. We don't need a philosophy lecture to prove it, and we scarcely need a history lesson.


All we need is evidence. Please show me all the references to 'firey torments', and particularly ally the references to 'eternities in heaven'.

The fact that you STILL have to explain that not all christians believe it is almost proof enough.


No, these are two separate issues. As I have already demonstrated, the fact that so many Christians believe it has virtually nothing to do with what the Bible says; it has to do with what people have been told the Bible says. As I already proved, the thousands of people in the medieval era and early to late Middle Ages didn't believe in an immortal soul going to heaven or hell because they read it in the Bible; they were illiterate and never even read the Bible. They believed it because they were told to.

The Anglican church abandoned the notion of hell in 1940. Big deal. The miracle there is that it took them that long to figure out that is what God intended, if in fact you even believe it is what he intended.


It didn't take that long; a string of Anglican theologians had been teaching this for over a century prior. What did take too long was an official change of the Church's position. But this had nothing to do with the Bible being confusing on the point, it had everything to do with overcoming the theological inertia of a 400 year old church tradition.

The Bible is so filled with contradictions you can use it to argue any position. I just read it and the impression I came away with is that everyone would be judged and sent one of two places.

"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed." (Rom. 2:5)
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books." (Rev. 20:12)


Interestingly enough, neither of these passages say anything about anyone being sent anywhere. Perhaps you were thinking of different passages.

If there isn't some continuim of consciousness what difference would it make where "you" went? It wouldn't be you, and if it was you it'd be your "soul" as people generally conceive of it.


Evidence please.

The English version of the Bible is filled with referances to heaven and hell, with no implied continuim of consciousness such referances are meaningless. That is likely why people think one is assumed? What's your take on that professor?


When you say 'the English version of the Bible', to which version are you referring? There are at least a dozen modern translations, and more than double that number of historical translations. Of course many English translations are full of references to heaven and hell, and that certainly reinforces what many people believe about the immortal soul. On the other hand, these references are not meaningless without an implied continuation of consciousness; heaven is the dwellingplace of God and no one is ever said to go to heaven when they die, and some English translations provide information in footnotes telling the reader that 'hell' in the text is not to be understood in the traditional sense of a place for the souls of the wicked.

The quotes I gave weren't intended to be great examples of scholarship either but examples of what a good many people still think.


Well that's fine, but 'what a good many people think' wasn't even in dispute, so the quotations were irrelevant to the topic under discussion.

Anyway, regardless of how you end up interpreting the Bible after all these centuries, my point is this...

It makes no sense that a loving, all powerfull god ( a fairly standard accepted definition I think although the Bible actually describes something A LOT different) would allow such a confusing doctrine to have existed and fucked people up for as long as it has.


What you're saying is that it makes no sense that such a god would permit people to make things up and teach them to others. This has nothing to do with the Bible.

Do you agree with that? To remain even remotely logical you must. I know you are very intelligent, and it doesn't seem like you are crazy. In fact I enjoy your posts immensely. However your arguments in this thread were neverthelss designed to show that my essentially indisputable position was essentially wrong. (If it was wrong we wouldn't be having THIS conversation.)


No I don't agree with that. I see no reason why such a god wouldn't let people make things up and teach them to others.
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Re: Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

Postby bob » 07 May 2012, 02:27

Of course many English translations are full of references to heaven and hell, and that certainly reinforces what many people believe about the immortal soul. On the other hand, these references are not meaningless without an implied continuation of consciousness; heaven is the dwellingplace of God and no one is ever said to go to heaven when they die, and some English translations provide information in footnotes telling the reader that 'hell' in the text is not to be understood in the traditional sense of a place for the souls of the wicked.


If I am to understand you correctly here what you are sying is that of course many English translations are full of references to heaven and hell, and that certainly reinforces what many people believe about the immortal soul. On the other hand, these references are not meaningless without an implied continuation of consciousness; heaven is the dwellingplace of God and no one is ever said to go to heaven when they die, and some [my guess is very modern] English translations provide information in footnotes telling the reader that 'hell' in the text is not to be understood in the traditional sense of a place for the souls of the wicked.

What in hell would be the point of heaven and hell if nobody went there? Of course the implication is that people's souls "go" there.

My guess is that those references to heaven and hell were made very clear in the original latin translations of the Bible and that you could probably confirm or contradict that with some authority. I would appreciate if you did. If I am correct what it means is that the Bible has been a source of confusion on the issue from the moment of it's conception as a single text. Not very generous on the part of god one wouldn't think.

Without an implied continuation of consciousness in some form heaven certainly is a meaningless concept on a personal level. Without it it would in NO sense be you. The body will be dead.
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