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 (or at least some kind of continuim of "being")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 references 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 are neverthelss designed to show that my essentially indisputable position is essentially wrong. (If it was wrong we wouldn't be having THIS conversation.) On the basis of that I concluded you must be lying.
Here's some crap I lifted off the internet as an example of what Christian people think. http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/W ... t_the_Soul
"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.”
"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.
And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
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.
"Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father's house - for I have five brothers - that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them,' But he said, 'No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent! But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'"
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.