Eternity of Christian/Muslim Afterlife
Discussion of understanding what eternity actually means for any possible afterlife.

Eternity of Christian/Muslim Afterlife
chrisman210
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Posted May 9, 2012 - 12:22 PM:
Subject: Eternity of Christian/Muslim Afterlife
According to the Christian/Muslim religions afterlife goes on for eternity. If ones life actually means so much on this plane of existence why is it such a temporary event. Conversely, if ones life means little and we should focus of the afterlife why go through this charade at all? The authors didn't seem to have thought this through very well. People are foolishly lead to believe that say 89 billion years into your stay in paradise you will remember this life, that it will matter. That the people in this life will matter for eternity. On that subject do any of us want to be with the same family or loved one for eternity. Think about that a minute before you answer. The bigger question is even do any of us want to exist for eternity to begin with?

Although "hell" is a temporary stop for some Muslims on the way to eternal "paradise" in the Christian beliefs hell is eternal. Contemplate the implications. Of course any level headed person should come to the conclusion that there is no crime that deserves eternal punishment. The only crime that deserves eternal punishment is the crime that took an eternity to commit - none. The worst butchers of nations would not deserve an eternity in a lake of fire. Of course we know nothing is eternal thus this whole line of reasoning is clearly a product of our fears, desires and naive imaginations. Any thoughts?

Edited by chrisman210 on May 9, 2012 - 1:35 PM
quikshadow
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Posted May 9, 2012 - 9:58 PM:

I guess this all depends on your faith and reasoning. To live eternally in happiness and bliss...i mean it seems like a foolish and impossible concept, but for the sake of my point, we'll assume God IS real/exists/here. If he truly can make one be happy without making humans reach a monotony of emotion, then yes, why not wait 89 years to live in this world? Also, people go through this charade called life to prove their 'worth' I guess.

Also, addressing your second question. We can't honestly say who can go to 'hell' and for what. The Christian belief (I have no knowledge of the Islamic beliefs, so if someone could fill me in...) is that God forgives. Hitler's genocide is something we people can't forgive. But if Hitler was truly sorry, God would forgive him. As to how he would make it into heaven...



Honestly, faith/religion is a sticky thing. It's so diverse, I can't speak for everyone (I'm Catholic).
chrisman210
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Posted May 9, 2012 - 10:09 PM:

quikshadow wrote:

Honestly, faith/religion is a sticky thing. It's so diverse, I can't speak for everyone (I'm Catholic).


I guess you would have to take my word for it if I said that it's not faith I have an issue with it's blind faith, the type required by all religions I can think of.
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Posted May 9, 2012 - 10:16 PM:

chrisman210 wrote:
I guess you would have to take my word for it if I said that it's not faith I have an issue with it's blind faith, the type required by all religions I can think of.


What's the distinction? The point of faith is that the outcome is unknown, so isn't all faith blind in a sense?
chrisman210
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Posted May 9, 2012 - 10:40 PM:

SquallBL wrote:


What's the distinction? The point of faith is that the outcome is unknown, so isn't all faith blind in a sense?


I suppose you are right, but my point is that people have over millenia created stories and made themselves and others believe in them. It may sound offensive to a theist but it's the truth. What I meant about faith versus blind faith is that you may have faith in something or someone that you know as a fact exists, as in I have faith my wife has my best interests in her mind. Blind faith is believing an imaginary creature to have your best interests in mind when you have zero proof that such a creature exists. I'm sorry if I'm pretty rude about it... in my mind is hard to understand why people carry on this charade (I mean I know the reasons but I always hope reason would prevail).

Edited by chrisman210 on May 9, 2012 - 10:56 PM
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Posted May 9, 2012 - 11:56 PM:

chrisman210 wrote:
According to the Christian/Muslim religions afterlife goes on for eternity. If ones life actually means so much on this plane of existence why is it such a temporary event. Conversely, if ones life means little and we should focus of the afterlife why go through this charade at all? The authors didn't seem to have thought this through very well. People are foolishly lead to believe that say 89 billion years into your stay in paradise you will remember this life, that it will matter. That the people in this life will matter for eternity. On that subject do any of us want to be with the same family or loved one for eternity. Think about that a minute before you answer. The bigger question is even do any of us want to exist for eternity to begin with?

Although "hell" is a temporary stop for some Muslims on the way to eternal "paradise" in the Christian beliefs hell is eternal. Contemplate the implications. Of course any level headed person should come to the conclusion that there is no crime that deserves eternal punishment. The only crime that deserves eternal punishment is the crime that took an eternity to commit - none. The worst butchers of nations would not deserve an eternity in a lake of fire. Of course we know nothing is eternal thus this whole line of reasoning is clearly a product of our fears, desires and naive imaginations. Any thoughts?


There is another definition for "eternity" than the more common one, "infinite time". The one used by ancient religious philosophers was "where time has no relevance". It was considered inconceivable that a god would be subject to time, rather than its master and creator. What if eternity isn't linear, like it is here, but more like a DVD player where you can jump to any time you wanted at will?

We Muslims generally believe that anything said about the afterlife is meant metaphorically. If someone says "you get this reward in the afterlife", it really means "this is how wonderful it will be" -- not that you actually get that reward. It is a middle-eastern way of speaking that gets lost on the more literal cultures. Just looking at reality, we know time is relative. Is it still relative in the afterlife? Was there time and space before time and space were created? Even the New Testament isn't clear on the physics or literal nature of the afterlife. It talks about parables and visions.

As for the purpose of this life, most say it is some kind of "test". Obviously, as you already pointed out, life here can't be so meaningful or significant, and an omniscient deity doesn't really need a demonstration. In fact, if you read the Bible or Koran closely, you will find many statements which say the course of an individual's life is already decided before they are even born, (predestination). It seems to serve some completely different purpose -- but that is a subject for enlightenment.
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Posted May 10, 2012 - 12:57 PM:

swstephe wrote:


There is another definition for "eternity" than the more common one, "infinite time". The one used by ancient religious philosophers was "where time has no relevance". It was considered inconceivable that a god would be subject to time, rather than its master and creator. What if eternity isn't linear, like it is here, but more like a DVD player where you can jump to any time you wanted at will?


Let’s assume for a second there is an afterlife and as you say time was not linear in that afterlife. You just "skip around from scene to scene like on a DVD" then two things I have to point out.
1. That did nothing to address the fact of eternity, now you are just in a time loop for eternity a fate that is clearly far worse.
2. I have a thread in the science section about the heat death of the universe I’m going to quote myself from that right now to illustrate my point. I’m not saying that afterlife is not possible due to the fact that time will come to an end in fact does time really end when the universe reaches maximum entropy? My understanding on the matter is that if inflation continues, in the nearly unimaginable future all matter will seize to exist, as even as super-massive black holes decay after 10100 years on average. Then we are left with photons and leptons which will slow down and eventually stop. If all that is correct at that point in the dark era motion of any sort will stop. I heard that this will mark the end of time as there would be no reference point for measurement of time as the universe will be unchanging for eternity. Now assuming that the big crunch or the big rip doesn't happen and ignoring the dark flow doesn't time still exist as long as inflation does? Basically the possibility of time never ending is there however none of us will be there in any form or shape unless you are planning on being a photon or a lepton and then you will end up stuck in nothingness motionless…

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Posted May 10, 2012 - 3:16 PM:

chrisman210 wrote:

I suppose you are right, but my point is that people have over millenia created stories and made themselves and others believe in them. It may sound offensive to a theist but it's the truth. What I meant about faith versus blind faith is that you may have faith in something or someone that you know as a fact exists, as in I have faith my wife has my best interests in her mind. Blind faith is believing an imaginary creature to have your best interests in mind when you have zero proof that such a creature exists. I'm sorry if I'm pretty rude about it... in my mind is hard to understand why people carry on this charade (I mean I know the reasons but I always hope reason would prevail).


In my mind it's hard to understand why people ignore God (I mean, I understand the reasons, but I always hoped faith and logic would prevail).
I don't understand what you mean by "created stories". Explain?
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Posted May 10, 2012 - 3:24 PM:

chrisman210 wrote:
According to the Christian/Muslim religions afterlife goes on for eternity. If ones life actually means so much on this plane of existence why is it such a temporary event. Conversely, if ones life means little and we should focus of the afterlife why go through this charade at all? The authors didn't seem to have thought this through very well. People are foolishly lead to believe that say 89 billion years into your stay in paradise you will remember this life, that it will matter. That the people in this life will matter for eternity. On that subject do any of us want to be with the same family or loved one for eternity. Think about that a minute before you answer. The bigger question is even do any of us want to exist for eternity to begin with?

Although "hell" is a temporary stop for some Muslims on the way to eternal "paradise" in the Christian beliefs hell is eternal. Contemplate the implications. Of course any level headed person should come to the conclusion that there is no crime that deserves eternal punishment. The only crime that deserves eternal punishment is the crime that took an eternity to commit - none. The worst butchers of nations would not deserve an eternity in a lake of fire. Of course we know nothing is eternal thus this whole line of reasoning is clearly a product of our fears, desires and naive imaginations. Any thoughts?



chrisman
It seems you might be miss informed:

In the Muslim system of belief I have no idea what their scripture say about “afterlife” or if it’s a term used in the Muslim system of belief. But what is understood as Christian the term “afterlife” is used by those who say they are Christians, but they are not familiar with what they say they agree with, or believe. The term “afterlife” isn’t found in the Bible. The term eternal life, yes, but not afterlife. Eternal as in infinite in past and future duration; without beginning or end; that always has existed and always will exist, in other words always exists. Could be seen as always now. Therefore there is nothing after, or before eternal life.

In the view of this, the flesh is a place for man to be in existence, but not existence for man, though he exists in the flesh. And “hell” if you will, is not being in the presence of God (darkness), and Heaven is being in the presence of God, (Light).

If that helps some.

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Posted May 10, 2012 - 11:16 PM:

chrisman210 wrote:
Let’s assume for a second there is an afterlife and as you say time was not linear in that afterlife. You just "skip around from scene to scene like on a DVD" then two things I have to point out.
1. That did nothing to address the fact of eternity, now you are just in a time loop for eternity a fate that is clearly far worse.


I guess my example confused you. I meant that one of the definitions of eternity is a place where time has no meaning. There is no past, future or flow of time. I thought it solved all your problems. Can't stand being around your own family for billions of years? Feel like doing something else? Just will it and you are there doing it.


chrisman210 wrote:
2. I have a thread in the science section about the heat death of the universe I’m going to quote myself from that right now to illustrate my point. I’m not saying that afterlife is not possible due to the fact that time will come to an end in fact does time really end when the universe reaches maximum entropy? My understanding on the matter is that if inflation continues, in the nearly unimaginable future all matter will seize to exist, as even as super-massive black holes decay after 10100 years on average. Then we are left with photons and leptons which will slow down and eventually stop. If all that is correct at that point in the dark era motion of any sort will stop. I heard that this will mark the end of time as there would be no reference point for measurement of time as the universe will be unchanging for eternity. Now assuming that the big crunch or the big rip doesn't happen and ignoring the dark flow doesn't time still exist as long as inflation does? Basically the possibility of time never ending is there however none of us will be there in any form or shape unless you are planning on being a photon or a lepton and then you will end up stuck in nothingness motionless…


Where in the world did you get the idea that any religion claims that the afterlife is in this universe and follows the same laws. You have to work from the other end of these kinds of problems. If the afterlife is supposed to be an eternity, in the sense of "infinite time", then the laws of physics must be different to avoid that situation. Perhaps there is no entropy in the afterlife. Maybe God provides an infinite supply of usable energy. Then you wouldn't have a flow of time. Then you are back to the first definition -- time doesn't have the same meaning as it does here.

Besides, all those annoyances you seem to have with enormous amounts of time aren't necessarily going to be the same as they are in this world. Maybe your family will be a lot of fun to be around without having to work, grow old and get sick.
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