Author Topic: Theists,can you define heaven?  (Read 4337 times)

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Offline TheOneWalrus

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #116 on: September 19, 2011, 11:14:24 AM »
Heaven is a place where there is eternal happiness, however, because of the sudden presence of God you can physically do nothing but worship him. This is due to the fact that you can think of nothing else to do, however this is very vague in the Bible so it can't be described in a clear manner by any biblical scholar.

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #117 on: September 19, 2011, 11:17:03 AM »
Heaven is a place where there is eternal happiness, however, because of the sudden presence of God you can physically do nothing but worship him. This is due to the fact that you can think of nothing else to do, however this is very vague in the Bible so it can't be described in a clear manner by any biblical scholar.

So while on Earth we have free will in heaven we don't? That sucks. Thank god[1] I'm an atheist :D
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #118 on: September 19, 2011, 11:20:39 AM »
^^^Which begs the question: why didn't god just create that marveleous world without heartache, pain and woe for us in the first place? And don't give me the Garden of Eden. A life with the possibility of screwups leading to agony and death is hardly Paradise-- that's sort of what we have now.


Best I can reckon is that God didn't intend to create us or our world that way was has been using it and us as pawns for another purpose not revealed to us.

If god can make that problem-free existence happen at some point in the future, why didn't he make it that way from the beginning? He must like to see small, powerless beings suffer.

Hell if I know, perhaps God has/had no intention of making a problem-fre existance a reality Himself. Perhaps we have been empowered to make such a reality come about ourselves......
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 11:51:16 AM by Truth OT »

Offline Omen

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #119 on: September 19, 2011, 11:45:04 AM »
^^^Which begs the question: why didn't god just create that marveleous world without heartache, pain and woe for us in the first place? And don't give me the Garden of Eden. A life with the possibility of screwups leading to agony and death is hardly Paradise-- that's sort of what we have now.

If god can make that problem-free existence happen at some point in the future, why didn't he make it that way from the beginning? He must like to see small, powerless beings suffer.

Best I can reckon is that God didn't intend to create us or our world that way was has been using it and us as pawns for another purpose not revealed to us.

That's just another red herring, we can simply repeat the same problem:

Which begs the question: why didn't god just create that intended purpse/goal instead?

You're inserting a new pleaded qualification in an arbitrary presupposition that you've assumed as true without reason to do so and in the form a tautology that requires you to make up any absurdity despite how specious it is.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #120 on: September 19, 2011, 11:56:39 AM »
This is due to the fact that you can think of nothing else to do

So you're a brainwashed slave?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #121 on: September 19, 2011, 12:44:18 PM »
...you can physically do nothing but worship him. ...

bold mine.  I thought haven was not a physical place.  Did you mean something other than what you said?
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Offline Whateverman

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #122 on: September 19, 2011, 02:05:35 PM »
Hell if I know, perhaps God has/had no intention of making a problem-fre existance a reality Himself. Perhaps we have been empowered to make such a reality come about ourselves......

If you were a parent, isn't this (re. imperfect yet able to be improved) the EXACT kind of reality you'd want for your kids?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #123 on: September 20, 2011, 10:58:45 AM »
Speaking just for myself, I will admit that such a hope is wonderful to me. The life we currently live is full of wonder and joy, but also there is heartache, pain, woe, and ultimently, we die. So for me, the hope of a new life, a new start in a world (habitation) that death and corruption has no place in is exceedingly exciting.

but considering you have no idea if this exists or exists as you have made up it does, I think you are going to be disappointed and dead.  This is just Pascal's Wager, you fear death and you want something better.  I think I have a new acronym:  SPAH, self-projection as heaven.   

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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #124 on: September 20, 2011, 11:13:13 AM »
but considering you have no idea if this exists or exists as you have made up it does, I think you are going to be disappointed and dead.  This is just Pascal's Wager, you fear death and you want something better.  I think I have a new acronym:  SPAH, self-projection as heaven.   

Not to change the subject too much, but me fearing death, that's far too light of a description about the way I feel about the subject. I abhore it and find it totally unacceptable and the narcissis and wishful thinking in me believes that one way or another, that I'll be able to beat it.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #125 on: September 20, 2011, 01:34:17 PM »
but considering you have no idea if this exists or exists as you have made up it does, I think you are going to be disappointed and dead.  This is just Pascal's Wager, you fear death and you want something better.  I think I have a new acronym:  SPAH, self-projection as heaven.   

Not to change the subject too much, but me fearing death, that's far too light of a description about the way I feel about the subject. I abhore it and find it totally unacceptable and the narcissis and wishful thinking in me believes that one way or another, that I'll be able to beat it.
my bold

How old are you? I can understand thinking that way in your teens and even twenties when that whole immortality thing is important. (I'm gonna live forever! I'm gonna learn how to fly!) Most of us get over that somewhere in middle age, about when we start to realize that no, we won't be Nobel Prize winners[1], gazillionaires, pro athletes, rock stars or supermodels, but that this life is okay anyway. You know, when the aches and pains start kicking in and forty more years seems kinda long.
 1.  a woman I went to school with got a Nobel Prize for science. Grrr.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #126 on: September 20, 2011, 01:54:29 PM »
my bold

How old are you? I can understand thinking that way in your teens and even twenties when that whole immortality thing is important. (I'm gonna live forever! I'm gonna learn how to fly!) Most of us get over that somewhere in middle age, about when we start to realize that no, we won't be Nobel Prize winners[1], gazillionaires, pro athletes, rock stars or supermodels, but that this life is okay anyway. You know, when the aches and pains start kicking in and forty more years seems kinda long.
 1.  a woman I went to school with got a Nobel Prize for science. Grrr.

What can I say, I'm not like most.

Offline Whateverman

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #127 on: September 20, 2011, 02:13:31 PM »
How old are you? I can understand thinking that way in your teens and even twenties when that whole immortality thing is important. (I'm gonna live forever! I'm gonna learn how to fly!) Most of us get over that somewhere in middle age

Sorry, but I completely disagree.  It's mental masturbation to label wishful thinking a product of immaturity;  I know plenty of adults who desire things so ardently that they come to believe in their existence.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #128 on: September 20, 2011, 03:13:01 PM »
How old are you? I can understand thinking that way in your teens and even twenties when that whole immortality thing is important. (I'm gonna live forever! I'm gonna learn how to fly!) Most of us get over that somewhere in middle age

Sorry, but I completely disagree.  It's mental masturbation to label wishful thinking a product of immaturity;  I know plenty of adults who desire things so ardently that they come to believe in their existence.

I am not talking about wishful thinking per se, but the whole beating death, living forever part of it. Some wishful thinking is at least possible-- I may yet write the Great American Novel--but some is just plain fantasy.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #129 on: September 21, 2011, 01:46:46 AM »
Not to change the subject too much, but me fearing death, that's far too light of a description about the way I feel about the subject. I abhore it and find it totally unacceptable and the narcissis and wishful thinking in me believes that one way or another, that I'll be able to beat it.

I hate the idea of death....but I don't fear it.  I love what happens in life - I love seeing things play out, and it bugs me that I "won't get to see how it will finish" (*).  You'd think that I'd be a shoo-in for belief in an afterlife, in a heaven where we can watch what happens on earth - but I'm realistic enough to grok that "I want" and "what is" are unrelated concepts.

So I'd rather not die, and I'll do whatever I can to keep going while its still fun.....but while I'm sitting watching a movie I don't spend my time fretting that pretty soon the credits will roll and I'll have to switch off the TV.

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(*) Steven Moffat, the current showrunner for Doctor Who, recently said something along the lines of "the format of Doctor Who means it can go on forever....we'll never see all the episodes yet to come".  That made me very sad.   :'(


Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #130 on: September 21, 2011, 05:38:18 AM »
Not to change the subject too much, but me fearing death, that's far too light of a description about the way I feel about the subject. I abhore it and find it totally unacceptable and the narcissis and wishful thinking in me believes that one way or another, that I'll be able to beat it.

I hate the idea of death....but I don't fear it.  I love what happens in life - I love seeing things play out, and it bugs me that I "won't get to see how it will finish" (*).  You'd think that I'd be a shoo-in for belief in an afterlife, in a heaven where we can watch what happens on earth - but I'm realistic enough to grok that "I want" and "what is" are unrelated concepts.

So I'd rather not die, and I'll do whatever I can to keep going while its still fun.....but while I'm sitting watching a movie I don't spend my time fretting that pretty soon the credits will roll and I'll have to switch off the TV.

- - - - -
(*) Steven Moffat, the current showrunner for Doctor Who, recently said something along the lines of "the format of Doctor Who means it can go on forever....we'll never see all the episodes yet to come".  That made me very sad.   :'(

You hate the idea of death? What if all the people like Hitler didn't die? Everything would be different. Also if Christians couldn't die, how would we stop them? No one should fear death anyway, it is inevitable. How would we exist without spirits? Who really knows how we exist at all? There is an afterlife I believe, I even have phsycic abilities that have been given to me by my mother and her family. It first started with her great grandfather. Being young I am sensitive to the things in the 'other world'. I see them alot during the night. I could go on talking about it, people could claim this to be a made up story but what you said Anfaugir is true, 'I want' and 'what is' are unrelated concepts.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #131 on: September 21, 2011, 09:00:59 AM »
but considering you have no idea if this exists or exists as you have made up it does, I think you are going to be disappointed and dead.  This is just Pascal's Wager, you fear death and you want something better.  I think I have a new acronym:  SPAH, self-projection as heaven.   

Not to change the subject too much, but me fearing death, that's far too light of a description about the way I feel about the subject. I abhore it and find it totally unacceptable and the narcissis and wishful thinking in me believes that one way or another, that I'll be able to beat it.

and that's a delusion.  It's rather sad that you are so afraid that you buy into something that is demonstrably false and requires willfully ignorant obediance.  it's also rather sad that you think this is good in anyway.  I simply can't understand it other than as the demands of a child.
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Offline Whateverman

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #132 on: September 21, 2011, 09:18:33 AM »
Sorry, but I completely disagree.  It's mental masturbation to label wishful thinking a product of immaturity;  I know plenty of adults who desire things so ardently that they come to believe in their existence.

I am not talking about wishful thinking per se, but the whole beating death, living forever part of it.
I understood that.  I was directing my comment specifically at what you wrote.  The notion that most of us "get over" it by the time we're middle aged is simply wrong.

Indeed, your comment is likely a form of wishful thinking itself.

I think it's very easy to enjoy religious discussions where irrational theists spout off and the skeptics routinely shoot them down.  It's comforting to find that different people have come to the same general conclusions (re. about the non-existence of deities, the value of critical thinking, etc), and that some of them enjoy talking about these things in public forums.  You can quickly lose sight of the fact that despite being involved in something that stresses rational & logical thought, many people remain outside of that comfortable little bubble.

Have you met a middle-aged person who still believes in Heaven?  I've met dozens.

Wishful thinking is NOT a hallmark of the young, the inexperienced, the ignorant or the immature.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #133 on: September 21, 2011, 01:22:17 PM »
Yes, there are middle aged and even elderly people who believe in a heaven after they die. But I think a lot of young people believe that they are immortal and won't/can't die. Which is why they engage in so much risky behavior. When I say that older people get over the illusion of immortality, I meant that they understand that they will indeed die. It does not stop being scary, but you know it is inevitable. Maybe believing in heaven is the way some people "come to terms" with the reality of death.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #134 on: September 21, 2011, 01:38:55 PM »
Yes, there are middle aged and even elderly people who believe in a heaven after they die. But I think a lot of young people believe that they are immortal and won't/can't die. Which is why they engage in so much risky behavior. When I say that older people get over the illusion of immortality, I meant that they understand that they will indeed die. It does not stop being scary, but you know it is inevitable. Maybe believing in heaven is the way some people "come to terms" with the reality of death.

It is this inevitability that I would challenge. I hold out hope that at some point (hopefully within my lifetime), mankind will be able to figure out how to make having to "come to terms" with one's mortality a thing of the past.

Offline Whateverman

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #135 on: September 21, 2011, 03:14:27 PM »
I think a lot of young people believe that they are immortal and won't/can't die. Which is why they engage in so much risky behavior.
I never felt I was immortal when I was young (and I grew up in a moderately religious household); I don't know any young person who believes they can't/won't die.  What *I* felt was that risk-taking was fun, and that the really good memories often involved an aspect of succeeding despite those risks.

You may find this interesting: NPR's Talk Of The Nation did a show on this subject Tuesday, discussing what science has found regarding this behavior in young kids/adults.


When I say that older people get over the illusion of immortality, I meant that they understand that they will indeed die.
It seemed to me that your original comment was different from this.  However, I'm not going to beat a dead horse: clearly, the older a person is, the more he/she comes to accept the idea that death is both real and imminent.  Indeed, older people have a better sense of what can happen when you take a risk and lose.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #136 on: September 22, 2011, 05:46:18 AM »
You hate the idea of death? What if all the people like Hitler didn't die? Everything would be different.....

Oh, I agree.  But I think I was pretty clear in WHY I hate the idea of death:
I love what happens in life - I love seeing things play out, and it bugs me that I "won't get to see how it will finish" (*).  You'd think that I'd be a shoo-in for belief in an afterlife, in a heaven where we can watch what happens on earth.....So I'd rather not die, and I'll do whatever I can to keep going while its still fun


How would we exist without spirits? Who really knows how we exist at all? There is an afterlife I believe, I even have phsycic abilities that have been given to me by my mother and her family. It first started with her great grandfather. Being young I am sensitive to the things in the 'other world'. I see them alot during the night.

Oh my.
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Offline djchristian18

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #137 on: September 25, 2011, 10:50:33 PM »
No Man knows what heaven is like...but through the readings of the bible we can reveal that it is a wonderful place with pearly gates and streets paved with gold where there is no pain no weeping no getting tired...just eternal happiness...and it kind of makes you wonder why after hearing about this wonderful kingdom why atheist or anyone who rejects Christianity would say no to even a slight chance of this  great place. especially when people like me strongly guarantee that it is real

Offline albeto

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #138 on: September 25, 2011, 11:01:06 PM »
No Man knows what heaven is like...but through the readings of the bible we can reveal that it is a wonderful place with pearly gates and streets paved with gold where there is no pain no weeping no getting tired...just eternal happiness...and it kind of makes you wonder why after hearing about this wonderful kingdom why atheist or anyone who rejects Christianity would say no to even a slight chance of this  great place. especially when people like me strongly guarantee that it is real

Oh brother.

Okay, so how do you guarantee this, exactly?

And how, pray tell, does one experience eternal happiness with the memories of loved ones who aren't experiencing this happiness with them?  Or do we simply cease to care? 

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #139 on: September 26, 2011, 06:20:13 AM »
......it is a wonderful place with pearly gates and streets paved with gold where there is no pain no weeping no getting tired...just eternal happiness...and it kind of makes you wonder why after hearing about this wonderful kingdom why atheist or anyone who rejects Christianity would say no to even a slight chance of this  great place....

Indeedy.  Trouble is, Muslim heaven sounds even better.  So it makes you wonder why Christians or anyone who rejects Islam would say no.....
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #140 on: September 26, 2011, 06:32:55 AM »
You start with:

No Man knows what heaven is like...

Then you immediately add:

Quote
but through the readings of the bible we can reveal that it is a wonderful place with pearly gates and streets paved with gold where there is no pain no weeping no getting tired...just eternal happiness...

Doesn't that contradict what you just said?

Quote
and it kind of makes you wonder why after hearing about this wonderful kingdom why atheist or anyone who rejects Christianity would say no to even a slight chance of this  great place.

There are many, many reasons that people reject Christianity.  For my own part, I generally reject things unless and until someone gives me reason to think that they're true, and no one has ever done so with Christianity.  In fact, far from it, the more I study the topic, the more convinced I become that it's false.

Quote
especially when people like me strongly guarantee that it is real

No, it isn't.  Consciousness doesn't survive death.  I strongly guarantee that.
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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #141 on: September 26, 2011, 06:36:49 AM »
especially when people like me strongly guarantee that it is real

The arrogance is strong in this one...
I also strongly guarantee that I am YHWH. Does that make it true?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #142 on: September 26, 2011, 07:44:34 AM »
especially when people like me strongly guarantee that it is real

And what is your "strong" guarantee worth? 

I have to tell you, it galls the fuck out of me when people make guarantees they cannot deliver on.  You see, a guarantee is a consequence of not delivering on a promise.  My tires have a guarantee.  That means, if they fail to last 60,000 miles, I go back to the manufacturer and complain.  The consequence for the manufacturer is, they give me a free set.  See that?   There are distinct parts to it.
  • A promise is made
  • If the promise fails, the recipient report it
  • The guarantor then recompenses the recipient.

So, back to your idiotic guarantee.  You have made a dubious promise - that heaven is a place that exists and it is absolutely wonderful.  But the rest of it falls apart as a guarantee.  If heaven is not wonderful, how would I report that to you?  Furthermore, what kind of compensation can you deliver?  Even if the compensation is on the order of $.01 per year, heaven is supposedly eternal.  So the compensation would be infinite, something you definitely cannot provide.  If heaven does not even exist, it could not be reported to you in any event, never mind the compensation.

So do yourself a favor and don't go making stupid guarantees.  It makes you look like an idiot.
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Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #143 on: September 26, 2011, 07:56:29 AM »
and it kind of makes you wonder why after hearing about this wonderful kingdom why atheist or anyone who rejects Christianity would say no to even a slight chance of this  great place. especially when people like me strongly guarantee that it is real

and it kind of makes you wonder why after hearing about this wonderful kingdom Christians insist on taking medication when they are ill, undergoing life-saving operations, wearing seat belts and crying at funerals.
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  • God ?...Don't even get me started !
Re: Theists,can you define heaven?
« Reply #144 on: September 26, 2011, 08:05:54 AM »
No Man knows what heaven is like...but through the readings of the bible we can reveal that it is a wonderful place with pearly gates and streets paved with gold where there is no pain no weeping no getting tired...just eternal happiness...and it kind of makes you wonder why after hearing about this wonderful kingdom why atheist or anyone who rejects Christianity would say no to even a slight chance of this  great place. especially when people like me strongly guarantee that it is real


The folly of youth  &)

Look DJ, how old are you 18 ? ..if so, then you've got a lot of living and learning to do yet in your life.

You mentioned the bible, Have you read it ? Completely ? Have you studied it at all in any depth ?
Have you read any works from theologian scholars who have revealed what the bible actually is ?
Are you aware that the bible is considered by many of them to be a Hebrew work of historical fiction that is chock full of discrepancies, contradictions, false information and forgeries ? Are you aware of that fact dj ?

But you know what ? You don't need the experience and authority of scholars to convince you of religions and the bibles problems. If you will read that book with an open and clear mind and with a healthy degree of skepticism, you'll see why we're in the positions that we're in. Look, we understand that the bible is all that you've got and have no other recourse to provide hard tangible evidence to back up your claims, but the book you love and adore is based on primitive reasoning with so much wrong in it that to come in here and try to move us from our positions with its usage, is laughable and makes us feel embarrassed for you.

As well, you have to understand that most of the atheists here at WWGHA were former theists themselves of many years, myself 40+, and that anything that comes out of your keyboard is surely just more of the nonsensical drivel that we used to speak of and now see all the time from others. You have nothing new. Or do You ?

You see, we all enjoy a good discussion but what we here are most looking for is not more mere words, but for someone to point us to the hard, tangible, clear, unambiguous, external of the mind kind of perceptional evidence that convinces one of an actual truth. But you know right well that you can't do that, because ancient bible god has been reduced down to a mere abstraction in this the 21st. century, an unsupportable idea that exists in an unseen world where no human can go....your mind.

The human mind, because of knowledge and the findings of science, is quite capable of understanding now that the use of theism, the practice of religion, and the belief in the supernatural, is infantile, stifling to the mind, unproductive to actual human need, and an enemy of good mental health.

Rational thinking and science have driven the god idea out into the fog. Could you be brave enough and muster up the fortitude to understand and accept that god(whatever the fuck that means) is just an abstract idea born of primitive ignorance ? It's only poor mental health that makes one in this day and age believe and practice the primitive reasoning of ancient and ignorant savages.

I hope so...and as far as heaven goes ? Well, if you decide reject the god idea, then the rejection of heaven naturally follows.

It's a struggle I know, but the journey back to good mental health is well worth it.  ;)

     
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.