Paradise and pre-mortality

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Burning ghost
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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Burning ghost » November 1st, 2017, 5:09 am

I just look at it as a story. I don't sweat the religious connotations because that just tends to derail any serious investigation into the theme of the story and what it is saying. The religious view and how the story has been appropriated for socio-political ends is part of the picture though, I am not denying that. I think we are all educated enough to understand how traditions from different beliefs and attitudes have been assimilated in various ways (bringing with them a mish-mash of symbolism and ideas that morph into one picture.

For me the common theme of the creation story seems to be more about something like the harking back to days of youthful innocence where worry was something only the adults did, because the naivety of youth sees little danger in the world and doesn't yet understand what mortality means. I think many have said, and I remember it said to me, that young people think they're immortal.

That is a fragment of the common Eden theme I see across many different stories.
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Whitedragon
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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Whitedragon » November 1st, 2017, 7:10 am

Eduk wrote:
Assuming all are equally fast, no one would win or lose, though a few could stumble over rocks. I guess in an equal race no one would lose.
Would you enter a race no one could lose? To me that sounds much more like a description of purgatory than paradise.
But then again I can't actually distinguish between heaven, hell and purgatory. They all seem the same to me.
Indeed, it's funny how much the Bible talks about heaven, (and hell), but never quite get around to say what happens there. I do believe in the possibility of different plains of existence with different kinds of boundaries. As for humans, we would do well to be satisfied with what we have here on earth and try and make the best of it. I like your example of the race.

From another perspective, we could also say that if different levels of existence are there, the individuality of the beings, (much like on earth), may determine some of the limits, much like on earth, where we have sculptors, engineers, actors, doctors, etc. Perhaps in "heaven," we won't all have the same function and that would be what sets us apart.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Eduk » November 1st, 2017, 7:21 am

Indeed, it's funny how much the Bible talks about heaven, (and hell), but never quite get around to say what happens there.
For me that is the key point. There is an extremely good (and rather obvious) reason why no one can go into any detail about what happens in heaven or hell.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Whitedragon » November 1st, 2017, 7:38 am

Eduk wrote:
Indeed, it's funny how much the Bible talks about heaven, (and hell), but never quite get around to say what happens there.
For me that is the key point. There is an extremely good (and rather obvious) reason why no one can go into any detail about what happens in heaven or hell.
Well, Revelations give us a vague idea, but still it doesn't sit well for me; but then could anyone describe an existence that sits on a different level? Some schools teach that we would be there in a renewed body, but what kind of body that is and how it works, and if it is corporeal all the time cannot be know. I don't know how to reconcile myself with the little information.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Eduk » November 1st, 2017, 7:46 am

For me there is zero information but a lot of conclusions. So that doesn't sit well with me.
Take Einstein's theory of relativity for example. At the time he presented that theory he had zero empirical evidence. It didn't contradict any existing evidence but, at the time, none of the predictions could be tested. But he had a compelling enough mechanism that many physicists felt it worth their time to come up with methods for testing it.
I'm not 100% against religions having zero empirical evidence. But when they have zero mechanism and zero evidence and contradict the evidence we do have then they are on some extremely shaky ground (from my perspective). Especially so when they draw a bunch of conclusions.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Whitedragon » November 1st, 2017, 8:13 am

Eduk wrote:For me there is zero information but a lot of conclusions. So that doesn't sit well with me.
Take Einstein's theory of relativity for example. At the time he presented that theory he had zero empirical evidence. It didn't contradict any existing evidence but, at the time, none of the predictions could be tested. But he had a compelling enough mechanism that many physicists felt it worth their time to come up with methods for testing it.
I'm not 100% against religions having zero empirical evidence. But when they have zero mechanism and zero evidence and contradict the evidence we do have then they are on some extremely shaky ground (from my perspective). Especially so when they draw a bunch of conclusions.
I agree, if there are no mechanisms for testing these theories it does indeed stand on shaky ground. In time as science advances, we may be able to find ways of testing it, but would we recognize it as supernatural then? Either everything in this universe is natural or supernatural, they can't be both - these notions apparently are based on personal perspective. We can't just go around calling a cat natural, just because we see it everyday or can examine it. These distinctions between natural and supernatural seems to me like it's based on subjective experience, familiarity, and our ability to understand it.

No one, not even the Bible, has an idea what God is or what it looks like. We might run into something one day, analyse it and not even know we're dealing with God, whatever a god is. Like I say it's more likely that we will discover something and as we gradually get to know it, we'll get used to it and see it as natural, but in effect it could be God or some link to God. God could exist as anything, but from here we're moving into the realm of speculation again.

Perhaps some human beings have the ability to sense some divine presents, but none so far have been able to capture it; instead they clothe it in their own perception and wishes. Now angels have appeared to people, apparently, but the little buggers only seem to do it when they feel like it. This is very much like the paradise example we began with; if we see an angel, we might very well think it's an alien instead. Since descriptions of angels are also more based on their functions, (the wings for example indicate fast/air travel or the ability to appear out of nowhere).

We may encounter the forces that left these impressions on our minds and on our worlds, but will we see them as their Biblical selves when we do?
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Eduk » November 1st, 2017, 8:22 am

I always find natural and supernatural to not have a lot of meaning :) Supernatural is normally just shorthand for not real. And natural is normally shorthand for 'whatever I think is good'.
A true supernatural entity could very well be impossible for a non supernatural mind (like ours) to even be able to see (or be aware of). I find these kinds of questions interesting. So long as no one pretends they know the answer :)

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Count Lucanor » November 1st, 2017, 8:52 am

Burning ghost wrote:I think you'd be better off looking at the context of the story rather than believing the story is an actual representation of human life on Earth. We'd no more read Lord of the Rings and go out looking for hobbits and dragons after reading it than we would look for evidence of an actual Eden.

Nevertheless the motivations and message of the story in both cases cuts to a deeper human understanding of reality and how we approach the world and deal with the problems we face.

You can also look at many other mythological stories across the globe and find common themes that express something quite distinct about our nature (these stories need not necessarily be religious fables, they may simply be instances of folklore that have had a cultural impact and stood the test of time - and survived so long because they resonate with us and our way of understanding the world.)

And like Count suggests, it may just be meaningless drivel that happened to have been indoctrinated by a religious institution. Even so it at least exposes some kind of reason by trying to explain our origins and being capable of hindsight and foresight.

It may even refer indirectly to a particular event for a certain cultural group that has long since evolved into something entirely different?

A good experiment is for you to sit down and try and create an original story in an imaginary world. you will undoubtedly express some kind of narrative that many other have without even knowing it. This is for me the most interesting thing. Living in the world we do today we are likely to express something reasonably similar and then look upon older stories (such as biblical stories) and view them, in the only way we can, with the bias of modern eyes.
I do think it's interesting to look at who wrote the mythical story of creation and the Eden garden as it made it to the biblical text, when and why. And we do have a pretty good idea from a scholarly point of view. It was written around the 6th century, by several authors most likely gathering from oral tradititions and for political reasons of jews who needed to reaffirm an identity with its foundational myths.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Whitedragon » November 1st, 2017, 9:43 am

Eduk wrote:I always find natural and supernatural to not have a lot of meaning :) Supernatural is normally just shorthand for not real. And natural is normally shorthand for 'whatever I think is good'.
A true supernatural entity could very well be impossible for a non supernatural mind (like ours) to even be able to see (or be aware of). I find these kinds of questions interesting. So long as no one pretends they know the answer :)
I don't think super natural = not-real, just as much as conspiracy theory does not = false. Neither do I think natural = "what 'we' think is good." Such definitions are far removed from objectivity and logic. I would say, rather, super-natural is what is removed from our everyday experience, as I've stated before. As soon as we move past our current methods of science, we might very well be able to intuit these things.

I would be the first to say I do not know; all we have are myths, (ancient history, though convoluted), and it is up to us to investigate them using ALL THE MEANS to our disposal. I have always had a problem with things like the Eden story, and like with many holy texts, they are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. We also should try and understood what the real meaning was behind the writing of these myths, which would not only shed better light on their meaning, but do away with our misconstrued approaches to it.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Eduk » November 1st, 2017, 10:37 am

I don't think super natural = not-real, just as much as conspiracy theory does not = false. Neither do I think natural = "what 'we' think is good." Such definitions are far removed from objectivity and logic.
Sorry I was just presenting how the words are often used, not how they should be used :)
I have always had a problem with things like the Eden story, and like with many holy texts, they are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. We also should try and understood what the real meaning was behind the writing of these myths,
Well the problem here is that I don't know they were meant to be taken with a grain of salt. It certainly doesn't say that anywhere in the quran or bible, that I am aware of. And a lot of people would argue that they are not to be taken with a grain of salt.
Then if it was true that they should be taken with a grain of salt that just raises more questions. If divine then how would a non divine (ie me) work out what the grain was supposed to be. If not divine then they need be taken no more, or less, seriously than any work of literature.
In that sense I can see a great deal of reward in studying the bible (for a theist or atheist) but I can say the same about studying Shakespeare. I can also say that it is perfectly fine not to study the history of the bible or quran or other holy book. Again in the same way that it is fine not to study Shakespeare.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Whitedragon » November 1st, 2017, 11:32 am

Eduk wrote:
I don't think super natural = not-real, just as much as conspiracy theory does not = false. Neither do I think natural = "what 'we' think is good." Such definitions are far removed from objectivity and logic.
Sorry I was just presenting how the words are often used, not how they should be used :)
I have always had a problem with things like the Eden story, and like with many holy texts, they are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. We also should try and understood what the real meaning was behind the writing of these myths,
Well the problem here is that I don't know they were meant to be taken with a grain of salt. It certainly doesn't say that anywhere in the quran or bible, that I am aware of. And a lot of people would argue that they are not to be taken with a grain of salt.
Then if it was true that they should be taken with a grain of salt that just raises more questions. If divine then how would a non divine (ie me) work out what the grain was supposed to be. If not divine then they need be taken no more, or less, seriously than any work of literature.
In that sense I can see a great deal of reward in studying the bible (for a theist or atheist) but I can say the same about studying Shakespeare. I can also say that it is perfectly fine not to study the history of the bible or quran or other holy book. Again in the same way that it is fine not to study Shakespeare.

Well, if I could put this in a Shakespearean verse, since I'm fond of him myself, let's see what I can concoct.

'Tis good, the Word, but not the wordliness.
'Tis good, the tale, but not its tails.
'Tis good, the tails, alack, they grow on foreheads;
Shamefully proclaimed the Word's best feature.
Alas, we are deformed and missed the mark of our divinity.
We have hallowed tails and mazes of the mind;
compassion doth not charm like talking asses. (donkeys)
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Eduk » November 1st, 2017, 11:51 am

haha nice

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Whitedragon » November 1st, 2017, 12:07 pm

I don't deny that there are some truths to myths, but clearly we can't just read an ancient text and deem ourselves experts. There may have been a time where the world was more at peace; there might even have been a time where some power provided mankind with a form of Aidenn, but for us to trace back a time, where time and dimension was different should be difficult at best. If we're hoping to find evidence of such a place, we must bear in mind that we strive to do it from a dimension, which has changed - we don't even have the proverbial looking glass to peep through. We would be attempting to search for an old reality from the different reality we find ourselves in now. It is no small wonder we cannot imagine that old reality, since it has long withdrawn itself, if it even existed to begin with.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Burning ghost » November 2nd, 2017, 12:48 am

Whitedragon -

That's why we stick to measureable facts. If we didn't we could suggest literally anything our imagination could conjure up (which is in itself an interesting investigation, but one that is full of traps.)

Cause and effect. Often correlations make us assume some false causation. In other instances the event may be so uncommon that we'll never be able to find an accurate enough causal root. Such is life! :)
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Re: Paradise and pre-mortality

Post by Whitedragon » November 2nd, 2017, 1:31 am

Burning ghost wrote:Whitedragon -

That's why we stick to measureable facts. If we didn't we could suggest literally anything our imagination could conjure up (which is in itself an interesting investigation, but one that is full of traps.)

Cause and effect. Often correlations make us assume some false causation. In other instances the event may be so uncommon that we'll never be able to find an accurate enough causal root. Such is life! :)
Yes, and the biggest danger, however, lies in using our imagination when, (in this case), and author may have something else in mind to communicate. This is very much like people seeing faces and pyramids on Mars, when in effect it's our eyes/imagination, playing tricks on us. I say we leave it to the ones in whose field of study it falls. I find better information from documentaries where people actually have studied into the background of the ancients. I wish I could find the link again of the Eden story, it has less to do with creation and more to do with two classing Jewish factions.

From that story I take the lesson of the nature of man, that how we can have good circumstances, but ruin it by looking for joy somewhere else, chasing hollow things. It reminds me of a couple that is happily married, not wanting for anything, but then one goes off looking for things that seem enjoyable, but only lasts long enough to ruin something that WOULD have been a long and happy relationship.
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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