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Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

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.
Steve3007
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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Steve3007 » September 24th, 2018, 6:32 am

tommarcus wrote:Steve3007,

You make a good point regarding full meaning of enlightenment. Do you think it would be possible to forgive ourselves no matter what the reason or consequences of our actions? I imagine myself awakening as Hitler or some other tyrant and trying to forgive myself, even if I had a tumor in my head which caused all of my crimes.
As far as I can tell, people like Hitler generally tend to believe that there is nothing to forgive. If they're ever brought to justice, despots rarely appear to show any contrition. (See, for example, the trials of such people as Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milošević). They usually seem to remain utterly convinced that they were right and are being unjustly punished. Towards the end, Hitler seemed to blame the inadequacy of the German people for the downfall of his project. (Unless TV dramas and documentaries about the Nazis have been lying to me. Which, I suppose, is possible.)

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by tommarcus » September 24th, 2018, 10:53 am

Greta,

I agree with much of what you said. There is no doubt that we are being manipulated by businesses, religious leaders, charities, political parties, ideologues and others. Jusy look at commercials and the news if you can stand it. They want something for nothing and retirees are favorite targets. We are supposed to continue to work, do charitable work and giving, take care of kids and grandchildren. No thanks.

I too am an old jalopy who is retired. But I have a new engine. Now I will do what I want. I will pick up where I left off before I went to work and raised a family.Within me are two forces. One, which you correctly state, that is the physical and psychological forces of the world which are still influencing me whether I want to admit it or not. The other is the one which makes me feel good about my self and purpose. I am fortunate to be able to say that I have more freedom to do whatever I want. As a result, the second force is winning (subject to time on the beach which is sometimes more thought productive than a day at work). I t am not totally selfish, but I like to think that I am doing what I want to, not what I have to. My measurement of this is how consistent my actions are with what I believe us my purpose, which us also a moving target.

Based on your comments, I would say that the control system of your old jalopy is working very well, even though you sometimes drive in a different direction than me.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by SimpleGuy » September 24th, 2018, 11:40 am

Certainly one can define heaven or hell without a god. But these are either states of beeing or just a different world for the afterlife , in which good treatment or at least terrorising treatments are offered. A simple word like afterlife already offers the opportunity to define a heaven or a hell without the existence of overpowerfull beengs.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Greta » September 24th, 2018, 4:48 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 6:25 am
Greta wrote:...comprised of...
Ah, I see you're an aficionado of the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, like Thomas.
I have no idea what the book is or the joke or point you are making. Is this about stating the bleeding obvious?

I actually wanted to make the point that there is a skewiff notion that bacteria are beings living within us while cells are just biological machinery. Of course eukaryotic cells are so much more sophisticated than bacteria (CALD 1995).

That is akin to thinking of other animals as alive and humans - being specialists and dependent upon societies - as nonliving machines because their abilities pertain to communication rather than action in the environment.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 24th, 2018, 5:27 pm

Greta wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 4:48 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 6:25 am


Ah, I see you're an aficionado of the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, like Thomas.
I have no idea what the book is or the joke or point you are making. Is this about stating the bleeding obvious?

I actually wanted to make the point that there is a skewiff notion that bacteria are beings living within us while cells are just biological machinery. Of course eukaryotic cells are so much more sophisticated than bacteria (CALD 1995).

That is akin to thinking of other animals as alive and humans - being specialists and dependent upon societies - as nonliving machines because their abilities pertain to communication rather than action in the environment.
I'll tell you what he is banging on about.

The grammar Nazis are at work scrutinising your words.

Apparently some of them do not like "comprises of" or "comprised of", insisting on "comprises" or "comprised" alone.

The Nazis think they can derail a thread instead of trying to support their own arguments.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Belindi » September 24th, 2018, 5:28 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 11:33 am
Belindi wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 4:41 pm
I'd say that aimless pursuit of pleasure is the picture of not knowing who one is.
I know I'm being a bit pedantic but you can't aimlessly pursue something, you have an aim, to pursue whatever it is you're pursuing. I suspect those who then say my pursuit is aimless mean they don't agree with it and think I should pursue something more worthy.
By "aimless" I meant lacking in reflection, impulsive. There are characters who are light hearted by nature but who are aware of their deeper affections and affiliations and by "aimless" I don't refer to principled persons such as those.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Belindi » September 24th, 2018, 5:33 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 10:21 am
Greta wrote:
September 21st, 2018, 5:57 pm
Well, energetically at one stage we were all hot plasma. It would seem we've come a long way. I like to think that it's been an improvement of sorts :)
I'm still not convinced we're not the playthings of the bacteria.
We are subject to the whims of the gods of which bacteria are a subsection. Our lives are mostly islands of happiness, if at all ,in seas of troubles.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Steve3007 » September 24th, 2018, 6:27 pm

Greta wrote:I actually wanted to make the point that there is a skewiff notion that bacteria are beings living within us while cells are just biological machinery. Of course eukaryotic cells are so much more sophisticated than bacteria (CALD 1995).

That is akin to thinking of other animals as alive and humans - being specialists and dependent upon societies - as nonliving machines because their abilities pertain to communication rather than action in the environment.
I think it shows that our notions as to what it means to be a living thing and what it means to be a part of a living thing are arbitrary. It's similar to a previous discussion about ant colonies, and the question of whether we should classify an ant colony as a living thing or a collection of living things. And if we scale it up, some might say that a similar arbitrary classification could be applied to our entire planet.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Steve3007 » September 24th, 2018, 6:30 pm

Belindi wrote:We are subject to the whims of the gods of which bacteria are a subsection.
I guess you're not saying that we should make sacrifices to appease bacteria, so much as that bacteria are part of the pitiless Nature that is indifferent to our plight and which (metaphorically) kills us for its sport?

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Greta » September 24th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 6:30 pm
Belindi wrote:We are subject to the whims of the gods of which bacteria are a subsection.
I guess you're not saying that we should make sacrifices to appease bacteria, so much as that bacteria are part of the pitiless Nature that is indifferent to our plight and which (metaphorically) kills us for its sport?
No Steven, we must provide suitable sacrifices or there will be consequences. So we must eschew our desire to stuff ourselves with meaty and fatty foods and to maintain a suitable supply of greens and other veggies and fruits or we will be punished by The Spirits of the Gut.

I also provide a tithe for the ant spirits at the front of my home. I leave dead insects and other small corpses found in the garden in a handy spot, or sometimes some honey or maple syrup, to discourage them from foraging towards my home.

One might be tempted to call it an ant protection payment except that I will be the one going the smiting. Smiting is not sport but one of a deity's less pleasant tasks, but it is sometimes necessary to maintain order.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Steve3007 » September 25th, 2018, 2:07 am

Greta: Yes, I see your point!

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Steve3007 » September 25th, 2018, 2:20 am

No Steven, we must provide suitable sacrifices or there will be consequences. So we must eschew our desire to stuff ourselves with meaty and fatty foods and to maintain a suitable supply of greens and other veggies and fruits or we will be punished by The Spirits of the Gut.
I suppose this is really not so very far from the reasons why people in the past made sacrifices to the gods in the sky, to try to stop rumbles of thunder and mighty winds from assailing them. They were just exploring possible solutions to a mysterious but troubling problem.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Belindi » September 25th, 2018, 11:11 am

Steve3007 wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 6:30 pm
Belindi wrote:We are subject to the whims of the gods of which bacteria are a subsection.
I guess you're not saying that we should make sacrifices to appease bacteria, so much as that bacteria are part of the pitiless Nature that is indifferent to our plight and which (metaphorically) kills us for its sport?
The latter, Steve :)

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Greta » September 25th, 2018, 7:16 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 2:20 am
No Steven, we must provide suitable sacrifices or there will be consequences. So we must eschew our desire to stuff ourselves with meaty and fatty foods and to maintain a suitable supply of greens and other veggies and fruits or we will be punished by The Spirits of the Gut.
I suppose this is really not so very far from the reasons why people in the past made sacrifices to the gods in the sky, to try to stop rumbles of thunder and mighty winds from assailing them. They were just exploring possible solutions to a mysterious but troubling problem.
Yes, they had to deal with worrying periodic events and were basically engaging in trial and error investigations into cause and effect. I can imagine how a tribe might notice that young girls tended to die when volcanoes are about to erupt, with the pre eruption fumes taking out the weakest and most vulnerable, who may well be young females.

From there it would be a short step to assuming that the volcano gods required virgin sacrifices. Each time they sacrificed a girl there would be no eruption. If an eruption occurred then it would be due to something else they were doing wrong, maybe the girl was not satisfactory, or perhaps it was due to misconduct in the community.

It's a stitch up, like the witch hunt dunkings where women would be thrown into the water and, if they floated then they were made of wood and must be witches, otherwise their sinking corpse would be assumed innocent. This points to an important contribution of science to societies in reducing such injustices. If science becomes devalued then prejudice, bias and corruption will increase in its stead.

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Re: Can Heaven Or Hell Exist If There Is No God?

Post by Fanman » September 28th, 2018, 1:37 pm

If heaven and hell are purely conceptual, and can be likened to extreme, but contrasting human states then yes.
Once a theist, now agnostic.

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