I saw this question posed in a video and I have been wondering about it ever since. At a general level it is this: If Christians believe they go to heaven when they die, why do they preserve their life through use of seatbelts and other such safety devices? Why are they not ecstatically happy if their kids get murdered?

I also made a philosoraptor pic to ask the seatbelt question. it is the attachment.

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I would not blame my God for punishing me for the death of my child or wondering what plans my God had for causing my child to die.

 

So , if you are going to ask a question and not accept my answer , then don't ask the question.  

 

If I truly believed my child was in heaven , I would rejoice.  It's pretty damn simple to me.  Child = dead , dead = eternal bliss , so Dead Child = eternal bliss ... who the hell am I to be upset and cry and whine if I truly know my child is experiencing eternal bliss?  

 

I am not that selfish, sorry.  

No, I am perfectly interested in your answer, I just want to express my sincere hope that you neither had to nor will have to find out what it is like to see your child die.

 

As for the rest, you do not even seem to know that much about our beliefs: dead most definitely does not equal eternal bliss. Therefore it seems rather improbable to me that you have a reasonably good idea of what it feels like to be a Christian who loses a child. That is all I am saying. :)

@ondrej:

All this theology is based on the presumption that the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve is real and not mythology. 

There is plenty of evidence that supports the notion that this story is, indeed, made up by ancient uncivilized bronze aged people.  The biblical accounts (both the El tradition from North Israel and the Yahweh tradition from South Israel) were both borrowed, and modified, from the original which is contained in the much earlier Epic of Gilgamesh.  Google it.

I see no reason why I should treat Catholic saints, or writers of Catholic doctrine as if they were scientists who can provide empirical evidence and a series of carefully controlled tests to back up their claims. These people have just been given a licence to make things up on behalf of the Catholic versions of Christianity, at least until someone else claims that they are heretical. 

 

BTW, most of us on this site are ex-Christians, many of whom were extremely devout.  We have children and some have lost them, too.  We know how you think because we have been there.  Your problem is that you have little idea how we think because you have never been an atheist as we define it.  I doubt if many, or indeed any, of us has met the kind of "atheist" that you define.  We have not chosen to sin.  We have not rejected a god (because that would involve believing one exists).  We have not become immoral or unloving.  We are not monsters.  We are not trying to force our non-belief on others or force them to lose their beliefs.  Our lives are no less interesting or purposeful than they were when we believed that a god exists.  We just have different interests and purposes.  We no longer preach or proselytze.  Those of us who were religious leaders have found other professions, often in the "service" or human caring professions.  We are generous with our time and our money.  We want to make the world a better place for everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of them.  IOW, we are nothing like the pen pictures you paint of us BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEVER WALKED IN OUR SHOES.

I never defined atheists that way. I don't know why you would think that. In fact this might be one of the reasons we do not understand each other: I do not think atheists are immoral and unloving. I have perfect understanding of how someone can not believe in God: as the matter of fact I have been there. :D :) There is another good reason why I could not possibly think what you just said: I know a lot of atheists that are great people. Most of them are much, much better than I am. :)

 

Btw. I've read the Epic of Gilgamesh before. I found it very enjoyable. I don't really see your point there... :D But I think there are other more interesting questions concerning Adam and Eve. The teaching of the Catholic Church about the original sin in its contemporary form does seem to require, as holy father Pius XII himself mentions in one of his encyclicals, that we all be biological descendants of Adam and Eve. I am genuinely interested how that teaching would be revised if it were proven beyond any doubt that this cannot be the case. Of course, it would probably take a century or two for the Church to react so I guess my curiosity would probably not be satisfied in time... :D :)

" I have perfect understanding of how someone can not believe in God: as the matter of fact I have been there."

Ondrej, you are being perverse and deliberately obtuse.  If you had really "been there", then you could produce logical, rather than emotional, reasons why you once did not think that a god existed in reality.  You have never shown the slightest indication that you ever had any rational reasons of this nature.  Ergo you have never been where rational atheists are.  

 

If you want to define atheism as simply "not believing in a god" then all of us rational atheists have "been there" before we went through our religious phase (if we did), or before we investigated the god concept and dismissed it for rational reasons.

 

I am pleased to hear that you have read the Epic of Gilgamesh.  The point you don't seem to have understood is that mainstream historians are convinced that it was the basis for most of the early biblical stories:  creation, fall of man, flood, noah's ark, and so on.  That is, these stories did not turn up in the O.T. as stories newly  and uniquely dictated by the Yahweh god. They were tales that existed in the region and were attributed to other gods and spirits. 

I have no more belief in the  authority of the Catholic Church in terms of religious teaching than I have belief in the authority of C.S. Lewis - or, for that matter, of you.  The Catholic Church has a long history of changing its divinely inspired views on things, even to making a complete about face.

 

Example One. St. Christopher was a saint who performed miracles - ->  St. Christopher is a mythical character who does not exist and therefore never performed holy miracles.  (leaving a lot Catholics having to explain what their "miracle" was.)

 

Example Two.  Joan of Arc was a heretic and it was god's loving will that she be burnt at the stake for her heresy - - > Joan of Arc is a saint, not a heretic, and now performs miracles.  

 

Example Three.  Galileo was an unholy heretic for teaching that the earth is not the center of the universe and that the earth circles the sun.  The divinely inspired Catholic and Biblical teaching was that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolves around it. - - >  The teachings of Galileo are perfectly compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

 

I have no doubt that C.S. Lewis would have engaged in similar about-faces if he had lived long enough. 

 

You don't see the point of Gilgamesh!! - it was copied and retrofitted -  that is the point.

By the by - read about your lovely Pius XII - a political hypocrite, no humanity or ethics. Just another evil Pope.

 

You just want to believe, you need it, that's okay - I just don't need it, because I question - and find it stupid and evil.

 

If a book has the influence the bible has, why sooooo many different interpretations of it - so many - the truth is the truth - nah, that's why I question.

Adam and Eve - the fact that you say we are biological descendants, proves you haven't read anything else - just doesn't make commonsense.

Question: If god took a rib from adam, why do male and females have the same amount of ribs? I know you will have a reason. Haha

 

Version l - which most likely dates from between 600 and 400 BC says that God created all living things - including a man and woman "in his own image" - on the sixth day of creation.

 

Version 2 - Yahweh made Adam from dust and breathed "the breath of life" into his nostrils. God then created animals so that Adam would not be alone.  God saw that Adam needed a human partner, so he put Adam to sleep, took a rib from his side, and created Eve from it. 

Which one is right?

 

Hebrew mythology, Adam names the woman created from his rib Hawwah, which means "life." The Mesopotamian story influenced the Hebrew one, which became the basis for one biblical version of Eve's creation - copied, adapted and retrofitted - all the same.

 

The Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions each have their own versions of the story of Adam and Eve. The image of God fashioning Eve out of Adam's rib may have originated in an ancient legend from Mesopotamia,

 

After the god Enki ate eight plants belonging to the goddess Ninhursag, she cursed him so that eight parts of his body became diseased. When he was nearly dead, the gods persuaded Ninhursag to help him, and she created eight healing goddesses. The goddess who cured Enki's rib was Ninti, whose name meant "lady of the rib" or "lady of life."

 

Biological Descendants - Homo sapiens - radiometric dating and/or incremental dating - 300,000 to 50,000 years, and that is being generous.

The skeletal remains of beings have been found all over the planet. Some resemble races now existing, some represent more primitive humanoid types from millions of years ago.

 

Bible "fundamentalists" and Christian humanists claim Adam was the first humanoid or man, and was consequentially the father of all peoples and races on earth, or ever existed on the earth. 

This is derived from their literal and universal interpretation of Scripture, and their denial of what history and science reveal on the matter.

 

Adam and Eve had no other children when Cain killed Abel.

 

If only Adam and Eve existed, then who was Cain afraid of that would kill him? . . . If Adam and Eve were the first and only people at this time, then from where did Cain find a wife? Not only was he able to find a wife, but there were obviously enough people to be part of the city built by Cain. . . .All of these circumstances point to the existence of men independent of Adam. So where did they come from? 

 

The following treasure was copy and paste Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of world religions

Then it says: Adam and Eve had 20 sets of twins, plus one single birth, to replace Kabila - change of name to Abel,  Adam had 40,000 offspring before he died. Wow, he was a busy boy....


Xians and apologists will just keep retrofitting as more science comes along.

 

Hebrew mythology, Adam names the woman created from his rib Hawwah, which means "life." The Mesopotamian story influenced the Hebrew one, which became the basis for one biblical version of Eve's creation - copied, adapted and retrofitted - all the same.

 

The Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions each have their own versions of the story of Adam and Eve. The image of God fashioning Eve out of Adam's rib may have originated in an ancient legend from Mesopotamia,

 

After the god Enki ate eight plants belonging to the goddess Ninhursag, she cursed him so that eight parts of his body became diseased. When he was nearly dead, the gods persuaded Ninhursag to help him, and she created eight healing goddesses. The goddess who cured Enki's rib was Ninti, whose name meant "lady of the rib" or "lady of life."

Keep on retrofitting

 

Biological Descendants - Homo sapiens - radiometric dating and/or incremental dating - 300,000 to 50,000 years, and that is being generous.

The skeletal remains of beings have been found all over the planet. Some resemble races now existing,  represeningt more primitive humanoid types. 

 

Bible "fundamentalists" and Christian humanists claim Adam was the first humanoid or man, and was consequentially the father of all peoples and races on earth, or ever existed on the earth. 

This is derived from their literal and universal interpretation of Scripture, and their denial of what history and science reveal on the matter.

 

Adam and Eve had no other children when Cain killed Abel.

 

If only Adam and Eve existed, then who was Cain afraid of that would kill him? . . . If Adam and Eve were the first and only people at this time, then from where did Cain find a wife? Not only was he able to find a wife, but there were obviously enough people to be part of the city built by Cain. . . .All of these circumstances point to the existence of men independent of Adam. So where did they come from? Did Cain marry his sister?

 

Xians and apologists will just keep retrofitting as more science comes along.

 

Several problems here, ondrej.

First, the research findings show that Christains are far more likely, compared with non-believers, to try to prolong their lives with painful treatments.  (I can dig up the references, if you like.  Not at my fingertips.)  Your "avoidance of suicide because its sinful" argument does not fit with this data.  It seems far more likely that the Christians are just plainly fearful of dying, which they should not be if they actually believe their doctrines.

It is rare to meet a Christian who believes they are going to hell, but just as rare to meet one that can tell you what heaven will be like and why they think they would like it there.

 

According to biblical "history", one third of heavenly inhabitants thought heaven and its Landlord were so intolerable that they rebelled.  One third of a population is highly significant.  Something was clearly very wrong.  Earthly dictators have been over-thrown by much smaller proportions of the population.  Governments who win on the basis of the votes of 30 percent of the population may win by a landslide.

Of course, the possibility of rebellion in heaven is inconsistent with the idea that there is no "sin" there.  If it is possible to sin there then it is also possible to be turfed out to the nether regions at any point.  This makes the eternal bliss bit rather unreliable.  If the Yahweh god has fixed up the problem by banning any further exercise of "free will" in heaven then human beings who go there will be like robots rather than humans.  If worship by robotic beings makes this god happy then there is no rational reason why the Yahweh god would permit the exercise of free will during a human's earthly life, is there?  If heaven-locked individuals no longer have free will then it is doubtful if they are the same personality any more. Perhaps the eternal state of bliss without sinning is achieved by putting the souls in a permanent state of near-mindless ectasy, pretty much like you get from abusing mind-altering drugs in your real life.

Then there is also the problem of having to share the place with people who may have raped or tortured you during your life on earth, all those obnoxious family members you avoid and those intensely irritating self-righteous bible bangers without more than a few ounces of compassion for others unless a display of this apparent emotion will get them a saved soul notch on their belt. That is, heaven will apparently be full of horrible people who are there simply because they believed the right things at the time of their death.

Others might be uneasy about the biblical promise that they would be able to look down from heaven and watch and hear the eternal agony of friends and family whom their host had cast into the torture chamber because they believed the wrong things at their point of death. This kind of eternal psychological torment does not appeal to everyone, even those whose sensitivy to monstrous behavior has been dulled from reading about the many examples of vengeful, jealous, blood-thirsty, insensitive and unjust behavior committed or caused to be committed by the Yahweh god.  Who wants to live with someone who gets a free pass to perform behavior that no sane and socialized person would dream of committing in a civilized society and that no parent would want their child to emulate. If the heavenly land lord created evil, punished innocent children to pay back their parents for disobeying some directive that was none too clear in the first place and ganged up with the devil to torture Job and his family simply for the sake of a celestial wager, then what might this tyrannical being do to the inhabitants of heaven, should he feel like it?

Your comments on the usefulness of prayer ignores a number of other things.
First, methodologically sound studies of prayer show that it has no positiive effects and, ironically, can actually have some slight negative effects. 

Second, all but intellectually and mentally impaired Christians call 911 before praying when someone has a heart attack or is the victim of a car accident.  They know in their minds (and probably their metaphorical hearts) that the application of medical science by licensed professionals saves lives without prayer and application of prayer does not save lives without the application of medical science.  Ergo, it is medical science and not prayer that is causing the "miracles". 

Third, the biblical passages you quote depict Jesus praying to the Jewish god as if this divinity were not himself, as if he could influence it, and as if he did not know what it was thinking.  Ergo, the Jesus characterized in these gospels (the early ones) did not think he was god and behaved as if he lacked qualities such as omniscience, wisdom and omnipotence) normally ascribed to this god by modern day Christians. 

As for the argument made by C.S.Lewis, we act to help ourselves because our experiences have shown us that this works much better and more reliably then praying to god and expecting him to help us.  If a Christian is an incompetent driver then s/he will likely be killed or maimed on the road.  God will not prevent this, but good driver education will significantly lessen the chances of harm happening.  Statistically, there is no difference in injury rates and illness rates between people who pray to their god and people who do not believe in a god.  If there were, then religious people, or those who hold a particular view of the supernatural, would be given massive insurance bonuses by accident underwriting companies.  It doesn't happen because actuaries have excellent evidence that prayer makes absolutely no difference to someone's well-being at any time of their life.  Ergo, the belief that prayer actually does something, other than make the person who prays feel better or resolved of the responsibility to do something really useful, is a socially sanctioned delusion.

The evidence points to the truth of the statement that:  "One hand working can accomplish far more than two hands praying."


 

"According to biblical "history", one third of heavenly inhabitants thought heaven and its Landlord were so intolerable that they rebelled."

Haha, I like your interpretation of that. :D It is wrong of course, but very funny. :D

Your post is rather long by the way, I like that I am not the only one who does that... :D

Anyway – heaven is blissful, it is being with God. It is by definition that we cannot imagine what it will be like exactly but there is no doubt in my mind as to its blissfulness. :) I don't think you quite understand this though: we can hardly be sure that we will indeed get into heaven. None of us really deserves it. It may seem as if we were almost sure, but that is in fact only the virtue of hope. :)

As to free will, I do not think you are right, although I am no expert of course. However, I think we will in fact retain free will in heaven. It is just that the period in which we can choose whether we want to be with God or not will have passed then. We will no longer be broken, tempted or even open to be tempted and thus we will be able to be good and act good. (If acting is something we will do in heaven. :D I do not know that it is, it might be.) Be that as it may, being able to act good does not mean that you can only possibly act in one way, that obviously isn't true.

"Then there is also the problem of having to share the place with people who may have raped or tortured you during your life on earth, all those obnoxious family members you avoid and those intensely irritating self-righteous bible bangers without more than a few ounces of compassion for others unless a display of this apparent emotion will get them a saved soul notch on their belt. That is, heaven will apparently be full of horrible people who are there simply because they believed the right things at the time of their death."

But of course not, why would you think that? All those things are bad, which is why you don't like them in the first place. How could they be in heaven then? If you meet those family members, or even the one who raped you here on Earth you will embrace them, kiss them and love them more than you have loved anybody here on Earth. :D

As to your loved ones possibly ending up in hell I have already referred to C. S. Lewis's explanation of this problem somewhere else in this thread, you probably read that by now and perhaps you have even posted a reply in the meantime...

Note that I am not saying some Christians don't think some the things you just said. It is very possible that they do indeed and thank you very much for mentioning this. I think that it is only now that we may hope to have provided any insight into this topic at all. :)

Of course we call 911 before we pray. :D Why do you expect us to do nothing else but pray? That is exactly what Lewis's argument is about. :D Why do you expect God to do everything for you just because those things are good? Is it not for this purpose that we are gifted with understanding that enables us to do surgery? :D Why do you think it would be good if God just listened for your wishes and then fulfilled them? God is not a coke machine! :D :D Also, why should praying be a substitute for learning how to drive? What would learning how to drive be good for then? In fact, what would learning how to walk be good for? :D

As for Jesus praying – are you even serious? :D Jesus was a whole human. He had to learn to walk the same way you did. He also prayed of course, what could be more natural than son speaking to his father? You will recall that Son and Father are the same being, yet not the same person. :)

 

I have to note though that your post is very helpful in fact and I am rather grateful that you submitted it! :) Although I do not find any of these objections justifiable, I think you are very right in saying that there actually are Christians who think this way. I think that only now that you have presented these, may we hope that we have answered this question with any degree of accuracy. :)

How dare you apply logic and reasoning to faith - you heathen!!

Ha,Ha,Ha.

Luv it :)

Your body is your temple, god puts us here to serve him, all human life is a divine gift...

All of these could be used by a Christian to justify the preservation of our mortal lives. Basically, it would be considered cheating (as mentioned), negligent, or misusing what god gave us for the selfish act of skipping to heaven.

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