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Their is no Hell!
Posted: 16 June 2012 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Paul’s usage of the Greek word for body is “soma.” “Soma” is not something external to a man himself, something he has, it is what he is. Indeed, “soma” is the nearest equivalent to our word personality. To believe in the resurrection of the “soma,” means to believe that my human self, the human being that “I” am, will be restored to life again. I will not be someone different from who I am now, but I will be exclusively myself. God has committed himself to preserving my individuality, personality, and character. The term body “soma” is simply a synonym for “person.” The goal of God’s redemption is not the destruction of his first creation, but its restoration to its original perfection. This is why the Scripture speaks of the resurrection of the body “soma” rather than of the creation of new beings. Both death and resurrection affect the total person “soma.” The resurrected persons “soma” will be the same individuals as those who existed previously on earth.
    Being created in the image of God means that we must view ourselves as intrinsically valuable and richly invested with meaning, potentially and responsibilities. We are to be and to do on a finite scale, what God is and does on an infinite scale. By virtue of being created in the image of God, human beings are capable of reflecting his character in their own life; animals possess none of these qualities. What distinguishes people from animals is the fact that human nature inherently has godlike possibilities. Omniscience omnipotence, or omnipresence, none of these other divine attributes have been ascribed to man as part of the image of God. We have been created to reflect God in our thinking and actions, but the physical sustained by God and dependent upon him for our existence in this world and in the world to come. Developing a godly character in this present life, this will be our personal identity in the world to come. It is the character or personality that we have developed in this life, that God preserves in his memory.
    Breath of life and the living soul; man’s soul is in his blood and indeed his blood is his soul. He is kept in being [alive] as a living soul by the inhalation of oxygen out of the air. Man’s soul depends on this intake of oxygen and the blood, but the cessation of breathing results in the death of the soul, because the blood, which is equated with the soul, no longer receives the oxygen that is so vital for life. Breathing is seen as a manifestation of the sustaining power of God. Man became a living soul does not mean that at creation his body was endowed with an immortal soul, a separate entity, distinct from the body. Rather, it means that as a result of the divine inbreathing of the “breath of life” into the lifeless body, man became a living, breathing being. The heart began to beat, the blood to circulate, the brain to think, and all the vital signs of life were activated. A living soul means a living being. Not through the implantation of an immaterial, immortal soul into his material, mortal body, but through the animating principle of life “breath of life” conferred on him by God himself.
  In the Old Testament, the word “sheol” is the underground depository of the dead. There are no immaterial, immortal souls in sheol, simply because the soul does not survive the death of the body. Nowhere in the Old Testament is the abode of the dead regarded as a place of punishment or torment. The concept of an infernal ‘hell’ developed in Israel only during the Hellenistic period. The condition of the dead in sheol, the realm of the dead, is one of unconsciousness, inactivity, a rest or sleep that will continue until they are resurrected. The prospect that one day a vast number of people will be consigned to the everlasting torment of hell is most disturbing. Traditionalists read “eternal punishment” as “eternal punishing.” When the adjective “aionios” meaning eternal or everlasting, is used in the Greek with nouns of action, it has reference to the result of the action, not the process. The wicked will not be passing through a process of punishment forever, but will be punished once and for all with eternal results. The destruction of the wicked is eternal “aionios,” not because the process of destruction continues forever, but because the results are permanent. “Eternal” often refers to the permanence of the result, rather than the continuation of a process. It is evident that the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah is eternal, not because of its duration, but because of its permanent results.
    “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (Jude 23a). The fire to which Jude refers is obviously the same kind of fire that consumed Sodom and Gomorrah. It is evident that the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah is eternal, not because of its duration, but because of its permanent results. It is important to note that the Greek word “aionios” literally means “lasting for an age.” Roman emperors being described as “aionios”; what is meant is that they held their office for life. Unfortunately, the English words “eternal” or “everlasting” do not accurately render the meaning of “aionios”, which literally means “age-lasting.” The notion of the eternal torment of the wicked can only be defended by accepting the Greek view of the immortality and indestructibility of the soul, a concept which is foreign to Scripture. Everlasting torture is intolerable from a moral point of view, because it pictures God acting like a bloodthirsty monster who maintains an everlasting Auschwitz for his enemies, whom he does not even allow to die. Consider the moral implications of the traditional view of hell, which depicts God as a cruel torturer who torments the wicked throughout all eternity. The thought of such a torment being deliberately inflicted by divine decree, is totally incompatible with the idea of God as infinite love.
    Many Christians will be sorely disappointed to discover that their beliefs in the afterlife are a delusion. When this happens, it will cause personal crisis to Christians accustom to believing that at death their souls break loose from their bodies and continue to exist either in Heaven or in the torment of Hell. Redemption is the restoration of the whole person, and not the salvation of the soul apart from the body. If at death the soul of the believer goes up immediately to Heaven to be with Jesus, one hardly can have any real sense of expectation for Jesus to come down to raise the dead believers that were in Jesus, and transform the living believers that are in Jesus. Traditionally, evangelical and other religious persuasions teach, that at the resurrection, their material bodies are reunited with their souls, thus intensifying the pleasure of Heaven or the pain of Hell. Why are evangelicals so adamant in refusing to reconsider the Biblical teachings on the restoration of the whole person? To abandon souls being reunited with their bodies, also entails abandoning a whole cluster of doctrines resulting form it. The total impact of dividing humans into body and soul has promoted all sorts of false dichotomies in Scripture. To be an “Evangelical” means to uphold certain fundamental traditional doctrines without questioning. Any one who dares to question the Biblical validity of a traditional doctrine can become suspect as a “heretic.” It is impossible to estimate the far-reaching impact that the doctrine of unending hellfire has had throughout the centuries in justifying religious intolerance, torture, and the burning of “heretics.” The rationale is simple: If God is going to burn heretics in Hell for all eternity, why shouldn’t the church burn them to death now?

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Posted: 16 June 2012 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Geez, 1313 words of drivel.  I’ve pleaded with Doug to have the program limit posts to, say, 400 words, but he’s too nice a guy to restrict people.  The first paragraph made no sense so I went through and read the first sentence of each of the succeeding paragraphs.  Still nothing.  vampire

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Posted: 16 June 2012 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Occam. - 16 June 2012 12:20 PM

Geez, 1313 words of drivel.  I’ve pleaded with Doug to have the program limit posts to, say, 400 words, but he’s too nice a guy to restrict people.  The first paragraph made no sense so I went through and read the first sentence of each of the succeeding paragraphs.  Still nothing.  vampire

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Uh oh. If doug takes your advice I’m in trouble lol

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Posted: 16 June 2012 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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You don’t have to worry, Mac.  He was quite definite about not doing that.  However, I’d be willing to modify my proposal to make it effective only on the first, say, 20 posts because it seems that we have many who come on, post a “Gone With the Wind” then are also G-W-T-W.  smile

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Posted: 16 June 2012 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I recall Occam had a few threads where he limited responss to some small number of words ... smile

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Posted: 16 June 2012 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The irony is that reading the original post is hell.  LOL

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Posted: 16 June 2012 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Rocinante - 16 June 2012 02:23 PM

The irony is that reading the original post is hell.  LOL

I agree. If the writer doesn’t care enough to make the post easy to read I’m not going to waste my time on a wall of gray text. I followed Occam’s lead and just read the first line of each paragraph. What I read did not encourage me to pick my way through the entire post.

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Posted: 16 June 2012 11:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sure there is a Hell, its one of those BBQ events for people with weight problems, a place with no hope, fire and demons which will torment you.

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Posted: 16 June 2012 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The only thing I got was a faint similarity to the very odd religious system presented in that O Greatest Of Robin Williams Films, What Dreams May Come.

:/

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Posted: 16 June 2012 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Alexander80 - 16 June 2012 11:24 PM

Sure there is a Hell, its one of those BBQ events for people with weight problems, a place with no hope, fire and demons which will torment you.

Must not be going to the right barbecues then…  cool smile

BTW: If I could get the demons to tend the fire during the barbecue that might be worth something.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 17 June 2012 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’d be curious if there is an empirical data to validate my subnective impression that the soundness of content in a post is inversly proportional to the number of paragraph breaks and directly proportional to the use of ALL CAPS! wink

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Posted: 17 June 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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You are right on, McK.  If there has been no statistical study, we can use the observation of a large number of posts that agree with your inverse proportionality idea to recognize that the probability of it being true is significantly greater than 0.5%.  You are also correct about all caps, because I seem to recall that in the distant past we had an example of the most egregious post which was well over a thousand words AND all in caps.

Yes, Doug, I did start a few threads with the idea of a limited number of words, but it was only a request since I couldn’t enforce it. smile

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Posted: 17 June 2012 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Occam. - 17 June 2012 01:29 PM

You are right on, McK.  If there has been no statistical study, we can use the observation of a large number of posts that agree with your inverse proportionality idea to recognize that the probability of it being true is significantly greater than 0.5%.  You are also correct about all caps, because I seem to recall that in the distant past we had an example of the most egregious post which was well over a thousand words AND all in caps.

Yes, Doug, I did start a few threads with the idea of a limited number of words, but it was only a request since I couldn’t enforce it. smile

Occam

I’m sure if there was a restricted number of words that were allowed within the post, that the jerk would just hit reply to his own post and continue on with his nonsense. smile

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Posted: 18 June 2012 02:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Good example of creativity or thinking outside the box, E-M, but I figure people who can’t even figure how to state their ideas clearly in only a few sentences probably wouldn’t think of that. smile

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Posted: 18 June 2012 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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ExMachina - 17 June 2012 09:08 PM

I’m sure if there was a restricted number of words that were allowed within the post, that the jerk would just hit reply to his own post and continue on with his nonsense. smile

Yeah, that happens quite frequently over on the Skeptic boards.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Well, if there is a hell I’m pretty sure that when I get there the Devil is going to make me read that whole post.

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