Do You Believe In Past Lives / Reincarnation?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by PeterG, Oct 19, 2013.

Do You Believe In Past Lives / Reincarnation?

  1. No...We Get One Life and One Life Only

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  2. Yes, For Sure!!

    14 vote(s)
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  3. I'm With PeterG (100% Undecided)

    18 vote(s)
    23.4%
  1. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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  2. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    It's been quite a while since I read Pascal, but IIRC, he was used to dealing with arguments that opposed his own viewpoint. There were such arguments even back then.
     
  3. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Yes that's my sense of him as well. I'm not familiar with the "chronological snobbery fallacy," but I don't really like assigning views to historical figures based on one's own views in a different era. I'd rather try to understand them as they expressed themselves.

    I rather like Pascal's wager as a model for entertaining the idea of eternal recurrence. I don't know of any mechanisms for it, but it improves my life to consider it a possibility and I've nothing to lose if its false.
     
  4. PRlady

    PRlady Smoking

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    I suppose that's true. My superstitious belief in the skategods is entirely unsupportable but it does remind me not to count a favorite's chickens before they hatch, so it does no harm and might even do some good. :p
     
  5. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Somehow I think that science should remind you not to count a favorite's chickens before they hatch, no need for superstitions on that one...
     
  6. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    From a spiritual POV, Pascal's wager makes no sense to me because it is a bet, a wager. That is not a belief. I bet the Red Sox are going to win the Series. I may even believe it. But that is not how I would describe a belief (faith) in God. And I believe in some sort of first cause God.

    Frankly, I think the Pascal argument is silly.
     
  7. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Pascal's wager has always bugged me for those reasons too snoopy. I don't think it really reflects his faith so much as his feeling that he needed to justify his faith on the ground of logic.
     
  8. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I want to hear his story in another 10-20 years from the child himself. I highly HIGHLY suspect his parents are con-artists. This is all just so ridiculous and the boy is allowed to say 2-3 words the entire time. I would be very curious to see how much money the parents have tried to make and that is pretty much confirmed with their book.
     
  9. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    Maybe there are an infinite number of souls, many having waited a LONG time to get to the front of the line (so to speak).

    Could you expand on this? I'm sure I'm not understanding you. The part I bolded sounds like "we can just sit around, no need to change and get better as Jesus already did the hard work for us"! I don't mean to sound flippant at all, so sorry if what I just wrote reads that way. I'd like to hear more about what you mean because I'm kind of :confused: right now! :lol:

    What, in particular, do you think has brought about this dramatic change?

    :p
     
  10. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, PeterG, didn't mean to be confusing. :) What I was trying to say is this (and I haven't had my coffee yet, so let's hope I can put it coherently). Christians believe that it's not our hard work that gets us into heaven, because we can't ever be good enough and holy enough to reach God, who is infinitely holy. This is exactly why Christ died on the cross, to take upon Himself the penalty for our sin. As the perfect Son of God, He could do for us what we can't do for ourselves. (Hence His words just before dying: "It is finished." His task of atonement had been completed.) So we're saved by believing in Him, repenting of our sin, and accepting that He did the atoning for us.

    This is not to say that we sit around with no need to change. (This is actually a fairly common misperception. Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer popularized the term "cheap grace" to describe the idea that we can get saved and then just go right on doing whatever we were doing.) But we change because He has saved us; we don't change in order for Him to save us.

    (I should note that a lot of Christians live and speak as if we were responsible to get to heaven by ourselves. But this is what's known as legalism, and it's a wrong view of Christianity. And I think it does a lot of damage by pushing that exact same view -- you have to be good enough on your own merit to get to God -- that Christianity is really against! It's an error rooted in pride -- thinking we're capable of doing it all ourselves, when we're not. Also, it can lead people to try to impose arbitrary rules in order to control others. Ask me about my Independent Fundamental Baptist high school experience sometime. :p )

    So . . . back to "not that we have to improve." What I meant is that Christianity doesn't call on us to keep getting better all on our own. It calls on us to let God save and change us.

    Clear as mud? :)
     
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    There are multiple Christian denominators. Some teach that grace can be lost. Whether it is 'wrong' or not is your own belief.
     
  12. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't referring to whether salvation can be lost (I realize that different denominations have different views on this, though I believe the majority of Protestants teach that it can't be). I was referring to the idea that if you can just do enough good deeds, you can earn your way to heaven.
     
  13. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    FWIW, some denominations teach that you need *both* grace and good works via Matthew 24 & 25. But no major denominations that I am aware say you can get into heaven with good works and not grace.
     
  14. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    But there are some denominations that Jesus granted us all grace by his death. To some, grace is not something you have to do something to receive.


    I think there is some evidence of this in the Mormon's belief of baptism after-death (you don't have to have believed in Christ on Earth), and the Pope recently said even atheists who have lead good lives are redeemed (though that does appear to be a departure from past beliefs). And almost all denominations that baptise as adults seem to say there is some redemption for kids who haven't accepted Jesus yet because they have not reached age of reasoning- but if acceptance of Christ is needed to erase original sin, this exception doesn't seem to make sense.
     
  15. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I've been told that Mormons have a different understanding of who Christ is and what salvation means. I'm not any kind of expert on the LDS church, though.
     
  16. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they do. Many Christians do not consider themselves Christian, but they do consider themselves Christian.

    I was only replying to "it's a wrong view of Christianity".
    It may be wrong to YOU, but to others, it is a -different- view, and if they believe it, the right one.
     
  17. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you're saying, but there's such a thing as a genuinely wrong view, don't you think? I mean, suppose I were to characterize President Obama as anti-choice. (It's not a word I like or regularly use, but just for the sake of argument.) That would be a wrong view of the President, because it goes against everything he says about himself. He specifically calls himself pro-choice. So if you attribute to someone or something views that expressly go against what they stand for, that's an objectively wrong view.
     
  18. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    To say Christians believe Brian is the Son of God and not Jesus would be a wrong view, because that is factually inaccurate. I don't think what you said is a factual statement, it depends entirely on the denomination. Legalism is a wrong view of Christianity to X denomination. Other denominations do think that salvation requires you to "be good" and many denominations are very legalistic.
     
  19. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Well, I would humbly submit that that is not Christianity as defined and taught by the Bible. From 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." According to this and other verses, God's grace toward us is truly the heart of Christianity.

    Now, most or all denominations do teach that we are to respond to God's work in our lives and let Him help us to become holy. But this, technically, is not salvation, it's sanctification.

    (Still think this subject is solely for the uneducated, Tinami? ;) Theology actually has a long and distinguished tradition of being discussed and debated among educated people.)
     
  20. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Well then, you go tell all the legalistic denominations they are doing it wrong.

    It's irrelevant to me. I just think it is very presumptuous on a thread that ISN'T about Christianity to say that something is a wrong view of it, when it is merely different from what I assume is your own view.
     
  21. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to be presumptuous, Skittl1321, I promise. :) I'm just trying to explain the difference between Christianity, which teaches the good news of God's love and grace, and an approximation of Christianity that's based on fear and guilt.

    (Although now I've got a great idea for a T-shirt: "Legalists: UR DOING IT WRONG." ;) )
     
  22. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Catholics believe in both grace and works. And I can see Biblical support for that position. A rational argument can be made either way. So I don't think that view is a wrong view of Christianity, just a different one. Now I can see a Unitarian "all ways lead to God" view is a wrong view of Christianity. That is too far afield. But not the works and grace one. That has too much Biblical support for both positions.
     
  23. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of good passages in the Bible about the interplay between grace and works -- the book of Romans comes to mind, and Galatians and James too, I think, and quite a few more. It's worth doing an in-depth study, for those interested in the subject.

    But I think that all Christians would agree at some level or other that grace is essential. Even Catholics, I believe, wouldn't say that works without grace are sufficient. To do so would make Christ's death on the cross pointless.
     
  24. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    There are many very religious Christians who are conflicted on the afterlife of good people who don't believe in Jesus. Many believe God's mercy is greater than anything. So works might be enough to them, it's just not the best way.

    And like I said earlier, some people believe Jesus's death on the cross provided us ALL grace. Whether we know him or not, he saved us all. To them, only outright rejection of him can cause you to lose that.

    I just don't think "you're doing it wrong" can apply to a matter of faith, because no one knows ultimately what is right.
     
  25. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    In that first sentence, you put the focus on God's mercy. That's just what I'm trying to do too. To do that is not to say that works are enough -- it's to say that God's mercy transcends everything.
     
  26. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    I wonder if the harder the life you've lived, the less you fear death. At worst, if death is nothing-ness, that's a step up from a life of hardship.

    That's what I lean towards also.

    Oh, HELL no!! Nietzche can SUCK IT!!! :lol:

    :revenge:

    :p
     
  27. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Christians believe that Jesus had a son named Brian? :confused:
     
  28. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python's_Life_of_Brian
    He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy.

    I needed better punctuation in that sentence. I was saying Jesus is the son of God, Brian is not the son of God.
     
  29. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    That's probably because you have nothing to lose. No big homes, no servants, no gold bars.....:D
     
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  30. Simone411

    Simone411 Just Flip-Flopping Around

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    It's hard in a way for me to discuss this, but I feel I should. I don't exactly believe in "past lives" or reincarnation, and it's because I had a near death experience. I'm also wondering if others here have had a near death experience.

    I decided to copy part of a PM I sent today to one of my friends here at FSU. It's the part about my "near death" experience, and I was explaining why I don't exactly complain a lot about my situation regarding my leg, etc.

    All I know is that the evil entity was very real and trying to get me. I believe others have seen the tunnel with the light at the end, but there's also evil entities trying to prevent certain ones from getting to that light at the end of the tunnel.
     
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