View Poll Results: Do You Believe In Past Lives / Reincarnation?

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

    45 58.44%
  • Yes, For Sure!!

    14 18.18%
  • I'm With PeterG (100% Undecided)

    18 23.38%
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  1. #61

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    Here is an interesting video for both believers and non-believers alike.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OWCUjx4...%3DOWCUjx4nI98
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I think, four hundred years later, the preponderance of evidence against a personal god who is keeping track of his deeds for eventual consignment to heaven or hell would have led that fine thinker to take a firmer stance. (And I think someone who says his belief is conditioned on self-interest isn't much of a believer!)

    The many thinkers who came after him who argued that belief in god is not harmless but actually affects (and deforms) life decisions, not to mention the larger impact on society, might have impacted Monsieur as well. But he's not around to ask so it's only a fun counterfactual.
    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.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    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.
    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.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  4. #64
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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.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  5. #65
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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...
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  6. #66

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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.
    Figure skating is hard.

  7. #67
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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.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Here is an interesting video for both believers and non-believers alike.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OWCUjx4...%3DOWCUjx4nI98
    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.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    I have a mathematical problem with reincarnation. Right now, there are more people alive than have ever been in the combined history of humans on this planet. So, where, did all these extra souls come from?
    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).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    I see your point -- but on the other hand, the heart of Christianity is accepting that Christ did the work for us and offers us our salvation freely, not that we have to improve. So that kind of works against the "chance to improve" idea.
    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 right now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Back in the 1100's, when I was a shaman in the Arctic, I used to believe in reincarnation. Now, however, I think the whole idea is too silly for words.
    What, in particular, do you think has brought about this dramatic change?

    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  10. #70

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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. )

    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?
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    and it's a wrong view of Christianity
    There are multiple Christian denominators. Some teach that grace can be lost. Whether it is 'wrong' or not is your own belief.

  12. #72

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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.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  13. #73

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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.
    Figure skating is hard.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    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.
    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. #75

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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.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    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.
    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. #77

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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.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  18. #78
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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. #79

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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.)
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  20. #80
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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.

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