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. #81

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

  2. #82

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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.
    Figure skating is hard.

  3. #83

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

  4. #84
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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.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Many believe God's mercy is greater than anything. So works might be enough to them, it's just not the best way.
    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.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I think human beings, the ones who get to live normal lifespans, are gifted with the ability to come to accept death. Whether that is a psychological trick our brains play on us to make it easier to age and die, or a gift from God, or a function of the slowing down of the body, is up to you. Speaking for myself I find death much less threatening than I did in my twenties when I just couldn't imagine ceasing to exist. Now it seems that, when I get tired enough, that will be just fine by me.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    Personally I think we get one life, our minds don't exist independent of our brains and when we're dead, we're dead.
    That's what I lean towards also.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    I prefer Nietzche's concept of eternal recurrence. You live your life in exactly the same detail, over and over. Eternally.
    Oh, HELL no!! Nietzche can SUCK IT!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AliasJohnDoe View Post
    I'd like to come back as a fly on PeterG's wall. The one he swats at but always misses.


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

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    To say Christians believe Brian is the Son of God and not Jesus would be a wrong view, because that is factually inaccurate.
    Christians believe that Jesus had a son named Brian?

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Christians believe that Jesus had a son named Brian?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_P..._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.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    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 probably because you have nothing to lose. No big homes, no servants, no gold bars.....
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  10. #90
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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.

    I also appreciate your kind words about not complaining. I guess it's because I realize that some people have it worse than I do. I wish I knew the exact words to explain how I feel, but I'll try to explain anyway.

    When I woke up from the induced coma, I didn't remember very much, even about what happened. It wasn't until about a month later that I finally remembered going to see my doctor. Since they kept me in an induced coma, I didn't know that my kidneys and other organs were beginning to fail. I also didn't know that I had dialysis twice.

    I've also wondered about a lot of things still to this day. When my family told me that the doctors said I was going to die, I was still in that induced coma. I know this sounds crazy, but I would have never known or been aware that I was going to die if I would have died while I was in that coma.

    I did have some type of "dream" right before I came out of that coma. I told my family about it, and my stepsister also had the same "type" of dream when she nearly died from pneumonia.

    It wasn't the same kind of "dream" that so many have when they're near death like I was. Most people say that they see a tunnel with a light at the end. Instead of that, I saw an evil entity disguised as a nurse. She was hollering at me saying that I was supposed to be asleep! She shouted at me saying that she wanted me to go to sleep immediately!

    The next thing I knew was that I was "jerked" away from that evil entity and then woke up from that coma. I felt an angelic presence when that happened, and I've believed ever since that the angel saved me from the evil entity because I didn't belong to that evil entity. I was meant to go to Heaven instead.

    The doctors named the ICU room I was in the "miracle room". They said they named it that because I really wasn't supposed to be here (alive). That's how I know that there is a purpose for me still being here and it wasn't my time to die.
    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.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simone411 View Post
    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.
    I have to say, Simone, that your story almost literally made my hair stand on end. Multiple waves of goosebumps while reading it. Some questions, if I may:

    -how did you know that the nurse was an evil entity? Did she look or sound out of the ordinary, or was it just a feeling?

    -similarly with regard to the angelic presence, did you see something, or was it just a felt presence?

    -do you think there was any particular reason why this experience came to you, rather than some other experience (e.g. the tunnel of light)?

    -were you religiously inclined before this experience? Looking back upon it, how do you think this experience affected either your spiritual views, or your attitudes toward living?

    Let me assure you that I am asking these questions in a serious way, because I am genuinely interested in learning more about this rather extraordinary experience.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    I have to say, Simone, that your story almost literally made my hair stand on end. Multiple waves of goosebumps while reading it. Some questions, if I may:

    -how did you know that the nurse was an evil entity? Did she look or sound out of the ordinary, or was it just a feeling?

    -similarly with regard to the angelic presence, did you see something, or was it just a felt presence?

    -do you think there was any particular reason why this experience came to you, rather than some other experience (e.g. the tunnel of light)?

    -were you religiously inclined before this experience? Looking back upon it, how do you think this experience affected either your spiritual views, or your attitudes toward living?

    Let me assure you that I am asking these questions in a serious way, because I am genuinely interested in learning more about this rather extraordinary experience.
    For the first question, I didn't know why the evil entity disguised itself as a nurse until after I came out of the coma. The evil entity looked almost exactly like one of my night nurses. At first, I thought that maybe it was just a dream I had while in the coma. But I remembered what the evil entity looked like before it took the disguise of the nurse. The evil entity appeared to be a dark figure and with what looked almost like a dark-hooded cape around her. She had a husky deep throated sort of voice that was very eerie. When the entity realized I could see it's true appearance, it quickly disguised itself to look like the nurse that was in the room with me.

    The weird thing was that I didn't remember seeing the night nurse while I was in the coma. I only noticed the resemblance after I came out of the coma. I feel maybe the night nurse must have been in the room with me during the time I was supposed to die, and I believe the entity made itself look like her in order to fool me. The night nurse was actually wonderful and took good care of me.

    Regarding the angelic presence, I saw what looked like very bright light surrounding the angel and I felt the angel jerk or grab me to get me away from the dark entity.

    I don't know why I didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but my stepsister experienced nearly the same thing as I did. She told me she was also having to fight the entity, and then the angelic presence intervened like it did with me.

    Regarding my religion, I am Baptist. I don't strictly believe everything or go exactly by just the Baptist religion. My dad was Catholic before he married my mom, and I do have beliefs of the Catholic religion also.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  13. #93
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    I'm really enjoying the discussion in this thread. As equally respectful as it is insightful. Thank you everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Not every faith tradition believes that people only get reincarnated as other people. There could be reincarnation as a bug, a flower, an animal....any "thing" that has a life.
    Is it common for those who believe in reincarnation to believe that the movement (so to speak) is for a spirit to move from a bug to an animal to a human, etc.? Sometimes I wonder if the trend is the other way and after making it through humanhood, one "graduates" to being a dog or cat (a being who gets to live a much simpler life and be care for by others while giving back unconditional love) and maybe then "graduate" to being a flower or a weeping willow where one can just relax and be calm and enjoy the sun and rain and simply be a source of beauty for others to enjoy.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantALoop View Post
    The finality and inevitability of death is pretty scary if we only look at our lives, but I think it's pretty cool that after I die, my atoms will return to Earth and eventually find their way into a diverse array of other living different creatures.
    I feel that everything we do affects everyone around us who witnesses what we do. We affect people positively or negatively, depending on our actions. You mention atoms and I feel I think similarly to you, but instead of atoms it's energy that is dispersed. But we don't have to wait until we die, the effect we have is immediate. And our energy does become a part of other people and variations of our energy passed on to others...get passed on to other people and so on and so on. So I believe we will all live eternally in some way. Am I sounding really flightly?
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  14. #94

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    Simone, I believe your experience. A friend of mine who was also near death experience told us how 'he could see his body on the operating table' and white light around him. There will always be some things which cannot be explained by science.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG
    Sometimes I wonder if the trend is the other way and after making it through humanhood, one "graduates" to being a dog or cat (a being who gets to live a much simpler life and be care for by others while giving back unconditional love) and maybe then "graduate" to being a flower or a weeping willow ..
    If I am to be reincarnated as an animal in my next life, I want to be a dog like Gunther VI!

    We affect people positively or negatively, depending on our actions.
    Some people exudes positive energy whereas some suck the life out of us. Someone just posted this on my FB: Be Someone You Want To Be Around!

    Am I sounding really flightly?
    Very!
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  15. #95

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    One of my biology teachers explained the cycle of life. There are actual processes that recycle everything biological, so we are literally all interrelated and dependent on the earth and other beings. He was very charismatic and it was The coolest thing when he explained it. Like a good sermon. Maybe someone posted it on YouTube now. I'll have to check.
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  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    One of my biology teachers explained the cycle of life. There are actual processes that recycle everything biological, so we are literally all interrelated and dependent on the earth and other beings.
    Well, yeah. But what happens to your soul?

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Is it common for those who believe in reincarnation to believe that the movement (so to speak) is for a spirit to move from a bug to an animal to a human, etc.? Sometimes I wonder if the trend is the other way and after making it through humanhood, one "graduates" to being a dog or cat (a being who gets to live a much simpler life and be care for by others while giving back unconditional love) and maybe then "graduate" to being a flower or a weeping willow where one can just relax and be calm and enjoy the sun and rain and simply be a source of beauty for others to enjoy.
    I'd make a sucky flower. My mind would be going a million miles a minute and I'd be all "I'm BORED! Give me something to do!!"
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if the trend is the other way and after making it through humanhood, one "graduates" to being a dog or cat (a being who gets to live a much simpler life and be care for by others while giving back unconditional love) and maybe then "graduate" to being a flower or a weeping willow where one can just relax and be calm and enjoy the sun and rain and simply be a source of beauty for others to enjoy.
    From what I know of Hinduism and Buddhism, you "graduate" when you've reached enlightenment. Enlightenment is a state of being where you are able to detach yourself from your "sufferings" (dukkha). When you've reached this state, you are free from the cycle of life and death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Well, yeah. But what happens to your soul?
    Not everybody believe in the existence of souls

  19. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I'm really enjoying the discussion in this thread. As equally respectful as it is insightful. Thank you everyone!



    Is it common for those who believe in reincarnation to believe that the movement (so to speak) is for a spirit to move from a bug to an animal to a human, etc.? Sometimes I wonder if the trend is the other way and after making it through humanhood, one "graduates" to being a dog or cat (a being who gets to live a much simpler life and be care for by others while giving back unconditional love) and maybe then "graduate" to being a flower or a weeping willow where one can just relax and be calm and enjoy the sun and rain and simply be a source of beauty for others to enjoy.



    I feel that everything we do affects everyone around us who witnesses what we do. We affect people positively or negatively, depending on our actions. You mention atoms and I feel I think similarly to you, but instead of atoms it's energy that is dispersed. But we don't have to wait until we die, the effect we have is immediate. And our energy does become a part of other people and variations of our energy passed on to others...get passed on to other people and so on and so on. So I believe we will all live eternally in some way. Am I sounding really flightly?
    No. And 'in some way' is at the crux of the matter. Even if we are buried, we feed the worms as part of the food chain. I like the idea of reincarnating much better. But if reincarnation does happen, you won't remember who you were in your last life. Seems to me that some people have glimmers or flashbacks, but for the most part, you won't be the self in your next incarnation. So, enjoy this soul while you've got it, I guess.

  20. #100

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    Do You Believe In Past Lives / Reincarnation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Well, yeah. But what happens to your soul?
    Is there actually a soul? I don't think so. I think that is simply another notion made up by humans to make us feel special and set us apart from other animals.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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