GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

For all those who believe in Christianity or Some form of it...

POSTED BY: RIVER6213
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 00:10
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007 6:48 PM

RIVER6213


Okay, new thread. For all of those that subscribe to some form of Judeo-Christian religion that involves Heaven, Hell, Satan, Jesus, God, and our guest star, The holy Spirit himself. With a reflection of your current behavior and beliefs, plus your actions, plus all the thoughts that you have in your head on a daily bases.

If you were to die today. Do you think that you are going to Heaven or Hell?

I'll go first. If I were to die today I would go straight to hell. There would be no need for any form of judgment because I would have already admitted that I have lived my life in such a fashion that merits hell. My crime is I hate humanity and wish to see it destroyed. I see God's creation as a joke and the fact that God could create such a flawed creature called man shows that God himself is flawed and not worthy of worship. And also if I had the means to destroy humanity, it would HAVE been destroyed; I see no good in humanity. This is my primary crime against God and humanity.

My secondary crimes are the usual: Hate, lust, and talking smack against my neighbor. Greed is also high on the list, which I am guilty of all. I also like to kick people while they are down. I think I get a charge out of it, which is rather evil and petty.

In my heart of heart I've always knew that I would go to hell. When it gets right down to it...it is where someone like me belongs, and besides, I was never supposed to be here in the 1st place.

So before this thread gets tossed off into the bowels of Troll Country, what about you ladies and gentlemen? Where are you going to go...Heaven, or Hell?

-River




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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 1:35 AM

DONCOAT


Well, I shouldn't answer as I'm not in your group of "Christians or some form of it", despite being a preacher's kid. But what the hey, I'll answer anyway.

My own feeling is that death is simply the end of existence. Game over, amen.

I guess we'll all find out one day... or not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 1:42 AM

LITTLEALBATROSS29


I am pagan ,so according to the Judeo -Christian philosophy..I'm gonna burn.
But I don't believe in hell..so it doesn't matter to me.

See you there River ! We can have a drink.


Bryce
*******


Oh, no, baby, no. You're not going to die. They are. Cover your ears. Hey, should we get a dog?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:09 AM

RUGBUG


Heaven, because it's not about works, it's about faith.

('Course, works are evidence of faith so there is no free ride)

***************
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:14 AM

FOLLOWMAL




I'm shootin' for nirvana myownself, River.

Good luck in hell, I've always thought the company would be good. I expect there are some mighty interesting folks there.



To join us go here: http://www.serenitymovie.org/browncoats/forums/index.php?showtopic=870
5


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:16 AM

FUTUREMRSFILLION


Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
Okay, new thread. For all of those that subscribe to some form of Judeo-Christian religion that involves Heaven, Hell, Satan, Jesus, God, and our guest star, The holy Spirit himself. With a reflection of your current behavior and beliefs, plus your actions, plus all the thoughts that you have in your head on a daily bases.

If you were to die today. Do you think that you are going to Heaven or Hell?

I'll go first. If I were to die today I would go straight to hell. There would be no need for any form of judgment because I would have already admitted that I have lived my life in such a fashion that merits hell. My crime is I hate humanity and wish to see it destroyed. I see God's creation as a joke and the fact that God could create such a flawed creature called man shows that God himself is flawed and not worthy of worship. And also if I had the means to destroy humanity, it would HAVE been destroyed; I see no good in humanity. This is my primary crime against God and humanity.

My secondary crimes are the usual: Hate, lust, and talking smack against my neighbor. Greed is also high on the list, which I am guilty of all. I also like to kick people while they are down. I think I get a charge out of it, which is rather evil and petty.

In my heart of heart I've always knew that I would go to hell. When it gets right down to it...it is where someone like me belongs, and besides, I was never supposed to be here in the 1st place.

So before this thread gets tossed off into the bowels of Troll Country, what about you ladies and gentlemen? Where are you going to go...Heaven, or Hell?

-River






(A) Load of crap. I know you want to believe you are that awful, but you aren't. So nyah nyah.

(B) reincarnation baby!


---- plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Bestower of Titles, Designer of Tshirts, Maker of Mottos, Keeper of the Pyre, Owner of a too big Turnippy smelling coat with MR scratched in the neck (thanks FollowMal!)

I am on The List. We are The Forsaken and we aim to burn!
"We don't fear the reaper"

FORSAKEN original


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:19 AM

CHRISISALL


Heaven.
Because while God sees my need to go to Hell, The Devil wouldn't let me in (Here's a secret, all treknobabble-types irritate the shit outta Lucifer; Hell is essentially Trekkie-free)...

"Better check that particle condensor that ionizes your inverse-matter stabilizer, Beez, it's not as hot here as I'd heard...your fusion continuum-"

That was all the first Trekkie guest of Heck could get out before he was expelled.

Chrisisall

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:35 AM

CAUSAL


The interesting thing about this is that we can't all be right. Leaving aside the postmodern disdain for truth, let's go with correspondence theory ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth): truth is that which corresponds with the way things actually are. So two contradictory propositions can't be both be true in virtue of the law of non-contradiction ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction). Sor for instance, the propositions "There is a hell," and, "There is not a hell" cannot both be true. One must be false. And by the Law of Excluded Middle ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_excluded_middle) given any proposition (e.g. "There is a hell") then the further proposition "Either there is a hell or there is not a hell" is true (even if the truth value of the original proposition is unknown). So the thing that fascinates me about this is not that people disagree; that's bound to happen. The thing that fascinates me is that sometimes people behave as if their belief alone is sufficient for something's being true. But that's not the case. Suppose that it turns out that there really is no heaven at all. If that's the case, the belief that there is one is false, no matter how hard anyone believes it. And, if it turns out that there is no heaven at all, no one will go there, no matter how hard they believe it. Reality doesn't map onto our beliefs about it. It just is. The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

And, since we're being asked: heaven. But even though I'm a Christian-type person, I don't have a traditionally Augustinian vision of heaven. My view is closer to that of the Patristics.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:37 AM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The interesting thing about this is that we can't all be right. Leaving aside the postmodern disdain for truth, let's go with correspondence theory ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth): truth is that which corresponds with the way things actually are. So two contradictory propositions can't be both be true in virtue of the law of non-contradiction ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction). Sor for instance, the propositions "There is a hell," and, "There is not a hell" cannot both be true. One must be false. And by the Law of Excluded Middle ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_excluded_middle) given any proposition (e.g. "There is a hell") then the further proposition "Either there is a hell or there is not a hell" is true (even if the truth value of the original proposition is unknown). So the thing that fascinates me about this is not that people disagree; that's bound to happen. The thing that fascinates me is that sometimes people behave as if their belief alone is sufficient for something's being true. But that's not the case. Suppose that it turns out that there really is no heaven at all. If that's the case, the belief that there is one is false, no matter how hard anyone believes it. And, if it turns out that there is no heaven at all, no one will go there, no matter how hard they believe it. Reality doesn't map onto our beliefs about it. It just is. The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

________________________________________________________________________
- Grand High Poobah of the Mythical Land of Iowa, and Keeper of State Secrets
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Well said! But just in case there happens to be a heaven and a hell...which one are you going to go to?

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:38 AM

CAPTAINCOUPI


What do you mean, this is Hell isn't it?

Hmmm this is a hard one. My family are all believers, but me, I was always the black sheep that way. I like to beleive there is something afterwards but I think it's neither Heavan or Hell, just a continuation. Heavan and Hell were invented by some guy to get people to do what he wanted.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.bigdamnthankyou.com/


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:40 AM

CAUSAL


See edited post above.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:08 AM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The interesting thing about this is that we can't all be right. Leaving aside the postmodern disdain for truth, let's go with correspondence theory ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth): truth is that which corresponds with the way things actually are. So two contradictory propositions can't be both be true in virtue of the law of non-contradiction ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction). Sor for instance, the propositions "There is a hell," and, "There is not a hell" cannot both be true. One must be false. And by the Law of Excluded Middle ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_excluded_middle) given any proposition (e.g. "There is a hell") then the further proposition "Either there is a hell or there is not a hell" is true (even if the truth value of the original proposition is unknown). So the thing that fascinates me about this is not that people disagree; that's bound to happen. The thing that fascinates me is that sometimes people behave as if their belief alone is sufficient for something's being true. But that's not the case. Suppose that it turns out that there really is no heaven at all. If that's the case, the belief that there is one is false, no matter how hard anyone believes it. And, if it turns out that there is no heaven at all, no one will go there, no matter how hard they believe it. Reality doesn't map onto our beliefs about it. It just is. The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

And, since we're being asked: heaven. But even though I'm a Christian-type person, I don't have a traditionally Augustinian vision of heaven. My view is closer to that of the Patristics.

________________________________________________________________________
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Vote for Firefly! http://richlabonte.net/tvvote/index.html



Thanks for the answer. BTW, nice response to the question, which did make me think "What if I died and didn't go to hell but heaven?" That would be a rude surprise for a person like myself. I bet I'd be stumbling about in heaven all confused, and somewhat annoyed feeling like I had been tricked and cheated out of something that I worked hard for and earned. Crazy talk I know, but what else can you expect from me?

I think it would be easier to go to a hell full of eternal punishment than go to a heaven and be safe and loved. I mean, how does a person relax in that situation?

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:12 AM

DONCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

Or not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:19 AM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

Or not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!



That would be a relief to find out that there is nothing indeed after death, but of course I'd be too busy being dead to notice, or be satisfied.

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:25 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

Or not.



Planning to live forever, are we?

Death and taxes, my friend--we're all going to die. Ergo, we'll all be confronted with whatever reality brings at the time of death. Even if that's annihilation, and we aren't conscious of the reality of it, we'll still all get confronted with it. You might say that in some sense, death is one of the only reality that we'll encounter in its unvarnished state.

________________________________________________________________________
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:37 AM

STEAMER


Thanks for posting this thread, River! Too long I been feeling like I'm the only Christian Browncoat whatever walked this 'verse. Here's hopeful to find out if there's anybody else on my crew. But let me make this abundantly clear: Not all men of God are out to make everybody feel guilty and judged. I think people believe what they want to believe, I think everybody has that right, and if you respect my belief I'll respect yours. Fact of the matter is, hell will be air-conditioned afore I talk down to anybody who doesn't wear a crucifix (but I draw the line at seeing one worn upside down).

Me, I'm an Orthodox Christian - Greek Orthodox, to be nitpicky. Our doctrine and practises are a mite different from Catholicism and Protestant, to name a couple. For one thing, on the ask-away of heaven or hell? I'd like to think heaven's my eternal home. But in the Orthodox Church there's a concept called 'The Ladder of Divine Ascent.' Just like it suggests - making it to the gates o' pearl is a lifelong climb. Sometimes the Hell-iance gets a hold of you and drags you down a few rungs, but by and large it's up to you whether you got the spiritual strength to get climbing again. So how do you keep making that climb? Faith, prayer, and sticking to your guns, and keeping yourself prepared just in case you ain't long for this world. I've had my fair portion of trouble with that these last couple of years, but I think the Man Upstairs knows what's in everybody's heart, whether their intentions are good or bad (or just bad in the Latin). My real name means 'Bearer of Christ', and I try to remind myself that Christ wouldn't much care to be borne by a rotted soul.

This tone sound familiar? Thought so. Well, I am a Mal clone - with the matter of faith as one of the exceptions. Takes a lot to weaken my faith and I'm glad to say it ain't been done often. That's 'cause I'm one of them as believes everything happens for a reason and all God's creatures have a place in the choir (though I've known a couple of exceptions to that as well). Anybody who's fixing to turn their back on the Christian Church for whatever reason, IMO, really ought to look into Orthodoxy before they give up altogether - as I very well might have if I hadn't converted. Ain't a lot changed in the last 1,974 years (which is how long the Orthodox Church has been around). Methinks there's a reason for that, too.



Watch how he soars,
Oh my gosh!
Reaver harpoons -
Poor ol' Wash.
FIREFLY

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 10:46 AM

DONCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

Or not.



Planning to live forever, are we?

Death and taxes, my friend--we're all going to die. Ergo, we'll all be confronted with whatever reality brings at the time of death. Even if that's annihilation, and we aren't conscious of the reality of it, we'll still all get confronted with it. You might say that in some sense, death is one of the only reality that we'll encounter in its unvarnished state.

You misunderstood me, Causal. I am a total realist and do not dispute my mortality.

What I dispute is the notion that "we will be confronted by the reality of what happens after we die", necessarily. If, as I suspect, man is meat (to quote Joseph Heller), nothing happens after we die... so there will be neither need nor opportunity to confront anything.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:06 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
What I dispute is the notion that "we will be confronted by the reality of what happens after we die", necessarily. If, as I suspect, man is meat (to quote Joseph Heller), nothing happens after we die... so there will be neither need nor opportunity to confront anything.



Where I think you're misunderstanding me is on the idea of "confront." I don't mean a personal (i.e. conscious/cognitive) confrontation. What I mean is that there is a reality about what happens upon death (whether that reality is annihilation or rebirth or heaven or what-have-you), and that upon one's arrival at death, one's beliefs will have nothing to do with what actually happens. Reality will be what happens, regardless of what we believe about it. For instance, suppose that we aren't meat (just for the sake of argument), that instead we reincarnate. When you die, you're not just going to cease to exist, you're going to reincarnate, whether you believe in that or not. Now I don't know for certain what happens (that is, I don't know with absolute certainty). But I do know this: I will die. And whatever the reality of death is, it will happen to me, regardless of what I believe about it now.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:08 AM

DONCOAT


Ah, shiny. I figured we were describing the same elephant from different perspectives.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:09 AM

CONSTANCE


First of all I don't believe in a higher power of any sort. I have tried but I cant. Its not logical. Like time travel episodes in sci-fi series. But I kinda admire the folks that are able to.

The thought of there being a God, and that after we die we get judged is the most creepyfing thought I can think of. The thought that my life is in some form or other belonging to a deity is outright scary.

I would appreciate it though if it was alife after death. Being an ateist and all makes death kinda scary too. An evengelical christian friend of mine told me once, that even though he liked me as a person and was sad because of it, I would indeed go to hell. And if hes church is right I am.

If anyone gets their hands on the recepie for eternal life PM me.

Constance

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:11 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
But I do know this: I will die.

You don't KNOW that, you only know your time HERE is limited. You will leave, that is all we know for sure.

Technical Chrisisall

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:17 AM

CONSTANCE


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Reality will be what happens, regardless of what we believe about it. For instance, suppose that we aren't meat (just for the sake of argument), that instead we reincarnate. When you die, you're not just going to cease to exist, you're going to reincarnate, whether you believe in that or not. Now I don't know for certain what happens (that is, I don't know with absolute certainty). But I do know this: I will die. And whatever the reality of death is, it will happen to me, regardless of what I believe about it now.



And that is scary too... extremely so. But it does makes sense. It would be nice if everybody got to go to wherever they wanted, and everybody was right. But then I would have made a really really bad choice.

Constance

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:34 AM

HOUDINI


I live in a world that canceled Firefly during the first season... I think I'm ALREADY living in hell!


- Houdini

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 12:52 PM

ZOID


Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

Or not.



Planning to live forever, are we?

Death and taxes, my friend--we're all going to die. Ergo, we'll all be confronted with whatever reality brings at the time of death. Even if that's annihilation, and we aren't conscious of the reality of it, we'll still all get confronted with it. You might say that in some sense, death is one of the only reality that we'll encounter in its unvarnished state.

You misunderstood me, Causal. I am a total realist and do not dispute my mortality.

What I dispute is the notion that "we will be confronted by the reality of what happens after we die", necessarily. If, as I suspect, man is meat (to quote Joseph Heller), nothing happens after we die... so there will be neither need nor opportunity to confront anything.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!


...if you truly believe what you've expounded, DonCoat, then you should be in complete agreement with River6213. If Man is only meat, then 'consciousness' is only a mutation that separates us from the balance of the natural kingdom, an aberration that destroys its own environment, a cancer. We should all be exorcised from this precious bed of Life.

To the extent that you may feel that Intelligence, that Humanity itself is not a cancer, then you also feel that Humanity has worth. That's Faith. You believe in something that stark scientific evidence disproves.

I am a Christian. But I don't hold to any established Man-made dogma. I believe that Jesus was God's gift to us. I believe that Jesus changed the way we viewed the world, our place in it, and the way we think of ourselves. This was a fundamental change, a starting over. Even if River6213 'sins' against that change of Human nature wrought by Jesus Christ and says she doesn't care, she still is able to perceive that she has sinned. Before Christ, Humanity could live in sin and be unaware of it. Even through the twisted vision of some modern-day 'religions' based on the Christ, enough of the Truth gets through and sears the soul; the eyes are opened.

So, I am going to be with the Creator when I leave this earthly body in the dust. And my entire essential being (my soul freed of the 'evil' constraints of physiology) will be in its transcendental state, in the natural home of the soul/spirit. You can call that Heaven, if you'd like; but I think it transcends words and names.

I also don't expect to see only Christians there. That makes me a heretic. So be it. I follow in the footsteps of the greatest heretic Judaism has ever known. I believe that God provides a way for everyone who seeks Him, so that they may be reunited with Him once they've discarded these crude bodies in which we have been confined.

My Christian tao:
Get an old King James version Bible, in which the words of Jesus are printed in red ink. Read those words and ignore the Disciples, for the most part, as the Bible equivalent of the Keystone Kops. To the observant reader, Jesus' disciples are always getting His message wrong; they are always the example of how not to behave, how not to think. In short, they are just like us. If they'd just stop worrying about their bodily wants and desires, and pay attention to what the Lord is saying instead of filtering it through their own faulty prejudices and essentially sinful nature, they'd be able to understand what Jesus is really saying.

So, just read the Lord's words, without the distraction of all the disciples' misconceptions and misunderstandings, without their fumblings and tragicomic errors. There is a simple beauty that strikes straight to the heart. It will change your life, unless you choose to act like a disciple and run away from the truth, to deny it (thrice, before the cockerel crows), to 'translate' it in such a way that it doesn't put you out too much.

So, that only leaves 'Hell'. What is Hell? It is eternal separation from God in our 'natural home of the spirit/soul'. It is worse than fire and brimstone and eternal torture by flesh-rending demons. It is a loneliness, a suffocation in a featureless and endless expanse, devoid of Time, Light and the constant fellowship of Spirit...

As hopeless as your life may seem, God is always with you; no one is ever truly alone. As dark as the deepest abyss of the Universe may seem, there is always Light, which radiates throughout the known Universe (i.e., in one bandwidth or another). As long or as short as your happiest or most despairing moments may seem, there is always Time, suffusing our known Universe. Therefore, Hell is an unimaginable Timeless Darkness, spent for all eternity in a Loneliness that is unknown in mortal experience. There won't even be anyone there to take glee in your suffering. You will pray -- and know that there is no one to hear -- for a simple non-existence, trapped with only your own despair (and the other poisons you bring with you) for companionship. 'Hell' is of your own making, and the 'Devil' who tortures for all eternity is you...

That's what 'Heaven' and 'Hell' are. What does it take to get to 'Heaven'? Seek God. (NB: God has no corrupt flesh: calling God 'him' or 'her' has no meaning; but we'll take it as read, agreed?) Seek Him and you shall find Him within yourself, where He has always been. When you find Him, don't get scared and ignore the power of that discovery. Let God love you and lead you. The first gift you'll receive is a deeper love of your fellow humans, a recognition that they are you, saint and sinner alike. If that sounds fairly Zen, it's no surprise. The Truth is the Truth, and God has a way for everyone to find Him...



God Loves You All (whether you believe in Him or not),

zoid

P.S.
I expect to 'see' Gandhi in 'Heaven'...and Einstein, too.
_________________________________________________

"I aim to misbehave." -Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity, a.k.a. 'the BDBOF'

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 1:55 PM

BLACKSHAMROCK5


Beautifully written Zoid.

remember that a kick in the ass is a step forward

Shamrock
www.myspace.com/clover718

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 3:26 PM

LEADB


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
The interesting thing about this is that we can't all be right. Leaving aside the postmodern disdain for truth, let's go with correspondence theory ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth): truth is that which corresponds with the way things actually are. So two contradictory propositions can't be both be true in virtue of the law of non-contradiction ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction). Sor for instance, the propositions "There is a hell," and, "There is not a hell" cannot both be true. One must be false. And by the Law of Excluded Middle ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_excluded_middle) given any proposition (e.g. "There is a hell") then the further proposition "Either there is a hell or there is not a hell" is true (even if the truth value of the original proposition is unknown). So the thing that fascinates me about this is not that people disagree; that's bound to happen. The thing that fascinates me is that sometimes people behave as if their belief alone is sufficient for something's being true. But that's not the case. Suppose that it turns out that there really is no heaven at all. If that's the case, the belief that there is one is false, no matter how hard anyone believes it. And, if it turns out that there is no heaven at all, no one will go there, no matter how hard they believe it. Reality doesn't map onto our beliefs about it. It just is. The best we can hope for is that our beliefs accurately map onto reality, because eventually we will all be confronted with the reality of what happens after we die.

And, since we're being asked: heaven. But even though I'm a Christian-type person, I don't have a traditionally Augustinian vision of heaven. My view is closer to that of the Patristics.



I fear I must disagree with you. You see, in god's infinite wisdom, he makes us all right.

If you believe in heaven, and think you belong there; that's where you end up. Likewise hell. If you believe in re-incarnation, god is wonderously obliging, and sends you back as a grasshopper (or whatever). Believe there is no life after death; that's ok by the big-guy, he's happy to oblige -- poof gone!

Let's remember the omni in omniscient and omnipotent. And if he doesn't have a sense of humor... we're screwed anyway (note: 'he' is the indefinite pronoun of the english language, please fill in he/she if you find that "helpful")


Frankly, I've decided to go to heaven. I figure its got a good view of things, and that ought to keep me a amused for a while. Get tired of that, I'll try that re-incarnation thing.



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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 3:38 PM

CLEARSTATIC


I am a youth minister in Minnesota. I went to a bible college. By most I am considered a conservative Christian and yes I do believe in a heaven and hell. I do respect others opinions that do differ from mine, but I don't agree. There is a big difference however, many people do treat those as the same. I do have to say this is the first conversation I have read about Christianity/Religion without really aggressive and hate filled posts. Thank you all for this topic it is really good to discuss such matters.

I do understand that nobody knows me here since I believe this is my thrid post, but I just want to through this out there. If anyone has a prayer request I'm all ears and would love to pray for you.

Take Care

Clearstatic

P.S. Most translations of the Bible have Jesus' words in red ink not just the King James Version in case anyone was looking for another translation.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 3:47 PM

DARKJESTER


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:

I also don't expect to see only Christians there. That makes me a heretic. So be it. I follow in the footsteps of the greatest heretic Judaism has ever known. I believe that God provides a way for everyone who seeks him, so that they may be reunited with Him once they've discarded these crude bodies in which we have been confined.




God Loves You All (whether you believe in Him or not),

zoid

P.S.
I expect to 'see' Ghandi in 'Heaven'...and Einstein, too.
_________________________________________________

"I aim to misbehave." -Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity, a.k.a. 'the BDBOF'



(Zoid's post edited by me)



Matthew 3:9, the words of John the Baptist (New American Standard Version) - and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

My father (ordained in 1960) once told me he expects to see lots of "stones" in Heaven, and I absolutely agree.


Beautiful post, Zoid. This was all I could think to add.

MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..."

http://www.fireflytalk.com - Big Damn Podcast

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:14 PM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by leadb:
I fear I must disagree with you. You see, in god's infinite wisdom, he makes us all right.

If you believe in heaven, and think you belong there; that's where you end up. Likewise hell. If you believe in re-incarnation, god is wonderously obliging, and sends you back as a grasshopper (or whatever). Believe there is no life after death; that's ok by the big-guy, he's happy to oblige -- poof gone!

Let's remember the omni in omniscient and omnipotent. And if he doesn't have a sense of humor... we're screwed anyway (note: 'he' is the indefinite pronoun of the english language, please fill in he/she if you find that "helpful")


Frankly, I've decided to go to heaven. I figure its got a good view of things, and that ought to keep me a amused for a while. Get tired of that, I'll try that re-incarnation thing.



Is it just in eternal matters that God has to obey you? Or in other areas too?

Plus, the "omni" in omnipotent might not mean what you think. You'll be bucking the majority of thinkers going back well over a thousand years if you think that God can do the logically impossible (like make a round square or make it such that one and one make three). God's omnipotence is limited to the logically possible. It doesn't limit God to say that he can't do the logically impossible, because when you say, "God can make a round square" you're not really saying anything coherent at all, because what you're saying is, "God can make something both be and not be at one and the same time and in one and the same way" and that's logically impossible. Why? Because the laws of logic are what they are in virtue of who God is. Violating the laws of logic would constitute a violation of his own nature, and that's something that God cannot do. It's like the old question, "Can God make a rock so big he can't lift it?" That's just nonsense, and nonsense is still nonsense, whether you're talking it about God or not.

In the second place, I'm not saying that God can't dispose of his creatures however he sees fit, but I just can't see him doing to them whatever the creature would have him do. I'm sure that Hitler wouldn't choose to go to hell, if given the choice. I'm pretty sure that he'd choose heaven. But there's something repugnant about the idea of a "God" who would give Hitler an in on heaven just because that's what Hitler wanted. If this is the case, then God isn't really God at all. He makes no demands on us, has no expectations, any and all behavior is permissible with no eternal repercussions. He exists (on your view) solely to shunt us all into our self-selected eternal destiny: God the celestial switch-tracks. What I want to know is, if God is as wondrously obliging, why doesn't he fix things in the here and now? If God is so concerned with our needs and desires, why is there evil in the world? Your God seems pretty heartless: more or less willing to allow us to visit any and all sorts of evil on each other lift a finger to stop them and he'll levy no consequences either here or in the hereafter.

My point is that there is some reality about all the things that we've been talking about. Some of us (or maybe none of us) are right, some of us (maybe all of us) are wrong. But there is some proposition that can be advanced concerning what happens at death that will accurately map onto reality. And you could be right: it could be that God is just a kindly old gentleman who wants his creatures to have the best after they're dead. Suppose that God is that kindly old gentleman. When you die, God will obligingly send you wherever your heart desires, and you may spend eternity in heaven. But suppose you're wrong. Suppose that it's not the case that God will oblige you. If that turns out to be the case, no amount of your believing will change the matter. Because a thing is true in virtue of whether it is, in fact, the way reality really is. And if there really is no God, you're going to pop out of existence with the rest of us. And if there is a judgmental God, you'll burn with the rest of us. What is true is not true in virtue of whether LeadB believes it; what is true is true in virtue of whether it is, in fact, the way things really are. I hope, for you're sake, that God turns out to be the kindly old gentleman, because if not, you're in for quite a surprise, no matter what the truth of the matter is!

________________________________________________________________________
- Grand High Poobah of the Mythical Land of Iowa, and Keeper of State Secrets
- Captain, FFF.net Grammar Police

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:25 PM

JTSKIER1200R


Im coming out of the woodwork after a long hiatus on these boards for this question.

River6213, your initial comment said you believe you would go to hell. Why do you think that? Where are you getting the idea that lust and greed are bad? You must believe they are bad and yet you still do them. Seems that something outside of yourself must be saying they are bad, and Im guessing "society" isnt enough, for we all buck what society says often enough. For me, that thing by which I get my ideas of evil and good from is God. Where do you get yours?

Just a thought.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:32 PM

XITWOUND117


To those who subscribe to religiousity, mainly of the Jesus kind: do y'all really believe the "if you don't accept Jesus you burn" business? I can't tell if that's actually part of the faith, or some extremist part. I've been to church more than I'd like, but I can't seem to nail down an answer.

May we never let Firefly die.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:35 PM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by leadb:
I fear I must disagree with you. You see, in god's infinite wisdom, he makes us all right.



Also consider this: suppose a person dies believing he will go to heaven, and believing that all-and-only left-handed-redheads will be in heaven with him (ah, the games we play for the sake of political correctness). But undoubtedly there will be non-lefty-non-redheads who also opt into heaven. How will God solve this problem? Ah ha! Two heavens! But what about the non-lefty-non-redhead who wants to be in heaven with his left-handed-redheaded brother? He can't go to the left-handed redhead heaven (because only lefty-redheads go there). And his brother can't come to his heaven (because all lefty-redheads go to lefty-redhead heaven). How will God resolve this dilemma?

Or suppose that a person dies believing all-and-only lefty-redheads will go to heaven and that, whilst in heaven, they will be able to look into hell and see everyone else roasting down there. But how will God accomplish this? Because he has to give the lefty-redhead guy his way, but that seems like it will involve not giving other people their way. If my conception of heaven involves certain other people being in hell, then God either cannot give me what I want in heaven, or he cannot give those other what they want in the afterlife.

________________________________________________________________________
- Grand High Poobah of the Mythical Land of Iowa, and Keeper of State Secrets
- Captain, FFF.net Grammar Police

Vote for Firefly! http://richlabonte.net/tvvote/index.html

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:39 PM

RIVER6213


Well there shall be no surprises for me. Hell is where I will go if there is a hell to go to and if there isn't anything to go to, and when we die, we're dead...I will be busy being dead to notice, therefore I won't be in a position to be disappointed or let down. Don't get me wrong. I don't relish the idea of going to a place where there is eternal suffering and pain for finite actions here in this dimension, but it seems that this is my lot. I say this because I know my nature, and that nature is evil, or at least selfishness in a petty sort of way. I am not one to be given a lot of power and not abuse it to make someone else suffer. I notice this as I conduct business with other people and other companies; I'm shrewd and a back-stabber when it gets right down to it. I am not one to be trusted, nor one you would care to turn your back on. If this isn't hell material I don't know what is.

And FutureMrsFillion, one doesn't have to be a Hitler to be evil. Sometimes ultimate evil comes in the form of some small, selfish act that cause pain and suffering to those around you in a manner that effects their course in life, which produces a result that is devastating in the long run. I am not Goose-stepping, in your face evil, but I am petty and evil enough to do damage to others; we all are when it gets right down to it.

Hell is where I am slated to go, and hell is what awaits, and there is nothing in this 'verse that can stop it.

*BTW, Causal, I didn't know you were such a deep thinker*

-River




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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:46 PM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by Clearstatic:
I am a youth minister in Minnesota. I went to a bible college. By most I am considered a conservative Christian and yes I do believe in a heaven and hell. I do respect others opinions that do differ from mine, but I don't agree. There is a big difference however, many people do treat those as the same. I do have to say this is the first conversation I have read about Christianity/Religion without really aggressive and hate filled posts. Thank you all for this topic it is really good to discuss such matters.

I do understand that nobody knows me here since I believe this is my thrid post, but I just want to through this out there. If anyone has a prayer request I'm all ears and would love to pray for you.

Take Care

Clearstatic

P.S. Most translations of the Bible have Jesus' words in red ink not just the King James Version in case anyone was looking for another translation.




Thanks, but save your prayers for those who need it, and yes, we all seem to be getting along very well on this particular topic so far. Lot of good thinkers here, and I love the opinions posted so far. Oh, and also thanks for coming out and posting!

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:49 PM

DREAMWALKER


Quote:

Originally posted by xitwound117:
To those who subscribe to religiousity, mainly of the Jesus kind: do y'all really believe the "if you don't accept Jesus you burn" business? I can't tell if that's actually part of the faith, or some extremist part. I've been to church more than I'd like, but I can't seem to nail down an answer.

May we never let Firefly die.



I once had a debate with a person to had that particular belief. I asked the hypothetical question of whether members of a tribe who had never encountered a Christian missionary and therefore never heard of Jesus would be doomed to burn in hell even if they lead what would be considered a decent and moral life. The answer I was given was that yes these people could not get into heaven because they did not believe in Jesus. Personally I disagree with that. God is supposed to be all knowing and all merciful. Therefore, in my opinion, God would know and understand that these people did not know about Jesus and would not factor that into the criteria for getting into heaven. Rather God would judge people in that situation based on how they lived their lives and treated the people around them. I'm a Christian, but I have an open mind and a genuine interest and curiosity about religions outside of Christianity. Closed minded people tend to irritate me, because I think it's a bit much to tell people that just because they don't act they exact same way that the person does then they will burn in hell. Oh well, I guess if in the end I wind up in hell I'll have some good company, since all my friends aren't people who are insanely religious and therefore apparently will wind up down there with me.

Wash: This landing is gonna get pretty interesting
Mal: Define "interesting".
Wash: Oh God, of God, we're all going to die?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:49 PM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by jtskier1200r:
Im coming out of the woodwork after a long hiatus on these boards for this question.

River6213, your initial comment said you believe you would go to hell. Why do you think that? Where are you getting the idea that lust and greed are bad? You must believe they are bad and yet you still do them. Seems that something outside of yourself must be saying they are bad, and Im guessing "society" isnt enough, for we all buck what society says often enough. For me, that thing by which I get my ideas of evil and good from is God. Where do you get yours?

Just a thought.



I got my idea of where I'm going by being very aware of my base nature. That nature is up to no good at all times. One could say that I'm woefully aware of the "Original Sin" concept. Putting it plainly, I'm rotten to the core and there is no real good in me. I accept this, and at certain points in my life I embrace it. This is why hell awaits me, and everything I touch turns to dust. Go figure...

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:14 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


There are two competing theories in my family.

First the Irish Catholic side believes in the Works Theory. That one’s actions determine their eligibility for heaven. People who have preformed enough good in life will be allowed into heaven. Those that haven’t must seek other options. How much good you have to do is an open question.

Second are the Southern Baptists who believe in the Grace Theory. I’ll admit, I don’t understand this one as clearly. That is that no human being can ever do enough good to overcome the original sin to make it into heaven, but one’s eligibility for heaven can be guaranteed if one is “saved by the grace of god.” That is one has received a ‘free pass’ to heaven, I suppose. So the question of how much good needs to be done becomes necessarily moot, but now the question is how do you define being “saved.” If you’re guaranteed access to heaven by being saved, that sort of suggests an opportunity for abuse, but if you’re truly saved then you necessarily want to do good. So that means that if you get saved and go murder a bunch of people or talk in the theater, then you were never really saved to begin with. So the process of being saved is dependent, evidently, on one’s own free will.

So where do I fall in to this?

Technically, I’m Catholic. Or sometimes Baptist if it shuts someone up. But I really don’t know where I’m going, the math is too complicated for me to crunch. However, let me give you a reading from the book of Constantine:

“I guess there's a plan for all of us. I had to die - twice - just to figure that out. Like the book says, He works in mysterious ways. Some people like it. Some people don't.”

Personally, I like it.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:18 PM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by LittleAlbatross29:
I am pagan ,so according to the Judeo -Christian philosophy..I'm gonna burn.
But I don't believe in hell..so it doesn't matter to me.

See you there River ! We can have a drink.


Bryce
*******



I've been reading all about Wicca and the old religions before Christianity showed up on the scene. They way different groups understood the concepts of God, and Goddesses was very interesting and there seemed to be a certain logic to it all then along came Christianity, and it had the effect of an atomic bomb on all the world's different beliefs and religions. What a world this is...

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:19 PM

LEADB


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Is it just in eternal matters that God has to obey you? Or in other areas too?


Obey me... naw. Heck, perhaps on bad days everyone gets "poofed". Just pointing out god need not conform to anyone's expectation.

Quote:


Plus, the "omni" in omnipotent might not mean what you think. You'll be bucking the majority of thinkers going back well over a thousand years if you think that God can do the logically impossible (like make a round square or make it such that one and one make three). God's omnipotence is limited to the logically possible.


No arguement here. I'm sure you will agree that even god won't try to make 3 + 3 = 12. (unless he uses base 4 when he does math; don't forget to take that into account.) Point: check your assumptions.
Quote:


It doesn't limit God to say that he can't do the logically impossible, because when you say, "God can make a round square" you're not really saying anything coherent at all, because what you're saying is, "God can make something both be and not be at one and the same time and in one and the same way" and that's logically impossible. Why? Because the laws of logic are what they are in virtue of who God is. Violating the laws of logic would constitute a violation of his own nature, and that's something that God cannot do. It's like the old question, "Can God make a rock so big he can't lift it?" That's just nonsense, and nonsense is still nonsense, whether you're talking it about God or not.


hmmm, round square... I think we were arguing about heaven and hell; and in any case, you also later indicated one would have to "confront" reality. My point is, much of this is relativistic. Let's say someone dies, and finds herself in heaven, and mistakenly concludes those who believed in re-incarnation were "wrong", my point is, some folks might have gotten re-incarnated. You just don't know. Other people went "poof". You just don't know. Now, perhaps, it being heaven, one gets the "real news" on what happens to "everybody." So then they'd know. But heck... we are straying from the point.
Quote:


In the second place, I'm not saying that God can't dispose of his creatures however he sees fit, but I just can't see him doing to them whatever the creature would have him do. I'm sure that Hitler wouldn't choose to go to hell, if given the choice. I'm pretty sure that he'd choose heaven. But there's something repugnant about the idea of a "God" who would give Hitler an in on heaven just because that's what Hitler wanted.


I never claimed god was attractive.
Quote:


If this is the case, then God isn't really God at all. He makes no demands on us, has no expectations, any and all behavior is permissible with no eternal repercussions. He exists (on your view) solely to shunt us all into our self-selected eternal destiny: God the celestial switch-tracks. What I want to know is, if God is as wondrously obliging, why doesn't he fix things in the here and now?


God's ways are mysterious. The point is, you prefer to believe otherwise; that's fine. Just be clear this is a preference you have, and has little to do with logic. You presented a series of "logical" imperatives which, if followed, would conclude either there's a heaven or "reincarnation" is the ticket. If you are not willing to simply accept that your fundamental assumption is wrong, then I will simply posit for you: You only get what you want if god deems you are good; hell if that's what you think you deserve; heaven if that's what you think you deserve; and re-incarnation if... etc. We'll reserve "poofing" for those those who chose it, and those who are 'evil' by whatever standard god chooses to apply. The point is, there may be no absolute answers.
Quote:


If God is so concerned with our needs and desires, why is there evil in the world?


Good and evil are relativistic value judgements. While I will agree with you Hitler was evil in his actions, as you point out, I'm sure -he- wouldn't agree with us. Anyway, why? Free will.
Quote:


Your God seems pretty heartless: more or less willing to allow us to visit any and all sorts of evil on each other lift a finger to stop them and he'll levy no consequences either here or in the hereafter.


My god is a useless god, I admit it. I recommend you flock to a different religion.
Quote:


My point is that there is some reality about all the things that we've been talking about. Some of us (or maybe none of us) are right, some of us (maybe all of us) are wrong. But there is some proposition that can be advanced concerning what happens at death that will accurately map onto reality. And you could be right: it could be that God is just a kindly old gentleman who wants his creatures to have the best after they're dead. Suppose that God is that kindly old gentleman. When you die, God will obligingly send you wherever your heart desires, and you may spend eternity in heaven. But suppose you're wrong. Suppose that it's not the case that God will oblige you. If that turns out to be the case, no amount of your believing will change the matter. Because a thing is true in virtue of whether it is, in fact, the way reality really is. And if there really is no God, you're going to pop out of existence with the rest of us. And if there is a judgmental God, you'll burn with the rest of us. What is true is not true in virtue of whether LeadB believes it


Ah, finally, we agree on a specific point!
Quote:


; what is true is true in virtue of whether it is, in fact, the way things really are. I hope, for you're sake, that God turns out to be the kindly old gentleman, because if not, you're in for quite a surprise, no matter what the truth of the matter is!


The finish here is a bit weak. So... you are using the old gem "better to believe in the judgemental God of the Christians because you go to hell if you don't; and if there is no God it doesn't matter?" Hmmm, ok. What if the "reality" of god is offended by such sentimentalities, and finds instead the mindset of the typical Hindu much more appealing. The Hindu goes to 'heaven' (despite not necessarily believing in one, as you point out, the Hindu's belief or lack of it will not cause the heaven to vanish) while the poor Christian suffers the fate of whatever 'hell' happens to be in the "reality" as you are fond of calling it.
(edit:) -or- are you just saying I'll be surprised? In which case I'm willing to posit I'll be "surprised" almost no matter what; key here is "expect the unexpected."

If I have a point, it is that god is likely to be utterly different than what our expectations are. Trying to use logic to pin such an entity down is likely to be futile, and possibly counter productive. If a god exists, I am moderately confident he will transend our dimmensions of space and time, and as a consequence will be beyond our best guesses here. Of course, I wouldn't spoil your fun; guess away.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:25 PM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
There are two competing theories in my family.

First the Irish Catholic side believes in the Works Theory. That one’s actions determine their eligibility for heaven. People who have preformed enough good in life will be allowed into heaven. Those that haven’t must seek other options. How much good you have to do is an open question.

Second are the Southern Baptists who believe in the Grace Theory. I’ll admit, I don’t understand this one as clearly. That is that no human being can ever do enough good to overcome the original sin to make it into heaven, but one’s eligibility for heaven can be guaranteed if one is “saved by the grace of god.” That is one has received a ‘free pass’ to heaven, I suppose. So the question of how much good needs to be done becomes necessarily moot, but now the question is how do you define being “saved.” If you’re guaranteed access to heaven by being saved, that sort of suggests an opportunity for abuse, but if you’re truly saved then you necessarily want to do good. So that means that if you get saved and go murder a bunch of people or talk in the theater, then you were never really saved to begin with. So the process of being saved is dependent, evidently, on one’s own free will.

So where do I fall in to this?

Technically, I’m Catholic. Or sometimes Baptist if it shuts someone up. But I really don’t know where I’m going, the math is too complicated for me to crunch. However, let me give you a reading from the book of Constantine:

“I guess there's a plan for all of us. I had to die - twice - just to figure that out. Like the book says, He works in mysterious ways. Some people like it. Some people don't.”

Personally, I like it.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero



I guess the whole idea is that if you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and Savior, and then turn your back on sin, and attempt to do the will of God, then your chances of getting into heaven are going to be very good. If you don't accept Jesus as your Savior, then things will go very badly for you. I think that this is what I understand about the whole business, but I am clear that it really doesn't matter if you accept, or don't accept the so-called gift that God sent to us in the form of Jesus. I believe that God knows, or knew already who was going to be in, or out. Who was going to go to heaven or hell trillions of years before anyone of us was born. I figure in the long run...what's the point?

To hell I go!

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:36 PM

LEADB


Quote:

I believe that God knows, or knew already who was going to be in, or out. Who was going to go to heaven or hell trillions of years before anyone of us was born. I figure in the long run...what's the point?

To hell I go!

you posit there is no free will then?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:43 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Or that we can all do whatever the hell we want, because the lottery was over long before we had a chance to tilt it.

Trillions of years might be a stretch though, since time isn’t quite that old.




Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:44 PM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by leadb:
Quote:

I believe that God knows, or knew already who was going to be in, or out. Who was going to go to heaven or hell trillions of years before anyone of us was born. I figure in the long run...what's the point?

To hell I go!

you posit there is no free will then?



Well, people go on and on about how we have choices and it is up to our free will and such, but I believe that when it gets right down to it you can do what God wants you to do and accept Jesus into your heart and life, and you can turn your back on sin and such and STILL end up in hell.

You can't choose what place, or family you are born into, and you can't choose if you are going to heaven or hell. That choice was already made before you were born. I mean you can try to control where you are going to go, but God already knows where you will end up. In my case it's hell and there is nothing I can do about it. I'm not fighting the idea of it anymore.; I'm going to go were my natural nature takes me and that place is hell. Thinking about it now it seems right.

I mean think about it...you gotta know your own nature. Example:

River6213 is given 10 nuclear weapons with a delivery system and the key codes to fire those missiles along with a guidance computer. What do you think that River6213 is going to do? I'd fire those missiles off in a heart beat, that's what I would do! I would ensure that the place that those missiles targeted would cause the most damage and destruction. This is my nature in full bloom if allowed to fully express itself, which is why I know that I am hell-bound.

It's all about what you have in your heart that counts in the end.


Free-ranged, hell-bound River


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:52 PM

ZOID


Quote:

Originally posted by xitwound117:
To those who subscribe to religiousity, mainly of the Jesus kind: do y'all really believe the "if you don't accept Jesus you burn" business? I can't tell if that's actually part of the faith, or some extremist part. I've been to church more than I'd like, but I can't seem to nail down an answer.

May we never let Firefly die.


I'd like to take a stab at this one, too.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within each of us, and that -- because of the essential change in the nature of Man that His coming heralded -- that no person needed an interceding agent (priest, preacher or rabbi) to talk to their God, ever again. Jesus Christ therefore represents a new covenant between God (Whom it should be pointed out identifies Himself only as "I am") and all of Humanity.

With me so far? Good. Here's where it gets a little twisty...

Jesus was a human man. He was born of a woman. He laughed, he cried; he felt God's power flow through Him, and He experienced His time in the wilderness. His earthly body was wracked with pain, and then perished...

In other words, He was exactly like you and me. But He wasn't like other people of His time. He had the Kingdom of God within Him. Within Him was the only temple of worship necessary to commune with God. When He died -- like any other human -- he opened a doorway to God that had not previously existed.

...A little bendy for the old noggin', yeah? I hope you're still tracking, though, cuz there's one more twist...

Remember that Jesus is not only God's son, He is God, Himself. By communing with the Divine Human within all of us (Jesus), we are also talking directly to God the Creator, as well as God the Omnipresent Companion (Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost).

***So to answer your question -- and I hope I'm not making too broad a conceptual leap for y'all to follow, I'm just trying to be brief -- a pre-Cook Hawaiian native, for example, would not be necessarily consigned to eternal damnation.*** It is by the search for God -- by whatever name, to include the broad-as-you-can-possibly-get, "I am" -- and by following His "still, small voice" within each of us, that one gains the Kingdom of God.

Many hellfire types of whatever Man-made religion will steadfastly hold that one cannot get anywhere but Hell unless you believe on Christ. I contend that, like His own disciples, they have missed Jesus' point entirely. What a surprise. Yes, He said that no one could get to the Father's kingdom unless they believe in Him. But Jesus had previously said that the Kingdom is already within us all.

When He perished on the cross, the gap between Man and God was forever bridged. To find Jesus/God, one need only look inside oneself. To the extent that anyone will look inside their self to find God/"I am", they will find Him, by whatever name or even none at all. To the extent that they then obey God's will for them, they grow in spiritual unity with God. (NB: Please see the P.S., below.) Take it from one who knows: Oneness with God is a heavenly reward on Earth. I look forward to the day when God takes me home, free at last of the trials of Spirit, and of the errors ('sin') inherent in biology...

To River6213:
I agree with your assessment of your soul's probable destination, based on your accounts. And you're right: It's definitely the reptilian and early mammalian reflexes that are ruling and dooming you. I would pray for you, but there is only one prayer that can save you, and that is yours. I think the Holy Spirit is moving on you, in a powerful way. The proof is that you so clearly recognize the nature of your erroneous ('evil') behavior. God is calling you. The only question that remains is what will you do about it? You have erected a formidable wall and -- like you -- I don't know if you have the strength to tear it down. I know a Man who can help, if you ask Him to. But...

So, I grieve for you. Not for you as a flailing biological entity, trapped by your body's chemical oozings into a loveless, joyless earthly life. I grieve for the inner you, the eternal You, misshapen and stunted in its cage of flesh and animal impulses.

But remember this: While you yet draw breath, there is still time to break the chains that bind your soul. I pray, instead, that at some point you will stop shouting down the inner you, that you will lay aside your facade as vanity, and find that God is and has always been within you.



Respectfully,

zoid

P.S.
God = Love. Jesus instructed us to love our neighbors, our enemies, as we love ourselves. Again, this is because God resides in all of us (even if He is being ignored, reviled). If we consign others to eternal damnation, then we hate our fellow humans, and that does not come from God. Jesus warned thus. And yet many 'Christians' are unabashedly judgmental and vengeful and all manner of other kinds of what basically boil down to hateful. Being willfully proud of one's own salvation, to the extent that one can condemn another soul to eternal damnation is Anti-Christian. I charge anyone who fits this particular bill to repent at once, and to forsake those who have led you so far astray of the Lord.

Just as I earlier said that I expect to see many non-Christians in 'Heaven', I likewise expect to see many 'Christians' missing from God's Kingdom. And Jesus foretold that, as well...

_________________________________________________

"I aim to misbehave." -Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity, a.k.a. 'the BDBOF'

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:10 PM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
Quote:

Originally posted by xitwound117:
To those who subscribe to religiousity, mainly of the Jesus kind: do y'all really believe the "if you don't accept Jesus you burn" business? I can't tell if that's actually part of the faith, or some extremist part. I've been to church more than I'd like, but I can't seem to nail down an answer.

May we never let Firefly die.


I'd like to take a stab at this one, too.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within each of us, and that -- because of the essential change in the nature of Man that His coming heralded -- that no person needed an interceding agent (priest, preacher or rabbi) to talk to their God, ever again. Jesus Christ therefore represents a new covenant between God (Whom it should be pointed out identifies Himself only as "I am") and all of Humanity.

With me so far? Good. Here's where it gets a little twisty...

Jesus was a human man. He was born of a woman. He laughed, he cried; he felt God's power flow through Him, and He experienced His time in the wilderness. His earthly body was wracked with pain, and then perished...

In other words, He was exactly like you and me. But He wasn't like other people of His time. He had the Kingdom of God within Him. Within Him was the only temple of worship necessary to commune with God. When He died -- like any other human -- he opened a doorway to God that had not previously existed.

...A little bendy for the old noggin', yeah? I hope you're still tracking, though, cuz there's one more twist...

Remember that Jesus is not only God's son, He is God, Himself. By communing with the Divine Human within all of us (Jesus), we are also talking directly to God the Creator, as well as God the Omnipresent Companion (Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost).

***So to answer your question -- and I hope I'm not making too broad a conceptual leap for y'all to follow, I'm just trying to be brief -- a pre-Cook Hawaiian native, for example, would not be necessarily consigned to eternal damnation.*** It is by the search for God -- by whatever name, to include the broad-as-you-can-possibly-get, "I am" -- and by following His "still, small voice" within each of us, that one gains the Kingdom of God.

Many hellfire types of whatever Man-made religion will steadfastly hold that one cannot get anywhere but Hell unless you believe on Christ. I contend that, like His own disciples, they have missed Jesus' point entirely. What a surprise. Yes, He said that no one could get to the Father's kingdom unless they believe in Him. But Jesus had previously said that the Kingdom is already within us all.

When He perished on the cross, the gap between Man and God was forever bridged. To find Jesus/God, one need only look inside oneself. To the extent that anyone will look inside their self to find God/"I am", they will find Him, by whatever name or even none at all. To the extent that they then obey God's will for them, they grow in spiritual unity with God. (NB: Please see the P.S., below.) Take it from one who knows: Oneness with God is a heavenly reward on Earth. I look forward to the day when God takes me home, free at last of the trials of Spirit, and of the errors ('sin') inherent in biology...

To River6213:
I agree with your assessment of your soul's probable destination, based on your accounts. And you're right: It's definitely the reptilian and early mammalian reflexes that are ruling and dooming you. I would pray for you, but there is only one prayer that can save you, and that is yours. I think the Holy Spirit is moving on you, in a powerful way. The proof is that you so clearly recognize the nature of your erroneous ('evil') behavior. God is calling you. The only question that remains is what will you do about it? You have erected a formidable wall and -- like you -- I don't know if you have the strength to tear it down. I know a Man who can help, if you ask Him to. But...

So, I grieve for you. Not for you as a flailing biological entity, trapped by your body's chemical oozings into a loveless, joyless earthly life. I grieve for the inner you, the eternal You, misshapen and stunted in its cage of flesh and animal impulses.

But remember this: While you yet draw breath, there is still time to break the chains that bind your soul. I pray, instead, that at some point you will stop shouting down the inner you, that you will lay aside your facade as vanity, and find that God is and has always been within you.



Respectfully,

zoid

P.S.
God = Love. Jesus instructed us to love our neighbors, our enemies, as we love ourselves. Again, this is because God resides in all of us (even if He is being ignored, reviled). If we consign others to eternal damnation, then we hate our fellow humans, and that does not come from God. Jesus warned thus. And yet many 'Christians' are unabashedly judgmental and vengeful and all manner of other kinds of what basically boil down to hateful. Being willfully proud of one's own salvation, to the extent that one can condemn another soul to eternal damnation is Anti-Christian. I charge anyone who fits this particular bill to repent at once, and to forsake those who have led you so far astray of the Lord.

Just as I earlier said that I expect to see many non-Christians in 'Heaven', I likewise expect to see many 'Christians' missing from God's Kingdom. And Jesus foretold that, as well...

_________________________________________________

"I aim to misbehave." -Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity, a.k.a. 'the BDBOF'



Awwww...
Nice words and all Zoid, but don't preach at us (or at me at least) okay? Just tell us where you think you are going to go...heaven or hell???? Based on all that gospel stuff you just threw at us I put $100 down on you think you're going to heaven. Well who knows, maybe you are one of God's chosen.

-River

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 9:08 PM

ZOID



RiveR6213 replied:
Quote:

Awwww...
Nice words and all Zoid, but don't preach at us (or at me at least) okay? Just tell us where you think you are going to go...heaven or hell???? Based on all that gospel stuff you just threw at us I put $100 down on you think you're going to heaven. Well who knows, maybe you are one of God's chosen.

-River


I've made 2 very lengthy responses in this thread, in both of which I stated my certainty that there is a 'Heaven', and that I would go there when my allotted time on Earth is done. So, not much of a $100 gamble, RiveR6213, unless you also like to bet on tape delays of sporting events.

Maybe you should try reading some of the "nice words and all", before you accuse me of preaching at you. All I did was agree that you were probably going to Hell. I also agreed with you that you probably lacked the means to stop yourself from going there. But you seem perfectly content to go, so where's the aggro, babe? I mean, if you're going to Hell, it's a pretty safe assumption that Aggravation is gonna be a spoonful of sorbet between courses on the daily menu...

To be fair, I did say that I strongly feel that God is practically screaming at you to listen to reason. So, maybe that was a tad preachy; but, that really shouldn't get your knickers in such a twist. You're damn-sure where you're going, so why should my lame attempt to help you find some happiness offend you?

Just to set us straight, though, and all teasing aside: I apologize for reaching out to you in an inappropriate way. It was purely an instinctive reaction.



Non-Calvinistically,

zoid

P.S.
I'll give you the Chicago Bears and 11 points in SB XLI, quadruple-or-nothing on your original $100 bet. What'd'ya say?
_________________________________________________

"I aim to misbehave." -Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity, a.k.a. 'the BDBOF'

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 9:39 PM

RIVER6213


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:

RiveR6213 replied:
Quote:

Awwww...
Nice words and all Zoid, but don't preach at us (or at me at least) okay? Just tell us where you think you are going to go...heaven or hell???? Based on all that gospel stuff you just threw at us I put $100 down on you think you're going to heaven. Well who knows, maybe you are one of God's chosen.

-River


I've made 2 very lengthy responses in this thread, in both of which I stated my certainty that there is a 'Heaven', and that I would go there when my allotted time on Earth is done. So, not much of a $100 gamble, RiveR6213, unless you also like to bet on tape delays of sporting events.

Maybe you should try reading some of the "nice words and all", before you accuse me of preaching at you. All I did was agree that you were probably going to Hell. I also agreed with you that you probably lacked the means to stop yourself from going there. But you seem perfectly content to go, so where's the aggro, babe? I mean, if you're going to Hell, it's a pretty safe assumption that Aggravation is gonna be a spoonful of sorbet between courses on the daily menu...

To be fair, I did say that I strongly feel that God is practically screaming at you to listen to reason. So, maybe that was a tad preachy; but, that really shouldn't get your knickers in such a twist. You're damn-sure where you're going, so why should my lame attempt to help you find some happiness offend you?

Just to set us straight, though, and all teasing aside: I apologize for reaching out to you in an inappropriate way. It was purely an instinctive reaction.



Non-Calvinistically,

zoid

P.S.
I'll give you the Chicago Bears and 11 points in SB XLI, quadruple-or-nothing on your original $100 bet. What'd'ya say?
_________________________________________________

"I aim to misbehave." -Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity, a.k.a. 'the BDBOF'



Wow! That was a mouthful. What are "Knickers" any way? Anyhow. Your posts in this thread have been very good and quite informative. You have presented a side that is inspiring and quite deep, and well thought out. You have demonstrated that you are solid in your belief, and world view, and you are clear that heaven is where you are headed without a doubt. There is no sarcasm on my part regarding any of this. I suspect that you take my wording as being cavalier on the subject of hell, and my own character and nature that will carry me there, but if you read closer, you will find a not too happy person, who knows her final outcome; who knows her character, and what's in her heart. I'm just being brave and courageous about it all; pure smoke that hides the inevitability of what must come to pass. It is all that it is supposed to be.

One of the many problems with Christianity is that everything is boiled down to a simple black and white choice, and presented that way to look as though it is easy, or simple. This is earth that we live; It is not a black and white scenario.

So spare me your sarcasm. This thread is about one believing if they are going to Heaven or Hell, and I'm not really into getting into a verbal, swirling, word, dogfight over it. Simply put from where I stand. I am going to hell, but I'm not happy about it, but I do accept it. Also, as crazy as this may sound. I am not to happy about going to heaven either. I wish history and the God's had left me alone in the land of non-existence in the first place.

The Universe appears to be a very bothersome place...

-River

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 2:33 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
*BTW, Causal, I didn't know you were such a deep thinker*



I'm a philosophy major. Deep thinking is what I'm doing most of the time! The trouble is, my objections are often read as attacks, and that can get me in trouble. So I work to make nice-nice so I can still make my objections without making people mad.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 2:52 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by leadb:
The finish here is a bit weak. So... you are using the old gem "better to believe in the judgemental God of the Christians because you go to hell if you don't; and if there is no God it doesn't matter?" Hmmm, ok. What if the "reality" of god is offended by such sentimentalities, and finds instead the mindset of the typical Hindu much more appealing. The Hindu goes to 'heaven' (despite not necessarily believing in one, as you point out, the Hindu's belief or lack of it will not cause the heaven to vanish) while the poor Christian suffers the fate of whatever 'hell' happens to be in the "reality" as you are fond of calling it.
(edit:) -or- are you just saying I'll be surprised? In which case I'm willing to posit I'll be "surprised" almost no matter what; key here is "expect the unexpected."



Actually, I was saying the latter, not the former. In my response to you, I wasn't positing any particular God or afterlife-destination. I was just trying to point out that I think that your assertion led to logical inconsistencies. And apparently you're OK with that, so there's really no way to argue against you, because we apparently don't agree about whether or not things have to be argued logically. My thought is this: logical truths seem to be necessary truths. That is, they are true in every possible world; it is impossible for them to be false. Now if God exists, he seems like the sort of being that would be a necessarily existent being--so he would exist in all possible worlds. So if there are some rules that are necessarily true and some being who inhabits every world that those rules are true, and if, as I think, God can't do a logical impossibility (like make a round square), then why can't God "break" the rules of logic? If he made the world, they're his rules. I think that it might turn out to be the case that the rules aren't made by God per se, but just are what they are in virtue of who God is. That is, it might turn out that God is eminently rational. In any event, I take it to be true that the rules of logic are necessary, inviolable truths (even for a deity), and it is that presupposition that governs my thinking in this area. (And I'd like to point out that we both have a set of presuppositions we're working from.)

I'm pained to see that you think that I'm using Pascal's wager. Personally, I think Pascal was full of it. I've yet to meet anyone who believed in God on the basis of Pascal's wager. No, I was not saying, "You'll be surprised to wake up in hell, pagan!" (Though I can see how you might read me that way, given the topic of the thread.) I was saying that if you turn out to be wrong about God-as-celestial-switch-tracks, you're going to be mighty surprised by whatever comes next (unless is the big "poof"--then you'll have no time to be surprised!).

Anyway, what fun talking about this without the yelling and screaming. Pure genius to put this in General Discussions instead of RWED.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 3:18 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by xitwound117:
To those who subscribe to religiousity, mainly of the Jesus kind: do y'all really believe the "if you don't accept Jesus you burn" business? I can't tell if that's actually part of the faith, or some extremist part. I've been to church more than I'd like, but I can't seem to nail down an answer.



Ah, the classic question.

Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as asking what Christianity teaches, because there are many different shades of Christianity, and they each seem to have their own answer.

The two basic positions are exclusivist and inclusivist. Inclusivism can be further divided into strong and weak inclusivism.

Exclusivists believe that all and only Jesus-believing folks will get into heaven. Everyone else will burn. This is predicated on things like Jesus' statement "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man will come to the Father but through me" (emphasis added). If asked about tribesman in Papua New Guinea who never even heard the name Jesus, they will maintain that it's just too bad for them.

Weak inclusivists say that all Jesus-believing folks will go to heaven, but that other people will be there two. For instance, since the Christian God is also the Jewish God, Jews prior to Jesus will be there (Abraham, Moses, etc). Also, people who never heard the name Jesus, but were convinced by the testimony of nature to worship nature's maker, will be there, too. There's a spectrum amongst these folks concerning who exactly gets in, but it's not just Jesus-believers.

Strong inclusivists believe that all Jesus-believers will be there, and that so will any other "good" person (whatever they take that to mean). So Ghandi, Siddhartha, Muhammad, and a whole passel of other folks will be there, even if they rejected Jesus.

Taking off my philosopher hat for the moment, and putting on the theologian one, if one accepts the Bible as authoritative (and yes, that's a huge "if"), it does seem to be the case that it teaches that those who out-and-out reject Jesus will not make it to heaven. It is not as clear what the fate of the Papua New Guinea tribesmen will be, hence the debate.

As a Christian person myself, hell has always given me fits, because it doesn't seem to fit with everything else I know about God. Where I finally had to come to rest, and be content, is this: I trust God to be just--not fair, mind you, but really just. That means that I can leave the eternal afterlife questions up to him and trust that he'll dispose of people justly. My responsibility isn't to walk around saying "You're going to hell." And it isn't to walk around preaching all day. It's to conform myself to Jesus' example as much as I possibly can, which means loving God and loving people as much as I can.

There, I'm out there. Tear me up.

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