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Topic: That is a lot of souls.

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Subject: That is a lot of souls.
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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So I was thinking. Most christians and several other larger religions believe that when a person dies their soul goes on to  something else. Be it heaven, hell, purgatory, gahena, sheol they go somewhere. Now considering they believe that ALL souls past present and future are going to one of these places thats a lot of souls. It has always made more sense to me that there is a somewhat finite number of souls in the world. They sort of recycle through ...... hosts (for lack of a better word)

The thing about all souls going to one place reminds me of a quote from Einstein. "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former"  Several christian family members and friends of mine dont believe there is anything more than what we have catagorized already meaning there isnt an infinite universe for all these souls to live in. With that logic would there be room in these places for all these souls? I guess I look at it as sort of like a planet. No planet would be able to hold allllllll the past present and future souls.

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 4:33 PM ET
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Personally I believe in reincarnation, although I think it's quite possible that we each create our own system.  If you believe in the system of heaven and hell, then you'll find yourself in one or the other when you die.  In you believe in reincarnation, that's what happens.  If you believe in nothing, that's what happens.  Etc.

Maybe that's just wishful thinking, but it seems only fair.   ;-)

But Chris, I don't think you can apply logic to ideas like this.  Just as the only things inevitable are death and taxes, so also are those two things that defy all logic!!

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2006
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I don't think souls take up much room. :)

Actually, I think souls are nothing more than energy in one of it's many forms.  How much space does energy take up?

I believe in reincarnation, but not the "memories" people have of being Cleopatra or whatever. :)  My analogy to my friend was this:

Your soul is your energy, so think of it as electricity.  Think of your soul's current body as a lamp.  Then the lamp stops working, and say the energy is now being fed into a television set.  The energy is basically the same, and is now housed in a different "body", but it can't remember having been a lamp. :)

That's the way I see it, anyway.

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
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Ok, even though my opinion comes from a Biblical standpoint I won't quote scripture...but, I believe that the human "soul" is simply the breath of God that makes the form a live human being.  So, in a sense it is kind of like what Beth says..."form of energy" kind of thing.  When we die the body goes into the grave and the soul (aka: breath) returns to its origin, in my belief it returns to God.  The soul doesn't know anything...and here again like Beth says can't remember anything.

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
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The universe is an awfully big place - perhaps Earth souls will be able to take over other planets?

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 6:33 PM ET
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Last Edited on: 1/24/09 12:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/15/2008 9:45 AM ET
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Im not talking a generalize more pagan energy sort of thought of the soul. Im talking we will be together in heaven one day sort of images of the soul. If your gonna go to heaven or hell or gahena or sheol or valhalla or whereever and be with someone as they are (I believe in the christian sense you have a perfect body once your in heaven) how do those souls fit?

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:32 AM ET
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Chris, I asked my wife, a sort-of Catholic, and she said, "Well, it's a mystery." Apparently that's the answer the priests and nuns used to give her when she would ask a logical question.

:-)

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:41 AM ET
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LOL Lester I get that answer a lot too when I start wondering about religious topics. My uncle is a minister and he tells me I always take the bible too literally.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:52 AM ET
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Chris/Lester.....My past experience with church was that if you question too much, your questions are deflected by the "You need to have more faith" stick.   Which in my mind sounded just like "heck if I know!"

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:56 AM ET
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Or the military answer I can neither confirm nor deny that. Which means either I know and I cant tell you or I have no clue.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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For me, it's a matter of trying to understand God or Heaven with our finite minds.  We try to put it into words and thoughts that make sense to us, and that we have experience with.  But God is infinite, and His ways aren't our ways.  Like, for example, with my belief in the trinity, I don't really have human words to describe it, because God isn't human, and I have a very limited capacity for understanding, that God obviously does not have or is confined by.  I believe the same about Heaven, or an afterlife.  It's beyond my understanding. 

So when Lester's wife says "it's a mystery", to some people that sounds like a non-answer, and almost something to scoff at (I'm not saying anyone here is scoffing, but it happens).  For me, that's part of the beauty of God--that he is beyond our understanding.  If he was just like us, and easily understood, He wouldn't be God to me.  Does that make sense?  Sorry, I went off on a little bit of a tangent.  I know you weren't asking about God, but I do feel the same way about the afterlife.  I believe it's beyond human comprehension.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 2:54 PM ET
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Your post was very well thought out Brenda and you know I lub you but Im not buying it. For me logic is religion. They go hand in hand so I cant believe something that isnt at the very least logical. Usually I say I cant believe things that arent or cant be proven but thats not entirely true. I do believe some things that are not proven but logical like evolution.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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I didn't expect that I'd be convincing you (or anyone).  :)

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 3:52 PM ET
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I figured that. I often wonder if those that say things like He works in mysterious ways or as Lesters wife says Its a mystery really think that it convinces anyone.

Anyway this whole topic gives you an idea of the weird thoughts that go through my head.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
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I agree somewhat with Brenda.  Well, not the trinity part, obviously!  :-)   But I do think there are things beyond our understanding. 

But that doesn't mean we can't try.  I'm also like Chris, I like to figure out how things work.  As a kid, I was always asking impossible questions, like "Who decided two plus two equals four?  How come it can't equal green?  Who made up these words for things?"  LOL

So luckily for me, I'm in a religious tradition that requires of us to question everything. 

:-D

Kris, I like your blinkies!

 

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 9:12 PM ET
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Except, Chris, that evolution is as proven as anything in science can possibly be.  It's far more likely that I'm an other-world contacting psychic who is being followed by a pack of ghosts who use me to accomplish their own goals in the world than it is that evolution did not happen.  And you know what I think of the possibility that I'm psychic.  :)

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:59 PM ET
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Ah well Im being......judicious with that one.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 12:30 AM ET
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Last Edited on: 1/24/09 12:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/16/2008 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
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Chris your current sig line reminds me of the way Death described Hitler in The Book Thief. He destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives with the power of words.

And you want to talk about a lot of souls? When he mentioned how during World War II he was literally collecting tens of thousands of souls per day, and often on opposite sides of the earth...oh my goodness that really had me thinking. Puts war in a whole new perspective...

As humans we have two main problems with considering the idea of eternity - number one, since we are mortal, we simply can't comprehend something with no beginning and no end. We have no frame of reference for it. But on the other hand, because we have individual ego/conciousness, we also can't individually comprehend the cessation of our own, personal existence. You might contemplate your own death, but can anyone honestly say they can envision a time when their own personal thought process ceases to exist? Which is why most people feel a need to believe in souls and some form of afterlife. I personally choose to follow the tenets of Christianity. There's no way I can know for sure whether I'm right, or somebody else is right, or we're all right, or we're all wrong. We each make what we believe to be the best decision for us based on our personal experiences.

Question for evolutionists though - do you believe in souls/afterlife? Because it would seem to me that if evolution is true, then souls wouldn't exist, because there's just no scientific reason why such a thing would have evolved - there's just no "need" for it. Unless of course you still believe in a Creator behind the evolutionary process who is responsible for having set it in motion.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
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Bren,

I believe in evolution and I don't believe in souls. I expect that when I'm dead, I'm done.

 

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2007
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Our church just did a mini-series on Heaven, and I must admit that even as a Christian, I had a lot of misconceptions about the state of our souls in death.

Why is death such a strange thing for us?  Because the separation of body and soul is not natural.  The two are meant to be joined together.  Death destroys that unity.

I always thought that death would be like this:  we die.  The souls of believers leave their bodies and go to heaven.  We become these blank-slate, mindless, etherial floating spirits with harps and good choir voices who float among the clouds for time unending.  How. Incredibly. Boring.

But this mini-series looked at Heaven from a truly Biblical standpoint and not from popular misconception.  We are given some sort of tangible, physical bodies in heaven, because we are meant to be joined body and spirit.  The mystery is that we won't know how 'old' we will be, what these bodies will look like, etc, but we will be recognizable to all those we knew on earth.  When Moses and Elijah appeared in the Bible after death, they were reognizable. When Jesus appeared after the resurrection, He was recognizable.  It goes to assume that we will  be recognizable as well, that we will know people in heaven, recognize them, remember them.  Which means that we will remeber our lives here on earth.  We will retain our identities.

We also do not have our memories wiped clean as we enter the gates of heaven.  Heaven was described to us as a place where we would get to spend all of eternity talking to other believers, learning about their lives, gaining forever in knowledge.  How fascinating would it be to talk to so many great people from history, family members who have gone before us, people from every walk of life?

Heaven is meant to be earth, only redeemed and without sin, so life in death will be similar to life on earth, only infinitely better.  We will still work (although we don't know what 'work' will look like) because work was a good thing that was given to mankind before the fall.  We will eat because Jesus, in His resurrected body,  was hungry and ate food.  We will have needs (hunger, thirst, etc) but those needs will always be fulfilled and we shall never be in want.  We will have some sort of creative outlet (gardening, art, music?) because God is a creator as well and we are made in His image.  Because there is no sin, there is no pain.  No sadness.  Our souls will be able to bask in only those emotions that are good and will not have to be burdened by those that are bad.

I don't mean to turn this thread into a discussion on heaven, but to me the two go hand in hand.  I don't know how many individual souls will be in heaven, but I do know that God can and will make plenty of room for all of them.  Personally I am comforted by the fact that who I am in spirit will not be stripped from me in death.  I am who I am for all of eternity.  And that fact alone makes me want to enrich my life as much as possible.  To spend it always seeking knowledge and experience and to do so in ways that are edifying to my soul.  I am comforted in the fact that the God who created me wants to spend eternity with me...as me...as I was truly designed to be: redeemed, sinless, and in perfect communion with Him.

That communion, that perfection of the spirit, that completeness that eludes us in life...that is the great hope of Christianity and that is what I know will happen to my soul, and the souls of countless millions, in death.  This is what I believe.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
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Amy that is beautiful. It kind of ties in with what Dr. J. Vernon McGee said he thought might be a possibility in our heavenly lives - that we might be given work as angels to new worlds that God populates after this earth is gone. Personally I think that sounds like a lot of fun!

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 3:06 PM ET
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Last Edited on: 1/24/09 12:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/16/2008 5:01 PM ET
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Kris you sound like me. I never make total sense when I try to explain what I believe because its more of an abstract concept in my mind. I get it but I dont often have the opportunity to discuss it so it is hard for me to explain it.

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