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Human beings have been longing for an answer to immortality and have been trying
to answer why we are here since the beginning of our creation. Answers to these
questions seem to come in similar yet respectively different packets from culture
The Jews and Christians believe that God created the heavens and the Earth
by use of His divine, begotten powers and in the process created Man in His
image whom He called Adam. This is what the Old Testament in Bible leads us
to believe or base faith in. From what we can tell, Man was granted everlasting
life and was given free reign over all God had created. He was given the power
to name the plants and animals as he saw fit and after doing so, Man became
lonely. He asked God to bring him a companion. God then put Adam into a deep
sleep, removed one of his ribs and created Woman. They lived together with all
the animals God had created and both Man and God were happy.
Woman, Eve as she had been named by Adam, was deceived by Evil into believing
that by eating a fruit, which God had forbid them from eating, she would gain
all the knowledge that God possessed. She gave some of the fruit to her husband
and told him what Evil had said to her. They ate the fruit together where they
then became aware of their nakedness and when God came looking for them they
hid because they were afraid to be seen now. God was upset with them and with
Evil for tricking them. God banished Evil and condemned Man to mortality. Or
so the Bible says. Many choose to believe that the Bible itself is nothing more
then just another attempt to reach some level of immortality. They believe that
the story of God who is an all powerful, immortal entity that created man in
his image was merely a ploy and no more true or false then the gods that "existed"
in any other culture.
To look at the question of whether man is trying to transcend mortality it
is important, if not needed, to take a rational, almost Atheist view on the
subject. To do so one must believe, if, but for a moment, that there is no higher
being or beings. We must come to understand and accept that for whatever reason
human life just appeared due to a great coincidence and stroke of luck.
With that in mind it is easy to understand man's fear of death.
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"A Look Into Religion And Its Ability To Make You Live Forever." 123HelpMe.com. 06 Dec 2019
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have, and for many still does not make sense as to why we are here. What is
the point of all this? To live, create offspring, till the land and then die?
Well any rational being would surely attest to such an empty existence so of
course the most logical thing to do is to gain the arrogance that one has the
ability to live forever. The greatest example of this is the creation and then
belief of a higher, begotten entity that is just like us in image, but in addition
they are immortal, all-powerful and all-knowing.
The Bible proposes that we are to live our lives according to the Ten Commandments,
which were sent down by God himself into the hands of Moses on top of Mount
Sinai. These commandments laid out rules for staying in God's good graces and
ensuring life everlasting in Heaven as a reward for doing so. But for those
who did not follow or believe in these rules they were to be sent to Hell where
they would be punished for all eternity.
My favorite description for what eternity is will always be that you imagine
a solid gold sphere that is ten miles in radius and every year a swan would
fly by the ball every so slightly brushing it with the tip of its wing. Now
when that ball was eroded to nothing that would only be the beginning of eternity.
And for all we know the story of Moses on Mount Sinai could be completely fictional
or even if it did happen who is to say that this Moses wasn't just part of an
ingenious plot to keep us under control, which is a conspiracy theory and a
whole other paper in it of itself.
The peoples of this nation were given these commandments with a promise of everlasting
life in Heaven and then from there on there seems to be a great spread of this
belief when the Christians believed that the so called Son of God arrives on
the scene. What better way for a belief to find followers then to have a walking,
talking semi-version of the God they faithfully believe in living and teaching
among them? It is documented in history books that this Jesus Christ was in
fact an actual person so his existence can surely not be questioned, but his
motives, his involvement in what could very well have been the largest conspiracy
of all time and his sanity surely can be.
And in all it may not be a question of what part of the Bible proposes a way
for us to transcend mortality, but the Bible as a whole might. Its very existence
and teachings may do nothing more, but show how great man's fear of death is.
We discussed in class that the stories of the Bible can be seen as nothing more
real then the stories from the Greek culture and its gods. Yet Judaism and Christianity
remain some the largest and fastest growing religions in the world, which again
might show that man's fear of death is just as great as ever even through our
evolved state of being.
In the Greek culture we see that there was also a great push for a sense of
immortality. They too formed a belief in beings greater then ourselves that
sat a top a mountain watching down on us with everlasting life. Homer who somewhat
acts as a Moses-type figure for the Greek culture tells us in his stories of
how these gods have been arranged and resettled into hierarchies of power where
during their evolution some of them are banished into the Underworld. A great
series of monumental struggles then ensued where finally a champion was self-proclaimed.
This champion Olympian was none other then the mighty sky-father himself, Zeus.
The patriarchal image of Zeus would be enthroned atop the mountainous terrain
of Greece, displacing the earlier idea of an earth mother, who, in turn, would
be renamed Demeter. Zeus would represent the dominant necessity for the mixed
tribes contesting for land to evolve into making the transition to a settled
life society with justice, custom, law and order. After leading a life that
was seen fit by the gods you died and lived on in your own personal "heaven"
where you would be joined by relatives and friends who had passed on before
you. But also there is your downside to not acting accordingly, which is to
be sent to the Underworld to live on forever in pain.
One difference in these Greek gods and the one Jewish or Christian God is that
it is said in the ancient cosmogonies of Greece that the gods on Mount Olympus
did not create earth itself, but functioned only to preserve order and manage
human events. And where the Christian God is said to speak to us through a mediator,
which is usually a certain choir of angel, the Greek gods "placed"
ideas into our heads. "The white armed goddess Hera had put this into his
mind," is just one example of this taken from the Iliad during which Achilleus
has called the people to assembly.
So in the end, if the whole idea of God and life everlasting in Heaven really
was just a way to keep us under control then thank whoever for doing so because
if Atheism had been the major "religion" I honestly believe we would
never had made it this far. Because when it all comes down to it, it really
doesn't matter whether the Christian/Jewish God, the Greek gods or any other
gods exist or not. For many, just the idea of eternal life in Heaven or the
afterlife and the beings attributed to them could exist is all that is needed
to live their lives as God or the gods see fit. Its a major motivation booster
to act appropriately when you have faith that through order and peace you can
earn your way into life and joy everlasting. Some may call it ignorance and
arrogance, but if a little faith might end up bringing me eternal life and happiness
with an all-powerful, all-knowing entity as my companion then I say drop that
Bible in my lap and sit me in the first row of the congregation.