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#1 pantrog_*

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 11:35 AM

Hello everyone, heres a fun one for you.

After reading the thread from soteriology 'Will Only The Responsible Be Judged?' and on reflection of the 'Omniscience' thread I thought I'd lay out some general observations, that lead me to question whether after-life puinshment systems are more reflective of the culture in which they were produced, rather than 'best practice'.

We all encounter 'punishment' from an early age. Common parental discipline is technically a form of 'operant conditioning'. Desirable behavior is encouraged (or undesirable behaviour discouraged) by the consequences that follow the occurrence of the behavior. Punishment can be deployed as removal of treats or addition of negative stimuli (the proverbial knock-around-the-ear).

It seems fairly clear that there is no obvious pattern to the good or bad things that happen in our lives in relationship to our theological beliefs - unless of course they coincide with our local legal requirements ('do not murder, etc'). Therefore we are not being managed by punishments in an 'operant conditioning' or common parenting style. Thus I would argue the system we're operating in (assuming CD doctrine is correct) is more similar to criminal justice systems. I undertake action or actions - and at a later date I am judged and punished (or rewarded).

There are several possible rationale in punishment systems:

1. Deterrence
2. Rehabilitation
3. Incapacitation
4. Restoration
5. Retributive justice

Under the general CD theological system we have 2 (possibly 3) subgroups at judgment:

A. The 'righteous' - those who hear and obey.
B. The 'wicked' - those who hear and do not obey.
{C. Those who have not heard (or understood) - including cultures not exposed to christianity, babies, cavemen, etc, etc.}

Now the 'righteous' are fine they are not in for punishment so we move straight on. The 'wicked' are punished - they 'returned to death' which although not as draconian as eternal torture - it is generally assumed to be 'not nice'. The putative 'C' group may be in luck, although the situation is unclear and there maybe literaly billions of them! However there is a theoretical possibility that they get another go ...

So the analysis:

Group B are recieving Retributive justice, there is no Restoration or Rehabilitation. Arguably they are being subject to Incapacitation, although this might have been enforced without death if rehabilitation was offered. There is a strong deterance element. However given that many logically conflicting religions deter noncompliance through possible future punishments (the teutonic Hel, the Norse underworld, the Greek hades, Chinese Feng Du, Muslim jahannam) it might be argued that yet-another metaphysical deterant was not helping the situation.

Group C - (if they exist) are recieving Rehabilitative Justice. Interestingly the CD cultural-concept (although not hard theology) that the ignorant and babies are given a second chance is similar to the RC concepts of 'The Limbo of the Fathers' (limbus patrum or 'Abraham's Bosom') and The Limbo of Children (limbus infantium).

So anyway onto my conclusion:

Retribution and Deterance are common features of primitive (and often ineffective) justice systems. They are typical of ancient cultures - and therefore it is no surprise that they feature in cultural constructs of the time - which we have inherited. Rehabilitative Justice is a more recent concept- that although it has crept into modern religious culture via the back door (e.g. 'Purgatory', 'Limbo' and the putative 3rd CD judgment category) it is not derived from the original late bronze/early Iron age theology.

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 06:39 PM

Under the general CD theological system we have 2 (possibly 3) subgroups at judgment:

A. The 'righteous' - those who hear and obey.
B. The 'wicked' - those who hear and do not obey.
{C. Those who have not heard (or understood) - including cultures not exposed to christianity, babies, cavemen, etc, etc.}

Now the 'righteous' are fine they are not in for punishment so we move straight on. The 'wicked' are punished - they 'returned to death' which although not as draconian as eternal torture - it is generally assumed to be 'not nice'. The putative 'C' group may be in luck, although the situation is unclear and there maybe literaly billions of them! However there is a theoretical possibility that they get another go ...


If you were a Christadelphian, you should know that group C don't appear at the judgment.

And group B aren't simply returned instantly to death. They undergo an unspecified duration of conscious punishment prior to death.

Rehabilitation is what God attempts throughout our entire lives. It's in the Bible.

#3 Amy Parkin

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 12:04 PM

So group C... if they're still alive when Jesus returns they still have a chance, but those who are already dead will not come back to have a second chance, ja?

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 04:55 PM

So group C... if they're still alive when Jesus returns they still have a chance, but those who are already dead will not come back to have a second chance, ja?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes.

#5 mordecai_*

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 06:41 PM

There are several possible rationale in punishment systems:

1. Deterrence
2. Rehabilitation
3. Incapacitation
4. Restoration
5. Retributive justice

Under the general CD theological system we have 2 (possibly 3) subgroups at judgment:

A. The 'righteous' - those who hear and obey.
B. The 'wicked' - those who hear and do not obey.
{C. Those who have not heard (or understood) - including cultures not exposed to christianity, babies, cavemen, etc, etc.}

Now the 'righteous' are fine they are not in for punishment so we move straight on. The 'wicked' are punished - they 'returned to death' which although not as draconian as eternal torture - it is generally assumed to be 'not nice'. The putative 'C' group may be in luck, although the situation is unclear and there maybe literaly billions of them! However there is a theoretical possibility that they get another go ... 

So the analysis:

Group B are recieving Retributive justice, there is no Restoration or Rehabilitation. Arguably they are being subject to Incapacitation, although this might have been enforced without death if rehabilitation was offered. There is a strong deterance element. However given that many logically conflicting religions deter noncompliance through possible future punishments (the teutonic Hel, the Norse underworld, the Greek hades, Chinese Feng Du, Muslim jahannam) it might be argued that yet-another metaphysical deterant was not helping the situation.

Group C - (if they exist) are recieving Rehabilitative Justice. Interestingly the CD cultural-concept (although not hard theology) that the ignorant and babies are given a second chance is similar to the RC concepts of 'The Limbo of the Fathers' (limbus patrum or 'Abraham's Bosom') and The Limbo of Children (limbus infantium).

So anyway onto my conclusion:

Retribution and Deterance are common features of primitive (and often ineffective) justice systems. They are typical of ancient cultures - and therefore it is no surprise that they feature in cultural constructs of the time - which we have inherited. Rehabilitative Justice is a more recent concept- that although it has crept into modern religious culture via the back door (e.g. 'Purgatory', 'Limbo' and the putative 3rd CD judgment category) it is not derived from the original late bronze/early Iron age theology.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Of course there is another problem for christadelphians as well, what happens to the people who died and whose atoms became part of someone else's mind? What happens to an evil man who's atoms and chemical makeup came from righteous man? How many living beings today share the same physical components of countless other humans?

There's a humm-dinger CD's will never be able to explain, how can the same physical components that make people who they are and create and focus their consciousness at a point in space time, ever be reconciled with re-use of the same chemicals in different people?

How can a true resurrection of say all people ever truly take place if their constituents were re-used and parts of countless other human beings which would most likely not be able to all fit on planet earth at the same time? What happens when thousands of people all shared the same chemical components throughout history for example? Does god reconstitute each person one at a time then destroy him and reconstitute the next person? Interesting question which no CD can rationally defend without god duplicating a false person with the same set of information making him not the "Real" person, but a fake person with a fake history.

Edited by mordecai, 04 July 2005 - 06:49 PM.


#6 mordecai_*

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 06:52 PM

Under the general CD theological system we have 2 (possibly 3) subgroups at judgment:

A. The 'righteous' - those who hear and obey.
B. The 'wicked' - those who hear and do not obey.
{C. Those who have not heard (or understood) - including cultures not exposed to christianity, babies, cavemen, etc, etc.}

Now the 'righteous' are fine they are not in for punishment so we move straight on. The 'wicked' are punished - they 'returned to death' which although not as draconian as eternal torture - it is generally assumed to be 'not nice'. The putative 'C' group may be in luck, although the situation is unclear and there maybe literaly billions of them! However there is a theoretical possibility that they get another go ...


If you were a Christadelphian, you should know that group C don't appear at the judgment.

And group B aren't simply returned instantly to death. They undergo an unspecified duration of conscious punishment prior to death.

Rehabilitation is what God attempts throughout our entire lives. It's in the Bible.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



But wait an omnipotent loving being didn't give enough of a damn about group C? It doesn't make sense for gods plan to leave anyone out given his omnipotence, so any inequality of opportunity must be intentional evil on gods part. After all god is capable of spreading his own message to everyone in much better way then the bible, the bible is the most inefficient and sloppy route to communicate a message to people to save them from eternal destruction, obviously god doesn't really care about everyone only the CD's he's pre-ordained. In other words the world only exists for Christ and the CD's and everyone who god made as puppets to test you guys gets screwed. There's a god worth worshipping... not.

Edited by mordecai, 04 July 2005 - 06:54 PM.


#7 pantrog_*

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 03:18 PM

Right I'm back, where had we got to...


So group C... if they're still alive when Jesus returns they still have a chance, but those who are already dead will not come back to have a second chance, ja?

Yes.


Strictly theologicaly correct Forti but I'm sure we both know old ladies who sit at the back of ecclesias quitely minding their own buisness, not disecting their cool and logical theology - who think that the absence of a 'group C' would be fairly unpleasant, and not at all what a just and kind deity would do.

Guess they haven't twigged to the omni-benign thing yet.

Of course there is another problem for christadelphians as well, what happens to the people who died and whose atoms became part of someone else's mind? What happens to an evil man who's atoms and chemical makeup came from righteous man? How many living beings today share the same physical components of countless other humans?


Mordecai were on a 'slight' tangent from the main thrust of this thread.

But to take on the obvious counter position:

Humans change their atoms continuously but we remain ourselves. It is unlikely that more than a small fraction of your body is the same molecules that it constituted last year - we are in constant flux. Furthermore atoms are pretty much identical to each other (carbon atoms don't have names) and additionally theres nothing stoping an omnipotent deity from fixing the impossible (even illogical?).

The big question here (and this is truly more scientific and philosophical rather than theological) is how we as non-believers define/understand the sense of identity humans have, the sense of continum of consciousness - in a universe with no supernatural 'soul' or 'life spirit' to act as a catch-all mystery explanation.

Edited by pantrog, 23 July 2005 - 08:35 AM.


#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:06 PM

Right I'm back, where had we got to...


So group C... if they're still alive when Jesus returns they still have a chance, but those who are already dead will not come back to have a second chance, ja?

Yes.


Strictly theologicaly correct Forti but I'm sure we both know old ladies who sit at the back of ecclesias quitely minding their own buisness, not disecting their cool and logical theology - who think that the absence of a 'group C' would be fairly unpleasant, and not at all what a just and kind deity would do.


I know some of them, and they're not alll 'old ladies'.

Guess they haven't twigged to the omin-benign thing yet.


It doesn't matter if they do or don't, it's not going to change anything

The big question here (and this is truly more scientific and philosophical rather than theological) is how we as non-believers define/understand the sense of identity humans have, the sense of continum of consciousness - in a universe with no supernatural 'soul' or 'life spirit' to act as a catch-all mystery explanation.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'll be waiting. :stereo:

#9 pantrog_*

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 09:15 AM

sorry, spelling, I meant omni- not onmi.

The big question here (and this is truly more scientific and philosophical rather than theological) is how we as non-believers define/understand the sense of identity humans have, the sense of continum of consciousness - in a universe with no supernatural 'soul' or 'life spirit' to act as a catch-all mystery explanation.


I'll be waiting. :stereo:


I think theres a validity to finding biological explanations for brain function - theres been fairly clear explanations for the 'simpler' (although not simple) elements of neurology such as control of voluntary movement, sensation or body homeostasis - which lead to medicines and therapies that relieve suffering.

This investigation was not helped (and even sometimes directly hindered) by the need to explain mysterious systems in divine terms. There is still debate on the phenomenology of consciousness, but it is slowly being elucidated. You are welcome to wait for science to figure it all out - remembering that passive optimism for an external solution is perhaps not very useful for the rest of your species.

Anyway we're in similar territory to where we got side-tracked back in the 'Causal Philosophy - Are CDs Materialists?' debate here...

I had just agreed with the point that we just-can't-say what will happen, and had started to contruct a simple materialist model - the problem being that in the simple model a human reconstructed with different atoms ( potentially even the same atoms) was effectively just a photocopy of the original. Its a bit like Mord's diatribes on the subject of 'duplicating a false person ... a fake person with a fake history.'

What I don't think that Mord has twigged to yet (but comment if you're around M.) is that if identical humans with the same atoms and the same structure do not share the same 'stream of consciousness' perhaps this phenomena is an illusion, a fraud, even for us.

#10 Billi

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 05:48 PM

Interesting discussion..., anyway, physically speaking, what makes us unique is our DNA sequence, right? Exceptions are identical twins I guess ;)

So in case of identical twins, it's the 'experiences' that makes them different. Are human 'experiences' simply chemical rearrangement of molecules in the memory center of our brain? Or is there a spiritual 'invisible' side of us? Or perhaps both are the same? That God remembers our memories and will input our memories to the new resurrected bodies?

Anyway, clearly Jesus was raised with a different form of physical 'matter'. First of all, Jesus' body no longer degrades, no known matter in the universe can stay the same forever and ever, right? Further, he seemed to be able to make himself appear or disappear at will... and even go thru walls at time. So it's entirely possible that our resurrected bodies will be 'physical', but not made with the same sort of atoms, molecules, DNA as our current bodies. We can speculate all we want, but we won't know for sure until the day comes.

Regarding crime and punishment..., I really think it can only fair for people like Hitler to die like Jesus... to be tortured and die a slow and painful death. Unless of course if Hitler repents of his sin, then maybe he doesn't have to die like that..., but assuming that somebody like Hitler who committed some indescribable atrocities... and died rejecting God to the end... allowing them to simply return to dust seems unjust. That's just my opinion of course.

Edited by Billi, 29 July 2005 - 05:53 PM.


#11 He-man

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 08:51 PM

Billi:allowing them to simply return to dust seems unjust.

Seems fair to me.. He had his chance and blew it.

Beside "Vengence is Mine I will repay" is the word for it.

Deut 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

#12 Billi

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 11:04 PM

How about if I pretend I'm a catholic priest and molest little boys and told the kids that if you love Jesus, you'll listen and do exactly what I say... let's say I also managed to get away with the worldly justice system. Further, I have no repentence in what I have done to those little children... if given the opportunity again, I'd gladly moleste them again.

Let's say that I die... and simply return to dust. Obviously I had my chance and blew it. Do you still think it's just?

I'm not promoting we seek vengence. I understand we should leave it to God. I'm just saying I'd be having a hard time understand how God serves His justice by simply letting me go to sleep and that's it. Jesus did say, "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck." I wonder that that means... ;)

Edited by Billi, 29 July 2005 - 11:22 PM.


#13 He-man

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 10:51 AM

Billi:. Do you still think it's just?

Let us not try to put ourselves in the position of being judgemental.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

" and he stooped and wrote in the sand:"

#14 Billi

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 10:58 AM

I'm not tempting you to cast the first stone! I'm sure we're both sinners... and I wouldn't want to cast the first stone onto Hitler myself. I totally understand that vengence is NOT mine.

I'm just talking hypothetically of course... I'm just saying for some people, God judging them by allowing to simply 'sleep' forever almost seem unjust.

Edited by Billi, 30 July 2005 - 11:01 AM.


#15 He-man

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 08:52 AM

Billi:God judging them by allowing to simply 'sleep' forever almost seem unjust.


Why? By the way they are not sleeping unless they are to be awakened to judgement.
Sleep is the word applied to the faithfuland to the unjust. It means a state of waiting to be awakened. The unjust had knowledge but turned away from the truth.

Ac 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.


The dead know nothing.

Ps 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Pr 10:7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

#16 pantrog_*

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 09:05 AM

So in case of identical twins, it's the 'experiences' that makes them different. Are human 'experiences' simply chemical rearrangement of molecules in the memory center of our brain? Or is there a spiritual 'invisible' side of us? Or perhaps both are the same? That God remembers our memories and will input our memories to the new resurrected bodies?


I think you've hit on an important point - the concept of resurrection only makes sense if you invoke spiritual, inivisble or unknowable mechanics for its occurence. Otherwise future humans ressurected with the copied structure and memories of pervious humans would effectively just be metaphysical photocopies.

Anyway, clearly Jesus was raised with a different form of physical 'matter'. First of all, Jesus' body no longer degrades, no known matter in the universe can stay the same forever and ever, right?  Further, he seemed to be able to make himself appear or disappear at will... and even go thru walls at time. So it's entirely possible that our resurrected bodies will be 'physical', but not made with the same sort of atoms, molecules, DNA as our current bodies. We can speculate all we want, but we won't know for sure until the day comes.


Well the simplest explanation for many of these unusual phenomena is of course the peculiar physics associated with fictional characters. Winnie the Pooh (for example) is immortal, his atoms do not degrade. Of course he cannot move through walls as we learnt from the episode when he got stuck after eating too much honey at his friend Rabbit's house.

Regarding crime and punishment..., I really think it can only fair for people like Hitler to die like Jesus... to be tortured and die a slow and painful death. Unless of course if Hitler repents of his sin, then maybe he doesn't have to die like that..., but assuming that somebody like Hitler who committed some indescribable atrocities... and died rejecting God to the end... allowing them to simply return to dust seems unjust. That's just my opinion of course.


gruesome.

First theres the fascinating concept of how global christianity's anti-establishment origins that has been subverted so successfully over the last 2000 years. From executed to executioner as it were.

Personnally Posthumous executions are a bit of a waste of time. Execution of the living is not a particularly effective deterrant, although it can be cost effective in the short term if you have a large number of capital criminals to deal with. Ultimately if we have a time machine and wanted to deal with the legacy of Hitler - I would probably act to prevent his crimes rather than to punish them.

#17 Billi

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 05:37 PM

I personally have no desire to punish Hitler, I just 'imagine' that perhaps God will punish him somehow later on according to some of the things Jesus said.

Regarding prevent Hitler, well, how do you prevent things from happening in the future? The only 'prevention' would perhaps be preaching Gospel to Hitler early on. Even with that, Hitler could still reject the Gospel and continue on his business.

How would you prevent him then? How would you prevent the Egyptian Pharoh? Perhaps we don't need to prevent them from happening... perhaps it was all part of God's plan. After all, He makes all things happen for the benefit of those who love Him, right?

Without the serpent, Eve wouldn't get the idea of eating the forbidden fruit... and her eyes wouldn't be opened.

If there's no Pharoh, God won't have the chance to show His Glory.

If there's no Judah, they wouldn't be able to find Jesus to crucify him.

God has use for Satan. But in the end, he will be punished.




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