Is this possible? In other words, can one envision a personal G-d who created Man out of divine love but does NOT offer him (body or soul) immortality? The early Jewish Sadducees–unlike the Pharisees and Essenes–did NOT believe in heaven but did believe in a personal G-d. However, modern Judaism follows, for the most part, the Pharisaic teaching of a bodily resurrection and an eternal soul, and Christianity, in all its forms, believes most strongly in the hopeful salvation and immortality of the soul (and a resurrection of the body) and an afterlife in either Heaven or Hell. Are there any religions which speak of a personal G-d WITHOUT an individual eternal soul? And what implications does this view have for you regarding the nature of G-d and the meaning of life?
I don’t know of any organized religions that hold that belief, but it sounds possible to me. Philosophical theism and deism are vaguely like you describe but not exactly and I don’t think those are really organized religions anyway. (I stand to be corrected.)
I personally completely reject the idea of an afterlife or soul, but there are a few things in this world that cannot be explained, which is why I am only 99% atheist (1% agnostic) - and if there is a God, I would have a much easier time accepting a God like you describe than say, the Abrahamic God. So yes, I absolutely (with the 1% of agnosticism in me :p) think the God you describe is possible, and is more likely than a lot of conceptions I have heard.
As for the implications part, perhaps I will leave response to people who currently believe in an afterlife and souls. However, if you elaborate on what you mean by personal, I might have more to say. Like, how personal are we talking? Bring good things to you if you are good, and bring bad things to you if you are bad? (like karma.) Or just occasionally look at you and be like hmm, let’s make things a little interesting and cause some big event in your life
I’m using the word “personal” in the sense of a G-d who cares about and loves His creation and creatures, hears their prayers, and intervenes in their lives, while affording them the free will to make their own choices. This is opposed to the deist notion of an impersonal G-d, who created the universe and then took a laissez-faire stance with respect to it, without getting involved at all in His creatures’ needs, suffering, or aspirations.
How well could a mortal soul ever know an immortal soul? I would venture to say, “not very well.” Creation bends toward symmetry. God, too, I imagine does the same. The idea of a personal God without a continuance of existance past death, where ever situated, is like a banana shaped planet. Incongruent.
Most of my life I had hoped for “lights out.” Accepting an afterlife was hard for me. I came to the position almost reluctantly.
Let’s see: “God created you and me out of divine love; but He is going to sit back and watch us deteriorate and die, then decay until nothing is left but worms. Amen.”
Such a God would be the Almighty Sick Joker.
Man can envision anything.I don’t know what all the other religions believe but my guess is that there are some that do speak of an eternal G-d without an eternal soul.i can’t view a magnificent God without having an immortal soul.It makes no sense to me that God would create me and let me live for a time and then just let me die.From man’s earliest beginnings we have information that man always thought their was a life after death.I think man’s biggest problem was understanding why he had to die.
I take it you don’t think this is a viable feature of a personal G-d. It would seem to be a cruel joke, I agree. At the same time, you of course realize our being created in the first place is G-d’s gift of love.
And the atheist would finish that thought by responding because there is no G-d, that’s why, and therefore we had to create a G-d to ease our primal fear. If we do have an eternal soul in Heaven in the company of G-d, living without pain and suffering in eternal bliss, wouldn’t that make us almost co-equal to G-d Himself? Just playing “devil’s advocate.”
And I certainly don’t mean to sway you from that hard-fought position. Interesting idea about symmetry. Thanks for the comment.
I’m kind of new to the forum, so I’m curious. Why do you refer to God as G-d?
Doesn’t research show that in order to detect any personal beliefs as low as 1% you must first have a 4% inclination towards it?
It’s a Jewish thing; that is, not writing the full name of G-d out of respect.
I started a thread on this very thing after almost posting on this one.
Primal fear/wishful thinking. Alright maybe it’s bc I have MDD, but I have never understood (even before I had it) why an afterlife is so desired. I would hate to be immortal in any sense of the term. Do.not.get.it.at.all. And no one gets me either haha. I know lots of people who are atheists or completely unconcerned on if there is a God, but I do not know anyone who looks forward to death/nonexistence than me.
If we do have an eternal soul in Heaven in the company of G-d, living without pain and suffering in eternal bliss, wouldn’t that make us almost co-equal to G-d Himself?
No? One of God’s main attributes is that He is supposedly very powerful. Being in heaven wouldn’t give us power.
Just playing “devil’s advocate.”
Awesome, I like that.
A gift that is snatched away capriciously is no gift at all, but a sick joke; I stand by what I posted.
I get you. I disagree with you but I get you. I never had the primal fear of death because I was afraid of what would come or not come after death. Distinguish this from ordinary survival instinct.
I didn’t choose Christianity because I did not think it was a fairy tale. I chose Christianity because I thought it was a fair tale, the best fairy tale among all the other fairy tales we call wordviews. This mentality is obscure, I know, but if you consider the context that I emerged from it kind of makes sense. If a post modern atheist were to pick a religion, I suppose my method of choosing Christianity would be be sensible.
Long wind-up concluded, my acceptance of after-life and heaven, was resolved with a deeper understanding and abiding respect for the resurrection - a future reconciliation of physics and spirituality, which will exist in a new paradigm. Life is on a continuum. Thus, there is no “after-life” but rather “life modified.”
Catholic “spirituality” was a tag along to my intellectual conversion. I’m quirky like that.
Well will never be co-equal to God.But we will be able to understand God much better.We’ll never be able to create something out of nothing.