Monthly Archives: May 2015

What about the soul? Does it exist? If so, is the soul immortal? And can the soul remain conscious while the body is dead (= “asleep”)?

Here’s a good article about the soul and what death means: http://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-immortal-soul .

A quote from that article:

The Hebrew Scriptures state plainly that, rather than possess immortality, the soul can and does die. “The soul [ nephesh ] who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 18:20).

The Old Testament describes the dead as going to sheol, translated into English as “hell,” “pit” or “grave.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 describes sheol as a place of unconsciousness: “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished …”

[…]

If the Old Testament describes death as an unconscious state, how does the New Testament describe it?

No one wrote more about this subject than the apostle Paul. He describes death as “sleep” (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Many people are surprised to find that the term immortal soul appears nowhere in the Bible.

BUT WHAT ABOUT JESUS? What did he tell his disciples? Didn’t Jesus teach his followers about an immortal soul? As a matter of fact he didn’t. Have a look at this article:  http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/BQA/k/99/Does-Jesus-Refer-an-Immortal-Soul-Matthew-1028.htm .

A quote from that article: Jesus once said to his disciples: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep (kekoimetai — the perfect, passive of koimao); but I go that I may awake him out of sleep” (Jn. 11:11). In view of the subsequent context, the “awakening” clearly refers to the resurrection of Lazarus’ body (vv. 43-44).

No doubt that Lazarus’ body was asleep. But what about Lazarus’ soul? Was also his soul asleep? For example Martin Luther is among those who taught that both body and soul are asleep when we are dead. He once wrote, in one of his books, that the condition between death and the resurrection is like “a deep and dreamless sleep without consciousness and feeling”. But other theologians assert that only the body is asleep, the soul remaining awake, i.e. conscious .

On the other hand, a conscious soul is not necessarily the same as an immortal soul. It seems to be up to God to decide whether the soul can survive or must perish. We must not forget (see above) that in the Old Testament death seems to mean that also the soul is asleep (= unconscious)

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What happens when religious prophecies fail?

Do you remember Harold Camping, who suffered from “doomsday mania” ? In 2011 he predicted that the end of time was here (at least for us living on planet Earth). His followers were true believers and trusted him. But what happens when an important religious prophecy (in this case an apocalyptic one) fails? How do the believers cope with the fact they were all wrong?

Here’s an interesting article trying to answer that kind of questions: http://religiondispatches.org/a-year-after-the-non-apocalypse-where-are-they-now/ .

I strongly recommend that article!

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Filed under Neuroscience, Religion, Theological bullshit

List of blogs/bloggers I follow because I like them very much

1) http://www.patheos.com/blogs/epiphenom/archive-index (by Tom Rees)

2) http://valerietarico.com/ (by Valerie Tarico)

3) http://rosarubicondior.blogspot.se/ (by Rosa Rubicondior)

4) https://500questions.wordpress.com/ (by Anonymous Blogger)

5) http://genealogyreligion.net/resources (by Cris Campbell)

6) http://god-knows-what.com/about/ (by Chris Kavanagh)

7) http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/ (by Connor Wood)

8) https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/ (by Jerry Coyne)

9) http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ (by PZ Myers)

10) http://theness.com/neurologicablog/ (by Steven Novella)

11) https://idoubtit.wordpress.com/ (by Sharon Hill)

12) http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ (by Neuroskeptic)

13) http://skepticblog.org/author/shermer/ (by Michael Shermer)

14) https://rogerviklund.wordpress.com/ (by Roger Viklund)

15) http://new.exchristian.net/ (by various bloggers)

16) http://vridar.org/ (by Neil Godfrey)

Do you think I’d follow even more blogs on religion, neuroscience, brain, consciousness and so on? Why not tell me what blogs are your favorites?

(To be continued)

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Filed under Atheism, Blogs I follow, Brain, Consciousness, Evolution, Genetics, Jesus, Neuroscience, Religion, Science, Theological bullshit, Woo

Questioning Faith: 500 Questions Every Christian Should Ask

This is absolutely one of the best blogs – dealing with topics like “Is there a Creator God somewhere in the sky” and “Can we trust all the miracles and promises that can be read in the Bible”? – I’ve ever encountered on the Internet. I strongly recommend both believers and non-believers to subscribe to and follow this 500 Questions about God & Christianity blog!

500 Questions about God & Christianity

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
—1 Corinthians 13:11

Having doubts about God and Christianity? Me too.

And I think that’s how it starts with many ex-Christians. Just like children who start uncovering reasons to doubt the existence of Santa, some adults start to have troublesome realizations and doubts about God and the stories in the Bible.

For children, doubts about Santa begin to manifest with questions like:

  • How can Santa really visit billions of kids in just 24 hours?
  • Does Santa really have elves that build toys?
  • How can reindeer fly?
  • What if a child does not have a chimney?

And so on. It’s through asking questions that we uncover the real truth. Sure, some adults will continue to offer excuses in defense…

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