Is Everything Meaningless?

March 12, 2010

Smokes to much Says:

A set of ideas occurred to me a few years ago, but I’m not sure what to make of them. I would be interested in reading some comments on them.
First idea: The physical universe is all that exists.
The matter and energy that our universe consists of is all that there is. No gods, no devils, no afterlife or any state of being, other than the one we now experience.
Second idea: The universe has an end. At some point, the universe comes to an end via heat death, absolute entropy, universal recompression to a single point or whatever. I’ve heard many opposing theories on the subject, but they all seem to agree that it will end somehow. I suppose it’s not unreasonable to think this. Everything in the universe has a birth and then a death, so perhaps the universe itself will also die.
When I combined these two ideas it occurred to me that if both ideas are true, one might conclude existence is meaningless.
If the universe is all there is, and if it comes to an end (whenever or however), then everything that has ever happened, or will happen, will be completely and utterly wiped out. No history, no memories, no artifacts to examine, no ruins to dig up. Like it never happened.
And, if that is true, nothing anyone has every done (or will do) matters in the slightest.
Become the biggest mass-murderer in history or find the cure for cancer. In the end it won’t make any difference because in a sense, none of it ever happened.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense or is nonsense. I would appreciate some feedback.


Is love eternal?

March 3, 2010

Walter A asks:

Is love eternal? I have heard the promise all the time: “I will love you forever. This life and on the afterlife”. This is assuming the loving person will move to a new plane where loving is allowed (heaven?).

Since there is no afterlife. Love ends with death.

Why is the Gospel of John different from others?

March 2, 2010

saron mahari asks in Start a New Thread:

why is the gospel of john [different] from others?

“Gospel of John” by Father Raymond Brown talks about how the Johannine community’s controversies with other groups helped shaped their Gospel. In “From Jesus to Christianity”, Dr. Michael White talks about how proto-Christians identified themselves less as Jews as time progressed, and as Jews became more reviled throughout the Roman Empire. John was was written at a time when Christians no longer considered themselves Jews, but rather they considered themselves in league with Rome in being opposed to the Jews. Theologians point to John as the “spiritual” Gospel that is less concerned with recounting specifics of Jesus’ life and more concerned with expressing the spiritual significance of the events of the ministry. I think these views are in sync.

Christians who hold that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God have a tougher time with this question since they have to resolve some of the glaring contradictions, like: when Jesus was crucified relative to when Passover begins? Or, who found the empty tomb and who did they find at the tomb?

Explain why we call the Gospels portraits of Jesus and not His biographies

March 2, 2010

saron mahari asks in Start a New Thread:

explain why we call the gospels [portraits] of jesus and not his biographies


I’ll be interested to see what others say, but I don’t personally find this question to be controversial (if indeed that was the intent of the post). It seems to me that an assertion that the Gospels are portraits is not necessarily an admission that the Gospels are not historical, it’s merely an assertion that their purpose is not to report all aspects of Jesus’ life or even His ministry. As portraits, they report events that are typical to Jesus’ life and ministry, for the purpose of telling us who Jesus was and what His ministry was about.

Explain how Son of God can be said to have come in the fullness of time

March 2, 2010

saron mahari asks in Start a New Thread:

explain how son of god can be said to have come in the fullness of time?

I’ve not heard much discussion about this so I’m very interested to see what others say, or maybe some recaps of what others have said.

What do we mean when we say the New Testament is inspired?

March 2, 2010

saron mahari asks in Start a New Thread:

what do we mean when we say the new testament is inspired?

I personally find this to be a fascinating question, especially when directed at the non-errant crowd. The problem the non-errants have when claiming that the Bible is the “inspired Word of God” is their claim that the Bible’s divine inspiration is verbal, plenary inspiration – that is, they claim that every word in the Bible came directly from God. That leaves them in the unenviable position of explaining how there could be errors in the Bible, whether the errors were in the Hebrew and Greek autographs, or whether the errors crept in during transmission (an important concern because all humanity has are the copies).

But it’s not at all a prickly question for the majority of Christians (though interestingly, a good many non-errants charge that those who do not believe that the Bible is inerrant are not true Christians). For the majority of Christians, “inspiration” can be as non-substantive as a feeling or a hunch, or a realization of some sort. This type of inspiration would not at all conflict with our observation that the Bible contains errors, contradictions, and other inconsistencies.

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