1. The Bard of Wigan
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    The Bard of Wigan Contributing Member

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    Cancer

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by The Bard of Wigan, Aug 22, 2011.

    My Mother in law has got only a few short days to live, she`s got secondary brain cancer.

    I`ve been thinking a lot lately about my untimely demise, every day we get closer to meeting our maker.

    Or do we ?

    I`m a lapsed Roman Catholic but wish I could find it in myself to go back & embrace my religion & my God before he calls my ship in.

    Can we reconcile that we can believe the "Big Bang Theory" ahead of God carefully planning our existence & a place for us to go (heaven) when we die ?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I am permitting this thread only on the condition that it remains flame free.

    Keep the discussion civil, and respectul toward other belief systems, or there will be consequences beyond the closing of the thread.

    A little compassion would be nice, too
     
  3. Jayyy1014
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    Jayyy1014 Jerrica Contributor

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    I know how you feel, it's a very painful thing to see someone you love so much to go through that kind of pain. I've had a lot of people around me that died from cancer in the past few months, and that pain is something nobody can take away except for time. Yeah, they're in a better place which is always a good thing to think about, but you wish that they'd have more time to spend with you here in this life, because you felt as if their life was too short. If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm only a message away. Message me anytime.
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can't, but I'm an atheist. I have no supernatural beliefs whatsoever.

    Sorry to hear about your mother in law though, I'm an active supporter of Cancer Research UK and a number of my close relatives have died of cancer.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I suppose that you could imagine God planned everything in the history of the universe up til now, but it doesn't seem particularly likely, besides which it reduces all of human history to a physical process devoid of any actual humanity or spirit or whatever you want to call it.

    I also don't think there's an afterlife, but I don't really see that as a bad thing. It's just a fact of life, something we all have to face (at least for now). It might be comforting to think that they're in a better place, but it also doesn't seem likely. And surely it would be better instead to reflect on the joy that their life brought, rather than mourn our own loss. If nothing else, their life allowed the cogs of God's machine to keep turning, if you want to think of the universe that way.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'm very sorry to hear about her limited time left with you guys. I hope her last days are happy, and that her life was a good one. I'm sure you made her life brighter by being in it.

    I believe in God and an afterlife, but I don't see why not to believe in a big bang, too. I don't believe they're mutually exclusive: the scientific explanations could have had intelligent initiation, after all, the big bang had to come from somewhere.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and with your MIL.
     
  7. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I also hope and believe there is an afterlife. Thinking anything else, for me, would just be utterly depressing.

    Best wishes and thoughts for your family.
     
  8. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I hate when difficult topic like this pop up. Because I do not want to be insensitive or rude to anyone on this board. But you also have expressed an interest in people's opinions and ideas.

    I do not believe in a God or any form of a high power. My vision of the afterlife has been colored with a more real life experience. I know for certain, without a doubt in my mind that we simply sleep.

    I think...nevermind as stated do not want to be rude or offensive. So I will leave my thoughts at that.

    Best wishes go to you
     
  9. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    You have my deepest sympathy, Bard of Wigan. If there is no hope of recovering, I hope she at least don't suffer.

    As or God vs Big Bang, and easy solution is to ask yourself what started the Big Bang in the first place. ;)
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What caused the Big Bang is at the moment unknown, and maybe unknowable.
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That leads to an infinite regression in either case, though. You can just as easily asked what 'caused' God in the first place, and if the answer is that God doesn't need a cause, then the same answer can be applied to the Big Bang or any other cosmological starting point.

    To the OP:

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care.
     
  12. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    My point exactly. It comes down to faith.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    That's exactly what I wasn't saying. It essentially comes to the question: 'Where did we come from?' and If you wish to believe that a god - specifically a single deity like the Abrahamic God - is responsible for the universe and everything we see then I'm not going to argue. If people find the idea of a god comforting then that's fine, I have no problem with that, but it isn't easy. It's the most difficult and important question an intelligent life form can ask itself.

    Judging by the wording of the original post Wigan is having something of a crisis of belief.
     
  14. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    All comes down to personal experience really. Hard to believe in something bigger if nothing happens in an individuals life and you just follow logic, yet its hard to be an atheist if you experience something that in unquestionably bigger then yourself. I tried being the later, but something happened 10 years ago that put me into the position where i can't not believe there is something. How big or how small it is doesn't really matter. What matters is enjoying now and letting whatever happens later, happen. If it does, it does. If not, too bad.
     
  15. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    I second this post. I believe in a higher power AND the big bang, it is possible to believe both.

    Also, thoughts and prayers with you and your family during this difficult time. Cancer is a terrible thing :(
     
  16. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    This seems to be the deep remorse and feeling that brought concepts of an afterlife or lingering existence in the first place. I do not know whether a greater power preoccupied with us exists or not, but I don't think there's anything wrong with believing your loved one retains a lingering presence somewhere.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, and in fact a god who could set things in motion billions of years ago to lead, inevitably, to formation of solar systems, planets, the development of life, and the evolution of intelligent life is far more impressive and interesting to me than one who snapped his fingers 6000 years ago to produce a complete earth and all creatures on it (including buried dinosaur bones to confound the silly humans).
     
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  18. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Agreed :cool:
     
  19. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    There are three types of Faith:

    Rational belief/faith- believing something is true for which there is some reason to think is true

    Blind belief/faith- believing something is true no matter, what even if there is reason to think it is false

    Semi belief/faith- believing something is true for which there is no reason for or against

    The Big Bang theory, imo, is plausible. It is the most rational thought over having faith in God.

    Because at least we can prove the Big Bang in theory. Not all of it. We don't know all of it. We may never know. But even in this world we see bacteria growing on food, we leave water out and it gets gunk in it. We have evidence around us that these things can occur.

    I recently watched a documentary about the state of nothingness in space and the Big Bang theory. And I liked the line that this guy goes and says, there are two types of nothing. A nothing which is empty and a nothing with something.

    Just because we cannot see what made the Big Bang occur, there is something that made it occur. And we can see it in the way the stars are moving away from us. And we see the impact of the Big Bang in our very world if we look hard enough.

    Just because we cannot fully see bacteria doesn't mean they don't exist. And we know they exist because we can do experiments and see that they do.

    You cannot do the same with God. You cannot set up an experiment and say we found God.

    God doesn't exist. There is not enough evidence to say God exist.

    Bacteria exist. We can set up experiments and have evidence they exist.

    Big Bang theory occurred. We have experimented and even seen what appears to be the inertia of explosion in the constellation of our stars. We cannot fully prove it, but we have evidence.

    To believe in the Big Bang theory, to me this is rational faith. I think a lot of people when they talk about faith mean the second type. Semi faith. But to me we have enough evidence to have rational faith in the Big Bang theory.
     
  20. The Bard of Wigan
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    The Bard of Wigan Contributing Member

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    Please don't let this descend into an argument people. Cog has been kind enough to let the thread stand so please give him & the site the respect it deserves.

    I'm at a genuine loss as to which way to turn. I was going to go to the Priesthood at 15 but decided against it. Since then I have wrestled with my consciousness.

    I feel lost & alone.
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I suggest avoiding assertions about the existence or nonexistence of God, and focus instead on dealing with crises of faith.

    This thread is about questioning one's most deeply held beliefs, not an abstract philosophical debate.
     
  22. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Sorry about that. I didn't mean to.
     
  23. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bard, first of all, I am very sorry to hear about your mother in law. I've lost people to cancer as well, and it's a very difficult thing to deal with.

    As for the meaning of life theme going on... I am glad you didn't go into the priesthood if you are still having issues with what to believe and where to turn.

    I think a good thing to do when you are asking these kinds of questions is to talk with leaders of religions and philosophical movements and do a lot of meditation. I am an atheist, but I have spoken with an old friend, a priest, recently, who is the leader of my old Catholic church. And I am interested in attending a Vipassana (a nonsecular form of meditation) retreat.

    Personally, I am just here on this planet living life happily because I find that the common thread among all religions is that you must do good unto others and make the best of your life. Do what makes you happy, and hopefully you can glean happiness from also making other people happy. Follow major social mores (don't kill, don't cheat, do treat people with respect, etc) and enjoy what you have. You can speculate all you want on a higher power or what it really means to be alive, but I personally find that speculation wont lead to proof. And as far as anyone knows, we've only got one life to lead. So why worry your years away?

    If there is a higher being, I think it will recognize that you have done the best you can with what you have been given. For example, if there really is a traditional Christian god, if he wants to burn me despite my love for others, my laughter, my caring, my friendships , my appreciation for the trees and the sun, because I slept in on Sundays and wasn't so sure Jesus was the son of an omnipotent, omnipresent being... then maybe I don't want to go to that idea of a heaven anyway.

    I think people tend to rely on religion as a way to deal with the tough times. It's a way to feel comforted when someone has wronged you because they'll get in trouble one day... and it makes us feel better when loved ones leave us permanently, to think that we'll see our mothers and dogs and friends when we die too. I'm not so sure about that, but I just think it's important to remember that this person lived passionately and did well for himself or herself, and that they had a good life, as we all do. (And if they didn't live the most wonderful of lives, we can take comfort in the fact that it is over for them and now there is no more pain.)

    Do good. Live and love passionately. Be good. Enjoy what you have. I think that's all that matters.

    It is hard when loved ones leave us though, and I hope that while she may be gone, your mother in law's death helps you think about important things in your life (such as this) as well. You have my thoughts with you. :love:
     
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  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Mercurial, I'd rather see someone in the priesthood who isn't afraid to question his or her beliefs. Faith evolves, or it stagnates.

    To question is to inspect closely. It's possible that inspection can lead the person off the path that the priesthood demands, but it is also possible the priest or priest-to-be will learn more about his or her faith, and also be better able to guide someone else through similar doubts.

    I mistrust religious folks who shout down anything that disturbs their religion's official position. Whom are they trying to convince, the person with a different idea? Or are they wrapping cushions around their own brittle beliefs?
     
  25. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^ Your post reminded me of a priest in my area who a few years ago lost his faith while giving a sermon. It made him suicidal, as he felt like he had wasted his life.

    I'm not saying questioning your own beliefs is a bad thing, just it can be bad for some.
     

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