The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
September 22, 2019, 04:48:45 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 22, 2019, 04:48:45 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Conflicting Afterlifes: Rewards or Punishments?  (Read 5052 times)
Hammercrash
Permanently Banned
Apprentice
**
Last Login:May 28, 2010, 11:46:20 am
United States United States

Religion: Wotanism
Posts: 36


The Hammer shall fly

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Topic Start: May 19, 2010, 11:23:17 am »

Now here's an interesting one for you all to chew on like I have been.  So supposing you've got your gods, whatever people, who promote honor, integrity etc., like the Norse gods.  Then suppose you've got a guy from somewhere else whose gods say it's alright to do whatever you need to do to get rich and powerful.  So this guy comes and murders a bunch of Norse folk, steals, deceives etc.  Do you think this guy would be punished in the afterlife (I know I know, I'm assuming there IS one here, that's a different discussion, don't mess with my topic), in the Norse Nastrond say, or would he be rewarded by his gods for his "good" deeds?

It's been bothering me, I can't reach a conclusion.  I'm a Wodan's man (which can feel like more of a curse sometimes), so I spend a lot of time thinking about Paganism and trying to give it a logical explanation.  Of course, the mythology provides us with an understandable explanation, but it's not literal, so I try to come up with explanations about what gods are, the nature of the universe etc. that are acceptable.

Thanks!
-HC
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 05:53:50 pm by RandallS, Reason: Subject changed » Logged

What is and is not made of gods is a discussion entertained solely for speculative purposes and the captivation of intellectuals.  The Universe is my temple, and you are my sacrifice.

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #1: May 19, 2010, 11:33:14 am »

Now here's an interesting one for you all to chew on like I have been.  So supposing you've got your gods, whatever people, who promote honor, integrity etc., like the Norse gods.  Then suppose you've got a guy from somewhere else whose gods say it's alright to do whatever you need to do to get rich and powerful.  So this guy comes and murders a bunch of Norse folk, steals, deceives etc.  Do you think this guy would be punished in the afterlife (I know I know, I'm assuming there IS one here, that's a different discussion, don't mess with my topic), in the Norse Nastrond say, or would he be rewarded by his gods for his "good" deeds?

It's been bothering me, I can't reach a conclusion.  I'm a Wodan's man (which can feel like more of a curse sometimes), so I spend a lot of time thinking about Paganism and trying to give it a logical explanation.  Of course, the mythology provides us with an understandable explanation, but it's not literal, so I try to come up with explanations about what gods are, the nature of the universe etc. that are acceptable.

Thanks!
-HC

Trying to figure out what you mean exactly here - you're asking which religion "wins" in a conflict between the two?  Whether someone gets rewarded or punished for the behavior?

Personally, I don't think there's such a thing as an afterlife as usually portrayed - I just don't think the universe works that way.  As far as whether or not someone gets punished or a pat on the head, I have a hard time believing in ANY gods that are pro-beating-up other people.  Sure, SOCIETIES are, but that doesn't mean the GODS are - we see our own image in Them.  We WANT to believe the gods approve of our behavior.

I might be wrong on all this, of course - but I really have a hard time believing people are rewarded for that kind of behavior - especially if it's not required to protect yourself or your family.  (warriors protecting their people are different than warriors out for a buck, IMO).
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
Hammercrash
Permanently Banned
Apprentice
**
Last Login:May 28, 2010, 11:46:20 am
United States United States

Religion: Wotanism
Posts: 36


The Hammer shall fly

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #2: May 19, 2010, 11:43:05 am »

Trying to figure out what you mean exactly here - you're asking which religion "wins" in a conflict between the two?  Whether someone gets rewarded or punished for the behavior?

Personally, I don't think there's such a thing as an afterlife as usually portrayed - I just don't think the universe works that way.  As far as whether or not someone gets punished or a pat on the head, I have a hard time believing in ANY gods that are pro-beating-up other people.  Sure, SOCIETIES are, but that doesn't mean the GODS are - we see our own image in Them.  We WANT to believe the gods approve of our behavior.

I might be wrong on all this, of course - but I really have a hard time believing people are rewarded for that kind of behavior - especially if it's not required to protect yourself or your family.  (warriors protecting their people are different than warriors out for a buck, IMO).

I believe in afterlife because of cycles.  Trees live, die, live again.  The seasons turn, but they always and surely return.  Day and night chase each other around all worlds.  People are born of people, die, their bodies rot, and fertilize the soil.  Water comes down from the sky, makes plants grow, goes up to the sky, comes down again.  Everything is a cycle, so why should it not apply to the soul?  Why should the soul stop existing upon the death of the body?  Why shouldn't you just experience another dimension of existence, life as it is without a body?  Besides, I do have a memory from before my birth, which leads me to believe that there is both an after-life and before-life, and that Baptism is actually a spell (my memory was Christianized).  I had this explained to me that it's a Thokkian Vortex - when your astral body gets sucked into the other realms by a kind of wormhole in the fabric of existence.  Don't you just love occult science? Smiley

-HC
Logged

What is and is not made of gods is a discussion entertained solely for speculative purposes and the captivation of intellectuals.  The Universe is my temple, and you are my sacrifice.
Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #3: May 19, 2010, 12:04:59 pm »

Trying to figure out what you mean exactly here - you're asking which religion "wins" in a conflict between the two?  Whether someone gets rewarded or punished for the behavior?

I read it as, do the Norse gods (in this example) get to punish (in the afterlife) the person who wronged their people even though he isn't one of "theirs".  Not so much who wins, but whose rules is the hypothetical guy held to. 

(More general answer now.)

My concept of the afterlife is really fuzzy, honestly.  I'm not quite sure exactly what happens.  I do think that, given sufficient provocation, the Gods might interfere with those who act against their own, outside of the context of the afterlife.  I'm not sure that individuals acting on their own (not a part of a group) are normally going to excite that level of interest from the Gods, though.  I'm also not convinced that a deity or pantheon would necessarily get possession of a person's soul after that person died on those grounds... but then I don't know.  If this hypothetical person died in Norse territory while committing acts against Norse people, maybe that would make a difference.  I don't know.
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #4: May 19, 2010, 12:10:32 pm »

(I know I know, I'm assuming there IS one here, that's a different discussion, don't mess with my topic),

Just a quick note...  I understand that you'd like the thread to stay on-topic, but this sort of thing really isn't OK.  You have no authority to be telling people not to mess with anything.  It might be that some people feel that a discussion of whether the afterlife even exists is germane to the topic, whether you think so or not.  If so, that's perfectly acceptable on this forum, even if it's a little frustrating to you personally.  You can refrain from responding to things that you feel are off-topic if you want to try to stay focused on one particular thing, but telling other people how to respond...  Like I said, not OK.

Thanks.
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
Hammercrash
Permanently Banned
Apprentice
**
Last Login:May 28, 2010, 11:46:20 am
United States United States

Religion: Wotanism
Posts: 36


The Hammer shall fly

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #5: May 19, 2010, 02:52:22 pm »

Just a quick note...  I understand that you'd like the thread to stay on-topic, but this sort of thing really isn't OK.  You have no authority to be telling people not to mess with anything.  It might be that some people feel that a discussion of whether the afterlife even exists is germane to the topic, whether you think so or not.  If so, that's perfectly acceptable on this forum, even if it's a little frustrating to you personally.  You can refrain from responding to things that you feel are off-topic if you want to try to stay focused on one particular thing, but telling other people how to respond...  Like I said, not OK.

Thanks.

You mean it's wrong to ask people to allow my thread to stay on topic? 

-HC
Logged

What is and is not made of gods is a discussion entertained solely for speculative purposes and the captivation of intellectuals.  The Universe is my temple, and you are my sacrifice.
Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #6: May 19, 2010, 03:05:58 pm »

You mean it's wrong to ask people to allow my thread to stay on topic? 

Yes, for two reasons.

One, because if a thread needs pulled back on track, that's moderator territory.  Saying "stay on topic" is telling people how they should behave on this forum, and that's for the moderators to do if necessary.  You are not a moderator.  This is not "your" thread in the sense of being yours to control--it's a thread that you started, now released into the wild to grow as it will.  If you feel the thread needs is getting derailed unnecessarily, please use the "Report to Moderator" link in the lower right-hand corner of one of the posts that you consider to be a problem.  If the staff agrees with you, we'll take care of it.  (Please take into account my next point before reporting, however.)

Two, because on this forum we don't necessarily consider thread drift to be a bad thing.  If things go completely off into silly-land, yeah, that's a problem and we'll try to nudge people about it.  If the topic of discussion expands or changes to include another serious line of inquiry...  That's part of normal conversation, and we don't tend to feel like that needs to be restricted.  It can often lead to interesting conversations that might not have happened otherwise, even if they're not strictly on-topic, and we think that's a good thing.

If you need further clarification about this, please feel free to drop me a PM.  I'm happy to discuss it with you, but (perhaps ironically, given the subject at hand) don't want to derail the thread with it.  Wink
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
OpenHands
Master Member
****
Last Login:January 11, 2012, 09:52:34 pm
United States United States

Religion: Canaanite Polytheism
Posts: 270


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7: May 19, 2010, 04:23:51 pm »

Now here's an interesting one for you all to chew on like I have been.  So supposing you've got your gods, whatever people, who promote honor, integrity etc., like the Norse gods.  Then suppose you've got a guy from somewhere else whose gods say it's alright to do whatever you need to do to get rich and powerful.  So this guy comes and murders a bunch of Norse folk, steals, deceives etc.  Do you think this guy would be punished in the afterlife (I know I know, I'm assuming there IS one here, that's a different discussion, don't mess with my topic), in the Norse Nastrond say, or would he be rewarded by his gods for his "good" deeds?...

Honestly, assuming there is an afterlife I believe it's as impartial as life here.  If there are any consequences, I would think it would be natural ones as opposed to some deity handing out punishments.  (i.e. A shade might be restless and unable to find peace if they feel guilt/remorse/anger for things they did here.  I tend to think we are able to carry baggage into the afterlife even if we don't acknowledge that baggage while still alive.)

I don't know though and my ignorance doesn't bother me too much.  My focus is on this world because this one is as sacred as any other and I have some control over my actions here and now.  I find comfort in the knowledge that things will fall into place however they were meant to.

- OpenHands
Logged

- OpenHands

"Gardens are not made by singing, "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade." -- Rudyard Kipling

http://mathbatu.wordpress.com
Satsekhem
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:October 16, 2011, 11:51:56 am
United States United States

Religion: Something? Somewhere?
Posts: 2991


I rock so hardcore.

Blog entries (0)

aubs.taylor
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8: May 19, 2010, 04:34:39 pm »

Now here's an interesting one for you all to chew on like I have been.  So supposing you've got your gods, whatever people, who promote honor, integrity etc., like the Norse gods.  Then suppose you've got a guy from somewhere else whose gods say it's alright to do whatever you need to do to get rich and powerful.  So this guy comes and murders a bunch of Norse folk, steals, deceives etc.  Do you think this guy would be punished in the afterlife (I know I know, I'm assuming there IS one here, that's a different discussion, don't mess with my topic), in the Norse Nastrond say, or would he be rewarded by his gods for his "good" deeds?

Thanks!
-HC

The belief of an afterlife is integral to answering this question. The reason is because you assume that there is an afterlife. You assume that we go somewhere after we die and answer for all of our wrongs and all of our rights. Not everyone feels that that is the case.

Personally, I think that we are just reborn over and over and over again, learning important lessons with each life and if the lessons are missed, we have to keep repeating them until we finally learn them. After a while, the lessons have been learned and we can go to the Western Lands where the rest of our akhu who have learned their lessons are waiting. (I know this is a really Hinduistic version of my faith, but I've always been a fan of multiple lives and past lives and whatnot.) I don't think we answer for any misdeeds performed in our lives or that we are given a proverbial pat on the head for all of the good we've done.

Anyway, so, taking my point-of-view, I'm going to say that the gods aren't going to punish this evil-doer in question, but he's going to have to go back to the starting line before he can move on with whatever lesson he was supposed to learn in his evil-living life. Do you get me?
Logged

Sekhemib-Nymaatre; spiritual blog.
Thanks For All the Fish; opinionated ranty blog.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. - Douglas Adams
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #9: May 19, 2010, 04:46:54 pm »

Anyway, so, taking my point-of-view, I'm going to say that the gods aren't going to punish this evil-doer in question, but he's going to have to go back to the starting line before he can move on with whatever lesson he was supposed to learn in his evil-living life. Do you get me?

You're saying that instead of afterlives A and B posited in the question, the evil-doer gets afterlife C, which is posited by your religion?
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
High Adept Member
****
Last Login:February 06, 2013, 08:12:28 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: free-flowing animist, Dudeist Priest
TCN ID: Absentminded
Posts: 2725


Blog entries (11)


« Reply #10: May 19, 2010, 08:56:05 pm »

(quote function screwing up on me - this is from post #8 by kemet83)

Anyway, so, taking my point-of-view, I'm going to say that the gods aren't going to punish this evil-doer in question, but he's going to have to go back to the starting line before he can move on with whatever lesson he was supposed to learn in his evil-living life. Do you get me?

The thing is, if these actions are ones of which his gods approve, then he should be moving on rather than going back to this hypothetical starting line.

There are certain actions, under certain circumstances, of which my god approves in spite of the fact that other gods, even of his own pantheon, would chase me from the community if they caught me doing them.  Having the approval of one god doesn't mean that others would not try to interfere.  The legends are full of conflict between gods - sometimes one wins or makes the others look foolish, some times another does.

If a god from a different pantheon objected to my actions (because they were against his/her people or his/her rules) I don't know what effect that would have on me in the afterlife.  In the here and now I think it would depend on whose gods followers got the upper hand - I'm thinking of things like cattle raids and war parties here - not every warrior is a defender of the home, sometimes new territory is sought and we have invaders and invaded.

Maybe the gods do a kind of prisoner exchange, maybe they fight as well, inter-pantheon, and we just don't hear about it.

Absent
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 07:20:36 am by Star, Reason: Fixing quote code » Logged

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
Satsekhem
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:October 16, 2011, 11:51:56 am
United States United States

Religion: Something? Somewhere?
Posts: 2991


I rock so hardcore.

Blog entries (0)

aubs.taylor
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #11: May 19, 2010, 09:11:41 pm »

You're saying that instead of afterlives A and B posited in the question, the evil-doer gets afterlife C, which is posited by your religion?

Not an afterlife, but a new life. As in, he goes back to Earth and lives yet another life to learn what lessons the evil-doer in question was supposed to learn in that specific life. If the lessons weren't learned/met/achieved.

(quote function screwing up on me - this is from post #8 by kemet83)

The thing is, if these actions are ones of which his gods approve, then he should be moving on rather than going back to this hypothetical starting line.

That's only if the lessons specifically designated for him to learn have been met. Say the gods took him aside and said, "I want you to learn to live in harmony with your fellow man." Well, if he did evil against his fellow man, the lesson was learned and he has to start back at square one. If he did evil part of the time, but mended his ways later, the lesson was entirely learned so he still has to start back at square one. If he succeeded in the overall doing good deeds and was charitable, then the next life, he can move on to his next lesson.

However, if the lesson he was designated to learn in the life had nothing to do with taking care of/being charitable of/getting along with people from other walks of life, then yes. The gods would be happy and move him up on the next lesson.

Maybe the gods do a kind of prisoner exchange, maybe they fight as well, inter-pantheon, and we just don't hear about it.

If that was a Facebook status, I would totally "like" this.
Logged

Sekhemib-Nymaatre; spiritual blog.
Thanks For All the Fish; opinionated ranty blog.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. - Douglas Adams
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #12: May 19, 2010, 10:02:14 pm »

That's only if the lessons specifically designated for him to learn have been met. Say the gods took him aside and said, "I want you to learn to live in harmony with your fellow man." Well, if he did evil against his fellow man, the lesson was learned and he has to start back at square one. If he did evil part of the time, but mended his ways later, the lesson was entirely learned so he still has to start back at square one. If he succeeded in the overall doing good deeds and was charitable, then the next life, he can move on to his next lesson.

OK...but it's possible to introduce the kind of conflict the OP had in mind into your system. What if the gods disagreed as to whether the evil-doer had learnt his lesson or not?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 07:19:49 am by Star, Reason: Trying to fix quote code » Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #13: May 20, 2010, 07:21:28 am »

(quote function screwing up on me - this is from post #8 by kemet83)

I put the code in for you.  This seems to be a problem for a lot of people right now...
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
Satsekhem
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:October 16, 2011, 11:51:56 am
United States United States

Religion: Something? Somewhere?
Posts: 2991


I rock so hardcore.

Blog entries (0)

aubs.taylor
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14: May 20, 2010, 08:34:55 pm »

OK...but it's possible to introduce the kind of conflict the OP had in mind into your system. What if the gods disagreed as to whether the evil-doer had learnt his lesson or not?

So, you mean, different gods from various pantheons arguing over it? To be honest, I never considered this aspect in my system. ... Hm.

I think a part of the reason I never really considered this as a possibility is because I never considered there being dissension in the pantheonic ranks. (This is incredibly silly because I read a series of books where the pantheons inter-fight frequently.) I just always assumed that each religion took care of their own, whether it affected another religion's people or otherwise.

Let me think on it further and see what pops up.
Logged

Sekhemib-Nymaatre; spiritual blog.
Thanks For All the Fish; opinionated ranty blog.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. - Douglas Adams

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)

EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.06 seconds with 46 queries.