"Soul Sleep" Christianity

"Soul Sleep" Christianity

Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

December 25th, 2010, 12:02 am #1

Is anyone here a Christian that believes in soul sleep?

I first learned about this doctrine from Seventh Day Adventists back in 2000 when Doug Batchelor did the Millenium of Prophecy series. I was surprised that there are Christians who believe this way, as I had been taught to believe that the soul is sort of like a virtual body that you use to navigate in a spiritual world or alternate dimension where heaven and hell exist. What I learned was that this traditional Christian concept is actually more of a Hellenistic Greek idea and not very well supported in scripture on closer analysis.

Scriptural basis for the soul sleep idea can be found in Ecclesiastes:

9:5 "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten."
12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

The "spirit" is interpreted as the literal Hebrew meaning "breath" or perhaps by extension the vital processes (i.e. breath of life) which cease happening and thus return to God who gave them when you die. The "soul" is what you get when there is a body and a spirit together. So instead of claiming that there is a spirit and soul in addition to the body, the Adventists state that there is simply a soul, which is composed of a body and spirit.

There are other verses that seem to indicate that heaven is immediate, but Adventists dismiss them as figurative. For example in 2 Corinthians 5:8, it states "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." This is interpreted to mean that your subjective experience is that you will be present with the Lord as soon as you awaken from the death of this body (i.e. after it is replaced with a glorified body).

One interesting thing about this doctrine is that it takes away the question about whether "dead" makes a difference to cryonics. If you are in a state of complete unconsciousness, it is indistinguishable from an irreversible coma. If medicine cannot cure you of it before the Second Coming, what the Bible promises is that you will be healed of this sickness known as death at that point, a supernatural event referred to as the Resurrection Day.

The SDA church seems to be a fairly mainstream Christian denomination, so I can't help but wonder if there are others that take the same doctrinal position. I know there are other denominations that celebrate the seventh-day sabbath such as Seventh Day Church of God and Seventh Day Baptists. Are there other denominations that specifically believe in soul sleep?
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

December 25th, 2010, 12:19 am #2

this is inevitable.

The tour de force triumphs of science, the ones that will put religion to rest, are decades or even centuries away. If we want to save ourselves and save millions via cryonics, we have to understand religion, a prime driver, a mover and shaker in human culture, the operating system of homo sapiens.

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Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 2:52 am

December 25th, 2010, 1:32 am #3

The tour de force triumphs of science, the ones that will put religion to rest, are decades or even centuries away.


Religion has imploded in those social-democratic countries you admire so much, thanks in part to universal health coverage:

http://www.gregspaul.webs.com/questionssolved.pdf

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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

December 25th, 2010, 2:30 am #4

this is not some sort of transient thing we are talking about.

Religion, ritual, trance states, terror management, these are inganined into the culture and perhaps even hardwired.

It is more fashionable for younger people to say they are atheist. It is typical of young educated people to say they are atheist. In the early 1800s, when emily dickinson was in school, her entire classroom stood up when the teacher asked all those who were nonbelievers to stand.

This phase passes. And these young people who do not believe, with all the free media exposure cryonics has received, are these young atheists signing up? No.

Move on to the next stage, mark--accept religion and USE it. Become a real badass cryo. One who uses religion. Rise above these petty little battles against the nature of the beast. Stop raging against the machine and instead learn to operate the machine.

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Joined: October 6th, 2004, 6:46 pm

December 25th, 2010, 3:41 am #5

Religion allows the followers to accept unbelievable consequences primarily on faith. Christianity grew from a handful of people to the multitudes of today. Everyone wants something to believe in something.

Look at Scientology; they're incredibly successful and no one outside of it is ever sure what it is.

Marketing.
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Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 2:52 am

December 25th, 2010, 3:09 pm #6

this is not some sort of transient thing we are talking about.

Religion, ritual, trance states, terror management, these are inganined into the culture and perhaps even hardwired.

It is more fashionable for younger people to say they are atheist. It is typical of young educated people to say they are atheist. In the early 1800s, when emily dickinson was in school, her entire classroom stood up when the teacher asked all those who were nonbelievers to stand.

This phase passes. And these young people who do not believe, with all the free media exposure cryonics has received, are these young atheists signing up? No.

Move on to the next stage, mark--accept religion and USE it. Become a real badass cryo. One who uses religion. Rise above these petty little battles against the nature of the beast. Stop raging against the machine and instead learn to operate the machine.
We have empirical evidence about this trend, Un, which carries more weight with me than your hand-waving speculations.

Western European countries, as well as Japan, Australia and Canada, generally have larger percentages of their populations over the age of 65 than the U.S., and they still show less interest in religion:

http://siakhenn.tripod.com/age.html
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

December 25th, 2010, 3:43 pm #7

are you asking me why polls of French people show that more of them are saying they are not religious than in the past? I take it that is your question?

OK, i can speculate as to lots of reasons why that is a trend. One, societal change removes a pressure that had previously caused some parts of society to previously say that they were religious. For example, perhaps the suburbanization and the trend of young people to get educated and get professional jobs far from home causes less societal/familial/peer pressure to be exerted upon, pressure that had previously exerted and had caused people, especially people under the age of 40 to say they were religious.

But I have seen an almost universal trend--when people get older and the reality of mortality sets in, they turn to religion.

I sure hope you are right--I think it would be fantastic if society went to atheism. However, I know it aint happening.

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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

December 25th, 2010, 3:57 pm #8

The tour de force triumphs of science, the ones that will put religion to rest, are decades or even centuries away.


Religion has imploded in those social-democratic countries you admire so much, thanks in part to universal health coverage:

http://www.gregspaul.webs.com/questionssolved.pdf

we live in america. So let us deal with american problems.

Also, see here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographi ... ism#Europe

You point to an anomaly, and perhaps just the results of one poll.

Is there a Singularity in atheism, Mark? Ah, yet another deus ex machina to save cryonics....
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

December 25th, 2010, 4:09 pm #9

We have empirical evidence about this trend, Un, which carries more weight with me than your hand-waving speculations.

Western European countries, as well as Japan, Australia and Canada, generally have larger percentages of their populations over the age of 65 than the U.S., and they still show less interest in religion:

http://siakhenn.tripod.com/age.html
and so we have to concentrate on OLDER people. Young people do not generally sign up. We have to look to those we really realize they are indeed going to die. Young people do not really realize this viscerally enough to get them to sign up.

And older people turn to religion instead of cryonics because....well, one reason is cultural and historical, but another reason is because people like Max More and Tanya Jones and Charles Platt and Ralph Merkle and MIke Darwin are not blowing a dog whistle they can hear, to use the political parlance of our times.

Those cryonics leaders are blowing the dog whistle that you and I and the rest of the cryonicists can hear. They speak to us using the language, the vocabulary we understand. Their mindset is grounded in science fiction and a love of science and a mindset open to many possibilities.

But we are very rare.

They are hailing us on our frequency. But that communications band is one that few people have the receiver for.

I say to Max More, the new Alcor CEO--find a new dog whistle. Quit talking on the same frequency/channel you talked on in order to get the job. 99.9 percent of the people who know death awaits them (and thus might possibly sign up) do not pick up that frequency.

Instead, blow the dog whistle that the majority can hear. Speak to them on the channel they carry, using the vocabulary and the mindset they have. Use the Bible.

Religion is what those over 40 can hear, at least the vast majority of them....

That is, if you are interested in growing cryonics. If however you are only interested in the affirmation and support of your peer group, then just keep doing what you are doing....
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

December 25th, 2010, 4:18 pm #10

now I am not a fan of Bush, or of his father. But Bush found the right dogwhistle to get elected.

Let me tell you about a video interview Bush did back in the early 90s or thereabouts. Now Bush had run for political office once and had lost, primarily because his opponent had successfully painted him as some know it all Ivy League upstart. And Bush had been educated at Harvard and at Yale.

But his opponent has been successful at depicting him as such because he spoke as such. That' right. In that video interview from the early 90s Bush came off as what he was--a highly educated man with an undergrad degree from yale and a graduate degree from harvard.

But that sure wasn't the persona bush had when he ran for president twice. Oh, no. You see, Bush is smart, and he had smart advisors. He knows that a more homespun, "country", HUMBLE persona is what wins over more people. So he became an actor, and he played a part.

Max More, follow his lead....if you want to grow cryonics. Find another persona, another vocabulary, a different dog whistle, one that more people can hear....
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