[FoRK] flatlanders discussing the 3rd dimension

Bill Humphries < bill at whump.com > on > Mon Nov 20 18:09:01 PST 2006

On Nov 20, 2006, at 5:50 PM, Tony Finch wrote:

>> Think of Christian eschatology, no matter what humans do, there is a
>> Final Judgement, the Universe (as we know't) is destroyed, the  
>> elect go
>> to Heaven*, the rest suffer Hell. Humans can't change the end state,
>> only the bin to which you're sorted.
>
> Doesn't that argument apply equally well to heat-death?

Not necessarily. We may be in a universe where it possible to avoid  
that, prevent the decay of baryonic matter, or we might not.

So in that state of nature, activity to determine if it is possible  
is worthwhile, as well as other activity we find rewarding such as  
relationships, creating things of beauty and comfort. Or you could  
stare at the enormity of an uncaring universe and do nothing, or kill  
oneself. But no matter what you did, death remains annihilation, not  
perpetual bliss or torment.

However, in a universe operating under Christian eschatological  
rules, there's no purpose to any activity other than one's salvation.  
Given the extreme nature of the two possible end states for an  
individual under those rules, all other activity is worthless*.

* Again I'm simplifying here. There is a rich tradition of  
ecclesiastical art, performance and music, but I'm pretty that  
acceptance of Jesus as one's savior is the necessary condition for  
salvation, and not the quality of the choral masses one writes.

-- whump



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