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Would you Change the Way you Live?

At a very young age, the mythical places of heaven and hell were ingrained in us in hopes of instilling good behavior. We all trusted that if you were "good" you would go to heaven, and if you were "bad", you would go to hell. While no one is perfect and we all have committed angelic and devilish acts in our lives, if you found out that heaven and hell did actually exist, do tell, would you change the way you live your life?


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candy-apple candy-apple 10 years
oh and to answer the question: of course i change. and so does everyone whether we realize it or not. i always try to be a better person, sometimes through action, sometimes through introspection and trying to figure out whatever it is that i'm doing wrong that's hurting those around me. i'm far from perfect and i hurt myself and other people much more often than i want to but we all learn from our mistakes. and it's those mistakes that help us change and become better people.
candy-apple candy-apple 10 years
i'm not going to go into the whole religious debate as others have pretty much paraphrased my viewpoint (pgtw, thanks again for taking the words straight out of my mouth!). i think the question isn't weather we should change in order to get something in an afterlife that some of us don't even believe in.. i think if people focused on changing their behavior in order to improve their lives and those of others in THIS world, wouldn't that make it a heaven of sorts? i've taken some theology/philosophy classes in the past where i've come across a pretty intresting idea: what if heaven and hell were metaphors for certain states of the world we live in? if each of us really aspired to get to heaven, what would the difference be between getting there on angel wings or creating it in your life and the lives of others? i think the idea of heaven as a payback for the worthy's efforts is quite simplistic and childish, in fact just like dangling a carrot, so to speak. we should change in order to be happy, and we do this essentially by making others happy. that's the real heaven for me.
japokie japokie 10 years
Wow it is amazing how I had similiar thoughts about this today. If I could go back in life would I change it (almost like the butterfly effect)? So it came down to not the choice of going to heaven or hell, but the fact that I would lose so many life lessons. I like where I am now and don't regret a single choice.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
KerryG, I think when you mention heaven and hell in a post and refer to them as mythical places you are pretty much asking for religious dicussion :) I am enjoying the discussion as well so don't feel bad for delving in deeper! I think everyone has been respectful while stating their viewpoints and that is admirable in my opinion.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
i wasn't raised with the threat of hell hanging over my soul and my children aren't being raised that way either. it costs you something on the inside when you make poor choices and that's all you need to know. as for reading only one verse of the bible; who is anyone to judge what is enough for someone else to read? religion is a personal thing and if that speaks to an individual so be it.
KerryG KerryG 10 years
Thanks, purplesugar! "I'd like to think that it takes deliberate action in opposition of morality and a lack of desire to be forgiven to put oneself in [Hell]" That's my hope too. I consider myself Christian, although most Christians would not necessarily see me as such, but it really bothers me when people disassociate Heaven/Hell entirely from morality. I think it's inconsistent with an all-loving God to confine people to Hell because they were born into the "wrong" religion, yet live good lives, faithful to their own beliefs, and it bothers me even more fundamentally when it's implied that believing in the "right" religion (whatever that religion might be) is all it takes to get to heaven. Most people, I think, understand that it's really more complex than that, but some people don't and this is how we get men crashing planes into buildings and murdering thousands of people, while utterly convinced of the rightness and holiness of their own actions. And, um, sorry again to DearSugar for brushing so close to so many controversial subjects. I am really not trying to open a can of worms here, I just love discussing this sort of topic.
Hope5 Hope5 10 years
I've a Good relationship with God already!!I did change for the better years ago!!Everyone should ask for forgiveness of Their Sins Daily :)
demeter demeter 10 years
I definitely would change the way I live. I'm already pretty much a goody-goody so I wouldn't have to do MUCH.
fab4 fab4 10 years
Pink and green - you are very right. I am wrong to assume that everyone shares my same beliefs. I guess that's just the way that I'm living my life. Can I also just say that I appreciate how repsectful everyone is on these comments. I love reading everyone's opinions and responses!!
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
I agree pgtw, that's why it makes a lot more sense to be concerned with doing what you think is right, rather than what everybody else is doing wrong to not get to Heaven. I have a real problem with those 'our way or the highway/everybody else is wrong' beliefs.... ok, I'm done now, really.
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
you would be correct there cravin :) Kerry- I can't tell you how happy that made me to see your second comment. I could see from your first comment that this was the case and I really wanted to respond, but in an attempt to not start a feud I held my tongue. I have great respect for a person that can admit that they just don't know something...anyway, to answer your question: It is my understanding and belief that not knowing Jesus does not automatically damn one to hell, not does it forbid one from Heaven. I would even extend that to someone that has heard of Jesus but does not believe; I'd like to think that it takes deliberate action in opposition of morality and a lack of desire to be forgiven to put oneself in that situation. But alas, none of us here really can say for certain what the case is, we can only put our faith into what we feel is right. And yes, Limbo has been retracted...
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I agree Katie - we shouldn't need the threat of eternal damnation to incite us to be better people. I try to be a good person because it's the compassionate and the right thing to do. It's how I want to be treated. There are so many religions in the world, and they nearly all claim to be the path to God and salvation. There are a few religions that are more lenient about the way to get there, but most say it's their way or the highway. And people have faith in *their* way, which, you know, is entirely up to them. But it gets a little silly when everyone starts sending everyone else to hell. Because all the Christians will end up in another religion's version of hell, and all the other religions will end up Christianity's hell. It's sort of exhausting just thinking about it.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
hey purple, you have a point about only reading one line of a book, but as I said, I have read more than one line, but I doubt you can disagree, it is a great love story from start to finish :-) _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
KerryG KerryG 10 years
Don't want to throw this into religious debate, but I've just realized that I don't actually know the fundamentalist Christian theology for what happens to the millions, if not billions, of people who lived their entire lives on the planet without ever knowing Jesus's name, and who thus never even had a chance to be "saved." Do these people automatically go to Hell or is there something like the Catholic concept of Limbo (although didn't Limbo recently get disbanded?) where deserving non-believers go?
pinkandgreenj pinkandgreenj 10 years
fab4- I have to respectfully disagree with you. The only was to heaven is not through Jesus. The majority of people in this world do not believe in Jesus- Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc. To say that everyone would go to wherever (hell, etc.) because they don't believe in him/her is absurd. You are free to have your beliefs, but please know that what you believe is certainly not universal and not the only way, even though it may be for you. As for the greater debate, I guess I shall see. I try to lead my life in an ethical way, but cannot say I am perfect. Would I change? I already have as I grow into a more mature woman.
fab4 fab4 10 years
I know we are all avoiding a religious debate. But i have to say that being a good person doesn't get you into heaven. And being a bad person doesn't automatically put you in hell. The only way to heaven is through Jesus, and I beleive if a person beleives that, then that's good enough for me, (and good enough for God, too). Everyobody messes up; its how you recover from it that makes or breaks you.
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
ok, I said I wasn't going to say anything else, but seeing as I've been addressed by name twice I feel compelled to respond... cravin, I too am a Christian and I like what you have to say, but I have to ask- if you read one sentence, or even a paragraph, out of a book do you really know what that story is all about? if you hear one line out of a movie, are you not going to miss something important? just something to think about... katie, well, I wouldn't say we're on the same page, but maybe the same book...a very long book
katie225 katie225 10 years
purple, i believe we're on the same page! i like your powerball analogy.
katie225 katie225 10 years
if there were scientific proof, then yes i would. but it depends on what makes you go to hell. if standing on one foot while bouncing up and down on a friday makes you go to hell, then i wouldn't do it, obviously. (if that sounds ridiculous to you, imagine how "living in sin" sounds to me!) but there is no proof. in fact, i would say there's proof that it doesn't exist. but if there were proof (and a guy 2000 years ago who says he's the son of god isn't proof enough for me), i'd ask what makes you go to hell (if you have to follow the christian bible, or the koran, or the torah, or what have you), and then i'd follow those rules. i'm a great person as it is, i'm nice to people, i don't do drugs, i don't hurt other people. but religions have rules that are so random and arbitrary that i find it ridiculous to follow them. especially without proof. i'd like to think, however, that people have values and morals without the threat of eternal damnation. and i will raise my children to have values and morals for the sake of being a good person, not just because they're afraid that they will burn forever after they die. (correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe socrates argued the same thing. i took the philosophy of religion so long ago, i can't remember!)
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
purple, I have not read the whole Bible, but I know one key verse by heart: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son; whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlsating life" John 3:16. I know that there are other things the Bible says, but, in my opnion this verse is the key to how easy it is to know for certain you will go to whether or not you have lived your life based off of other principles is that person's own business, and what they will have to own up to before entering into the pearly gates is also their business, but the path to heaven is in there, as well as how one should strive to live their life in there. It also contains, history, advice, etc, and although I haven't read the whole thing, I have read what I needed to. And I will state again, this is Christianity as I was rasied and taught. I am a Christian, so, the differing viewpoints are out there. _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
That is all the Bible says you have to do? really? Have you read the whole Bible or did you just pick out one passage and decide that's all there is to the whole book? Dear- I find it interesting how you talk about "mythical" heaven and hell as if its just a story your parents made up, and you totally remove faith from the equation - of course you're going to make the right decision when you know what the outcome will be. That's like asking "if you knew what the winning powerball numbers were going to be, would you buy a ticket?" I'm not going to say anything else because I know you like a "happy community" here, but this post just really rubbed me the wrong way.
KerryG KerryG 10 years
No, I don't think so. I have my faults, but I do a pretty good job of following the Golden Rule overall, and that's what I consider important in life. For the most part, the things I've done that would be considered sins by some (many?) religions, like sleeping with my husband before we were married and using birth control, are things that I don't regret, and if I'm going to be kept out of heaven on the basis of them, then I don't want any part in it! I would also rather go to hell than any heaven that accepts souls on the sole basis of whether they believe in the proper messiah.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
No in the fact that I have alraedy accepted Christ (this is Christianity) as my Savior, that he died to forgive my sins, and that is all the bible says you have to do. I believe there really is a Heaven, and always will. _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
Kazagirl Kazagirl 10 years
If I knew Heaven truly existed then yes I would change my life. I am trying to live a good life now but I do make mistakes and there are things about myself that could be changed.
callmehoney callmehoney 10 years
i think i have enough worries in this life. it'll kill me to worry about what happens in my afterlife.
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