- Why wouldn’t you want to live forever? New Scientist editors debate | New Scientist
- Why wouldn’t you want to live forever? New Scientist editors debate
- Release of Eternal Life. Yes, Forever!
Human beings are mortal animals.
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The wise embrace that, and with it the inevitability of their demise. For these sage souls, extreme longevity is a curse disguised as a gift. These realists understand that the nature of human experience is essentially one of transience and impermanence. This is captured perfectly in the Japanese thought concept mono no aware. Being aware of this does not diminish the experience but intensifies it. For instance, I remember seeing Leonard Cohen on what turned out to be his final tour.
Both he and the audience knew this might be the last time he played for us. That gave the occasion an emotional depth that made it profoundly moving and unforgettable. Would we even have gone if we could have expected him back until and beyond? When we desire indefinite life we seem to be in denial of the essentially transient, impermanent nature of everything, especially of ourselves.
To even imagine eternal life we have to assume that we are the kinds of creatures who could persist indefinitely. But contemporary philosophers, neuroscientists, psychologists and the early Buddhists all agree that the self is in constant flux, lacking a permanent, unchanging essence. Put simply, there is no thing that could survive indefinitely.
Take this seriously and you can see how the idea of living for ever is incoherent. If your body could be kept going for a thousand years, in what sense would the you that exists now still be around then? It would be more like a descendant than it would a continuation of you.
I sometimes find it hard to identify with my teenage self, and that was less than 40 years ago. If I change, I eventually become someone else. Even if we could survive for hundreds of years, focusing too much on the future always risks neglecting the present. There is a very real sense in which we only ever exist in the here and now.
Being fully alive requires being in that present as fully as possible. Eternity is a hard concept for us to understand. We live in a world where life has a beginning and an end. We are born, and we die.
Why wouldn’t you want to live forever? New Scientist editors debate | New Scientist
The time-bound physical universe you and I live in was created by God, who has no beginning or end. God says our minds are presently very limited, and there is so much we cannot fully grasp, including eternity For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. God has put that desire in our hearts because His will is for us to become spirit as He is and enjoy eternity with Him.
The spirit realm where God and the angels exist is unimaginably better than the physical realm we live in.
It is so incredible that the mere presence, power and glory of spirit beings can overwhelm our frail human bodies. But consider these examples:. When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. Even the angels can be overwhelming to mankind.
And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Why wouldn’t you want to live forever? New Scientist editors debate
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. Yet God promises to give those who repent and follow Him new, glorious spirit bodies.
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It is only with new, imperishable spirit bodies that we can join God in the spirit realm. As we step into eternity, we will be changed into immortal spirit beings. When we are clothed with these glorified bodies, we will neither get tired nor need to sleep Psalm ; Isaiah We will be strong, full of energy and feel forever young.
We will never have to deal with the effects of an aging or disabled human body anymore.
Release of Eternal Life. Yes, Forever!
We can look forward to an eternity of being like God. A popular belief of modern Christianity is that those who have lived a good life will go to heaven when they die, play harps and just look at the face of Jesus for all eternity. But such a sedentary life is not what the Bible teaches. Living in eternity is not going to be a life of doing nothing, nor will eternity get boring.
Living in the Kingdom of God will be full of joy and pleasures. Living in the Kingdom of God will be full of joy and pleasures Psalm For many of us, work can be difficult and tiring, and is often not pleasurable.
The Bible explains that work became burdensome because of sin Genesis Though work can be difficult, working is good, and God created man both to work and to do good works Genesis ; Ephesians God enjoys the fruit of His labor Isaiah , and we, too, will enjoy the fruit of our labor as spirit beings. Living into eternity will involve lots of truly meaningful work. So, whatever work we will be involved in will not be burdensome like it often is today, but will be enjoyable and rewarding.
Recreation will also be a part of our life as we live into eternity. Even God enjoys recreation.