Why the sky? Jesus going up in the sky, heaven, etc.

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Why the sky? Jesus going up in the sky, heaven, etc.

We know now that the sky goes on seemingly forever, and that there is no mystical spirit world in the sky.

 Why, then, are angels, Jesus, God, and heaven depicted as flying around or existing in the sky?

When Jesus died and resurrected, why the ascension into the sky?  Wouldn't it make more sense for him to just pop out of existence and enter the spirit world?

There are some serious logical problems with all this flying around and living up in the clouds.  I think the easy answer is that most pre-modern peoples believed that there really was some spirit world up in the sky, so their religious traditions reflected that premise.

This, I propose, is why they cared so much about astronomy and astrology. 


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doctoro wrote: We know now

doctoro wrote:

We know now that the sky goes on seemingly forever, and that there is no mystical spirit world in the sky.

Why, then, are angels, Jesus, God, and heaven depicted as flying around or existing in the sky?

Flat earth? Down and up had context. Down was clearly hell since that's where nasty stuff like lava and sulfer fumes came from. Up was all that was left fro heaven.

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When Jesus died and resurrected, why the ascension into the sky? Wouldn't it make more sense for him to just pop out of existence and enter the spirit world?

The spaceship was in geo-synchronos orbit over Jerusalem? So the transporter beam sucked him "up".

Quote:
 

There are some serious logical problems with all this flying around and living up in the clouds. I think the easy answer is that most pre-modern peoples believed that there really was some spirit world up in the sky, so their religious traditions reflected that premise.

This, I propose, is why they cared so much about astronomy and astrology.

Who is they? May cultures were fascinated by the stars. This is not just a Christian thing.

 

 


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This topic should get a "No

This topic should get a "No duh" stamp on it.

Read Genesis sometime. You won't have to go far, I'm pretty sure it's right on the first page (depending on how large the print is). God creates heaven and earth. Then, he creates light and all that, but THEN he creates the firmament to separate "water above from the water below" (aka to separate heaven from the earth). The early Jews  thought that the earth was flat, and that the sky fit over it like a bowl, and beyond the sky was heaven, where God dwelled.


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LosingStreak06 wrote:

LosingStreak06 wrote:

This topic should get a "No duh" stamp on it.

Read Genesis sometime. You won't have to go far, I'm pretty sure it's right on the first page (depending on how large the print is). God creates heaven and earth. Then, he creates light and all that, but THEN he creates the firmament to separate "water above from the water below" (aka to separate heaven from the earth). The early Jews thought that the earth was flat, and that the sky fit over it like a bowl, and beyond the sky was heaven, where God dwelled.

I appreciate the patronizing tone.

It seems that you agree with my central premise. I certainly believe that the Bible was written by fallible men who were "just doing their best" to understand the world and how to live. I agree that Jews believed the world to be flat and that they believed that the sky was heaven. Where do you disagree with me?

The point is that given all these beliefs stated as facts in the bible, and what we now know to actually be true, it does not follow that there would be such a preponderance of literal supernatural experiences involving the sky.

As I said before, Jesus is reported to have floated up into heaven. He ascended up into the sky in every pictorial depiction of the resurrection that I have ever seen.

Now either the artists of these pictures got it wrong, or the Bible just doesn't make sense.

If there is nothing up in the physical sky, why all the bravado and spectacular showmanship with a glowing Jesus floating up in the sky? It seems like purposeful deception if this was a true event. Was Jesus flying through a portal in the sky to an immaterial, non-physical world?

It's Occum's razor worthy. There is no need to make things more complex than they need to be.

If there is no heaven in the sky, then there is no reason to ascend up in the sky.

You could make Jesus physically evaporate into thin air -- which would make a whole lot more sense, since heaven is immaterial. Kind of like the Star Trek teleportation device. Beam Jesus into heaven.

Another option would be to create a portal with blinding white light that Jesus steps into. Like the TV show, Sliders.

All of my imaginary scenarios sound silly, I freely confess. The trouble with supernaturalism, though, is that there is no boundary or criteria for separating silly from non-silly.  With naturalism, these silly scenarios are not possible considerations.  We throw the baby out with the bathwater. 

If the Bible was written by fallible men, I would most definitely expect to see all sorts of obsession with the sky, since they thought heaven had something to do with the sky.

If the Bible were true, you would expect all factual, literal events to correspond with empirical and logical evidence. This criteria has not been met. Hence, I argue that the Bible is false and fictional. I highly doubt Jesus ever existed, and even if he did, he was no deity.

What exactly is your refutation of this logic?


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doctoro wrote:

doctoro wrote:

I appreciate the patronizing tone.

And I appreciate the sarcasm.

Quote:
It seems that you agree with my central premise. I certainly believe that the Bible was written by fallible men who were "just doing their best" to understand the world and how to live. I agree that Jews believed the world to be flat and that they believed that the sky was heaven. Where do you disagree with me?

I don't disagree with you.

Quote:
The point is that given all these beliefs stated as facts in the bible, and what we now know to actually be true, it does not follow that there would be such a preponderance of literal supernatural experiences involving the sky.

But it does follow that men who believed the sky to be the dwelling of their deity would write about supernatural events related to the sky, even perhaps going so far as to look especially for them, or even to include them in otherwise not sky-related mythology.

Quote:
As I said before, Jesus is reported to have floated up into heaven. He ascended up into the sky in every pictorial depiction of the resurrection that I have ever seen.

The resurrection was when he came back from the dead, not when he floated into the sky. But I get your point.

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Now either the artists of these pictures got it wrong, or the Bible just doesn't make sense.

Both is also an option.

Quote:
If there is nothing up in the physical sky, why all the bravado and spectacular showmanship with a glowing Jesus floating up in the sky? It seems like purposeful deception if this was a true event. Was Jesus flying through a portal in the sky to an immaterial, non-physical world?

It's Occum's razor worthy. There is no need to make things more complex than they need to be.

I don't think Ockham's razor applies to magic tricks. Flair goes a long way in instilling a sense of zeal in people, I would think.

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If there is no heaven in the sky, then there is no reason to ascend up in the sky.

Completely disregarding the fact that (assuming Jesus was who he claimed to have been) Jesus' pilgramage to the mortal realm should be totally unnecessary in the first place (an all-powerful god needs to send his son who is also him to be sacrificed so that he can forgive man for breaking rules he made in the first place when he knew beforehand that they would break them?), it would seem that Jesus had a thing for putting on a good show. He was, at the very least, an entertainer.

Quote:
You could make Jesus physically evaporate into thin air -- which would make a whole lot more sense, since heaven is immaterial. Kind of like the Star Trek teleportation device. Beam Jesus into heaven.

Nah, they didn't give Jesus beaming technology (it would have violated the Prime Directive).

Quote:
Another option would be to create a portal with blinding white light that Jesus steps into. Like the TV show, Sliders.

Sliders stopped being good after they killed off the professor.

But if you are looking for a real reason that a resurrected god would choose to disappear into the sky rather than slide, or beam, or simply just disappear, I would say it was probably due to the fact that he knew who he was dealing with. Part of delivering a message successfully is knowing your audience, and Jesus knew his. Jews who (still) believed the earth to be flat and heaven to be in the sky. He's a busy guy, and he has more important things to do than to sit down and explain to the apostles that the earth is actually round, revolves around the sun, which is actually a star, etc. That would take a while, even ignoring the attempt at explaining that heaven is not a physical place (at least in this universe).

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All of my imaginary scenarios sound silly, I freely confess. The trouble with supernaturalism, though, is that there is no boundary or criteria for separating silly from non-silly.

I don't see that as a trouble. It means that anyone can freely believe anything about the supernatural that they want to. I rather like that.

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With naturalism, these silly scenarios are not possible considerations. We throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Better than letting it drown, I suppose.

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If the Bible was written by fallible men, I would most definitely expect to see all sorts of obsession with the sky, since they thought heaven had something to do with the sky.

If the Bible were true, you would expect all factual, literal events to correspond with empirical and logical evidence. This criteria has not been met.

"True" is a tricky word, especially when dealing with supernatural things.

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Hence, I argue that the Bible is false and fictional. I highly doubt Jesus ever existed, and even if he did, he was no deity.

Alright.

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What exactly is your refutation of this logic?

I wouldn't call it a refutation, so much as an impatience. It is sort of fun to play Jesus' advocate, though.


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The bible was written by

The bible was written by people ravaged by their ignorance of the natural world. Next question.


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There are three heavens, the

There are three heavens, the sky, the universe, and finally the place we refer to as Heaven. Heaven exists beyond the universe. When Jesus ascended, he went into the universe and finally to heaven. He went up, because that is how you get away from the earth. Had he gone left, right, or down, he would have ran into something and also confused the desciples about where he was going.


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Quote: There are three

Quote:

There are three heavens, the sky, the universe, and finally the place we refer to as Heaven. Heaven exists beyond the universe. When Jesus ascended, he went into the universe and finally to heaven. He went up, because that is how you get away from the earth. Had he gone left, right, or down, he would have ran into something and also confused the desciples about where he was going.

 

So Jesus left earth 2000 years ago to fly to the edge of the universe and back into heaven? By all accounts he didn't leave at the spead of light but we'll assume he accelerated to that speed after he was out of visible range. We don't know just how big the universe is but we can see other galaxies up to 10 000 000 000 light years away.

If we assume that the universe is only as big as we can see (the smallest possible estimate) Jesus has made only  0.00002% of his total trip so far. 

I guess that explains why God lets so many bad things happen. He's busy with his long flight. Don't worry though, in 9 999 998 000 years when he gets home I'm sure he'll put everything back in order.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:
doctoro wrote:

Another option would be to create a portal with blinding white light that Jesus steps into. Like the TV show, Sliders.

Sliders stopped being good after they killed off the professor.

Exactly!

 

 

On a relatively more seriously note, sky heavenlies are synonymous with mythology (yes that makes the Jesus story synonymous with mythology but to any fairly rational reader that should not come as a surprise).

For this part of our Magistery skill is needed, in order to divide and compound the substances aright, so that the art may result in riches, and the balance may not be falsified by unequal weights. The sky we speak of is the sky of our Art, and there must be justly proportioned parts of our air and earth, our true water and our palpable fire.

Basilius Valentinus. (Sixth Key)

This is a metaphysical equation which is actually quite cool when you think about it a while.... alright that's probably not enough information. First the magistery is thought, consciousness. Recall these were the early days of alchemical science, these twelve keys are philosophical predecessors to the scientific method, a mystical attempt to perfect thought itself (and get closer to God thereby).

The Sky is the projective space for the conscious process, the relationship with the colour blue is mystical and represents what was known as the mental plane. air is synonymous with mercury the planet of intellect and knowledge this is the first balance of the scientific method a careful measure of knowledge. The earth is the symbol of... well.... solid earth, this is determinism in a nutshell; tools of measurement (incedently this symbol relates to the phi ratio; the natural expression of physicality), the true water is synonymous with spirit, inspiration, imagination, this is translated into the modern scientific method as hypothesis. The last and important ingredient is the palpable fire; the testing process; this is a symbol of what early thinkers considered the core energy of the world.  movement and change, which always had two ways to go. Fire is synonymous with the original idea of duality because fire transforms one thing into another.

So then mythologically the sky Jesus ascended was the sky of our future consciousness. He transcended our perfection of inner being into the space where it futurely would be were we to make the effort to attain it ourselves.

Mythology has a lot of beautiful patterns like this, I don't know why it's so underappreciated. Cry

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Speaking of sky... We all

Speaking of sky...

We all know the story of King Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. How come reaching for the heavens was a no-no then, but we can build sky going vessels that explore the heavens now? Dozens of humans have traveled into space. 12 of them walked on the moon. Less than 20 astronauts have died. WHy no wrath now?


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thano13 wrote: Speaking of

thano13 wrote:

Speaking of sky...

We all know the story of King Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. How come reaching for the heavens was a no-no then, but we can build sky going vessels that explore the heavens now? Dozens of humans have traveled into space. 12 of them walked on the moon. Less than 20 astronauts have died. WHy no wrath now?

This is fairly simple. The wrath it would seem was not about the tower but the greed and hedonism it symbolised in the community.  The fall of Babel was construed into an example by morality preachers of the day, Essentially to say this place fell because God didn't like it. In this case God is somewhat synonymous with what some would prefer to call natural selection and _now_ predictable consequences (though the knowledge and predictability of such things doesn't equate in real terms to an enlightened world which clearly avoids destructive behaviours), greed and excess were obviously not favoured by what appeared to be God, the tower reaching to the 'sky' (in this case the sky is more a representation of physical projective space than mental projective space) was the symbol of Babel reaching for fortune.

 Now, why no wrath for us flying to the moon? Some Native American cultures actually do believe that Western Space exploration is a sign of their country taking the bad road. They are probably right as it seems more space progress has been poured into tactical defense systems (physical projection of fortunes in war) than the original promise of new insight and exploration raising the consciousness of the human community.

Overall, no one needs excite themselves about Gods wrath tearing down those that reach for the physical projective sky at the expense of a more ethical paradigm, with or without God the fact remains that preparing for war generally leads to war, obsession with arms leads to ignorance of love, and the predictable consequences of greed, conquest and excess are never pretty. 

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So, do you admit that this

So, do you admit that this is just another fable written to keep the flock on the straight and narrow? There are way worse things than Babel or Sodom and Gomorrah happening today, yet no "wrath of God" is correcting it.

And, maybe it's just me, but wasn't a similar justification, in Allah's name, used as reason to crash into the twin towers? Doesn't that demonstrate the damage scripure can create?


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thano13 wrote:

thano13 wrote:

So, do you admit that this is just another fable written to keep the flock on the straight and narrow?

This in not an admission on my behalf, Thano, I come with those beliefs I don't need to admit them into my thinking.

Quote:

There are way worse things than Babel or Sodom and Gomorrah happening today, yet no "wrath of God" is correcting it.

I wouldn't say that and be so sure about it as you are. Babel didn't fall suddenly, it took went through very real ups and downs eventually succumbing to a final destruction. It was attacked from outside a few times and rebuilt, but eventually it was all but destroyed by infighting, dissent and cruelty among it's own rulers and people, it never recovered from that.

 

Quote:

And, maybe it's just me, but wasn't a similar justification, in Allah's name, used as reason to crash into the twin towers? Doesn't that demonstrate the damage scripure can create?

However you like it. The middle east is a physically repressed and exploited community anyway, religion notwithstanding, if scripture justifies acts of violence on behalf of their desperation then scripture is related to the violent acts, but what of their desperation? Do we hate Allah to negate the fact that the west does exploit them? What scripture is the west working off to justify exploiting and pillaging the east? That scripture is just as dangerous.

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simple theist wrote: There

simple theist wrote:
There are three heavens, the sky, the universe, and finally the place we refer to as Heaven. Heaven exists beyond the universe. When Jesus ascended, he went into the universe and finally to heaven. He went up, because that is how you get away from the earth. Had he gone left, right, or down, he would have ran into something and also confused the desciples about where he was going.

Actually, according to Genesis 1:6-8, the firmament (named Heaven) is between the waters, so Heaven is well within the bounds of the universe.  If it's on the first page, you can't change it without at least a footnote.


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AnAirplane wrote:

AnAirplane wrote:

simple theist wrote:
There are three heavens, the sky, the universe, and finally the place we refer to as Heaven. Heaven exists beyond the universe. When Jesus ascended, he went into the universe and finally to heaven. He went up, because that is how you get away from the earth. Had he gone left, right, or down, he would have ran into something and also confused the desciples about where he was going.

Actually, according to Genesis 1:6-8, the firmament (named Heaven) is between the waters, so Heaven is well within the bounds of the universe. If it's on the first page, you can't change it without at least a footnote.

The second heaven (the universe) is created prior to Gen. 1:6. One can assume that the third heaven (where the angels are, where God's throane is) exists prior to Gen. 1:6 as well. So Gen. 1:6-8 simply describes the creation of the first heaven (the sky). So the first heaven is in the sky and therefore within the bounds of the universe. The second heaven is in fact the universe. The third heaven exists somewhere beyond the universe.

As for how long it took Jesus to get there, he can reach the third heaven in the twinkle of an eye.  


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Quote: The fall of Babel

Quote: The fall of Babel was construed into an example by morality preachers of the day, Essentially to say this place fell because God didn't like it.

Sounds like a “keep em in line” story to me. Just my opinion, I guess.

Quote: I wouldn't say that and be so sure about it as you are.

So, with the increasing number of adulterers, pedophiles, murderers, and rapists in the world; we are to believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were still worse?

Quote: What scripture is the west working off to justify exploiting and pillaging the east? That scripture is just as dangerous.

 

Scripture is just dangerous in general. Christians, Moslems, and Jews have all used to their liking to justify so many atrocities. President Dubya himself said he’s doing Gods work.

I just wonder at what point god shrugged his shoulders and said “Oh well”.

 

 


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thano13 wrote: Quote: The

thano13 wrote:

Quote: The fall of Babel was construed into an example by morality preachers of the day, Essentially to say this place fell because God didn't like it.

Sounds like a “keep em in line” story to me. Just my opinion, I guess.

 

That's a fair statement. It doesn't have to not represent God in some way to be that though, is all.

thano wrote:
 

Quote: I wouldn't say that and be so sure about it as you are.

So, with the increasing number of adulterers, pedophiles, murderers, and rapists in the world; we are to believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were still worse?

eh no, that's not what I was referring to. You also said 'no wrath of God intervening' You don't have to define it as God's wrath, but..... well lets just say we have been better as a society.

 

thano wrote:

Quote: What scripture is the west working off to justify exploiting and pillaging the east? That scripture is just as dangerous.

 

Scripture is just dangerous in general. Christians, Moslems, and Jews have all used to their liking to justify so many atrocities. President Dubya himself said he’s doing Gods work.

Well no I didn't just mean that scripture, there are dogmas of politics and enterprise which are far under par on the humanist agenda as well. But I agree religion has come into its own lately and is very unpleasantly aligned with the common bad.

Quote:
 

I just wonder at what point god shrugged his shoulders and said “Oh well”.

 It seems to me the natural law of 'you reap what you sow' is still well in effect in our world. But again, this can simply be referred to as natural selection, it's the fittest that survive, where fit = agreeable, correct, compatible and harmonized. 

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doctoro wrote: We know now

doctoro wrote:

We know now that the sky goes on seemingly forever, and that there is no mystical spirit world in the sky.

 Why, then, are angels, Jesus, God, and heaven depicted as flying around or existing in the sky?

When Jesus died and resurrected, why the ascension into the sky?  Wouldn't it make more sense for him to just pop out of existence and enter the spirit world?

There are some serious logical problems with all this flying around and living up in the clouds.  I think the easy answer is that most pre-modern peoples believed that there really was some spirit world up in the sky, so their religious traditions reflected that premise.

This, I propose, is why they cared so much about astronomy and astrology. 

Perhaps the wormhole between the natural and supernatural world is in the sky.


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Once again, the Christians

Once again, the Christians are revealing their lack of the even most basic knowledge of the history of their own ideas.  You guys never really wonder where this stuff comes from enough to look into it?

In OT Hebrew days, God didn't live in the sky.  He lived on a mountain--first Mount Horeb, then later Mount Sinai.

That business about dividing the firmament above and firmament below is adopted wholesale from the Babylonian creation story.  In that version--which the Hebrews most likely got when they spent several generations in captivity in Babylon--the god Marduk creates the world by dividing the body of the primal chaos beast Tiamat into the earth below and the dome of the sky above.

The idea that God lives in the sky that was around in Jesus's time is a Greek idea.  The Greeks had given up the idea that the gods lived on Mount Olympus and decided instead that they lived in the sky.  Like everybody else, the Greeks thought the sky was a solid dome, the body of the god Ouranous.  In the NT whenever Jesus refers to 'Heaven,' that's a translation of the word 'ouranous' that actually means 'sky.' It was synonymous with 'the throne of god,' but not with  some otherworldly realm of eternal reward, which would have been referred to by a different word.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert