BobBob wrote on Feb 24, 2017, 16:51:
I wonder which of you fears death more and who will be happy or scared at his/her deathbed. After all, it's what likely defines our individual existence in the end -- life unto death.
Death is death. Everyone fears it. Even Witnesses. The reason? "God has . . . put eternity in their heart." (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Unlike animals and plants, we are the only beings who are both aware of our mortality and fear it. However, in contrast to the plants and animals, only we sinned against God. Well, not you and I per say, but via Adam's willful disobedience and inherited sinful imperfection. (Romans 5:12)
Humans were never designed to die, and death was never in Jehovah's blueprints for people. Death is quite literally unnatural despite society's view of it. Think about the words at Genesis 1:26, where, to Jesus (his "master builder" [1 Corinthians 3:10; Proverbs 8:30]), Jehovah says, "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness." Those eleven words are powerful and hold so much meaning. From them, you can conclude that we are like God in the sense that we have many of his features and qualities.
- Only humans have free will. Animals do not. They are programmed from birth to do particular things via instinct, and they will do that thing until they die.
- Only humans have the capacity to learn, reason, and use logic. Animals are creatures driven purely by primal directives like "survive," "eat," "sleep," "procreate," "fight," and so forth. Jehovah chose to give them only what they needed to exist and expand their species. You will never see a lion resting on his pride with a good book on astronomy and discusses the day's affairs with his mate.
- Only humans have the capacity to analyze our environment and change our thinking. Slightly abstract, evidence exists in the differences between how people and animals look at and react to situations. For example, if a human were to do bad things, even commit high crimes, they are not a lost cause. They can be rehabilitated, learn from mistakes, and condition themselves to do better. Israelite king Manasseh is an excellent example of a man who was responsible for the deaths of thousands under his rule; and yet he underwent a complete change of attitude and became a different person for the best. An animal typically is killed if its behavior ever threatens humans. The issue is that in most cases it's harder to change an animal's behavioral pattern once formed.
- Only humans can express remorse, guilt, and have a morality device called conscience. Animals are not afforded these complex emotions.
- Only humans have the ability to be caretakers of the earth; which is one of the roles Jehovah assigned to Adam and Eve.
- Only humans have the capacity to think about the past, the present, and the future. I am pretty sure a sloth hanging about isn't thinking about the other really awesome times he hung out. Animals only live in the now-now.
- Only humans have the ability to understand and worship God. Plants and animals have no comprehension or grasp of deities.
Of all the thousands, perhaps millions, of creations, humans represent the crowning achievement of Jehovah's earthly creation. If he can make trees live for thousands of years and animals live for hundreds of year, then why would he make his most intelligent creation have a shelf-life of 70-90; maybe 100 years. We are not disposable.
Even scientists understand that humans have the capacity, both physically and mentally, to live forever they just can't at present. My knowledge is murky but from what I remember scientists learned that every seven years all the cells in our body clone themselves. They found evidence that during the cloning process flaws appear and that these flaws continue to get worse after each clone. They call this cell degradation. It is like making a copy of a copy of a copy; eventually, the print will become illegible. Contrary to this, our cells are designed to clone themselves entirely, perfectly, and forever. If humans could do that now, no one would die.
Sin is a condition. As far as what the particular flaw is who knows. It is more important to know that this degenerative disease called "sin" is hereditary and has passed from mother to child since Eve. According to God's law, a human who sins shall die. He makes that abundantly clear to Adam and Eve. "You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.” (Genesis 3:3) It was a death sentence just to touch God's fruit and fruit tree. Of course, Adam and Eve were perfect, so it is way easier of a test to simply not touch God's tree, than for Witnesses to follow Bible principles daily in a world under Satan's influence. (1 John 5:19)
As the great lawgiver, Jehovah was legally obligated by his own laws to put Adam and Eve to death for their disobedience. If he hadn't this could have led to a much greater issue of chaos in the heavens. The angels were watching Jehovah's reaction to Satan's challenge to His soveignty over his creation. The issue at play was, "Does he have the right to rule humanity?" Jehovah did not want to condemn the human race to permanent death. Even more so considering his original purpose for humans was to live on a beautiful, garden-like earth forever (he still has that purpose today). He had to create a legal loophole of ending this "death sentence." He achieved this through the death of Jesus. (John 3:16; Romans 6:23) Jesus blood was equaled in weight to Adam's because it was perfect and provided perfect justice. Balancing this scale meant Jehovah now had the legal means to cover over imperfection with Jesus' perfect blood as a great sin offering. Moreover, because Jesus was perfect, and by definition better than any imperfect human who ever lived, his symbolic blood could apply retroactively back to Adam and Eve's imperfect son Abel, who was murdered by his imperfect brother Cain, as well as far into the future (like today).
The TL;DR is that humans will always fear death, but most of us desire to live forever. Two constructs would appear at odds like oil and water. However, through the prism of "Sin's Law," if death were done away with, it makes a ton of sense. To me, at least.
P.S. I wonder if you guys realize how much time it takes to write these posts? I know many of you criticize "copy-pasta." I agree that someone should be knowledgeable about a subject to explain it in his or her words. I am not exaggerating when I state this post alone took about two hours to put together. Hope you appreciate the effort, even if you roll your eyes at the content. This comment was edited on Mar 1, 2017, 20:19.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf