Feb 9th lec
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•Notes on the social Genesis of hell and heaven
The appeals of heaven: “ Pie in the sky, when u die” (u might not b finding life
fulfilling but use heavenly dispensation to change the picture)
-Feuerbach: “Heaven is the key to deepest mysteries of religion”
•as an ideological stabilization mechanism? All is made right in the afterlife, thus
tolerating what is wrong in this life? Cf Marxist critiques : promise of “heaven” in
the sky sanctions “hell” (exploitation, oppression) on the earth…
•To offer consolation for suffering, with the promise of amends of justice in the life to
Afterlife beliefs are regulative for wordly existence: endure poverty, oppression,
injustice, inequality, persecution, ascetic renunciation.(more manageable if u hold
out these afterlife beliefs)
Earth is a different place, wen it lies between a heaven and a hell…
is heaven a place? Or a state of mind/heart?
Chinese proverb: “heaven and hell are widin the heart”
Jesus: “the kingdom of God is widin you “
Notes: Heaven is the existence adequate to my wishes- Feuerbach.
in rlg pple usually talking abt themselves, highest aspirations etc. expression of our basic
nature/subjectivity. F felt that beliefs in heaven unlocks deepest mysteries of rlg.
-the role of afterlife believes. Who’s the first person who said that?Critias of Athens (control
theory) –belief in God was an invention of a clever law giver. See everything u did at all
times. Supernatural omniscientb /police.
punishments/rewards linked wid real life. On one hand afterlife beliefs serve as a
mechanism to make sure rewards and punishments go as they shud. If in this life u’ve
complied wid all u’ve lived wid, ur life is filled wid misery, the promise of heavens
compensate. afterlife believes for social control-justice’d be done. This promise. Pple endure
worldly inadequacies. The promise of afterlife rewards and punishments serves for
consulations/sufferings/justice. If mistreated, this wrld gives u no relief. The powerful
dominate the weak. Exploitation/oppression. How can pple cope wid that? How can they
endure wid that kind of oppression.
They undergo significant development. Afterlife beliefs’d find a powerful connection b/w
afterlife believes that are popular vs those by the official views/popes etc.
Major differences bw popular views and theological /philosophical.
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