Download PDF by Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Christopher Lewis (eds.): Beyond Death: Theological and Philosophical Reflections of

By Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Christopher Lewis (eds.)

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Additional resources for Beyond Death: Theological and Philosophical Reflections of Life after Death

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However, the ideas Aquinas puts forward seem to suf- A Christian Approach to Eternal Life 21 fer from real difficulties. Almost all the issues are arguable for instance, the claim that man's ultimate happiness rests on the contemplation of God seems to be an assumption that could be challenged. Also, to say that God is absolute goodness raises real questions about the nature of the Universe as· well as opening up Plato's Euthyphro dilemma (in which Plato has Socrates ask whether the only standard of goodness is what the gods want or whether there is some independent standard against which the wishes of the gods can be measured).

It is easy to see why this idea should have appeared so attractive to the Church. It enables the believer to see that his only end lies in God, yet a God identified with the supreme Platonic values. However, the ideas Aquinas puts forward seem to suf- A Christian Approach to Eternal Life 21 fer from real difficulties. Almost all the issues are arguable for instance, the claim that man's ultimate happiness rests on the contemplation of God seems to be an assumption that could be challenged. Also, to say that God is absolute goodness raises real questions about the nature of the Universe as· well as opening up Plato's Euthyphro dilemma (in which Plato has Socrates ask whether the only standard of goodness is what the gods want or whether there is some independent standard against which the wishes of the gods can be measured).

Give rest, 0 Lord, to the souls of thy servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life without end. May Christ give you rest in the land of the living, alld open for you the gates of paradise; may he receive you as a citizen of the Kingdom, and grant you forgiveness of your sins: for you were his friend. Yet some of the prayers strike a more sombre note, reminding us of the possibility of an eternal separation from God: From the ever-burning fire, from the darkness without light, from the gnashing of teeth and the worm that torments without ceasing, from every punishment, deliver, 0 our Saviour, all who have died in faith.

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