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Nobody
01-05-2012, 03:37 AM
Poll to follow.

You die and to your surprise things don't go like you thought they would. Instead of nothingness or judgement or whatever you're standing with someone who gives you the following options.

Oblivion. Your soul will be erased and that's that.
Eternal paradise. You will be in a world you can control, or make random, or whatever. And if it starts getting dull you can change it.
Reincarnation. You can chose gender, skin color, nationality, and whether you get born to a poor, middle class, or wealthy family.
Nirvana (the Hindu or Buddhist version, not the band.):D

What would you chose? I would chose #2.

Dave_Enn
01-05-2012, 06:11 AM
No "Other" category?
I would like to look forward to becoming a Guardian Angel to some people, and a haunt to some others.

Sudden Kestrel
01-05-2012, 06:16 AM
Although I would prefer Morrowind, I chose Oblivion :D. All I ask of my afterlife is unconsciousness.

not what you'd expect
01-05-2012, 06:21 AM
2. And when I get bored, I can go to one of the other options for a bit and then come back to 2 again. :)

Der Trihs
01-05-2012, 06:30 AM
Paradise. I don't want oblivion if there's a reasonable option, nirvana (at least as I've heard it described) has never interested me, and as I've mentioned before (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=511458) I regard reincarnation as just oblivion by another name.

Mr. Kobayashi
01-05-2012, 07:33 AM
What, no Valhalla?

Anaamika
01-05-2012, 08:22 AM
Of course paradise, under your rules. Who wouldn't? But I don't want to be praising God or some such thing for eternity, that sounds icky and boring. I'd want to have a great afterlife.

Oh, and FYI, it's moksha for the Hindus. Just doing my part. :)

Atomic Mama
01-05-2012, 08:46 AM
Reincarnation -- but I'll take my chances! S/b interesting, considering the life I've lived so far ...

Czarcasm
01-05-2012, 09:23 AM
Does reincarnation include complete memories of previous lives?

Lanzy
01-05-2012, 09:50 AM
Under these options I think most will go for paradise, but the really most would want something else.

UncleRojelio
01-05-2012, 10:08 AM
I chose wandering through time and space.

Foggy
01-05-2012, 10:10 AM
Oblivion - it's the only choice for me.

a35362
01-05-2012, 10:11 AM
CAKE OR DEATH?

Oh, I'll have some cake, please. :D

Zeldar
01-05-2012, 10:22 AM
Simply because I just replied in a "Wizard of Id" thread and that was on my mind, this issue reminds me of my all-time WOI strip:

Spook is being held by two guards in the corridor of some prison and is told, "Spook, behind one of these doors is a beautiful young maiden and behind the other is a starving tiger that hasn't eaten in two weeks. Which door do you take?"

Spook says, "I'll take the one with the maiden."

Hogfather65
01-05-2012, 10:33 AM
Oblivion - it's the only choice for me.

Ditto....

Tim R. Mortiss
01-05-2012, 10:50 AM
Why would anyone choose oblivion over paradise? I can only guess that it comes from living a life that sucked so bad that you can't believe even paradise would be pleasant for you.

panache45
01-05-2012, 10:55 AM
Based on your descriptions, I'll take Door #2. But if I start to smell some kind of deity demanding my eternal gratitude, then it's off to oblivion.

Sudden Kestrel
01-05-2012, 12:07 PM
Why would anyone choose oblivion over paradise? I can only guess that it comes from living a life that sucked so bad that you can't believe even paradise would be pleasant for you.

Yeah, pretty much. I know there would be a catch and I'd just end up living this same life over again. Oblivion is the pessimist's choice.

Martian Bigfoot
01-05-2012, 12:13 PM
Nirvana, obviously. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near ready for that yet. I need at least a few more playthroughs. My only ambition for this one by now is to maybe, maybe do well enough to get another human form and not be reincarnated as a rat.

Nobody
01-05-2012, 03:42 PM
No "Other" category?
I would like to look forward to becoming a Guardian Angel to some people, and a haunt to some others.
What, no Valhalla?
I limited the options to the beliefs (more or less) of the major modern day religions and atheism (the oblivion option).

Nobody
01-05-2012, 03:46 PM
Does reincarnation include complete memories of previous lives?
While the reincarnated you may have some knowledge that only the current you knows, to find out about your past lives you'd need to go through hypnotherapy to regain full knowledge of your past lives.

Nobody
01-05-2012, 03:50 PM
Oh, and FYI, it's moksha for the Hindus. Just doing my part. :)
Oh thank you. I'd always heard that Nirvana was a shared concept between Hindus and Buddhists. Looking up moksha I see that's only partially correct.

Czarcasm
01-05-2012, 04:02 PM
While the reincarnated you may have some knowledge that only the current you knows, to find out about your past lives you'd need to go through hypnotherapy to regain full knowledge of your past lives.Would the hypnotherapy actually be guaranteed to work, or would it just reveal imaginary lives the way it does now?

Skald the Rhymer
01-05-2012, 04:06 PM
I'm going to answer seriously. It's going to depend on whether "paradise" means I get to see my actual son again, or rather an illusory version of him. I'm kinda thinking it would be the latter, if everything in this paradise were entirely under my control. If he's an illusion, I don't see the point of it. And for that matter, I wouldn't want it to be my actual son if he were under my control as you suggest.

Also, can you tell us how Nirvana is distinct from both Oblivion and Paradise?

Nobody
01-05-2012, 04:06 PM
Would the hypnotherapy actually be guaranteed to work, or would it just reveal imaginary lives the way it does now?
Just because everybody who tries it has past lives as royalty and rich people, and never as slaves or poor people, you think it's fake. :dubious: :D

OK, OK, for the sake of this thread it actually works.

Nobody
01-05-2012, 04:08 PM
I'm going to answer seriously. It's going to depend on whether "paradise" means I get to see my actual son again, or rather an illusory version of him; and, l. I'm kinda thinking it would be the latter, if everything in this paradise were entirely under my control. If he's an illusion, I don't see the point of it.
For the purposes of this thread you could see your real son again.

Czarcasm
01-05-2012, 04:11 PM
Just because everybody who tries it has past lives as royalty and rich people, and never as slaves or poor people, you think it's fake. :dubious: :D

OK, OK, for the sake of this thread it actually works.Then reincarnation it is.

Inner Stickler
01-05-2012, 04:18 PM
Well, I'd probably choose paradise. Which would be fun for an eon or two. But then I'd most likely get bored and decide to make a model earth, you know, to see how well I know my geography. And then once I make the earth, I'd probably get really into miniatures as a hobby and since I already have this great model earth right there, I'd just store 'em on it. Of course, I'd have to give the miniatures some sort of AI so that I'm not having to do all the work, you know. That all sounds exhausting so after, oh 6 days, I'd need to take a nap...oh dear.

Skald the Rhymer
01-05-2012, 04:20 PM
Well, I'd probably choose paradise. Which would be fun for an eon or two. But then I'd most likely get bored and decide to make a model earth, you know, to see how well I know my geography. And then once I make the earth, I'd probably get really into miniatures as a hobby and since I already have this great model earth right there, I'd just store 'em on it. Of course, I'd have to give the miniatures some sort of AI so that I'm not having to do all the work, you know. That all sounds exhausting so after, oh 6 days, I'd need to take a nap...oh dear.

I always suspected you were a Witness.

brittekland
01-05-2012, 04:22 PM
Of course no "Oblivion" if I can choose.

I have fear of what might be the boredom of Eternal Paradise... when I go over to other countries/cultures, where they have denser intermingling of population with larger spectrum of economic classes, I always feel like I get 10 times the life experience, or "Life Juicy" as I call it, than being here in the states, in a relative cocoon of affluent but sparsely populated country. I feel like I'm missing out on that experience/contact/traction of life... in a way, perhaps, like being in a paradise, here. There, it's much more compacted stressful, happy, sad, joyous, etc... you feel like you are *living* in *the story*. Here, I feel like I'm living in a huge, sterile, empty space but in comfort.

I voted for "Eternal Paradise" as it seems like a safest choice... but perhaps "Nirvana" might be more fulfilling existence.

Little Nemo
01-05-2012, 06:02 PM
How come there's no option for being a ghost?

Yllaria
01-05-2012, 06:13 PM
What, no Valhalla?

Damn straight. Also, why no option to wander the night in ghostly torment? (Waves at Little Nemo, who snuck in there.)

Why would anyone choose oblivion over paradise? I can only guess that it comes from living a life that sucked so bad that you can't believe even paradise would be pleasant for you.

Depends on how you define paradise. If paradise is basically being absorbed by a Higher Being, that's about the same thing as oblivion, with the added twist of having strengthened or satisfied the being who absorbed you.

If paradise means drinking the waters of Lethe, that's very near to oblivion. Even if you are allowed to be separate, what kind of separate existance can you have with no memory and no bodily imperatives?

If paradise is rejoining all of your dead relatives . . . let's just say that I come from a long line of Complainers. It would be a loud paradise.

brittekland
01-05-2012, 06:26 PM
"Reincarnation" would be a gamble.

Nobody
01-05-2012, 06:30 PM
"Reincarnation" would be a gamble.
Some people like taking risks. I prefer to play it safe myself.

brittekland
01-05-2012, 06:53 PM
Some people like taking risks.

For all you know you might end up being a dayfly (Mayfly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayfly)). Hey, you'd experience flight for a day.

jsgoddess
01-05-2012, 07:20 PM
Oblivion. I don't need to be trapped in my own head for eternity, and that's what this idea of "paradise" is.

RealityChuck
01-05-2012, 07:55 PM
Life on Earth is fun; I want to give it another ride.

Nobody
01-05-2012, 08:38 PM
For all you know you might end up being a dayfly (Mayfly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayfly)). Hey, you'd experience flight for a day.
In the OP I specified that you could control some of the circumstances of how you come back. So for the purposes of this thread only, the risk is minimal.

brittekland
01-05-2012, 09:59 PM
In the OP I specified that you could control some of the circumstances of how you come back. So for the purposes of this thread only, the risk is minimal.

Ooops, guilty: apparently I forgot to read the OP after voting.... :rolleyes: This is a much kinder kind then.

Beware of Doug
01-06-2012, 01:08 AM
I wanna be a cat.

brittekland
01-06-2012, 01:11 AM
Dolphin.

YogSosoth
01-06-2012, 11:15 AM
I don't believe in eternal paradise. Rather, I don't think it is possible. Eternity takes precedent over judgement. Eternity is above choice. By definition, whatever is eternal will include everything, ever. What guarantee do I have that after an eternity of years, I wouldn't get bored of paradise? Or that the being offering it would die, or get deposed? Oblivion is the only option I would ever choose

Anaamika
01-06-2012, 11:17 AM
Oh thank you. I'd always heard that Nirvana was a shared concept between Hindus and Buddhists. Looking up moksha I see that's only partially correct.

As is everything with Hindus, it's way more complicated than that. Fun fact: Siddarth Gautauma, the Buddha, was totally a Hindu prince. And now there's very very few Buddhists in India and lots of other cultures have grabbed him and run with it. :)

Trom
01-06-2012, 11:59 AM
The way I read it, eternal paradise is the best thing I could ever imagine. So, any other choice is redundant. Why limit myself to only reincarnation or Nirvana when I can have it all?

Nobody
01-06-2012, 02:29 PM
As is everything with Hindus, it's way more complicated than that. Fun fact: Siddarth Gautauma, the Buddha, was totally a Hindu prince. And now there's very very few Buddhists in India and lots of other cultures have grabbed him and run with it. :)
Yeah, I've read up a little on Siddarth in the past and knew that Buddhism broke off from Hinduism, which is why both share a belief in reincarnation and both have a similar "reward" at the end.