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Stoicism and Religion

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6/29/2014 1:14:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I am wondering what various opinions there are on what the soul is. The existence of the soul, or in greek, "breath", is supported by theologians, scientists, and almost every philosopher, but we can never agree objectively on what it is. We just know its essence, but not even the greatest minds could exactly pin down what it is. I bring this up, so I can talk about Stoic Religious thought. In stoicism, we are to believe that the universe has a soul as well. It's a living, breathing entity, which many stoic Christians refer to as god. The belief, is that if we live a life according to nature, then our souls will ascend to god upon death. Or god as in the universe. This isn't actually far from what most protestants believe today. Few non-conservative denominations of Christianity still believe the holy spirit and god are literal things.

From my readings of certain theologians like Nee, God is what is not visible, Jesus is what is, and the holy spirit is that which runs through the three. Or in other words, we are connected to God through are souls. For people believing in new denominations of Christianity, often called progressive Christians, we are led to believe that our only connection to god is what is natural. This is what makes Stoic Christianity and Catholic belief in literalness so different. One tells us to follow nature, and our soul will become apart of nature. The other tells us that we follow god, who is literally existence, and our heaven, salvation, whatever you want to call it, will be an actual paradise. I have shied away from my beliefs in realist Christianity the past couple years, to slowly tread a path of more metaphysical thought.

The stoic reasoning for god seems much more viable to me. If we have "breath", or life, then it's reasonable to assume the universe does as well. If our souls leave our bodies upon death, where else are we to go? I feel the only reasonable explanation is become a part of the the Universe, which according to Stoic Christians, is the kingdom of god. The realist sense of Christianity simply does not compute with me. How are we to experience eternal torture or paradise without a body. Don't tell me we are to receive a replacement for the one that left us? Even the bible refers more directly to being spiritual and not humanoid in heaven. Anyways, the point of this thread is to see what you think about stoic Christianity.
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