Why is it that religionists accept the concept of heaven without thinking it through to its logical conclusions? To them, that is what this world is all about. Live your life within the guidelines of morality, as dictated by a book that could not be more irrelevant to the modern world, so that you may enter the kingdom of heaven …. otherwise ye shall be condemned to the firey pits of hell. Oh yeah – it’s for eternity, by the way. Eternity. As in forever and ever and ever and ever.
Maybe it’s just me, but when you add that “eternity” caveat, doesn’t that make both versions of the afterlife seem like nothing to look forward to? Of all the vacations that I have ever taken, and of all the vacations that I would like to take but can’t afford to, I cannot imagine one that I wouldn’t eventually be sick of. You could send me to my own private island in the most beautiful Caribbean waters on earth, with all the free amenities, servants, delicious food and drink that I can partake in – it may take a year, it may take 5 years, but eventually it will get old and I will want to get the hell out of there. Maybe I’m off a bit, and it would take 20 years to become painfully tired of such an environment – but what is 20 years in comparison to eternity? Maybe it will take 1,000 years to get sick of it, but again - what is 1,000 years in comparison to eternity?
There is virtually nothing that a billionaire cannot afford to buy, and consequently I imagine that not much of anything falls into the category of a luxury at that point. If heaven is a land of milk and honey where you are richly rewarded with anything you desire, what would you have a desire for that would last an eternity?
If hell is eternal, wouldn’t you get used to that burning sensation pretty quickly? What is torture if you cannot eventually die from it? How do trillions of souls, who cannot die again, not stand up to one devil and change their environment? How does that devil manage to control all those souls and still find time to mess with mortals on earth?
If doing things like gambling, partying, having sex, cursing, telling lewd jokes, not going to church, working on a Sunday, etc. is what lands you in hell, and doing things like singing religious hymns, proselytizing, going to church, and living a quiet, sanitized life of utter mediocrity is what gets you into heaven, which kind of souls would you rather be surrounded by for ETERNITY? Once you get beyond the paradise surroundings, and you are sick to death of being waited on hand and foot, and tired of playing golf every single day with gold plated clubs and diamond tipped golf balls, and don’t want to ever see another luxury item again – the only thing you will have left to suffer through eternity with will be the trillions of other souls who you are surrounded by. It sickens me to think of myself ever being that position.
Once you think it through, the fact is that the only just reward that a god could ever grant would be the opportunity to come back to earth, or some other non-eternal place, and do it all over again. If I can’t have that, then leave me to disintegrate into the earth and become a part of whatever else happens to absorb me. The heaven concept sounds grand, but thanks to that eternity clause it will eventually be as maddening as hell.
It certainly is easier to know which crowd I'd rather fall in! Though I'm not entirely certain that a million billion lifetimes in a post scarcity society would really be so bad. So people no longer need to work. And maybe most don't. But I feel like enough would to keep life interesting. I mean, if there are 100 billion people in heaven, I imagine enough will want to be famous that we would never run out of new cultural products. Movies, plays, books, art, music, video games... They would be what people did.
On the contrary, the bigger the population, the harder it is to be recognized. In a setting where souls have no choice but to be cummulative, because they can't die or move on to another realm, the population grows indefinitely. You would literally be sharing space with people whose earthy existence was hundreds of generations before yours and an infinite number of generations beyond your own death. Obviously, I don't believe this myself - but it amazes me that there are so many that do. And if you think heaven would be crowded, imagine what hell would be like. Clearly this is one of the most flawed aspects of the Christian doctrine, yet it doesn't ever get discussed, and it won't get revamped because the scriptures are infallible. Yeah right.
And just think about all those aborted (spontaneously and otherwise) fetus souls. There will be way more aborted fetus souls than adult souls.
Those must be like gnats in the afterlife. Heaven must be infested with them!
What about all those billions of new souls born who are just starting out on their their future life times of investing good karma into personal bank accounts for its accretion. A big enough lump sum kicks each one off the eight-fold path. As if any soul is so important enough to die and come back as the same soul. That sounds like another version of heaven assuring people their egos don't snuff it forever.
Besides these new souls if no previous karma except a possible animal existance that makes them a new breed.
There is no indication hell ever stopped people sinning in the past. Hell was feared by fanatics and propagated by them.But clearly there have been deliberate crimes committed because there was no fright about the torments of hell. Hell therefore was always an axiom for fear of the unknown metaphysically. Even a serial killer has metaphysical unease that can be invoked by its inflated metaphor
There is not near the detailed description of heaven as there is of hell precisely because it might invoke the boredom with gold golf clubs etc... you refer to. Heaven again another axiom. I think it stands for plain relief. A troublesome thought bursts like a soap bubble out of relief. I think that is as far as most people imagine heaven rather than living it up. Another reason heaven is not out-lined is if people lived it up then it could easily turn sin full. I mean where would God draw the line. In which case you can go tonheaven long as you don't indulge yourself. This confuses people so they prefer the short term wistfulness of soap bubbles bursting and being diddly with serenity than HOW they'd spend their time
It's easier to embelish suffering than to focus on the purity, serentiy and eternal joy of heaven. In hell, you can always make it sound a little worse, but in heaven, most things that could be said to make it sound more inviting would actually involve sinful behavior (aka fun.) Hell starts out as an eternal lake of fire, but we can always layer more nastiness into it. For instance, in another comment I made I suggested how nasty the sewage treatment plant in heaven must be (due to the cummulative nature of the population there) - but then quickly came up with the solution that heavenly toilets must flush directly into hell. Win-win! I'll embelish a little more - the excement from heaven is what they use to make sandwiches in hell, and maggots are hell's condiments. This is fun.
way more dead children too judging by the tombstones in cemetarys
Maybe recognition gets harder, but chilling out and enjoying the work of others gets easier, meaning less competition to be recognized. Post scarcity means no lack of space, either. I think if the culture was good, it wouldn't be so bad.
I agree the heaven concept really doesn't sounds all that great when you think about it. Who needs all that gold stuff and surrounded by annoying people.
I remember when I was little and I asked the Sunday school teacher if I would be reunited with my dog when I got to heaven, and she said no - dog's aren't allowed in heaven. I was pissed. That was literally the beginning of my journey into atheism.
That movie "All Dogs Go To Heaven" must have not come out yet. lol ;)