What’s So Great Up There in Heaven?

Divinity-of-Doubt-Bugliosi-Vincent-9781593156299The main objective of the Christian scheme of life and death is to get to heaven after we die. Why? Because that’s where God is, and heaven without God would be like a sunny day without sunshine, an innate contradiction. Christians want to be with God because, they say, he is all-perfect, and eternity with him will be beyond the greatest happiness imaginable. But how many people stop to ask why this will be so.

Okay, so God is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even greater. So what? What will this do for me? As they used to say years ago in my hometown of Italian, Slavic, and Nordic immigrants in northern Minnesota to measure the value of what one was doing, “Will it put a chicken on the table [to eat]?” How does God’s being so great and wonderful translate into our happiness being far greater than we could ever imagine if we are there with him? I don’t get it. So he’s incredible and magnificent and perfect and everything else, and I, along with millions of others, am by his side. Now what? Where do we go from there? I mean, what will we do in heaven besides worshiping the Lord?

All manner of pleasurable things have been envisioned by people through the years about heaven, the Disneyland of the Christian imagination. Originally, Billy Graham, who at one point said he knew the precise dimensions of heaven — “sixteen hundred square miles” (No. Seriously. Time, November 15, 1993, 74) — thought heaven was just going to be about fun. “We are going to sit around the fireplace and have parties, and the angels will wait on us, and we’ll drive down the golden streets in a yellow Cadillac convertible,” he said. (Billy didn’t say if our body or our soul would be in the driver’s seat.) But Billy, with age, particularly when he found a passage in the Book of Revelation that says we will serve God in heaven, realized that, although life in heaven would all be just glorious, it wasn’t going to be all play. He told Good Morning America in April of 1997 that “when we get to heaven, I don’t think we’re going to just sit down. I think God will have other work for us to do. There are billions and billions and trillions of other planets and other stars, and I believe there’s life on many of those and God may have a job for us to do on some of those places.”

But Billy, none of what you say sounds like a place I want to go to. I never sit around fireplaces, and even if I did, what’s so special about sitting around a fireplace in heaven as opposed to one on earth? Also, I’m not a partygoer. And I don’t want anyone waiting on me. It makes me uncomfortable. And I have no desire at all to drive a yellow Cadillac convertible down golden streets. And why would I want to work on distant planets for the rest of time? I’m not being silly, Billy. You and Christianity are.

Even if what happens in the Christian heaven is the greatest thing ever, such as being in God’s presence — like the transfiguration of Jesus at the top of the mountain where his clothing became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly process could ever make it (Mark 9:2-3 ) — after a few twenty-four-hour days of this, won’t it get awfully tiresome? Or at least humdrum? If not, what about 365 days a year? Or 1,000 years?

Billy, after we get to heaven, what’s going to happen that’s going to be so great that it will make me, and others, so indescribably happy? Given that billions of people throughout recorded history have believed in heaven and everyone wants to end up there, am I being unreasonable to ask?

The above is an excerpt from the book Divinity of Doubt: The God Question by Vincent Bugliosi, by kind permission of the publisher, Vanguard Press. Copyright © 2011 Vincent Bugliosi.

Vincent Bugliosi, author of Divinity of Doubt: The God Question, received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his true-crime classic, Helter Skelter , the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. Two of Bugliosi’s other true-crime books—And the Sea Will Tell andOutrage—also reached #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. No other American true-crime writer has ever had more than one book that achieved this ranking. His latest book, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was also a New York Times bestseller, and is being made into a ten-part HBO miniseries, for which Tom Hanks will be a producer. Bugliosi lives with his wife of many years in Los Angeles. For more information follow the author on Facebook.

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  • imacrazyguy

    Literal refutes of religion are just as bad as literal interpretations of religion.

    Anyways, psychologically the value of heaven is entirely dependent on the avoidance of hell. It’s a closed binary system with each realm giving value and definition to the other.

  • imacrazyguy

    Literal refutes of religion are just as bad as literal interpretations of religion.

    Anyways, psychologically the value of heaven is entirely dependent on the avoidance of hell. It’s a closed binary system with each realm giving value and definition to the other.

    • Guest

      Could the same go for Christianity and Atheism?

  • Djembe85

    =fiirstly, billy graham admitted mistakes of his youth, i.e. giving dimensions to heaven. shame onb you for taking it out of context.

    Secondly, i value jesus not for heaven and hell, i could care less of heaven or hell. but to escape myself. but thats relational, not religion. in corporate religion, hell is valued as “fear factor” and motivation. apples to oranges.

  • Djembe85

    =fiirstly, billy graham admitted mistakes of his youth, i.e. giving dimensions to heaven. shame onb you for taking it out of context.

    Secondly, i value jesus not for heaven and hell, i could care less of heaven or hell. but to escape myself. but thats relational, not religion. in corporate religion, hell is valued as “fear factor” and motivation. apples to oranges.

    • Guest

      I find it hard to believe that the threat of eternal damnation doesn’t enter into the equation.

  • Honu

    It’s a good question to ask considering christians seem to know so much about the process of how you get to heaven and the fact that it exists at all, what it takes to get there, the devil, etc. What exactly does happen in heaven hmm? It’s just beautiful and god and happiness 25/7/365 people! uh huh…right.

  • Honu

    It’s a good question to ask considering christians seem to know so much about the process of how you get to heaven and the fact that it exists at all, what it takes to get there, the devil, etc. What exactly does happen in heaven hmm? It’s just beautiful and god and happiness 25/7/365 people! uh huh…right.

  • Honu

    It’s a good question to ask considering christians seem to know so much about the process of how you get to heaven and the fact that it exists at all, what it takes to get there, the devil, etc. What exactly does happen in heaven hmm? It’s just beautiful and god and happiness 25/7/365 people! uh huh…right.

  • Honu

    It’s a good question to ask considering christians seem to know so much about the process of how you get to heaven and the fact that it exists at all, what it takes to get there, the devil, etc. What exactly does happen in heaven hmm? It’s just beautiful and god and happiness 25/7/365 people! uh huh…right.

    • renewdf8th

      If I was a betting person, I’d bet you’d know alot more if you would pick up a Bible and read before you opened your mouth. Even so, know this God loves you and I love you.

      • Guest

        So you don’t have an answer other than to read the bible where we all know there is no answer or you would have brought it out already. Typical.

        I hope you understand that most atheists know for more about your bible than most christians.

      • Honu

        Ok renew, you seem like a real person of faith and a true believer. That’s great I guess. Personally I’ve never met a true believer of any christian denomination that didn’t have at least one major blind spot in their way of thinking about the world and life but since I don’t know you I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I do have a question for you though. In the past 20 years or so, archaelogists have been uncovering human artifacts and ruins that date back way further than we previously understood human civilization to have existed. For example they found detailed cave art in Chauvet, France dated to 30,000 bc. And there’s more evidence but here’s my question: If Jesus and the bible are so sacred, holy and the only way to knowing god, heaven and life everlasting or whatever you believe, what about all the people who lived for 30,000 years before the new testament was a glimmer in the mind of an apostle? Where did all these unbaptized ignorant souls go when they died since they would not have heard of Jesus and therefore would have no knowledge of how to behave? If you do somehow come up with a rationalization for that question, I have a follow up…Why would a god put people on earth without the knowledge of Jesus and Christ teachings in the first place if that is the only way to salvation, heaven, whatever? Seem rather cruel to me.

        • josh

          Good question Honu. It’s dealt with specifically in the bible. 1 Peter 3:19-20 talks about Jesus going to the “spirits in prison” and proclaiming to them who “disobeyed while God waited patiently”. The prevailing thought is that Sheol (mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament) was a temporary holding place for these “spirits in prison”. Sheol predates Christianity and is kind of the Hebraic equivalent of Hades. It’s really the only form of an afterlife that was taught in Judaism. I’m not trying to convince you of anything Honu. Your point and the questions surrounding it are very valid, so much so that people have spent years studying and expounding on the subject. I hope my response has brought some clarity to what I and others believe regarding it. :)

  • Hadrian999

    I prefer Valhalla to Heaven, sounds like a much better party.

  • Hadrian999

    I prefer Valhalla to Heaven, sounds like a much better party.

    • GoodDoktorBad

      That’s where all the comely wenches be…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRYGF2RFXHNQKALNCUHOJKTCYU Favian

      You’re so enlightened…

    • Anarchy Pony

      First of all you have to be a warrior to get there, and you have to die in battle. On the plus you get to fight alongside the AEsir at the battle of Ragnarok.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C5SV3Y6GG7GRK3NBX64IXAXDGM Jessica Hurst

    I was always told “Heaven’s full of whatever you like best!”

    I said “Oh, so it’s a giant library staffed by hot, horny librarians of both genders?”

    Cue shock, panic, and backpedaling.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C5SV3Y6GG7GRK3NBX64IXAXDGM Jessica Hurst

    I was always told “Heaven’s full of whatever you like best!”

    I said “Oh, so it’s a giant library staffed by hot, horny librarians of both genders?”

    Cue shock, panic, and backpedaling.

    • Malkere

      I think you’re pretty close to the truth here.

      I think the most important question is more or less pointed out at the start of the argument posted here though: then what? You get to heaven and it’s great, as most of us do regardless of whatever made up religion you believe in or don’t, but then what?

      You want to eat coffee ice cream while watching seinfeld reruns for the rest of eternity? ya.. try doing that for six months and you’ll hate coffee ice cream and seinfeld. The topic requires more thought than just after I’m dead everything is cool, yes. For starters, admitting thoroughly to yourself that you believe in the afterlife means ok, what are you going to do with your time in the afterlife then? If you have a desire to better yourself while embodied on Earth, are you going to up and lose that ambition because you “died” (your fleshy vessel broke) ?? I don’t think so.

      Are there realms above heaven?
      Does evolution carry beyond “enlightenment”?
      What do I do before I die that will have an impact on me after I die?

      There’s a lot more to the topic than just attacking a few peoples opinions or believers in the book that was rewritten 700,000 times over the past 2000 years. Fussing about God is kind of silly in my opinion too. Try figuring yourself out before you worry about the most powerful presence in the unknown universe.

  • Malkere

    I think you’re pretty close to the truth here.

    I think the most important question is more or less pointed out at the start of the argument posted here though: then what? You get to heaven and it’s great, as most of us do regardless of whatever made up religion you believe in or don’t, but then what?

    You want to eat coffee ice cream while watching seinfeld reruns for the rest of eternity? ya.. try doing that for six months and you’ll hate coffee ice cream and seinfeld. The topic requires more thought than just after I’m dead everything is cool, yes. For starters, admitting thoroughly to yourself that you believe in the afterlife means ok, what are you going to do with your time in the afterlife then? If you have a desire to better yourself while embodied on Earth, are you going to up and lose that ambition because you “died” (your fleshy vessel broke) ?? I don’t think so.

    Are there realms above heaven?
    Does evolution carry beyond “enlightenment”?
    What do I do before I die that will have an impact on me after I die?

    There’s a lot more to the topic than just attacking a few peoples opinions or believers in the book that was rewritten 700,000 times over the past 2000 years. Fussing about God is kind of silly in my opinion too. Try figuring yourself out before you worry about the most powerful presence in the unknown universe.

  • Anonymous

    You WILL love heaven whether you like it or not. Shut up and smile, Bitches!

    —GOD

  • GoodDoktorBad

    You WILL love heaven whether you like it or not. Shut up and smile, Bitches!

    —GOD

  • Will

    I thought how the bible described heaven in revelations was what inspired the Borg in Star Trek. Living as part of a collective with no independent thoughts for the individual mind, floating through space in a giant cube praising god for eternity. Amen!

  • Will

    I thought how the bible described heaven in revelations was what inspired the Borg in Star Trek. Living as part of a collective with no independent thoughts for the individual mind, floating through space in a giant cube praising god for eternity. Amen!

  • Anonymous

    Heaven is a metaphor for how human societies could be if they did not destroy their world with things like christianity.

  • JoiquimCouteau

    Heaven is a metaphor for how human societies could be if they did not destroy their world with things like christianity.

  • josh

    Fundamental misunderstanding of the point of Christianity. It is not to get to heaven or hell. Aside from the apocalyptic work Revelation, heaven and hell are rarely referenced and even in that book there are only one or two chapters dealing with it. The main point of Christianity is that Christ came and reconciled man with God in the here and now. Get the facts straight or at least read the bible a little bit if you are going to form opinions of what people believe.

  • josh

    Fundamental misunderstanding of the point of Christianity. It is not to get to heaven or hell. Aside from the apocalyptic work Revelation, heaven and hell are rarely referenced and even in that book there are only one or two chapters dealing with it. The main point of Christianity is that Christ came and reconciled man with God in the here and now. Get the facts straight or at least read the bible a little bit if you are going to form opinions of what people believe.

    • Bud Bundy

      I’d rather read something else.

    • Simiantongue

      You’re right heaven and hell are not all pervasive throughout the bible, I’ve read it. My oh my you wouldn’t know that by what is preached by most of Christianity though. Heaven is a huge selling point and hell seems to be something like theological blackmail.

      Heaven isn’t all parties either. When you get tired of that one of the favorite pass times is going to the edge of heaven and looking down a those suffering in hell, which makes all the trouble you went through to get there all the sweeter I suppose. Let the good times roll.

      • Anarchy Pony

        That’s disgusting, sadistic and cruel.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Why did they need to be reconciled? God made man. All of man’s imperfections that upset him so, are his fault. God is omnipotent, he made Adam and Eve and all their “imperfections”, he would know that they would have eaten the apple beforehand, so their punishment was pointless, all of their curiousity and desires and disobedience are a fault or result of his creation.
      God: The Omnipotent Incompetent.

  • Anonymous

    That’s where all the comely wenches be…

  • Guest

    Could the same go for Christianity and Atheism?

  • Haystack

    If it existed Heaven could be something we cannot conceive, or an unending feeling of bliss and joy. I don’t know what’s in the rest of the book, but this post mostly just addresses the more simplistic, literal interpretations of what Heaven would be like–and that’s like shooting fish in a barrel. As imacrazyguy said: “Literal refutes of religion are just as bad as literal interpretations of religion.”

  • Haystack

    If it existed Heaven could be something we cannot conceive, or an unending feeling of bliss and joy. I don’t know what’s in the rest of the book, but this post mostly just addresses the more simplistic, literal interpretations of what Heaven would be like–and that’s like shooting fish in a barrel. As imacrazyguy said: “Literal refutes of religion are just as bad as literal interpretations of religion.”

  • Haystack

    If it existed Heaven could be something we cannot conceive, or an unending feeling of bliss and joy. I don’t know what’s in the rest of the book, but this post mostly just addresses the more simplistic, literal interpretations of what Heaven would be like–and that’s like shooting fish in a barrel. As imacrazyguy said: “Literal refutes of religion are just as bad as literal interpretations of religion.”

  • Bud Bundy

    I’d rather read something else.

  • Djembe85

    the culmination of christianity, is a little more than eternity. its eternity WITH the creator of being.

  • Djembe85

    the culmination of christianity, is a little more than eternity. its eternity WITH the creator of being.

  • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com/ SoulArbiter

    In the words of George Michael, “You gotta have faith…”

  • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com SoulArbiter

    In the words of George Michael, “You gotta have faith…”

  • Kenn

    While I’m not coming from a Christian point of view, I see the author’s idea of heaven to be extremely closed-minded and literal. In that way, I agree: who would want to have parties and good cheer, constantly, forever? Which is exactly why, if Heaven is a place worth getting to, it would be better, in a way that we don’t fully understand.
    This illustrates a fundamental arrogance on the author’s part. That is the idea that a human intellect is perfect, our mind able to understand and conceive of everything that could possibly exist, when even our scientific pursuits are showing us that that is not the case. So if the nature of the the universe on the quantum scale is beyond our complete understanding, how could it be possible that an entirely different existence would be within the realm of analysis?
    I’m a secular person, who has my gripes with organized Christianity, but this article’s arguments are uninspired, and not thought out. I used to hear more enlightened, mature-minded discussion around the lunch table in high school

    • MrPINKi

      I completely agree, I think it’s far beyond our comprehension. If at the very least, I think that it will expand our possibilities to further our own conscience. There’s never an end to what one can learn and love even in the afterlife, I would think. That would be heaven to me, and also to be with the people and family I’ve lost in life. With everything we don’t know in science, mathematics and life in general, lately there seems to be more evidence of some kind of afterlife. To think that the lights just go out seems narrow minded in this day and age. If one is going to be atheist because of religion, I get it. But if one is going to be atheist because they truly believe there is no proof of afterlife, they should look a little or a lot deeper.

      • Anarchy Pony

        To be an atheist doesn’t lend itself to being entirely against spirituality. All it means is that they don’t believe in a god. Most of what you call atheists are more like nihlists in reality.

  • Kenn

    While I’m not coming from a Christian point of view, I see the author’s idea of heaven to be extremely closed-minded and literal. In that way, I agree: who would want to have parties and good cheer, constantly, forever? Which is exactly why, if Heaven is a place worth getting to, it would be better, in a way that we don’t fully understand.
    This illustrates a fundamental arrogance on the author’s part. That is the idea that a human intellect is perfect, our mind able to understand and conceive of everything that could possibly exist, when even our scientific pursuits are showing us that that is not the case. So if the nature of the the universe on the quantum scale is beyond our complete understanding, how could it be possible that an entirely different existence would be within the realm of analysis?
    I’m a secular person, who has my gripes with organized Christianity, but this article’s arguments are uninspired, and not thought out. I used to hear more enlightened, mature-minded discussion around the lunch table in high school

  • renewdf8th

    Sounds to me like this author has made a deal with the Devil…. Just my personal God Loving opinion!

    • Anarchy Pony

      God is the devil. The devil is supposed to be opposed to god, and yet it is “predetermined” in the Bible that satan will fall to god or jesus at the battle of armageddon. If a mortal human can know this then of course the devil could know it too. If so, then why would he continue to oppose god. His own will would surely not compel him to do so. So if not his own, then who’s? Only god’s. If god’s will is what compels the devil to continue visiting evil upon the world then god is the source of that evil. If god is the source of that evil then the whole “struggle between good and evil” is a meaningless farce. Imposed upon humanity and causing massive suffering sorrow and despair for untold generations for no reason. The dualism is a farce. It is not a genuine force in existence but a pointless excercise put upon us for nothing more than god’s amusement. Fuck you and your god. Between heaven and hell, I’d rather just stop existing than continue putting up with the headgames of an omnipotent sociopathic child and the brainless dipshits that bow to his will.

  • renewdf8th

    Sounds to me like this author has made a deal with the Devil…. Just my personal God Loving opinion!

  • Alturn

    In the west, most writers contemplate what heaven could be. In the east, spiritual teachers teach their students how to leave their body and consciously travel to the various levels on the astral planes where the majority of humans spend their time between incarnations. It is one reason that on matters such as this eastern spiritual teachers have a tendency to articulate viewpoints that have a greater ring of truth. The Tibetan in the works of Alice Bailey is one such source which presents information on this matter in detail.

  • Alturn

    In the west, most writers contemplate what heaven could be. In the east, spiritual teachers teach their students how to leave their body and consciously travel to the various levels on the astral planes where the majority of humans spend their time between incarnations. It is one reason that on matters such as this eastern spiritual teachers have a tendency to articulate viewpoints that have a greater ring of truth. The Tibetan in the works of Alice Bailey is one such source which presents information on this matter in detail.

  • renewdf8th

    If I was a betting person, I’d bet you’d know alot more if you would pick up a Bible and read before you opened your mouth. Even so, know this God loves you and I love you.

  • Simiantongue

    You’re right heaven and hell are not all pervasive throughout the bible, I’ve read it. My oh my you wouldn’t know that by what is preached by most of Christianity though. Heaven is a huge selling point and hell seems to be something like theological blackmail.

    Heaven isn’t all parties either. When you get tired of that one of the favorite pass times is going to the edge of heaven and looking down a those suffering in hell, which makes all the trouble you went through to get there all the sweeter I suppose. Let the good times roll.

  • Guest

    I find it hard to believe that the threat of eternal damnation doesn’t enter into the equation.

  • Guest

    So you don’t have an answer other than to read the bible where we all know there is no answer or you would have brought it out already. Typical.

    I hope you understand that most atheists know for more about your bible than most christians.

  • Anonymous_Reader

    Most versions of “heaven” sound like hell to me.

  • Anonymous

    Most versions of “heaven” sound like hell to me.

  • Gasface

    I envision heaven as a place where the ass and mouth rape of Christians is not only accepted, but encouraged. Also, Allah is an uncircumsized aids baby who will fluff you if you promise to swaddle him.

  • Gasface

    I envision heaven as a place where the ass and mouth rape of Christians is not only accepted, but encouraged. Also, Allah is an uncircumsized aids baby who will fluff you if you promise to swaddle him.

  • Honu

    Ok renew, you seem like a real person of faith and a true believer. That’s great I guess. Personally I’ve never met a true believer of any christian denomination that didn’t have at least one major blind spot in their way of thinking about the world and life but since I don’t know you I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I do have a question for you though. In the past 20 years or so, archaelogists have been uncovering human artifacts and ruins that date back way further than we previously understood human civilization to have existed. For example they found detailed cave art in Chauvet, France dated to 30,000 bc. And there’s more evidence but here’s my question: If Jesus and the bible are so sacred, holy and the only way to knowing god, heaven and life everlasting or whatever you believe, what about all the people who lived for 30,000 years before the new testament was a glimmer in the mind of an apostle? Where did all these unbaptized ignorant souls go when they died since they would not have heard of Jesus and therefore would have no knowledge of how to behave? If you do somehow come up with a rationalization for that question, I have a follow up…Why would a god put people on earth without the knowledge of Jesus and Christ teachings in the first place if that is the only way to salvation, heaven, whatever? Seem rather cruel to me.

  • Francois

    Christians never seem to think this through. Sure it’s fun the first thousand years, but what happens after a million years, a billion years, a trillion years, a trillion times a trillion years? After all heaven is for all eternity. Imagine what it must feel like to be there for a trillion to the power of a trillion years and knowing that it will never end. What exactly is the difference between heaven and hell then?

    • MrPINKi

      I guess for some it would be heaven to just not exists after a period of time because you just get bored to tears. I think you are thinking along a short road. In just my opinion, I would think to live for eternity and being able to expand my own conciseness and taking that as far as I can imagine, would definitely be Heaven. Or even to be with the people I loved and lost again would be great as well. Don’t get me wrong, obviously being around any one person for too long will drive even the Heavenly father nuts. But to know they are there with me would be a great feeling. But if you think you’ve done it all and seen it all then by all means return to the earthly soil from whence you came.

  • Francois

    Christians never seem to think this through. Sure it’s fun the first thousand years, but what happens after a million years, a billion years, a trillion years, a trillion times a trillion years? After all heaven is for all eternity. Imagine what it must feel like to be there for a trillion to the power of a trillion years and knowing that it will never end. What exactly is the difference between heaven and hell then?

  • John

    Atheists! Suck on my winkie!

  • John

    Atheists! Suck on my winkie!

  • emperorreagan

    I’ve always found the focus on heaven versus moral teachings to be troublesome. That’s why I have much more respect for religious groups like the Quakers, who have had a much stronger focus on social justice and accountability right now than religious dominations that talk a lot about heaven or the prosperity groups, etc.

    I also dislike the argument about life being humdrum in heaven. I think the obsession with achievement, new, more, etc. that is more strongly manifested in Western culture than any other is fundamentally destructive. There are different philosophies that don’t lead to some much dissatisfaction or “humdrum” feelings; you can choose a different philosophy for your life now. You can make other arguments against heaven, but that one seems seated strongly in the dysfunction of American culture.

  • emperorreagan

    I’ve always found the focus on heaven versus moral teachings to be troublesome. That’s why I have much more respect for religious groups like the Quakers, who have had a much stronger focus on social justice and accountability right now than religious dominations that talk a lot about heaven or the prosperity groups, etc.

    I also dislike the argument about life being humdrum in heaven. I think the obsession with achievement, new, more, etc. that is more strongly manifested in Western culture than any other is fundamentally destructive. There are different philosophies that don’t lead to some much dissatisfaction or “humdrum” feelings; you can choose a different philosophy for your life now. You can make other arguments against heaven, but that one seems seated strongly in the dysfunction of American culture.

  • emperorreagan

    I’ve always found the focus on heaven versus moral teachings to be troublesome. That’s why I have much more respect for religious groups like the Quakers, who have had a much stronger focus on social justice and accountability right now than religious dominations that talk a lot about heaven or the prosperity groups, etc.

    I also dislike the argument about life being humdrum in heaven. I think the obsession with achievement, new, more, etc. that is more strongly manifested in Western culture than any other is fundamentally destructive. There are different philosophies that don’t lead to some much dissatisfaction or “humdrum” feelings; you can choose a different philosophy for your life now. You can make other arguments against heaven, but that one seems seated strongly in the dysfunction of American culture.

    • Anarchy Pony

      I always say there’s no garauntee of divine retribution, so you need justice here and now.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRYGF2RFXHNQKALNCUHOJKTCYU Favian

    Heaven is everything good you want it to be. That’s why it’s called heaven, it can be ANYTHING good you can imagine. You’re a part of God, you don’t just sit next to him and worship, you are one and experience things as only God can experience and comprehend.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRYGF2RFXHNQKALNCUHOJKTCYU Favian

    Heaven is everything good you want it to be. That’s why it’s called heaven, it can be ANYTHING good you can imagine. You’re a part of God, you don’t just sit next to him and worship, you are one and experience things as only God can experience and comprehend.

    • Duh

      Good cannot exist without evil. If you have no point of reference its meaningless. The reason we like weekends so much is because we worked all week. You can’t have fun all the time, its impossible.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRYGF2RFXHNQKALNCUHOJKTCYU Favian

        IT’S HEAVEN YOU FUCKIN MORON, HOW IS IT NOT POSSIBLE?
        THE DUALITY OF MAN DOESN’T EXIST. YOU’RE MAKING HEAVEN OUT TO BE SOME FLOATING CLOUD ON URANUS, YOU’RE A FOOL. HEAVEN IS NOT A PLACE, BUT SOMETHING YOU EXPERIENCE THAT WE CANNOT EXPLAIN, OTHERWISE WE WOULD BE IN HEAVEN ALREADY.

        • Simiantongue

          “HEAVEN IS NOT A PLACE, BUT SOMETHING YOU EXPERIENCE THAT WE CANNOT EXPLAIN”

          You cannot explain heaven. Yet you’ve explained it and seem to know exactly what it entails. Are you sure you’ve completely thought this through?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRYGF2RFXHNQKALNCUHOJKTCYU Favian

    You’re a fag

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRYGF2RFXHNQKALNCUHOJKTCYU Favian

    You’re so enlightened…

  • Steve

    So, basically the author is saying, “What’s in it for me?” That’s the entire problem to be overcome while here in this reality. That’s called duplicity and pride. Seeking the good of God for reward is duplicity. Seeking the good of God to avoid punishment is also duplicity and pride. What is in in for me is not the point. It is also worth considering that nothing is in it for God either. The point is seeking good as its own reward. Heaven is assertion beyond the entropy of everyday existence in a material world. Only consciousness can move against the flow of entropy and decay. Our source is God. Rising in education is the point. Education cannot be fully realized apart form experience. Confucius said, “I hear I forget. I see I learn. I do and I understand.” The point is not selfish pride. The point is the experience of faith, hope and love. Heaven is what exists beyond where we are at every moment, otherwise, life would not be faith, hope and love.

  • Steve

    So, basically the author is saying, “What’s in it for me?” That’s the entire problem to be overcome while here in this reality. That’s called duplicity and pride. Seeking the good of God for reward is duplicity. Seeking the good of God to avoid punishment is also duplicity and pride. What is in in for me is not the point. It is also worth considering that nothing is in it for God either. The point is seeking good as its own reward. Heaven is assertion beyond the entropy of everyday existence in a material world. Only consciousness can move against the flow of entropy and decay. Our source is God. Rising in education is the point. Education cannot be fully realized apart form experience. Confucius said, “I hear I forget. I see I learn. I do and I understand.” The point is not selfish pride. The point is the experience of faith, hope and love. Heaven is what exists beyond where we are at every moment, otherwise, life would not be faith, hope and love.

  • josh

    Good question Honu. It’s dealt with specifically in the bible. 1 Peter 3:19-20 talks about Jesus going to the “spirits in prison” and proclaiming to them who “disobeyed while God waited patiently”. The prevailing thought is that Sheol (mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament) was a temporary holding place for these “spirits in prison”. Sheol predates Christianity and is kind of the Hebraic equivalent of Hades. It’s really the only form of an afterlife that was taught in Judaism. I’m not trying to convince you of anything Honu. Your point and the questions surrounding it are very valid, so much so that people have spent years studying and expounding on the subject. I hope my response has brought some clarity to what I and others believe regarding it. :)

  • justagirl

    do you know what i bet? i bet they get to dream what ever the fuck they want to do that makes them happy while god stares blankly off into space – frozen in time – because god is very tired of the crybabying.

  • justagirl

    do you know what i bet? i bet they get to dream what ever the fuck they want to do that makes them happy while god stares blankly off into space – frozen in time – because god is very tired of the crybabying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheJakeyl Jacob Newton

    Wow this guy is a moron. When are people going to stop thinking “dude I’m so friggen cool and smart and independent because I question GOD! I ARE SO AWESOME!” Seriously, they think they are so damn clever when they say “OH if he is SOOOO great and almighty then why..” How about instead of being cliche, instead of saying the SAMETHING 100000000000000000000000000000’s of others have said over the last 2000 years, you focus on what people TODAY think of God, which is an integration of science and few, but some, religious aspects. I could easily target science from 2000 years ago and come off like an ass and thinking I’m so smart, too…. But I know there are far better opinions, hypothesis, theories, ect. today that I wouldn’t be able to so easily discredit so arrogantly.

    How many times are we going to see the SAME points of heaven, god and religion in articles like this? Its been going on for thousands of years, you’d think we’d get it by now, MOVE ON.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheJakeyl Jacob Newton

    Wow this guy is a moron. When are people going to stop thinking “dude I’m so friggen cool and smart and independent because I question GOD! I ARE SO AWESOME!” Seriously, they think they are so damn clever when they say “OH if he is SOOOO great and almighty then why..” How about instead of being cliche, instead of saying the SAMETHING 100000000000000000000000000000’s of others have said over the last 2000 years, you focus on what people TODAY think of God, which is an integration of science and few, but some, religious aspects. I could easily target science from 2000 years ago and come off like an ass and thinking I’m so smart, too…. But I know there are far better opinions, hypothesis, theories, ect. today that I wouldn’t be able to so easily discredit so arrogantly.

    How many times are we going to see the SAME points of heaven, god and religion in articles like this? Its been going on for thousands of years, you’d think we’d get it by now, MOVE ON.

    • Jacobsaretard

      Because, you moron, Science has progressed over the last 2000 years and religion has not. You answered your own question. We are still doggedly holding onto antiquated ways of thinking and many of these no longer hold relevance. Have YOU actually read your bible? Its says some pretty crazy shit in it outside of the topics mentioned in this article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheJakeyl Jacob Newton

    But if you STILL believe that you, your ego mind, and how you look will be mirrored in heaven, and we’ll just exist there as we do here, I mean, WOW, if you think that and cannot fathom or visualize transcendence, then, just give up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheJakeyl Jacob Newton

    But if you STILL believe that you, your ego mind, and how you look will be mirrored in heaven, and we’ll just exist there as we do here, I mean, WOW, if you think that and cannot fathom or visualize transcendence, then, just give up.

  • MrPINKi

    I completely agree, I think it’s far beyond our comprehension. If at the very least, I think that it will expand our possibilities to further our own conscience. There’s never an end to what one can learn and love even in the afterlife, I would think. That would be heaven to me, and also to be with the people and family I’ve lost in life. With everything we don’t know in science, mathematics and life in general, lately there seems to be more evidence of some kind of afterlife. To think that the lights just go out seems narrow minded in this day and age. If one is going to be atheist because of religion, I get it. But if one is going to be atheist because they truly believe there is no proof of afterlife, they should look a little or a lot deeper.

  • MrPINKi

    I guess for some it would be heaven to just not exists after a period of time because you just get bored to tears. I think you are thinking along a short road. In just my opinion, I would think to live for eternity and being able to expand my own conciseness and taking that as far as I can imagine, would definitely be Heaven. Or even to be with the people I loved and lost again would be great as well. Don’t get me wrong, obviously being around any one person for too long will drive even the Heavenly father nuts. But to know they are there with me would be a great feeling. But if you think you’ve done it all and seen it all then by all means return to the earthly soil from whence you came.

  • Jacobsaretard

    Because, you moron, Science has progressed over the last 2000 years and religion has not. You answered your own question. We are still doggedly holding onto antiquated ways of thinking and many of these no longer hold relevance. Have YOU actually read your bible? Its says some pretty crazy shit in it outside of the topics mentioned in this article.

  • Duh

    Good cannot exist without evil. If you have no point of reference its meaningless. The reason we like weekends so much is because we worked all week. You can’t have fun all the time, its impossible.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRYGF2RFXHNQKALNCUHOJKTCYU Favian

    IT’S HEAVEN YOU FUCKIN MORON, HOW IS IT NOT POSSIBLE?
    THE DUALITY OF MAN DOESN’T EXIST. YOU’RE MAKING HEAVEN OUT TO BE SOME FLOATING CLOUD ON URANUS, YOU’RE A FOOL. HEAVEN IS NOT A PLACE, BUT SOMETHING YOU EXPERIENCE THAT WE CANNOT EXPLAIN, OTHERWISE WE WOULD BE IN HEAVEN ALREADY.

  • Incredulous

    That’s disgusting, sadistic and cruel.

  • Incredulous

    God is the devil. The devil is supposed to be opposed to god, and yet it is “predetermined” in the Bible that satan will fall to god or jesus at the battle of armageddon. If a mortal human can know this then of course the devil could know it too. If so, then why would he continue to oppose god. His own will would surely not compel him to do so. So if not his own, then who’s? Only god’s. If god’s will is what compels the devil to continue visiting evil upon the world then god is the source of that evil. If god is the source of that evil then the whole “struggle between good and evil” is a meaningless farce. Imposed upon humanity and causing massive suffering sorrow and despair for untold generations for no reason. The dualism is a farce. It is not a genuine force in existence but a pointless excercise put upon us for nothing more than god’s amusement. Fuck you and your god. Between heaven and hell, I’d rather just stop existing than continue putting up with the headgames of an omnipotent sociopathic child and the brainless dipshits that bow to his will.

  • Incredulous

    I always say there’s no garauntee of divine retribution, so you need justice here and now.

  • Incredulous

    Why did they need to be reconciled? God made man. All of man’s imperfections that upset him so, are his fault. God is omnipotent, he made Adam and Eve and all their “imperfections”, he would know that they would have eaten the apple beforehand, so their punishment was pointless, all of their curiousity and desires and disobedience are a fault or result of his creation.
    God: The Omnipotent Incompetent.

  • Incredulous

    To be an atheist doesn’t lend itself to being entirely against spirituality. All it means is that they don’t believe in a god. Most of what you call atheists are more like nihlists in reality.

  • Incredulous

    First of all you have to be a warrior to get there, and you have to die in battle. On the plus you get to fight alongside the AEsir at the battle of Ragnarok.

  • Simiantongue

    “HEAVEN IS NOT A PLACE, BUT SOMETHING YOU EXPERIENCE THAT WE CANNOT EXPLAIN”

    You cannot explain heaven. Yet you’ve explained it and seem to know exactly what it entails. Are you sure you’ve completely thought this through?

  • Krazybaldhead1

    Christianity, Judaism & Islam seem tyrannical to me. Do as you’re told or be damned forever. I can’t get along with that. You can be a christian who does really bad things, (eg. clergy buggering altar boys) but repent & all is forgiven. You can be an atheist who does good works & leads a blameless life & you’re damned to hell because you don’t believe. This just seems ludicrously silly to me. I’d rather build the republic of heaven on earth.

  • Krazybaldhead1

    Christianity, Judaism & Islam seem tyrannical to me. Do as you’re told or be damned forever. I can’t get along with that. You can be a christian who does really bad things, (eg. clergy buggering altar boys) but repent & all is forgiven. You can be an atheist who does good works & leads a blameless life & you’re damned to hell because you don’t believe. This just seems ludicrously silly to me. I’d rather build the republic of heaven on earth.

  • chubby

    “The universe has no limits, and the possibilities at play in the universe at large are indeed incommensurable. So don’t fall prey to the axiom, “I believe only what I see,” because it is the dumbest stand one can possibly take.”
    -The Active Side of Infinity

  • chubby

    “The universe has no limits, and the possibilities at play in the universe at large are indeed incommensurable. So don’t fall prey to the axiom, “I believe only what I see,” because it is the dumbest stand one can possibly take.”
    -The Active Side of Infinity

  • Hoplophilex

    This matter has been taken up before, quite adroitly, by none other than Mark Twain in his book “Letters From The Earth”.  Highly recommended reading.

  • Hoplophilex

    This matter has been taken up before, quite adroitly, by none other than Mark Twain in his book “Letters From The Earth”.  Highly recommended reading.

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