Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Heaven Is?


One response to the problem of evil argument is to blame all of life's ills on free will. This is an especially bad answer for many reasons, like why god would give us free will if it would cause so much suffering, the fact that it hasn't anything to do with natural evil, and how this doesn't get god off the hook in any case, among some of the failings of the argument. What I want to focus on today, though, is heaven. What does this argument mean for the concept of heaven?

Well, if the Earth is a place full of evil because of free will, and heaven is devoid of evil, what does that tell you about the presence of free will in heaven? It seems that heaven would be a place where we are all automatons according to the free will argument. Is this what we should strive to be? Is this the end-all be-all of our existence, to wind up as unthinking robots? Is this really how you would want to spend eternity?

11 comments:

TheNerd said...

As a child, I used to think to myself "but heaven sounds so boring!" I just didn't know how to make it sound smart enough for adults to understand. I think you have hit the nail right on the head for me: if free will = possibility of evil in world, then no free will = lack of evil in world.

But I like my free will! It may just be because it's all I've known, but I still am quite attached to it.

ChriS & Yvette Ferguson said...

You are obviously one who has at least read the Bible and appear to have studied some of theology.

What's your story?

Is your issue really with Jesus and all the "Thiests"?

If you aren't prepared to answer then consider an about page.

GCT said...

C&YF,
There's actually a few of us on this blog, although I'm the most active at the moment. I'm not, however, the blog owner. Still, in answer to your question, the blog title is hyperbole. We don't actually hate Jesus and besides, it's impossible to hate a mythological figure. My issue is with theology in most part because theists can't seem to keep it to themselves, and we see the harmful effects of this all around us.

Tigerboy said...

The concept of "Heaven" is comparable to the pursuit of a utopian society. Neither can exist.

Utopia and Heaven are unattainable, because everyone has a different version. What's enjoyable to you is horrific to me, and vice versa.

I remember being told, as a child, that my dog would not be allowed in Heaven. My response was:

"Well then, why would I want to go there?"

This idea that there can be no free will in Heaven is a fascinating one. By the time I was in the second grade, I had already told my mother that I did not believe in God. I never really thought about this particular aspect of Heaven.

I have considered the "God = totalitarian dictator who watches you every minute of your life" angle. It gives me the willies. Why would anyone wish for that?

But, I see your point. With no free will, Heaven sounds like a gulag.

Anonymous said...

I am still vascillating - today I "believed" in Jesus/Holy Spirit BUT I considered them to be asshole MOFOs that really aren't loving at all. I'll spare you the lyrics to the little ditties I sang about them, but "suck", "evil",and "assholes" could be found.

Today, I'd have to say that in the context of "belief", I hated god/jesus/holy spirit with a teeth grinding hatred.

Question of Identity said...

The Bible says that when we see Jesus- we will be like - because we will see him as he he is.

Washed in the blood of the lamb, on seeing Jesus, we will be transformed back into the likeness of God.

From that point on having been changed 'from glory into glory' having chosen Jesus for our salvation we will have the mind of Christ. Our free will have been to choose Christ, to choose eternal life, to choose an eternity in God's presence.

Having experienced the fall and experienced all that Jesus has done for us - there would be no way we would fall again. Since God knows the end game - he can safely promise this to us.

We always will have free will and our free will will always be to choose God!

Question of Identity said...

I agree with Chris and Yvette - it would be really interesting to know about your stories.

GCT said...

QOI,
"From that point on having been changed 'from glory into glory' having chosen Jesus for our salvation we will have the mind of Christ. Our free will have been to choose Christ, to choose eternal life, to choose an eternity in God's presence."

I would think that free will would entail that one not make a singular choice for all of eternity, but that one would have the freedom to continue to make choices. What you are describing here is that the denizens of heaven would choose to become automatons. Again, is that really something to aspire to?

"We always will have free will and our free will will always be to choose God!"

There's two problems with this statement. The first is that if I can only choose god, then I have only one choice, which isn't really free will. In order to be free, there must be a choice to make. If god winnows down all of our choices to 1, then he has created automatons.

The second starts with the premise that god can make it so that we always choose good, yet retain our free will (actual choice). This would still not disable us from choosing against god. When god throws someone into hell, that is bad, and hence I would be allowed to choose good and would rightly condemn god for that. Further, if this is the case, then this no longer becomes even a bad answer to the argument from evil. If god can make humans such that we only choose good, then why did he not do that from the start? In not doing so, he created untold evil, pain, suffering, and cruelty. Thus, god is not omnibenevolent, nor can we say that god is good at all since god would be responsible for all the pain and suffering of this world. Your theology turns god into a monster of proportions infinitely worse than any human dictator. So, um, good job QOI. Way to score an own goal.

Anonymous said...

As a newbie here, I can hypothesize that the "stories" can be grouped into a just a few basic categories; people who 1)were not indoctrinated into any religious philosophy (or any particular doctrine), 2)spent many of their years in hope of Christ and the promises of the bible only to be shit on again and again until they begin to question just exactly what this faith is in and 3)people who are attracted to the concept of a "reward" of "heaven" or "loving" christ but can see no evididence of its existance.

Just a few of the exciting headlines from today that evidence the wonderful and loving jesus:

* Zimbabwe aid cutoff endangers 2 million people
* Water drains from earthquake-formed lake in China
* 1.5 million survivors in Myanmar without shelter

Quesion of Identity said...

GCT

We will always have free will - even when we enter heaven - God as I say knows the end game and he knows that those who choose to live with Him through a relationship with Christ Jesus, will always use their free will to continue to do so.


Anonymous: what you have described is that of man with free will choosing evil!

GCT said...

QOI,
If we will always have our free will, then god is a monster as I pointed out.