Sunday, 23 August 2009

What is Heaven?


So, what is heaven? Are there any Xians who would like to step up and lay out a definition for it that makes sense? How is eternal bliss possible? How can one be eternally blissful while others are suffering in hell? How is it possible for one to retain one's free will (which is impossible anyway if god is omni-max) and there be no evil, yet that's not possible on Earth?

The concept of heaven is simply not well thought out. The extent of the thinking has generally been on the order of simply gaining some sort of reward for currying god's favor, and as a counter point to hell. Hell, on the other hand, has been well imagined by various authors and laypeople alike, but not so with heaven. This is because no conception of heaven makes sense. Maybe some theists here can prove me wrong?

7 comments:

Robert Madewell said...

I wrote a recent article where I featured The Book of Arda Viraf. It's a kind of a Zoroastrianist Divine Comedy. The book chronicles a dream journey that Viraf took to heaven and hell. It touches only lightly on Heaven. The high point being that Viraf meets God (Ohrmazd/Ahura Mazda). Then Viraf visist Hell and we have almost 100 chapters of crap that the sinners have to go through in hell. 100 chapters of Hell, 4 chapters of heaven. Even 2000+ years ago, the emphasis is on hell. Go figure.

Dante's Divine comedy actually describes heaven in lots of detail. However, few people actually read Paradiso. They like to read Inferno instead. I guess Heck is much more interesting than Heaven.

Billyist said...

Heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zNdMc6wGtU

freddies_dead said...

I thought Heaven was a place on earth ... or was Belinda Carlisle lying to me all this time *sniff*

Compassionate Heathen said...

If you think about it...it might be embarrassing for most people to relate their concept of heaven to a broad audience. Since necessarily any conception of eternal bliss would be exercise in extreme narcissism, it would serve to expose all the carnal desires that conjure up ideas of bliss.

Brian said...

I'm a believer who had a personal encounter with Jesus. Heaven, to me, is the joy and peace that gets into your heart when you know Him. I don't see it as Disney land in the sky or mansions or stuff like that. A lot of people in mansions are miserable because their hearts aren't right. Heaven is mostly within you. Hope that answers your first question.

Secondly, you're right, I don't think anyone can be blissful in heaven while anyone is suffering in hell. Something would be wrong with heaven if that was the case. I break with most Christians in this. I believe in the ultimate salvation of all men.

micah gaynor said...

Youre just a lost soul if you would post such a horrid picture. you need to get some fear of pray my friend.you just dissed the one person who might actually have ever done something for your punk ass . this is just an assumption ....but I'm guessing you're a sarcastic ass who thinks he's. superior then everyone or hides behind education or knowledge and.is to chicken shit to face his own faith and fear of what is to come. I praY for you my friend. give god a break ...I mean he made his own Devine son live and die a what I would imagine is what angels would consider poverty stricken third world existence and sacrafice his kid for you're ass what else do you need fraking condo

GCT said...

Yes, Micah, it would help if I were afraid, because fear does engender irrational feelings. I'm not afraid, however, nor have I ever actually seen Jesus do anything for anyone. In fact, I know of no one who can provide a scintilla of evidence that Jesus has ever done anything for anyone. We have scant evidence that Jesus even existed, let alone is still doing things for people today.

And, what is wrong with education and knowledge? Are you seriously contending that those are bad things to have?

And, why should I have to give god a break? Isn't god omni-max? Shouldn't he be the one giving us breaks? Instead, he sets up a system where we are all bound for hell from the get-go unless we jump through hoops for him. Then, he picks and chooses some people to reward them, all while coming up with some story about how he needs to sacrifice his son, which is really part of him, and isn't actually a sacrifice, in order to allow himself to forgive us for what he has done to us. And, we are supposed to not only agree that such a stupid and convoluted plan is good, but that we should be thankful for it, and thankful that god created beings that he would cast into hell (us). Why does god require a blood sacrifice anyway? What does the act of torturing a supposedly innocent man (although the gospels paint a not totally innocent man) actually accomplish for us. Would you feel justice were done if a person accused of murder were allowed to go free because the judge decided to torture and kill her own son instead, and then claimed the murderer had their debt to society paid? What kind of sick, twisted idea is that anyway?