What's so Good About Heaven?

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What's so Good About Heaven?

Postby bijane » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:59 pm

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that all who believed in him would never die...

Essentially, that. Generally read to indicate an ascension to heaven: but think about that. Eternal life in heaven, yes, better than Hell, but so's being locked in a room and being forced to listen to Fred Phelps for all eternity. But what actually is heaven?
I've seen some suggestions, working under the assumption 'eternal life' includes consciousness, as otherwise it's hardly life.

The main one appears to be progressive time, like the greatest university. You can learn all there is to know, read all there is to read, etc etc. Even assuming the laws of heaven put no limits on your entertainment, it's eternal. You could learn all you want to learn, read every book, memorize every word in every book or film or textbook, fully understand the meaning behind every turn of phrase, every tiny expression, every equation in science, and be able to solve any question (mathematical, logical...) in a split second from so much practise. You could learn every possible mathematical question, and learn every answer, and you could count to infinity, including decimal numbers, a billion times over. And there would still be an eternity to go. :shock:
Any kind of eternal life seems like it would eventually become a hell. You could do everything conceivable trillions upon trillions of times, until you've memorized every possible eventuality, and could guess what would happen before you even do it. There'd still be more time to spend in 'heaven'.
People also focus on the horrors of Hell: they never do the same for heaven.

I believe Good Omens (by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) has a fitting quote: (paraphrased)

"There's this big mountain, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there's this little bird that flies (or limps as it would be pretty old) and sharpens its beak on the mountain. And then it flies back (possibly in a space ship), until a thousand years later, it does it all again. When the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, then you still won't be finished watching The Sound of Music."
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
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Postby DjVortex » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:45 am

I think that arguing that an eternity in heaven would be unbearable is ridiculous. An all-powerful god would simply give you the capability of not being bored out of your mind. (After all, he is all-powerful, so he can make anything happen.)

Don't present this argument to a believer. He would just laugh at you.
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Postby bijane » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:41 pm

DjVortex wrote:I think that arguing that an eternity in heaven would be unbearable is ridiculous. An all-powerful god would simply give you the capability of not being bored out of your mind. (After all, he is all-powerful, so he can make anything happen.)

Don't present this argument to a believer. He would just laugh at you.

That's the point though: God has to fundamentally alter a person's mind to make their supposed reward bearable: hardly intelligent. Plus, then it's possible to start the whole philosophical debate as to whether or not it's eternal life if part of your mind is essentially killed. A key aspect of consciousness would need to be erased. Why would God make such a pathetic award? He may as well make Hell the reward, and let pain be reinterpreted as pleasure.
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
bijane
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 7:39 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Postby Fyrebrand » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:58 am

If my capacity to feel boredom was completely removed, then I might feel no need to learn or do anything at all. I could just watch the grass grow all day, every day, and be perfectly content.
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Postby bijane » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:21 pm

Fyrebrand wrote:If my capacity to feel boredom was completely removed, then I might feel no need to learn or do anything at all. I could just watch the grass grow all day, every day, and be perfectly content.


bijane wrote:That's the point though: God has to fundamentally alter a person's mind to make their supposed reward bearable: hardly intelligent. Plus, then it's possible to start the whole philosophical debate as to whether or not it's eternal life if part of your mind is essentially killed. A key aspect of consciousness would need to be erased. Why would God make such a pathetic award? He may as well make Hell the reward, and let pain be reinterpreted as pleasure.
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
bijane
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 7:39 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Postby Fyrebrand » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:08 pm

bijane wrote:He may as well make Hell the reward, and let pain be reinterpreted as pleasure.


Maybe he did. Maybe all the mindless believers go to the fake "Heaven" that is secretly bad, and the atheists who managed to think for themselves get the real reward. :-P
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