Good Morning ParkingPlaces,
Happy 4th Sunday of Advent! How is life for you today? Very well, I hope.
I think you might be done with this conversation. However, a thought struck me this morning on how the arguments being made show the irony of the atheist attacks.
If I were a good christian and felt that I was doing a good enough job to get into heaven and then was told I would suffer eternal bliss when i got there, I think I'd go rob a bank to get out of it. I could deal with an eternity burning in hell better than I could with constant bliss.You argue here against the eternal bliss of Heaven and in other places others (maybe you, too) argue against the suffering here on Earth. I find that brilliantly ironic, don’t you? How can you be against suffering in one place and for it in another? That’s not only a contradiction, but backwards, since the first is temporary and the second eternal.
I think it points out that really some (I won’t say all) just want to argue against. It doesn’t matter what it is, if theists say it’s true, someone will argue against it and it doesn’t matter how contradictory the statements are, since they are made at different times, we miss it.
I think this irony shows up quite a bit. I’ll have to look for it.
Have a great day.
I was being ironic, not literal. As an atheist, I'm not quite so vexed about suffering on earth, nor am I the least bit concerned about hell in any form, so I get to play around with the religious idea that a heaven and hell exist, as well as real life.
My point (which I may not have stated to clearly) was that enforced bliss (i.e. eternal, whether you want it or not) has no appeal to me, and even if I knew for certain that it was my fate once I left this world, I wouldn't be the least bit happy about it. No, I wouldn't actually rob a bank, and of course I wouldn't actually choose to roast in hell over walking gold streets, but I wanted to make it clear that the heaven you describe has no appeal.
As an atheist, I am always amazed at the casual acceptance believers have that this world is terrible, yes, but the next one will be wonderful. Because god loves us. It is such a convenient out for religion. Adherents get to a) believe in a god, b) worship his wonderfulness and c) explain away the dissonance between a wonderful god and a world that doesn't quite fit with that perceived reality.
It is so lucky that Satan, you know, God's favorite angel, rebelled against him and brought evil to the world and tempted the newbies and provided a nice warm afterlife for the bad guys, otherwise the story would suck. Had Satan gotten along better with the boss and earth still been a less than 5 star experience, there would have been a lot of 'splainin' to do. This way, all the bases are covered. So well that some people believe it.
As one who accepts that evolution occurred and who is pretty darned sure no gods were involved, I am not as vexed by the bad in this world as you might be. Because I have no expectation that either evolution, humans, groups, societies and/or governments have the ability to be perfect. And I accept the various natural disasters as natural, not the work of a gay-bashing god. Hence existence itself, as a less than perfect experience, does not surprise me.
I've seen plenty of death in my life. From kitties when I was young, to crushed bodies in car wrecks to parents as I aged. I have no expectation of living forever, either as a human or an angel. It doesn't even have any appeal. I find life interesting, I enjoy it, I wish that I could live a lot longer, but not this forever thing. That's a little excessive.
And I can't live longer. Nature doesn't allow it. I might have five minutes or 20 years, but that's about it. I accept that. Rather than playing with my brain cells, looking for outs and futures and dreamworlds, I just fit the reality of my finite self into my brain and work around it.
But it is this life I would want to have forever, not the one where I have been sanitized and civilized and dressed in robes and told to enjoy or else.
And I don't seek bliss to the degree that I am going to spend my whole life hoping I'll get some after I kick off. The bliss I have experience in real life has been very much enjoyed because it comes in small packages and is often a surprise. I knew I was happy because I had lots of other emotions to compare it to. I appreciated the events that led to my various moments of bliss, I enjoyed the bliss itself, and I recognized that it wouldn't last forever, so I treasured it while I had it.
If bliss were the norm, it would feel the same as "okay" does in real life. It would get old fast. Folks in the afterlife would be trying to figure out how to make things feel different just to get out of the boredom. Imagine a room full of kids sitting around in heaven saying "I'm so happy. It's boring. I want something to do!" That's how it would be.
It is the invention of folks who haven't thought out the story quite well enough. If heaven were described as being a lot like earth, only fewer bureaucrats, it would be far more appealing.
If you are searching for a way to make religion appealing to me, you need to take a different track. I don't know what it might be, but a heaven full of folks who are way too happy is too uninviting a concept to appeal to me.
P.S. Hooray, I lived longer than five minutes!