Afterlife conundrum
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18-02-2015, 12:40 AM
Afterlife conundrum
I got to thinking today about afterlife. We (and by "we" I mean atheists) like to mock the concept of hell because the idea of a finite crime being punished with infinite torture is not only unjustified but it's laughably imbalanced.

But I've never heard or read anyone discussing the other side of this. Would it be fair to receive infinite bliss for finite mediocre compliance? Everyone could do better while they're alive. There's always something more you could have done. If being imperfect just once, like not believing in Jesus, could land you in the lake of fire for all of eternity, then shouldn't you have to be perfect to earn eternal happiness? And even that would be imbalanced.

I also have heard many theists rationalize the cruel injustices of this finite life by saying those who were savagely wronged will be rewarded in the afterlife. But what's more rewarding than eternal bliss? I mean, do these people believe there are degrees of bliss in heaven? Do some people have it better than others? Maybe some have wings while others have wheels on their feet?

I gotta tell ya, it would piss me off if I were gang-raped daily for 10 years, watched my family get murdered and then get killed myself in the most painful way possible only to arrive at the Pearly Gates to see some guy who had an easy "blessed" life getting the same treatment as me. This is why the whole afterlife concept falls apart as a reward. If there is any kind of mediocrity in heaven then why call it heaven? Yet we are told those who suffer here on Earth have it better there in heaven. And I have to admit I would be pissed if I led a good life and saw that others received a better heavenly experience for eternity.

And one last thought: If we're tempted by Satan on this finite planet and we fall victim to his charms, doing his work, etc., and we're sent to hell where Satan resides, why would he carry out punishments on us when we did what he wanted? How many people ask you to do something, you do it and then they punish you for doing it? That would be insane. As atheists, we don't believe in any god. If there were a god, then being an atheist in most religions would be a sin and we'd go to hell. Wouldn't Satan love to have us there and reward us?

An afterlife makes zero sense logically.

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18-02-2015, 12:53 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
If my memory is correct one of the Catholic theories on heaven is that there is in fact a hierarchy in heaven. Mary being the queen and as such highest in heaven. The rational is that because our soul and body is properly organized, envy and the like are replaced by justice and charity. But ultimately, almost everything regarding heaven is considered a mystery.

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18-02-2015, 06:15 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
(18-02-2015 12:53 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  If my memory is correct one of the Catholic theories on heaven is that there is in fact a hierarchy in heaven. Mary being the queen and as such highest in heaven. The rational is that because our soul and body is properly organized, envy and the like are replaced by justice and charity. But ultimately, almost everything regarding heaven is considered a mystery.

I wonder if it was awkward when Joseph met god in heaven?

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18-02-2015, 07:22 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
(18-02-2015 12:53 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  If my memory is correct one of the Catholic theories on heaven is that there is in fact a hierarchy in heaven. Mary being the queen and as such highest in heaven. The rational is that because our soul and body is properly organized, envy and the like are replaced by justice and charity. But ultimately, almost everything regarding heaven is considered a mystery.
I believe it's an unofficial teaching, but my former fundamentalist overlords implied such a hierarchy many times, based on how "faithful" / earnest one was judged to be in life. No one suffers in heaven but some are more equal than others.

Less commonly there was a mirror image of that for hell -- everyone suffers but some suffer more than others if their offenses were more heinous and willful. I suppose this notion was brought up less because it had no motivational power for the "saved" and they had no incentive to suggest to the "unsaved" that hell is anything other than sufferus maximus. The only point of a hellish hierarchy is to comfort a believer distraught over the death of a loved one who never repented.

This brings up the point that all this nonsense serves as a hand-waving dismissal of why there's no justice, peace or joy for believers in this life, at least not disproportionately so compared to unbelievers. Don't worry, it will be taken care of eventually. He who perseveres to the end shall be saved.
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18-02-2015, 07:59 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
Yes, I've heard different things where a hierarchy is implied. One included "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." The speaker I was listening to said that some of those mansions are not located in the best parts of heaven.
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18-02-2015, 08:26 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
(18-02-2015 12:40 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  An afterlife makes zero sense logically.

This is what happens when you start with a series of nonfalsifiable assertions that have troubling moral implications when you look at them at the same time. It tends to cause people to rationalize some very creepy things.
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18-02-2015, 08:40 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
So, when my parents would say they want to spend eternity with me in heaven, there still was a chance we wouldn't be together? Brilliant system. How do people fall for this shit?

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18-02-2015, 09:41 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
(18-02-2015 12:40 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  I got to thinking today about afterlife. We (and by "we" I mean atheists) like to mock the concept of hell because the idea of a finite crime being punished with infinite torture is not only unjustified but it's laughably imbalanced.

But I've never heard or read anyone discussing the other side of this. Would it be fair to receive infinite bliss for finite mediocre compliance? Everyone could do better while they're alive. There's always something more you could have done. If being imperfect just once, like not believing in Jesus, could land you in the lake of fire for all of eternity, then shouldn't you have to be perfect to earn eternal happiness? And even that would be imbalanced.

I also have heard many theists rationalize the cruel injustices of this finite life by saying those who were savagely wronged will be rewarded in the afterlife. But what's more rewarding than eternal bliss? I mean, do these people believe there are degrees of bliss in heaven? Do some people have it better than others? Maybe some have wings while others have wheels on their feet?

I gotta tell ya, it would piss me off if I were gang-raped daily for 10 years, watched my family get murdered and then get killed myself in the most painful way possible only to arrive at the Pearly Gates to see some guy who had an easy "blessed" life getting the same treatment as me. This is why the whole afterlife concept falls apart as a reward. If there is any kind of mediocrity in heaven then why call it heaven? Yet we are told those who suffer here on Earth have it better there in heaven. And I have to admit I would be pissed if I led a good life and saw that others received a better heavenly experience for eternity.

And one last thought: If we're tempted by Satan on this finite planet and we fall victim to his charms, doing his work, etc., and we're sent to hell where Satan resides, why would he carry out punishments on us when we did what he wanted? How many people ask you to do something, you do it and then they punish you for doing it? That would be insane. As atheists, we don't believe in any god. If there were a god, then being an atheist in most religions would be a sin and we'd go to hell. Wouldn't Satan love to have us there and reward us?

An afterlife makes zero sense logically.

Mormons have multiple levels of heaven with specific handshakes to give god to show you have earned entry....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_glory

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18-02-2015, 09:55 AM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
(18-02-2015 09:41 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(18-02-2015 12:40 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  I got to thinking today about afterlife. We (and by "we" I mean atheists) like to mock the concept of hell because the idea of a finite crime being punished with infinite torture is not only unjustified but it's laughably imbalanced.

But I've never heard or read anyone discussing the other side of this. Would it be fair to receive infinite bliss for finite mediocre compliance? Everyone could do better while they're alive. There's always something more you could have done. If being imperfect just once, like not believing in Jesus, could land you in the lake of fire for all of eternity, then shouldn't you have to be perfect to earn eternal happiness? And even that would be imbalanced.

I also have heard many theists rationalize the cruel injustices of this finite life by saying those who were savagely wronged will be rewarded in the afterlife. But what's more rewarding than eternal bliss? I mean, do these people believe there are degrees of bliss in heaven? Do some people have it better than others? Maybe some have wings while others have wheels on their feet?

I gotta tell ya, it would piss me off if I were gang-raped daily for 10 years, watched my family get murdered and then get killed myself in the most painful way possible only to arrive at the Pearly Gates to see some guy who had an easy "blessed" life getting the same treatment as me. This is why the whole afterlife concept falls apart as a reward. If there is any kind of mediocrity in heaven then why call it heaven? Yet we are told those who suffer here on Earth have it better there in heaven. And I have to admit I would be pissed if I led a good life and saw that others received a better heavenly experience for eternity.

And one last thought: If we're tempted by Satan on this finite planet and we fall victim to his charms, doing his work, etc., and we're sent to hell where Satan resides, why would he carry out punishments on us when we did what he wanted? How many people ask you to do something, you do it and then they punish you for doing it? That would be insane. As atheists, we don't believe in any god. If there were a god, then being an atheist in most religions would be a sin and we'd go to hell. Wouldn't Satan love to have us there and reward us?

An afterlife makes zero sense logically.

Mormons have multiple levels of heaven with specific handshakes to give god to show you have earned entry....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_glory

Sons of Perdition ... Sounds like a show destined for FX

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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19-02-2015, 03:14 PM
RE: Afterlife conundrum
(18-02-2015 12:40 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  I got to thinking today about afterlife. We (and by "we" I mean atheists) like to mock the concept of hell because the idea of a finite crime being punished with infinite torture is not only unjustified but it's laughably imbalanced.

But I've never heard or read anyone discussing the other side of this. Would it be fair to receive infinite bliss for finite mediocre compliance? Everyone could do better while they're alive. There's always something more you could have done. If being imperfect just once, like not believing in Jesus, could land you in the lake of fire for all of eternity, then shouldn't you have to be perfect to earn eternal happiness? And even that would be imbalanced.

I also have heard many theists rationalize the cruel injustices of this finite life by saying those who were savagely wronged will be rewarded in the afterlife. But what's more rewarding than eternal bliss? I mean, do these people believe there are degrees of bliss in heaven? Do some people have it better than others? Maybe some have wings while others have wheels on their feet?

I gotta tell ya, it would piss me off if I were gang-raped daily for 10 years, watched my family get murdered and then get killed myself in the most painful way possible only to arrive at the Pearly Gates to see some guy who had an easy "blessed" life getting the same treatment as me. This is why the whole afterlife concept falls apart as a reward. If there is any kind of mediocrity in heaven then why call it heaven? Yet we are told those who suffer here on Earth have it better there in heaven. And I have to admit I would be pissed if I led a good life and saw that others received a better heavenly experience for eternity.

And one last thought: If we're tempted by Satan on this finite planet and we fall victim to his charms, doing his work, etc., and we're sent to hell where Satan resides, why would he carry out punishments on us when we did what he wanted? How many people ask you to do something, you do it and then they punish you for doing it? That would be insane. As atheists, we don't believe in any god. If there were a god, then being an atheist in most religions would be a sin and we'd go to hell. Wouldn't Satan love to have us there and reward us?

An afterlife makes zero sense logically.

I LOVE this post of yours. Love it, love it, love it, love it. Good gedanken here.

Quote:Would it be fair to receive infinite bliss for finite mediocre compliance?

No, it wouldn't. Correct. Correct. Correct!

So trust One who is perfect to have His perfection or "sinlessness" imputed.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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