Fear of heaven
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23-09-2016, 11:08 AM
Fear of heaven
Back when I was still a Christian, I was a weird Christian. I harbored many secret doubts, had no problems with same-sex marriage, cursed freely(though not around religious friends), enjoyed hard rock, and a whole lot of other things that didn't exactly classify me as "normal" even within my own community. I tried my best to reign in my budding infidel-ness when I was around people who would care, but it was only vaguely effective. Laugh out load

But since becoming an atheist, I've realized that by far my strangest still-Christian trait back then was a fear of heaven. It was always described as a place where you would do nothing but worship God all day every day literally forever. I never liked church. And according to them, you would experience nothing but happiness, positive emotions, etc.. This always sounded suspiciously like brainwashing to me, and it terrified me. I was afraid I'd die, wake up in heaven, and turn into some mindless praying zombie with no sense of identity. I wanted my emotions. All of them. They made me me.

And if I was gonna die and go on existing forever, I wanted to at least get to be some cool ghost/spirit thing that could do whatever I wanted. Shrink myself to the size of an ant, become a character on a TV show, become a poltergeist, anything. I actually felt cheated by the description of heaven, like I really wasn't getting a very good deal out of my eternity. I always sort of hoped that my pastor had gotten it wrong, and I'd actually get to be some kind of physics-bending superhero or something when I died. Laugh out load

Of course, none of this matters since I no longer believe in an afterlife. But my particular Christian anxieties were somewhat backwards and amusing compared to what I usually find, and it got me wondering if anyone has had similar ideas before their deconversion.

all hail the mighty glow cloud
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23-09-2016, 11:39 AM
RE: Fear of heaven
Yup. The thought of living for eternity sounds dreadful. And living forever, always being happy, constantly being all in a yippy-skippy mood would drive me bonkers. It's something I've argued with thiests many times and they just don't get it. Eternity is a long damned time. Are they that afraid of death that they really want to live for eternity?

And you know what they say about wishes. "Be careful what you wish for, it just might come true."

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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23-09-2016, 01:44 PM
RE: Fear of heaven
Never cared much for so called paradise. Idea of living for all eternity wasn't something that seemed good to me.

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The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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23-09-2016, 04:19 PM
RE: Fear of heaven
I'd be OK with living for eternity, but not if it's one never-ending church service. Even when I was a believing, practicing Catholic, one hour of church was about all I could stand. Mark Twain said something about the common conception of Heaven as containing everything a man hated and not a single thing that he liked. That about sums it up for me. Not much better than Hell if it's as they describe it.
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23-09-2016, 04:21 PM
RE: Fear of heaven
Yup. The idea of just being for eternity is hell.

#sigh
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23-09-2016, 05:25 PM
RE: Fear of heaven
I'll admit that's one of my biggest issues, the idea of eternity is mind breaking.

Need to think of a witty signature.
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23-09-2016, 05:35 PM
RE: Fear of heaven
Good Omens as a pretty good description of Heaven.

At one end of the universe lives a woodpecker. At the other end there is a mountain.

Once every millenium the wodpecker flies to the mountain*, sharpens its bill on it and then flies back.

When that woodpecker has worn that mountain down to sand you will still be watching The Sound of Music. And you'll be enjoying it because you don't have a choice.

*For those of you who with a tendency to get picky about technical details like the capacity of woodpeckers for FTL spaceflight, this was part of a very drunken discussion between and angel and a demon.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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24-09-2016, 11:00 AM
RE: Fear of heaven
Heaven for the atmosphere, hell for the company. A simple choice.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" -Epicurus (341-270B.C.E.)
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24-09-2016, 01:56 PM
RE: Fear of heaven
(24-09-2016 11:00 AM)larry-new Wrote:  Heaven for the atmosphere, hell for the company. A simple choice.

I love that quote Smile

all hail the mighty glow cloud
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24-09-2016, 04:02 PM
RE: Fear of heaven
(23-09-2016 05:25 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  I'll admit that's one of my biggest issues, the idea of eternity is mind breaking.

Shai,

Eternity without a change of scene - that's heaven. Ohmy

D.
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