Is the belief in heaven always bad?
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03-10-2012, 10:54 AM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
Belief in heaven will lead to irrational decisions. I can't tell you how often as a child and even later as a teenager, my parents would make me stop doing my homework to study the bible because getting into heaven was more important than getting good grades. My parents even made multiple, bad financial decisions when I was growing up like leaving a 3-bedroom duplex with a den paying 1,000 a month for a 1,500 dollar a month mortgage in a town 30 miles away from my college and work as well as my dad's job which almost bankrupted us. Every choice they make they throw "god will take care of us" in front of it. Hasn't worked out so well thus far. I'm glad I finally got away when I did.

Granted, some people need a belief in something else because they have known nothing else and do not possess the intelligence to indepently think for themselves. And for those people, whether they are in trying times or not; if they are not disrupting my pursuit of happiness, then I don't care.

And yet another interesting topic I am not interested in.
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06-10-2012, 06:51 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
(03-10-2012 10:54 AM)AmishLatinJew Wrote:  Belief in heaven will lead to irrational decisions. I can't tell you how often as a child and even later as a teenager, my parents would make me stop doing my homework to study the bible because getting into heaven was more important than getting good grades. My parents even made multiple, bad financial decisions when I was growing up like leaving a 3-bedroom duplex with a den paying 1,000 a month for a 1,500 dollar a month mortgage in a town 30 miles away from my college and work as well as my dad's job which almost bankrupted us. Every choice they make they throw "god will take care of us" in front of it. Hasn't worked out so well thus far. I'm glad I finally got away when I did.

Granted, some people need a belief in something else because they have known nothing else and do not possess the intelligence to indepently think for themselves. And for those people, whether they are in trying times or not; if they are not disrupting my pursuit of happiness, then I don't care.

You are wrong about the intelligence thing. My wife is a believer. She had a few cousins die from a genetic problem. My wife is smart. I don't see any reason that she would not be an atheist if she didn't watch them get worse and worse until both finally died. I don't think she is able to wrap her head around that for the majority of people life sucks. For some life sucks more than for others and for some life is just easy. Born rich and healthy and they stay rich and healthy. For some life sucks right from the start and they die way too young. She holds on to the belief in heaven, because they did not deserve what they went through. I am not going to change her beliefs, as long as mine are respected.
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06-10-2012, 06:57 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
So, you are saying your wife uses heaven as a coping mechanism because she can't grasp the Human-universal concept of "Shit Happens"?

Not to be insensitive or nothing.

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06-10-2012, 07:27 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
(21-09-2012 07:41 AM)Chas Wrote:  I see it as false comfort. People would be better off with acceptance of finality of death.

The belief in heaven requires a cascade of other false beliefs, like souls, disembodied spirit, etc. that get in the way of rationality.

So, on balance: yes, it's always bad for adults.

I agree with Chas.

There are other, healthier ways to cope, I think.

I mean, I have a lot of college loan bills. It'd be a big comfort if I believed I suddenly had billions of dollars in my bank account, sure, but I'd sure be screwed if I tried to spend my imaginary billions. Just because something makes you feel good and relieves stress doesn't mean it's a good idea to believe in it. Lots of neurotic people think celebrities are in love with them (erotomania), but that doesn't mean you should encourage them. It may make them feel good to think George Clooney loves them, but if he really doesn't, I think you should discourage that belief.

People think that because it's about death, it's different. True, the feelings of sadness and loss are more profound than many other things. But I still don't think that means you should rely on the supernatural to "get you through it." This seems to suggest there is no possible way to get through life without woo, and I disagree with this. People can cope with real life events.

I don't agree with calling such people dumb, I know lots of intelligent people who believe in woo woo. For some, it seems to be a sense of "fairness;" that it's unfair their loved one was "taken away" and this wrong would be righted if they were together again in heaven. Of course, this relies on the idea that life is fair, and observation tells me this is not always the case, and that it'd be better to accept that Shit Happens and you should learn to treasure the good stuff in life, rather than being preoccupied with things that didn't go your way.

I was on another forum recently, and it blows my mind whenever a person says "You have no idea what happens after you die." I've had near death experiences. From that, and observation, I'd suggest my brain dies, my consciousness fades away, and my body rots. I have not seen any evidence that anything else happens, or that death is mysterious in any way (the only mystery is how you're going to die, not that you're gonna die or what happens after, IMO).
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06-10-2012, 09:03 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
(21-09-2012 07:41 AM)Chas Wrote:  People would be better off with acceptance of finality of death.

Embracement of it, and the consequent requirement to be here now. Wink

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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06-10-2012, 09:29 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
It is not as simple as that. Some people cannot get through life without a belief in something after it, because life sucks so bad for some people. In my wife's case yes it is a coping mechanism, however she does not let religion run her life like other religious people.
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06-10-2012, 09:55 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
(06-10-2012 09:29 PM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  It is not as simple as that.

It really is as simple as it sounds, it's just not as easy as it sounds.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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18-10-2012, 06:35 AM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
(06-10-2012 06:51 PM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  You are wrong about the intelligence thing. My wife is a believer. She had a few cousins die from a genetic problem. My wife is smart. I don't see any reason that she would not be an atheist if she didn't watch them get worse and worse until both finally died. I don't think she is able to wrap her head around that for the majority of people life sucks. For some life sucks more than for others and for some life is just easy. Born rich and healthy and they stay rich and healthy. For some life sucks right from the start and they die way too young. She holds on to the belief in heaven, because they did not deserve what they went through. I am not going to change her beliefs, as long as mine are respected.

Perhaps I was wrong about blanketing all with the intelligence comment, and for that I will take that back. I do know some very smart individuals who believe as well, but I can say with strong confidence that in my experience (which is quite broad) intelligence and how deep a person believes are not parallel.

And I defintely do not want to step on any toes here, but while your wife may be intelligent, she has given up all independent thought by surrendering her future to a false (or at least unknown) fate. She will and likely has made life decisions based on such a belief. So I will stick to my phrasing of a lack of independent thought.

If all she uses it for is a coping mechanism, than I refer to what I said about people needing something more than what actually exists. So she latches onto that which is familiar, the Christian god. But why not Buddha? Why not some form of reincarnation where they will probably cross paths again when she loses a loved one?

Point is, anyone who believes in something like a deity, relingquishes some form of indpendent thought. So when I have a conversation with such a person on any normal topic, if they bring up any deity, I have to disregard what they say, or at the very least , take it with a spoon of salt.

Hope this is more specific and not insulting.

And yet another interesting topic I am not interested in.
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18-10-2012, 05:06 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?
(21-09-2012 07:35 AM)darkfire Wrote:  There are some people that I have known, that even if I could have removed their belief in heaven I don’t know if I would have. They seem so scared about death, and even life that I that I don’t know if they could take it. This girl I knew was talking about a family member that died, how much she missed her and that it hurts so much, but at least they can be together in heaven one day.

I know religion has caused harm, I have seen it firsthand. I have seen family members disown each other because of religious differences time and time again. But she held onto that idea, and it gave her comfort… I would not have had the heart to remove her belief in heaven even if I could have.

What are your thoughts on this?


There are probably right and wrong times to burst someone's bubble about the afterlife. While in the midst of suffering, perhaps it's not a good idea just out of politeness. However, I do believe that the truth is always preferable, and in this case the truth is the only way someone can truly come to terms with death (of themselves and others). Believing in an afterlife is in essence a denial of death. When we accept death as truly being the end, we can live our last moments accordingly and value the time we have left even more. We can even learn to value our loved ones more knowing that this life will be the only time in which we will get to be with them.
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18-10-2012, 05:21 PM
RE: Is the belief in heaven always bad?



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