by Staff writer
Unlike Daniel, I am not an atheist and I consider finding myself in heaven as the ultimate purpose of my faith in God.
But when I came across the below list, possibly shared by an atheist, it sort of got me thinking if really the whole idea of heaven is a very palatable one.
1. Heaven will be boring.
Nothing to do but worship—much like an unending church service. Not many people can be happy that way. And even if that did make you happy, sheer happiness without unhappiness is boring. We appreciate everything only by contrast with its opposite. We need darkness to set off light, some pain to appreciate pleasure. If heaven has no pain, how then can we appreciate its pleasure?
2. How can we be happy in heaven if any of our loved ones are in hell?
If we say we’d stop loving them once in heaven, then we are not good; if we keep loving them, then we won’t be happy.
3. Heaven is eternal.
But eternity seems inhuman because without time there is no progress, no change, no work. Passive, changeless adoration perhaps seems fit for angels, but not for us humans.
4. If all time is present at once in heaven, there can be nothing future, only present, and thus nothing left for which to hope.
But we cannot live without hope. Recall the saying: “It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.”
5. The “resurrection body” and the “new earth” seem impossible, mythological and anthropomorphic.
6. Are we free to sin in heaven?
If not, we are unfree robots, not free-willed humans. If so, then heaven is dangerous, just like earth. And if anyone chooses to sin, it’s Eden and the Fall and earth all over again.
7. If we will all be perfect saints in heaven, where will individuality be?
Billions of carbon copies of God seems dull. Human beings thrive on diversity; with perfect sameness everything will be monotonous and unexciting.
8. Will we all be equal in heaven?
The traditional picture of heaven is one of inequality: a hierarchy of greater and lesser rewards. But this seems to make God an elitist, if not a snob, an aristocrat.
9. If God’s light and truth permeate heaven, there will be no privacy.
I can only imagine how intolerable that will be.
10. Will there be sex in heaven?
If not, most people today will not want to go there. If so, it seems too earthly, too anthropomorphic.
Given a choice, most people would prefer earth to heaven, or to just die and disappear.
The whole concept of an afterlife sounds so alien, far, other, threatening, “unfit for human habitation.” Like trying on a weird outfit of clothes and saying, “It’s just not me.”