Heaven

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The dreams of man

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♫♬In Heaven There Is No Beer

Heaven is a(n) place/emotion/plane of existence/state of mind/spiritual realm that you really wanna go to after you die that may or may not exist.

Views are diverse about what heaven, if it exists, will be like, even within a particular religion. Beliefs range from being able to do whatever you want, to watching sinners burn in hell, to singing praise and playing harps in the clouds, to a spiritual experience beyond comprehension, to a mere bodyless state of happiness. Agnosticism about what Heaven is like seems the most reasonable position, on the grounds that it is simply outside of any living person's experience. What we cannot experience, we cannot know anything about, and so anything goes.

Heaven is purported to exist by some Jews, most Christians, and most Muslims, and many other religions.

Contents

Heaven is hotter than Hell

In 1972, an anonymous[1] article appeared in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Applied Optics that demonstrated that the temperature of Heaven (525°C) is hotter than Hell (<444.6°C). This was based on Isaiah 30:26 and the liquid-gas transition point of brimstone (sulfur) Revelation 21:8. This article was "refuted" in the The Journal of Irreproducible Results in 1979.[2]

Christianity

Most Christians hold that heaven is 1) where all the saved will go to 2) experience eternal happiness and 3) be in the presence of God 4) forever.

The writers of the Bible themselves express vagueness concerning any fuller description of heaventhe future of the faithful,[3][4] and most Christian churchesdenominations concur with them. However, this does not prevent a diversity of opinion or even argument about what makes up heaven.

Many preachers teach, simply, that heaven is where you spend forever worshiping God. As most people understand "worship", it's not entirely surprising that many Christians (and, of course, mean, old, evil atheists) would prefer an eternity in Hell as superior, and perhaps more fun — and way cooler (by at least 80°C).

Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica portrays one of the ways of having a good time in heaven: watching people getting tortured in hell, which will make you really happy that you aren't being tortured.

According to some other Christians, especially Roman Catholics, very little is known about heaven — except that you want to go there. (It's the destination, not the journey.)

Post-Christian views

Sarcastically, heaven has been defined as:

A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound your own.[5]

As an additional note: Have you seen the people who claim to be securely destined for Heaven? Would you want to spend eternity with them? Eh; it'll turn out OK.

  • Heaven… is a place… a place… where nothing… nothing ever happens.[6] (No! that's not true, warfare will happen at least once! See Revelation 19:14.)[7][8]

Islam

Islam teaches that righteous Muslims go to Paradise or "Jannah" when they die. A common western misconception is that men get very pleasant sexual rewards in Paradise — in fact they get two wives and a hundred concubines,[9] (or more accurately Houri) which sounds a bit like hard work.

The hundred concubines may not be real women though, but "Houri", who are apparently designed for men's sexual pleasures. They are always virgins and their sexual relationship with men does not affect their virginity. Furthermore they do not get older than thirty-three years of age.[10] As with all passages from holy books there are some believers who take them more literally than others.

A conversation between a Guardian journalist and a failed female suicide bomber went as follows:

  • Guardian: According to the Koran, male martyrs are welcomed to paradise by 72 beautiful virgins; and women martyrs?
  • FFSB: A woman martyr will be the person in charge, the manager, the officer of the 72 virgins, the fairest of the fair.[11]

Other views see the Islamic paradise as a direct equivalent to the Sugar Mountain offered by most religions and understand that the virgins thing is a myth. Many Mormons say the same thing about the part in their Book of Abraham where every person in Heaven gets their own planet. [12]

Arguments about the existence of a heaven

Against

  1. That no proof exists for the existence of a heaven
  2. That God does not exist (i.e., strong atheism)
  3. That God, if he does exist, is evil, or unjust, or cruel, or insane
  4. That the soul does not exist, either at all, or after death, and so can't go to heaven (i.e., materialism)
  5. That heaven is a tool used by corrupt "religious" officials to manipulate the masses, rather than real

For

Most arguments for Heaven are either rejections of the above objections or appeals to an ideal — such as undying love, or complete happiness, or complete justice — that does not exist in the known Universe. The latter argument can devolve into an argument from emotion.

Arguments against the justice of a heaven

Bad men could change, given time, and become good, and therefore do not deserve eternal torture. Good men can become corrupt and bad, given time, and therefore are not worthy of eternal happiness. So why should heaven or hell be eternal?

See also

External links

References

  1. Allegedly it was first written by Paul Darwin Foote in 1920.
  2. Theological Thermodynamics
  3. 1 Corinthians 2:9: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
  4. 1 John 3:2: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
  5. Bierce, Ambrose, The Devil's Dictionary, Castle Books, NY, 1967
  6. Talking Heads (David Byrne), Heaven, on Fear of Music
  7. The Bible and Heaven
  8. Revelations 19:14
  9. Wives and concubines
  10. Concerning The Hur al-'Ayn (Houris)
  11. Guardian interview with female suicide bomber
  12. http://www.thewire.com/culture/2014/02/mormons-dont-get-planet-once-they-die-say-mormons/358669/
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