Is heaven whatever you want it to be?

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16 Nov 2013 13:33 #125169 by
^ If you haven't read the book, I heartily recommend it.

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18 Nov 2013 13:51 #125305 by
Oh, I wasn't aware there was a book. Thanks for the tip :)

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18 Nov 2013 15:18 #125308 by
The film's based on the book, I liked the film but the book is pretty mindblowing.

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18 Nov 2013 16:56 #125318 by Alexandre Orion
:)

To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
Doubted his empire—that were low indeed;
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since, by fate, the strength of Gods,
And this empyreal substance, cannot fail;
Since, through experience of this great event,
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs’, and in the excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.”
John Milton, Paradise Lost, v. 111-124

Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor—one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
ibid., v. 249-255

Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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18 Nov 2013 17:31 #125323 by Gisteron
I don't think there can be a place of eternal bliss. Given eternity, everything that can be achieved, will be achieved. Why would you read a book now, when you can lie down and wait another 70k years? And interestingly, even when you have achieved all that can be achieved and repeated it a billion times, you would still have an eternity left to spend on something. At some point you'll be suffering boredom so badly, you'd wish you were still mortal for that'd be one way to escape.

On the other hand, if you simultaneously had hell, just how evil of a human being would you need to be to be truly in bliss while there is even one person anywhere suffering eternal agony? So either the person in heaven is suffering thus falsifying the idea that heaven is a place of bliss and bliss only, or the person in heaven isn't really the same that used to be on earth and to have compassion and consideration for others.
Heck, I'd not even be happy with people like Hitler in hell. Let's imagine every life he and his followers have terminated, crippled and every soul they have tortured and let's imagine all the people who's lives were ruined or at least affected by that. Let's imagine all those people and three generations of their descendants, how many would we be having? A billion people? Two? Let's be barbaric and repay Hitler all the suffering he caused not just once but a trillion times. Two billion trillion lifetimes of the worst imaginable torture. And he has yet eternity of the same ahead of him. When is enough ever enough? And who else will be down there with him, suffering the same punishment for... I don't know, raping a dozen children? Even if we were so monstrous as to grant the worst of our fellow primates this kind of afterlife and say it was fair, how much worse do we have to be to grant it to the second worst or the third worst in exactly the same amount? Would it really be us who are in heaven meanwhile knowing it and being happy about it? Or would our morals be changed so much that we'd hardly qualify as 'us' in that sense?

If there is no hell, the prospect of a heaven is obsolete. Why would there be a heaven for all people to go to and be happy despite some humans still living and suffering in the real world or for all people but not for all their favourite animals or for all people including an eternity of coexistence with those they hate most? That, too, renders heaven a place of as much bliss and suffering as our reality is, except it never ends. And if hell exists and we're okay with it, then whatever it is that gets to go to heaven isn't really us and we might as well not try getting there because we never will.

Of course no one of us knows wether it exists or not or how it is, but you only need to consider so few details to understand that its not worth wasting time on striving for.

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned

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18 Nov 2013 17:42 #125325 by
yeah theres some b side aqua teen episode where master shake and frylock get tired of the endless free pizza and virgins and try to re animate back on earth. endless bliss sounds kinda ...

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18 Nov 2013 17:44 #125327 by Kohadre

Gisteron wrote: I don't think there can be a place of eternal bliss. Given eternity, everything that can be achieved, will be achieved. Why would you read a book now, when you can lie down and wait another 70k years? And interestingly, even when you have achieved all that can be achieved and repeated it a billion times, you would still have an eternity left to spend on something. At some point you'll be suffering boredom so badly, you'd wish you were still mortal for that'd be one way to escape.

On the other hand, if you simultaneously had hell, just how evil of a human being would you need to be to be truly in bliss while there is even one person anywhere suffering eternal agony? So either the person in heaven is suffering thus falsifying the idea that heaven is a place of bliss and bliss only, or the person in heaven isn't really the same that used to be on earth and to have compassion and consideration for others.
Heck, I'd not even be happy with people like Hitler in hell. Let's imagine every life he and his followers have terminated, crippled and every soul they have tortured and let's imagine all the people who's lives were ruined or at least affected by that. Let's imagine all those people and three generations of their descendants, how many would we be having? A billion people? Two? Let's be barbaric and repay Hitler all the suffering he caused not just once but a trillion times. Two billion trillion lifetimes of the worst imaginable torture. And he has yet eternity of the same ahead of him. When is enough ever enough? And who else will be down there with him, suffering the same punishment for... I don't know, raping a dozen children? Even if we were so monstrous as to grant the worst of our fellow primates this kind of afterlife and say it was fair, how much worse do we have to be to grant it to the second worst or the third worst in exactly the same amount? Would it really be us who are in heaven meanwhile knowing it and being happy about it? Or would our morals be changed so much that we'd hardly qualify as 'us' in that sense?

If there is no hell, the prospect of a heaven is obsolete. Why would there be a heaven for all people to go to and be happy despite some humans still living and suffering in the real world or for all people but not for all their favourite animals or for all people including an eternity of coexistence with those they hate most? That, too, renders heaven a place of as much bliss and suffering as our reality is, except it never ends. And if hell exists and we're okay with it, then whatever it is that gets to go to heaven isn't really us and we might as well not try getting there because we never will.

Of course no one of us knows wether it exists or not or how it is, but you only need to consider so few details to understand that its not worth wasting time on striving for.


Very true.

I by no means actually believe in heaven or any of the major religious belief systems, this was more of a hypothetical, self indulgent question that I wanted to get others thoughts on.

So long and thanks for all the fish

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02 Dec 2013 13:27 #127011 by
I believe that the Art of Peace contains an interesting concept: "Heaven is where you stand" :)

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02 Dec 2013 13:55 - 02 Dec 2013 13:57 #127015 by Proteus
The idea of "heaven", "hell", and "eternity" can be translated into very easy terms of our reality...

What time is it at ALL times no matter what?

Right now. Right now never started and it never ends. It's an endless circle.

Right now therefore = Eternity.

Heaven and Hell are actually metaphorical states of being. Heaven being bliss (however you would like to personally define bliss for you, in terms that can reasonably apply to you), and Hell being misery (applied on the same terms for you as heaven).

Therefore, to be in heaven for eternity, easily means to be happy and at peace right here right now, while being in hell means being utterly miserable right here and right now. Sometimes we are in heaven, and sometimes we are in hell... both POTENTIALS exist within us at the same time. If we "do right by God", meaning if we "are accepting, loving, and honest with ourselves and our reality", then we may "go to heaven" so to speak. When we do not, then we may find ourselves in "hell".

I find no need to complicate things beyond that. The whole concept speaks for itself. :)

“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”
― Bruce Lee

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Last edit: 02 Dec 2013 13:57 by Proteus.

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02 Dec 2013 16:17 #127027 by Gisteron
You see, Proteus, most depictions of heaven and hell are not metaphorical but indeed described as to be of actual places with certain properties and certain conditions to join or leave. Eternity is also defined as an infinite amount of time rather than any sort of "now". By stretching the words to mean something they don't mean one can of course make any point and entertain any idea about those words, but one is leaving the realms of meaningful communication by doing so. If eternally means "now", then I'll stick with calling it "now" for that is what most of us learned to call "now". If heaven means "having a good time" then I'll stick with "having a good time" and if hell is "having a bad time", then that is what I'll stick with, too. We have quite enough labels for most real things (often more than one, indeed) and we are only confusing each other by redefining words to mean something other than what they mean, even more so if that something else already has a name of its own.
Now, if those are the meanings you assign to these labels, that's fine but for the purpose of conducting messages, please, just use the words all the rest of us uses to describe them (this is a general proposition, not adressed at you specifically, Pro, nor meant to sound the little bit condescending that it kind of turned out sounding...). After all, communication is the sole purpose of language, so let's try and make sure we say things in the way they are easiest to understand.

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned

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