The question that always pops into my head is what is living in heaven supposed to be like? Is there death and suffering when you live in heaven? If not, then why can’t Earth by like that?
The dynamics of heaven are not the same as life on earth. Life on earth revolves around the cycle of life and death and all the spin-offs that come with it. Heaven? Well obviously we do not know for sure but, if God is out of time then Heaven must be also. So the pains and suffering of linear living do not apply. Try to imagine a single moment of pure joy. Time has no meaning. Actions have no meaing. Breathing eating and all the human mechanics have no meaning. Hell would be the opposite, a moment of pure horror. rather than extended suffering.
The whole point is that we should not dwell on Heaven or Hell. we have a life to live here first and it is not just a rite of passage to the next, it has its own values and dynamics.
Why do they have to be different?
Why do we have to live here first?
Truer words were never written. I don’t suppose you’d agree with me that heaven and hell are experiential states fully realizable here on earth. But I have to assume you and others here have thought the question at some point or other.
But in trying to imagine heaven as a realm unto itself as far from our world as God is thought to be, it is hard to imagine beings such as ourselves continuing to feel like ourselves where there is no more becoming but only the limitless extension of ourselves as characters in a story that is over where there is nothing to fear or wish for and no demands on our attention on anyone else’s behalf either. I suspect momentary heaven is all we’re suited for.
Because heaven is to be with God and God is not limited to linear time (or so we believe)
Goes without saying. You are here, aren’t you?
If this world has no value we may as well just commit suicide and be done with it. Perhaps that is why committing suicide is considered a sin?
Why can’t it be like that on Earth as well?
Restating the facts is not an explanation. Why is the sky blue? Because it’s blue. Why is water soft and ice hard? Because water is soft and ice is hard.
Would Earth have value if there was no suffering?
The peace of God is as close to Heaven as I think you can get. It is indescribable in one sense and obvious in another.
Hell on earth? I think we can think of more than one example!
More benign than heterosexuality.
So, on a scale of 0 to 10–with 0 being not important at all and 10 being extremely important–how important is it to you that life on Earth be other than what it is?
That would be a 10 out of 10. The purpose I have found in life is to change the world around me, even if it is just a little bit. If I discovered the cure for cancer would I withhold it because I think people need to suffer? Heck no. If I saw two kids drowning in a pool, would I just let them drown because life is also about death? Heck no.
I think you would appreciate my professor’s position, as did I. He argued for agnosticism based on the high probability that God does not exist with respect to the apparently meaningless suffering in the world, and the high probability God does exist with respect to the apparently purposeful ordering in the world.
He had a pretty good response to the cosmological argument, but as I saw it, he was unwittingly supporting a world that begins in the present and has the appearance of an infinite past.
God’s answer to Job’s affliction is undoubtedly helpful, but the immediate presence of God is what really turns the page. That’s actually what happened with Job. God showed up.
Suffering is still dreadful and we should grieve with those who are grieving.
Jesus healed the sick and sets captives free. Eden showed that paradise is possible in God’s economy. The OT is the story of God bringing his people back to the garden. To what extent in this life, at this time in history, is an open question.
Thanks for your input: however, … I’m skeptical. I am skeptical because of my brother-in-law’s experience.
Prior to the afternoon of Friday, November 3, 2000, my wife’s 48-year old brother was alive, separated, and the father of two sons: 12 and 8. Sometime on the same day, he decided that he couldn’t stand the discomfort of living any more, filled his bathtub with water and cut his brachial artery. When he was found, two days later, he was in a fetal position on the bathroom floor, suggesting that he changed his mind before he lost consciousness.
I venture to guess that when he cut his artery, he was “maxed out” on the Dissatisfaction Scale. But–I suspect–as his life faded, in his last moments, he changed his mind. Unfortunately, he changed his mind too late.
Moral? Heck if I know; but it occurs to me: many humans have opportunities to make decisions. Some make them in time with time to spare. Others “jump too soon.”
World without suffering and volcanoes would look different, better or worse.
I am not an expert but assume that volcanic activity has played an important role in the history of Earth and in the evolution of life on this planet. If the choice is between excluding volcanic activity vs. causing some deaths and suffering because of volcanic activity, which one is the ‘correct’ choice?
Life with reproduction goes hand-in-hand with death. No death = no reproduction (or reproduction leading to an environmental disaster causing suffering and death). No reproduction means no evolution. At least the last part of our life is slow dying, despite the medical attempts to improve the quality of life. Slow dying means often suffering, physical or mental. If the choice is between reproduction vs. no death, which one is the ‘correct’ choice?
Free will includes the possibility to make bad decisions. No bad acts = no free will. Free will vs. no bad acts causing suffering and death, which one is the ‘correct’ choice?
The ability to feel pain and suffer acts as a warning of on-going or potential physical damage. No pain = no ability to note when your hand is wounded or burning. If the choice is between pain vs. the ability to prevent destruction of tissue, which one is the ‘correct’ choice?
This kind of difficult choices are part of creating a ‘very good’ world. Those who want a better world should tell what should be designed in a different way.
Jesus told that the Kingdom of God is coming. Paul told that we will have a different kind of body in the future world, a better body. Jesus told that in the future life, we will not reproduce or die. Probably also no physical pain. To reach the state where we can be part of this promise, Earth and life have gone through a very long development. Maybe suffering and death was a necessary part of the development.
One thing to remember is that our current life is short. Suffering is not something I would want but compared to eternal life, a short period of suffering is not the worst possible option. This conclusion is of course based on the assumption that there is life after death, a better life.
Ever heard of Hobson’s choice?
The world may not be perfect but it is the best of a bad job. We have to pay for our freedom.
The visions of Heaven are idealistic and impractical. This world needs death. And with death comes suffering. But without it… Boredom! We need excitement. We need adrenaline. Without the threat of danger we would vegetate.
I wonder, did you see the Torchwood series where death became impossible? I actually gave up on it because I found it distasteful and uncomfortable but it gave an interesting perspective on death. Perhaps sometimes death is the best result?
I would recommennd bringing all your philosophical questions or question about God to atheistic or generally other sites or blogs as well.Because here you only get answers that will basically object to your questions and defend their views.Ridiculous ones as well .So its good to get both sides views
And then man surveyed all that God had done and declared that while there were some brilliant bits (like ourselves) by and large much improvement was required. God simply is not working to his potential.[/sarcasm]
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! (Hamlet)
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