Imagine I live in a place that’s never been exposed to Christianity. Then I go somewhere, learn about it, and convert to it. Then I try to go back to the place I live, to share Christianity with my wife, kids, and other family and friends. But on the way home, I die. In this event, I might get to heaven, but all my loved ones are going to hell, because they never got converted and baptized. Now I’m stuck in this heaven place, worshipping a God who rejects everyone who meant anything to me during my life, even if they were decent and moral people.
Most Christians I’ve met have little doubt that their post-death destination will be heaven. It is only fair, after all, that they should get eternal reward for going to church, following the commandments, and treating other’s well. When I was a Christian, I saw heaven as a primary reinforcement for my faith.
One of the side effects of shedding your faith is that you have to let go of the parts of faith that weren’t all that bad, at least on the surface. The celestial theme park described to me as a child didn’t seem too shabby. How could eternal life and freedom from pain and suffering be bad? How could an alternative to the finality of death be unpleasant? After all, arrested existence seems quite scary.
One of the things that makes me feel better about the finality of death is that, on second thought, heaven doesn’t seem so great. It seems like a place you go to drone on and on about the same thing for eternity. There’s no challenge and no stimulation. Heaven means worshiping and revering a single being for all of eternity, regardless of your thoughts on the matter, and regardless of the moral failings of God as described in the Christian bible.
Why would I want to permanently worship a being who sent my loved ones to hell for not believing strongly enough or for committing minor infractions? What makes such a rigid and mean-spirited being, who created evil in the first place, worthy of such reverence? If the Christian bible is true, then I think I’d rather burn in hell than worship a God who would torture someone so permanently after they committed a minor, temporary offense.
Heaven seems worse than a prison – at least in prison, I can receive visits from the people who mean anything to me, and at least I’m free of prison after I’ve died. The heaven described by Christianity is a place where one sheds their humanity, forgets about the people they loved that fell short, and surrenders to their inner robot. Aside from hell, I can’t imagine a worse place.Follow @TimSteppingOut