The downsides of heaven

| June 2, 2015 | 1 Reply

I don’t believe in an form of afterlife except for shelf life: For a short time after I die, my body will not stink of death. But if I DID believe in heaven, I wouldn’t want to go there, for many of the reasons set forth by Valerie Tarico of ALTERNET. Here’s one of her many reasons why she wouldn’t be excited to spend time in heaven–endless worship:

Your celestial day (and night) job is to sing God’s praises. What do the faithful do in Heaven? The same thing the angels do. They worship God and sing his praises. The writer of Revelation even offers us a sample song. In one passage, 24 elders “fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:10-110).

As one graduate of Evangel College (Assemblies of God) observed wryly, “Having spent some time in N. Korea, where the incessant praise music and propaganda were required and all-pervasive, I sometimes wonder if the dynastic leaders there somehow lifted a page from an older playbook.”

It has been said that the only god worthy of worship is one who neither wants nor needs it. What are we to think of a deity who creates the earth and her inhabitants—in fact the entire universe—so a few bipedal primates, most of whom were never born, can spend an afterlife in this posture of praise and adulation?


Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. I find this kind of read very strange and I had to take some time to respond. I hope I can somehow adequately touch upon the gist of the problem.

    When I talk about atheism, I always talk about the non-existence of gods, plural. Humanity has invented so many of them over the eons. American atheists virtually always seem to talk about non-belief in God, singular. And they rail against stories in the bible as if these were to be taken seriously.

    I remember a clip of a US minister despairing about the bad influence of Harry Potter, luring children to the “false religion of wicca”. He clearly believed “wicca” to be real and that it should be combatted.

    This same feel I get, in this case, from arguments made against the reality of an afterlife, because the way it is depicted in the bible is not to our liking. So if it were to our liking, would we consider believing it? I hope not! But from this read I get the uneasy feeling we would.

    It reminds me of the story set in medieval times of the false Count. It goes as follows:
    One late evening a man in worn but clearly once classy garments shows up at an inn and says to the inn keeper: “I am Count So-and-So from Here-and-There and I have a long and arduous journey behind me. Dear man, give me your best food and shelter and I will reward you handsomely”, tapping his tinkling pouch. The inn keeper bows and rushes to attend to the Count’s needs.
    Early the next morning the Count is caught sneaking out of the inn without paying. He is unmasked as a “false Count”, but he is now definitively a Count.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the existence of afterlife is well within the scope of the scientific method to confirm or dismiss. We don’t need very old books with silly stories for that.

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