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The Contradictions of Heaven and Hell

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posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 12:48 AM
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I want to state right off the bat that I am agnostic. I am partial to NO religions and I feel that discussing the possible existence of "god" to be a bigger question than religion can handle.

Okay, with that out of the way I would like to discuss an issue with Christianity that seems strange to me (as most issues with Christianity do). And I would like to hear some input from Christians but obviously any/all opinions are welcome.

As I understand it heaven is the place where you go when you die, if you have followed the teachings of Christ and have lived a "good" life.

I understand hell to be basically the complete opposite of this. You go here if you choose not to give yourself over to Christ and have lived a sinful life.

Heaven is supposed to be just that, heaven. All perfect, all happy, all wonderful and full of all the people you loved while alive.

Hell is supposed to be the opposite. All terrible, all sad, awful, lacking all the people you loved while earth and probably filled with all the people you found to be the most annoying

So, I will use an example of a mother and child. The mother is a Christian, lives a righteous life, passes on and goes to heaven. The child is not a Christian, lives a sinful life, passes on and goes to hell.

Now, if the child is in hell and the mother is in heaven. How can it be heaven for the mother if her child is burning in hell?

How could she possibly be happy if her child is not in heaven with her? If there is any portion of “heaven” that is not heaven. How could it be a “heaven”? Would there be a simulated child for the mother to have in heaven, in order to complete her definition of heaven. Wouldn’t the idea of an eternity somewhere without your children be the definition of hell for some people?



Here is another example for you to consider. Two people who know each other, both Christians, living a righteous life. Lets call them John and Bob. While on earth, John really adores Bob, but the feelings are not mutual. While Bob does not hate, John, he just doesn’t feel as close or connected with John. Bob actually finds John to be rather annoying, but he tolerates him nonetheless. They both pass on and go to heaven.

In Bob’s version of heaven, John is not present because Bob has no desire to see John in heaven. On earth, he found John to be annoying and why would you want someone annoying in your own personal heaven. If John were present, it would conflict with his idea of heaven, thus making it less than heaven. Let’s say somewhat hellish.

In John’s version of heaven, he wishes that Bob were there because he adored him so much on earth, that he cannot envision a heaven without Bob being there. But Bob doesn’t want to see John as it conflicts with his idea of heaven. So now, John’s version of heaven is lacking Bob, thus making it less than heaven.

Again, would there be some kind of “simulated” Bob that is present in John’s heaven in order to complete his idea of heaven?


How can these issues be reconciled with the Christian view of heaven and hell? I understand that all of the explanations will come from descriptions of heaven in the bible, which means I may not be happy with some of the answers to come. But I was just curious how this very contradictory concept can be rectified.

Again, I do not believe in heaven, hell or any of the descriptions of god, put forth by any organized religion. Thus this is merely a fictional thought exercise from my perspective.




posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 12:50 AM
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The fact that my idea of Heaven is rather hedonistic, involving notions of a rather rowdy keg party without end...

I can say that I've wrestled with the premise you are suggesting for a long time and have never come to a satisfactory conclusion.

*edited because ADD bites*

[edit on 8/28/10 by Hefficide]



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 12:54 AM
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I have heard that Hell is described as a level of "awareness"...Perhaps in heaven it is simply not possible to fathom an awareness as "lowly" as hell? At this level of our existence we could possibly entertain these notions which are clearly at opposite ends of the spectrum, but perhaps when passing over to a greater level of awareness we aren't able to conceptualize such things. Just an opinion...



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 12:56 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide

The fact that my idea of Heaven is rather hedonistic, involving notions of a hedonistic keg party without end...

I can say that I've wrestled with the premise you are suggesting for a long time and have never come to a satisfactory conclusion.


HAHA. I agree. It makes me want to be Christian so that I can party like Brett Michaels for eternity.

Obviously there are hundreds of episodes of south park where Kenny dies but one in particular, I think it was from the movie. In the end he is floating up to heaven and there are all these naked women waiting for him.

You go Kenny!



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 01:37 AM
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here is another contradiction about heaven / hell i have considered...

since both are typically considered eternal....

how long could the most amazing , perfect happy place exist before it would become , well, hell?

in other words, in a very yin / yang sense....if all you know is pleasure and there is no more pain...wouldn't you basically forget what pain was eventually and no longer be able to appreciate the pleasure?

sense the closest we seem to get to heaven here on earth is during sex, an easy example for me is, how long could an amazing orgasm last before it started to actually kinda suck or feel psychotic? 15 minutes? an hour? 4 day orgasm? 20 year long orgasm? wouldn't you want it to end at some point then?

in other words -- it is only through pain we know pleasure and vice versa....and it is only through hell we could know heaven...

then perhaps "heaven" is more accurately a state of mind where duality melts away, a higher awareness as someone else in this thread has touched on.....

and since many mystics have reported such a state of mind, why do we need to die to find it? perhaps we should start seeking it now

perhaps we could have heaven on earth.... but there are a lot of forces keeping us from figuring this out



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 01:59 AM
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reply to post by iamcamouflage
 




I would like to hear some input from Christians but
obviously any/all opinions are welcome.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 02:03 AM
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Great points OP. I'd like to expand.

If in the Mother/Child situation you describe, Heaven gives the mother the illusion that her child is in Heaven, then Heaven would be lying to her.

It's a paradox.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 02:16 AM
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reply to post by bodes
 




sense the closest we seem to get to heaven here on earth is
during sex, an easy example for me is, how long could an amazing
orgasm last before it started to actually kinda suck or feel
psychotic? 15 minutes? an hour? 4 day orgasm? 20 year long orgasm?
wouldn't you want it to end at some point then?


I don't think anyone is suggesting that in heaven you'll be tied down to a chair and given compulsory orgasms until you go insane.

If you want it to end...then, it ends? Why is that such a stretch? If we simplify and say that the premise of heaven is "it's a great place," how do you take it from there to this idea that it's a "permanent state of compulsory bliss from which there is no escape, mwahahah!"

Consider here on earth. Maybe one night you have great sex. The following night you see a great movie. The third night you snuggle with cuddly bunny rabbits while sipping schnapps. You have a great time each night. Is there any contradiction here? Of course not. Sure...you probably would get bored havign sex for three days straight, but there's no reason to try to do that when there are movies and bunny rabbits too.



if all you know is pleasure and there is no more pain...
wouldn't you basically forget what pain was eventually
and no longer be able to appreciate the pleasure?


...do you really believe that your ability to appreciate pleasure is based on your ability to compare and contrast it with the experience of pain?

Really?



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by harrytuttle
 




It's a paradox


No, it's a lack of perspective. Do you live in abject misery now because you no longer see your friends from kintergarden? Do you even particularly miss them? Do you even remember their names? No?

Then why would you expect to be all sulky and depressed in the afterlife over a mere child you had while alive?

The ratio of eternity to your lifetime is much bigger than the ratio of your lifetime to the time you spent with your kintergarden friends.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 02:49 AM
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Now, if the child is in hell and the mother is in heaven. How can it be heaven for the mother if her child is burning in hell?


The best answer to this question that I have received is from C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.



St. Paul said that when we bow our knee to sin, we become a slave to that very sin.

C. S. Lewis took it a step further. He said that if we remain enslaved, then eventually we BECOME THAT VERY SIN.

Example...
A boy starts out telling lies.
He gets older. He tells more lies.
By his teenage years, he is a true liar.
As a young adult he can no longer discern truth and reality from the very lies he creates.

His life is a lie. His mind is a lie. His soul is a lie. He has BECOME a lie!

You can substitute “lie” with “lust”, “greed”, “malice”, etc

--------

Our destiny is determined each day in what we do. As Lewis said, We are all the time becoming either creatures fit for heaven, or fit for hell.

The mother in your example lived her life unto righteousness. She grew in virtue and sanctity. She died and entered into the ultimate Truth of God’s heaven.

Her son; he made his own choices, and those choices had very real consequences. And as he lived his life, he became enslaved by those choices, and eventually was transformed into the very things he bowed his knee unto. He BECAME a Lie, such that upon his death there was nothing of truth that remained within him.


The mother cannot love that soul in hell because there’s nothing of her son left to love. There is no longer anything left of that soul except a weak, imploded lie -- and truth can never love a lie.

Heaven is never held hostage by the nothingness of hell.

I highly recommend Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce. It’s an entertaining story with incredible theological implications. It's one of my favorites.

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 03:31 AM
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I'm not here to espouse a specific belief system as true or false.

But if you want the true "Biblical" perspective on the topics you've mentioned, then first you must "unlearn what you have learned" about Christianity.

Here's some facts about what the Bible actually claims:

First: The "Kingdom of Heaven" is not a place in the sky where the dead congregate to be happy for eternity. It's a cosmic kingdom that Earth has been estranged from since the beginning of history. It was officially reestablished on the Earth with the first advent of the "Messiah" and will be reestablished physically on the Earth with his second advent.

Second: "Hell" is a reference to Earthly death. It is commonly confused with the "Lake of Fire" which is also referred to as "the second death" and was created specifically for "the devil and his angels" (and this only after "the devil" is bound in a "pit" for a thousand years). What has been translated as "eternal torment" can also be translated as "non-existence".

Third: It is God's will that "None be lost", thus the very long and drawn out pageant of human free-will in history, the necessity of a God-appointed "Messiah" who is given authority to judge the living and the dead of the Earth.

Fourth: Concerning transient life on Earth: Belief in the teachings and divinity of the "Messiah" helps individuals to live more fulfilling and conscious lives on Earth. Non-belief or non-awareness of the truths espoused by the "Messiah" can make life on Earth more challenging.

Fifth: Concerning eternal life: Belief or awareness of the teachings and revelations of the "Messiah" is NOT a prerequisite for entry into the "Eternal Kingdom". However, entry into this kingdom is granted exclusively by the judgment of this same "Messiah". Fortunately, this "Messiah" is infinitely merciful. (This is what is meant by "I am the way" and "No one gets to the father but through me", etc.)

This mother/child scenario you are discussing would never occur within this framework.

[edit on 28-8-2010 by Alpha Arietis]



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 05:26 AM
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reply to post by iamcamouflage
 


This is what I was saying in another post about visions near death.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

It doesn't make sence. I guess people like the idea of Heaven and seem to "know" without any doubt that it is there. Yet haven't worked out how the whole thing really works.

You are right, heaven can't be heaven, if there is a hell.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by malacandra
 


Lying as a child is actually an important part of development. Studies shoew that the best liars also end up smarter then those that suck at lying.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
reply to post by bodes
 




sense the closest we seem to get to heaven here on earth is
during sex, an easy example for me is, how long could an amazing
orgasm last before it started to actually kinda suck or feel
psychotic? 15 minutes? an hour? 4 day orgasm? 20 year long orgasm?
wouldn't you want it to end at some point then?


I don't think anyone is suggesting that in heaven you'll be tied down to a chair and given compulsory orgasms until you go insane.

If you want it to end...then, it ends? Why is that such a stretch? If we simplify and say that the premise of heaven is "it's a great place," how do you take it from there to this idea that it's a "permanent state of compulsory bliss from which there is no escape, mwahahah!"

Consider here on earth. Maybe one night you have great sex. The following night you see a great movie. The third night you snuggle with cuddly bunny rabbits while sipping schnapps. You have a great time each night. Is there any contradiction here? Of course not. Sure...you probably would get bored havign sex for three days straight, but there's no reason to try to do that when there are movies and bunny rabbits too.



if all you know is pleasure and there is no more pain...
wouldn't you basically forget what pain was eventually
and no longer be able to appreciate the pleasure?


...do you really believe that your ability to appreciate pleasure is based on your ability to compare and contrast it with the experience of pain?

Really?




thanks for the response -- you have brought up some excellent points / counterpoints and i'm glad someone took the time to think about my philosophical ramblings


to clarify what i was trying to say a bit more, its not that i'm saying heaven is some infinite pleasure experience that mutates into hell (i'm not inclined to say what ANYTHING "is", let alone some improvable thing like Heaven) it's just that when I sit back and get very Zen about reality...I often wonder if God could make a heaven, why are we here now? Why do we have to play this grand game when we could have all defaulted to a Heaven experience and skipped all the BS?

So I tend to conclude -- we are here now because this is how it has to be. And yes, I really am suggesting that perhaps we do need pain to have pleasure. Really.

You bring up a good point that perhaps a "Heaven" experience could be just different remixes and and versions of pleasurable things, but I am just suggesting here what you are suggesting in your example of sex , bunnies, and movies is all rather hedonistic and therefore rather meaningless. I know I started the mess when I suggested sex as a starting point for defining heaven, but I guess the trap I was trying to lay is -- what we think would be "Heaven" wouldn't really be that great without meaning. It is meaning that we derive our greatest pleasures from, I imagine when say MC Escher finished one of his works of art or Bach finished a symphony the pleasure derived from it far exceeds that of say an orgasm or at least equals it. And that is due to the blood sweat and tears that go into the work, in other words, from what I can tell the greatest joys in life are not without suffering, and I have a hard time visualizing how this couldnt be on the other side as well, as above so below....

So therefore Heaven may very well be a contradiction -- and if it is so what?



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 06:12 PM
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Awesome answer Alpha!

This is my take on the subject. Heaven is one Universe, our Universe, its parallel Universe is Hell. The two have been in contact, more or less breached, and so we are influenced by Hell every day of our lives. This makes us think we are suspended between these two realms when in actuality we are only in one of them right now. Surprising as it may seem we are indeed in Heaven!

This Universe, our Universe is Heaven but we have fallen and even if we die we will not reach Heaven because we are already here. We never actually lost our immortality, we only need to reach immortality; the secret lies in that we can achieve this through our actions and our deeds, as well as multiple lifetimes of drama to cast off our sad influences by Hell.

Soon the minions of Hell will overtake Heaven and try to recreate their Universe here, but as the story goes, our Lords will arrive and the Christ (He who has achieved immortality) will remove all that do not belong to this realm, his realm, Heaven. All the Demons will be cast out of Heaven and their attachments (mankind who have participated in Hell and will not let go of Hell). Yet this casting is only temporary because after Heaven is re-establish on Earth those who remain will have 1000 years to live, die, return, over and over as we wash ourselves of Hell. Heaven on Earth! Then and only then will the rest be allowed back from Hell (but not their Demons) They will likely be so completely self-absorbed that it will take all of us to break them of their programmings. Those that cannot change, those that lost themselves to their own madness's, will be gone forever for Eternity. Those that remain will be Forgiven and they will gain their Ultimate prize called Heaven, and as they look around they will realize that all along we were in Heaven and that they had been deceived by their Masters.

This is a Scientific thought more than it is Christian; the rationalization of the duality of man and the duality of our Universe itself, our Multiverse! The power to influence reality on the sub-atomic level is uncanny and now we are only just discovering that sub-atomic particles are being changed from the Sun, possibly the Galaxy herself (decay rate is not as stable as we assumed). I think of the Universe as a Dimension and they are unlimited like the fractals of mathematics.

This brings in focus that we are creating our worlds (our lives) through our thoughts and through our wishes. We are co-creating all of this and we will finally wake up to those inner tools within us called Souls! We will finally see the Masters for who they really are, whose attachments are called Man, and we will detach from them if we are true to ourselves. Those from Heaven have Grace, and through Grace we can Forgive and be Forgiven.

As for the Mother/Child, she only needs to be patient as all good mothers are. Her child will return and as soon as Forgiveness is granted then the past is inconsequential to the Newest Beginnings of Humanity! As we are the Outer Manifestation of the Universe looking in on itself with the sole need to understand itself, we too are beginning to look within so that we may reach the Source of that Thought!

It is rather sad we had to come in contact with that other Universe, but really we are Herald by it all! We get to finally speak to God from our place in Heaven! Thine Will be done, on Earth...as Earth "is" in Heaven!



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by bodes
 


It appears you do not fully understand time.

Time is a measure of distance traveled, even if you stand still you are still traveling, because you live on a body of matter that is moving through space.

Heaven and Hell are not places of this space.

God is a spirit, Satan is a spirit, your eternal soul is a spirit.

The soul will be what is in heaven or hell.

Heaven will have food but never hungry, you can rest but are never tired, drink but are never thirsty, ect ect.

Hell will be dark but you will never get rest, you will be hungry and never get fed, thirsty but never taste water, full of fear, crying, pain, horrible smells, scratching, biting, poking, bashing, burning,



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 03:59 AM
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reply to post by bodes
 




if God could make a heaven, why are we here now? Why do we
have to play this grand game when we could have all defaulted
to a Heaven experience and skipped all the BS?


I can give you an answer that personally I find to be very plausible, but I have to step outside the bounds of christian perspective to do so.

Set aside these notions of "streets of gold" and "eternal orgasms" and simply embrace the idea you're probably trying to propose with this thread: one might not particularly want to experience streets of gold or eternal orgasms. I proposed movies and bunny rabbits, but maybe someone doesn't want those things either. So what kind of "heaven" would really be "heavenly" for everyone?

A heaven in which you have the abliity to experience as you choose.

Without judgement, without imposition, simply the state of being able, from one moment to the next, of being able to experience anything and everything you want. If you look here on earth I think you'll find that people are able to appreciate a broad range of experiences, far beyond just orgasms and bunny cuddles. I mentioned movies...but are all movies "fun?" Not at all. Plenty of people enjoy tragedy. Some even enjoy doom and gloom horror flicks about the end of the world and zombies eating brains.

Does the movie industry judge that, and say "no, you may only watch happy, nice movies about kittens and butterflies." No, they make available anything that people will watch. So...given this idea that we're eternal consciousness, and that "heaven" is forever, does it make sense that an "eternal heaven" would be offer a smaller range of experience than even humans here on earth can produce and appreciate? I say no. Given eternity, it makes sense to me that just like people sometimes want to watch comedies and sometimes want to watch tragedies, so too would the available experience in "heaven" include the entire spectum of all possible experience.



if God could make a heaven, why are we here now? Why do we
have to play this grand game when we could have all defaulted
to a Heaven experience and skipped all the BS?


You're in heaven right now.

[edit on 29-8-2010 by LordBucket]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 04:07 AM
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reply to post by bodes
 




yes, I really am suggesting that perhaps we do
need pain to have pleasure. Really


This is a philosophical idea which I see fairly often. And it's one that I simply don't agree with. I accept that the perception of experience may be different depending on the range of experience one has to compare to, but it doesn't make sense to me that the experience itself would not be available without that contrast.

I can give you lots of examples.

For example, do you like chocolate? Let's assume you do. Now, have you ever starved? Have you ever gone hungry to the point of pain? Maybe you have, maybe you haven't, but do you see how it's possible to like chocolate and enjoy eating it without the experience of starvation? Do you see how a person who lived their entire life with food always available in extreme abundance, and lived in a mansion full of chefs and servants who lived to instantly bring whatever he wanted...do you see how that person might still enjoy chocolate? Yes, perhaps if that person had gone hungry a couple times the experience of enjoying chocolate might be somehow different. Just like if that person had been punched in the face a few times, the experience of chocolate might be more about "comforting" than "yummy." But either way, the enjoyment of chocolate is still possible because it's not dependant upon the experience of unpleasantness, and neither starving nor being punched in the face make the enjoyment of chocolate possible.

I think this "need pain to appreciate pleasure" idea is basically just...wrong. Somebody got this idea in their head a few generations ago that opposites are somehow "necessary" for things to exist, and promoted the idea seriously, and it got taken way out of context. For example, the idea that "up can't exist without down" makes sense within a certain context. Someone is only "tall" if there are "short" people to be compared to. In this context, "tall" is fundamentally a question of relative perspective. But not all things are this way. For example, can "light exist without dark?" I would say yes. Because light is a thing. Dark is a lack of that thing. These are not relative perspectives. I'll grant you that if you lived your entire life as a creature with no eyelids on a planet with no nightfall and no form of shelter or cover...it might never occur to you that you were experiencing light. But nevertheless, you would experience light. and you would know what it is to see. The only thing you wouldn't know would be what it is to have dark. Why? Because you hadn't experienced dark. It's not experiencing dark that makes the experience of dark unavailable, not the lack of experience of light.

I'll leave you with an example you can apply to yourself, personally and directly. Right now you exist in an environment with gravity, right? And presumably you've lived that way your entire life, yes? You have no experience, no direct knowledge whatsoever of what it's like to live in a zero-gravity environment.

Aren't you nevertheless very much aware of what it's like to live in a positive-gravity environment?

So then why would pain be necessary for pleasure?



[edit on 29-8-2010 by LordBucket]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 04:15 AM
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reply to post by iamcamouflage
 


Great post!

I don't believe that heaven and hell are actual places.

I think a soul (if it exists) justs floats off into eternity - and then may have to spend forever reflecting on the wrongness of what that soul did while on earth, or the goodness.

This sounds a bit boring to me!



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by iamcamouflage
 



As I understand it heaven is the place where you go when you die, if you have followed the teachings of Christ and have lived a "good" life.

I understand hell to be basically the complete opposite of this. You go here if you choose not to give yourself over to Christ and have lived a sinful life.


Stop right there, that doesn't describe the Christian. First of all, we are not "good", all humans are bad, sinners. God only sees repentant sinners and unrepentant sinners. Christianity teaches people go to heaven be receiving a free gift of salvation from God through the righteousness of JESUS and His "good life". The Pharisees taught you needed to 'give yourself over to God and live a good life'. Jesus emphatically rejected that notion in His many rebukes of them and their man-made religion and their self-righteousness.

Likewise, a person goes to hell because we all are destined to Hell, a person goes there by rejecting Christ's redemptive work of the cross. Rejecting His payment we owe God for being sinners.

Do you HATE Religion??




[edit on 29-8-2010 by NOTurTypical]



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