To Hell with Heaven!

Uploaded by deathray32 on 22.12.2011

I don't understand how you atheists can live without belief in an afterlife. Doesn't it
make your life meaningless? Why not commit suicide now if you're going to die anyway?
My life certainly isn't meaningless just because it's finite. You might as well say that a
Beethoven Symphony is worthless because it doesn't go on forever, or a Van Gogh painting
is worthless because it only covers a finite area.
But there can be no meaning to life if, when you die, it's all over and there is nothing
There is no such thing as "the" meaning of life, written across the sky in flaming letters
and unilaterally binding on everyone. It's up to each individual to make his or her life
As a Christian, what makes my life meaningful is the knowledge that I will be with God forever
in the afterlife. I know the afterlife must exist because otherwise, life would be futile.
That's the fallacy of appealing to consequences, or in plain language, wishful thinking.
No, it's more than wishful thinking. People have always hungered for eternal life, and
God does not place a hunger in people for anything that does not exist. We hunger, and
there is food. We thirst, and there is drink. We desire eternal life, so it must exist.
John Stuart Mill disposed of this argument over a century ago. There are food and drink,
but not in infinite amounts. Likewise, there is life, but not immortality. What you call
the desire for eternal life is really just the desire not to die, to go on living for
the time being. Like Woody Allen, people want to achieve immortality by not dying. But,
as Susan Ertz said, "Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves
on a rainy Sunday afternoon." I think many people who imagine they want never-ending
life haven't really thought it through. I know that after the first few trillion centuries,
I would be bored out of my skull.
But aren't you afraid of the prospect of billions of years of nothingness?
Why should I be? To paraphrase Mark Twain, I experienced billions of years of nothingness
before I was born, and it didn't do me any harm. Of course, I don't want to die painfully,
and I'd rather not die any time soon. But it's foolish to fear death itself. As Epicurus
said, where we are, death is not, and where death is, we are not. I won't experience being
dead because there will be no me to experience it, since my consciousness will no longer
exist. Subjectively, I will always be alive.
That's all very well, but I still think you are wrong to reject the possibility of life
after death.
I just can't imagine the soul floating up into the sky like a helium balloon, and then,
despite being immaterial, somehow experiencing endless stultifying bliss in Heaven, or worse
still, screaming forever in infinite agony in the Lake of Fire, as you put it in one
of our previous conversations. Personally, I think Hell is the sickest, most evil and
twisted concept ever invented by men.
You may mock, but I think it's a tragedy that someone as intelligent as you is willfully
rejecting God's offer of eternal salvation.
The real tragedy is not death but a wasted life. I want my life to be as rich and varied
as possible, and filled with learning and new experiences. I'd rather stand outside
on a frosty night and be awed by the sight of the Milky Way, or stand on the rim of the
Grand Canyon and think of the millions of years it took a steady stream of water to
carve it out, than kneel in a church, quivering in fear of my inevitable death.
When my time comes, I want to be able to look back with satisfaction on a life lived fully,
and know that I left this world a little better than I entered it.