Heaven Makes No Sense

I was raised Christian.  I was raised in a family where I was told that God was real and that he was looking out for me.  According to the church I grew up in, he loves everyone unconditionally and when we die, he has this special place waiting for us.  It’s a place of unending bliss and unending happiness where everything is great all the time.  Everyone that we have ever loved is there and they will be so happy to see us.  Isn’t it wonderful?  Well, I heard about that, but some part of me never bought it.  The church I was raised in was one of the most liberal I have ever seen.  The people there were open-minded and good people.  To this day, I hold nothing against them when I walked away.  But the whole concept of Heaven seemed strange.

First off – it’s not unconditional love.  When talking about Heaven, one can’t help but look at the man who runs it – God.  A monotheist who happens to exist in three forms (consistency, what’s that?).  See, I was raised to be told that his love for me is unconditional.  Not true at all.  If you read the Bible, then you learn that there are some very clear terms and conditions that apply to his love.  Or, at the very least, to entry into his afterlife.  You have to worship him.  A lot.  You have constantly love him and constantly be devoted to him.  Otherwise, you don’t end up there.  You go to this other place.  It is a place of unending suffering and torment.  You never get a chance to leave that place.  You are stuck there, forever.  So, the idea that this deity’s love is unconditional seems a bit ridiculous to me.

But the more I think about it, the more that I realize that the concept of Heaven is totally nuts.  Here’s a thought for you – a place of eternal bliss would be hell after a while.  Part of what makes the human condition so profound is that amount of emotions we experience and how we experience them.  Nobody experiences just one thing at any given time.  People like to have this false dichotomy of happy and sad.  Like you are either one or the other.  But no, emotion is a nebulous orb full of complexity and dissonance.  That is what makes life so interesting.  In Heaven, the idea is that everything will be good all the time.  Maybe this is just me talking, but that would become Hell to me after a while.  Nothing changes, nothing grows.  Nothing is different.  There is a great quote from Mordin Solus in Mass Effect 2 about change that I think applies here.

No limitations, no advancement.  No advancement, culture stagnates.

In a place that is all bliss, all the time, what would change?  With nothing to drive cultural growth, what would it be like?  The way I see it, it would be pretty much the same thing, every single day, for all time.

That’s another thing – do you have ANY idea how long eternity is?  A common Christian rebuttal to that is that time has different meanings in Heaven.  That doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter if 1 day is a thousand years in Heaven.  You are still there until the end of time.  So your days will go on and on and on and on.  It would never, ever stop.  The reality is that one of the drives in this world is to make things change.  We want to make the world different.  But one of the reasons that immortality sounds horrible to me is because of the fact that eventually, you wouldn’t have anything left to change.  You could only make things different for so long.  Eventually, because your time in this place would never end, it would become the same thing, over and over and over again, until the end of time.  Time is a funny thing to us mortals.  Since we only live about 80 years or so, we get to live with the fact that eventually, we will die.  Time doesn’t mean that much to us.  But when I really think about it, everything about Heaven sounds like it would become a prison camp, with time as my guard.  Scary shit, for sure.

So, if the truth about this place isn’t nearly as rosy as we think it is, why do we believe in it?  Why do we indulge how absolutely insane this concept really is?  I think I’ve come to a reason – because life sucks.  For real, if life was a fun experience, then Heaven would seem like a total bore to us.  But the truth is that when we have a relationship end, a loved one die or everything go to shit, then it is comforting to think about the fact that there is a place where you can go to be happy.  A place where all the shit of this world isn’t going to find you.  A place where you can indulge a belief that everything will be better.  In some ways, I get that.  In others, I find it kind of sad that people desperately need this place to exist to validate their lives.

Life is complicated.  Life is hard.  Life is a giant pain in your ass, but you stick with it.  Because despite how shitty it is, there are the things that make the shit worth it.  Seeing a beautiful sight that will last in your mind forever.  Hearing a sound that makes joy come to your heart.  For some, it is the sound of the ocean.  For others, their baby or child’s laughter.  We find those parts of life to validate the shitty parts that leave us wondering why we even bother.  But that’s just my thoughts.

Food for thought.

Until next time, a quote,

“Some see it (death) as changing into an indestructible form.  They believe that the purpose of the entire universe is to then maintain that form in an Earth-like garden that will be of delights and pleasure for all eternity.  On the other hand, there are those who conform to the idea of our blinking into nothingness.  We all have our experiences, our hopes and dreams, merely a delusion…Considering the marvelous complexity of the universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of this against that, matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension, I believe that our existence must be more than either of these philosophies.  That what we are goes beyond euclidean and other practical measuring systems and that our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality.”  -Captain Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Peace out,

Maverick

Advertisements

Lucien’s Take on Death and the Afterlife

I have stared into the abyss of my own mortality more than once.  I was on death’s doorstep once, with my heart having stopped, and my body’s processes in free-fall.  I could have been called right then and there.  But I still continue.  My body still lives.  I still continue to exist in this world, come what may.

Now, I come from a rather divided family on this topic.  Almost my entire family is Christian.  Very much so.  The parents are far more so than they will ever admit, because they didn’t want to jump down anyone’s throat.  Given some of my other family members, on both sides, I get why.  Let’s just say that some of the family members were more than happy to jump down the throats of others.  But they are still very Christian.  I have no doubt that when they die, they believe that they are going to go to Christian Heaven.  Some part of me legitimately wonders if they speculate that I will not be joining them, since I am an atheist, but I don’t care enough to ask.

According to the Christians, there are two levels of death.  There was this third middle level, but I haven’t heard a Christian talk about that in a LONG time, so let’s just forget about it.  The first is Heaven.  Heaven is supposedly this awesome place, where everybody is happy all the time.  I like how Christopher Hitchens put it, when he called it a party that you are told you can never leave, and you have to have a good time.  For me, that sounds awful.  For one thing, I hate parties.  Or I should say, parties that are large and filled with loud, boisterous, drunken people.  I prefer parties where it is a small group of my friends, and we are able to enjoy one-another’s company.  But yeah, being in a place where I am told it is happiness all the time, that sounds like Hell to me.

LimboThen, there is Hell, which is a place of unbelievable torment, all the time.  Where the sky-wizard sends all the people he doesn’t like, because if you read the Bible, he is a vindictive asshole, who wants everything his way.  And if he doesn’t get it, I hope you like it hot.  To me, the idea of Hell is yet-another reason not to believe in God.  Any being who created an entire universe, yet can be so shallow and petty that he punishes good people to torment for all eternity, merely for not believing in him, is not a being who I would want to worship, and who probably isn’t real, because what this being is for or against seems to eerily follow the writer’s prejudices.  But yeah, this Hell place is just so pathetic that I have never bought into it.  The church I grew up in was very PC, so they weren’t really cozy with the idea, but I heard enough about it to know that it’s pure bullshit.

So, what do I think happens after we die?  To be honest, I don’t know.  But here’s the thing about that – neither do you!  None of us have any clue what happens after we die.  Why?  Because we’re not dead!  We can speculate about it till we’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t change a thing!  I have heard all sorts of neat ideas.

Now, I can’t say that I have this exactly right, but a friend of mine has a belief that when we die, the human consciousness gets taken into some kind of greater entity.  Some kind of mother existence, from which all existence has spawned.  This includes multiple universes.  I find this concept actually rather compelling, given what I understand about quantum physics, and the nature of the universe.  But at the same time, it is just her idea.  The reality is that she doesn’t have any more clear of a direction of what happens after life ends than I do.  And when I say that you don’t know, I mean that you have no idea.

I am not afraid to die.  The idea that I am going to die has crossed my mind more than once, and I am not the least bit afraid of it.  Regardless of what happens, I am of the mindset that I am not going to be afraid of it.  Rather than live with a fear of death, I would much prefer to live with a passion for life.  I have a friend who is afraid of death.  She has talked about doing whatever she can to stay in this world.  I want to admire that, because she does take good care of herself, but to be honest, she lives such a controlled life that I honestly find the life that she leads boring beyond reason.  She is so controlled in every aspect that she never loses control.  I will be ending this with a quote that summarizes my thoughts on her views on how to live life.

Morning Sun, IrelandDeath is not something that people should fear.  It is a companion that goes with you constantly.  From the moment you are born, you are dying.  The telomerase at the end of each linear chromosome are beginning to decay, which is the reason for the finite life cycle of higher organisms.  Death is not something that should scare you.  It is a companion to take with you, telling you to make the very most of every single moment you have.  Because I do believe that you only get one chance to do this.  Once your consciousness dies, you are done.  And you don’t get a chance to do this again.

I don’t know where I am going after this journey of mine is over, but I know that the only thing I will ever really regret is if this journey ends and I regret how I have lived it.  I admit to having made mistakes.  I admit that I have gone left when I should have gone right.  I have done stupid shit, but who hasn’t?  But in the end, I am still here, and every single day, I am finding a way to make the most of it.  That means something.

Until next time, a quote,

“You don’t let other people’s problems affect you. You don’t let your own problems affect you, and it’s the screw-ups that make us interesting. You’re never out of control, which is good… and boring. Never losing control means you’re never putting yourself out there, never pushing your limits.”  -Dr. Robert Chase, House M.D.

Peace out,

Maverick

Real Catholic TV vs. Liberals (Apparently, we’re all going to Hell!)

Well, I figure that I haven’t gone after these people in a while, so I will do my usual kind of post.  I will put the original video, and then do a hit for hit from the video I am attacking.  For those of you who don’t know, there is a group called Real Catholic TV.  They are made up exclusively by bigots.  Their channel on YouTube is hosted by the bigot/not journalist, Michael (Mike) Voris.  The video we are attacking today is called “Liberals, Democrats And Hell.”  Oh is this going to be fun.  All of that said, here we go.

Hello everyone and welcome to The Vortex, where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed.

(Jerk-off motion)

I’m Michael Voris.

Hi Mike.  How’s it going?  You’ve got me and my readers here.  What have you got to say?

So, here’s an interesting question – do people who vote liberal believe in Hell?

Right out of the gates, this is stupid.  Alright, I’ll answer your question – for the most part, yes, they do.  Most people in this country are Christian, and I haven’t met many Christians who don’t believe in Hell.  I don’t, but then, I don’t believe in your Middle-Eastern desert fairytale God, either.  So, I think you can figure out where you stand from there.

There’s a buzzkill you can toss out there at your next social function where you find yourself.  You know, as in, ‘Hey Bob, you said you’re voting liberal!  I was curious, do you believe in Hell?’

Well, we can first say that you have no social tact whatsoever.  You’re an asshole.  You aren’t nice to anybody, from the sounds of things (except other bigots like you).  If I was at this party, my response would be – “No, Mike, I don’t.  Do you believe in courtesy, decency, or kindness?  Oh, you don’t?  I’m sorry, my mistake.  I thought you were something other than a complete piece of shit.”

It’s an interesting question because the answer uncovers much and reveals the person’s world view.  And to be perfectly fair (yeah, I’m sure), a person’s worldview is their core.  It’s the place where all their motivations and actions spring forth.

What?!  That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!  Or at least heard today.  Your worldview is shaped by your motivations and values.  It is the byproduct of what you believe, how you act.  It doesn’t shape anything, or cause anything to “spring forth.”  It is something that is sprung, or shaped.

So, it’s no surprise, as you look over polls, and discover that those who support OBAMA (note capitalization), for example, self-identify as much less religious than those who want him out of here.

Oh non-existent God you’re dumb.  First off, I know plenty of people who have some pretty hardcore religious views who support Obama.  I have a friend who is a hardcore evangelical Christian who fervantly supported Obama.  Now neither of us do since he revealed himself to be a two-faced turncoat to true liberal ideas, along with human decency.  But I will give, the people who vote conservative do generally tend to be some of the most religious people there are.  But you can’t make the claim that people who support Obama as much less religious.  In a country where 6 out of 10 people don’t believe in the Theory of Evolution, which has mountains of evidence, you just can’t be that dumb.

Now, it’s true that not everyone who identifies as religious believes in Hell.  But you’ll be much more likely to find the fire and the brimstone believes among the self-identified religious, than among the secularist humanist party crowd.

Wow, he’s got a point.  But, here’s my counter – so what?  There is no Hell, because there is no God.  Or at least, no God that is talked about in any religion.  I can’t disprove a deist God, but I sure as hell can disprove the Christian God.  So, why does that matter?

In fact, it would be fair and reasonable (two things Mike isn’t) to say that a central issue, a measuring rod, a predictor of how this election might turn out is this very question – Do you believe in Hell, yes or no?

No, dumb-dumb, a fair and reasonable assumption about this election is that none of the Republican candidates hold a candle against Obama.  The liberal crowd is disillusioned with him, but the Republican voters hate ALL of the candidates that they’ve got.  The two front-runners, Romney and Santorum, are loathed by the bulk of the Republican electorate, because the bulk of their electorate is moderate-right.  The Tea Party ousted the moderate politicians, but not the moderate voters, either moderate-left or moderate-right.  You are dumb.

 And here’s the reason –

This should be good.

if someone does not believe in Hell, there’s a lot of silly reasons that people reject the idea,

Like science, logic, reason, intelligence, free-thinking.  Lots of REALLY stupid reasons.  Damn right!

then they don’t really hold Heaven in all that high regard here.  If everyone gets to go to Heaven, then how is Heaven really that much different than Earth?

What I love most about this is the point that he is making that he needs to feel superior.  I have this feeling that Catholics have a huge superiority complex.  They believe that their religion is the right one, and if you don’t believe like they do, you’re going to burn.  Such a pathetic fail.

It’s not that the more-religious minded want people to go to Hell, belief in Hell is not only rooted in ‘Devine Revelation,’ (bullshit) but also in intuition, and internal voice that says that justice demands a Hell.

Wow, that’s powerful stupid.  No, we don’t have an inner voice that says that people should be tortured for all eternity.  Not unless we are sick fucks like you, apparently.  We want justice, but we want measured justice.  Justice that actuall fits the crime, not this pathetic ego-trip that your God desperately wants us to believe in so much.

Something inside us just says, ‘Wow, Mother Teresa, really, hanging out with unrepentant serial killers, child molesters, and parents and spouses who cheated on each other and rationalized everything as they ruined their kids childhood, just so they could have sex with someone other than their spouse.  They get to hang out with Mother Teresa for eternity?

Well, I think that would be fair.  Given how this woman was a crook, took money from the worst scum of the Earth, like the Duvalier family, had fortunes that never went into her hospitals, deliberately kept the patients there in poverty and living like beggers, advocated for no condoms or birth control in places like Africa, yeah, I think she is in appropriate company.  Of course, I don’t believe in the after-life, but still, she is a scum.  I get that.  But a Catholic surely wouldn’t.  They love this woman because she espoused their bigotry as much as they do.

It’s not that the sinner’s beyond the mercy of God, of course they aren’t.  But they have to WANT that mercy.  They have to admit their evil to themselves, and God all those other people they’ve deliberately injured.

Yeah, let’s never-mind that this God must be a real piece of shit since he allows evil to exist at all, created man to do what he doesn’t want, and will send them to a place to burn for all eternity, even though they don’t have any free will.  If you believe in fate, there cannot be free will.  It isn’t possible.  Logic, people, that’s where its at.

In the absence of this, does it seems JUST that they should get to receive eternal joy right alongside Saint Francis, Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Stevens, Saint Isaac, etc.

Since most of those people were murderers or worse, then yeah, I think they would fit in well.

Who lived, and not to mention died, exactly they opposite.

They killed people, spread lies, often were involved in torture and mutilation.  Yeah, they fit right in.  Actually, wait, most liberals wouldn’t want to demean ourselvs by hanging out with these kinds of scum.

So, see, if everyone is in Heaven (a place that also doesn’t exist), and with the repentant and the un-repentant, what’s the big deal about Heaven?

Good question.  It sounds dull.

That wouldn’t be all that different from life that we know here on Earth.

You know, I could have swore there was a bible verse in Luke about that –

Luke 17:21 – Nor will people be able to say, “it is here,” or “it is there.”  For the Kingdom of God is within you.

Apparently, Mike also cannot read.  I’m glad we’re getting so much proof that he’s stupid.

And this becomes the kind of default position of those who dismiss the reality of Hell.

One question, Mike – where is your proof for Hell?  If you quote the Bible, you’re an even bigger idiot.  Offer me proof, and I will accept something as real.  Though even with proof, there is always something that could disprove it, so you can never truly know that something is an absolute reality.

They take a kind of ‘pass’ on Heaven as well.  At least, in a meaninful manner.

O-kay.  That’s really dumb.

Not really into the Heaven thing in the next life, they expend a great deal of effort trying to have Heaven in THIS LIFE.

We try to make life better here.  Oh the humanity!  We are such monsters!

They use drugs and booze, engage in wanton sex, attach themselves to material wealth, adopt a view that the Earth is the upper-most of concerns, in regard to the climate, saving every species they ever heard of, while enlisting every government program to achieve every goal that can be imagined.

Uh, I’m not seeing the problem.  I am actually with Carlin on my view of climate change, and don’t think its the biggest problem there is, I don’t do drugs or drink booze.  I know most people don’t just go out and get shit-faced and trip out every day of the week.  As for wanton sex, I wish.  I miss getting that.

In short, they want to bring about a utopia!  This is exactly why Karl Marx said, ‘religion is the opium of the people.’  And why the Marquis de Sade said of religion that it is, ‘this opium that you feed your people.’

Okay, first, if you are a truly informed liberal, you realize that a perfect utopia isn’t possible.  Human nature naturally goes away from that.  We keep improving the quality of life, and we get as close as possible, trying to help everyone.  And for the second bit there, this was a very clever attempt to sound smart and use Marx and de Sade as a proof of how bad our ideas are, because according to them, they are bad people.  Marquis de Sade, yeah, he was bad, but Marx, he wasn’t a bad guy at all, he was just a dude who ripped of the book “Utopia.”

No big surprise here.  Some people strive for Heaven in eternity, others wish to initiate it here on Earth, because they don’t believe it exists in the next life.

No, we believe in looking out for our fellow man.  I’m surprised you don’t, since Jesus doled out free healthcare, even to non-believers or those who believed in other faiths, commanded his people to give to the poor and help them without condition or restraint, and told us to look out for each other.  Why don’t you work with us, if you follow this guy as the son of God?

It would be ridiculous to think that these two opposing views, and they are in opposition to each other, don’t get translated, at least in part, to the ballot box.

What?  What views?  Liberalism and conservatism?  Well, duh!  We already knew that.  Also, there are plenty of liberals who believe in Heaven and plan on going there, they just still want to make things better, for everybody.  You clearly hate Jesus, since you don’t buy into that.

People who are motivated by ‘authentic’ faith in God will overwhelmingly vote one way, and those that don’t have that motivation will vote another way.

Yeah, I call bullshit.  Apparently the name S.E. Cupp means nothing to you.  She is one of the biggest conservatives there is, and she doesn’t believe in God.  She is against gay rights and abortion as much as you are, and she has no belief in God.  Likewise, there are plenty of ‘authentic’ Christians who don’t follow your bigotries, Mike.

People who do not think that Hell actually exists, or if it does and nobody actually really goes there, or goes there for eternity, are simply not going to give a hoot, about objectively moral issues like abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ (he put the quotes there, not me), euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, because they don’t believe in objective morality.

Because there is no objective morality.  You Christians are against murder, right?  Except when the government does it, or soldiers do it overseas for no good reason.  Morality is a system created by those in power and given to those without it.  That’s how this works.  I believe in living with empathy, because empathy guides you to behaving like a better person, without all the smoke and mirrors of your desert fairytale God.

They will be much more likely to cast their vote for parties or laws or candidates who share their view, that the only Heaven you’re ever gonna get a crack at is here on Earth.  A kind of political version of ‘you better get while the gettin’s good.’

What?  No, we believe in helping as many people as possible, with the resources we have available.  This man is an imbecile.

If morality is rooted in what each individual person wants, then why should anyone case their vote for anything other than their own narrow interests?

They shouldn’t, and they don’t.  People cast their vote for their own interests.  This has been established.  You do it too, like voting for bigots like Rick Santorum, who you have said is the Catholic poster-boy.  Oh non-existent God, the Catholic church is starting to look stupider and stupider every day.

Sometimes, shared in by others for their equally and purely selfish reasons, but often-times not.  Not exactly a good understanding of the COMMON GOOD is it now?!

Actually, yeah, it is.  There is no common good.  The idea of common good is that there are universally things that are good for everybody.  Since all cultures are different and everybody has their own values system, that is ridiculous.  So you are totally pulling this out of your ass.

Make no mistake – who a people elect and how they vote says everything about whether they believe in Hell, Heaven, or God.

I’ve all pwned that to death.  I don’t want to beat a dead horse.

Absolutely it does.  God love you, I’m Michael Voris.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we can’t afford to ignore religion.  This video has over 9,000 views, by the making of this post.  There are potentially 9,000 people who actually believe in this horseshit at comes spewing from the anus that this man calls a mouth.  This man is an imbecile, and he needs to be gotten rid of.

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s no secret that a lot of Christians want mandatory prayer back in our schools.  And its no secret that the major obstacle to gay rights is Christian fundamentalism.  It’s no secret that the people protesting outside of abortion clinics, calling women ‘whores’ just because they’re making a choice about their own bodies, those people are all Christians.”  -TJ Kincaid, CHRISTIANITY, SERIOUSLY? (Deleted By YouTube)  

Peace out,

Maverick