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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Heaven Disproves God

An all-good God, at least.

In a comment, I discussed the idea that Hell can't offer eternal torment as it is unending pain. With only pain, there's no reference for torment since there are no moments of bliss.

We are all familiar with the problem of evil as an argument against an all-good God. What are the typical responses? Oh, it's not logically incompatible because the presence of some evil is necessary for good as a point of contrast. Doesn't Heaven face the same problem? Consider:

Heaven is a paradise. All tears will be wiped away and there will be eternal bliss. Doesn't this necessarily invalidate their argument against the problem of evil? If God can achieve it in Heaven, why not here in this life? If evil isn't a necessary component for the perfect world, the most good world, why is it necessary for good in this one?

Perhaps I can anticipate a response to this: ah, but you forget that those in Heaven will have already existed in this world writhing with evil. Therefore, those in Heaven will have already had the necessary experience with evil! I think you fail to consider the disparity between the length in this world and the next. What is eighty years compared to eternity? It's even less significant than the removal of one grain of sand from a beach. But that's not the biggest problem with this response.

If they are in Heaven and they carry their experiences in this life so as to have the necessary exposure to evil, doesn't that necessitate suffering in Heaven? Not only would they suffer from the memories themselves, they would also be tormented with the knowledge of loved ones in Hell. If God makes them immune to this thought, then he has fundamentally changed them and could have done that from the very beginning. If he wipes their memories or knowledge of their loved ones, then he necessarily removes the experience of evil.

Heaven, as eternal paradise, seems inconsistent with the view of an all-good God on this one facet alone.


MrFreeThinker said...

Where the heck does the bible say heaven is an eternal paradise?
I don't believe heaven is an eternal paradise.Unless you got some biblical quotes to support your idea of heaven your argument is moot.
Try harder

DisComforting Ignorance said...

Well, that's really a point, isn't it? The Bible is written so confusedly that everyone has a different idea about what it was saying. Some believe in a perfect Heaven; others believe in a Heaven that's basically a continuance of this world with just Biblical law. Some believe in an all-good God; others believe he's wicked or good at his own pleasure. Some believe Jesus was divine; others believe he was just in fellowship with the Almighty. Some believe in an eternal Hell; others believe in a Hell that lasts 1,000 years.

The problem of evil is an argument specifically against an all-good God. Invariably when this is raised someone will reply: "But God is not all-good!" There are many who hold that he is, though, and it is to those whom we are addressing. Similarly, this is against those who believe in an all-good God and an all-good Heaven.

And I need no biblical quotes to support my argument. My argument is against certain claims made by believers. If you want to take it up with them, you can bring that point up, but it's not really applicable here. Besides, most people don't even use the Bible to support their ideas and, even when they do, the Bible can support two opposing ideas.

Personally, I was raised with a fundamentalist view of the Bible and believed that ardently. We rejected Christian doctrines and went by the Bible alone. One of the things I rejected was a notion of a perfect Heaven. The concept of Heaven that I had was something kind of like what we have now, but with pleasures infinitely more pleasing, a place where you're one with nature, and a place where crimes still occur. The difference is that justice was swift and carried out the same day under Biblical law and the wisdom of Yahweh.