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Heaven, Hell, Earth And Brave New World


megasamurai
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I know that heaven is the carrot to the stick of hell, but heaven seems to be a bad tasting carrot. Living an eternity without suffering might seem great because suffering is unpleasant. Still, I feel a lot of a sense of accomplishment when I overcome hardships. Without hardships to overcome, there's less to aspire to. Many of the things that I love would not be in heaven. According to most people's visions of heaven, there is no sex, marriage, technology, or creativity except for new songs for metaphorically sucking God's dick. Heaven is portrayed as an eternal church service where everyone is programmed to be happy. The ability to suffer has caused immense artistic inspiration. In heaven, even fictional portrayals of sin are probably outlawed. Without being able to mention evil, literature, art, music, theater, film and many art forms would lose their power. Heaven seems awful for someone with artistic aspirations like me.

 

That brings me to how similar that soceity seems to the novel Brave New World. Hapiness was programmed through drugs. Shakespeare was forbidden. Both worlds seem wonderful at first glimpse, but could seem as less appealing on further inspection. Of course, has a few differences from heaven and Brave New World's soceity exist (most notably when it comes to sex).   Hell isn't really a good fit for the Savage Land, because it's hard to have creative aspirations when you're set on fire and not given any break from suffering. Hope to overcome suffering is also important for artistic inspiration. Maybe Earth is closest to the Savage Land. Here we have wonderful (and not so wonderful) works of human creativity inspired by both suffering and pleasure. Still, we have so much insurmountable suffering like natural disaster, disease, famine, war. The idea of a balanced world seems ideal, but Christianity never thought of it. It's earth when you live and heaven or hell when you die.

 

That is my rant and observation. What are your thoughts?

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I agree. I think after a week at a resort spa most people would be ready to go home and tackle some challenges. Trying to achieve balance keeps life from becoming boring. We seem to require the sense of accomplishment that come from overcoming hardships, but if there are no hardships to be had, then what do we do? Eat candy and watch movies?

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Also, every great story needs conflict to move the plot forward. If there were movies in heaven (where there is no conflict), they would suck ass.

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Maybe angel sex! Sounds dirty, huh! Wonder what's under those robes?

 

I think a lot of xians want revenge heaven, watching everyone who disagreed fry.

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We in the western culture can appear to have a nice balance between fun on the one hand and dealing

with trouble on the other. I agree it would get tedious having everything go our way all the time. As a matter of fact, I remember a Twilight Zone show years ago which depicted a man who died and went to

what he thought was heaven. He was in a dreamworld in which everything went his way. If he played pool, he always won. He had all the beautiful girls he could possibly want and more. The best food was

served him, morning, noon and night. Everything he always had wanted was at his finger tips. Soon he

was annoyed and irritated by everything he had. Then later he couldn't stand the luxury. He finally

realized he was not in heaven but hell.

 

We can be relatively happy in this world by blocking out of our minds the reality of the horror

experienced by many millions of people all over the world as a result of poverty, disease, disability, oppression, ignorance, filth and hopelessness. I'm sure I left out many other contributors. I suppose

it is through evolution that or brains have developed these sophisticated defense systems in our

brains. Without them, we would all either go insane, be miserable or so hardened that we wouldn't be

recognized as human.

 

So these defenses are absolutely necessary for our well being. But we must break through those defenses from time to time in order to have compassion for others. Not only compassion, but the willingness to

take action to help others in need. If that balance between enjoying life and facing reality isn't

maintained---well, we end up with a world like that in which we are now living. Indeed, not facing up

to the reality of suffering is, in my opinion, the main reason these horrible conditions remain. And

religion plays a very major role in preventing us from facing reality. Just one example is Xtians

going around preaching to ignorant or starving people about how they can be saved without their doing

anything or virtually anything about these people's real problems. And yet look at the churches,

cathedrals and temples around the world, the cost of which could have been used to feed and educate

these same people. bill

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To me, heaven would be me as the lone super-hero fighting villains for the good of the humanity.  But I'm also invincible, can live forever and get all the ladies love me.

 

Like Mr Manhattan but with a cooler name....

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hitchens has a great rant on this very subject. the interesting thing that I had forgotten was the story of Lazarus and the rich man. so there will be periodic breaks from praise and worshop to go look downl at the people suffering in hell

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