Heaven is Irrelevant

That is, it is irrelevant to your moral choices. There is a persistent view that atheists and agnostics are devoid of morality, with which I disagree, and this post is not about that. I’ll say it again: I’m not talking about not having any moral code at all; I’m just saying that Heaven is not relevant to the moral code you do follow.

Let’s explore.

Imagine that you are gay. Your religion says that gay people will go to Hell, or at least be shut out of Heaven, so you spend your life hiding who you are and torturing yourself because Heaven is supposed to be this great place of eternal happiness where your soul can frolic forevermore. You want to go there.

Or do you?

What gay person wants to frolic for eternity in a Heaven full of homophobes and homophobia? Is that eternal happiness for you, the gay person? No, it is not. That’s denial of yourself at the deepest level, and that is not the path to bliss.

Let me suggest instead that you, whoever you are, live your life with intention. Examine yourself and your choices, so that whenever possible you only do or say the things that you think are right to say and do. Be the ideal person you can be, according to the morals in which you believe. Be good, whatever that means to you. (To me, it means that my right to swing my fist ends at your nose – i.e., I am free except when my freedom would harm another, or limit their freedom.)

Then, when Judgment Day comes (if it comes – who knows?) you can be judged as you are. YOU. And if your definition of goodness does not match up with the definition upheld by the powers that be, then you would not be happy in that Heaven anyway. That Heaven is not Heaven for you. That Heaven, with its different (even opposite) ideals, would be a misery for you to endure as you are. If you aren’t welcome there, you wouldn’t want to go there anyway.

Make sense?

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