Last night I got into a wee debate with a friend.
We got onto the subject of Heaven and Hell, and quite frankly I ended up more confused than anything.
Assuming one believes in The Afterlife, then things get extremely messy.
Suppose that I go to Heaven [which is more than likely] and all my friends go to Hell [which is even more likely] then who am I to share a pint with Up There? Drinking on one’s own isn’t much fun, and I would miss my pals, leaving me unhappy which isn’t supposed to happen Up There.
What is the situation regarding smoking? To me, Heaven would be a place without any Smoking Nazis, but some [well, maybe one or two] may have led otherwise fairly good lives, and may warrant a trip Upwards rather than Downwards. What happens to them, when they come across me on my wee cloud, plucking my harp and enjoying a lovely pipe-full? Of course it would be heaven for them to have someone to castigate for all eternity, but it would be hell for me.
What about those people who are afraid of dogs? Heaven for them would be a canine-free zone, but I would have to have my Sandy with me, so how does that one work out?
It’s one of those fucking conundrums that gets worse the more you think about it.
What about climate? I don’t like things to be too hot, but there are those would would relish temperatures way above my comfort zone. Nobody ever taught me about these things which are, after all quite important. I was taught a whole load of shite in religion classes when I was at school, but no one ever told me the real facts about Heaven and Hell. I was just taught that Heaven was a nice place and Hell was all fire and agony. like having all my teeth extracted every day for all eternity. For some strange reason the Brothers who taught me seemed to have a much greater insight into Hell.
I think, on the whole it is easier to remain an atheist.