Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where the Hell is Heaven? Tell me and I’ll give away $1,000.

“Raise your gaze toward heaven, not a heaven of abstract ideas nor an imaginary heaven created in art, but the true reality of heaven which is God himself. God is heaven." [Pope Benedict XVI 15th August 2008]

Many cultures & religions believe in a concept called heaven (or similar post-death paradise)

Billions live their lives, believing when they die they will spend eternity existing in this place, also frequently called Samsara or Jannah.

So where is this abode of the righteous dead?

When asked, theists (including it appears, even The Pope as per the above quote) allude broadly in abstract, to somewhere up in the sky, the space above the earth. Holy books refer to God looking down from heaven upon the Earth, Jesus & Mohammad coming down from the heavens and then ascending.

It was God that apparently created ‘heavens and the earth’– so why did he render a significant part of this process invisible?

These-days mankind has knowledge of what is in the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. Science has allowed us to investigate, measure, analyse these regions surrounding earth. We are able to cognise in terms of matter & energy, what occupies our immediate surrounds – and there’s no evidence of a ‘mysterious area’ beyond our detection.

“I looked around and I didn't see God or angels or heaven” [Soviet Cosmonaut, Gherman Titov]

‘Believers’ reading this will submit that heaven is in a different, by definition ‘timeless’, dimension. One in which, God magically keeps cloaked from mortals ,especially it seems, scientists/physicists and the like, void even from laws of thermodynamics.

So where there is this dimension, the higher ‘time defying’ realm God and his angels etc call their home?

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19)” May be it’s me, but it’s puzzling that a man made object like The Arc of The Covenant, can also make ‘the transfer’ up to heaven, in one piece.

If you were to die in the next 60 seconds, and you believe heaven is not on terra firma, or up in the stratosphere etc - where is ‘this place’ in relation to where you are immediately residing? Does this mean, in effect some souls have further to travel than others? If the scriptures are your guide, logic dictates, you must believe that were you to die climbing Mount Everest, the journey for your soul would be some what shorter than if you plunged to your doom at the bottom of the Marianas Trench in a Russian nuclear submarine.

This being the case, surely it’s prudent for those whose soul needs to travel an extra distance, like Russian submariners & South African miners, to undertake extra religious training for the prolonged journey into the 4th dimension?

Bart Simpson: “Well if your souls real where is it?”

Milhouse: “It's kinda in here... and when you sneeze, that's your soul trying to escape. Saying god bless you crams it back in. And when you die, it squirms out and flies away!”

Bart: “What if you die in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean?”.

Milhouse: “Oh, it can swim, it's even got wheels, in case you die in the desert and have to drive to the cemetary”.

Explain how it is this ‘soul dematerialision/rematerialision’ process works between bodily death and eternal life and the small issue of how it is a soul is transported? Do souls have flippers or long appendages like flagella and ‘swim’ through space? Are they like salmon and automatically home-in on heaven? Do we simply all need to yell “beam me up God” or “Taxi” rather loudly?

And do souls sometimes turn-up at the wrong dimension of heaven? Are there times a Christian God has point an errant Muslim soul, around the corner to the red door “knock four times and ask for Allah”? For any ‘believers’ this is scenario can not be written off entirely. There is after-all no homogenized concept of a single God, so parallel heavens must be a distinct possibility, or a lot of believers are going to be very disappointed when they slip off this mortal coil and find “the bloody Jews were right all along”.

Now cutting to the chase here folks - is it possible for anyone reading this, to provide me evidence, substantiating a heaven or heavens?

Here’s the challenge: send me one measly piece of evidence that points to the location of heaven & I will donate NZ$1,000 to Medical Research.

There are literally billions of bipedal chimps that are adamant ‘heaven exists’ so I’m expecting I’ll be writing a cheque out to The Malaghan Institute, with-in minutes of posting this blog.

This is a genuine challenge, open to anyone who is registered on google, and comes with no time restraints (should, I make to the average age here in New Zealand you have a good 30 years to go, but I’m prepared to hedge the amount against inflation, $1,000 in 2050 isn’t going to buy you a round of beer, one suspects)

For the successful party I’ll post a copy of the receipt for this donation online, so you’ll know I’ve been as good as my word. Hey, even the godless can be trusted, now and again. Come-on who’d you rather have baby-sit your kids, me or the local Catholic Priest?

So ‘don’t be shy’, enter ‘The $1,000 Challenge’, tell me where I can locate heaven and do you bit for medical research.

Post your evidence in the comments section and let the world see what you have.

Footnote; You may also like to ponder what happens to a soul in the case of a brain transplant? More Here.


ZenTiger said...

You're going to freak when they discover X-Rays and Gamma Rays. No really, they exist. One day I'll be able to offer proof. Will you believe me then?

Canterbury Atheists said...

Hmmm...don't think I'm forking out a 1000 'big-ones' on this, do ya Zen? PS: On holiday for a while, so comments will stay unprocessed.

Mr Dennis said...

"Now cutting to the chase here folks - is it possible for anyone reading this, to provide me evidence, substantiating a heaven or heavens?"


I say this because you will only accept natural evidence - ie physical stuff you can study through natural science.

But heaven by definition is supernatural, so it (like the soul) cannot be studied through natural science.

Certainly we can offer plenty of logical arguments for God, having established logically He must exist we can show you that He teaches there is a heaven, and we might be able to find some testimonies from people who believe they've been there and come back.

But you won't accept that. You want us to say 'dig a hole in that mountain and you'll find it', or 'look just to the left of that star, see the big pearly gates'. Which is complete nonsense.

You have a caricature of heaven as some physical place floating in the clouds, which it is not, and then want us to prove that this nonsensical caricature of yours exists. Which it doesn't. Because Heaven is far greater than that.

If you have already ruled out the supernatural in your mind, you have blinded yourself to any evidence we can offer. So no, we cannot, unless you choose to genuinely look into the matter for yourself.

Alex Wildes said...

To say that heaven is anything other than natural, defies all logic. Perhaps this is why people find it so easy to deny its existence. And, the reason atheism is so alluring is because the Christians fight the Jews and the Jews fight the Muslims and the Muslims fight the Hindus over which flawed concept of heaven is true.
To believe in some medieval idea of heaven being a city of gold up in the clouds or a place outside of physical existence is childish. Heaven does not exist outside of the material universe; but, is an inseparable part of it. A dimension of consciousness that we are blind to. A dimension that quantum science is just now beginning to understand. So I’ll answer your question with a question; where isn’t heaven?