The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

Heaven-Not Real

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 685 times Debate No: 66714
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)




I am arguing that heaven is not real, make good arguments on why it is.


Unconventional acceptance:
I am new here and have yet to have a debate. So, when I saw PapaNolan about to accept this debate I had to jump ahead. Sorry PapaNolan, but I think I have some good ideas for zoooom.
And pardon any informalities on my part. Once I am more familiar with how you all do things on here it will run smoother.

I accept your challenge and plan to outwit you and show you (and our readers) that heaven is real.
Unfortunately, I have an evidence final beginning in 30 minutes. So, for this acceptance I will not be formulating any thoughts or arguments. Will you, zoooom, agree to let this initial "acceptance" be for further clarification on your point? I mean, is that all for your point: heaven is not real? I can go from that, but do you want to clarify or expound? Can you give me something more to start with on your position? I believe we have 4 rounds (but I am sure we can wrap this up in two).

Again, zoooom (and readers), sorry for the unconventional acceptance, but I wanted to take this topic. Looking forwards to your insights, zoooom. We'll be in touch.
Debate Round No. 1


zoooom forfeited this round.


Con"s argument will be in three parts:
I. Dying Declarations;
II. (A) Dying Declarations continued along with
(B) World Religions which believe in Heaven; and
III. Doctors/Patients

Disclaimer I: If you question the veracity of the Scriptures, for whatever reasons, start with these two objective, scholarly, and honest attempts to explore the truth of the Scriptures: Josh McDowell (an apologist), Evidence that Demands a Verdict and Pamela Binnings Ewen (a lawyer), Faith on Trial.

Disclaimer II: There is a saying in evidence law: a brick is not a wall. It means, one brick (a piece of evidence) does not build the whole wall (or prove the case). But several pieces do. While some of these "bricks" may seem unconnected, read to the finish, weigh them all, and consider it whole. From these several bricks the case for heaven is built.

The Pro asked to prove the existence of "the Christian [heaven]." Observe:

Part I. Dying Declarations
In our courts of law, the rules of evidence allow dying declarations to be introduced as evidence. Federal Rules of Evidence "804(b)(2). The rationale for why our courts allow this was explained in a 1975 case saying, "[t]he reliability of a dying declaration is " based on the premise that no one "who is immediately going into the presence of his Maker will do so with a lie upon his lips."" Commonwealth v. Douglas, 461 Pa. 749, 756 (Pa. 1975). The rules of evidence committee added further: "While the original religious justification for the exception may have lost its conviction for some persons over the years, it can scarcely be doubted that [upon death] powerful psychological pressures are present." Federal Rules of Evidence Committee Advisory Opinions to "804(b)(2). Either way, dying declarations are allowed into courts because they tend to be truthful statements, either from fear of having just uttered a lie and then meeting one"s Maker or from the psychological pressures associated with dying.

Regarding dying declarations, two elements must be proved before they are allowed into court as a reliable and true testimony: 1) the declarant (the speaker) believes he is in fact dying and 2) the declarant believes his death is imminent. Commonwealth v. Knable, 369 Pa. 171; Commonwealth v. Lockett, 291 Pa. 319; Commonwealth v. DeLeo, 242 Pa. 510.
We will look at three dying declarations made during Christ"s crucifixion because these statements are honest beliefs about what the declarants thought regarding Christ and heaven.

First, the railing malefactor"the one who mocked Jesus while they were on the cross"said, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." Luke 23.39. If I were to submit this dying declaration into a court of law, I would first have to satisfy both of the abovementioned elements. So, first, this man derisively mocked Jesus to save him, which means he understood his life needed saving, which we can conclude means he understood that he was about to die; secondly, this man"s comment, made while being crucified, meant he could either 1) be saved or 2) die. Since he did mocked Jesus, we can infer he believed he was imminently going to die. So, the two elements being met, this declaration can be introduced as a true utterance into a court. Now notice two things about this man"s dying declaration and what they reveal about heaven: 1) he said, "If thou be Christ"" From this we should infer that this criminal understood that there was a distinguished one named Christ; 2) then, he said, ""save thyself and us"" which indicates that he truly believed that "if" this was in fact that distinguished Christ, Christ had an ability to save Himself ("save thyself") and criminals ("and us."). I submit this malefactor"s dying declaration to show two things: 1) this malefactor believed that there was, somewhere, a distinguished figure named Christ and 2) that this Christ had a power to save.

Next, the second malefactor"s dying declaration begins with a rebuke of our first man: "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward [crucifixion] of our deeds but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Luke 23.40-42. Again, for this to be accepted into court, the two elements of a dying declaration must be fulfilled. The first element"that the declarant believe he is in fact dying"is met and this we see when he said, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou are in the same condemnation." Luke 23.40. He understood that they were all condemned. Not condemned to just hang about but condemned to die. The second element can be met by an appeal to common knowledge, that Roman crucifixions were public because it mean those men hanging were criminals punished to die. Anyone on a cross could expect death soon. This man is no exception. Thus having met the two elements necessary for a dying declaration to be admitted into court, we can next examine this man"s statement to parse out what he believed to be true about heaven. First, this man understood Jesus to be innocent yet condemned; 2) he believed that they were about to meet God; 3) he believed Jesus possessed a kingdom (he said, "thy kingdom"); 4) he believed he could appeal to Jesus to enter His kingdom after death (that"s why he said "Lord remember me").

The last dying declaration to examine is from Jesus. He said, "Verily [surely] I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." Luke 23.43. Again, let us first fulfill the two requirements so this dying declaration would be admitted into court. The first and second elements are satisfied simultaneously: "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." Id. This means 1) Jesus believed He was to leave earth, go to paradise (put another way, He believed he was about to die) and 2) that this death was imminent, as a matter of fact, it would happen "Today." Id. The two elements being satisfied, this dying declaration can now be taken as a true statement and we can examine it for evidence as to what Jesus believed is true about heaven: 1) He believed there is another place after death (He called it paradise); 2) that men can go to this paradise; 3) that this place is His (we can infer this because Jesus did not deny the second malefactor"s statement when he referred to the next place as "thy kingdom"; 4) that Jesus resides there ("... WITH ME in paradise."). Luke 23.42,43.
Now, let"s weave these three men"s dying declarations together for a summary of what they truly believed about heaven:

1. The first malefactor truly believed there existed a distinguished person named Christ that this Christ had an ability to save a man.
2. The second malefactor truly believed that upon death a man keeps living, that Jesus possessed a kingdom, that Jesus" kingdom followed this life, and that he could plea to Jesus to remember him in this next life.
3. Jesus truly believed that after this life He would keep living, that after this life men could keep living, that He and men could live together in this place He called paradise, and that this kingdom was His.

Part I Summary: This establishes some truths about what these three men believed about Christ and heaven. In Part II, we examine more dying declarations in order to see if these other versions match the above. Also, because a dying declarant has little motivation to lie, little incentive to lie, their words can be relied upon as having more truth than deceit. Thus: the importance of examining these. Also, we will look at the prevalence of heaven throughout world religions. In part III, the last round, I want to explore doctors and patients. Those two groups frequent death, so I expect them to reveal evidence which, when added to the whole debate, should prove heaven exists.

Last disclaimer: I site in-text & informally (apologies); at the end I will include the books I am consulting, titles and authors, for your continued reading.
Debate Round No. 2


zoooom forfeited this round.


Part II
(A) Dying Declarations Continued

The relevance of dying declarations was explained above. With that in mind, let us explore more dying declarations from people who have touched the other side to discover and see what they have to tell us.

Edward Payson, Harvard graduate, died in 1827. While lying in bed with his sister by his side: "In a letter dictated to his sister, [Payson] writes: "The celestial city is full in view. Its glories beam " its breezes fan " its odors are wafted " its sounds strike " and its spirit is breathed into my heart. Nothing separates me from it but the river of death " The Son of Righteousness [Jesus] has been gradually drawing nearer and nearer, appearing larger and brighter as He approached " It has often been remarked, that people who have passed into the other world cannot come back to tell us what they have seen; but I am so near the eternal world, that I can almost see as clearly as if I were there." Solomon B. Shaw, Dying Testimonies of Saved and Unsaved. 2004.

Mr. J.T. Leise recorded the dying words of his mother: "About July 1st, of the same year she died, I got word to return home to see her die. On my arrival, I found mother very low, but having a strong faith in God. Mother"s disease was of a dropsical character. With limbs swollen, she would suffer intensely " The morning she died, about four o"clock, a sister and I were sitting by her bed fanning her, when she suddenly opened her eyes and said, "Children, is this death?" [She then added], "[h]ow beautiful; how beautiful."" Id. 18-19.

Richard Baxter, ??: "I have pain, there is no arguing against sense, but I have peace." Id. 318. (how did he have peace?)
Dwight L. Moody, 1899: "If this is death, there is no valley. This is glorious. I have been within the gates and I saw the children, Dwight and Irene [his deceased grandchildren]. Earth is receding. Heaven is approaching. God is calling me." Id. 318

Miss Martha McCrackin, ??: "How bright the room; how full of angels." Id. 316.

Reverend Francis Brazee, ??: "They sing! The angels sing!" Id. 316.

Gideon Ousley, 1839: "I have no fear of death." Id. 301-302.

Samuel G. Bingaman, Williams, Oregon, recorded: "When I was a soldier in Memphis, Missouri, a comrade said to me, "I wish you would go over to that house yonder and stay with them to-night, for they are in a terrible condition there." " The house was dilapidated " the cellar was full of muddy water " it contained no furniture, not even chairs or bedsteads, nothing but an old trunk, on which an elderly lady sat, and held in her arms a little child, almost dead " on the floor lay another that had died but a few minutes before, and a third one was very low. The lady then pointed to an old pile of dirty bed quilts on the floor", saying, "There lies the mother"" [T]here was one of that family who was deeply penitent " it was the broken-hearted mother. At her request I often visited her " One day while calling to see her, I found her cold, and sinking fast. " But just as those dark billows of death were rolling over her "[s]he looked up and said, "How beautiful everything appears"I see things beautiful and lovely." Id. 298-300.

Eva Greening, nine years old, 1887: "She realized that she must die [no cause recorded], about two o"clock on the day previous " While she was lying perfectly still and calm, she said, "I see stars " Bright lights, the stars of God. I see an angel." A few minutes before she died, [a neighbor] asked if she saw [him, the neighbor]. She shook her head. [No. He then] asked if she saw Jesus. She nodded that she did." Id. 292.

Bruce Olson, missionary who has lived with the Motilone Indians of Colombia since 1961, wrote: "I found Adjibacbayra near death" I had assumed that he had a natural resistance to the disease. He not only contacted the disease, but he also had gotten pneumonia " He couldn"t eat. Two days after I reached him he slipped into a coma. His body was yellow, and flies were crawling across his chest " a horrible predicament for a man who had been strong " While I watched him, he blinked and woke up. "Bruchko [Adjibacbayra"s nickname for Olson] " my body hurts. I hurt everywhere." " I said, "You need to be quiet. We want you to be well. We want you to be strong." He shook his head, barely moving it. "No, Bruchko. I"m not well and I"m not strong."" His eyes " close[d], and he slipped off " Later he opened his eyes again. "Bruchko, I heard a voice like the spirits that talk when they try to kill you." I nodded. "But this voice called me by my secret name, by my real name. No one alive knows my real name, but this spirit called me by my real name. So I called to it and said, "Who are you?" and it said, "I am Jesus, who has walked with you on the trail."" His breath was coming with difficulty. "Help me, brother!" he whispered, looking at me" "But you can"t," he said. "I"m leaving. I can"t see. There"s only pain. God is here, and He wants to take me on the path we couldn"t ever find on our hunts, the paths that goes beyond the horizon to His home." Then he smiled, and his face looked for a moment like the one I knew. "Not alone," he said. "Not alone. I won"t walk it by myself. There"s a Friend who wants to take me. And He knows my name, my real name."" Bruce Olson, Bruchko. 163-164.

(B) World Religions

The following is a list of religions around the world. This should give us a clue if heaven is more or less believed in.
1.Assemblies of God (First heaven: atmospheric; Second: starry heavens; Third: God"s presence)
2.Baha"i Faith (life after death, but not specifically "heaven")
3.Baptist (Heaven)
4.Buddhism (Reincarnation; Enlightenment is a quasi-heaven, state of perfection)
5.Christian Science (Cyclical life, "death is a transition;" No reincarnation; Heaven is a "state of mind")
6.The Churches of Christ (Heaven)
7.Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Heaven, a "state" of happiness and peace)
8.Hinduism (Reincarnation and Karma; Life beyond death; belief in heaven ("a place where the gods reside"))
9. Islam (Heaven)
10.Judaism (Heaven)
11. Lutherans (Heaven, life after death in the presence of God)
12.Presbyterian (Life after death; heaven)
13.Quakers (Life after death; Heaven)
14.Catholics (Heaven, a "condition" not a place)
15.Seventh-Day Adventist (Death, "a sleep of total unconsciousness"; Heaven)
16.Unitarian Universalism ("Agnostic" about life after death; " ... simply do not know""; Denies hell, and does not claim to know if heaven does or does not exist)
17. United Methodist (Heaven, the resurrection of the body)
18. Unity (Reincarnation; Universal salvation, heaven is a state of consciousness)
19. Zoroastrianism ("Life force leaves the body" upon death; The soul sits near the "life force" less body chanting; Heaven, "the abode of song" or "best place," a physical place of happiness; a beautiful garden.)
20.Shinto (The spirit of man continues living, but, no heaven)
21. Confucianism (Small mentions of the afterlife and no mention of heaven as Christians would understand it.)
22. Taoism (Early heaven (ideal); Later heaven (disharmonious existence))
23. Jainism (afterlife, reincarnation; When one becomes an arihant, they have achieved a state of perfect knowledge and happiness. Not clear about an outright heaven.)
24. Sikhism (Reincarnation, so life after death; No clear indication of "heaven")
25. Wicca (Reincarnation; "remain in a blissful realm")

(B) 18 of the 25 most common world religions profess some belief in heaven. More people worldwide, by a vast extent, believe in life after death and a heaven.

In the final part of this debate, I will look at medical doctor"s testimonies and their experience in the ER, when their patients were confronting death. This should tell us whether these individuals were experiencing anything like what we have been discovering.
Debate Round No. 3


zoooom forfeited this round.


Pro made an assertion that heaven was not real.

I wish he would have defended his point, but it was not to be.

I see no need to develop the medical points of my argument, as this has just petered out into a forfeited debate. These things take a long time to research and a long time to write. So, I will spend no more time on it. Hope the information presented was thought provoking, at least.

Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by MattStPaul 2 years ago
Where did you go Zoooom?

Hope everything is alright with ya.

It seems odd that you would post a debate eliciting comments about heaven questioning its reality and then just hop off the site and disappear. What's up with you? It shows you recently joined, and that you are an older man. If these are correct, did you get any satisfactory answers to your questions about whether or not Heaven is Real? Do you have other questions about it that we might be able to debate and research? I'm no authority, of course. I am just an honest searcher. So, maybe we can consider other questions ...

Shoot me an email on here sometime and I hope all is going well with ya.
Posted by treyddd 2 years ago
this is a false premise,does heaven exist or not? in Matthew for for the Lord said repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is here.he was no longer referring to that shadow type that was .Jerusalem but now the New Jerusalem which comes down from heaven is here.paradise is the place that the Lord perpareperpared for his believers.paradise is the New Jerusalem, which is no longer an earthly welling Hebrew 8,relations 21 and 22.John 14
Posted by PapaNolan 2 years ago
I will consider accepting this, but you need to post a legit BoP.
Posted by gomergcc 2 years ago
Zooom you don't state that in the debate when I vote I would see the BoP as on any type, version, or concept of heaven. I would only change this if you end up beating con to define the term heaven.
Posted by imnotacop 2 years ago
Does the argument have to be that it does? Can it simply be the opposition that it doesn't?
Posted by SebUK 2 years ago
Technically the burden of proof is on you zoooom as the resolution suggests . You are making an assertive statement.
Posted by zoooom 2 years ago
the christian version
Posted by 2PartyFarce 2 years ago
Heaven in any religious sense or just the Christian version?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's counter-arguments went entirely uncontested, and thus they stand victorious. Conduct to Con for Pro's round forfeits.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture