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Is The Idea of Heaven Fundamentally Selfish?

ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,041
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12/21/2016 2:49:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
People have constructed this place for themselves where they are unable to feel pain, unable to do evil and will "live" forever and always in such a state. Is this inherently selfish?

While we claim we want others to go to heaven to in order to feel such bliss isn't our first goal to get ourselves there? We act in certain ways with the idea that we will be going to a place for ourselves where we cannot be human.

Some of the biggest features of humanity include mortality, inability not to commit evil or sin and feeling pain. These things make living things alive and yet, perhaps intended, we prescribe ourselves a catch-all cure for humanity in death.

Is this not simply escapism? And is it inherently selfish?
No one normal accomplished anything meaningful in this world.
joopy
Posts: 40
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12/21/2016 4:04:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There's a lot of good questions here which I will do my best to answer.

People have constructed this place for themselves where they are unable to feel pain, unable to do evil and will "live" forever and always in such a state.

Ok, you've made the assumption that theists are delusional and that Heaven is a place which is just "made up." I disagree. Specifically, I believe that Heaven is the state for which humanity was originally created; a place where we could be with God as his children. Enter Adam and Eve - humanity falls - and Earth has become a sinful place. This belief shapes the intent of theists, and so affects whether or not we are selfish.

Is this inherently selfish? While we claim we want others to go to heaven to in order to feel such bliss isn't our first goal to get ourselves there? We act in certain ways with the idea that we will be going to a place for ourselves where we cannot be human.

Jesus said that those who wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven must "take up their cross and follow [him];" meaning that they must take on the challenges of life and follow his example in leading others to the clear road. Christ's example is that he didn't come to save us because it would give him some special privilege, but because he loved us. Christians must therefore work to love others, and try to save them in order for they themselves to be saved. Maybe this could be selfish in the beginning, but if you are truly successful, you will not be selfish by the end of it.

Some of the biggest features of humanity include mortality, inability not to commit evil or sin and feeling pain. These things make living things alive and yet, perhaps intended, we prescribe ourselves a catch-all cure for humanity in death.
Is this not simply escapism? And is it inherently selfish?

You could argue that Heaven is a selfish idea, but only from the point of view that it is not the natural state for humanity. Consider it this way. Imagine a road, which has been covered by a landslide (the world in its current state). Passing over it is difficult; there's rocks and a high risk or hurting yourself (sin, pain etc). However, far away, the landslide ends, and the road is clear (heaven). So, are people who try to get to the clear part of the road selfish in doing so? I don't think so. All they are trying to do is return to their proper state.

It also follows that those who know about the clear road would try to spread the word of the clear road and help others get there; so that they too could be free of trying to cross the landslide (preaching the Gospels.) They would work to get rid of some of the bigger rocks (activism for positive change) and give their fellow travellers a helping hand through the challenging sections (charity). This is hardly selfish action if you ask me.

Hope that helps, and Merry Christmas to you,
- Joopy
I don't rant, I debate

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