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Eternal Bliss





UlrikeSE
Heaven.

The basic idea of it sounds boring.

It sounds boring because pure beauty is nothing without comparison. We know beauty on earth because we equally know the filth. Take away the filth through heavenly process and what happens? I have no idea. Will god strip us of blissful recognition? Will we not have to compare to know happiness?

This is something i've thought countless times while living in a paticularly beautiful area of the country. A beautiful area that falls to the back of my mind until I travel and see the less beautiful. When I return, it welcomes me back with a renewed vigor I had forgotten. Is it just me, or does this happen to everyone?

Even through basic self-mutilation i've pondered this basic idea. Self-mutilation in the form of physical fitness. I would walk 20+ miles a day in hilly areas during my vacations, and when I was done I would literally collapse. The strain and punishment would make me forget everything. Any food I didn't like the day former would taste like a gift from god's garden, and any simple chair would feel like the most lavishly furnished lazyboy.

So, I can't imagine a pure happiness without it's dirty friends. Maybe, this is a flaw taken away by god when you ascend (if you believe this)? Does the bible say anything similiar? Or does it just assume we'll do just fine?
Liambaby
What an intelligent and provoking question. Maybe, after the final judgement, God will take humanity back to it's original state in the Garden of Eden, without knowledge, without the need to question. Who knows. And anyway, beauty is all relative, so what you consider to be a beautiful part of your country, may be ugly to another. Maybe heaven would have something for everyone, or, everyone will have their own personal heaven.
Soulfire
Quote:
Will god strip us of blissful recognition? Will we not have to compare to know happiness?

It's been asked before. And we've touched on it a bit.

I honestly believe we will return to a Garden of Eden-like state. There will be nothing for us to question, nothing that we need to know; we just exist in perfect harmony with God.
Azmo
I don't realy belive in this, it's just to little for me to belive in.. I don't belive in any religion specific, but I wanna belive in rebirth. I'd like to think that this stage on earth is one of our first in a big chain, we learn the basics here, and when we die, we will be reborn someplace else, on another planet, with the skills and knowledge we got from here, and we start over, moving on to something bigger, so when we reach the end, we can actually see the meaning of all this, the true meaning of life.

Ofc I know nothing about it, but I would like to think that.. to finally get an answer, to keep evolve into something bigger, greater, smarter..
HereticMonkey
Why assume mere pastoral bliss? Why couldn't it be an eternity where you could find what you wanted, even the possibility of ultimate destruction? If you had all that power to throw around, why limit yourself to just a golf course?

HM
Bikerman
It seems to be a fair point to me..certainly worth considering.
One of the arguments against total hedonism is based on this concept. As an atheist I have no particular fear of judgement when I die and the question is often asked - in that case why not just live life in a totally hedonistic manner and do whatever you like, since you know there will be no 'payback'?
The first answer is that Humans get bored fairly easily - it's our monkey upbringing - we like to know things, find things, push and prod things to see what happens. A deeper answer is based on the concept that the poster raises. It is my own belief that pleasure is not a completely distinct emotion which can be measured in an absolute manner on a scale of 1 to 10. I believe that happiness and sadness, pain and pleasure, grief and joy form a continuous spectrum from one extreme to the other. In the same vein, you cannot have a real conception of dark without light to reference it against or, to go back to science, you cannot have speed without a reference point to measure it against. We are all familiar with the burst of pleasure you get when some irritant, pain or discomfort is removed. One often quoted example is the pleasure of relieving a very full bladder, or, slightly less crudely, the wonderful moment when you remove a chaffing necktie or pair of shoes..
It's not a silly or trivial point - you might call it a theory of human relativity - the theory is that there is no such thing as absolute joy, pain, pleasure, happiness etc, only relative conditions of emotion and feeling which, without reference points to calibrate them, can quickly become a 'norm' and therefore loose any sense of specialness and, ultimately, disappear.
I, for one, believe there is some truth in this, from my own personal experiences.
By this token it would be impossible to attain a state of total happiness since eventually that would become the normal state and loose it's references. The question would then be..happier than what ?

This line of argument is not a particular attack on the notion of paradise or heaven, it applies to all utopian ideals or perfect societies and has been used to attack 'ideal' models for many centuries - from Plato's republic to Moore's Utopia.

Finally there is the related issue of progression/growth. If it is possible to reach an ultimate (be it happiness, joy, whatever) then any change in circumstance must logically detract from that perfect state. The only option, then, to maintain the absolute (even if you believe such a thing possible) would be complete stasis - unchanging perfection since change cannot possibly increase on the absolute it must detract from it. Therefore you end up with stagnation which, in my experience, is itself a barrier to human happiness and fulfilment.
johanfh
I would like to add two comments: (I believe there is a heaven)
1. We live this life. That means we know pain and sorrow and fear and whatsoever. So when we live in heaven, we have something to compare it with, namely: this life! So we can be lucky and know we are, because we know what for example hunger is and we don't have it anymore!
2. The Bible doesn't say the life in heaven (or at a new earth) is some kind of 'being very lucky all the time'. It's life like it was meant to be.
So: you don't need to compare it, because there won't be anything to complain.
A little example: I live in Holland and I did never really have hunger. But if I get a nice meal I enjoy it. Can I do that without the comparission with hunger? Yes, I can enjoy it, because it's a nice meal. Will it be even better if I knew real hunger? I guess so. Maybe than I would feel very lucky. But I feel happy now, because it's a good meal.

Basically what I try to say is: ok, heaven might not be the most lucky place because maybe we can't compare it (I disagree with that, but all right) but it will be a lucky place in itself.

JohanFH
{name here}
Well, I believe that you'll go to heaven, but I don't believe you stay there permanantly. Rather, you go into another life - reincarnation, if you will. Of course, this would mean that souls don't have a ton of control if any control at all over our bodies.
Macko112
I hear Heaven's TV station #666 plays "Life in Hell" 24/7. Correct me if I'm wrong.

But I know exactly what you mean. Sure the comparison to our current life would probably last for awhile and we would be mesmerized by Heaven. But if you truly stay in Heaven for eternity, it would good boring. Perfection is boring. Without flaws, there is nothing good or wonderful in greatness.
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