Monday, 13 September 2010
Having both sides of the coin called Heaven.
Eternal life is a prickly subject but an important one for it purports to have an effect in one way or another on all of us according to the bible. Because biblical eternal life is sometimes said to occur outside of time, (whatever that means) usually as a safety net to distract from the torture of immortal life in time, I'm curious as to what the bible says to support this view. Upon closer inspection I found that it is less than biblical appears to be "interpreted" as usual. For example, Jesus himself comes back in Revelation and reveals to John a number of things. One if these is Heaven (Revelation 4). In it John sees chairs and a throne which indicates, among other things, the presence of gravity. To understand that what John is seeing here is not some other realm where the universal laws are different and somehow, “out of time”, you need to know a bit about gravity and what such a phenomenon indicates. Presumably I won’t have to tell you what gravity does to space, but i believe it essentially makes it impossible not to have the phenomenon of time. Apart from this passage in Revelation, pretty much every other “vision” of Heaven indicates that there are some fundamentally earth-bound rules in place there. It is not designated anywhere in the bible that a lack of time in Heaven can be expected. God, you say, is an exception as he is “outside of time”. This may well be the case as he is, after all, god and can do anything and be anywhere. However, if you believe this then it is virtually impossible to believe in miracles as that requires him to be “in” time to complete the miracle. You can’t have it both ways. Either god is involved in this universe, in which case he is subject to time and other constants (such as a cause, sorry Aquinas), or god is not and is therefore largely inconceivable by us time-bound hominids. But ultimately Heaven being outside of time is something you really must have faith in as it is unsupported biblically. As an atheist I am fairly at ease with death. I have a pretty good understanding of what happens when you die: it will likely feel the same as before I was born.