T Nation

Death and Heaven


Why do people who believe in heaven treat death as such a sad thing, I mean isn't heaven supposed to be a great place? For example lets say that a young boy from a religious family gets cancer (which I think is terribly sad and I hope none of you have gone through that) and after fighting and suffering for months he dies and his parents are like "boo hoo".

Shouldn't they be throwing a party instead celebrating the "fact" that he is not suffering anymore and having a great time in heaven? Believers and non believers, what's your opinion of this?


because they don't really believe. its just a hopeful fantasy to help with life.


Even if I don't believe that most people are going to heaven, I do believe that there are many people that will be resurrected to earth. That being said, if someone I love dies and I fully believe that I am going to see them again, that doesn't take away from the fact that I am sad over the loss. They are gone at least for the time being and that means that I won't get to talk to them everyday.

I won't get to hear their laugh, their stories. I won't get to share their presence. People have cried when close friends/family move away. We are creatures of habit, and when we experience a change so great as a death, that is going to affect us. One way or another.


Quite frankly, that can be part of it as well.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Just because you believe you'll see your loved ones in the next life doesn't mean you won't miss them and grieve the temporary loss in this life. Religion offers some consolation, but it doesn't mean people aren't still human and won't grieve lost opportunities like never seeing your kid graduate or get married.


I know that my mom and dad are still alive, but I still miss not seeing them because we live in different states. Imagine not seeing someone ever again while you are alive. There's always going to be some sadness due to the fact that they are gone. That's my thoughts on it at lest.


I think even the most devout believer will admit that all of man are sinners.
I doubt that many Christians consider getting into Heaven a "sure thing." Fully believing in eternal life in Heaven comes hand in hand with fully believing in eternal damnation in hell.
As for dying relatives, I echo what was said previously.


Because no one wants to see thyre kid die....

The parents of that boy invested a lot of emotion in him and had hopes for his future...now thy live for decades ring what might have been


I think it is because even the most ostensibly devout suspect in the deepest recesses of their minds that the odds are against the existence of heaven and hell and personal Gods.


Or you really love somebody and want them around and know you never will see them again?

I am not worried about death, it's the dying part I am not looking forward to. It looks kinda painful and I am a wimp.


I am actually worried that there IS some sort of afterlife. The notion of eternal consciousness absolutely terrifies me.


If this were true you would already be conscious of it. How can a conscious be eternal and yet we have no consciousness of it before we become cognizant of the world around us? It seems like a contradiction to me.


I've thought about this as well. At first, the prospect of my own mortality was terrifying. But compared to living forever? Forever is a really, really, really long time. It would be boring as hell after the first few million years; I would take death over that.

Still, I wish our lifespans were longer than they are. Life is far too short.


I'm not saying that I think consciousness is eternal....I don't. I'm saying that IF it somehow is, that really sucks.


Exactly. A few hundred years of life rather than mere decades would have been real nice.

Or maybe, after death, consciousness could come in cycles, where we 'sleep' in an afterlife for x amount of years or millenia and then all wake up and chill for a while, and then go back to rest. I think I could handle that...though even that would become torturous after a trillion cycles.

No, in the end, the term 'endless' is absolutely, unequivocally terrifying.


Great answer, really well thought out.

OP - because even with a belief in the afterlife, death sucks. Its an emotional and very human reaction to be horrified by death. Even Jesus Christ mourned and wept over the death of a friend.


A belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a "fairy story" for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.

In a dismissal that underlines his firm rejection of religious comforts, Britain's most eminent scientist said there was nothing beyond the moment when the brain flickers for the final time.

Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, shares his thoughts on death, human purpose and our chance existence in an exclusive interview with the Guardian today.

The incurable illness was expected to kill Hawking within a few years of its symptoms arising, an outlook that turned the young scientist to Wagner, but ultimately led him to enjoy life more, he has said, despite the cloud hanging over his future.


I think the ideal would be to exist until you no longer want to exist. People would choose annihilation at different times, but I think everyone would choose it eventually. You can only watch so many reruns.


As a scientist, Hawking ought to acknowledge how little we actually know. By asserting there is no afterlife, as if he actually knows this, Hawking is no better than the believer who insists there is.