Everyone has their own idea of heaven. But the heavens preached by religion sound awfully hellish.
According to the Qu’ran, faithful Muslim men get a planet full of jewels, rivers of wine, and perpetual virgins (male and female) while their devout wives get the ‘pleasure’ of watching them rape these youngsters. Some feminist Muslims claim that the faithful women should also get their own planet full of virgins.
Really? I would not want a planet full of naive and inexperienced young kids who forget every night anything that happened the day before. Virgins, of any gender, are not known for their sexual skills. Doesn’t sound like a good time. Maybe if you are a perverted, blood-thirsty barbarian who rapes 8 year olds (an 8 year old bride cannot give consent!), I can see that you would like to have power over innocent children. Sounds like hell to me.
(for references see: http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/heaven.html)
The Mormon heaven is surprisingly similar. Men get their own planets with multiple wives. Oh, and they aren’t just the rulers – they become mini-gods! Again, what about the women? Well women can now get to the higher levels of heaven (there are 3). But, only if they are married and their husband pulls them through by their secret name. Do they get to rule? Nope, just have babies. And only the men can be polygamous, the women are stuck with their first husband for eternity. Heaven is patriarchy. (http://www.exmormon.org/mormwomn.htm)
The JW’s believe that only 144,000 people will get into heaven. And they will all be male and virgins. Or, maybe homosexuals because the verse in Revelation 14:1-4 only states that they shouldn’t “defile” themselves with women implying like the rest of the Bible that men are somehow cleaner. (Whoever wrote that has never cleaned a men’s public washroom).
Everyone else gets to live on paradise on earth as “sheep”. Since there are second chances for everyone, what is the motivation for getting doors slammed in your face, refusing blood transfusions and refusing to celebrate any holidays? Oh yeah! Guilt and fear.
Buddhists teach that heaven is temporary and does not stop the cycle of rebirth. Nirvana is the ultimate goal. Peace, emptiness and “undefiled by lust” (Wiki: Nirvana). No sex there.
And Jesus’ heaven is much worse. According to Luke’s rendition of Jesus’ heaven in chapter 16, all the poor people will get to sit with Abraham while the rich who took advantage of them go to hell. But, those in heaven can see those who didn’t make it get tortured and they can do nothing about it. An eternity of watching other people suffering doesn’t sound heavenly. Those who would not be bothered by that or even enjoy that sort of thing … umm… scare me. (Understatement)
I think those religions got heaven and hell mixed up. Or they were made up by twisted people (with the exception of Buddha, who probably saw too much suffering and not enough love.) Why fear hell when heaven is so terrible?
As a Christian, I liked to think of heaven as an eternity of challenges and opportunities. We would spend our lives exploring the universe, learning, loving and fixing the damage done before. It took me a while to realize that is what life is now.