Reading Time: < 1 minute / Chris Whiteside
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Here is what Gary Whittenberger offered as his coherent version of heaven and hell in response to my article on the notion that heaven and hell are binary and yet all of human moral activities sit along various different continua.

Thanks for this interesting article. You said “The only sensible way around this is some form of means-tested hell-punishment or heaven-reward. If you are a 34% bastard on earth then you get a 34% punishment in hell. God becomes the ultimate judge, jury and executioner in doling out appropriate punishments.”

I think that if God did exist, he would send all people to Hell first (standard living conditions) for a duration proportional to the number and severity of their sins, and then he would send all people to Heaven second (standard living conditions) for a duration proportional to the number and value of their virtuous acts. This system would be just, fair, and ethical. The Christian ideas of Heaven and Hell are totally bizarre and do not resemble anything God would actually implement.

Firstly, I wonder whether you think this version of heaven and hell are coherent?

Secondly, can you design a version of heaven and hell that would be both fair and coherent?

Of course, these questions depend on the context of what world you think we live in. If you think we live in a world without libertarian free will, can you even begin to have some form of judgemental place that exists as an afterlife? If it is merely an afterlife we’re looking at, what would the purpose of the afterlife be? Would an infinite amount of time lead to philosophical boredom and an eventual sort of nihilism, even?

Answers below, please…


Stay in touch! Like A Tippling Philosopher on Facebook:

Avatar photo

Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...