Some of us live in the here and now. Others are very concerned with the afterlife. For most of us, it is some sort of mixture of the two.
While I think about it from time to time, it is just mostly a curiosity for me. I am a curious person by nature. I like to know, or figure out how things work or how they might work. So from that perspective I have some interest in thinking about whether there is actually a heaven or hell, and what that all means relative to our life here on earth.
I will say for sure though that I have never once altered my behavior on earth with the thought that I will get a better destination in the afterlife. I like to think I am a good person by nature, and that is the only reason I act the way I do. I try to treat others as I wish to be treated and that is good enough for me. However the chips fall from that I am willing to accept.
I play a lot of word games on the internet, mostly on Facebook. Recently while playing I met a woman who has become a born again Christian and has completely given herself over to that faith. I respect that. It is not my thing, but I understand that it is hers.
On a daily basis though, she struggles with the battle of her wants and desires on earth, in the here and now, versus the implications she thinks it will have for her future afterlife once she passes to the other side. Of course, we don't agree or share the same philosophies on this topic, but we had a friendly healthy debate over it. Below is a summary of my thoughts on the topic. Obviously her thoughts were that it does matter and everything she now does reflects that.
My opinion is that it doesn't really matter either way while we are here, because we don't know for sure until we get there, and there is at least a 50 percent chance we are wrong. Those are lousy odds to take and alter your complete life on earth for. I have always been one who based most of my decisions on practical and probable outcomes, so since I cannot verify that what I do on earth will have a bearing later on, I choose not to alter my behavior. I am not sure even if I did know for a fact that it would matter that I would alter my behavior anyway. I probably would not.
Many of us don't want to consider this, because it is troubling to some, but....what if any good or bad we do on earth doesn't matter at all from an afterlife perspective? What if the slate is completely wiped clean and there is a third option?
Let's say for arguments sake that there is a waiting room place, where you spend a certain amount of time, and then how you act in that place gains you entry into heaven or hell.
Possibly, there is no heaven and hell, but just a second earthlike place where we just start over.
What if it isn't as black and white as heaven and hell and there is just one place where the sinners and the saints have to co exist, just like on earth?
What if there is nothing at all, and all the praying and hoping is all for nothing? I don't believe that, but I think it is possible.
What if what we think matters, doesn't? What we think is a sin on earth, really isn't and we have just been brainwashed by the morality of the times or past philosophers and theologians to believe that it does?
Why should such people have gained the answer? What made them so special as to have gotten the answer that all of us could not have gotten.
Again, being a practical sort, I don't buy into it and I just live. For here. For now.
I may pay an eternal price for that, but then again, I may not. I am willing to make that bet. It seems my odds are better and I am all about probabilities.