If you enjoy what you read here you will also enjoy my novel
21 days in May
Please be aware this blog may be considered Illegal almost anywhere!

Purgatory In Paradise

I’ve been pondering the Judeo-Christian mythological landscape, you know like one does, thinking about the star-prize for being a good boy or girl; that perpetually happy land of unlimited chocolate or virgins or maybe chocolate-virgins, dependant on your tastes.
Now, I have a life partner with whom I'd be happy to spend eternity, I know it's rare and, if you are without such a person probably a bit nauseating but because I do it occurred to me, what happens when you consider yourselves one, not boy or girl but couple?
In the Christian vision of heaven, what happens in a paradigm where the happiness and well being of one, is as important to the one’s partner, as it is to the one?
As always, what was only a microsecond of pondering has taken way more words to explain, but bear with me, it might be worth it.
A couple marry in their twenties. Eve, born and raised a devout Christian, Sunday school, church and bible class, stayed a virgin until her first marriage. Her husband, a soldier, was killed in action defending a kindergarten. Eve had been a widow, raising their child, for almost three years when she met Adam

Adam, also baptised a Christian though not as devout as Eve, did okay at school and college then, after a couple of years of intermittent unemployment and bread and butter jobs, steadily advanced in a career with a city marketing firm.

Adam and Eve married. Adam raised Eve’s first husband's daughter as his own, along with another five that Adam and Eve's union produced. All offspring were baptised at same the church as their mother. All were schooled and churched in their home town and all went on to produce Christian brand grandchildren. Adam and Eve both retired in the same year and enjoyed long, creative and fulfilling artisan retirements in which each donated a good proportion of their 'good works' to community, charity or church and enjoyed the fruits of their extending family, still as in love as the day they wed.
It seemed to all who had ever met them that their union would continue eternally but one soggy Autumn Adam slipped on some wet leaves. Eve nursed him through the winter but he died before the spring. She was distraught and only a few months later, distracted by her grief, took a tumble down the stairs. Eve was dead before she hit the bottom.

At the pearly gates.

A curvy young Eve, with long flowing golden locks and dressed in a gossamer gown, steps like a Disney heroine towards the only punctuation in a wall of cloud, the tall jewel encrusted gates of Heaven.
At a reception desk next to the giant twinkling gates is what appears to be a sixties era Pan-Am stewardess.
"Welcome to Heaven. Eve! I hope you’ll enjoy your time with us and to help you along there are a few golden rules. Firstly: Heaven is not an equal opportunities employer. The men rule and you must do what they say. Secondly:.."
"Where's Adam? Is meeting me? I've so missed him. Where is he?"
"I'm not at liberty to say but he's not HERE!" The stewardess’ expression transmitted all the information but Eve wasn’t ready to see.
"Look, I care about this man! Don’t you get it? We’re soul mates! Now, what do you mean?" An uncomfortable, disbelief dawns on Eve and she urges. "Where the fuck is he?"
"Well, there are only two places, sweetie and he’s NOT HERE." There's a tiny squeak of metal on metal and the gates start opening automatically as reality crashes in on Eve.
"Two places? You, you mean Adam's in hell?!"

Ok, this scene plays out where 'Peter' is called and Eve rants about how wrong, erroneous and unfair it all is but she learns the crux of the problem is that Adam had caused a death.
In his years of unemployment, during a period of deep despair, intoxicated out of his gourd, Adam had stolen and driven a car with the intention of ending it all but passed out on a cliff edge.
He had been too out of it to ever remember the events of that night but on his way to the cliff he had run down and killed someone. As he was never apprehended, he never had any inkling that he should have repented.
It was for the crimes of that night that Adam was to be repeatedly tortured for eternity.

So, I guess by now you see the question this paradigm raises.

Isn't Adam's eternal torture also eternal torment for Eve?

For Eve, the eternal paradise promised by scripture will be filled with torment, not only because of the massive loss of her true love Adam who she, and evidently everyone else, expected to be her eternal partner but also because she will eternally endure empathic pain for the perpetually repeating, agonising abuses her dear-gentle-love must endure for his eternity.
Eve has qualified to live in a paradise for eternity but her one great love's eternal pain and suffering will eternally permeate that paradise!
Under such circumstances can it even be called paradise?

As far as I am concerned, no matter what solution one attempts to apply to this paradigm, either the immutable law of the god or the god’s promise of paradise, must be wholly or partially transgressed.

And this disconnect, between scriptural promise of paradise and heavenly actuality, also applies to many other human relationship paradigms...
  • A mother whose paradise would be to have all her children with her, but two had defected to another brand of dogma. She must watch them burn.
  • A child wants time with the father who died in her childhood but he was a free thinker and not indoctrinated. She must watch him burn. (This one strikes me as the antithesis of the child's heart-held paradise and could I think be legitimately described as her hell!)
  • Adam’s Christian and Godly grandchildren must endure a perpetual Gramps rotisserie?
  • Etc.

If Heaven is the "happy-land where all your dreams come true" then can it really be considered to be any more than a virtual reality game for you to pretend you're with those you love; merely a place of fake realities, akin to 'The Nexus' depicted in 'Star Trek - Generations'? And what would be the value of such a game?
If Heaven is 'the house of god's law', a place of substance and principle etc, then how can it not be filled with those who are eternally grieving the perpetual torture of their loved ones?

Indeed, though I can't recall it now, I know there's literature which references a viewing gallery where the souls of the righteous can observe the tortures of the fallen.
This is not that reference but Thomas Aquinas offers in Summa Theologica
"...in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned."
However, in practical terms, wouldn't that gallery be packed with ALL the wailing, grieving, sorrowful Eves, watching interminable abuse done to the other halves of their hearts?

I cannot conceive of any way to satisfactorily resolve this paradox and, as it stands, doesn't that imply that the Biblically promoted concept of heaven is an untenable impossibility?

This is one of the Too Many Questions

Please leave a comment - Anything will do
The best communications are often,


If you enjoy what you read here
you will also enjoy my novel
21 days in May

Please be aware this blog may be considered Illegal almost anywhere!

Get TMQ on your Kindle

Copyright Crispy Sea

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

All blog posts copyright http://atheist.diatribes.co.uk

TMQCrispySea 2009-2014