WhyHumanLifeMakesSense.com - Chapter summaries - 9. Are heaven and hell real?
Chapter summaries

9. Are heaven and hell real?

On February 8 1999, my life was profoundly transformed. On this day, I was surprised to discover that it could be proven that the idea of dichotomous afterlife — afterlife in heaven vs. hell — is irrational. More specifically, it can be proven that it is impossible for God to devise a rational criterion by which to partition the set of all people into those who should be sent to heaven vs. those who should be sent to hell. After discovering the proof, I generalized it into a proof paradigm, and I used the paradigm a number of times in my comprehensive theory of human life, though the most notable instance is to prove that the idea of dichotomous afterlife is irrational.

The proof paradigm is based on the concept of boundary breakdown, which refers to the loss in meaning of a boundary that partitions a continuum. The loss in meaning occurs as the boundary is approached — as the distance between two points on opposite sides of the boundary goes to zero. Boundary breakdown implies that the idea of dichotomous afterlife is irrational by virtue of two primary continua: the virtue-vice continuum and the accountability continuum.

After presenting the proof, I explain that life in heaven would be utterly boring and, in fact, utterly meaningless. I illustrate this with a memorable statement: heroes aren't made in heaven. Why is this true? Because there's nothing heroic to do in heaven. This is another reason why the idea of dichotomous afterlife is irrational.

I go on to explain that the origin of the idea of dichotomous afterlife lies in Zoroastrianism, the first religion of the Near Eastern monotheist family — Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Pharisaic Judaism adapted the idea from Zoroastrianism; Christianity inherited it from Pharisaic Judaism; and Islam adapted it from Judaism and Christianity. I also include notes on the historical development of the major religions.

Reference citation.  Philip Bitar, adapted from Why Human Life Makes Sense, Editions 1/2/3, 2011/2012/2015, p. 60/66/384, 68-70/74-76/393-396, 81/87/408, posted at www.WhyHumanLifeMakesSense.com, 2011-08-26.