As readers should understand by now, I don't subscribe to the belief in heaven and hell. Though I don't claim to be an authority on such matters, I think it is likely that, when we die, that's it. Nothing comes afterwards. Just because I lean that way, however, doesn't mean it's true. I could be as wrong as wrong can be.
At least, I think I take the intellectually honest road. I unabashedly admit to complete ignorance in this matter. But there are a lot of people in this world who say they KNOW what cannot be known. You can't argue with them because they possess the extra special secret decoder ring! If you suggest that they are as ignorant on this matter as you are, they smirk because, of course, they KNOW.
It is because of these sorts of people that I ponder the afterlife question. Today I will share two alternate theories to the typical fundamentalist Christian viewpoint.
Let's say these fundies have the system basically correct. There is a real heaven and there is a real hell. Me thinks that all the people who are certain that their ticket already is punched for heaven will wind up in the "other" place.
I'm sure you've had occasion to become a bit peeved with another person who tries to tell you what YOU think. A common response to this action is "Don't put words in my mouth!" No one can know what goes on in another person's mind. It's a world all its own!
The people who KNOW that a spot is reserved for them in heaven are putting words in God's mouth. If you read the Bible, ya gotta understand that this drives God up the fricking wall. God encapsulates all the knowledge that exists and so, if you KNOW what God's plan is for you, then you are saying that you are God. That has to be the worst sin imaginable. So, as your punishment for thinking you possibly can KNOW the mind of God, you will burn forever and God will watch with glee.
A commonly held belief is that humankind --actually, males -- are created in the image of God. But what if we have that wrong. What if the creatures made in God's image are earthworms, mosquitoes or gnats? Ya know, those pesky little critters that we exterminate without really thinking about it.
If God more closely resembles a giant mosquito, then maybe the afterlife consists of having our spiritual blood drained again and again and again. It will be like setting up a family picnic amidst the murkiest swamp imaginable. Every time we swat away or slap one mosquito, a billion more take its place.