What would the world be like if people didn't believe in heaven?
Hundreds of people have gathered in New York's Central Park to create a giant Peace Sign in commemoration of John Lennon whose 75th birthday would have been on Friday, Oct. 9th. The song "Imagine" contains the lyrics: "Imagine there's no heaven...". If people the world over really did not believe in heaven, or in other words, in life after death, how would that change human interactions? What would the world be like? What would your individual life be like? Does a belief in heaven prevent us from being better stewards of earth or hold us back from achieving at a more rapid pace?
I have seen patients, friends and others who faced terminal disease and the reality of their own death and their reactions varied, of course, but those who had a belief system that assured them of a hereafter were comforted by that belief. Those who felt that this life is the only consciousness they would experience viewed their end with a different concern, often bordering on panic, or they tried to resign themselves to the void of nonexistence. I pondered that, and felt badly for those who believe there is no afterlife. I think the believe in a heaven or hell, reward or punishment, a nearness or isolation from the Supreme Being, tends to adjust one's moral compass and encourage a better arrangement of priorities. Those who passed on with a strong faith in another plane of existence after this one seemed to do so more peacefully and optimistically. The contrast was noteworthy, and made a lasting impression on me.
a very thoughtful comment, Edward. For the non-believer, there is less contentment and solace for sure. For me personally, the thought of existence after death scares me more than the tought of non-existence. I might change my mind later on !!
I cannot imagine anything more terrifying than death.
I believe that part of the world would suffer, but the rest of the world would be better off if people didn't believe in a hereafter.
Reactions would vary. Some people would turn to a life of crime if they thought there were no repercussions. Some people would despair and find solace in drugs and alcohol. Some people, like my father who didn't believe in an afterlife, would work hard to become a good honest citizen while on this earth. I wonder what my Dad really thought about this being the only life he would lead with no eternity. He lived to be 78, and perhaps his belief, or lack of, was what led him to drink too much. Outwardly, he was accepting of his "fate".
We see movies and TV shows about wealthy persons who want to live forever on this earth. They try to buy longevity by genetic manipulation and usually end up losing their lives prematurely because of their disbelief and greed. If they believed in a heaven, they would probably want to go there instead of live forever here.
On the other hand, if Muslim extremists like ISIS had no heaven to believe in, perhaps they wouldn't have a motive to wage war and terrorism on everyone who does not think the way they do. The world could be a better place if these people didn't believe in heaven.
"Some people would turn to a life of crime if they thought there were no repercussions." Heaven is about the "afterlife"
We'd still have laws, prisons, and the death penalty.
MizBejabbers, Thanks for your comment! I'm only 7 1/2 years away from where your dad was (not that I'm counting), but I think fatalism CAN "draw one to drink". I don't think morality would change, however, because of what dashing has stated.
I think we all agree. GMW said basically what I said. She just put it more eloquently. I think morality comes from the soul, and that we would still be what we are regardless of no heaven.
MizBejabbers, I think this group is a "mutual admiration society" here on hubpages.
I believe more people would try harder to be happier (now).
They may also be incline to try to stay healthier and live longer.
However I also suspect more people would be terrified of dying.
It's their belief in heaven or a better place that gives them and their loved ones some measure of solace and hope that death is simply a transition. This is especially true of those lost as victims of crime.
People believe they will be reunited with all their loved ones who preceded them in death including their deceased pets.
When John Lennon says "Imagine no heaven above or hell below" he is alluding to us having one less thing to fight about!
Many folks believe (religion) is often used as a "divisive tool" around the world which prevents us from "living as one".
Dashing, I agree. I think the shift in focus would make wars less inevitable and the treasuring of life more intense. However, we might need a whole new group psychologists helping people w the terrible pain of loss,especially the loss of a child.
It would make many people become more proactive in their lives. They would realize that this life is IT and they will make the most of their lives. They would become the best possible persons physically, mentally, psychologically, and socioeconomically. They would realize that their duty is to make the world a more positive place to be, live, and to interact. They would become more powerful, realizing that their power is within themselves. They would adopt the philosophy of ownership and really take responsibility and be accountable in their lives.
For other people, such a belief would be carte blanche to do as they please to others. They would devolve into the lowest common denominator possible. They would rationalize committing egregious acts, believing that if there was no heaven nor afterlife, they could do to others as they please with no consequences. In their purview, they can be as evil and wicked as they want to for such acts would be inconsequential to say the least.
Some people would be immobilized, even psychically paralyzed at such a thought. They maintain that they will have nothing to hope for. They will be utterly defeated, even lost. They contend that if this world is all there is, all hope is gone and they might as well be resigned to this fate.
Grace, Very thoughtful and logical! I'm wondering about the second group though. I'm not sure the fear of not going to heaven deters people from evil doing. I'm wondering if there's simply a "nature PLUS nurture" component in that. I don't know.
There are some devolved people who DON'T care if they hurt others. I think that there is nature + nurture component in that.To digress, there are people who believe in heaven yet do heinous acts,believing that they will be absolved in the end.
I Appreciate your answer to the question Edward JP. I think that if people would just give the truth a chance , they would be more at peace, they would not be angry and argumentive , if they would just understand
if you as a person exist , your being as you not impossible , why does God have to be .
He is much more then we could ever be in that he made humans and provide his spirit to function and breath in us.
God did not create humans for nothing but wants his creations to be happy , even though some one threw a wrench in the process , the future is still going to produce a paradise and it will be on time.
This is the message of Good will of our Heavenly Father.
All that is seen now will be a thing of the past.
New World Translation
Isa 65:17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be called to mind, Nor will they come up into the heart.
Not just heaven will be New but notice it said earth.
Yes, humankind will evolve beyond artificial boundaries and become ONE. Humankind will become less tribal and egocentric. Humankind will go beyond religiosity and into spirituality. After all, humans are spiritual creatures.
Kiss and Tales, Thank you for your comments.
Thank you gw , and Billie kelpin I appreciate
good questions and answers that truly show the care and concern of the importance of human life.
its not belief in after life or heaven that prevents a person from committing a crime,or become nice, even if a person has that belief.Love of God and fear of his punishment in this worldly life prevents some people from committing a wrong.people won't harm one another so mych if only they believed that God's punishment will come soon.in fact,theres no greater truth than ''what goes comes around''.
passionatelearnr. Thank you for your point of view. However, there are millions upon millions of atheists, agnostics, and other non-traditional believers who lead highly moral and ethical lives. Their behavior is not driven by fear of punishment.
Heaven is a concept, if not true, that binds all our moral values together. It is a self-made concept that instil's in us a fear of wrongdoing. It is this belief that prevents us from adulterating the society. Looking at various cultures all over the world, it is clearly evident that people do believe in some sort of a life after death. They live in the thought that doing good to others will ultimately do good to them, and thus they are 'entitled' to go to heaven. Doing gruesome acts will do no good to you and you end up going to hell. It's just a blindfolded belief and that's how we are taught. Now say there exists no concept like 'heaven' as such. People will definitely lose all the decorum and moral values are are stake. You are honest when you are under some sort of a surveillance but when you are not, you are not always true. The 'heaven' does the job of surveillance here and this henceforth prevents people from all the wrongdoing. You would probably see a place will very little mercy and inhumane sightings would become a common sight. With nearly over 80% of the world trusting God (or some super power as such) the world is such a deceitful place. And imagine if there is nothing that protects our morals the world would be a brutal place. To me, this concept of heaven plays a critical role in my daily schedule and I suppose we gotta trust in it, for the welfare of the mankind.
Saideep Karanam, Thank you for expressing your viewpoint. To do good for others for an ultimate reward is not the motivation of many people. Many do good with no expectation of reward, except knowing that they are promoting another's welfare.
We shall soon see because Atheism is the fastest growing Religion in the United States! The spirit of the Anti-Christ is running rapid in America and as we know, as goes America, so goes the rest of the world!
Let me say, this is not a HATE speech but a warning of the morality decline in the US! Leviticus 19:17 says "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor, and not allow sin upon him." Therefore, by telling one TRUTH (according to Scripture), displays loving the sinner, but hating the sin.
If you knew a bridge was out and one was headed for destruction, would you not forewarn him? The same it is by telling TRUTH from His Word for TRUTH displays LOVE!
Recent enactment of the Supreme Court's Decision on same-sex marriage is only the beginning of tearing down our social culture and increasing morality decline! It was quite shocking to see the reactions of "Christians" regarding the Decision! Where was/is their belief in Christ? They continue to say "I believe," but "IN WHAT?" It was/is as though they've obtained the attitude of "live and let live" which is against the Word of God (Leviticus 19:17)!
The overall Supreme Court Decision is really not about being gay, but "control!" Control of schools, churches, the economy, business, the military and it will go on and one until the spirit of the Anti-Christ consumes the world!
The Decision will destroy the family structure. We are seeing more and more articles asking if monogamy is really necessary. Children as young as 5 and 6 years old are being taught in some school systems they can choose their gender rather than by genetics.
There is currently a $850K fine for 501(c)(3) organizations who do not insure employees for "The morning after" and/or birth control pills which is against the Word of God (Genesis 1:28) and soon we will see such a fine against clergy persons who do not perform same-sex marriages (Matthew 19:4)!
The spirit of the Anti-Christ is running rapid as "Christians" sat idly by saying "I believe!" Get Real!
In response to your question "What would the world be like without a Heaven?" - The way the Scriptures predicted (Romans 1:21-32)!
LORD, Have Mercy on US All!
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