Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heaven is a Fairy Story

In what’s becoming a mildly disconcerting attempt to be more social at work I’ve been going to 10 o’clock coffee with some co-workers out in the shop. I imagine eventually I’ll feel less out of place. It would probably help if I wore jeans. I need to buy these. Anyways.
Someone brought up this news report concerning Stephen Hawkings assertion that heaven is a fairy story. Anyone who knows me knows that I agree. My analogies are different but I don’t believe in an afterlife of any sort. It’s all beetles, rot, and voids for me. You can believe what you want, but this is what I see. Or don’t see, as the case may be.
As is prevalent the guys I work with are majority Christian. Some are VERY Christian. I am VERY not Christian. I kept my mouth shut. I say kudos to me for this one. As if I don’t have a hard enough time not alienating myself from people as it is, I don’t need to stir up the colleagues. A lot of them were clearly angry about this article and the implications of it, especially the implication that people of faith are cowards… One guy was particularly offended that Heroes of war who are also men of faith would be considered cowards. I understand the viewpoint of cowardice. For all the courage and it takes to put yourself into that amount of danger, believing that this is not your end, provides something of a safety net. I did not say this.  Surprisingly another guy did.  More surprisingly, no one got offended. However, the conversation didn’t last much longer than this. People were not very receptive and generally dismissive of the entire notion.
One guy did mention repeatedly that it didn’t matter, Hawking was going to hell. Hah. This I found delightfully hypocritical; to condemn a man for ‘imposing’ his views, only to impose your own in their stead.

It was interesting to see people toe the issue though, from a perspective of those that clearly don’t question their ideas and are 1.) not entirely comfortable defending their ideas,  2.) afraid of what others will say about their ideas, and 3.) afraid to offend others with their own views. Of the entire group only that one guy presented a non-conformist view, even remarking that there may be something after death but it’s not what people think. He wasn’t met with encouragement but he wasn’t met with disdain either, though clearly many others hold a different point of view. That, I thought took courage. Then again, he may have had these kinds of conversations with these people many times as they’ve worked together for years.
Me? I’m attempting to be social. I don’t want to be too social. Explaining my beliefs takes forever. I’m more interested in the social dynamic around me. I almost never feel like I’m a part of the dynamic anyways, so observation is where I fall too naturally.  
It’s also amusing to me that I am so used to people that are not Christian and/or have alternative beliefs that Christian feels like the exception to me and not the norm. It is something I appreciate.

A statement made a in a different forum: After life you go back to the place you were before birth. What’s to fear in that?

This is an interesting notion to contemplate.

2 comments:

  1. You're so much better than me. I think I have got to a point where I enjoy the drama hahaha.. I have had so many of these conversations with people because well one look at me tells them I am NOT christain so I had to be able to explain/defend my beliefs or stop being so obvious about them. I very rarely ever had actual conversations. I don't think there is anything wrong with questioning beliefs. If you never question then how can you ever truly understand/believe anything? You should never stop learning/searching/discovering especially in matters of faith. I always find it strange that when it comes to faith people seem to reach a certain point and just stop as if that is all there is and that is something I could never understand.

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  2. Oh I didn't used to be so good. I think a few years ago I hit a point where I just got bored with arguing the points with people. I've debated this stuff since I was elementary school aged so it's rare to find a new argument.

    What boggles me is when people are raised one way and never even think to question their beliefs even once! I can sort of understand finding a comfortable space in your faith, but to never question it at all. That's so foreign to me I don't know how to wrap my head around it and so many people never do.

    If you never challenge your own views, how can can you truly understand? I agree with you 100%.

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