The inadequacy of rational eschatology (pt. 1)

Consider death as a door. Thesis: there are only two rational accounts of it:

a.) When you walk through that door, there is absolutely nothing, not even yourself.

b.) When you walk through that  door, you will experience something, but it could be anything.

Though each account has its own horrors and consolations, ultimately it’s hard to determine from a purely rational perspective which is more frightening. We easily smuggle consolations into (b.) that we can’t get from reason; e.g. it’s true that God is just and it is reasonable he will reward the just, but how does this tell us anything about the other side of the door? Such a fact remains the same irrespective of what side of the door you’re on, in fact, it would be true even if death did not exist. The ultimate justice of God demands that we exist later, but it does not demand we exist on the far side of the door; nor does it demand that there be no horrors there (for the same reason that it does not demand that there be no horrors here).

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1 Comment

  1. MarcAnthony said,

    December 15, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Great, now that you put it that way you’re going to give me nightmares.

    It reminds of the two shortest horror stories in the world:

    “The last man on Earth was alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.”

    “The last man on Earth was alone in a room. There was a lock on the door.”

    Which man would you rather be? I suppose, in a way that’s the essence of the debate on whether or not it’s “better” or not for there to be an afterlife.


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