An Atheist Goes to Heaven by Robert Hanby by Robert Hanby - Read Online

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An Atheist Goes to Heaven - Robert Hanby

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I think the primary motivator for people’s faith in a God is the promise of eternal life. In olden times it may have been a desire for a good harvest, or to smite enemies, or to relieve suffering, but in modern America it’s primarily the desire to live again after death.

This book presents two basic arguments: One, that there is additional life following our physical death for both saints and sinners, and that the transfer from our current life to an afterlife occurs by way of minute sub-atomic particles which are part of our brains (and will ultimately be identified).

The second argument is that while there may be a 'universal intelligence' and/or a 'force for good' influencing mankind, there is no personal, loving God as many of us have come to believe.

My family members, some of whom are deeply religious, will be glad to know that despite my rejection of the traditional God, I expect to see them in the afterlife one day. However, much of what they and others will read here may be disturbing. To all readers, I remind you that these are purely my thoughts – you’re on your own.

In this book, references to man and mankind include women. Where a distinction is needed, male’ and female" are used.


What Happens when Death Occurs?

An old tradition in Denmark is that when a person dies, a window to their room must be opened so that the soul may escape. The belief is that the soul is no longer a part of the body and is not bound by physical restraints.

For many centuries people have believed the same thing, although beliefs vary widely as to the mechanism of separation, if the body is with it or not, the destination of the soul, and whether that destination will be heavenly or hellish. The answers to these questions have been left primarily up to theologians and their many religions.

Perhaps, however, these questions should be the purview nowadays of the scientists. If you are an atheist, which I am, you may believe that there is an afterlife, and that the afterlife may have nothing to do with religion and must be explained by science. Here are my thoughts:

Immediately upon death, the body, and the majority of the brain is left behind. But all memories, all experiences, all knowledge, that was part of the human being who has just passed away, leaves the confines of the deceased brain and becomes a part of the great universe of souls who have once lived physical lives on earth (and perhaps other planets as well).

Another thought is that there is life after death simply because our thoughts, knowledge, soul or mind does not require our physical body to exist. Our body and its brain will surely rot or burn, but the mind, being independent from the body continues to exist. Cosmologists have identified, or proposed, so many different sub-atomic particles, that it’s not difficult to ascribe one of them as the carriers of the thoughts and memories of our minds – and the minds of all those who have ever lived.

Many religions believe that the next step after the separation of mind from body, is a judgment as to the worthiness of the individual to enter heaven, or if not worthy, to enter hell. Some also believe in a temporary intermediate step called purgatory where one waits for a final decision to be made. When made, the soul, goes to wherever it's been directed, be it eternal punishment in hell, or the luxurious happiness of paradise. Pretty stark difference; a lot rests on the outcome of that judgment.

In some religions however, believers regardless of their sins, can save themselves from the worst fate by various incantations, confessions or swearing of allegiances. Pity the poor guy who isn’t