One does not have to look far to see there are a lot of disagreements in this world. Who is the best athlete? Should one marry for love or money? What was the most significant event of the year, of the century? The best movie ever? Who or what should be on the cover of Time Magazine? This is to say nothing of the divisive and ‘not to brought up at dinner’, topics of politics or religion.
What happens when we ‘shuffle off this mortal coil’? Every religion has their own beliefs, generally involving rewards of punishment based on what you did or didn’t do in this life. It may run from thoughts of harps, clouds and wings to eternal fire…forever! Reincarnation comes into play and some cultures had happy hunting grounds while some of my ancestors (Vikings) would have you drinking all day in beer halls. I’ll admit there was a time in my life when that didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Then of course, there are agnostics who say they don’t know and atheists who say they do: ‘nothing’.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in one of his books told us that in heaven, Jesus was just another guy playing shuffleboard. Everybody, he told us, ‘plays shuffleboard’, and Jesus has a blue and gold warm up jacket that on the back says: “Pontius Pilot Athletic Club”. Farfetched and hard to believe? Sure, but when compared fairly to other beliefs – not so much.
Everybody can’t be right. We may not agree on the afterlife, or even if there is one, but there is one thing on which we can agree, there are going to be a lot of surprised people!
Is it possible that being ‘born again’ makes no difference whatsoever for one group or something got mixed up for another in the translation and it’s surgeons or sturgeons and not virgins? Maybe one group has it right. The rest will be looking at each other with a puzzled look, huh?
Perhaps nobody has it right. While I have some respect for faith, doubt will give you a better education. So, my suggestion is to practise your ‘surprise’ face and it may not be a bad idea to sharpen up on your shuffleboard playing skills.
…Tim Paulsen is a public speaker and the author of ‘Sex, Lies & Negotiation Techniques’