Quick note - For the purpose of this thread, I’m using the definition for an atheist as somebody who doesn’t believe in anything supernatural.
In a thread I posted a while ago, I gave a scenario of a supreme being offing people two undesirable choices that could result in three possible outcomes. Two bad and one good. Or so I thought. One of the outcomes was to spend eternity in paradise. Two or three people said that sounded like a bad outcome and they wouldn’t want it.
So, if you’re an atheist, and were convinced that you do have a soul, and after you die you will spend eternity in paradise, which of the poll options would best describe your reaction?
Define paradise. There are a lot of different views, all of which could be construed as “paradise,” there’s the “escape the cycle of suffering” view, but you’re basically nonexistent after that. There’s the “be filled with the presence of God and feel happy, but be a mindless puppet” enjoyable, but squicky when you think about it too much in a Lotus Eater Machine sort of way. Then there’s the whole pop-culture “be greeted by all your friends and family and have all your desires satisfied” view, which is a little odd since if you presuppose that some of your friends and family won’t end up there it defeats itself. If it just creates the illusion of such… see Lotus Eater Machine.
Of course, this is only a very small slice of possible things that could be called “paradise,” but the question is a little too broad, and the spectrum of paradise ranges from “nice on the surface but really horrifying” to “truly nice” so it’s sort of hard to answer.
I don’t think most atheists are convinced they have a soul (but that’s mostly because I’ve not seen any definition of soul that would make sense to me).
Disregarding that, though, I’ll take the Wikipedia definition of “paradise”:
I’m skeptical of that sort of place even being possible at all, but if I don’t get mugged right when entering the gates, I’d be cautiously optimistic because it’s probably not any worse than the world I’m in right now, and anyway, what would I’ve got to lose? <- this is what I voted
ETA: if your question actually is: “what do you think about spending the rest of eternity in that sort of place without having any first hand experience of it”, I’d probably not be as optimistic as all that, since I don’t think it’s possible to have that sort of paradise without getting rid of most of what’s interesting in life.
This. Most versions of a “paradisaical” afterlife I’ve run across strike me as anything but. Grovelling forever singing the praises of a superpowered megalomaniac because I’ve been brainwashed by him into wanting to? No thanks.
There are two many variables in the possibility of ‘eternal life in paradise’ for me to have any idea what my reaction would be.
Honestly eternal life doesn’t sound so great. The whole point of my life now if that time passes, I grow and change and age, and so does the world around me. Eternal life sounds like stasis of sorts and as the person I am now I don’t think I would enjoy it.
I find it very difficult to speculate on what my reaction would be to impossible scenarios. I can’t make my brain try to think about what I would do in situations tht have no possibility of happening. It’s like asking how I would feel if I got sucked into a SpongeBob Squarepants cartoon.
I guess you’d have to put me in the “I don’t know” category, though I don’t think the idea of eternal life is attractive at all.
Yeah, it’s hypothetical, but I don’t know why it’s tricky. For this thread you just pretend that there’s a soul and and afterlife and then answer how you think you would respond if you were told that your soul would spend an eternity in paradise. Nothing “tricky” about it.
you can’t imagine how you might feel if you got sucked into a SpongeBob Squarepants cartoon? I’m pretty sure I’d be astonished, surprised, suspect I’d lost my mind, and eventually try to make the bets of the situation, all while wondering if I’m actually a drooling loon in a mental asylum.
My definition of paradise would be a place were i would spend eternity doing things that would probably keep me out of paradise. If its MY personal paradise then yes eternity there sounds great, if its some christian idea of paradise that involves a lot of jesusy worshiping and not a whole lot of sin committing then no, that would be horrible.