It depends who you ask.
Most Christians believe in the sacrament of reconciliation. If we repent, we get into heaven.
So, a great majority go to heaven, since most of us repent, and God loves us all. Of course, maybe this requires us to repent sincerely… If that’s the case, a few more go to hell, and a whole lot spend time in purgatory.
On the other hand what if:
“If you’ve been good, you go to heaven; If you’ve been bad, you go to hell.”
If that holds true, anyone who’s sinned goes to hell. That means most everybody, so maybe the rules get relaxed a bit. People who burned anthills as a kid and tried vodka in their teens get in, but people who assault or murder go to hell. If that’s the case, then one of two cases is true:
The judging is by God’s standards. So God relaxes the rules as he sees fit, and some get in. Either we assume that we can’t understand God’s plan (that line again) and we can’t know the ratio, or we assume that God relaxes the rules ‘just a bit’ and so only the top 2-10% get in
The judging is by familiar human standards. (this is easier for most people to relate to, and seems to be the view of most of the “righteous” people I’ve met). So, the people who’ve been good (like ME, say the righteous) get in, and anybody significantly worse than ME are excluded. So, figure out where you are on the percentile scale of GOODNESS, lower that number a little bit and THAT’S the percentage of people who get into heaven.
As a third possibility, perhaps admission to heaven is based not on one’s actions or repentance, but on the purity of the spirit (soul, heart, katra, etc.). After all, we all make mistakes, but as long as I’m a basically good person, I’ll get in (, right?). The answer to this scenario depends on how much hope you have for yourself and for the whole of humanity. Are people basically good, with some true gems and a few real villains trown in? Or are we more fifty-fifty in our distribution… with continuous variation of Goodness/Badness from Goofus to Gallant? Or perhaps we’re all just refined versions of the characters of Lord Of The Flies? And again, are these by humanity’s standards, God’s hard or relaxed criteria, the cosmically TRUE right and wrong, our personal values? Pick what you believe, and the answer becomes obvious (+/- 15%).
Perhaps, rather than worry about who gets into heeaven, we should take the opposite approach; perhaps hell is reserved for the truly evil and unrepentant, and everyone else gets into heaven (perhaps with a layover in purgatory).
If so, then only the small percentage of truly evil people (and defining that is entirely another argument) go to hell. The rest can be saved, and if we strive to be ‘good’, so can we.
I imagine that most people hold a belief (from the above, or else) that dovetails with their own lifestyle. For example, a person of great purity of heart can afford to believe in strict standards of admission, while others of perhaps a shadier nature of character (if such a scale exists) may believe that the sandards have been relaxed. It at first sounds unreasonable, but is based on a simple idea; that everyone (of this sort of faith) wants to get into heaven, and believes they can. If someone had no confidence in their ability to enter paradise, what sort of depression would they find themselves in? Most people of stable psychology, then, believe they can enter heaven (if they believe that heaven exists). This is the sort of hope that many find comforting, and reassuring. It is also a way that at least some feel is useful in alleviating basic loneliness… for we’ll all (even ME) be together in the end (both personal loneliness and that of the human race is implied here… but again, that’s another argument).
So, how many of us will get into heaven? It depends who you ask. Common answers:
“Everyone who turns to God”
“ME, and anyone better than or slightly worse than ME”
“All but the truly evil”
“Those pure in spirit, if not clean of sin”
Of course, this only applies to the popular idea of heaven. Those of non-christian faith or of different belief systems than the few mentioned above will have different viewpoints. And should heaven itself not exist, the argument is moot.