A week earlier than usual, to dodge around Thanksgiving. Spend next Thursday being thankful for that.
In the Old Testament, when Yahweh was at his smitiest, he’d wipe out your entire tribe if you blew your nose starting with the wrong nostril, but that was the end of it. You were dead, game over, sayonara, say no more. No afterlife, no reincarnation, maybe a resurrection after he became bored.
Curiously, while the concept of heaven comes up with some frequency in the New Testament, there are no accompanying descriptions, let alone any driving directions from Mapquest or Siri. So what’s it really like? Religious tradition has supplied us with many answers (all generally around the theme of “real nice” but pretty vague on the details), but c’mon, we’re atheists! What do WE think heaven is like?
Generally we answer with something that describes a life of leisure and comfort, like a beach in Hawaii. “This must be heaven!” we say, as we kick back with our sunglasses and margaritas. But let’s go a little further than that. Suppose we wanted something heaven-like for everybody, but absolutely material, in the here and now. What would it look like? Would it allow pets? Booze? Sex? And by “everybody”, would we too mean “only those who deserve it”? Who would that be, exactly?
Our normal format is to order food and drink at 7 PM, with short presentation starting about 30-45 minutes thereafter, and plenty of open discussion after that.