Is heaven for real? If so, what is it like?

Given that God is Merciful, is it possible to derive from pure logic (without reference to religious texts) that 1. heaven exists and 2. includes everything we love and enjoy?

Before we answer this question, we must first discuss the truth of the following statement:

The disappearance of pleasure brings pain and the disappearance of pain brings pleasure.

For example if you had eyesight for 20 years and then lived for another 60 years in a state of blindness, the memories of being able to see would become a source of grief. That is, you would experience joy for 20 years followed by 60 years of grief.

The converse of this is also true: say you were cured from cancer after years of suffering. Each time you remember your suffering, you will enjoy being healthy.

OK so let’s get back to the original question:

Given that God is Merciful, does it follow that heaven exists?

Step 1:

As much as we enjoy favors in this world, they are not meant to be for the sole purpose of enjoyment. How do we know? Because they do not last. Youth, for instance, is one of the greatest favors. Does it last? Of course not. Each and every one of us will lose our youth one day as we age (unless we don’t lose it earlier through death). Of course losing favors could be different for everybody. Some may be wealthy only to lose their wealth. Others may be healthy and lose their health in an accident. Some may have a loved one whom they’ve lost. The list goes on. Simply put, favors in our lives do not last.

This tells us something: favors in this world do not exist for the sole purpose of enjoyment. You will lose them sooner or later. In fact, you will lose all favors by dying one day. The thought of dying is itself painful. If God had given us these favors for the sole purpose of enjoyment, He would not take them away from us because losing these favors transforms joy into grief.

But if you lose a favor and then find it again, it will make you even happier than before. Imagine getting your eyesight back after years of blindness, healing from cancer after suffering for so long, or finding a proper job after years of homelessness. The joy that you will experience is far greater than what you felt before losing those favors.

Step 2:

Given that God is Merciful, we must assume two things:

  1. Heaven exists
  2. It includes everything we enjoy in this world, perhaps in a better form (put another way, favors in this world are samples of those in heaven. )

Because what is the alternative? The alternative is that God gives us all of these favors so we can enjoy them for a short period of time only to take them from us and cause sorrow and grief. We wouldn’t expect this from a Creator Who is Merciful.

Now, given that God is Merciful, it follows that heaven exists. Furthermore, it would only make sense to assume that He would include all the favors we lost through death or during our lifetime. Unless there is evidence otherwise, this would be our assumption. Therefore, 1. heaven must exist and 2. the favors we see in this world must be samples of the favors in heaven.

Reference

Posts on this blog are insights from The Risale-i Nur Collection by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

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