Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Existential Conversation

As I sat in our hot tub last night with Joey, the sky darkening around us and a million stars coming out over our heads, I pondered such wordly topics as whether or not I would ever get a new car and why Facebook makes my computer slow down.
And then the big question popped into my head.

Joey was lying in the water with only his face showing as I said to him, "What do you think happens to us when we die?"


Me (nudging him with my foot so he would pull his ears out of the water): Joe. I was wondering if you think there's a heaven?

Obviously, we've been doing a great job in the religious studies section of Parenting 101.

Joey: I don't know. Maybe.

Me: Well, where do you think we go when we die?

Joey: I think we go to heaven.

Me: Me too. But I don't think we go to a heaven with clouds and harps and angels. I think we go to a place where we're young and healthy and get to be with everyone we love.

Joey: And we'd get to have things in heaven!

Me: Um, no. When you die, your soul leaves your body and you can't take anything with you. Besides, you don't need things when you die. (Thinking OMG, I will have no things in heaven, assuming I get to heaven, if there even is a heaven cause, you know, I don't even know if I think there's a God...breathe!)

Joey: Yeah. Cause when you die your soul leaves your body.

Me: What if our soul just goes to an alternate plane and there really is no heaven?

Joey: I think there's a heaven and a hell. If you're bad, you go to hell.

Me: Where did you hear that?

Joey: I read it in Wikipedia.

Me: Because we know that Wikipedia is always right?

Joey (giggling): Well, no.

Me: What if you kill someone accidentally? Would you go to heaven or hell? What if you were really, really sorry?

Joey: You'd still go to hell, because that's a mortal sin.

Me: What??? Who told you that? That's Catholic bulls...I mean stuff.

Joey: Wikipedia said it.

Me: You really shouldn't believe what you read in Wikipedia. I think that if there is a God up there, and you've done something bad, but you're really, truly sorry for it, he would forgive you, don't you?

Joey: I don't know. Maybe.

Me: Well, if there is a heaven, where do you think it is?

Joey: Up there. (Pointing at the stars)

Me: Why do people believe that heaven is always up, I wonder?

Joey: I don't know. It just is.

Me: Do you believe in God, Joey?

Joey: I don't know. Maybe.

Me: Well, I don't know if I believe in God.

Joey: Really? You don't know?

Me: Nope. But I think that if there is, when we die and go to where ever we go, we get to go someplace really nice.

Joey: You mean like the beach?

Me: Exactly.

(This conversation brought to you by agnosticism, the religion of the skeptical.)




  1. I know what you mean, i feel like i have been punished with this illness but if i believe that then who is punishing me? I just don't know the answers but i can't shake the faith. For faith is hope right? Who knows!!

  2. Well, I don't know what I believe, but I don't really think that we are being punished, per se. I think we all are where we are supposed to be at any given point in our lives. Sometimes it's an awful place. Sometimes it's a wonderful place. I think if there is a God, he isn't specifically hearing my prayer for my particular situation. I rather think that he is just waiting for us to finish with this part of our existence so that we can move on to a better place. At least, that's what I am hoping.

    I'm not a big fan of faith or hope. Because I always feel that if I look at the worst possible outcome, the I can never be surprised or disappointed. It's not a perfect system, by any means.



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