When confronted with the idea of not believing in God, many people are quick to convey the emptiness they see without the promise of heaven after they die. They express a sorrow for atheists who they see as having a bleak existence ahead of them.
While I understand where people are coming from with this need for more, once I solidly found myself without a belief in God and subsequently an afterlife, the lack of heaven has not for a moment left me feeling empty. Deep thoughts about heaven only strengthened my firm feeling that it would be utterly boring and while I enjoy the company of my friends and family here on Earth, without the clock ticking and eternity before us, discussions about everything from the Dodgers 2011 prospects to what we'll do with our lives would be without purpose because there is ALWAYS next year. Always. If there is more to heaven, it is more than I can fathom within the parameters of what I know, so as I'm not able to comprehend anything better, there's no unfilled void when believing my death is the very end of me.
Having said that, the lack of God does still leave a hole that cannot be filled. The hole is from the lack of Hell. I'm comfortable without thinking I'll live on in some form, happily and eternally, but I crave the knowledge that every asshole who never got their comeuppance while on Earth with suffer the consequences the second they die.
This scenario works for me
Hell serves to pick up the pieces after God dropped the ball and allowed so many horrible people to prosper at the expense of the poor, or commit atrocities on the innocent. Where God failed to guide people to goodness, Hell is the solution and it will last FOREVER. When infuriated by the likes of Augusto Pinochet who died under house arrest awaiting trial for hundreds of charges of human rights violations, one can only default to Hell to provide the comfort that he is receiving his deserved punishment. As an atheist, once realising that this is never going to happen, then yes, a great emptiness is felt when realising Pinochet, Hitler, Bernie Madoff, Rush Limbaugh, Van Toffler, Bud Selig, Dick Cheney, Stephanie Meyer, Carlos Santana and that sonovabitch that cut you off and nearly hit you that time can grin in their graves for all eternity.
MTV President Van Toffler (centre) and why not, he can take Diddy with him.
Right wing radio liar Rush Limbaugh
Carlos Santana with 8 Grammys too many
Hell on earth does exist at various music festivals around the world.