In celebration (or is it indifference?) that Pope Francis has said good atheists can go to heaven, I have written a story.
Is Heaven Prepared for Good Atheists?
On the way up to heaven a Christian noticed another’s lack of Christian bling. “Are you being humble and stashing your flashy cross inside your outfit?”
“Why no, I’m an atheist and didn’t expect the end of life to turn into some surreal fantasy.”
“You, good sir, are dead and approaching heaven. You must be one of those good atheists I keep hearing about. Were you good because you feared our good Christian laws?”
“You don’t have to be scared to be good.”
“But was that the reason?”
The good atheist refused to be prodded on the subject anymore. After moments of being propelled up and up, the duo come to what the Christian knows has to be heaven.
“This has got to be heaven! Here are all my loved ones to the left. That crowd on the right must be your loved ones who preceded you in death.”
“Look, Mr. Christian, I have been trying not to poopoo what for you must be a religious experience. Even though I am seeing my loved ones as much as you, I know this is some some incredibly high tech simulation.”
“You can’t deny your loved ones and friends. And no technology on earth is anywhere near as good as this. Didn’t you notice all your loved ones were at their peak of development. Why almost each one looks like they are 25.”
“I didn’t say some earth technology. It’s quite within the realm of highly advanced aliens that they can produce this.”
“But it is so earthly.”
“Let’s say the universe is 14 billion years old, like the scientists say. Most of the near stars are suns that are billions of years old. Let’s say that intelligent life could have occurred on any of these in the last two billion years. Then the odds are that the closest intelligent race to earth is a billion years older and a billion years more advanced. It is quite within the realm of possibility that they can easily create a heaven for us upon our deaths.”
“But wouldn’t the alien need your soul?”
“They could make do with a perfect copy of me upon death.”
“Alright,” said the Christian unused to his beliefs being challenged. He turned to his loved ones and shouted, “I’ll be back in a bit for catching up, it’s just that I need to school this good atheist! For proof, where is God so I can show this unbeliever?!”
Half of the Christian’s welcoming party yelled “In your heart,” but the rest simply pointed straight up.
“C’mon unbeliever I am going to show you my God in person.”
They both flew straight up using their newfound wings. After what seemed like only five minutes of flight they saw a glowing light. They got closer and closer and the feeling the light gave them made them both feel happy. Somehow they knew when they were close enough and both stopped.
“You can’t deny that good feeling,” said the Christian.
“I can do anything, yes anything that you can think of unbeliever,” telepathed the light to its audience.
“That’s not what I don’t believe,” said the good atheist.
“What could I possibly be then,” asked the light and then had the answer and said, “Oh.”
For the Christian’s sake, the good atheist said aloud, “In science fiction, energy beasts are capable of anything at all. Any mass can be made out of energy so I bet they are grand creators, too. Just not my creator.
“Enough of this,” said the unbeliever, and tucked in his wings so he made a shape closer to an arrow and plummeted back down toward his welcoming party.
The Christian realized that the conversation was over and snapped his fingers to teleport instantly to his own welcoming party. Maybe the unbeliever could hold his ground in a heaven filled with believers. But the unbeliever had thought so little about heaven that he could use a few tips.