Would Anyone Wager on Heaven?

A few years ago, a professor friend told me the story of her departed husband.  They were both professors and when he developed a terminal illness.  They agreed to an experiment.

They were both very religious and believed firmly in the afterlife.  Being academics, they were also curious about learning if it could be verified.

They agreed on a sign or signal she would receive from him after he died.  They were quite certain it would be possible to send such a signal according to what their church taught about the afterlife.  She did not tell me the signal.

After he died, she waited a couple of years, which was about when she told me of this.  Nothing.  She concluded, quite logically, there either is no afterlife or it does not provide the ability to reveal itself. She was more skeptical of the afterlife.

I’ve since wondered about verification of the afterlife.  Recently, Pat Robertson proclaimed confidently he is going to heaven when he dies.  Would he also be willing to place a wager on the verification of this claim?

For example, would be be willing to wager he will have an afterlife and will be able to verify it?  Suppose Warren Buffet offered him a double or nothing proposition.  Robertson wills his fortune to Buffet, but if Buffet can verify Robertson has life after death, Buffet will double Robertson’s fortune and give it back to Robertson’s heirs.

Would Robertson, or any other Christian, take up such an offer?

 

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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22 Responses to Would Anyone Wager on Heaven?

  1. “Receiving a sign”…..that is unbiblical wishful thinking.
    If you really want to get a true picture of after life, read Luke 16:19-30 for a parable of the afterlife as taught by Jesus Christ.

  2. Henry says:

    As far as I know, it is contrary to scripture to call on the spirits of deceased humans. 1 Samuel 28.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 1:44 It makes sense that if you knew there was no afterlife, but wanted people to think there was so they would give you their alligiance and tithes, you would write in your Bible, “Don’t look for the afterlife.”

  3. Brutus says:

    it’s called “faith”. The story of two professors trying to find a way to outsmart God’s plan is truly hilarious.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Brutus 3:07 “faith”

      The question would be, “faith” in what? Some don’t have faith in President Obama’s recovery plans. Some had faith the communist system of governing would success.

      I would guess you are one of those who would say the Flying Spaghetti Monster is religious parody and no such spiritual being exists. My friend, you have no faith.

      Evidence would be a good substitute for faith.

  4. Bob Jorgenson says:

    Would we as parents ever, ever, ever dream of withholding that kind of information from our own children? Something that important. I mean, man, think about it. I would never tell my children, oh by the way, for your whole life before you die, I’m not going to tell you proof positive if there is an afterlife or not, you’ll just have to wait and see. And you won’t know if you’re going to burn in hell forever or go to heaven forever.
    Oh wait, that’s the torah, koran, and bible. I guess that’s already being done to many of us as kids. Head games.

    That’s kind of immature of god to do that if you ask me. Just lay your damn cards on the table god dammit, quit screwing around and be honest for once in your miserable existence, god. Are you real or not? Is there an afterlife or not? Jesus Christ get over yourself ya nacissistic creep. (I’m flipping the bird toward the sky now.)

    It baffles me how faithheads can mentally live in that world. That’s mental torture.

  5. I have great pity for Athiests who will be introduced to their own afterlives when they die.

  6. I have already chosen faith…although there is more and more eviidence all time (archaeological finds) that proves that what the Bible says is true. Just wait til Noah’s ark and the Ark of the Covenant are found! Archaeologist are hot on the trails!!!
    There is plenty of EVIDENCE FOR the Biblical account.
    I definitely choose faith over the sort of evidence Athiests resort to…..I have many reasons to choose faith–it is not some wishful thinking that I am speaking of either.

  7. Wanna B Sure says:

    I’m back.
    Jon’s original blog was regarding life after death. His professor friend’s experience was virtually the same as Houdini and his wife after his death. No real surprises there. Buffalo Girl’s post was well positioned, but entech’s fixation on if there is a heaven or hell clouded his ability to understand the context of Buffalo Girls thrust, that of “a great chasm (gulf) fixed in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us”. That is to say communication is impossible. The destination is not at all the primary subject of this parabell, however I can see that those who would deny any destination, or who is behind it, would have a problem with that. Science seems to be the prevailing deniable factor of this, but when one considers quantum mechanics, (a subject we have approached here before), is considered here, with it’s related possibilities of other dimensions, science it would seem, does not deny the possibilities. It could just be that death itself is “a portal” to another dimension, (heaven or hell).
    Necromancy (consulting with a dead spirit/person), shamanism, or consulting a medium, as in the wich of Endor,(re. Henry), is in a different but related context to Jon’s original post. All of these are seeking for evidence of something both for now or for future prophecies. They are also used for curses, hexes, and protection from them. Not really much to do with the question of “life after the end of life as we know it today”. I seriously question the “very religious” nature of Jon’s professor friends, and the teaching of the “church” which implied the ability to “send a signal”. This teaching is highly improbable, and is a perfect set up for failure. Of course I can see that as in Houdini’s case, the loss of a loved one can create a situation of desperation. Within the context of Jon’s post however, it would seem to be more of an experiment than an extreme reaction to a loss. Either way, this kind of action reveals something far short of what a Christian would even consider. But then Jon did not say if they were “Christian” in the first place.
    I don’t believe a solid Christian would even consider the “choice” as a valid question.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Wanna 4:50 Welcome back.
      “I don’t believe a solid Christian would even consider the “choice” as a valid question.”

      I was amused at this observation. It reminded me of a coffee group of retired gentlemen I used to meet with daily. Several of the were (are) Catholics. When one of them was absent, the others would remark on what a poor Cathoic the absent guy was. They all received the comment at one time or another.

      You could have contributed to the group by looking down on the quality of the nonCatholics (the couple I referred were Christian, but not Catholic).

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Oh Jon, how you quibble. There are some who have fully developed faith, and those who have faith that is not fully matured. For example; An old man who has “seen it all”, and been tested, and there is the young man who has not. He does not have all the answers, because he has not yet had the time or opportunity/life conflicts to ask all the questions. Yet both have faith. As Scripture says; some are yet on milk, and not ready for solid food, yet both recieve sustenence. Even faith the size of a mustard seed. Yet, there are even old people who have not really learned all the tenents of Christianity. There is a lot of dis-information floating around those even within Christianity. They are vulnerable to some of those ideas your friends posited. Even a weak faith is a saving faith, while yet being vulnerable to loosing it due to unforseen influence. There are those within Christianity that subscribe to “once saved, always saved”, but we do not accept that. None of us know or can forsee situations that can cause/tempt us to loose that faith/trust, especially in the early stages of spiritual growth. To do less would be arrogance, and display the lack of humility. Those would be the most vulnerable to the “tempter”. An example of this would be an “experiment” to see if a dead spouse would signal from beyond the grave.
        All that being said, faith is not something that one gets up in the morning and “chooses/decides to get”. Faith is recieved, not taken, yet can be rejected. Pride of self is the biggest hazard to faith.—–But I believe I have said this all before.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Ps. I believe a healthy doubt/questioning, is a good thing, as it encourages one to seek for answers. In my advanced age I don’t have all the answers. I haven’t yet asked all the questions. I don’t believe I ever will. Yet, I have faith, and I learn more every day, even on your blog. Thank you.

  8. Bob Jorgenson says:

    Kay 1:17 Because I’m going to the great barbecue downunder right Kay. Nice brotherly love of you for wishing me well.

    What if god said when we die, okay all you faithheads who blindly believed whatever you were told, you all are out of here. You sheep, baa, baaa. Because frankly, I like the ones that needed proof, the thinkers, the ones that were brave, that weren’t daunted by the threat of hell and stuck to their freethinking guns. Those are the ones I want to hang out with forever.

    • Henry says:

      John 20:29“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

      People doubting….nothing new under the sun.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Henry 9:15 Authors of the Bible did not want doubters. They did not want seekers of other views. They demanded loyalty, period. They threatened people who were not loyal.

        My nature runs toward suspion of such people.

        • Henry says:

          “They demanded loyalty, period. They threatened people who were not loyal.”

          Are you referring to Saul or Paul?

          How does your theory fit in with John, who was exiled to the island of Patmos? Or how about John The Baptist? Who was under their boot?

  9. .E says:

    My wager would be on the hope of afterlife. If I lose, who would care?

    I hadn’t heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster until this week. It is humorous, but I don’t see how it is really useful to the discussion.

  10. By all means Bob, hang out with the Freethinkers.
    I choose faith and I have great peace in my life…contrary to Bob who seems very rattled by the Christians who post here.

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