What’s your preference: do-overs or eternity?

Hindus and Buddhists, I’m told, believe in reincarnation. Christians, many of them at least, believe in a final judgment that leaves one in heaven or hell for eternity.

Which would you prefer? With reincarnation, you have multiple chances to get right with the universe. With Christianity, the pressure is on to get it right in this world, this time.

If you don’t care for this simple view, add whatever wrinkles you like to the question.

~Jon

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4 thoughts on “What’s your preference: do-overs or eternity?

  1. Don’t know about you-all, but as a child of the universe – made of star-stuff that was created in the centers of stars and spewed forth to continue the infinite cycle of creation, I am planning to to return to star-stuff once this planet of ours is destroyed as our sun slowly turns into a beautiful planetary nebula.

  2. I prefer the idea of reincarnation. I like the idea that things are cyclical, and that everyone is a work in progress. Heaven sounds dull.

  3. I think that I should be trying to get it right – defined by me as experiencing joy and happiness as much as possible, leaving things at least as good as I found them, all while doing no harm to others – right now during this life that I’m currently living. And not because such behavior might get me into a heaven, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. I certainly don’t claim to be achieving these lofty goals all the time. I’m a a flawed work in progress, like most of us. I also think that if I believed in do-overs, I might slack off in this lifetime – allow myself to lack integrity in order to get straight to experiencing the good life – since I’d get additional chances to make it right. So I guess I believe that there’s only right now, no eternal afterlife and no reincarnations. (Although, I have to admit to fantasizing about a heaven, where I’d get to see my grandparents again, and other people that I’ve lost. It’s an incredibly comforting concept, and I can understand why people embrace it.)

  4. I think reincarnation offers the hope of ultimate redemption. A Cambodian writer said, talking of karma, that in time even Pol Pot and Hitler will attain enlightenment, though they’ll have a very hard road to it.
    Personally though, I think that while the Universe is eternal, our personal identities are not. We disappear like rain drops in the ocean.

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