Death and Afterlife: Improve your Essay Technique

Firstly, before considering the fact that not everyone deserves to be saved and go to Heaven it is rational to question what actually is Heaven? In Revelations, Heaven is described as ‘The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass’ but there are multiple different interpretations. Traditional Catholicism favours the ‘beatific’ vision as described by Aquinas meaning we have a face to face experience with God in the afterlife. He also believed perfect happiness is not achievable in this life, only in the afterlife where we live eternally in perfect bliss. This indicates that in this view everyone is saved and goes to Heaven as it the only place where happiness can be achieved. He taught the soul as a sort of life principle that forms the distinctive characteristics of all different living things. It is our soul that allows us to reach our full potential and accomplish our purpose in life and only once humanity has done this can we live eternally in the presence of God. This is a similar belief in Protestantism that Heaven is an everlasting existence where we exist with God and our loved ones in a type of eternal worship. However, Aquinas can be interpreted as stating not everyone goes to Heaven only those who have reached their full purpose with their soul and so he goes against the idea that everyone deserves to be saved and to go to Heaven. Regardless of this ostensibly idyllic perception of Heaven there are criticisms against the concept of Heaven as whole. Bernard Williams questioned if a perfect eternity is as perfect as it sounds. By having a perfect resurrected ‘spiritual body’ and no limitations surely, we would get bored after a while. This view was shared by Karl Rahner, a Catholic Theologian, who elaborated upon the issue believing it is the limits in our earthly life that make it so special and meaningful. This could be interpreted as saying the afterlife is meaningless and so it doesn’t truly matter if everyone deserves to be saved and go to Heaven or not. This classic depiction of Heaven shows that the faithful who have followed and finished their full purpose deserve to be saved and receive the eternal happiness and everlasting life of Heaven, but not necessarily everyone.

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