Friday, October 11, 2013

Justice after death

Yesterday I was listening to NPR and heard an interesting interview with a Rabbi discussing his views on what happens after death.  What caught my attention was his thought about justice and that those who had done horrible things would be *punished* for them.  I have often heard from people of various religious backgrounds that in some way, evil doers will have to answer for their crimes.  If not in this life, then "when they meet their maker". I have never really believed in this line of thought.  Is it fair that Hitler might have the same end Anne Frank? No, of course not, but I believe that justice and fairness are very human traits.  Retribution is something we feel that we deserve.  No where is it spoken that is something we are entitled to. Why should I, someone who has tried to live a compassionate life, have to share my afterlife with a cruel, evil person?  Yet, I believe I will.  I don't feel that we will be judged when we die.  Humans wrote the Bible to make sense of a cruel and oppressive world.  Promises of a judgement-filled God are human constructs.  Cruelty is caused by humans in a human world.  It has nothing to do with what happens when we die.  I try to be a good person, not because I fear for my afterlife, but because I feel happiness and fulfillment are built on love not hate. 

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