Last week, Bob wrote a post on what might be a problem as encryption code and decryption code get better. Even if encryption can keep up, there’s nothing to stop someone from getting encrypted data and holding on to it until decryption gets better. In other words, if I say something now that nobody can read because it’s encrypted to the level of X and decryption is no better than X-1, and what I write a year from now nobody can read because it’s encrypted to X+1 and decryption is at level X… there’s nothing to stop them holding on to data they can’t now decrypt under the idea that they will be able to decrypt it in the future. It’s probably that Bob explains this better than I do, so check it out if I’m confusing you.

I don’t have a whole lot to say on encryption and decryption, but it reminded me of some plotting I did for a yet-unwritten novel. The basic premise is that there is Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. I needed them to exist in certain ways to advance the plot, but I also needed to form the internal logic dictating what each of these places is, who goes there, and what makes Heaven so perfect and Hell so bad.

One of the things that caught me about Heaven was the notion that no sin can take place there. Lying is a sin. Thus, nobody can lie in Heaven. Then the thought occurred to me that if there is no lying in Heaven, there are plenty of people that are in for a rude awakening. Wives who thought that their husbands had always been faithful will learn that he did cheat. People will learn that their parents and children lied to them. Every bad thing that has ever been done to them by people that they believed loved them will suddenly be known.

That could make heaven a very, very awkward place, when you think about it.

Christianic religion has it that our sins count against us and when we die there will be some accounting for it between us and God. How God does the accounting varies, but what I had never particularly been taught in church and what might have actually been a much better tool for religious discipline was the notion that there will also be some sort of accounting not just with God, but also with all of the people that we know that we’ve deceived and hurt.

The connection between Bob’s encryption/decryption talk and my Heaven may or may not exist as strongly to anyone else as it does in my mind. In both cases I see a temporary reprieve followed by an airing of all things private.

The last thought that occurs to me is that if “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”… a cheating husband may prefer Hell over Heaven, if she’s there waiting for him.

Category: Church

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4 Responses to There Are No Lies in Heaven

  1. Bobvis says:

    There is a difference though between incomplete information and inaccurate information. Maybe there is no lying in Heaven because such things are not spoken of. Silent angels!

    I thought one of the directions you would go was that there may be an infinite series of worlds, and “Heaven” might just be the world one level up from where you are and “Hell” might just be one level down. Thus, there might be a Heaven’s Heaven and a Hell’s Hell. But you didn’t go there. 🙂

  2. trumwill says:

    Well, there are two ways the “no lies in heaven” could go. The first is that as a punishment for our sins on Earth, they become known in Heaven. That would require a disclosure of sorts. On the other hand, that could lead to punishing the victims if they would have been happier not knowing about their loved one’s transgressions.

    The other is that they can’t lie but they can omit, as you point out. However, there are times that it is simply dishonest not to say something. If he said “Faithful like you’ve always been” and she doesn’t say anything about her four-year affair, she’s being dishonest, which would be pretty unHeavenly.

    One idea I had for heaven is that it would be like earth except only with good people and with trust. Since I am a believer that even good people do bad things, though, I’m not sure that it would be that different. Less murder, but just as much emotional hurt (or more, because there’d be more trust). I’m not sure that would be different enough to qualify as heaven except maybe in a mult-tiered system like yours.

    Your multi-tiered system is a little more involved than I wanted to get. I mostly needed Heaven and Hell as alternatives to the Purgatory, which is something of a lateral move from Earth within the book, the main difference being the types of experience (good and evil are somewhat more apparent, life and death are less final, and the blur between the physical and metaphysical is greatly diminished) rather than the pleasurability of the experience. Purgatory is a holding cell for people to either cleanse themselves (and go to heaven) or irreversibly fall prey to their private demons (and go to hell).

  3. bobvis says:

    If he said “Faithful like you’ve always been” and she doesn’t say anything about her four-year affair, she’s being dishonest, which would be pretty unHeavenly.

    Do events like this happen in Heaven? Do “events” happen in heaven? Is there supposed to be a time aspect at all?

    By the way, maybe forgiveness is instant. That might enable you to go ahead and fess up.

  4. trumwill says:

    Within the story, there is time in heaven that runs parallel to time on earth and the purgatory. It’s somewhat necessary for the interactions between them that do occur to occur. for instance, if a husband dies before his wife, he will be in heaven for a time without her and she will join him there (assuming that she is worthy) after she dies or makes her way through the purgatory.

    Conversations and all that do occur in heaven (and hell and certainly the purgatory). They take on a completely different nature since the motivations are entirely different. Conversations in heaven are what we pretend our conversations here are about: sharing feelings and ideas. There’s also a level to the conversations that we don’t understand in the same way that we don’t understand God’s actions and motivations (the novel assumes that God does exist and that the Bible is mostly true, though its conception of God, to the extent that it is spelled out within the book, differs a great deal from how any religion that I am aware of, sees Him).

    As for forgiveness being instant, that’s actually a component. The idea is that in the afterlife, whether in heaven or in hell, a person gains an appreciation for the wide scope of things. In the face of God (or the Devil), the relatively small things in life truly are small. If the cheating husband was in most other respects a good and loving one, the wife will be able to take that all into account. If not, then not. Then again, even if the husband is forgiven by his wife (and, presumably, God), he has to find a way to give in to the moral cosmos what he took out of it. Christianity meets Kharma.

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