Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
Jessica Lonergan asks in a comment on a prior post
If we have already completed our lives and are in heaven, does what we do NOW matter? Have our lives and fates been predetermined, already played out? Is the thought of us already being in heaven comforting or does it take away motivation? Or is that a copout?
The question goes to the “theory of heaven” having to do with mortality, change, and temporality. But it’s also a spatial question in keeping with the issues we dealt with in Blit.
We talked about conceiving of social and cultural actions and phenomenon in terms of their spatial dimension. Cultural space, as in Mexico as juxtaposed to the United States, or ethical space concerning considerations of decorum across venues or forums. I.e., talk on email calls for a different ethic than a report to the board, both being spaces where things pass audience to audience.
The answer to Jessica goes to how we “conceive” and judge the ideas we’re talking about. No matter the consequence of the “heaven theory,” we can’t confirm the idea, thus how it shapes a response is a tricky question. Does our behavior have consequences beyond the immediate? Of course. In the grand scheme, do we have cause beyond eating and sleep?
That’s where “meaning” comes in, I’d think. Duns Scotus would probably say that heaven is “beyond” us and to dig into the notion of the beyond without the aide of the spiritual will lead to dead ends. But we do it nontheless. And that’s what I find interesting.