A Priest Tells Edward Tarte There’s No Music in Heaven

[Link to video]

About Edward Tarte

I am age 78, once a Catholic priest for five years (in the 1960's), then a math teacher for 44 years up to the present day. I became an atheist a few years ago. My hobbies are music and chess.

  • Octoberfurst

    Well if Heaven existed it would suck if there was no music there. 

  • Pseudonym

    “If there is no music in heaven, then I don’t want to go.” – Martin Luther

  • Robster

    Gees, spending eternity worshipping a ratbag deity in some sort of disembodied state in the ether is about as attractive as eating and drinking bits of the baby jesus on sunday mornings. without music, the offer is even less worthwhile. What is there about heaven that is even remotely attractive? The offer is sh*t and the deluded godbots have simply got to do better.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I love Edward so much. Ed, your clear, positive thoughts are always music to my ears, and your music makes my thoughts clear and positive.  What a treasure house you are building.

    • Edward Tarte

      Richard, thank you so much.  I have such a large amount of admiration for you for the wise, insightful, compassionate, caring responses that you give in “Ask Richard”.  

  • HughInAz

    They’ve probably got a Hell of a band in the other place.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      With good fiddlers. After all, the Devil went down to Georgia. It’s playing in my head as I type.

  • http://bloodredsun.myopenid.com/ Martin Anderson

    “Is there music in heaven” – what a fantastic way to make theists actually think about heaven. If they say yes or no, you can simply ask how they know. If they say “don’t know” you can ask why they don’t know. Because it is not a point of doctrine, they must justify their position with thought rather than rote.

  • Flatlander100

    Not to self: call broker, tell him to sell immediately at the market my entire portfolio of harp-manufacturing company stocks. ASAP!

  • The Other Weirdo

    I haven’t watched the video yet, but how does he know that there isn’t?

    • Edward Tarte

      I ask you please not to comment on my video until you have watched it.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Technically, I was commenting on a blog post about your video, not on the video per se. :)

  • C Peterson

    They tell me my pets won’t be there either… creatures that I’ve taken immense pleasure from, and whose company I value far more than the vast majority of people I’ve known.

    No music, no pets… why on Earth would anybody desire to spend eternity in this place?

    (And FWIW, I know quite a few serious musicians… surely to them, spending eternity without music truly would be a sad and depressing thing, even more than for the rest of us.)

  • Sullivanjd

    Religious people do this all the time.  They always say how awesome heaven is.  They never think about why it would be awesome.  Perhaps if they did, they would realize it would be an insufferable drag.  

  • Michaelbrice

    This is off topic Edward, but I love your shirt

    • Edward Tarte

      Thank you. It is an Indonesian Batik shirt, a gift from my chess coach and his wife, who live in Indonesia.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        A chess coach. That is just too awesomely classy. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

    I was watching one of your videos here a few weeks ago and my boyfriend was watching over my shoulder. Later that day he was looking for a video of a song he was learning to play for his guitar lesson and I heard him say “Hey, it’s that atheist guy you were watching earlier!” :)

  • Kelly

    Happy Listening…I’ll say!!!  Mr.  Tarte, everytime I view your videos, somehow or another, you make me smile.   You are delightful, full of life…not to mention, an accomplished pianist.  Keep up the GREAT work!!!

    • Edward Tarte

      Kelly, thank you so much:)

  • steph

    What a shame the only Christians American atheists seem to know, are wacky fundies.  Most modern Christians don’t believe in ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ and neither do they have such a low opinion of music(or) animals. Not even Catholics, or their priests.  Not Anglicans, Methodists or even Baptists. Hell is a late biblical tradition and heaven wasn’t a place above the world.  Educated Christians know who they are, and they understand religious tradition, story and history in context. Those funny looking American kids dressed up on hot days in black suits riding bicycles, who come knocking and annoying, sweating and smiling with big glossy white teeth at our doors – they believe in a place called hell.  Morons.  I mean Mormons.  They’ll all bred to tell lies and should go home and practise their archaic unevolved religion there.   Quite the opposite generally. Admittedly fundamentalist Christianity breeds like rabbits in America but unfortunately so is a very simplistic unworldly form of atheism, which hasn’t got numbers but boy does it yell. I understand American liberals have a war to fight with rabid American fundamentalism but why don’t you do it intelligently.

    • Edward Tarte

      The overwhelming majority of Christians believe in heaven and hell.  My local adversary, Baptist preacher Paul Lyle, preaches about heaven and hell to his congregation, would like to see me with him in heaven and enjoy eternal bliss with him, but tells me I am actually headed toward hell to be tortured forever.  He fears that some of his congregants, especially teens, will find my videos on YouTube and that I will thereby drag them to hell with me. In the seminary, where I prepared to become a Catholic priest, the doctrines of heaven and hell were an essential part of our instruction.  As a priest, I taught those doctrines to adults and children, I am ashamed to say.  The Catholic lady Annie with whom I now dialog, as well as my local adversary, Catholic priest TJ, firmly believe in heaven and hell.  

      • steph

        American fundamentalism does not represent Christianity in the non American rest of the world, where Christianity has evolved independently.  And educated modern Christians do not hold religious beliefs which contradict the evidence of science.  Secular Christianity, that is Christianity without ‘God’ is prevalent in both church going and non church going Christians, as well as church leaders. Take a look at Rowan Williams’ ideas.  Read some anthopological/sociological research on belief in society of the UK, Nth America and the Antipodes and listen to liberal Christians around the world.  A Catholic priest friend said to me ‘the question of the existence, or not, of a ‘god’ idea, is irrelevant in intelligent conversation, another priest friend who teaches at st Matthews in the City, a large Progressive NZ Anglican church, says ‘we’re not very religious and use religious language in vastly diverse and explorative ways.’ For him ‘God’ is a way of talking about love, and beliefs are all about people and how we live our lives.  There is no heaven or hell.  My Presbyterian colleague and friend was a Minister and coined the term ‘Secular Christianity’ and my English Methodist friend who ministers a parish teaches his agnosticism: ‘I am agnostic by definition and Christian by faith’.  None of these Christians believe in heaven or hell.  It’s not all about America let alone the southern states of America, or is it.  Is that all you care about knowing?

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      Steph, you are free to talk about the type of Christianity where you live and others are free to talk about the type of Christianity where they live.  Unfortunately, in America there are still lots of Christians still holding to the heaven and hell concept and stir up all sorts of mischief in meddling in other’s affairs through both laws and peer pressure.  It would be a fine day if all Christians adopted the metaphorical only and cultural only attitude towards scripture but until that day, it is fair to shine light on all the craziness.

      • steph

        That’s what I’m doing and yes, American fundamentalism is an American problem.  There are however many educated liberal Christians in America who don’t hold beliefs which contradict the evidence of science so don’t misrepresent them.  And don’t misrepresent Christianity by describing belief in terms of American fundentalist convictions without defining them.  This is the internet and the audience is international.  I am not a christian – never have been.  If anything I’ve always been an environmenalist, an enquiring human being with interests in social justice and equality.  Just an honest historian.

        • steph

          or at least ‘don’t misrepresent Christianity today, by describing Christian belief in terms of American fundamentalist convictions without discriminating them from the rest of Christianity.’

  • steph

    What a shame the only Christians American atheists seem to know, are wacky fundies.  Most modern Christians don’t believe in ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ and neither do they have such a low opinion of music(or) animals. Not even Catholics, or their priests.  Not Anglicans, Methodists or even Baptists. Hell is a late biblical tradition and heaven wasn’t a place above the world.  Educated Christians know who they are, and they understand religious tradition, story and history in context. Those funny looking American kids dressed up on hot days in black suits riding bicycles, who come knocking and annoying, sweating and smiling with big glossy white teeth at our doors – they believe in a place called hell.  Morons.  I mean Mormons.  They’ll all bred to tell lies and should go home and practise their archaic unevolved religion there.   Quite the opposite generally. Admittedly fundamentalist Christianity breeds like rabbits in America but unfortunately so is a very simplistic unworldly form of atheism, which hasn’t got numbers but boy does it yell. I understand American liberals have a war to fight with rabid American fundamentalism but why don’t you do it intelligently.

  • Earl G.

    The priest’s argument was that there would be no music in heaven because music is “imperfect” (whatever that means).  Art then is also “imperfect,” and theater, and dance, and literature …  So none of that would be there either.  

    How is that paradise, again?


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