ID: 1383-07
Votes: 27da5 (3.2)
Selected by: Dave Hemming
Lee was: the Incarnation  ! 
Answered on: 13 Apr 2005

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Divine Oracle,
> How many people are now in Heaven and Hell?  It seems like it would be
> very difficult to avoid Hell, with the rules that various religions
> impose.  For example, there's basically no meat all of them agree is
> OK to eat.
And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} How many people are now in Heaven and Hell?  All the dead ones, of
} course.  Oh, except for the Catholics currently stuck in Purgatory.
} (Did you notice no one mentioned *that* during Pope John Paul II's
} recent funeral?)
} But I suppose that's not what you meant.  Really, supplicant, if you
} want to gain wisdom, you must be precise in the questions you ask.
} Well, I'll do you a favor and try to find the answers you really
} wanted.
} Now what'd I do with St. Peter's number?  Ah, here it is.
} <RING>  <RING>
} Hey, Pete.  It's Orrie.
} Fine, fine.  How about you?  Keepin' those golden gates gleaming?
} Good.  Hey, I got a question for you, seeing as you're in charge of
} the attendance Up There and all.  Just how many souls have signed in?
} Sure, I can wait a minute.
} Really?  Huh.  Okay, thanks.  Hey, you gonna be at the next poker
} night?
} Good, I'll see you then.  <CLICK>
} I hope he really makes it this time.  He seems to back out at the last
} minute so often.  But when he makes it, it makes for an interesting
} night.  Anyone who can "deny Jesus" really knows how to bluff!
} Okay, so I've got half the answer.  Let's get the other half.
} <RING>  <RING>  <RING>  <RING>  <RING>
} Hey, Sate.  How's it hanging?
} Oh, really?
} Yeah, yeah.  You always say that.  Look, can you look up something for
} me?
} Yeah, yet another supplicant's question.
} I know, I know.  Look, all I need to know is how many souls you're
} currently playing host to.
} You don't?  How about a rough guess?
} Very funny.  Actually, you know, I'll go with that.  Serves this
} supplicant right.
} I hear that!  See ya, Sate.
} Thanks.  <CLICK>
} Well, Satan says keeping a head count for Hell would just be too
} orderly a thing to do.  His best estimate is "billions and billions
} served."  And unfortunately, St. Peter tells me exact numbers for
} Heaven are never released, as it could be seen as a denial of simple
} faith.  Far be it from me to argue with the Big Guy, but I can tell
} you this much:  vegetarians are well represented.
} You owe the Oracle a count of the number of pinheads needed so that
} *all* the angels can dance on one.

Notes: I went into this answer not knowing how I was going to end it. Heck, when I wrote the St. Peter part of the conversation I didn't know what his answer actually was yet! I'm rather proud of the final result and was happy to see it digested.

If this Oracle answer offends you for religious reasons, well, I'm sorry, but in that case you're probably better off not reading further Oracularities, mine or anyone else's. But at least note that while the Oracle here relates to each being in their own language, he's planning on playing poker with St. Peter, not Satan. (Satan cheats.)