Friday, 26 December 2014

An afterlife is so fanciful!

I think that many people would tend to think that the idea of an afterlife is certainly appealing, but that logic and reason compel them to conclude that the whole notion is rather implausible and totally opposed to what science tells us about the world.  Many other people might profess a belief in an afterlife, but this is in spite of, not because of their reason.  They might feel they must be something beyond this life and there must be a reason or purpose to their existence.

I am the diametric opposite to this.  It seems to me that reason and evidence very strongly supports the notion we survive the deaths of our bodies (and science most emphatically does not tell us there's no afterlife!), but my feeling is that the notion is very fanciful.  We go to sleep every night and enter deep sleep where it seems we are scarcely conscious at all.  It is hard for me to imagine that at the threshold of death, as my consciousness slowly diminishes to nothingness, I will ascend into some new reality and regain full consciousness.

A few years ago, in response to my belief in an afterlife, a friend of mine exclaimed "it's cold!"  By this I surmise he meant that the world we are experiencing now is reality.  It's cold, it's gritty and the notion that we'll ascend to some strange new world after we die is fanciful in the extreme.

Saying it's cold as a reason for disbelieving in an afterlife is of course fatuous, and yet . . and yet . . I understand perfectly where he's coming from.  It does at least feel to me to be rather implausible.  I believe in an afterlife not because of my feelings, but in spite of them. 






4 comments:

  1. I have and still struggle with it. I have had some life experience that points to it. But, at the same time I've also had some things that would argue with it. I honestly do believe there is a purpose to life and without an afterlife "imo" there is no purpose. But, maybe it's all the same thing. Truly we are "unborn" and this is just one eternal moment. On the other hand maybe I just pull it out of my ass as I go. I'm thinking a lot about it as I progress through my fifties. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. "without an afterlife "imo" there is no purpose"

      I never understood people who resort to this rationale. True, it may mean there is no "cosmic", "everlasting" purpose but to say life has no purpose is simply irrational. I'm sure there are many things that bring you purpose in life. My happiness doesn't depend on some "belief" which has no evidence anyway.

      If life is the end (And it seems to be the case), life to me is all the more significant. It teaches me to love people more, care about things with real drive and be ethical in all that I do. Pessimism, the kind you expressed doesn't seem to follow (non sequitur) from the fact that death is the end.

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    2. No, if death is the end it means life has no meaning. Basically, it means that there is no such a thing as life at all - all living things are organic biorobot without anything transcendent in them. And in the light of this no moral value of anything (and thus - no real meaning) exists. If someone doesnt "care of things", "love people more", "are ethical in all what they do" it nothing worse than your way of living, because in the end its the same - making grave worms happy and full. It doesnt matter if you spend your life as a dog rescuer or as a dog butcher in China boiling dogs alive, as a doctor or as an executor, as a hippy or as a greedy businessman. Anyway, the whole difference is just slightly other neuronal activity in your brain and in other organic robots. In any case the same nothingness awaits them and you at the death. Life loses the spark of eternity, transcendency exactly one what makes us differentiate between Life and other chemical and physical processes.
      If you think life has meaning without afterlife, you not understanding what is life.
      Btw, iIm talking about meaning of life, not purpose. Purpose of life a totally arbitrary thing, you make it up for yourself, and it doesnt have to contain any logic or be universal. It is just individual reason to live, everyone chooses their own.
      Meaning is a real, objective meaning of life. Which becomes an absurd notion if life is just a set of chemical and physical processes.
      Afterlife doesnt provide purpose of life but does provide it s meaning that is independent of social, religious and personal beliefs and personal choices. Purpose is up to you.

      Btw, I see all your "ethics" and "valuing life more" applies just to humans? "Loving people more" - of course, only people. "be ethical in all i do" - I have a doubt that this means you are vegan or at least meat reducer.
      And that is deeply connected with your disbelief in afterlife: you see only humans as "life", you fail to understand what life really is, and that cause you both devalue all living beings other than fellow humans and not to see logical and meaningful necessity of afterlife.

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  2. "(and science most emphatically does not tell us there's no afterlife!)"

    I certainly agree with this.

    At one time I believed the opposite, but then I read Smullyan's book "Who Knows?". Then I was able to extricate myself from the scientistic religion.

    Maybe I simply matured in my thinking, but sometimes I look back and shake my head at the things I once believed in the name of Science.

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