God v. Afterlife

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Thoreau, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

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    Here is a question I have been pondering.

    In your opinion, is a belief in a high power (aka God) a prerequisite for belief in an afterlife?

    Can one logically believe in an after life and not God? And vice versa; can one believe in God and not an afterlife?

    Are there any organized religions in the world today that share one of these beliefs?
     
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  3. arauca Banned Banned

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    Just an opinion .... God is the source of life , then if you think about the fallen angels , they are away from God for wile
     
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  5. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I think so.

    I don't think so because there'd be no One to perform the miracle needed.


    I think so because God could still affect the regular life.

    I think most major religions believe in an afterlife.
     
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Buddhism is kind of like that, if you think reincarnation is like an afterlife. Most primitive cultures have traditions of contacting the dead through shamanism.
     
  8. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Let me preface by saying that I don't believe in an afterlife... But if there is one, why couldn't it just be part of the natural order? Why does it have to be a miracle?
     
  9. Balerion Banned Banned

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    It isn't a matter of opinion. It's a matter of whether or not any established religions posit the existence of an afterlife that does not require faith in a deity. The answer is yes, there are different belief systems that are godless yet imagine an existence beyond death. It could be said that Buddhism has an aspect of this, though it's not quite as cut-and-dry as all that.

    There's nothing inherent to the concept of the afterlife that mandates a supernatural overseer, and nothing inherent to the nature of godhood that requires one to play host to a spiritual realm where the essence of dead humans go upon their physical death. So, yes, in a broad sense, one could believe in a god and no afterlife, or an afterlife but no god. However, certain religions would not allow this.

    As I said before, I think Buddhism has some concept similar to the afterlife (if we're not counting reincarnation, which I think some would), but off the top of my head I can't think of any specific modern examples.
     
  10. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    There does not appear to be any necessary dependence either way.

    The absence of an afterlife would not prevent a God from existing although his scope of influence would be weak. The concepts of heaven and hell would have no meaning and promises of eternal paradise or eternal damnation could not be used to force adherents to obey him. His only scope of influence would be to make life either intolerable or pleasant while people were alive, but that would seem somewhat petty and short lived. Since all religions are based on a long-term reward or punishment paradigm then without an afterlife it would seem little point in following such a god who would have nothing worthwhile and long lasting to offer.

    Buddhism though is largely a system with an afterlife but no god, and we can speculate on other possibilities of a supernatural construct where no gods are involved.
     
  11. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I appreciate that question. I think it would have to be a miracle because when the brain dies, the continuity of self would be lost. Self is a feeling that is established by the physical structure of the brain during a person's life.
     
  12. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    The question raises the difference between "natural" and "supernatural". If you can show how something supernatural is possible then it would move into the natural arena, until then the concept of afterlife is fantasy like miracles.
     
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    That is not in line with what any of the major religions teach about the self.

    The major monotheisms generally teach that the self or the soul is something that exists independently of the body; that the body is merely an external clothing for the self. The body is what is born and dies, the self is not.

    The Buddhist schools have a somewhat complex and differing take on the matter.
     
  14. Balerion Banned Banned

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    That's because all of the major religions were formed before the advent of modern science.
     
  15. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    First of all you are dealing with beliefs only in your OP so everything you mentioned is possible.

    You could look at the afterlife as pure science. Perhaps there are elements to our consciousness that are embedded within the universe complete with memories and personality. There are many who think of afterlife as simply a natural progression. They would exist in a dimension unknown to us.

    That would be an afterlife without god scenario, and afterlife with God scenario is well known.

    Now if the question is whether you need to actually believe in god in order to receive an afterlife then I think that is baloney. I do not think any god would expect you to follow any religion given the Horrid Campaigns most religions have been involved with.
    A Catholic Monk who was an emissary from the pope was about to attack a village that contained Catholics and Christians. Even though the other religion was Christianity, and had a semblance to Catholics, it was doomed to be destroyed. The Popes emissary said to kill the entire village. A french version of, "Kill them all, let god sort them out.". It would be like your local Catholic church grabbing their weapons and storming a United church killing everyone they could see. This is factual history.

    What about people who are raised by skeptics, or who live on a deserted island. Would any god expect them to believe?

    If there is a god and an afterlife then the god has likely designed a system of scientific laws that we must abide by, such as the law of gravity. I would then think anyones death would have a set design that includes an afterlife (my belief) or not.

    I believe that in the beginning a single consciousness existed. Through thought it was able to create matter and the universe. Life was a more challenging thing and this mass consciousness lent a part of itself to every life form to be able to experience and exist beyond its solitary form. I believe we live a series of lifetimes where our "spirits" advance in knowledge and abilities with each lifetime. A more advance life form is intelligent enough to be aware that their thoughts can influence reality and create as we are all in the "image of god".

    That last one is a snippet of what I believe, but is here nor there.
     
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    It's not clear why this would be the reason.

    The views proposed by modern science basically come down to the philosophy of annihilationism. Annihilationism is nothing new; it was already around in the time of the Buddha, for example, and the Buddha's criticism of it is noted in the Pali Canon.

    Religions typically concern themselves with morality, and provide such an explanation of the world which supports the moral outlook they propose.
     
  17. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    That's only because in the Buddhist view, the self is an inherited illusion which comes from culture. In other words, your perception of the world, what you think of as yourself, isn't original, it's learned. It transcends death, but only because human culture, the mindspace we inhabit, transcends any one death. It's perfectly compatible with science. The only way possible to not inherit this illusion from culture is to be raised without any human contact. Or get enlightened. Either way.
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Because the idea of the self was not necessarily linked to the brain prior to the advent of modern science. The mind--and therefore the self--being a product of, and impossible without, the brain is not something some illiterate tribe in Bronze Age Mesopotamia would have considered.

    The view that the self is a product of the physical brain has nothing whatsoever to do with Annihilationism, which is simply the view that the soul can be destroyed by God. One does not amount to the other, nor is one a suitable stand-in for the other.

    No doubt, but as we see all around us today, morality does not require the threat of eternal damnation or the promise of everlasting life, so the idea of the self being one's soul rather than a product of one's brain really isn't related in any way to the question of morality. In other words, the desired effect could have been achieved without the presence of a soul, and the reason the self is considered to be mystical or magical or spiritual is because they didn't know it was a product of the brain.
     
  19. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    Why worry about something no one knows about for certain? I died once but since I did NOT see anything like bright lights, spirits, people, hear things or anything else I wasn't asked to talk abouty my death experiance but others that say they see things when they died are always talked about in the media. I wonder why that is, can't the media be less biased and present both sides of the death story instead of only one viewpoint?
     
  20. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    Human consciousness is special. It's a shame that you use classical logic to reduce human consciousness to something mundane. Human consciousness is magical. I don't see dolphins composing Shakespeare or world religions. I don't see elephants putting rovers on Mars. You're using classical logic to denigrate humanity to nothing more than a sack of meat. But classical logic is undermined by nature, classical logic is only an approximation. And human consciousness IS special and IS magical.
     
  21. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    As an electronics technician that fixes broken circuit boards, your absence of an afterlife experience doesn't prove anything either way. Maybe your soul did have an experience, but the memory wasn't chemically coded in your brain. Sometimes signals don't make it all the way through the circuit.
     
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I never said it wasn't special. I never said it was mundane. I said it wasn't magical, mystical, or spiritual. If you have some evidence to support your claims, feel free to share it. Otherwise, there's no reason to simply assume that there's something more at work.
     
  23. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    Of course it's magical, mystical and spiritual. Don't you remember being 12 years old? Everything was filled with magic and wonder. Religion is proof that spirituality and mysticism exist.

    Even the laws of physics include "magic". Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance". Quantum entanglement is this invisible connection between particles (quantumly entangled particles). In the case of electron spin, it's like a magic coin toss. I give you one side of the coin, and I keep the other side. I toss the coin (take a measurement), and get tails. Magically, across space and time, your side is heads. In the case of electron spin, spin up or down is not determined until a measurement is made. Then, magically, the spin of the other electron is automatically determined by some invisible connection.
     

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