Life after death

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by James R, Dec 31, 2008.


I believe (tick all that apply):

  1. The human "soul" or "spirit" persists after the death of the body..

    41 vote(s)
  2. Souls go to heaven or hell (or whatever is equivalent in your religion).

    19 vote(s)
  3. The dead will be physically resurrected some time in the future.

    14 vote(s)
  4. We see God after we die.

    17 vote(s)
  5. People who die are reincarnated as different people.

    17 vote(s)
  6. Dead people remain able to watch their loved ones from the "other side".

    16 vote(s)
  7. Dead people are able to communicate with the living.

    14 vote(s)
  8. Souls remain in limbo or unconsciousness until some later time.

    10 vote(s)
  9. (Some) dead people become ghosts or spirits who remain on Earth.

    14 vote(s)
  10. None of the above.

    57 vote(s)
  11. Other.

    20 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Do you believe in life after death?

    Please describe exactly what you think happens after we die, and explain why you believe that.

    Please also say whether you consider yourself religious or a believer in God or the supernatural.
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  3. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member


    I think consciousness ceases as the brain can no longer function. I think this because I can note gaps in consciousness during non-REM sleep or when under general anesthesia. I also note that this is consistent amongst all humans.

    Next I think we decompose. This is because it is observable.

    I am a little "religious" and a non-believer in both God and the supernatural.
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  5. Tnerb Banned Banned

    I believe we are reincarnated. That we are actually souls. That CCs description fails to consider everything about souls.

    I believe that when we die, it is common to be uncertain about what happens. I am personally terrified of dying.

    So I don't like to talk about it........

    But, the reason I think that we are souls and continue living, is that I was told that this is so by a powerful authority, and that it also makes sense. This is the only rational explaination that I have for knowing what happens after we die. I would not know what happens when I die and I don't know if I would like to think about it too much.

    I think that we would simply cease functioning, stop moving, disappear so to speak. I believe that a lot of functioning/consciousness as CC says is dependant on being alive and uses immense energy when this happens. It is a subject of confusion but I don't see a reason to believe that there isn't life after death!

    I am fairly religious, in that I claim belief in God because it is a highly subjected area and I have not had my lifetime to devote to criticisms which do not stand the test of time.
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  7. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member


    Off the top of my head I would have to say No I don't believe in life after death.
    However a tiny wee part of me wonders if there is some kind of spirit life.
    So I guess my answer is...........I am not 100% sure.

    I am not religious or a believer in God.
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I do not believe in what you consider life after death according to any beliefs.

    I believe we just die and our remains return back to the earth from where they originally started from, or the sun or the universes, whatever they came from.

    Thinking that somehow we exist and go some place that everyone gathers around in and has a great eternity just doesn't seem realistic but only a myth so that humans can believe they actually have something to look forward to. Why they think that is beyond belief to me.

    That is my belief, if you belive in an afterlife, that's fine with me we will all find out soon enough won't we.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  9. Tnerb Banned Banned

  10. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

    Well I for one can not be certain but I may believe that the fact that living things can feel vibes given off other things, and the ability to feel good or bad vibes makes me think that our consciousness has an everlasting affect with other living things and the connection between everything.
  11. Bricoleur Registered Member

    I concur. Any extension/continuation/resurrection of your own life comes through your progeny, as in "You smile just like your dad did".
  12. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Assuming the answers are to be based on belief, the stretch of the imagination would be the starting point and limit of the answer, which is clearly demonstrated in a number of posts, already.

    Death would be the result of life ending, a permanent ceasing of all living functions. Note the word, 'permanent.'
  13. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    I believe in only death after death. I believe our soul is really our character, feelings, memories and choices - but is mortal.
    I have as much of an open mind as a Muslim. Moreover, no scientific study ever done has found conclusive evidence that the spirits of the dead walk the earth. Would you take a medicine that had yielded similar results?
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  14. Tnerb Banned Banned

    Note the word all above in emyphysis.
    PPl which seem to hold this belief, entertain it at high lvls. It amazes me that they refuse to consider other options. It perhaps is simply a "atheist mindset" sort of thing, or some judgement on certain ones who believe otherwise.

    Fact is, there is no such thing as all permenant life processes ending. In fact if you pay careful attention (...!) you note that the word all in this paragraph is riddled with confusion and misdirection.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  15. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Other options to death would imply the supernatural, as no options for life remain with the dead in nature (see zombification and other christian party tricks).

    And in the absence of life; death, one would need little "belief" to entertain this observation, other than the belief that they themselves are alive to observe the dead.

    If an atheist mindset be a requirement to observe the dead, I would agree, in that it brings home to the intellect the fragility of life, how easily, effortlessly, quickly and without any notice whatsoever, life can be taken away in the wink of an eye.

    If it is a fact that the dead are not permanently dead, why then cannot I not find Elvis?
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The belief that there is some form of "life" after death is human hubris at its worst. It's the conviction that of all the gazillions of tons of matter in the universe, these particular hunks of organic tissue are so fucking special that we not only evolved intelligence like many animals and language skills like a few of them, but we, alone, evolved something that completely falsifies science: a soul--a supernatural force that interacts with the natural universe. If this were true it would violate the fundamental principle underlying all science, that the natural universe is a closed system. Understandably, there is absolutely zero evidence that such a bizarre anomaly is true, but that doesn't stop people from embracing the cognitive dissonance of believing it anyway. Because of their human hubris. "We're so important that the natural laws of the universe don't apply to us." Yeah right!
    A satisfactory definition of "death" in one of the higher vertebrates (birds and mammals) is the irreversible degradation of the synapses in the brain. So what happens after a person dies is exactly that: His brain loses its electrochemical organization, so everything that comprised his identity--his thoughts, memories, personality, etc.--ceases to exist. If he wasn't killed by an explosion or falling into a vat of acid his body still exists and we might even be able to keep the lower animal functions operating like breathing, heartbeat and metabolism of nutrients. But that's just a pile of organic tissue that has irretrievably lost its higher organization; the person does not exist any more. His spirit still exists, according to a sensible definition of the term, because he's left his mark on civilization: the memories of those who loved him and those he taught, the things he built, the ideas he promoted, the attitudes of his children, the success of his business. But the word "spirit" is a metaphor, nothing more. The actual person is simply gone.

    Why do I "believe" this? That's a strange question to ask, because it's really a dishonest way of asking why I do not "believe" the mythologies of the religionists. No one has to defend his lack of belief in someone else's fantasies. The burden of proof is on them to explain why it's not completely unreasonable of them to "believe" in it.

    In fact, Carl Jung helped us understand why so many people "believe" in things for which there is absolutely no evidence. These things are called "archetypes" and they are instinctive motifs that are pre-programmed into our brains through evolution. They may have been survival traits in an era whose dangers we can't imagine--many archetypes are, such as our instinctive fear of a large animal with both eyes in front of its face, or of stepping off of a precipice; people without those fears didn't live long enough to reproduce. Or they may be accidents passed down through a genetic bottleneck like Mitochondrial Eve. In any case, since we're born with these beliefs they feel true, and that makes them seem more true than the beliefs we acquire later in life through learning and reasoning.
    I do not "believe" in gods or any other supernatural things. We have spent five hundred years, since the initial development of the scientific method, exhaustively testing the basic hypothesis that the natural universe is a closed system whose behavior can be predicted by theories derived logically from empirical observation of its present and past behavior. That hypothesis has never been falsified, so it now stands as the canonical theory that underlies all science--"true beyond a reasonable doubt," to borrow the language of the law since the language of science sucks when attempting to communicate with laymen.

    Any hypothesis that contradicts a canonical theory is by its very nature an extraordinary hypothesis, and according to the Rule of Laplace--another key component of the scientific method--it must be accompanied by extraordinary evidence before we are obliged to treat it with respect. No extraordinary evidence for the existence of a supernatural universe and supernatural creatures that interact with the natural universe has ever been provided. In fact there has never been a shred of evidence that could even be regarded as promising, worth a second look. Millions of scientists lead second lives as religionists when they take their lab coats off, and none of them has ever run back into the lab the next morning with the evidence he needs to resolve his cognitive dissonance regarding the nature of the universe.

    Beliefs in the supernatural are based entirely on hope, instinct, and human hubris. We are therefore under no obligation to treat them with respect, at least in a place of science like this one. Of course that doesn't mean we are obligated to treat them with disrespect, but a few of us do.

    Civilization and its precursor, the Agricultural Revolution, has been an eleven-thousand-year struggle to override our Stone Age instincts with reasoned and learned behavior. It's long past the time to override the instinct to believe in supernatural creatures, since it has stalled civilization at the level of hostile tribes making war on each other over their different interpretations of the archetype of "God."
  17. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    dead is dead. we die the same as plants or a bug. There is no afterlife, just wishful thinking.
  18. Tnerb Banned Banned

    Wishful thinking it is!
  19. LadyMidnight Catherine J. Registered Senior Member

    Death is when we cease to exist, and there is nothing beyond that. The end.
  20. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

    Is it related to Freud's "the religious man is simply a man seeking the comfort and discipline of his father" argument?
  21. Tnerb Banned Banned

    Its also a "as apes, we still have no soul." arguement in which, "There is no soul, because as atheists we are proud to say that there can exist no afterlife, and all others are delusional" arguement, in which states "At which time there is no afterlife, we simply have no further evidence to provide." Arguement. In which "We know there is no afterlife, because we are Gods." arguement
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Well... Jung was Freud's student but he went off in his own direction. Freud's model went as far as the ego, superego and id. Jung's model includes a new concept called the "collective unconscious."

    Freud is very much into what we absorb from the experience of growing up with our parents around, too naive to question what they say and do. Jung doesn't exactly gainsay that (not all of it anyway), but he adds a new layer: what we are born with.

    Not all of the collective unconscious is archetypes (motifs we're born with), if I'm not mistaken. (My wife is the Jung disciple in the family; I've been to a Joseph Campbell lecture.) Some of it is indeed comprised of things we pick up, but we pick it up from a much larger community than our immediate family. It's the motifs that are repeated intensively in our culture, in everything from history books to entertainment to church to advertising to political propaganda. And certainly there's a large component of that in any religion, which is why "the same" religion isn't quite the same when you cross a national boundary or just drive into a different part of town.

    But the fundamentals of religion are archetypes, and Jung showed that all religions in all places and times share the same archetypes, indicating that they're programmed rather than learned. The same set of "spirits" shows up in both the Greek and Egyptian pantheons, as well as other cultures that aren't as well-known to us and which I'm certainly not well enough educated to talk about. These 23 spirits appear to be a map of the raw human personality; in some of us the Hunter is stronger than the Healer and on some days we have to draw on our Warrior instead of our Reveler, but they're all there jockeying for position inside each of us. This is borne out by the not-coincidental appearance of this same stock set of characters in everything from the dramatis personae of Shakespeare's plays to the population of the soap operas on every channel.

    Monotheism stands in stark opposition to this and that is its flaw. The holy books of the Abrahamists have the same cast of characters as the Greek, Hindu, Maori and Choctaw legends, but rather than providing a map to our 23-dimensional spirit, they are all made subordinate to a single deity, who judgmentally squashes them all into a pathetic one-dimensional scale with "good" at one end and "evil" at the other. So if you don't come directly home one night but get drunk and go carousing, it's not your Reveler popping up to remind you that you've been suppressing him and spending too much time at the office; it's "the Devil" distracting you from doing "God's work." If your bachelor pad is home to five dogs, it's not because your Parent has been suppressed and needs children to nurture; it's because the Devil is letting you dissipate your noble instinct to help others from the Salvation Army shelter to a bunch of soulless four-legged ornaments on God's lawn. (A Jungian analyst would roll his eyes at my amateurish examples and spend an hour telling me what's wrong with them, but I hope you get the idea.)

    We can believe in a single Deity because a basic general belief in the supernatural is a strong archetype unto itself, inspiring us to write letters to Santa Claus and avoid letting a black cat cross our path... and to believe without critical introspection in the certainty that there is some supernatural component lurking inside us that will whisk away our personality and memories and keep them "alive," after the brain tissue that hosts them has turned into topsoil. (To veer back on topic.)
  23. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    i ticked "other" because there is no high grade scientific evidence either way. There for the only conclusion someone can draw is "wait and see"

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