What's So Good About Having An After Life?

On another thread, placed within an inappropriate category, someone was suggesting that they had “proof” of an afterlife, or something like that.

The proof seemed contrived and silly, and the contributor didn’t seem to be interested in a discussion, but still it go me to thinking,

what’s the fuss about?

Why does living a healthy, interesting, constructive, satisfying life, supposed depend on believing that your soul will continue after you die?

(Though there’s not one shred of evidence, or even a theory, of how our consciousness, or soul, can possible exist longer than the generator that created the thoughts. What generator, … body, heart and brain.)

What in creation would a person do without Earth???

I asked a friend a similar question. They were only slightly religious, attending some super liberal discussions, but not a member of any church. What they said was, “I hope there is an afterlife, because I want answers”. This person was notorious for not being good at conversation. Myself and many of my friends have unfriended her and unfortunately her spouse along with her. And I don’t mean just facebook.

What I tried to ask her was, what’s wrong with the answers we have? What about all we’ve discovered about where the universe and spacetime began? What about the Higgs boson particle? This didn’t seem to impress her. I don’t think she wanted answers that were the actual answers. When people say they want to know something beyond our current knowledge, I think they are saying they just aren’t happy with the world as it is. Oddly enough, it’s the cultures that have claimed to have the answers that have contributed to that unhappiness.

Simple explanation: an afterlife is better than total oblivion because it’s better to exist than not exist.

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IMHO, many humans cannot handle the fact that life isn’t infinite and they gain psychological comfort in the idea that there is an afterlife. They believe this so strongly that to bust their bubble could be psychologically harmful. They also find psychological comfort in seeing their love ones again (the idea that is). My mother was in tears when I told her I wasn’t a believer and she cried (literally) and said, “You’re hurting me.” Then she continued to cry as she said, "I’m not going to see you again in heaven.

Fact is, she won’t see anyone after she dies, because death is final, but to her, the idea of an afterlife where you see everyone, both past and present and future again is comforting and makes death less frightening to her.

I’m as equally concerned about my non-existence after death as my non-existence before birth, personally.

Besides, which version of “afterlife” are we talking about? A separate plane of existence? Reincarnation? Into the Hall of Two Truths where the heart might be devoured by the demon Ammit?

If one of these is the most correct or likely, by what standard?

This doesn’t even touch on the usual question of whether someone finding comfort in a belief actually makes it true.

@bluecord35 there is a joke, which you just reminded me of, that goes something like this (can’t retell it exactly)- someone was taking a tour of heaven and there are different areas for each group of Xians. The guy gets to one room and asks about it. He is told, “Oh that’s the Baptists. They think they are the only ones here.” So indeed, which heaven?

I’m so glad I could retell it in a way that’s still funny. :slight_smile: