Are you Skeptical of the Afterlife?

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August Campbell

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Although many people seem to take for granted that there is an Afterlife, but how do we know it's real? There might be No afterlife at all.
There are people who claim to have a spiritual experience in which their spirits visited an Afterlife. But scientists explain it away as just a dream or hallucination. After all, the experience can not be scientifically validated.
Many people take for granted that there is an Afterlife--but that's because of how those people were taught to believe by their parents. But when people become adults, they have the freedom to question and choose their own path. At that point, they begin to question and decide on their own. So I wonder if any of you have questioned and changed your attitudes. If there is an Afterlife--can it be proven?
 
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My parents were not religious neither am I. But, I did make an effort for about a year to become religious. I was really drawn to the positive outlooks from members of a group a co-worker belonged to. It was a hard core bible group. I spent nearly every day with them after work and all day on every weekend studying the bible and doing other activities. It was near cult level. Some people believed the group was a cult. I even got interviewed by a local reporter doing a story about the group. I was able to bring many new members into the group as well. But I never had a vision of any kind. Also I could never get the faith I needed so they asked me to stop coming and turned a cold shoulder towards me.

Having said that I have had alcohol posioning a few times. Twice my heart stop beating and I flat lined. They had to bring me back. I never saw anything or had any kind of experience. I only remember nothingness. I don't believe in the afterlife. I believe you get to experience life once and that's it. Human minds are marvelous organs capable of fooling ourselves into believing we are important and our experiences mater. But, it's also unfortunate because we are a plague on this world.
 

roses4all

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I also died... once. I was maybe 4 years old. I saw a wide tunnel. And there were very small people playing along the sides, and top of the tunnel. When I got to where I was going, I saw lights... like you see stars in a sky. And one big light that seemed to be watching. My young mind thought I had seen Santa Claus. So does that prove there is an afterlife or that I had a great imagination. I have no idea.

And as for heaven being a place where we are happy with our loved ones... what happens when there is a feud in the family... and two people have a very different idea of who will be in their heaven. Clearly everyone can't get what they want. So, it can't be what they taught us in Sunday school.
 
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People I knew, as the approach death, all had vivid hallucinations of an person that died prior. Myself, I am intrigued by these hallucinations that had. It was not drug induced, and began while ill but about two months prior to thier actual death. Hallucinations would mainly be of one (deceased) person. However irrational it was to see this (deceased) person and have discussions, the hallucinations were so powerful, there was no doubt what so ever in the eyes other beholder. They knew the person was dead, but equally knew that same person was just moments ago in the room with them.
 

Adamridge79

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Well, as soon as someone is on the coroner's table after two days in cold storage, and pops awake....them I'll listen to
 

CenotaphGirl

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I… have a strange outlook that everyones right.
If you had to describe living to the dead there would be all these different theories, where would you start? From the sperm cell and the egg? The fusion? Or from birth?

I seem to think we die and go to the after life, heaven or hell..see all our people again and fade to black, reawaken in a different life as someone/something else… its the same story just different stages instead of different stories if that makes sense.
 

Azariah

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if the after life is non existence then im not afraid of it. at least i wont feel anything or know anything.
 

ringwood

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I'm not skeptical of an afterlife and I have no idea whether it exists or doesn't. Guess I'll find that out when I leave this mortal coil. My heart says it would be an awful waste if there wasn't - what would be the point of living, learning, loving if it's all just pointless in the end?

I believe we go on in some form - to me, that form is energy. Everything around us—including our selves—is made up of matter and matter is essentially energy. I believe after we die, our bodies are basically recycled back into the universe. But our souls? Well, that's another question. I don't believe in heaven and hell, but I do think that our essential being carries on in some way. . . Maybe recycled like our bodies - reincarnated and born into a new form? Maybe our soul, depending on what we've learned in our previous existence, carries on to a higher (or lower) plane of existence? Who knows. . . it's all conjecture until we each experience it for our selves.
 

NoxApex(N/A)

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I'm obsessed with it, as in seemingly possessed by it.
"L'appel du Vide" as the French say, or The Call of The Void.
I sort of live in cognitive awareness of my existentialism.
I actively try not to emotionally exist, because the introduction of feeling tends to result in psychotic breaks from reality.
As in, you know, the exact opposite of what other people tend to experience as life. Usually, that's the other way around. Usually, sudden existential realizations cause psychotic breaks from reality due to people typically being more emotional than not.
I'm kind of the dead thing that hasn't died yet.
That's not to say that I'm totally void of emotion, because that's absolutely not the case. It just comes and goes, sometimes I can even catch the fly so-to-speak and logically realize that I'm emotionally compromised in the moment.
It's when I can't however, that psychosis tends to spiral out some.
Really, what I am, is a hyper-compartmentalized Creative.
I would love for the idea of something like Moksha to be real, it'd be a grace, but with my luck I'll just end up right back where I'm already at re-living this life again trying to re-learn whatever it is I haven't yet learned.
I do fundamentally believe that:
I do actually believe that people repeat cycles of rebirth until they have learned whatever it is that they were meant to learn as a lesson.
So part of me thinks sometimes that I should just reroll the dice whenever I'm ready to, but the other part of me rationalizes that it doesn't matter if I do or not.
We're in a Hell of a time to be alive though, that's for damn sure.
Nowhere in any ancient text does it suggest that the Universe is an estimated 14 Billion Light Years in size. Or roughly around 140,000,000,000,000,000 Miles. If you use the equator of the Earth as a measuring stick of around 25,000 Miles in diameter, it would take around 3,000+ Earth's to reach the Sun in terms of distance, which is 1 Astronomical Unit away, for mathematical size comparison purposes. It's almost unfathomable.
So to some degree I also question myself and think:
"If an ant is on a rock, does it know that the Earth is as large as it is or as old as it is? We're the ants in the grandiose scale of the size of the universe."
Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. Maybe they do know that, maybe they don't.
The last time someone asked me why I wanted to was about 2 or 3 years ago, and I didn't exactly plan my response, it just kind of came out of my mouth and what I said was: "Just to see what's on the other side."
Businessmen think about money when they wake up and go to sleep as the first and last thought.
Family Men think of their family as the first and last thing when they wake up and go to sleep.
I think about Death, the Afterlife and Science.
That's the punchline I guess as to why I spend so much of my time researching theological history and anthropology, because it gives me a perspective of how former civilizations and indigenous peoples viewed ideas of Death, Burial and The Afterlife.
It was suggested to me, about 15 years ago, that Creative people are called Dreamers because we're perpetually in a dream-like state.
So I've also considered the Vanilla Sky situation in which dying might wake me up.
And for as dark and nightmarish as my dreams are at times, others are so beautiful and vibrant that I don't know if I want to wake up from it.
 

Adamridge79

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If there's a Hell, I'll probably reside there. If reincarnation is real, I'll be a dog on an ASPCA commercial. If we're just energy, I'll be earmarked for a firecracker, and if it's the whole mythology thing, I'll be very cold.
 

TropicalStarfish

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Vanilla Sky, wow, I had forgotten about that movie... What a trip, the old days.

There is some part of me, that I don't really have access to right now, that, I think, believes death is an illusion; in that, we view life as sort of ice cubes, aware of other ice cubes, floating in water; and when we die, we melt, and become the water; but, it's all just water.

Presently, though, I just tend to struggle with the idea of non-existence, and my incomplete messed up life. Perhaps some day, I'll remember, death is only an illusion, and I'll cease my fearful fretting about it...

I tend to think of things being cyclical, though...

Perhaps, maybe, all the various different ideas of after-life, speak to a sort of truth that includes both the life/death dichotomy. There are heavens, there are hells, there are purgatories, there are rebirths, there are destinations and starting points, there are journeys, lessons to be learned, goals to achieve, realizations to be had, loved ones, cherished views ideas, etc.. etc..

*sigh* anywho..
 

Azariah

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like i said before the afterlife and beforelife will always remain a mystery. and i think thats exactly how it should be.
 

Sir Joseph

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As expected, there's a wide variety of views here, including fair skepticism. I'd suggest though that the existence of a soul, like the mind, is not entirely without scientific evidence. Might I say that there are at least two ways to defend the existence of an afterlife - through Biblical authority and witness testimony.

I won't detail the Biblical authority here, but will summarize it with one point. It's the only book in world history that exhibits specific, fulfilled prophesy - thus indicating Divine inspiration. Accepting that reality should cause anyone with an open mind to believe the scripture's many references to our eternal souls and the life to come after this one.

Witness testimony through near death experiences is extensive, and we're fortunate now to have much of this evidence available through books, movies, and YouTube videos. I won't suggest that all such testimonies are true, but some are compelling beyond discrediting. While many will disregard even the most credible cases due to a presuppositional world view, it doesn't negate the empirical evidence for an afterlife that's been documented by secular doctors - specifically, patients reporting hospital scenes during near death experiences that are naturalistically impossible.

Whether you're a believer or not, anyone interested in a potential afterlife or fearful of death should find the following two video sermons extremely interesting and informative. They don't prove the Bible's true, but the evidential witness testimonies are consistent with it. Once you recognize the reality of an afterlife to come, the condition and fate of your soul should become a most serious concern. I'd caution everyone that what we embrace or reject in this temporary life will eventually determine our future eternal life.


This second one starts at 18:34.

 

August Campbell

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As expected, there's a wide variety of views here, including fair skepticism. I'd suggest though that the existence of a soul, like the mind, is not entirely without scientific evidence. Might I say that there are at least two ways to defend the existence of an afterlife - through Biblical authority and witness testimony.

I won't detail the Biblical authority here, but will summarize it with one point. It's the only book in world history that exhibits specific, fulfilled prophesy - thus indicating Divine inspiration. Accepting that reality should cause anyone with an open mind to believe the scripture's many references to our eternal souls and the life to come after this one.

Witness testimony through near death experiences is extensive, and we're fortunate now to have much of this evidence available through books, movies, and YouTube videos. I won't suggest that all such testimonies are true, but some are compelling beyond discrediting. While many will disregard even the most credible cases due to a presuppositional world view, it doesn't negate the empirical evidence for an afterlife that's been documented by secular doctors - specifically, patients reporting hospital scenes during near death experiences that are naturalistically impossible.

Whether you're a believer or not, anyone interested in a potential afterlife or fearful of death should find the following two video sermons extremely interesting and informative. They don't prove the Bible's true, but the evidential witness testimonies are consistent with it. Once you recognize the reality of an afterlife to come, the condition and fate of your soul should become a most serious concern. I'd caution everyone that what we embrace or reject in this temporary life will eventually determine our future eternal life.


This second one starts at 18:34.

As you recall, the Admin has warned you to stay away from talk of religion, especially a particular denomination. Instead, discussion is to be confined to Science and Secular opinions.
 

orangecat

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yeah, went to sunday school as a kid and the whole time all i could think is 1)only here cause me mum and me dad sent me here to learn about Jesus
and 2) when i got older i felt like i didn't "click" with the teachings of christianity after years and years of going to Church and praying. I wish I knew what went wrong but I decided I was going to stop pretending that it added any significant value to my life.

So yeah, definitely still feeling skeptical about the idea of an afterlife. Perhaps the fear of dying is so great that the concept of an afterlife is introduced. It's also to give people a sense of meaning or purpose since doing good deeds in life equals a way into heaven. Suffer now but be rewarded later. As for whether it can be proven, well, I don't know. I think reincarnation seems easier to prove compared to an afterlife.
 

Sir Joseph

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August, that is a surprisingly irrational and ungrounded comment to make.

First, you raised an issue that is certainly religious in nature and asked for responses that encourage a religious discussion. You needn't like my point of view, but insisting afterwards that your topic can only be addressed with a scientific or secular response is irrational since the afterlife itself is a nonmaterialistic, supernatural, spiritual issue if real. In which case, any religious perspective, including Christianity, is entirely applicable to the discussion.

Second, you said I'd been warned by the administrator to stay away from talk of religion, especially a particular denomination. Unless you've read something I haven't, I'm not aware of any such warning or unreasonable restriction. While the debate section prohibits any debate over religion, none of the various forums prohibit religious views from being expressed. If they did, there'd be a lot of posts prohibited by others as well as me. In short, I think your charge is a false attack against me that others should recognize.

Now, knowing how much you hate Christian views, I'll make a note not to respond to any posts initiated by you. It is neither my intent nor desire to cause unnecessary discourse here on this fine website.
 

TheRealCallie

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I also don't recall anyone telling him he can't discuss religion or certain denominations. Here's what the rules say.

" Religious discussion is allowed on the forum but debates are not, any discussion which turns into a debate will have the thread closed."

 
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