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Thread: Your Opinions on the Afterlife?

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    Senior Member sheriff skullface's Avatar
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    Re: The Afterlife.

    I have always seen the afterlife as the parallel dimensions and many different planes of existance that one's soul essance resides and travels

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    Re: The Afterlife.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    WI get some comfort from the fact that I am going where my forefathers have gone before me, wherever that may be.
    In a way, this is almost one of the counter-arguments against the hypothesis of an Afterlife, as it is based on the idea of a comfort zone.

    If the Afterlife is just a 'holy lie' which helps us to get over the fear of death, then we would be right to be quite suspicious of it.

    Therefore, I don't view the Afterlife in this way of it being a 'comfort', so much.
    I more view it as a contemporary experience where the barriers between past/present/future and life/death and subject/object break down.

    In some ways this is a disconcerting view, rather than a 'comforting' one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrafn View Post
    Look at it this way: If there is an afterlife, great! If not, you won't have to worry about it, because you don't exist anymore. We have nothing to loose! (well, except if you believe in hell, but there is really no reason to do so).
    I like these kinds of Pascal's Wager type formulations [i.e., it is better to believe in Heaven & Hell because if they do exist you'll go to Heaven as a Believer; and if they don't exist, and death = nothingness, then you've lost nothing. Whereas if you don't believe, and Heaven & Hell are real, then you'll burn in eternal Hell for being a non-believer!]

    But the Afterlife doesn't carry such a moral imperative.

    However, if we shift on to the related notion of Reincarnation (and I always do in these kinds of discussions!), then a belief in reincarnation must affect our behaviour if [and only if] we care about who or what we come back as!

    Quote Originally Posted by Illuminatus View Post
    We simply cannot answer this question eventually but the simplified views of the semetic religions seems quite improbable.
    But the all pervading notions of an Afterlife, whether simplified or complex, found in most - if not all - cultures across the world and throughout time, suggest that there may be a kernal of truth [no matter how slight] in them somewhere.

    A concept I consider is interesting is also the origin of the word soul, the hypothetical base of conciousness. It originalled means "come from the sea" and our individual soul or conciousness is just a fragment which came from the whole and goes back to it after our body died. The question is whether the base of life and conscience is purely physical or metaphysical.
    That is indeed interesting - we have a good thread on the soul [or in this Race Soul] here;
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=58600

    There is a reference there to the idea that the 'soul' goes back to the sea, after death.

    However, I remember reading the great linguist Max Muller's view of the word; he suggested that 'soul' meant originally to shake or move[just as the sea might do], and that this notion of an unending tidal movement was a metaphor for the living body; dead bodies don't shake!

    This may be compared to the word 'spirit' originally meaning something like 'breath'.

    Again, living creatures both breathe and move - they have spirit and soul.

    Is this a reductionist view, or were mythical elaborations based on what were originally quite functional and non-mythic concepts?

    Of course, our coming from the sea is quite suggestive if one thinks of the basic evolutionary view that life began in the sea, and that the foetus mimics those stages of evolution from the fish onwards.

    Another completly atheistic possibility is that there is an afterlife which is our life. According to the big bang theory our universe expands untill it isn't possible anymore and then tights "until" the big bang happens again. Since everything is determined and coincidence does not really exist we're living our life again,again and again for eternit which is a quite good reason to reach for a good life
    The latter idea was taken up by Nietzsche, of course, in his version of the Eternal Return [found in ancient India and amongst the Pythagoreans too].

    The Big Bang brings in the problem of what there was before the Big Bang, which shows that Metaphysics still has some work to do!

    A funny aspect would be if the universe tightens in the same way it expanded so we'd also live our life backwards
    Yes - this is easy to imagine in the modern world with the ability afforded to us by the invention of film to run things backwards. Life would then be lived from death to old age and then onto birth etc., We would then be after a good birth [eugenics?] rather than a good death!

    Quote Originally Posted by Illuminatus View Post
    Thus, actually nobody has stated any religious belief. We're discussing philosophical possibilities.
    Yes - although the early religions probably began as philosophical possibilities, just as science began as philosophy.

    The problem is when such things 'harden' into a formula;
    when things become totally exoteric they no longer allow thinking - this goes for science, philosophy and religion.

    We must wonder about these things as if we are children.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheriff skullface View Post
    I have always seen the afterlife as the parallel dimensions and many different planes of existance that one's soul essance resides and travels
    That is probably one of the better modern versions of the Afterlife which has much in common with ancient Aryan mythology.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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