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Do you believe in an afterlife?

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Poll Question: Do you believe in an afterlife?
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Argo2112 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Argo2112 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 10:43
 I thought this was the afterlife? Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 10:46
Image result for I dont know
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 10:47
Originally posted by The Dark Elf The Dark Elf wrote:

Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

The real question is......If you have no evidence to prove otherwise, because nobody knows the answer, why do you chose to say No?
Fear....?



I say "no" because I'm an not convinced that there is an afterlife. As I said, it does not require certainty, and knowing something is not synonymous to me as believing something. What is the fear thing? I wish there were an afterlife, at least a nice one. I do not believe in fairies, is that fear, no? If we discover fairies then my belief will change.

Maybe you would expand on your thoughts to present an argument. Why would one assume that it's fear, or that that is the "real" question?


Actually, the obverse seems more likely. The fear factor is a religious response to the afterlife. It's what drives people to repent at the hour of their death, because of a fear of a vengeful god sending them to hell for whatever particular sin they've committed. If one does not expect an afterlife based on a religious doctrine designed for neolithic shepherds and updated by medieval Ecclesiastics for the sole purpose of maintaining power and wealth, then there really is nothing to fear. 


That's what I think too. I've actually heard the "fear" thing said by various religious people, but I still want to hear his argument in case he's coming at this from another angle. I try to be careful when assuming intention.
"The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt" (Bertrand Russell).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 10:49
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

Originally posted by someone_else someone_else wrote:

I'll know it when I will have passed away, so I'd say yea.

I cannot imagine I am no longer when my body stops performing its vital functions. Some things are too hard to believe.
By the way, why do all those who don't believe in an afterlife post RIP's in the RIP thread Confused? Someone who is no more does not rest either.



Of course you won't know it if you cease to exist when you die. If you don't exist you cannot know.

Many things are hard to imagine, but a lack of imagination does not make it true. I can't imagine not existing as how I do I imagine that nothingness? If I try, then I'm observing it and so it's not nothing (I just imagine darkness, but darkness is a quality), but that's a side-point. Nether-the-less I feel comfortable rationally accepting the concept that I will cease to exist. Can you imagine not existing before you were born?

As for such platitudes as RIP, it's just used as an expression by many irregardless of belief or lack there-of. People employ such idioms. I'm sure to some it means that that person is no more as an entity. Death is often regarded as the deepest of slumbers, even if it's not sleep, in an analogous to sleep fashion. It relates again to what one can imagine. Imagining nothing, even the nothing of not having the imaginer to imagine it, would present a challenge.

I still say things like "Bless you", and even "God damn you!" at times despite being an atheist.

Such idioms persist long after we do, I would say, and we absorb such terms (inculcation, learned behaviors, ritualistic language).
To go a bit deeper, and I don't mean this in a negative way. If you're convinced that there is no afterlife, or even if you were convinced that there is, why is it of interest to you as to what others feel about?

Edited by SteveG - July 24 2020 at 10:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 10:55
Definitely. I think the fact that countless people have seen ghosts is proof that there is something beyond this realm. Also, I knew a guy a long time ago from college who was in Vietnam who had two near death experiences(not one but two!). For one of them he was officially pronounced dead and had the metal on his tooth to prove it. I saw it myself. I'm not sure how he came back but I remember him saying that "there's definitely something out there." 

Anyway, I can't wait for the polls about sasquatch, UFO's etc. ;)


Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - July 24 2020 at 11:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 10:58
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

The real question is......If you have no evidence to prove otherwise, because nobody knows the answer, why do you chose to say No?
Fear....?



I say "no" because I'm an not convinced that there is an afterlife. As I said, it does not require certainty, and knowing something is not synonymous to me as believing something. What is the fear thing? I wish there were an afterlife, at least a nice one. I do not believe in fairies, is that fear, no? If we discover fairies then my belief will change. I believe that which I feel I have sufficient reason to believe. That doesn't mean that what I believe is is necessarily true, of course. My beliefs are subject to change as new evidence presents itself, and I am ignorant when it comes to most things. And as aside-note, though I thought this would be obvious from what I've said: Someone saying "No, I don't believe in the afterlife" does not necessitate that person to conclude "I believe that there is no afterlife". That presents a false equivalence fallacy.

Maybe you would expand on your thoughts to present an argument. Why would one assume that it's fear, or that that is the "real" question?
My thinking on all this has nothing to do with religion really, because once you start trying to explain that a higher being is "allowing" you to live eternally you lose. 
The fear comment is more about the fear of being wrong in your choice if you say yes. To me saying No is the response when you have sufficient proof. Yes is the choice when you don't have sufficient proof.....Like they say "Prove me wrong..."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 10:59
Originally posted by Argo2112 Argo2112 wrote:

 I thought this was the afterlife? Confused
That's what I said earlier.......This is the afterlife....Prove me wrong Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 11:09
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Image result for I dont know



Image not showing. But again, knowledge and belief are not being used synonymously. If you consider something to be true, then that is a belief (it doesn't mean it's truth, but you believe it). You don't have to know with certainty, and if it is not a truth then the belief is not true knowledge. Basically, knowledge is considered to be evidence-based whereas belief does not require evidence. Knowledge should be based on evidence,on truth. If I don't see the evidence that something is true such as the afterlife, then my default is not to believe in it, even if I don't ultimately Know (have access to truth writ large). It's compatible to say that "I don't believe in an afterlife and I don't know if there is an afterlife". And one can say "I don;t believe in an afterlife nor do is disbelieve in an afterlife"

I did a pretty deep dive on epistemology in another thread, and discussed difference in belief and knowledge, probably the Bertrand Russel one amongst others, and had a related discussion. I'll look for a link to that.

Like I said, if people think of it as "Are you convinced that there is an afterlife?" "Yes or no", that might make the question easier to understand for some who find it it hard to understand the question as I intended, and why I would frame it with a basic dichotomy. The either you believe something or you don't believe it, which does not require knowing.

Edited by Logan - July 24 2020 at 11:10
"The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt" (Bertrand Russell).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snicolette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 11:19
In thinking about "convinced," vs "believe," I suppose my yes response is that I believe that there is, but I also am quite aware that my belief doesn't make it truth, or proven.  I wish (another funny word) that more humans understood that what they believe may not be true.  

I also know 2 people who had NDE's Near Death Experiences.  Maybe just entirely neurological?  I don't know, but generally, as both of these people tend to speak the truth about other things, I have no reason to disbelieve their experience.  Just because I don't have a cold doesn't make your cold impossible.

I don't know if it's true or not, but I do find the philosophy of Eternalism to be profoundly interesting.  I probably mentioned it in Logan's other topic, but I was introduced to it by Alan Moore's very fine novel, 
"Jerusalem."  Highly recommended (there she goes again).  Anyway, here is a definition of it:  Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all existence in time is equally real, as opposed to presentism or the growing block universe theory of time, in which at least the future is not the same as any other time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 11:37
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

Originally posted by someone_else someone_else wrote:

I'll know it when I will have passed away, so I'd say yea.

I cannot imagine I am no longer when my body stops performing its vital functions. Some things are too hard to believe.
By the way, why do all those who don't believe in an afterlife post RIP's in the RIP thread Confused? Someone who is no more does not rest either.



Of course you won't know it if you cease to exist when you die. If you don't exist you cannot know.

Many things are hard to imagine, but a lack of imagination does not make it true. I can't imagine not existing as how I do I imagine that nothingness? If I try, then I'm observing it and so it's not nothing (I just imagine darkness, but darkness is a quality), but that's a side-point. Nether-the-less I feel comfortable rationally accepting the concept that I will cease to exist. Can you imagine not existing before you were born?

As for such platitudes as RIP, it's just used as an expression by many irregardless of belief or lack there-of. People employ such idioms. I'm sure to some it means that that person is no more as an entity. Death is often regarded as the deepest of slumbers, even if it's not sleep, in an analogous to sleep fashion. It relates again to what one can imagine. Imagining nothing, even the nothing of not having the imaginer to imagine it, would present a challenge.

I still say things like "Bless you", and even "God damn you!" at times despite being an atheist.

Such idioms persist long after we do, I would say, and we absorb such terms (inculcation, learned behaviors, ritualistic language).
To go a bit deeper, and I don't mean this in a negative way. If you're convinced that there is no afterlife, or even if you were convinced that there is, why is it of interest to you as to what others feel about?



Or in my case where I am not convinced that there is an afterlife nor am I fully convinced that there is not an afterlife (I don't think there is an afterlife). I'm interested in what people think on a great many issues and enjoy conversation on a great many issues. This is an issue of more interest to me than many others partially because of the experiences I have had (I have been convinced that there is afterlife before) and because I know many religious people ((my wife being a Born Again Pentecostal Christian, or maybe a lapsed one). When her mother died not long ago, at the funeral and after the topic came up more. I was a horrific funeral service, which we paid for.

I guess I studied Philosophy cause I'm interested in such things, although my primary interest was ethics/ norms. It would take me a long time to try explain why the subject is of interest to me.

I will say that it was directly inspired by a Rest in Peace comment in the Tim Smith thread and got me thinking, hell, I would rather him be having a shouty good time in the afterlife than resting in peace and that I would rather raise hell than rest in peace. To me rest in peace sounds depressing-- of course it is sad when someone dies. Maybe too since I have barely slept for a long time (terrible insomnia) it got me thinking more about resting peacefully.

Mortality is not something I'm comfortable with and for ages people have been trying to come to terms with it. I'm not scared to die(part of me would like to live forever), the dying process does scare me (and I've come close -- that last stroke I had was a wake-up call), but it's when those you love die...

Anyway, I have a myriad of reasons why the topic interests me and I am interested in what others think on a myriad of issues, some more consequential than others. Heck, I sometimes write epic long responses (please so one ask me how I define an epic now) about the most inconsequential of things and am interested in the conversation. I participate at the forum because I'm interested in people and their ideas primarily,and often it doesn't even matter to me what the subject is. That's why I continue to be a member.
"The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt" (Bertrand Russell).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 11:42
Also I do believe that all these NDE are not religious based, has nothing to do with a higher being. Yes I know that most describe a light or such, but life is a light, death is darkness. So in a near death experience if you see light it is because you are coming out of darkness, so to me makes sense you see a light.

This to me is some proof of an afterlife.


Edited by Catcher10 - July 24 2020 at 11:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MortSahlFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 12:07
No.

I think when you're dead, you're dead. Just like it was before you were born. You weren't even conscious. Like dreaming forever with no dream.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 12:33
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Image result for I dont know



Image not showing. But again, knowledge and belief are not being used synonymously. If you consider something to be true, then that is a belief (it doesn't mean it's truth, but you believe it). You don't have to know with certainty, and if it is not a truth then the belief is not true knowledge. Basically, knowledge is considered to be evidence-based whereas belief does not require evidence. Knowledge should be based on evidence,on truth. If I don't see the evidence that something is true such as the afterlife, then my default is not to believe in it, even if I don't ultimately Know (have access to truth writ large). It's compatible to say that "I don't believe in an afterlife and I don't know if there is an afterlife". And one can say "I don;t believe in an afterlife nor do is disbelieve in an afterlife"

I did a pretty deep dive on epistemology in another thread, and discussed difference in belief and knowledge, probably the Bertrand Russel one amongst others, and had a related discussion. I'll look for a link to that.

Like I said, if people think of it as "Are you convinced that there is an afterlife?" "Yes or no", that might make the question easier to understand for some who find it it hard to understand the question as I intended, and why I would frame it with a basic dichotomy. The either you believe something or you don't believe it, which does not require knowing.
The thing about humans is that we are programed to believe. A Vietnam Vet once told of a time that he went almost outside the "wire" to take a dump at night. He heard twigs snapping in an area that was a "no mans land". He starting firing immediately after yelling to where the noise was and getting no response. He didn't know he was in danger, he only believed it. How much of that thinking are we programed to do? By the way, what was stepping on the twigs was later found to be a warthog.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 12:45
I'm quite a "possibility" guy, if you get what I mean. Yet, life after death sounds just too dumb for me. If I can't learn the facts about something, I almost always carry doubts. It is not actually "carrying", but more like "hah, it can be this, or that; this seems more plausible and/or probable, but that probability is also possible," kind of thinking, and then moving on. Immortality, aliens, time travel etc. are in this category, but afterlife is just a ridiculous concept for me. I can assert that I notice mysteries in life better than most people I know, but afterlife is like NOTHING for me. I don't even take pleasure in discussing it. It is like discussing with a guy who sees long, abundant, and blonde hair over my head, which is actually dark brown and I'm almost bald, haha. Sorry if this sounds offensive, but I'm being accurate and honest here.

Edited by Shadowyzard - July 24 2020 at 13:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 13:03
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

The real question is......If you have no evidence to prove otherwise, because nobody knows the answer, why do you chose to say No?
Fear....?



I say "no" because I'm an not convinced that there is an afterlife. As I said, it does not require certainty, and knowing something is not synonymous to me as believing something. What is the fear thing? I wish there were an afterlife, at least a nice one. I do not believe in fairies, is that fear, no? If we discover fairies then my belief will change. I believe that which I feel I have sufficient reason to believe. That doesn't mean that what I believe is is necessarily true, of course. My beliefs are subject to change as new evidence presents itself, and I am ignorant when it comes to most things. And as aside-note, though I thought this would be obvious from what I've said: Someone saying "No, I don't believe in the afterlife" does not necessitate that person to conclude "I believe that there is no afterlife". That presents a false equivalence fallacy.

Maybe you would expand on your thoughts to present an argument. Why would one assume that it's fear, or that that is the "real" question?

My thinking on all this has nothing to do with religion really, because once you start trying to explain that a higher being is "allowing" you to live eternally you lose. 
The fear comment is more about the fear of being wrong in your choice if you say yes. To me saying No is the response when you have sufficient proof. Yes is the choice when you don't have sufficient proof.....Like they say "Prove me wrong..."


While I fear making the wrong decisions, and am wary of being wrong, I'd rather be wrong for as short a time as possible, and I hope to learn from my mistakes and be open to new evidence and rational arguments.

Proof can be a bit of a tricky word since it can have different usages in philosophy, law, mathematics and logic.

But basically we can say that proof is a demonstration that has a sufficient argument or evidence that the proposition is true or valid. For instance, if the premises are true then the conclusion will logically follow or if sufficient evidence fits the conclusion then the conclusion is valid.

There is no way to prove or disprove that there is an afterlife that I know of and I don't understand why one's default would be believing in something that cannot be demonstrated. Saying "Yes, I believe in fairies" because one can't disprove their existence would seem very strange to me. I can say "I don't know if fairies exist and I don't believe in fairies".

So if the question were, "Do you disbelieve in the afterlife" I take it that you would vote yes.

It is said that the burden of proof in logic (say, demonstrating to an adequate degree that the proposition is based on false premises and or inadequate evidence, which of course it it does not require certainty) falls on the one who refutes the other. To prove that person wrong it is expected that you can demonstrate that that person lacks a convincing argument (sufficient and valid premises to support the conclusion) or evidence.

I would also say the person who makes a claim to be taken very seriously, especially if an extraordinary claim, can be expected to present sufficient reason to accept the claim as true.

I'm not about to claim that there is no afterlife, because the proposition cannot be validated. It's not falsifiable.

I don't believe anything with absolute certainty, and I prefer not to believe things without what I think are good reasons to believe in them. I am a sceptic. I don't claim to know what is possible or true in regards to many things. If the question were, "Do you believe that an invisible and intangible Santa Claus resides in my my underpants" would your default position be "Yes" if or until the proposition could be demonstrated to be false? I wouldn't believe it, and not just because I'm wearing the underpants.

Just because we can neither prove nor disprove something is not going to make me think that "yes, I believe it' is the rational course.


Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Originally posted by Argo2112 Argo2112 wrote:

 I thought this was the afterlife? Confused
That's what I said earlier.......This is the afterlife....Prove me wrong Big smile


It can neither be proved nor disproved, and it's unfalsifiable. Have you heard the saying that extraordinary claims requite extraordinary proof/ evidence? I'm not about to believe things just because they can't be demonstrated to be false. That would not seem see a logical or rational approach to me to base one's beliefs on.

Do you believe that I'm a leprechaun with a stash of gold as big as a house and a moustache? Yes, or no. At least that is falsiable. I could demonstrate that I don't have a moustache, although I might have shaved it off by the time you saw my demonstration. As a general rule: I "believe" that a good time to believe things is when they can be shown, and also when there would be means to demonstrate if they are false according to certain metrics.

Edited by Logan - July 24 2020 at 13:07
"The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt" (Bertrand Russell).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 13:17
I voted yes. But I have often doubts about my belief.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 13:21
Not many years ago I realized I'd stopped believing in an afterlife. Mind you, like others here I won't say it's impossible, or try to prove there is no such thing. I might say that my attitude about this issue is very similar to Hamlet's in his famous soliloquy: "For in that sleep of death what dreams may come/When we have shuffled off this mortal coil/Must give us pause". In the light of this, I believe the expression "Rest in Peace" makes a lot of sense, even for those who don't believe in an afterlife: if death is the end of everything, it is indeed a kind of peace/sleep, as Shakespeare puts it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 13:24
Rest in Peace is a great phrase. Especially in the past, life was just a neverending struggle for most people. I like that saying a lot, as an atheist.
Shadow shadow, on the ground; dark in nature, come unbound. Cloak my body, strolling incog; render my soul, tranquil & sound. ∿ Shadowyzard Twoyylicht
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 13:27
Shadow shadow, on the ground; dark in nature, come unbound. Cloak my body, strolling incog; render my soul, tranquil & sound. ∿ Shadowyzard Twoyylicht
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rrattlesnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 13:34
I definitely believe in an afterlife. The thought of eternal darkness is pretty scary.
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