Discuss literature (e.g. books, newspapers), educational studies (getting help or opinions on homework or an essay), and philosophy.

Unread postby ChinoKami » Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:38 pm

[quote="timon"]i guess the simplest approach would be looking at each major belief ... then probably employ occams razor ... or whatever ... one of those must be right ... right?

hinduism - reincarnation until you achieve nirvana
buddhism - see above ... though there are minor differences, it's practically the same
islam - believe in multiple heavens and multiple hells, if you end up in one of the hells as described by the qu'ran you suffer but can be pardoned and go to heaven after some time.
atheism - life ends the moment you die? no afterlife, no nuthin'
quote] Timon, as an atheist I don't believe your conclusion about atheist's and afterlife is accurate or fair. An atheist refers to a wide group of people and is simply one who doesn't believe in Christianity. So, in a sense, a Buddhist is an atheist. And, since I'm a rare form of atheist, yes thats it, I don't have a religion nor a desire to have one, I believe the afterlife is a very touchy subject. Honestly, I don't know what to believe in. Reincarnation, paradise, or just, blackness. It's all possible and I've day dreamed about this subject many a time. I guess I'll just have to wait until I die although that seems far off and almost like fantasy considering I'm 15.
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Unread postby Aquinas » Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:31 pm

ChinoKami wrote:Timon, as an atheist I don't believe your conclusion about atheist's and afterlife is accurate or fair. An atheist refers to a wide group of people and is simply one who doesn't believe in Christianity.
As you can see from my above post we agree on one thing, and that is that atheism does not equal lack of a belief in an afterlife. However, I find it odd that as a self professed atheist, you claim that atheism is "simply one who doesn't believe in Christianity". While it is obviously true that atheism and christianity are exclusive, keep in mind that there are over 200 world religions and the vast majority of them are theistic (ie: belief in some form of deity) and that atheism by its nature means that every single one of those religions -- not just Christianity -- is exclusive.
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Unread postby Omega52 » Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:02 am

ChinoKami wrote:Timon, as an atheist I don't believe your conclusion about atheist's and afterlife is accurate or fair. An atheist refers to a wide group of people and is simply one who doesn't believe in Christianity.

An athiest is someone who does not beleive in the existance of any gods.
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Unread postby James » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:35 pm

Lord_LuBu wrote:I have always been wondering what happens to some one after death if there is no heaven. It scares me how I could never think again and just simply not exist. Sometimes I wonder if we are reborn maybe if heaven doesnt exist. I have been thinking about this a lot and I'm not sure what to make of it.

When you get right down to it people believe in Heaven because they have chosen to, or because they have been told that Heaven exists by an entity which they have chosen to trust (e.g. their church). There's nothing wrong with that, it is simply a matter of faith. We don't truly know what comes around next when we die, and yes, that is something which can be very scary to think about.

It seems to me that this is also something people don't put much thought into until they get much older. Either they spend their youth with an absolute faith in the likes of Heaven, content, or they just aren't really thinking much about death. As we get older and death draws near, that is something we have to come to terms with, and it sure is a scary thing if you're sorting it out for your first true time so late in your life. I think this is why so many religious people I have known become so terrified of death when they are about to pass on (on the flip-side, some of them are so certain of their beliefs that they do not worry at all).

It is terrifying because this is such an incredible thing -- acknowledging the possibility that we might simply cease to exist when we die. We have no way to prove that that will not happen and there are plenty of pessimists out there who default to this possibility, if only because it is the worst possible scenario. My favorite scenario is the belief that we create our own afterlife. Wouldn't that be grand? Lots o' people going to hell if we die and continue in an everlasting dream.

For what it is worth I don't believe we will simply cease to exist when we die. If something as incredible as birth, life and death exists -- other things which we cannot yet explain -- it stands to reason there is an equal chance life will continue in some way after our bodies die.

This reminds me of what Eleanor Roosevelt said when she was asked about reincarnation. I always chuckle to myself when I think about the honest truth of this statement:

“You know, I don't think it would be any more unusual for me to show up in another life, than showing up in this one!”
  –Eleanor Roosevelt
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Unread postby Jer » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:05 pm

My thoughts on this are dynamic, but hey, that's a good thing I think.

Anyway, I do believe in some first cause or purpose in the world; I guess you can call that God. Has God planned reincarnation or afterlife for us? I don't really know--or won't say that I know. However, I usually think that it's not so.

First, I must reiterate what others have already said: please do not be offended by my opinions; I do not claim to be right or wrong.

I will be speaking from a Christian context regarding the concept of an afterlife because that is where it mostly comes from. As for the idea of heaven and hell, I just find it too unfair to believe. I say unfair because Christianity values forgiveness, love, and compassion; however, at the same time, Christianity believes in a place called hell where, to sum it up, the "bad" people go. It's as if God undermines all hisher teaching and hisher followers' hard work if shehe can't "practice what he preaches." For this reason, I just have trouble in believing in an afterlife.

However, I am making two big errors. First, I am tying the concept of afterlife to the religion of Christianity; for me, it just seems too hard right now to separate the two. Second, I am not deeply religious, my beliefs are simple. I may be taking the whole concept of heaven/hell in the wrong context because I am very ignorant of the Bible and its teaching.

As for reincarnation, I find it ironic that it almost appears to be the antithesis of an afterlife in many contexts. For example, I think it's in Buddhism (not really sure) where the main goal is to stop reincarnating: to escape the endless cycle of life and death and be at peace. This kind of reminds me of a forgiving God that gives everyone a chance to live well before attaining the complete peace of non-existence.

However, once again I make the errors of tying the concept to solely one religion, and more importantly, being very ignorant of Buddhism.

For me, it seems like I have a lot of thinking to do. I am going to try to separate these concepts from their religions and axioms. For me, I only have one religious (I guess) axiom so far: I believe in a first, purposeful cause.
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Unread postby Lord_LuBu » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:16 pm

James wrote:My favorite scenario is the belief that we create our own afterlife. Wouldn't that be grand? Lots o' people going to hell if we die and continue in an everlasting dream.


James, a good friend of mine also mentioned that idea today, actually and it has really made me think. Because everyone is so different there cannot possible one afterlife to fit everyone. Each has there own afterlife to fit in what they believe as the greatest peace. My afterlife would be perfect in a manner that is different to others. I would love it to be nature based roaming the endless flower plaines and mountains and valleys while others would love to have an afterlife that is in the city or civilized world.
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Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:48 am

I saw a great play recently about this called 100. Basicly you had 100 seconds to choose one memory and you relived that memory for eternity. It's an intresting ideal but I'm a Christain and my faith in heaven is unveering and so I have no fear of dying because I know that I'm going to heaven :D.
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Unread postby Kayzr » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:04 pm

Reabsorption into God constitutes my belief in the afterlife followed, eventually, by universal destruction and re-creation in a neverending cycle.
Let us begin with Zeus, whom we mortals never leave unspoken.
For every street, every market-place is full of Zeus.
Even the sea and the harbour are full of this deity.
Everywhere everyone is indebted to Zeus.
For we are indeed his offspring.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:03 pm

I suppose this is quite a philosophical argument since I'm agnostic, but I cant help but think: why am I me?

Why am I not someone else?

I dont really believe in reincarnation, but if I've been incarnate as myself.. why not someone else again?

Then again it's just as easy to believe we'll all turn to dust.

I suppose we'll all have to wait and see. :lol: :lol:
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Unread postby ZenZach » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:07 am

In the books of Buddhism I have read, it is said that Buddha could/can recall 42 of his past lives. Please, nobody say this idea is stupid because it is not.
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