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Beany

Afterlife-does it affect your present life?

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I'm wondering if you knew for certain there was no afterlife, no heaven, no hell, when we die that's it, finito, no mas, no coming around again, no souls reborn, would it affect how you live your life? I'm not saying there isn't an afterlife, clearly plenty of people believe there is, but if you knew for certain there wasn't, what, if anything, would you do differently?

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I would first try to master time travel, but after those fruitless 14 seconds passed, I would likely feel the personal doomsday clock weighing me down psychologically, and be pushed to do things I normally was too lazy or scared to. But this is just due to my personality at the moment, and I understand that there are likely far different scenarios possible upon one realizing that this is the only life that will occur for them.

I imagine that the deeply depressed (those so deep in sadness that they barely function in life at all) would be destroyed inside upon learning this hypothetical news. It's just an awful scenario to think about, me seeing this mental state personally for a long time.

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I'm wondering if you knew for certain there was no afterlife, no heaven, no hell, when we die that's it, finito, no mas, no coming around again, no souls reborn, would it affect how you live your life? I'm not saying there isn't an afterlife, clearly plenty of people believe there is, but if you knew for certain there wasn't, what, if anything, would you do differently?

Nothing.

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I'd cancel my harp lessons.

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It is difficult to guess what anyone would do or say if events were different, but I would hope that, given proof of no afterlife, I would still be the same as I am now, trying to harm none, and help all.

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It would be very insignificantly different from how it is currently. I don't believe in the existence of an afterlife, but neither do I active believe in the nonexistence of an afterlife; my stance is somewhat neutral, default—i.e., I disbelieve in an afterlife, given the absence of evidence of such a thing. I certainly don't let the notion affect my life or any of my decisions. If there is an afterlife: fine. If there isn't: whoop-dee-doo. I don't see how it should affect me either way; the notion of an afterlife, at the moment, appears quite improbable. There is simply no reason to think that any sort of afterlife exists; at least not a cogent reason.

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Nope. No change.

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I will work harder to find a way to make the rest of my life actually productive.

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I guess I would be a little more wild and unforgiving (sp?)...but because I do believe in Jesus and God, I put effort into being forgiving and although it sounds silly, I think, "What would Jesus do?" It may sound typical and you might envision a crazed christian person, but I'm far from it. I have my own intrepretation of things as others do. If there was no God (what a sad existence without a God IMO) and no heaven, nor consequences... I would be selfish and wouldn't be as thoughtful for others maybe. :devil:

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While after two thousand years of religion, along with near death experiences over the past 30 years, would it be surprising to find there was a life after death. Also with every other religion in the world to suggest your afterlife would reflect your actions in this life time why even ask such a question?

Edited by gatekeeper32

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I'd do more of the stuff that makes me happy, which is what I'm trying to do now.

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I guess I would be a little more wild and unforgiving (sp?)...but because I do believe in Jesus and God, I put effort into being forgiving and although it sounds silly, I think, "What would Jesus do?" It may sound typical and you might envision a crazed christian person, but I'm far from it. I have my own intrepretation of things as others do. If there was no God (what a sad existence without a God IMO) and no heaven, nor consequences... I would be selfish and wouldn't be as thoughtful for others maybe. :devil:

How sad, and unfortunate that this would be the prevailing attitude of most people.

Edited by JMPD1

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I think for the most part it is all destiny but that there is something about this life that if we fight, if we have passion for something and are not followers, and push to do a certain thing that is our calling, we will graduate to some degree and that our afterlife will be affected. If we don't learn our lesson here, if we are lazy and do not push then it will take us much longer to advance. I don't know what the benefit is, what position we may enter in the afterlife, but if we don't prove ourselves worthy then we don't advance, and pretty much still suck... well not suck, we pretty much are pretty awesome, but we still will have our learning to do, and we potentially will be generations behind were we could have been if we would have tried a lot harder....AND you never know, the people trudging along in last place might not even make it to the victory lap.... *shrugs*

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I guess I would be a little more wild and unforgiving (sp?)...but because I do believe in Jesus and God, I put effort into being forgiving and although it sounds silly, I think, "What would Jesus do?" It may sound typical and you might envision a crazed christian person, but I'm far from it. I have my own intrepretation of things as others do. If there was no God (what a sad existence without a God IMO) and no heaven, nor consequences... I would be selfish and wouldn't be as thoughtful for others maybe. :devil:

So you assume that without a God for you to believe in, you would lose your conscience, and no longer understand why doing unto others as you would wish done unto is the best way to feel sympathy and empathy? Good God, man, have some accountability for yourself.

That reply bothers me.

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So you assume that without a God for you to believe in, you would lose your conscience, and no longer understand why doing unto others as you would wish done unto is the best way to feel sympathy and empathy? Good God, man, have some accountability for yourself.

That reply bothers me.

I have accountability for myself. I'm not saying if there was no God, I wouldn't have self control. And I make no apologies for my thoughts, ignorant as it may seem to you. I'll give you an example of what I mean. When I'm at a party and some one wants to get sexually physical I will respectfully decline. I could be attracted to them and even though we can go on and have safe sex (nobody will end up pregnant heh) I won't do it because I think God would be displeased by this. Sex without love. You might think I'm ridiculous, pathetic, etc... but I really do think about that and make decisions where God is in my thoughts and wonder what he thinks.

Another example is doing favors for people. Especially lately that I'm so tight with time, having two jobs and being a full time student, someone might ask me for a ride somewhere, cash, to keep them company, whatever it may be - I think, "I don't want to...I don't feel like doing anything.." then I reconsider, and ill end up doing it. God plays a major role in that for me. I could lie and tell you, I would be this considerate without God, but id be lying. I need God in my life. It might be psychological to you, it maybe bull**** in your eyes, but I honestly don't care if you think that about me. Rip my reply to shreds if it makes you feel smarter or better. I won't take it personal.

By the way, don't let my original response bother you. A lot of people used to bother me as well. As I've gotten older, I've accepted that every person has their own view of the world and that's okay. As the great Martin Luther King Jr once said, " We must learn to live together as brothers (and sisters)or we shall perish together as fools."

I think it applies :D

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Speaking for myself Ever After, I was not ripping on your beliefs.

I was commenting that many people would have that attitude of disregard, if it were proven there was no afterlife. It seems, to me anyway, that many people are only "good" because they fear some kind of punishment in the next world for being "bad".

I respect that your faith brings you comfort and peace, and I appreciate the honesty of your answer.

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Thanks and I agree with you on that point. A part of me fears consequences that the afterlife might bring. It isn't simply consequences that keep me in line though, it's a little of everything I should say.

Edited by Ever After

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I wasn't ripping on any beliefs either. The concept still bothers me, and has nothing to do with you or anyone else. You can't expect to say that you will be more selfish and less thoughtful to others without an outside source watching you, and expect no one to be bothered by that concept. Divine hep is fine to do right but to entertain the idea that without that driving force you will turn your back on doing the right thing when given the chance is a dangerous concept. Empathy, compassion, and your knowing right from wrong would still exist without a higher power.

I think what you meant is that since you have devoted doing right to a higher power (which I also have, believe it or not, though not as defined as you have chosen yours), you would feel cheated and like all you knew was a lie, and then be discouraged of doing anything for yourself that you had previously done for someOne else. I sometimes fear I would do the same, but then the part of me that is learning about life along the way here realizes that I am learning that I should act and do right even without doing it for someone or something to notice. That's why your faceless, nameless reply bothered me. I don't want that to happen to me.

I can only hope your hypothetical moral stance was inflated for rhetorical purposes, and not really how you would act for yourself and those around you. Because whether a God exists or not anyway, your faith may be shot down. And would you then consider yourself to have the tools and will to do right for your own sake and others? This was a rhetorical question, and needs no answer on site.

I think I've cleared up any confusion here, and need not be shot at any more.

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No, living for the next life is ridiculously pointless. I feel that the idea that this life is it and that there is nothing beyond it makes this life infinitely more beautiful. The idea that this is all I have and that I must squeeze as much living into this life as possible makes much more sense to me. The idea of an afterlife in my opinion greatly cheapens this life. And whats more the belief that this life is it, far from meaning that I can do what I want without consequence, actually strengthens the idea of do unto others as you would have them do to you and all the other concepts that make up the basic social contract. Stealing, murder, hoarding of resources etc all result in societal disruption which only makes life harder for everyone including myself. And if this is the only life I have then I'm not going to make it harder for no reason.

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Until I see some credible evidence for the existence of a soul that survives our death, then I will live my life as if there isn't an afterlife. I don't need an omnipresent Big Brother to ensure that I act well. I have guilt and empathy, things that exist separate of religion.

A better question would be this; If you believe in the afterlife, what value does this life have? Surely if you were truly convinced that the only way to get into Heaven was to die without confessed sins, why wouldn't you live your life as an ascetic and remove all worldly temptation (as many of the original Christians did)? Surely the risk of Hell is too great to live in the secular world.

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A better question would be this; If you believe in the afterlife, what value does this life have? Surely if you were truly convinced that the only way to get into Heaven was to die without confessed sins, why wouldn't you live your life as an ascetic and remove all worldly temptation (as many of the original Christians did)? Surely the risk of Hell is too great to live in the secular world.

You're tying life beyond this one to a Christian Heaven and Hell, where there are so many more potential scenarios.

So answering your first question away from that narrow view, I could imagine that this life's (one of many) worth is to experience and learn all that you can, to perhaps use unconsciously in another life; afterlife being just an in between state to reflect on what happened this time around.

Edited by _Only

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I'm wondering if you knew for certain there was no afterlife...

Trouble is, I know there is no way I could know there is no afterlife. :wacko:

So even if I experienced something designed to convince me there was none, I would still believe it was possible.

But then again, I don't necessarily believe there is an afterlife - I simply believe there is no possible way to know.

Edited by Leonardo

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You're tying life beyond this one to a Christian Heaven and Hell, where there are so many more potential scenarios.

Well with half the planet adhering to a religion that contains both, it is a common enough view. I wouldn't view reincarnation as an afterlife, but another life. An afterlife to me implies an eternal state in a spiritual form(to me at least).

So answering your first question away from that narrow view, I could imagine that this life's (one of many) worth is to experience and learn all that you can, to perhaps use unconsciously in another life; afterlife being just an in between state to reflect on what happened this time around.

Still, what can we truly learn in eighty years that will apply for eternity? Unless an afterlife is not eternal, say if it's an intermediate life, where one reflects on what they've learnt during their period of life before being returned to a new one, I fail to see the point of this temporal life if an atemporal one awaits. But it just goes to show that someone with a religious mindset takes a different view to someone without one. :)

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If God didn't exist I think eventually, I would learn through experiences that doing good for goodness sake is the way to be, atleast for me.

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Still, what can we truly learn in eighty years that will apply for eternity?

Oh, come on. There's stuff you could take on the road from here, I'm sure.

Edited by _Only

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