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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
AlexQuinn Offline
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Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 8th 2012, 08:35 AM

This is a question I've been pondering for a while, maybe a year or more. *It occurred to me that nearly every religion has a different concept or alteration of a version on death and the afterlife. *Few have the notion of death in the truest sense of the word - a cessation of existence. *For example, the Abrahamic faiths have the well-known concept of heaven and hell, judgement day, etc. *I believe Bhuddists believe that they achieve nirvana (a bliss-like oneness with everything? *I've never been totally clear on this) after a very long period of meditation (or something to that degree I think). *In Hinduism you get reborn over and over again if I'm not mistaken. *In the ancient faiths of Greece, Rome, and the Norse, you joined the dead in their various places of resting and existed evermore. *The list goes on and on. *Please note that if I am incorrect about the traditions of any particular faith, it is out of ignorance, not intention. *Please correct me if I am mistaken so I do not repeat my errors.

The point, as it were, is that nearly every culture has their own beliefs in life and death. *The thought that occurred to me was what if they're all right? *Do we make our own afterlife out of whatever consciousness we take with us? *Is death, in fact, optional? *Because what if an individual were to die and wish to be reclothe themselves in a living body (thereby creating the rebirth cycle)? *Or, if they were inclined to a heaven/hell belief, would that individual then join the millions of souls who believed in the same afterlife as they did?

The issue becomes therefor, are there multiple paths one can choose in death? *Could one decide to actually cease to exist? *Is this even possible in a universe where you potentially could live on essentially indefinitely as a "spirit?"

If anybody is interested, I would hear your thoughts on the subject. *What you personally believe, whether you fear death or embrace it, answering any of the questions posed here, it's all fair game. *I'm interested in gaining a larger perspective really.

The last question I wanted to pose is why this matters at all. *Death is a natural part of life. *It happens to literally everybody - at least as far as we currently know lol. *So, why DOES it matter? *Why have some of the largest organizations on the planet arisen almost purely to explain death, among other things? *Essentially, why does anybody care?

EDIT: obviously people care because of relatives or close ones that die. That's probably the primary reason for a lot of people. I know it's the main reason for me. But I'm interested in other reasons, if people have them.

---------------------------------------

Here's my answer, might get the ball rolling a bit:

I'm not very religious. *I don't necessary believe anything will happen after I die. *However the CONCEPT of a variable afterlife is fascinating to me, if only for the sake of knowledge. *Think of all the people and places you could go to, speak to, learn from - essentially forever. *And when you finally tire of existence, you could just stop existing, and that would be the end of it. The chance to see friends/family again would be a gift like none other as well.

I also believe the search for the secret of death is an extension of the general search for knowledge. We fear what we don't know, don't we? *But why should we? *If we don't know what will happen, why should we spend our earthly time pondering it? *But we do. *I've spent hours thinking about this. *The great philosophers of the past and present have given their very lives to the subject. *It is fascinating to think about the thought given to this subject, and that's the very reason I posted here. *I wonder what other people think about this. *It is knowledge for the sake of it I guess.


Stare not into the abyss, for the abyss stares also into you.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Eloquence that does not startle, I do not consider eloquence ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Last edited by AlexQuinn; July 8th 2012 at 08:43 AM.
   
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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 8th 2012, 09:01 AM

Honestly, I don't give a shit when I hear "18 people die in flood, hurricane, shooting" etc.

It only bothers me if it's someone close, overall though, I'm apathetic to the deaths of the unknown. The only thing that really bothers me, in the long run, we will all die one day when all the stars burn out.

Entropy.


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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 8th 2012, 03:38 PM

The last question I wanted to pose is why this matters at all.

It doesn't to anyone but us. Intelligence allows us to be aware of our own inevitable death, and obviously we don't want that which causes the whole feeling of unease that lead so many civilizations to incorporate an afterlife aspect to their religion.

/opinion


Self pity will not rescue you.
Sometimes we have to save our own lives,
not because no one else cares, but because no one else can.

Life for you has been less than kind
So take a number, stand in line
We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt
But how we survive is what makes us who we are.

Dreamed up the maps, give me the charcoal and the paper
We invent paths they cannot see, and they're too scared to walk


Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you are free to do anything.
   
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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 8th 2012, 03:45 PM

Just looking at it simplistically: just because a lot of cultures had beliefs about the afterlife is no reason to think they are correct. "If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing".

As to what I think- our consciousness is merely our brains firing. When our brains stops firing and the electrical signals slow and finally stop, we have no reason to believe that our conscious being goes somewhere else. It stops too.

Death is just that, the end. And who'd want to be immortal anyway? Sure, it would be cool for the first hundred years or so, but the millennium after that, and the millennium after that?

And of course where would this immortal afterlife take place? Burning in hell, shivering in hell (Persian hell is cold, so I'm told), singing God's praises, or simply shuffling back and forth in the Underworld for all time? Even if it were to take place in the Summerlands, it will still be a mental torture not to wish on anyone.

Immortality is raffle ticket religion hands out because they'll never have to pay for all of the prizes.

/This is my opinion. If you want citations, talk to someone else.
   
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 8th 2012, 10:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexQuinn View Post
The point, as it were, is that nearly every culture has their own beliefs in life and death. *The thought that occurred to me was what if they're all right? *Do we make our own afterlife out of whatever consciousness we take with us? *Is death, in fact, optional?
We don't know, which is a huge problem. You can't ask the dead what it's like to be dead because the dead don't come back to life. For all I know, I could die and end up being reborn as a pony on another planet. However, if you're asking whether we can choose what happens when we die, wouldn't that also imply that we choose how we are born? If we control our own lives, we're our own Gods. Then the question would be...still..."but how was the universe created?" Did I create the world if I am a God, or you? So I think that argument would fall apart unless you really got down to specifics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexQuinn View Post
The last question I wanted to pose is why this matters at all. *Death is a natural part of life. *It happens to literally everybody - at least as far as we currently know lol. *So, why DOES it matter?
Well, there's the Christian Heaven and Hell. Heaven sounds like a nice place, and Hell doesn't sound very awesome. Yeah, there would be a lot of sex, but I'd be working my ass off around fire all the time. If there was a religion, or a God, that chose what kind of life we would have after we die, then wouldn't we want to naturally better our options? If I'm to be reincarnated into something, I wouldn't want to be reincarnated into an ant or something because I'm working to please the Queen, lifting shit that's 10+ times my weight, and ultimately either dying in the sun or getting stepped on. I'd rather be born into a king, or someone who has a future of becoming a president or something. So everything that happens in our present potentially influences our future.



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  (#6 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 17th 2012, 12:16 PM

I would like to point out that it does matter and it matters a lot! This is completely an LDS perspective but after we die eventually we are resurrected just like Christ was but we are in a perfect state (I could go more in to everything about it but just message me if you want to know more but if we were here just to live and die what would be the point in living in the first place, it would be a huge waste of time, we were put here for a reason and it is up to us to learn why we are here and live in a such away that we can make it back to live with God and experience ultimate joy! I would also like to point out that there is no hell, well not in the sense the most Christians believe, again this is an LDS perspective but I would be happy to go into more depth all you have to do is ask my inbox is always open
   
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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 17th 2012, 06:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melwirth View Post
I would like to point out that it does matter and it matters a lot! This is completely an LDS perspective but after we die eventually we are resurrected just like Christ was but we are in a perfect state (I could go more in to everything about it but just message me if you want to know more but if we were here just to live and die what would be the point in living in the first place, it would be a huge waste of time, we were put here for a reason and it is up to us to learn why we are here and live in a such away that we can make it back to live with God and experience ultimate joy! I would also like to point out that there is no hell, well not in the sense the most Christians believe, again this is an LDS perspective but I would be happy to go into more depth all you have to do is ask my inbox is always open


Being uncomfortable with the idea that life may be redundant isn't a valid proof for there being anything similar to an afterlife. Some people can't seem to come to terms with the fact that there might be absolutely no objective reason for us being here, except for the simple fact that we're here, but this doesn't add validity to the point whatsoever.

That being said I don't claim to know anything for a fact, but that argument can't be used since there is absolutely no factual basis behind it.

There is also no "pointing out" to be done. Again, whether it matters or not is your opinion.


Self pity will not rescue you.
Sometimes we have to save our own lives,
not because no one else cares, but because no one else can.

Life for you has been less than kind
So take a number, stand in line
We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt
But how we survive is what makes us who we are.

Dreamed up the maps, give me the charcoal and the paper
We invent paths they cannot see, and they're too scared to walk


Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you are free to do anything.
   
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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 18th 2012, 07:16 AM

Being uncomfortable with the idea that life may be redundant isn't a valid proof for there being anything similar to an afterlife. Some people can't seem to come to terms with the fact that there might be absolutely no objective reason for us being here, except for the simple fact that we're here, but this doesn't add validity to the point whatsoever.

That being said I don't claim to know anything for a fact, but that argument can't be used since there is absolutely no factual basis behind it.

There is also no "pointing out" to be done. Again, whether it matters or not is your opinion.[/size][/color][/font][/quote]



Ok whatever, it may be my opinion but you don't have to attack me for it, and whats wrong with me believing that my beliefs are truth? There must be truth, truth is real and you can't change that and neither can I. And That my friend is not an opinion that is a fact, truth is truth, it is not relative. I believe I have found truth in my church, and yes that can be called an opinion (I prefer it to be called a belief but whatever) but the fact that truth exists is not an opinion.
And who is to say that that there is no "factual" basis behind what I said? For me to put the facts in that would call for a lot more time than I had at the moment, but besides that I was trying to as non offensive as I could so I wouldn't cause something like you just started, I was trying to watch what I said, but really if you want to have a nice polite discussion feel free to message me and I would be happy to talk, but if all you want to do is attack me and tell me how wrong I am don't bother.
   
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Re: Death: the Absence of Life, or the Extension of it? And why does it even matter? - July 18th 2012, 10:11 AM

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Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Being uncomfortable with the idea that life may be redundant isn't a valid proof for there being anything similar to an afterlife. Some people can't seem to come to terms with the fact that there might be absolutely no objective reason for us being here, except for the simple fact that we're here, but this doesn't add validity to the point whatsoever.

That being said I don't claim to know anything for a fact, but that argument can't be used since there is absolutely no factual basis behind it.

There is also no "pointing out" to be done. Again, whether it matters or not is your opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melwirth View Post



Ok whatever, it may be my opinion but you don't have to attack me for it, and whats wrong with me believing that my beliefs are truth? There must be truth, truth is real and you can't change that and neither can I. And That my friend is not an opinion that is a fact, truth is truth, it is not relative. I believe I have found truth in my church, and yes that can be called an opinion (I prefer it to be called a belief but whatever) but the fact that truth exists is not an opinion.
And who is to say that that there is no "factual" basis behind what I said? For me to put the facts in that would call for a lot more time than I had at the moment, but besides that I was trying to as non offensive as I could so I wouldn't cause something like you just started, I was trying to watch what I said, but really if you want to have a nice polite discussion feel free to message me and I would be happy to talk, but if all you want to do is attack me and tell me how wrong I am don't bother.
An objective stance isn't an attack. You're free to take exception if you want, though, that's out of my own personal control. You're also free to believe what you want, I was stating my own personal opinion which is my own belief that I am also entitled to. I may come off as abrasive but what I was targeting was the fact that redundancy was being used to back up your belief, which as a point is very flawed. You can believe something is the truth, that affects no one but yourself, but if you are posting it publicly, people are also free to respond to it, civilly.

There is truth (on a philosophical this is actually arguable but I honestly don't feel like getting into that since that would drift off topic), but that doesn't mean it has to be known, by anyone. I'll repeat, believe what you want, you are free to.


There is no factual basis behind it, due to nothing you have said being based on observable facts. On a forum where people are free to voice opinions, people will often having clashing ones. The point of threads like these is to question your own belief and then either change your mind or strengthen your already present belief, which once again you are free to do one way or the other, my goal isn't to convince anyone.


A negative reaction is what starts whatever it is you think I am trying to instigate by voicing my own thoughts on your post.


My apologies if you took offense, though.


Self pity will not rescue you.
Sometimes we have to save our own lives,
not because no one else cares, but because no one else can.

Life for you has been less than kind
So take a number, stand in line
We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt
But how we survive is what makes us who we are.

Dreamed up the maps, give me the charcoal and the paper
We invent paths they cannot see, and they're too scared to walk


Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you are free to do anything.

Last edited by Terry; July 18th 2012 at 10:16 AM.
   
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