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Death and afterlife

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by RedFox742, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. RedFox742

    RedFox742 Power/Prog Devotee

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    Do you believe in the afterworld or the afterlife?
    Do you agree there's a place for us beyond our life
    Where the timeless call for life is lost and you will see
    The forgotten dreams that you once had become reality

    - Gamma Ray, "Afterlife"

    Been thinking a lot about death lately, from a more personal standpoint than usual. The inevitability, slow march towards it, and lack of knowledge about it is pretty horrifying when you think about it too much.

    Do you believe it erases the consciousness, resulting in complete eternal oblivion? Do you believe in a tangible afterlife? Or in something beyond human comprehension? Or in something else completely? What's the best scenario, or the worst, in your mind?

    I've been reading a lot about near-death experiences; people who were temporarily medically dead. So many of the stories are similar; there's a lot of circumstantial evidence towards death not being a complete elimination of existence. But my skeptical mind still fears that's still the most likely scenario.

    It's coming for all of us. We are all slowly dying. Spooky.
     
  2. Kara-Shehr

    Kara-Shehr Member

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    Like you said, death is inescapable. It's not something I try to think about. I don't believe in any sort of afterlife, when it's over it's over.
    Growing comfortable with that is part of being alive for me.
     
  3. SLUTOPSY

    SLUTOPSY New Metal Member

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    I've had a near-death expereince and I still don't know if I believe in an afterlife. But I do feel like whatever stopped me from dying wanted me to stick around here a bit longer. So I'm a bit confused and have been ever since really.
     
  4. JayMo

    JayMo Wannabe Elitist

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    Unless you believe in hell/some sort of post-death suffering, there is no reason to fear death. If you believe you're going to heaven, then obviously you have nothing to fear. If you believe death is the end, then why fear that? It sounds depressing right up until that point where you realize that you won't have any consciousness - You won't know you're dead, as there will be no you to know anything. What is death like? I'd expect it's the same as what life was like before you were born. Was that so bad? Death is no worse. It's threatening to the ego to imagine non-existence, but once you've overcome your own ego, there is nothing left to dread. Certainly you should not enjoy life any less knowing that it will expire at some point. If anything, the briefness of life ought to make you appreciate every moment that much more. Nothing lasts forever, so how can you take anything for granted? Everything is made more precious with the knowledge that you only have so many moments left to enjoy it.
     
  5. RedFox742

    RedFox742 Power/Prog Devotee

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    I've tried to reconcile the idea of eternal oblivion with pre-birth and pre-conception, but it just leads to an even bigger existential crisis: if the concept of a "me" didn't exist once, and in the future will again cease to exist, what the fuck am I now? What is the sum of my experiences and memories?

    One moment, the idea of everything going blank forever doesn't seem like the worst thing, and then it's like "THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IN SIXTY YEARS--HOW IS IT ANY DIFFERENT FROM IF IT HAPPENED TO YOU IN SIXTY SECONDS" and I freak the fuck out. I know I shouldn't, but I do.
     
  6. JayMo

    JayMo Wannabe Elitist

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    I don't know how satisfactory this response will be, but you are you. Now is where you are now. You are not in the past before you existed. You are not in the future when you will be dead. You are in the present where you are alive. This shall continue to be true right up to the point where it isn't, it which case you'll have no need (nor ability) to concern yourself with the question any longer. You are obviously a person who values his own life enough to ask questions, to wonder what he is doing here and what is the point of it all. That can be the beginning of something special. That can be the first step in coming to really appreciate your life here and now, to recognize that happiness and love are no less precious because they are not everlasting.

    In life, you can answer this question better than I. When you die, the answer is whatever impact you have made on those around you, the memories they have of you, what they learned from you... Maybe you helped make them a better person. Maybe you taught them something. Maybe their lives were more worth living for having known you. True, as the years pass, your influence will fade and finally evaporate save the chains of causality you (and all of us) have participated in. But like I said, why should you concern yourself with that when you do not occupy the future. You dwell in the present.

    How is it any different? I suppose that, after the fact, it isn't any different - not from your perspective, anyway. It can make a difference right now, though. Recognizing that death can come at any time may help motivate you to get the most out of life while you can. We could probably discuss how exactly one might go about that all day long. In any case, it is an argument against idleness, against indifference... It is a call to follow your dreams and make the most of your opportunities. Please forgive me if that sounds cheesy, but that's how I look at it.


    I remember years ago having a lot of the same feelings you're having. I grew up very religious. Once I left religion behind I reached a point where I had to confront the fact that there probably is no heaven, no afterlife. It bothered me for a while, until I realized how much better my life was without all of that. Simple things like listening to a beautiful piece of music or taking a walk in the wilderness became moving life experiences, precious moments that I embraced as fully as I could. I stopped taking relationships for granted and made sure to treat loved ones as well as I was able. That knowledge that wherever I was, whatever I was doing, that I would never be there again... It made every moment sacred.
    I don't know if it'll work the same way for you. I hope you are able to find peace one way or the other. So I apologize if my amateurish, pseudo-philosophical ramblings aren't doing it for you. I'm just a guy who loves life, trying to share a little bit of how I found that love.
     
  7. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    judeo-christian "heaven and hell" are just artificial constructs that allow us (as a species) to deal with death
     
  8. RedFox742

    RedFox742 Power/Prog Devotee

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    Maybe. Maybe not. NDE's offer a lot of circumstantial evidence that consciousness survives death. But there's problems with them, too.

    I'm also at a point in my life where I don't have much to care about besides my own health and existence. I have a feeling that perhaps once I have actual love, kids in my life, that my outlook will stop being so self-centered.
     
  9. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    NDE's are a hallucination caused by being so close to death
     
  10. RedFox742

    RedFox742 Power/Prog Devotee

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    Many people who have gone through NDEs report learning things that they have absolutely no business knowing. However, this could be a coincidence, or tainted by what we want to believe. But I certainly don't think they deserve nothing more than pithy dismissal.

    I like to think that whatever is or isn't beyond death, it's a positive thing. Maybe that's the best way to look at it.
     
  11. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Heaven and hell aren't actually "Judeo-Christian" constructs. But that kind of uneducated bullshit is to be expected from someone like you.
     
  12. Yula

    Yula n00b

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    I completely agree with JayMo. =)

    About Heaven and Hell.....

    I think they (Heaven, Hell, sins, etc.) work not only as a way to deal with death but also as a way to establish a generally accepted moral standard. What I mean is, it is not a bunch of arbitrary norms that some person told you to obey, and you would probably question. You believe in it, it is a part of your daily life, it is the base of all your thoughts and actions. It is also something that makes individuals feel like a part of a community. The community accepts the norms that the religion asks them to follow because it is what the deity wants you to do, and if you do it not only you will go to Heaven/wherever (making you feel your life is not a waste of time), you will be accepted in the community as a 'decent member'. People who don't follow the rules, are outcasts, and are punished by the community to try to force them to obey the norms.

    Now, we can all say that now that is the role of the Government, but the Government and the Religion (and science) were one or almost one until the Modern Age (...the birth of modern natural science that considers as true only what you can proof with your 5 senses).

    IMHO. =P

    PS: Excuse any possible mistakes.
     
  13. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    this could be explained secularly by saying it's just "the collective unconscience" "esp" etc etc, having knowledge that you "shouldn't have" doesnt neccassarrily mean that the judeo-christian "God" exists, i do believe in the "First Cause" but i don't think that the first cause was "The Father of Jesus"
     
  14. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    exactly my thoughts
     
  15. Kara-Shehr

    Kara-Shehr Member

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    I think alot of people take this question as "what are your religious beliefs?" instead of "what are your personal beliefs on the subject?". Of course it's very difficult to answer the afterlife question without incorporating your religious beliefs into whatever answer you come up with, even if you're an atheist.
     
  16. Annesthesia

    Annesthesia New Metal Member

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    I've been thinking about all of this a lot lately, since I've recently graduated from college and gotten married. Growing up & college years kept me living in the moment and not thinkin about aging and death.. and now as an "adult" it sort of sunk in that, this is life, and it's speeding by.. A few months ago a guy I knew killed himself a few months ago at age 19, in the town park at about 3 am in the pouring rain.. that is such a lonely image to me that I can't completely forget. Death is lonely. Makes you think.
    The worst scenario as far as the afterlife that i can think of, I suppose, would be the Christian Heaven-Hell afterlife because I would go to Hell, not because I'm a bad person, but because I don't follow all the rules that the Bible lays out.
    However, I don't believe in all that. I think that, if there is a destination for those good and those bad, it would not be determined by whether or not a list of rules is followed. Wouldn't it depend more on the nature of your soul, and your intentions?
    Maybe people are missing something that's right here with us. Thoreau said, "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." People do not have enough respect for the planet on which we live. Maybe that's part of the answers to our questions.
    I am also way into paranormal stuff. What the hell are all these "ghosts" and "demons" that people seem to interact with in their lives? Are these floating human souls that have nowhere to go? Are they delaying entering Heaven or Hell? Do we really have the choice to go or stay?
    I'm not sure what I believe. I'd like to think there is something more in store for these souls inside these bodies.
    But I think another reason people fear death so much is because of the physical pain the comes along with dying. Some people are luckier than others, but I really don't want to die slowly and painfully. We just fear the unknown in general, so death is pain + uncertainty.
    Some think that death is like being asleep.. But in sleep, we do dream. If death is one long sleep, will we be dreaming?
    I hope we'll be able to comprehend the answers to these questions when we find out.
     
  17. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    so says the military guy that looks down his nose at civilians
     
  18. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    i totally agree with this^^^
    the whole following "God's rules" thing never made sense to me
    if you read the Spiderman comic, and if you're going by what the Bible says, then Spiderman's going to hell, because he's having sex outside of marriage (having sex with Carlie Cooper and Black Cat after Mephisto erased his marriage from existance in the One More Day/Brand New Day story arc) also i'm pretty sure spiderman was having pre-marital sex because he had 5 different girlfriends before he got together with Mary-Jane Watson
     
  19. D_Vincent

    D_Vincent New Metal Member

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    Interesting thread.

    Im not religious however I would like to believe there is a god and a better place we go to after we pass on.

    I try to do the right thing in life and try not to hurt or harm others because i think its the right thing to do however I dont do that because of religion or anything...just feels like the right way to be...treat people the way you would want to be treated.

    All I know for sure is that something major must of happened 2011 years ago...it was major enough to reset the calendar/date.

    When I hear people say they dont believe in Jesus/god i have to wonder if they also dont believe in the date because its 2011 years after the death of Jesus...if you dont believe in jesus then you dont believe in the date and if you dont believe in the date you cant possibly believe in your own birth date which means you really dont believe in your one existence...lol.

    Im not religious though however from what Ive read on religion all you have to do is believe Jesus is your savior and you will make it in to heaven...I guess it cant hurt to do that just in case there is a heaven and hell.

    If there isnt a heaven or hell perhaps death is similar to what it was like before you were born...whatever that was.
     
  20. Grank

    Grank The Great Owl

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    Death and the Afterlife, hmmmmmmm. I have reason to believe whole-heartedly there is a beyond. Who is the ultimate authority on this subject? Jesus Christ. Only being to ever come back from the grave in full, historically speaking. There have been others that have been pronounced clinically dead and are still living, it's common to happen.

    When I pass I will pass. Do I know how or when? I would rather not know ahead of time unless it was revealed to me via revelation. My girlfriend's mother has seen the other side. I believe her in what she has to say about it as far as the experience goes.

    If I live 70 years I would have farted 357,700 times, give or take 100 (average farts a day: fourteen). I also have lived each day pressing the CLEAR button on my calculator before turning it off. Life is good.
     

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