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When we die

Frederick53
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8/17/2012 11:22:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
A major part of religion is answering the question 'What happens when we die'.

Although nobody can be 100% sure, the most logical answer is this- Remember what it was like before you were born? Well that's what it's like after you die. Nonexistence. Nothing. Not terrible pain or eternal isolation, but just unconsciousness.

I personally don't have a hard time accepting that. What do you guys think of such an explanation?
In 1975, the Second Vietnam War began -1Historygenius

Like no wonder that indian dude rejected you.- Darkkermit to royalpaladin

Social Darwinism is a justification- 1Historygenius

Equal opportunity exists, so there is no problem- EvanK
TheBossToss
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8/17/2012 11:26:26 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
As an atheist, I support that view. You just go bye-bye foreverz, really.
Cats. I like cats.
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That was real intellectual property theft. They used her idea for their own profit and fame. When I pirate, I am usually downloading textbooks that I cannot afford to purchase on my own and that I do not want my parents to spend money on.
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000ike
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8/17/2012 11:29:06 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:22:56 AM, Frederick53 wrote:
A major part of religion is answering the question 'What happens when we die'.

Although nobody can be 100% sure, the most logical answer is this- Remember what it was like before you were born? Well that's what it's like after you die. Nonexistence. Nothing. Not terrible pain or eternal isolation, but just unconsciousness.

I personally don't have a hard time accepting that. What do you guys think of such an explanation?

If we accept that there's nothing else to human existence than the physical body, then it's not hard to believe. What happens when you unplug your computer? What happens when you plug it back? The most important evidence here is the fact that we can revive dead people. I'm not sure how you can look at that and still claim there's a ghost in the machine.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
twocupcakes
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8/17/2012 11:50:03 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," Stephen Hawking

This makes sense. We are aware because of our brain. When the brain stops working, we no longer will be aware. Afterlife just seems like wishful thinking.
Reason_Alliance
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8/17/2012 11:55:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:22:56 AM, Frederick53 wrote:
A major part of religion is answering the question 'What happens when we die'.

Although nobody can be 100% sure, the most logical answer is this- Remember what it was like before you were born? Well that's what it's like after you die. Nonexistence. Nothing. Not terrible pain or eternal isolation, but just unconsciousness.

I personally don't have a hard time accepting that. What do you guys think of such an explanation?

As Thomas Nagel has pointed out, the idea of absurdity is essentially the idea of a discrepancy or mismatch, which is illustrated by both a scenario in which a notorious criminal is made president of a major philanthropic foundation and a romantic moment in which one declares one's love over the telephone to a recorded announcement (Nagel 2000, p. 178).

So if the purpose of life is to have a certain experience and a person fails to have it, there is a discrepancy or mismatch in that individual's life. This argument deserves careful consideration. According to Nagel, we are beings who take things, including our lives, seriously.

We have, however, the capacity to step back and survey ourselves and the lives that we take seriously and inevitably exercise that capacity. For example, an individual like Mother Theresa took seriously a life of helping the poor and destitute in Calcutta. And, like anyone else, she had the capacity to step back and survey her life. According to Nagel, when she stepped back and surveyed her life she was inevitably led to ask the question, "Is a life of helping the poor and destitute in Calcutta worth taking seriously?"

Or take a person who lives for trying to impress other people. He too has the capacity to step back and survey his life. When he does so, he will ask, "Is a life of trying to impress others worth taking seriously?"

Nagel believes that no matter what kind of life an individual takes seriously, it will always be subject to a discrepancy in the form of a question about that life that does not have a justified answer. No matter what kind of life one has lived, it is not worth taking seriously: "There does not appear to be any conceivable world (containing us) about which unsettlable doubts could not arise" (Nagel 2000, p. 181).

But given that perfect happiness (heaven) is intrinsically good, someone who asks whether it is worth taking seriously and believes that there is no good reason to think that it is is seriously confused.

As Paul Edwards points out, "It makes sense for a person to ask about something ‘Is it really worthwhile?' or ‘Is it really worth the trouble?' if he does not regard it as intrin- sically valuable. . . . It does not make sense [however] to ask such a question about some- thing he regards as valuable in its own right. . . ." (Edwards 2000, p. 141).

Thus, on the understanding of the purpose of life (to enjoy God & his creation forever in perfect happiness), the most serious discrepancy or mismatch involving an individual would be a failure on his part to give perfect happiness the utmost attention that it is due. If anything is absurd, such a failure is.

And it's simply because perfect happiness is intrinsically good, one cannot help but desire its continuation. In other words, the idea of desiring a temporally finite complete happiness or an unending but incomplete happiness is conceptually suspect, if not incoherent. Because desire is conceptually ultimately aimed at the experience of what is intrinsically good and the avoidance of the experience of that which is intrinsically evil for their own sakes, no sane person can desire the cessation of perfect happiness or prefer the experience of an imperfect happiness over that which is perfect, given the availability of the latter. As Thomas Talbott has written, "[i]t is simply not possible . . . not to desire supreme happiness for its own sake" (Talbott 2001, p. 423).

Walls adds the following thoughts in support of this point:

Nothing short of [endless joy and satisfaction] will suffice to give us what we most deeply crave. The fact that we seek happiness is axiomatic. . . . Clearly, if some partial experience of happiness is desirable, perfect happiness is even more so. Either we have such happiness, or we do not. If we do not, then it is something we want, and if we never get it, our lives will end in some degree of frustration. On the other hand, if we have it, we would not want it to end. If it did end, then again, our lives would end in frustration. The only alternative to a frustrating end to our lives is perfect happiness, happiness without end. (Walls 2002, p. 195)

A comment by the atheist Kai Nielsen provides additional confirmation of the present point:

"As I am now in possession of the normal powers of life, with things I want to do and experience, with pleasure in life and with people I very much care for and who care for me, I certainly do not want to die. I should very much like, in such a state, to go on living forever" (Nielsen 2000, p. 154).

(Goetz)
Frederick53
Posts: 1,037
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8/17/2012 12:09:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:55:57 AM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:22:56 AM, Frederick53 wrote:
A major part of religion is answering the question 'What happens when we die'.

Although nobody can be 100% sure, the most logical answer is this- Remember what it was like before you were born? Well that's what it's like after you die. Nonexistence. Nothing. Not terrible pain or eternal isolation, but just unconsciousness.

I personally don't have a hard time accepting that. What do you guys think of such an explanation?

As Thomas Nagel has pointed out, the idea of absurdity is essentially the idea of a discrepancy or mismatch, which is illustrated by both a scenario in which a notorious criminal is made president of a major philanthropic foundation and a romantic moment in which one declares one's love over the telephone to a recorded announcement (Nagel 2000, p. 178).

So if the purpose of life is to have a certain experience and a person fails to have it, there is a discrepancy or mismatch in that individual's life. This argument deserves careful consideration. According to Nagel, we are beings who take things, including our lives, seriously.

We have, however, the capacity to step back and survey ourselves and the lives that we take seriously and inevitably exercise that capacity. For example, an individual like Mother Theresa took seriously a life of helping the poor and destitute in Calcutta. And, like anyone else, she had the capacity to step back and survey her life. According to Nagel, when she stepped back and surveyed her life she was inevitably led to ask the question, "Is a life of helping the poor and destitute in Calcutta worth taking seriously?"

Or take a person who lives for trying to impress other people. He too has the capacity to step back and survey his life. When he does so, he will ask, "Is a life of trying to impress others worth taking seriously?"

Nagel believes that no matter what kind of life an individual takes seriously, it will always be subject to a discrepancy in the form of a question about that life that does not have a justified answer. No matter what kind of life one has lived, it is not worth taking seriously: "There does not appear to be any conceivable world (containing us) about which unsettlable doubts could not arise" (Nagel 2000, p. 181).

But given that perfect happiness (heaven) is intrinsically good, someone who asks whether it is worth taking seriously and believes that there is no good reason to think that it is is seriously confused.

As Paul Edwards points out, "It makes sense for a person to ask about something ‘Is it really worthwhile?' or ‘Is it really worth the trouble?' if he does not regard it as intrin- sically valuable. . . . It does not make sense [however] to ask such a question about some- thing he regards as valuable in its own right. . . ." (Edwards 2000, p. 141).

Thus, on the understanding of the purpose of life (to enjoy God & his creation forever in perfect happiness), the most serious discrepancy or mismatch involving an individual would be a failure on his part to give perfect happiness the utmost attention that it is due. If anything is absurd, such a failure is.

And it's simply because perfect happiness is intrinsically good, one cannot help but desire its continuation. In other words, the idea of desiring a temporally finite complete happiness or an unending but incomplete happiness is conceptually suspect, if not incoherent. Because desire is conceptually ultimately aimed at the experience of what is intrinsically good and the avoidance of the experience of that which is intrinsically evil for their own sakes, no sane person can desire the cessation of perfect happiness or prefer the experience of an imperfect happiness over that which is perfect, given the availability of the latter. As Thomas Talbott has written, "[i]t is simply not possible . . . not to desire supreme happiness for its own sake" (Talbott 2001, p. 423).

Walls adds the following thoughts in support of this point:

Nothing short of [endless joy and satisfaction] will suffice to give us what we most deeply crave. The fact that we seek happiness is axiomatic. . . . Clearly, if some partial experience of happiness is desirable, perfect happiness is even more so. Either we have such happiness, or we do not. If we do not, then it is something we want, and if we never get it, our lives will end in some degree of frustration. On the other hand, if we have it, we would not want it to end. If it did end, then again, our lives would end in frustration. The only alternative to a frustrating end to our lives is perfect happiness, happiness without end. (Walls 2002, p. 195)

A comment by the atheist Kai Nielsen provides additional confirmation of the present point:

"As I am now in possession of the normal powers of life, with things I want to do and experience, with pleasure in life and with people I very much care for and who care for me, I certainly do not want to die. I should very much like, in such a state, to go on living forever" (Nielsen 2000, p. 154).

(Goetz)

I think that you misunderstand what I mean by 'acceptance'. I do not mean that I desire such an afterlife, or a lack there of, but that such a scenario does not clash with my personal understanding of life. You seem to think that whatever I believe to be true is also what I want to be true, which is false. I would like for there to be a heaven, I suppose, but I can not bring myself to believe that there is one.
In 1975, the Second Vietnam War began -1Historygenius

Like no wonder that indian dude rejected you.- Darkkermit to royalpaladin

Social Darwinism is a justification- 1Historygenius

Equal opportunity exists, so there is no problem- EvanK
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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8/17/2012 1:10:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:22:56 AM, Frederick53 wrote:
A major part of religion is answering the question 'What happens when we die'.

Although nobody can be 100% sure, the most logical answer is this- Remember what it was like before you were born? Well that's what it's like after you die. Nonexistence. Nothing. Not terrible pain or eternal isolation, but just unconsciousness.

I personally don't have a hard time accepting that. What do you guys think of such an explanation?

That sounds scary as hell.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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Reason_Alliance
Posts: 1,283
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8/17/2012 1:23:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 12:09:51 PM, Frederick53 wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:55:57 AM, Reason_Alliance wrote:

I think that you misunderstand what I mean by 'acceptance'.

I understood your post.

No where in my post did I presume to think that whatever you believed to be true is what you desired.

What my post DID say was that existential preference goes to theism. Meaning if we are to live an authentic life, then we ought to live as if our decisions MATTER.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.
Reason_Alliance
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8/17/2012 3:26:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.

Obviously, the default position of death is an afterlife. This awes people, so they enlighten themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are satisfied that bad people wont get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's not all psychological, there is good evidence of an afterlife.

Fix'd.
000ike
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8/17/2012 3:35:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:26:51 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.

Obviously, the default position of death is an afterlife. This awes people, so they enlighten themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are satisfied that bad people wont get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's not all psychological, there is good evidence of an afterlife.

Fix'd.

An appropriate response would be to provide the evidence for an afterlife, not mimic him. R_T is allowed to assert that there is no evidence because the burden of proof lies not on him, but you.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/17/2012 3:40:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:26:51 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.

Obviously, the default position of death is an afterlife. This awes people, so they enlighten themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are satisfied that bad people wont get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's not all psychological, there is good evidence of an afterlife.

Fix'd.

You can't fix it if it isn't broken. There is 0 evidence for an afterlife, it is for people scared of death. Death man's oldest fear, so you try to evade it with false beliefs. Cute, but utterly futile.
Reason_Alliance
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8/17/2012 3:47:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:35:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:26:51 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.

Obviously, the default position of death is an afterlife. This awes people, so they enlighten themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are satisfied that bad people wont get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's not all psychological, there is good evidence of an afterlife.

Fix'd.

An appropriate response would be to provide the evidence for an afterlife, not mimic him. R_T is allowed to assert that there is no evidence because the burden of proof lies not on him, but you.

Sure why not, I'll just lay 22 of the theistic arguments right here in this forum... that ought to convince ya! ...

The BoP is on both of us since both of us are making claims about reality which demand justification. There is no 'default' position when it comes to theism other than true blue agnosticism.
Reason_Alliance
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8/17/2012 3:48:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:40:03 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:26:51 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.

Obviously, the default position of death is an afterlife. This awes people, so they enlighten themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are satisfied that bad people wont get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's not all psychological, there is good evidence of an afterlife.

Fix'd.

You can't fix it if it isn't broken. There is 0 evidence for an afterlife, it is for people scared of death. Death man's oldest fear, so you try to evade it with false beliefs. Cute, but utterly futile.

... I knew you wouldn't see where genetic fallacies get you.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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8/17/2012 3:51:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:22:56 AM, Frederick53 wrote:
A major part of religion is answering the question 'What happens when we die'.

Although nobody can be 100% sure, the most logical answer is this- Remember what it was like before you were born? Well that's what it's like after you die. Nonexistence. Nothing. Not terrible pain or eternal isolation, but just unconsciousness.

I personally don't have a hard time accepting that. What do you guys think of such an explanation?

Well, given that it coincides with being knocked out or in a coma forever, which is essentially what it could be compared to, you'll just have to accept that this likely reality simply frightens people.

So, take that as something you can practically apply.

This is it.

Live it. Every single second of it.

Because, this is it.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/17/2012 3:53:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:47:41 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:35:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:26:51 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.

Obviously, the default position of death is an afterlife. This awes people, so they enlighten themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are satisfied that bad people wont get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's not all psychological, there is good evidence of an afterlife.

Fix'd.

An appropriate response would be to provide the evidence for an afterlife, not mimic him. R_T is allowed to assert that there is no evidence because the burden of proof lies not on him, but you.

Sure why not, I'll just lay 22 of the theistic arguments right here in this forum... that ought to convince ya! ...

The BoP is on both of us since both of us are making claims about reality which demand justification. There is no 'default' position when it comes to theism other than true blue agnosticism.

The burden is on you, we know death exists. You have to prove that death isn't real, and it's just a transition.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/17/2012 3:54:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:47:41 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:35:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:26:51 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:21:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Obviously, the default position is death is death. This scares people, so they delude themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are angry that bad people get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's all psychological, there is 0 evidence of an afterlife.

Obviously, the default position of death is an afterlife. This awes people, so they enlighten themselves with ideas of a good afterlife (heaven). They are satisfied that bad people wont get away with things, so they believe in a bad afterlife too (hell). It's not all psychological, there is good evidence of an afterlife.

Fix'd.

An appropriate response would be to provide the evidence for an afterlife, not mimic him. R_T is allowed to assert that there is no evidence because the burden of proof lies not on him, but you.

Sure why not, I'll just lay 22 of the theistic arguments right here in this forum... that ought to convince ya! ...

The BoP is on both of us since both of us are making claims about reality which demand justification. There is no 'default' position when it comes to theism other than true blue agnosticism.

Death = the end of life. We see people lose their lives all the time, the default position is death is real. You have to prove death is fake, and doesn't exist.
Ren
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8/17/2012 3:57:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:56:12 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also, the afterlife is illogical by definition. Death = End of life, Afterlife = life after death lol

Not necessarily.

It can refer to whatever is after life.

...which, clearly, doesn't necessarily have to be "life" by spiritual standards.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/17/2012 3:58:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:57:15 PM, Ren wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:56:12 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also, the afterlife is illogical by definition. Death = End of life, Afterlife = life after death lol

Not necessarily.

It can refer to whatever is after life.

...which, clearly, doesn't necessarily have to be "life" by spiritual standards.

I know not necessarily, I just thought it was funny (hence the "lol"). It wasn't a real argument against the afterlife.
Ren
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8/17/2012 4:00:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:58:39 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:57:15 PM, Ren wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:56:12 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also, the afterlife is illogical by definition. Death = End of life, Afterlife = life after death lol

Not necessarily.

It can refer to whatever is after life.

...which, clearly, doesn't necessarily have to be "life" by spiritual standards.

I know not necessarily, I just thought it was funny (hence the "lol"). It wasn't a real argument against the afterlife.

Oh, true.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/17/2012 4:00:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Anyone who cannot see that the idea of an afterlife is nothing more than psychological wishful thinking, is extremely deluded by their beliefs.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/17/2012 4:03:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Nobody wants to die, we all want to live forever...When Michael Shermer was asked about his position on the afterlife, he said:

"I'm for it!"

The point is, there is no evidence for it. Once you realize that death is nothing different than before you were born, you will realize there is nothing to dear. The problem is, people will always still fear death. This won't change, thus, there will always be unfounded afterlife myths.
Ren
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8/17/2012 4:04:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 4:00:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Anyone who cannot see that the idea of an afterlife is nothing more than psychological wishful thinking, is extremely deluded by their beliefs.

That's a bold statement.

The idea is that our essences, be that a persona or soul or whatever, endures while our physical body does not.

A lack of replicable evidence does not belie it's potential for reality, which I believe still rests at 50/50.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/17/2012 4:07:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 4:04:40 PM, Ren wrote:
At 8/17/2012 4:00:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Anyone who cannot see that the idea of an afterlife is nothing more than psychological wishful thinking, is extremely deluded by their beliefs.

That's a bold statement.

The idea is that our essences, be that a persona or soul or whatever, endures while our physical body does not.

A lack of replicable evidence does not belie it's potential for reality, which I believe still rests at 50/50.

Really? So there is a 50/50 chance that an killer snow man lives on the icy moon or Eropa because there is no evidence to support it or falsify it? How delusional. Almost all ideas with no evidence are false, anyone can make something up lol. Thus, there is almost certainly no afterlife.