Does life exist after death?

Weighing the Soul

Although taught by many religions, I have always experienced difficulty in accepting the concept of some form of life after death. The form of afterlife can vary between religions from resurrection, reincarnation to some form of continued existence. The religious beliefs of most of us are heavily influenced by our parents even if they are non-practising. As children we tend to accept without question what our parents say and this is often reinforced by other forms of religious teaching external to the home. It is not until our individual minds mature are we able to question some of the teachings. Many possibly never do and prefer to store any questions of the divine into an area of the brain marked sacred and untouchable, an area not to be delved into.

We are normally taught about a mysterious undefined “thing” that we all possess called the soul that apparently exists for each of us although no one can show one or has ever seen one. If you pause for a moment and try to locate your own soul now you will probably be unsuccessful. We are somehow supposed to believe that after we die and our bones and flesh are nothing more than dust, this unspecified essence of our former selves will continue for eternity.

A vast number of people including myself believe in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution which is now more than just theory. This shows how all life is constantly evolving and splitting into different species. even human beings, (Homo sapiens), have evolved as other common genetic ancestors like Neanderthals have died out.

I was taught that only human have souls and somehow animals do not. Although as a child I accepted this, I would now question how those that cannot even see their own soul, if it exists, can determine whether any other creature has one. As the human race evolved there must have been a point in time when our ancestors were more animal than human. At which point was it determined that a particular person had a soul but their parents did not? Was it when a descendant was say 51% more human by today’s terms than their parents? Did anyone tell them? Presumably this also meant the souls of these early ancestors still exist somewhere but somehow, their parents who did not possess a soul have gone into oblivion. It does seem to me a logical impossibility to make such a determination.

I also wonder what is the purpose of this essence of our being after our death? Will it also have the ability to think and reason without a brain? I find the concept of going to some for of heaven or nirvana for eternity to be completely mind numbing.

As you may have already guessed, I personally do not believe in life after death or the existence of a soul. What I believe exists after death is exactly the same as existed before birth, oblivion. I do understand there is a will in the human psyche for the need of an afterlife but belief and desire will never change whether life actually exists after death or not.

The thought of eventual oblivion does not bother me at all in the same way I was not concerned about events in the universe or the world before I was born. I tend to be pragmatic about an afterlife. It either exists, or it does not, nothing I or anyone else says or does will change that. If an afterlife does exist then one day will all know the answer to that when we eventually die. If an afterlife does not exist, then none of us are going to worry about it after we are gone.

It does seem strange that after the thousands of years mankind has inhabited the earth, the answers about an afterlife in terms of proof rather than belief remain unanswered.

Strange as it may seem, I am still not an atheist.

5 Responses

  1. I read your Blog about life after death. You say you are not an athiest, so do you believe in God. Do you read the Bible? Have you read Jesus words in John 3 v.l6. What do you make of this? Just interested to have your comments. Regards Sylvia

  2. Hello Sylvia,

    Yes I do believe in a God but personally to me, he is unfortunately not the all caring god I was led to believe in as a child. When I think of things like the Holocaust in the last war when more Jews were murdered than possibly existed at the time of Christ, let alone the millions more of all nations who died during the war, I find it difficult to be impressed by the concept of a God who cares for mankind.

    Yes I have read the Bible but with the passage of time, I tend to find it a wonderful historical document with more than a few yarns threading through it.

    The famous verse from John 3 v.16 is written or dicated by John, (I don’t know if John could write), but it is written in the past tense rather than future tense. That is to say, after the event rather than prior to it. To me assuming that John actually wrote this, the past tense makes this John’s personal opinion. Because the way the text is worded from John 3 v.16 – v.21, there are some people who think that this section may have been added at a later time, possibly by someone else. I am however not a theological scholar and leave those arguements to others.

    In a way, I find the scriptures were much like the internet of yesterday. Much of them are full of personal opinion. Today the internet is full of personal opinion much the same as my article is. One thing I certainly never do is try to dissuade a person from their religious beliefs as it such a personal thing which everyone has a right to express. All I am trying to express in my article is why I as an individual have difficulty in accepting the concept of an afterlife.

    Only one thing is logically sure in terms of an afterlife, if it does exist then eventually we will all know about it. If it does not exist, then none of us will ever know but by that stage, none of us would be worried about it either.

    • Thanks for your reply. I am not a theology scholar either, so will probably not put this very well.but Christians beleive that the Bible is God inspired. The words in John 3 l6 were Jesus words and must have been so important to the listeners that they were recorded. There is another verse I beleive in Hebrew, Without faith it is impossible to please God. So faith plays an important part. God does sometimes step in and save people. have you read Corrie Ten Boom, about her time in the concentration camp. Remember God gave people free will. If he didn’t we would all be robots. I wish you could speak to someone more versed in the Christian faith than me. Perhaps you will. I know people who have been saved from danger when they have prayed. I can understand that one can have difficulty in beleiving in an afterlife if they were looking for proof. Personally, I am going to leave that to God.
      On another theme I would like to say how I enjoy reading your Muses and about your time in the Fire Service. Take care. Sylvia

  3. I believe in God but the point I would make is that I think if there were no afterlife there is no logic to this life. in other words I don’t see the point of being born just to live and die if that’s all there is to it. Mankind went their own way choosing to be independent of God therefore God said “Ok get on with it” but we haven’t done all that well have we? Despite all mankind’s advances in technology we have never learnt how to live in peace with one another, there’s always wars and lets face it the worlds in a mess. Whether people believe in Creation or evolution we still haven’t progressed much. I also think that we don’t really get that long on earth to do all we want to do and even if we do, once you die, whatever you’ve learned isn’t much good to you anyway. You cant take it with you. Also there’s a terrible imbalance as some have it all and others are severely disadvantaged. surely there ought to be a leveling out somewhere? I don’t believe in pushing religion at anyone this is just my thoughts on things. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.( On a lighter note, where I live there is an elderly neighbor who is always saying to me “You must have an opinion! You cant just sit on the fence about things.” Fair enough, but the moment I have an opinion she jumps on me!) But seriously nobody knows what’s going to happen after we die , its just a question of having faith. Jesus said about Thomas the apostle he believed what he could see but even more blessed are those who believe without seeing. I like the idea of having a Creator its nice to have someone to look up to . also the world does seem to be rather well designed just the right amount of ingredients that we need. Maybe God set it all into motion and things developed. I don’t believe I am descended from a monkey, but I suppose its (to quote my neighbor,) a matter of opinion.

  4. I did want to say that people are quick to blame God when things go wrong, but they like Him when things go right. Seems a bit fair weather to me. You know you can have friends like that. See there’s always been wars and things going wrong, but it seems to be intensifying. I don’t think the world has ever been the way it is today. At one time there was a healthy respect for parents but look at todays youth for example. Also the increase in crime and disasters, weird weather, civil unrest and economical problems all over the world. and people haven’t got time for each other any more. its all materialism now. Even Christmas has lost its meaning, its just commercial. Life seems harsher now, its hard for people to live, everything’s so expensive and there’s a sense of time speeding up. It says in the Scriptures all this would happen. Jesus said in Matthew 24 of these things. it all seems to be coming I don’t think people can ignore what’s going on. I have noticed this all escalated from 1914 and with technology changing so rapidly where is all this leading? For the 1st time in our history mankind has the capacity to blow the world to pieces. Its worth pondering.

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