Showing posts with label afterlife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label afterlife. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Life After Death.


Is there life after death? We can't prove that there isn't life after death.

No, but we can live as if it doesn't matter. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life Before Death


I have considered the various fables of after death existence, reincarnation, physical or emotional resurrection, and find them all manipulative to distract the individual from paying attention to a personal contribution to society.  I choose, in the words of Forrest Church, "To live a life worth dying for." 

I see life after death every time I read a favorite book by a dead person, when I think about the lessons in self reliance taught by a special uncle on a pack trip into the high Sierra when I was 10, when I remember the importance of giving pleasure to strangers when my sister played an impromptu concert in a department store lobby on the display piano, and standing up to authority when she said to the guard "The rope is to save it for me."

I could go on endlessly and do in quiet moments of reflection.  I think I have Paid it Forward by doing my part for others, by teaching the lessons I have learned and creating some of my own.  I am content with my legacy, which is, not incidentally, a gift from a deceased person.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Keys to Heaven

Do you ever wish there was a jesus, a god, a day when all that is wrong will be made right? Do you wish there was a place where children go after they leave this place in terror to a place where they can play and smile and have no knowledge of the terror we witnessed them go through.    matica

Thanks for your thoughts, by choosing this forum I assume you are not looking for confirmation but discussion. 

Very early in my life I came to understand that God, or Jesus, or whoever holds the keys to heaven is a cop out to avoid dealing with the real issues of the world.  If you try to filter out the real Jesus from the crap taught by Christianity you find a single person working with the poor and powerless to give them help in the world they live in.  Being a responsible person does not mean personally changing the world, even Jesus didn't do that, but making as much difference in the lives of others, the children especially, to release their potential is much more important than wishing God will take care of it.   Available evidence is nil that he will either in this life or the next.  

Note that Jesus did release the potential of a few fishermen, who were able to keep his ministry alive to produce the Gospels.

I am an older person, many of my important relatives who shaped my life are no longer alive.  I do not wish they are in a better place, I do however remember how they made my valuable and useful space a better and more beautiful place to be.  I expect to continue building on their Legacy until the time comes when I will leave that valuable and useful space to those who follow.  In the mean time I will continue to tell their stories that were important to me in the hope they those stories will be helpful to others as well.  I admit to a bias for only the good stories, as those make the world a little better than it was before.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christian asks about Dying

I hope you followed the link to legacy it should explain much. With nothing expected after death, you look backward, if you have taught your children well, all of them, not just your own, you should be confident that there are many who can build on your legacy for a better world for all who follow.

Thinking about the unknown that happens after death is a waste of time. All the data points to no answer. If there is something after death it would make no difference at all in how I live. If I have lived a moral, useful life any possible afterlife concierge would consider that and nothing else. Or as Forrest Church frequently charged "Live a life worth dying for." Note the active verb is "live."

Consider the second runner in a relay race. What does hesh think as hesh passes the baton? Hesh is probably the weakest runner, but if hesh did herm very best, the others may win the race. So, as hesh ran all that mattered was that hesh ran well. Focusing on anything else would doom the race.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Afterlife Considerations

So What? - beliefnet

The probability of an afterlife is so low as to be a useless consideration in living. The chances of God mediating an afterlife are even lower. The chances of God's mediation of an afterlife based on religious choice are nil.

Friday, June 10, 2011

No Afterlife?

Is Theism Simply ... The Fear of Facing Reality? - Beliefnet

No afterlife at all. When I die, nothing remains but a few ashes. If I have done my job in this life I will have affected a lot of people who will either grow with it and affect others, or not. In either case I neither know nor care after death. I do however, know and care now and that affects the way I will conduct whatever life is left to me. And has affected the way I have conducted my life up to this point. I have seen people I affected grow to greatness. I am content.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meaning, Purpose and the Afterlife

Is This Life All There Is?. - Beliefnet

the meaning will vanish. the very moment the person dies. it will be as if they had never been on this earth because:

Ain't no because. This is just flat wrong morally, factually, spiritually, and in the words of Fler0002

It sounds] like a plan that not only creates fears of what happens after death, but also creates in humanity fears of each other. Fears of any tolerance for anything other than what is sanctified by the church. Fears that turn into hatreds. Fears that turn into witch hunts. Fears that turn into jihads, crusades, and terrorism.

1. they will have no awareness of having been on earth.

They will have been acutely aware of living, knowing each day that they are making differences in the lives of others. Major or minor, each difference reinforces their membership in that great and dominant species of humanity, which exists for the purpose of making a difference in the lives of other humans and indeed many other species on the planet. <

2. all people who ever knew them will eventually depart earth, leaving no one behind to 'speak good things about them.'

So what? Those people if they did their job as a human being well and influenced them properly and effectively will have continued their Legacy and built on all that is worth while in that legacy. They don't need to be remembered by name although some will be. But 'There is no limit to what you can accomplish if it doesn't matter who gets the credit.' Ralph Waldo Emerson, d. April 27, 1882. I am relatively certain that he did not consider this quote one of his major contributions to humanity. In fact it was buried until Truman resurrected it, or reinvented it. But please note that all the people who knew Emerson are now departed from the earth. But others who never knew him are still speaking good things about him.

meaning... getting up and going to work, does exist, albeit temporarily. so long as one does NOT contemplate purpose, ie why do I / everything exist.

the moment one assigns zero value to purpose, they run the risk of waking up to the fact that any answer they may have assigned to meaning...becomes worthless in the end.

Only a theist can assign zero value to purpose. If purpose comes from a non-existent or at least numinous and indefinable God it is no surprise believers assign zero value to the purpose of being human.

My purpose in life is far from zero. It is to make as much difference in the lives of other humans and others dependent on humans as possible. I am extremely careful to insure that the differences I am making are good for the individual and for the society of which I am a part. I may not always succeed, but I can normally repair the damage, and part of my purpose as a human is to do whatever it takes to do so.

and many people spend hurrendous amounts of energy trying NOT to have to admit this to themselves out of fear there is no value to anything.

They are called believers in the afterlife.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Morality as Face Group

Please Critique My Idea Of God - Beliefnet:

"Managing my life for the good of my chosen society is more basic than a call by God on my conscience. Humans as highly intelligent and extremely social animals are genetically programmed to learn all they can about the customs and mores of their tribe or social group as defined prehistorically by those whose faces they encountered on a daily basis. There could be no thought of violating these customs and mores, as doing so would cause banishment and a solo human was a dead human. This is the basis of conscience, not some big daddy in the sky. As tribes got larger and the face groups dispersed, myth and lore took the place of customs and mores, and the shamans in charge of maintaining the myth and lore found that an imaginary superface as part of every group, inevitably in the image of the group was very useful to enforce the precepts of the myth and lore. Hence the evolution of your First Cause, traditionally referred to as God. As shamans and God became more powerful and manipulative many of the conscience functions and exceptions to them became the province of God. Do what God tells you to do began to override the do what is right of the conscience. Especially when God got to be Maitre d'Hotel of the afterlife, and doing what God tells you to do became the cumshaw.

The reason I feel the need to take control of my life is twofold. The first is as you note the conscience but in the original sense of internalized customs and mores of the face group. The world is too big to be a face group these days but if we choose carefully there are a group of people whose customs and mores we can internalize. That group will look a lot like our family and close friends even when extended to people we probably will never meet. My group consists of intelligent, well educated, self actualizing people who are capable of and interested in making changes to the relevant society of intelligent, well educated, self actualizing people. Most of us have found God and gods of any form limiting and dysfunctional to our society.

One of the results is the second reason for ignoring God, that is that the only life that counts is the one that begins with birth and ends with death. It is the only one we can be sure of, and Pascal's wager fails on the plethora of possible God bets each with different rules for living. So we live as if the only important contribution we can make is by living according to the best interests of our chosen society. The agnostics among us suggest that if God is the Maitre d' in the afterlife that is all Hesh would care about anyway."

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Life after death? - Beliefnet :

"Then you had better build Paradise here and now while you are alive to enjoy it. Select your friends, and your affective inputs, movies, TV, books, music, carefully, and you may find it. Let others choose for you and you are stuck in the equivalent of a religious dictatorship."

Atheist Belief Systems?

How many flavors are there? - Beliefnet:

"In a lifetime of living as an atheist, and primarily with atheists, I have yet to find any with belief systems. They may incorporate items from other belief systems into their world view, or as I prefer to call it their paradigm for making it from birth to death and in my case building a legacy in the process. Is the space I am building for others to enjoy when I die a belief in an afterlife? I don't think so. I won't be there to enjoy it.

I do not spend any time on the supernatural, the natural contains enough transcendent wonder for my needs, especially when enhanced by the beauties of well done science at all levels. It is amusing to build fantasies on Universalist afterlife theology (which I am not sure even they believe in) but they are fantasies not a reason to abandon a focus on living."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

And After the Ashes?

Owning Your Own Shadow - Beliefnet

What is the 'real' earth? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, this is what becomes of us, our bodies return to the earth, after that no one knows, but some suspect it is a very big cosmos, inner and outer.

"It is a tradition in our family to distribute the ashes at the Celebration of Life ceremony to those present to be spread to significant places for the deceased. My sister's ashes are in the Mississippi River with her parents, on a beach in Hawaii frequented by her still living best friend, on Chopin's grave (shhh, don't tell the caretakers), on several pianos of those who loved her playing, in the well used and fondly remembered by all fire pit in her back yard spilled intentionally during the distribution, and many other places of significance to those who think of her often.

As to what happens after, like you, my sister is ready and eager to accept each new challenge as it comes, to crawl under the ropes around the piano in the mall and draw a crowd. If it was God who put the ropes around the piano, Hesh will smile and say 'They are for everybody but you, Janet, please continue.' Chopin will be leading the ovation."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Live a Good Life

The Story of God - Beliefnet

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
—Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Thank you Cryano for bringing this to my attention. I had forgotten it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cold and Dark?

Life after death: a thought experiment - Beliefnet

And that 10,000 Million Year-old Light continues to propagate and effect even AFTER its Original Generator has gone Dark and Cold ...

"As will some of the things I generate continue to propagate and effect even after I have gone cold and dark. Some will be mine. Some will be those of people long since gone cold and dark.

Right now I am thinking of my great grandmother whose children's songs that I have made my own and pass on in my turn have delighted countless people. One of them probably has delighted you, not through my efforts, but by a child in her preschool who took one of her songs to the Yale Whiffenpoofs. They changed the bridge, but the poor little lambs that stray were probably hers."

I have no interest in even thinking about what will happen to my soul when I am cold and dark. I doubt that anything will happen to it, but in the 1 in 10 billion chance that the light will hit some photoreceptor after it has gone out, it will be evaluated by what I did with that soul while I was alive. I intend to insure that my soul shines as brightly as I can drive it in this life. Some of us may make it to supernova, but even the random blip in the APOD deep field is important at least to the texture of the overall scene. It works for me

Life after death.

Life after death: - Beliefnet

huh ... So ... the Light from that Star 10,000 Million Light Years distant is from a Star STILL THERE ... ??? Shining ... ??? ... huh ...

"10 billion years is beyond expectation for the life of any star. By now it is recycled into dust clouds or perhaps a new star. However, the light we see is a small instant in the life of the star, a few photons collected on a photocell or film. Yet that dead star affected us. It taught us a little more about the early universe. (Or at least taught those able to understand.) Was it necessary for that star to have eternal life to teach us something?

If in some small instant in our lives we make a difference in some other person's 'photocell' do we need eternal life to prove it? You may worry about God's eternal 'photocell' but I don't. I will worry about those around me and make as much difference as I can to make their lives better. That is all I need. I don't need to brag about it forever."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life after death?

Problem with Pascal's wager - Discuss Atheism - Beliefnet Community

We RESENT The Facts of Mortality, Contingency, Suffering, and Death ... So we BLAME 'God' or 'diss' Existence Itself as 'shit' ...

Some of you may do either. The most common is to blame God, or diss the human condition as shit. Both of which are religious concepts. Others have come to terms with the fact that life is finite and while there are unpredictable intervals of suffering we realize that this life is all there is, and we had best work through the suffering and contingencies to make what we can of it before our inevitable death. We try to live so that our legacy at death will be something that those following us can build on and enjoy. I don't resent the challenges of building a life worth dying for, and I don't waste a bit of life worrying about what might happen after. Particularly as nothing at all that I can change in this life will make any difference afterward. Re. Pascal's wager: If there is, paraphrasing Grantland Rice, One Great Scorer that makes Herm mark against your name, Hesh marks not that you won or lost, but how you played the game."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thoughts on listening to the Brahms Requiem.

102.1 KDFC - Casual. Comfortable. Classical. - THE SACRED CONCERT: "Johannes Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem “German Requiem”
Movements I-IV (44:28)
Gundula Janowitz, soprano
Tom Krause, baritone
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus
Bernhard Haitink, conductor
“Ein deutsches Requiem”
Philips 411 436-2"

If I were ever going to be tempted by Pascal's Wager it would be the God of Brahms. I don't know who to tithe to. The above recording is out of print. Haitink takes it slowly and reverently as I expect Brahms would have liked.

If the Handbriet is all we have on earth I am sure that Gott would like us to live it to the fullest in preparation for continuation in the Lieblich Wohnungen.

Brahms Universalism seems to me to make the life of the living more important to live well. I can't imagine the dwelling that would be prepared for the hate filled here on earth. I would certainly expect that it would be well marked, a huge round building with an enormous cross on the top, so that all who are living in the Lieblich parts could give it a wide berth.

It is a pleasant fantasy but not too likely. It is nice to know that it doesn't make any difference in living.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spirit continuation after death.

Belief Corner: Religious and Political Debate - agnostic atheist and agnostic theist?: "UPGs are not particularly reliable in dealing with the unknowable. If there is any continuation of the spirit after death, highly unlikely in my UPG, but possible, we will all go to the same place when we die. It will be a natural continuation of the way we lived unmediated by supernatural influences. In other words it will be a completely natural continuation of the spirit we nurtured while alive. Which tells me that whether a UPG includes an afterlife or not, one better be sure that the spirit they are nurturing in this life is one which they would like to live with forever. My guess is that it is WYSIWYG once it posts after death."

Those who think Pascal's wager will make any difference after death seem to me to be taking the short end of the odds if they are neglecting their personal spiritual enrichment in this life. I wonder what it would be like to spend eternity in Westboro Baptist Church? Sure sounds like Hell to me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life After Death?

Life After Death? - Beliefnet Forums:

...does it also mean that you don't believe in some sort of existence beyond this one? Or are those two totally separate things--so would you find some who do and some who don't?

I would suspect that a person that does not put herm faith in God would have first resolved the Pascal Wager and arranged their life so that an afterlife is irrelevant. That is if there is one all participate, doing pretty much what they did in observable life with no sorting, hence no placating an alleged sorter. But in my experience most atheists think it is such a long shot that they don't think about it at all."

For me it is simply a pleasant fantasy to assist in remembering and celebrating those who are dead. As in: it would be nice to ask Beethoven what he was thinking about in the third movements of the first and third piano concertos. Was it really a children's playground? The chances of it happening after I die? Nil. But it happened just now, and in a real sense this might be Beethoven's afterlife.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How do you think about death?

Death - Beliefnet Forums:
To paraphrase Forrest Church, who by the way, is a theist, death is the reason many of us try to live a life that will be worth dying for. Most atheists have come to terms with the near certainty that death is the recycling of the body and the recycling of The proud thoughts and the humble things that were important to the deceased.

In the extremely unlikely event that there is some continuity after death, it will be a natural result of being alive. The only possible scenario that I can conceive of is that the continuation, spirit if you will, will be able to interact with all the other deceased spirits that were important prior to death.

As noted the probability of this is so close to nil that I had better enjoy The proud thoughts and the humble things of the legacy of all that have preceded me and enabled the richness of my living. I devote most of my effort to contributing to and enriching that legacy, that those that follow me may have even more to work with and recycle."