Kill the afterlife

S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
I'm guessing these sites are a dime a dozen?

When one stops evangelizing God I guess the now-faithless have to evangelize something.
 
#3
I would say that Skeptiko has left me expecting (but not certain) that something will follow death. I think that does enhance this life, because there is much less of the sense of a final end that wipes out everything.

Even so, I think the prospect of an afterlife can be badly abused. I don't know whether those men who become suicide bombers for Islam are really offered 72 virgins, but clearly there is a lot of cynical manipulation going on.

David
 
#8
I've never understood the argument that an afterlife would inherently devalue the current life. You would think somewhere in there those making that argument would realize that the complete and utter deletion of yourself, your memories, your experiences, and your very existence would qualify as the ultimate devaluation of one's life, hidden behind the veil of "just live for now".

Now, the inevitable response is "well, an afterlife doesn't inherently add value/meaning". And that's true. I find that an eternal existence would probably be, as a whole, a net neutral experience. A highly finite existence would be negative, as one would be faced with existing for a brief time, all the while knowing that the time is fast approaching when they will cease to be, and there's not a thing they can do about it.

Probably a fear factor involved on both sides of the argument, really.
 
#9
Probably a fear factor involved on both sides of the argument, really.
Well some skeptics have pathologies resulting from fire and brimstone preachers, so anything that could possibly be used to put god back on the table has to be put away. Unfortunately any form of agency (non-determinism) or extra-planar existences (afterlives) can be used to re-enter gods in to the equation, thus illogical claims like "the afterlife reduces how I value my life so it should be debunked" instead of "I don't believe in an afterlife because the evidence is not sufficiently verifiable for my personal threshold."

Its kind of like why some people cling to determinism so heavily; I was recently sent to this article which discusses whether subatomic particles could have free will and a quote there mentions that these mathematical proofs require either full determinism or full belief in agency. The problem here is that if you accept free will, you must then accept that any degree of nature can be conscious, which indirectly means there is such a thing as universal consciousness, which means you have re-entered a possible definition of god back in to serious discourse. If you take the position I mentioned (anything which allows a definition of god to exist must be verbotten) then its easy to see why this kind of behavior happens.
 
#11
This seems to me very much a matter of personal interpretation. That is to say, the plain existence or non-existence of an afterlife is probably a neutral concept. It is the baggage which accompanies the concept which gives it meaning.

Nowadays it is almost impossible to consider an afterlife without at least being aware that many religious ideas include this within their scope. That's not to say that we need accept or reject any such ideas, but they must surely colour our outlook. It almost seems to me that the concept of 'afterlife' may be playing a proxy role here, where it stands in as a representative of some religious ideas.

Here we get closer to the heart of the matter. Some brands of fundamentalist belief do propose that we should live within particular rules in order to reap some reward or punishment at a later date. But as Boo boo pointed out in the opening post, some NDErs appreciate life more, not devalue it. Thus it appears to me that it isn't the afterlife which is the problem here, but rather the belief systems. Beliefs may be compared with a living thing, subject to change and growth, and also sometimes in need of a firm hand to get rid of dead wood and encourage fresh growth - if I may speak a little in generalities, as I have no specific target in mind here..
 
#14
That is nonsense, because if there is an afterlife, biological life is not necessarily devalued because biological life has meaning or not depending on what we do. Just happens that given the psychic evidence, the most likely is that exists a personal afterlife, but that has nothing to do with the meaning of life. And if that individual wants that there is no afterlife, then fortunately for me, this guy can not do anything about it.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
I am continually amazed by some fellow atheists who are so pathologically obsessed with something that they don't even believe in.
To be fair, religion influences so much of life in most places it's hard to ignore it. Not that religion doesn't have some kernels of truth, but there's a lot of clutter than needs to be cleared away before we can get down to the brass tacks....of realizing Absurdism and Mysterianism are the only valid paradigms. ;-)
 
#16
To be fair, religion influences so much of life in most places it's hard to ignore it. Not that religion doesn't have some kernels of truth, but there's a lot of clutter than needs to be cleared away before we can get down to the brass tacks....of realizing Absurdism and Mysterianism are the only valid paradigms. ;-)
True. But it rather reminds me of those sanctimonious preachers who turn out to be smoking crack and getting BJ's from rent boys. They'll bang on about how straight they are, but in reality..... So with this guy, I wonder if his blog is somehow a smokescreen for a pathological fear of death.

I suspect I am wrong though. I'm not exactly a doctor.
 
#17
I've never understood the argument that an afterlife would inherently devalue the current life.
It's basic economic theory: scarcity enhances value. If you have an infinite existence, then each individual action becomes less important. Take murder for instance - when you kill someone, if there is no afterlife then you have deprived this person of all of their possible life experiences. You have truly taken something away from them.

If we are all inifinite beings, or all part of the source, then if you kill someone, sure, you are depriving them of certain experiences, but you've given them the experience of being killed, and they will go on to have other experiences that they wouldn't have had had you not killed them. Given the relative little importance of any individual action on such a time scale, you haven't really harmed them.


BUT! Before that gets anyone up in arms, consider the fact that I don't think most people in either group really bases their everyday actions on this philosophical position. Non-believers don't tend to treat every action as meaningless simple because there may be no ultimate meaning. And believers don't tend to minimise each action on each simply because these actions will be relatively unimportant to them a billion billion years from now.

Rather: I think both groups tend to highly value their lives here on earth!
 
#18
It's basic economic theory: scarcity enhances value. If you have an infinite existence, then each individual action becomes less important. Take murder for instance - when you kill someone, if there is no afterlife then you have deprived this person of all of their possible life experiences. You have truly taken something away from them.

If we are all inifinite beings, or all part of the source, then if you kill someone, sure, you are depriving them of certain experiences, but you've given them the experience of being killed, and they will go on to have other experiences that they wouldn't have had had you not killed them. Given the relative little importance of any individual action on such a time scale, you haven't really harmed them.


BUT! Before that gets anyone up in arms, consider the fact that I don't think most people in either group really bases their everyday actions on this philosophical position. Non-believers don't tend to treat every action as meaningless simple because there may be no ultimate meaning. And believers don't tend to minimise each action on each simply because these actions will be relatively unimportant to them a billion billion years from now.

Rather: I think both groups tend to highly value their lives here on earth!
This is why I acceptn some form of memoryless rebirth. In a way, this is the same as finite existence because each go would feel like the first time
 
#19
This is why I acceptn some form of memoryless rebirth. In a way, this is the same as finite existence because each go would feel like the first time
And does your belief that its not actually the first or last time do all that much to alter that value? My guess is no. Because that's not actually the reason you - or most people - value things and experiences.
 
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