Many religions are based around this "reward" of eternal life, where everything is "perfect".

It's a curious concept, to live for eternity. People are afraid to die, and simply cannot understand death. To have eternal life after death, a person must have a soul, but to receive this "reward", it must be given by someone or something. Thus generating something larger than us or a higher power. Using this "higher power" means it is capable of anything, even a very simple explanation of creation of man.

So my question is, does anyone here believe in life after death, or the concept of "souls"?

Clearly I do not, we are mere biological machines, chemical reactions control us. Just like any other biological being on this planet. (animals, plants, microorganisms, etc.)

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Of course I don't believe in a life after death. It seems almost impossible. All memory is retained in the brain and you obviously need your brain to proces thought. When your brain dies, wouldn't that make any sort of life impossible?

If there was some magic afterlife, it would make this life seem pointless. I understand why the jihadist would fly planes into buildings believing that they get to go to Allah's magic castle and get 72 virgins. It seems to me, a belief in an extravagent afterlife is encouragement to kill yourself.
Very well said.
"Life after Death" is the greatest oxymoron ever concocted by humans. It's a coward's way out of facing their own mortality and the most egotistical premise ever... "When I die, I'm going to live forever because I'm so wonderful I deserve to! Can I get an Amen!"
Why people may fear death may be the emptiness or unawareness. Like a dreamless sleep from which you never wake up out of. Try hard to think about it, you die, and that's it. Nothing but darkness which you are unaware of. If you think about it, it is a little scary. Every time I think about it, I'm filled with a hint of fear. Once you die, there's nothing left of you.

To face this is a better option, rather than creating some rubbish that will mislead others.
When you die you "go" to the state you were in before you were born.
As Mark Twain said, "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."
Amazing quote!
Brilliance pointed out.
That is incredible... very, very well said.
A dream to me is random flashes of fragmented images and memories. A construct of previous experiences.
No I do not.

A very good lecture series which covers most of the arguments from a philosophical point of view of identification of the self with some kind of other object like a soul which may 'live forever', but is framed by looking at an account of what is Death? (is death really so bad, is life really so valuable? should death be feared?)

I found it a good place to get arguments to use to dismantle people who come at you with claims about eternity and souls.

But then again you also have to quick on your toes. Yesterday I was told that my spirit was made of magnetism. Conclusion: people really will believe just about anything.
The human spirit magnetized to thoughts of hopefully keeping on living.

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