When I first realized (truly realized) there might not be an afterlife, I pondered the idea for a bit. It led to my trying to wrap my mind around the idea of non-existence ... lol ...it doesn't work, it's kind of freaky. This put me in such an eerie state of mind, and I felt exactly why people have the tendency to create/join religions. (I knew why before, but this time I really felt it in the pit of my soul-hole - lol)

The knowledge that we can never know anything for certain when it comes 'life after death' would keep me from putting a large amount of energy into any idea, but I must admit ... I like the idea maybe our 'souls' can be recycled. My after-life fantasy is that we all get another chance to experience this world from another body's perspective. :) To me, that is 'heaven' - *shrug* the Christian's version never did appeal to me.

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Comment by Patrick on December 25, 2010 at 9:32pm
I find a little bit of comfort in the idea of being annihilated. life is such a struggle. i also struggled with the idea of nothingness and then i found a quote that i just love:

"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."
— Mark Twain

remember that time before you were born? ya that was nothingness... and it wasnt bad at all.
Comment by Sarah Bova on October 19, 2010 at 11:58am
"When Christians say they feel bad for me--like my parents--because I don't have it in my heart to believe, my response is always--i feel bad for you, to think you "know" the truth is ludarcrous mom"

lol yea Brian, that has always annoyed me - the way Christians tend to look up to the weaker minds ("oh, isn't she such a spiritual and passionate woman? what an inspiration!") while looking down on anyone with a strong bullshit sensor. *face-palm* I too am GLAD for my 'hardened heart' (aka stronger mind).

Apeman, I can't say I'm completely comfortable with the idea of our mortality, but simply that I respect it more than the need to rely on a fantasy. I have this tendency to wonder about the afterlife, probably because it's been the focus for so many years (Christians live for the end). So, the idea that there is nothing is a bit unsettling for me at times - but the way I see it, I would rather that than to sacrifice myself for an idea that only serves to soothe that fear. I see nothing wrong with entertaining little after-life fantasies though, as long as I never build a cult around them. ^_^ I think most of my energy should be placed into learning about the world around me, though ...

"the notion of our immortality removes the impetus to fully realize the full beauty and grandeur of our singular human experience. "
Comment by Apeman Jim on October 19, 2010 at 10:59am
I am comfortable with the idea of our mortality. The fact that there is probably no afterlife makes this one all the more precious. People waste what they believe to have in excess; the notion of our immortality removes the impetus to fully realize the full beauty and grandeur of our singular human experience.
Comment by Brian J Geisler on October 18, 2010 at 11:19am
I think that regardless of whether you were raised by uber-Christians or Cheasters (only go to church on Christmas and Easter) you would still have arrived at this point because of your willingness to question the idea of faith or myth. Perhaps it may have taken you a little longer, but I think you would have done it. My folks didn't really push it on my that much, as yours did, and I was afforded the luxury of public school, as you were not--but here I am. When Christians say they feel bad for me--like my parents--because I don't have it in my heart to believe, my response is always--i feel bad for you, to think you "know" the truth is ludarcrous mom--now go listen to some more Glenn Beck...haha, I love her to death but GEESH.
Comment by Sarah Bova on October 18, 2010 at 11:02am
Brian, in my fantasy, humans may only come back as humans. I guess that would mean that animals come back as another version of their own species as well, but idk - never really thought about how it would apply to them!

I don't know exactly why, but I'd like to think that, when it comes to the type of lifestyle you are reborn into, that it's more random than based on choices/morals from previous lives. Also, that since it is still 'you' essentially, if previously you had a strong will about you, then it would transfer into the new lifestyle. Not that you'd really be able to compare lives (my idea is that you wouldn't remember your previous lives) but it would be interesting how you'd deal with different living situations. For example, in this life, I allowed my mind to shine through, and I left the severe version Christianity that I was born and raised in.

Would I have been strong enough to, had I not been abused by any Christian authority figures? What if I was born into a less crazy Christian family, where they practiced lightly and brought me up Christian, but didn't let anything overpower too much of their common sense? In that case, would I still have eventually questioned? That is one thing I do wonder about myself. I also wonder how I would handle an abusive lifestyle outside of Christianity. Perhaps, within a cult ... or possibly outside of religion entirely.

In any case, I'm not exactly worried about entering a sucky lifestyle. In fact, it is sort of s fetish of mine to occasionally place myself mentally into a scary or horrible situation, imagining what I'd have to do to escape or to fight it. haha obviously, I have some masochistic tendencies about me. :)

"Through the Wormhole" ... hmmm .... that sounds familiar, but from what you've described, I don't recall having ever seen it?

lol yea, Christians from my experience do not like 'real' science. I was home schooled, so my parents were sure not to let true science pollute my mind. As a result, I am not fully able to refute Christianity from scientific perspective confidently (but I am learning!) I am VERY interested in psychology though, so for years I have been grabbing all the psych books I can get my hands on until I'm able to go to college. I've come to find that Christians really don't like psychology. It serves to uncover the true motives behind why we do what we do (including how our minds crave religion, how religious 'experiences' can feel so 'real') ...

Yes, science of the mind is a scary thing!
Comment by Brian J Geisler on October 18, 2010 at 10:15am
Agreed Bee...reincarnation would be pretty cool. Maybe come back as a hawk, or a lion, or a king. On the other hand, you could come back as a fat guy's underpants, or a cancer victim, or a Mormon--which would suck. And as far as life after death--I recently watched a special with Morgan Freeman (of course), it was part of a four part series called "Through the Wormhole"-- and they did a study where they locked a girl, about our age, in a dark room and placed neurological transmitters (I guess that's what you'd call them) on her dome. They were focused on a particular area where some doctors assume "out of body experiences" come from. She said that she was able to see a light and that she felt like she was hovering above her friends and family and even herself...now this doesn't disprove God, but it is another notch on my trusty old Agnostic belt. Of course, when I tell people (namely Christians) this they scoff and look at me as though they feel bad for that me that I won't get saved when the rapture takes place. Oh yeah, and "soul hole"---sounds sexy ;-)

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