Life after death

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Life after death is open for . The scholarship allows level programm(s) in the field of taught at . The deadline of the scholarship is .

There is nothing more important to us as living beings than that we have something we can describe as a soul that continues to exist after physical death and is everlasting. For without this, it is all for naught and there was no point in existing at all for ultimately it does not matter if we live for a year or a trillion years if we do not have immortality. And in fact not having such would really be the ultimate cruelty.

PHILOSOPHICAL

Life after death can neither be proved nor disproved. This is because one would have to undergo physical death in order to prove or disprove it (and by its very nature, disproving it would not be possible). This is in contrast to something like astrology where one could undertake a study of people born at the same time and evaluate their personality traits and life outcomes at a later time to see if there is any correlation with time of birth.

There is no actual direct evidence against an afterlife - only arguments refuting the specific examples of evidence for life after death as not being sufficient proof. Although it can easily be argued that not having direct knowledge of an afterlife constitutes evidence against life after death.

Life after death cannot be disproven; only the evidence in its favour can be scrutinized and rational non-believers are left to make the conclusion that life after death cannot be proven.
It is hard to imagine any species (ie. mankind) would reach such a high level of consciousness of our own existence if it were all to end with this life. There is no evolutionary advantage or biological need for this. For a mortal life here on earth, the human mind is much more advanced than necessary.
Possibly we have reached such a state of consciousness, because there is a continuum to this life after this one ends? Just being conscious of our existence suggests that there may be an afterlife. Why else would we be aware of our mortality or be concerned with life after death? Possibly we can only fathom we could cease to exist because we never will cease to exist? In fact, awareness of our mortality or immortality and what it means goes beyond the awareness you exist (consciousness). Having a soul can explain consciousness, but if we do not possess souls, then how do we account for consciousness?

Why life? There is no scientific reason for the existence of life. The universe doesn't care if there is life in it - it does not benefit from it. Yet life, and especially more advanced life with consciousness like us humans, came about. A 'driving force' in the universe behind it that made it all happen would make sense. Many would call such a driving force, God.

It is difficult for some of us to believe there is life after death because it is all seems too incredible that we have a soul which leaves the body upon physical death and goes on to somewhere else. This is more so the case when many of us are wrapped up in our busy day to day lives with little time for reflection. Then we do not take time out to ponder how the bigger scheme of things might be because it has little bearing on our busy every day life with all its commitments, responsibilities, and distractions. If we were to put ourselves in a very dark room with no sounds or distractions when we aren't tired or sleepy, and engage in deep thought about the subject, then we may have more insight into what may actually be the truth. Of course the alternative, that there is no survival of consciousness, is all too hard to believe for many of us also.

SCIENTIFIC

Origin of the Universe
"I don't know what I may seem to the world, but as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me".
Sir Isaac Newton

The questions we need to ask but cannot answer are ones such as: What was before the Big Bang? Why did it occur? What is beyond our universe or is it infinite? Are there more dimensions than the 3 we see plus time? Are there parallel universes? Is our universe but a speck of dust in another much bigger universe and so on? How was matter and energy created or where did it come from? When did time start? Was it an infinite time ago - it never started and has always been 'ticking'?

These questions can probably be never answered by science as we know it and require an intelligence much greater than us to answer these for us. Possibly, this greater being is the Creator of the universe (and maybe all universes)?
∙ Maybe time as we understand it does not exist beyond our universe. Beyond it, perhaps one could go backwards or forwards in time? This could possibly mean that matter and life (and God) have always existed and there is not beginning to it all.
It should be noted that previously, the Big Bang was not the prevailing theory for the origin of our universe as it is now. This Big Bang origin made many people who were against a religious explanation to the origins of the universe, uncomfortable as it does add credence to an act of creation as the start of the universe. In fact, every question posed above indirectly infers a Creator.
Recently, physicists have practically come to the conclusion that the universe will continue to expand indefinitely. There will be no contraction and a never ending cycle of big bangs and contractions - our universe is a one time occurrence and this is indirect evidence for a special creation.

Just as the universe as we know it (and anything beyond it if that is the case) could be infinite in size, matter could be infinitely small. So that theoretically, a universe with life in it that is as complex and diverse as our own, could exist in a single atom or even smaller quantum particle, and so on. In other words, a speck inside of our universe may hold a universe of its own and a speck inside of that universe may in turn hold its own universe, and so on, without limit. Likewise, our universe may be nothing more than a speck inside another universe and that universe in turn may be just another speck inside another universe and so on.

RELIGIOUS

we could best describe religion as a middleman between us and spirituality. God would probably be more like a 'force' rather than just a physical entity and would be more encompassing, omnipotent, and without limitations than we may be presently able to readily comprehend.
prophets and messengers who claim to be giving us the teachings from God to us (such as Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Guru Nanak, etc.) have laid the foundations for the world's major religions. They have all given us a teaching that there is an afterlife and our souls go there after we die. These messengers and the resulting religions cannot be merely dismissed as not being evidence for the existence of God and an afterlife as many atheists would have us believe. Though this is not evidence in an empirical sense, it is evidence nonetheless.

For many wise, intelligent, educated, and open minded people, just one of these religions is all the evidence they need to have absolute faith in its teachings. Many scholars have studied there chosen religion in great depth and come to the same absolute belief. If only one such prophet had come to earth giving us one religion, then it might all be easier to dismiss as some sort of misinformation. But the fact is that this has happened several times independently so that this evidence becomes harder to reject or discount. Could all these prophets and religions be just dismissed as being wrong?

The problem many people have with religious arguments is that they have to be open for debate on the evidence for their claims. Though not all, but a fair number of religious people are not willing to engage in an open exchange of dialogue or critique of their religion. Also, the messages of the prophets suited the time periods they were in and that is why some of their messages may seem somewhat overly simple to some of us today and may not always apply fully to the world we live in now.

One general problem with religion is worshiping without respecting other views and possibilities. This applies to any religion or form of belief whether it is capitalism, communism, atheism, materialistic science, militant or fundamentalist interpretations/forms of different religions. In addition, all belief systems share the same problem in that they will not hold up to rational arguments for every single one of their teachings or interpretations.

Many of us may find some of the teachings or revelations of the world's major religions to be ambiguous, contradictory, or even incorrect. It is quite possible they were meant to be presented to us in such a way so that they would not be absolutely irrefutable and thus not all would believe or follow them - as if it was all purposely done and is part of some grander plan.

Contrary to what some evolutionists say, people do simply not believe in life after death or religion because we are programmed to do so by evolution because it helps our survival (though it could also be argued that if there is indeed a need for a belief in God, possibly it was designed for and put in place by a Creator). Many do not believe in either life after death or any religion and never have. Historically, not all cultures have believed in an afterlife. For example, prior to the prophet Mohammed receiving his messages in 7th century Arabia, the nomadic tribes there worshiped their ancestors but did not believe in an afterlife. Neither did the Jews until an afterlife was incorporated into Judaism at a much later time (about a millennium) from its origins.

Atheism has no more logical foundation for it than religion and in fact, less so. It has its own belief system - that of science and materialism (only the material world exists). Atheists have turned disbelief (of a Creator or God) into a belief system in itself. Science has become a religion on to its self as it is practiced by its followers who accept nothing else unless it adheres to conventional science as we know it today and materialism. Having said that, atheism challenges religion and faith based systems and can be a positive influence in the enquiry of what may or may not be true.

A fundamentalist religious approach on evidence of life after death is asking what does my religion say about this and then explaining the evidence within that context which fits that religion. Atheists do the same with life after death evidence - they look at it and say what does materialism say about this and then fit their interpretations to suit their materialistic belief system. If there is no materialistic explanation possible, the evidence is still rejected and no real plausible alternative is put forth. Both are wrong in their approach as they are not at all objective and 'make' the evidence fit what they already believe.

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