That was quite a hefty opening post there, but very thought-provoking. I'm just going to state my particular beliefs on these issues, but for the
record I am currently searching quite intensely for some kind of answers to these questions myself. These were the basic questions which actually
caused me to major in Philosophy, so great thread idea!
I believe that there is an after-life of some sorts. I have known three people, whom I consider extremely reliable, to have had outer body experiences
while considered 'dead' for a brief time - two of them Atheists until that point. One of the Atheists had a pleasant experience (the typical light
at the end of the tunnel, full of joy, etc.). The other, however, described it as "pure white hatred." He said he felt not pain, but a terrible
sense of this hatred, which he used synonomously with evil, and he never wanted to experience anything like that for the rest of his life.
Also, I simply cannot imagine non-existance. I can pretend to, and even halfway convince myself I could, but I don't see how anyone can truly imagine
As far as any specific religion is concerned, I was raised a Christian under a Baptist Pastor as a Father (not Southern..he is actually the most
open-minded Christian I've met to this date). However, over the past year or so I have deeply questioned many of my beliefs regarding some particular
theologies (the problem of evil, prayer, God's omnipotence/omniscience, etc. etc.), the typical stuff in a quest for religious/spiritual truth I
believe. So while I'm not sure exactly what religion, if any, I may end up following, I am in the process of attempting to find a truth within
myself; one that I hope will just 'click' with me.
Reincarnation actually seemed quite plausible to me at one point in time. It would give some kind of an explanation as to why certain people,
including young children, believe they are some other character from history. Other than that I just don't find it all that convincing, as compared
to the idea of a consciousness which may continue to exist after our bodies decay.
I believe the soul, which I consider my mind, may indeed continue to some other dimension or realm of existence. This belief mostly came from my
research into duality and how the mind might be separate from the brain. We all have some kind of idea of the Self, so it does make logical sense to
say that there is such thing. I'm particularly on the fence on this issue, but still leaning more towards Mind/Sould concept rather than a mere brain
I feel like I've only breached the surface of my belief on these particular topics, but I'll stop rambling. I, too, look forward to hear some
hopefully insightful responses as these things are of great significance to me.