Why do humans believe in an afterlife?

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posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:37 PM
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I know all about the placebo effect since I'm in the field of psychology. Call it the placebo effect, call it the law of attraction, call it whatever you like good sir (or ma'am).

So we agree that one's expectations change one's outcomes? Awesome.




posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:38 PM
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Hmmm, yes good thread. Lot`s to talk about. And lot`s of good responses, imho that is. It seems like we are born somehow "knowing" that there is more to life than, well, life! Could it be that somewhere in our subconscious resides the memories of those past lives, and possibly even the time spent in between said lives? I think it defies all logic to believe that, when you die, everything, all your senses just shut down like a t.v. monitor. I read an interview with Jaquin Phoenix (sp) and he supposedly believes in no afterlife.
I think it was family guy when meg becomes a christian after being inspired by kirk cameron on tv. During an arguement about religion with brian, an athiest dog (not an insult he really is a dog, a canine, mans best friend. and yes, he talks. The show also features a talking baby. Although, as i tried to explain to my shocked uncle(watch it you`ll understand), you can`t look at him as a baby. He`s not only fully mature, mentally [although he doesn`t know about certain things that a baby wouldnt have experienced, like when he refers to sex and says some cute thing a little kid would say who has no idea how it really works], he`s also got some fully developed sociopathic tendencies), meg asked something along the lines of, "Well then what happens when we die?"
Brian responds "Well, meg, I would imagine it`s a lot like it was before you were born." I wasn`t sure how to process this(family guy made a nice example to explain this, i thought. however it`s not the first time I have thought about this concept and watching the show didn`t result in some kind of "epiphany" for me or anything like that, lol!) without dealing with the possibility that we have to have memories locked inside somewhere. And that, in itself, is a bit of a stretch.
However, there are many accounts of people remembering past lives. Some might retort that, "oh yeah theres like 50 people out there who claim to be King Tut so are you telling me that they`re all wrong except for one of them? They`re all kooks if you ask me."
Well we have to accept that, until we know for sure the truth about this, there are MANY possibilities which exist.The wisest thing I ever have said and ever will say is,
"I admit that I know nothing."
One such possibility was brought up by a member recently and I have to admit I kind of liked this part of their post. The way he said it was that we are made up of soul fragments. They are created on a "soul tree" of sorts, that branches out and the souls grow as leaves. This explains how multiple people could have memories of being the same person in a past life. Because, according to this theory, after you die, some fragments of your soul split and go on to become other people as the "tree" you are a part of grows to accomodate the human population. Perhaps some of your past lives were as humans on other planets, or maybe even a different sentient species. The sentience of chimps and especially dolphins has been fiercely debated for some time now. Some have gone as far to argue the sentience, or at least the consciousness, of matter... Sounds pretty out there to me. Matter can`t have a life and a death... can it?!
Anyway, we won`t truelly know until we know. In the meantime we should keep our minds open to all possibilities. No matter how wierd it sounds. After all, we don`t have to look very far in history to find a time when the world was flat and the sun revolved around it, rather than vise versa.


 
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posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by Subconsciously Correct
I know all about the placebo effect since I'm in the field of psychology. Call it the placebo effect, call it the law of attraction, call it whatever you like good sir (or ma'am).

So we agree that one's expectations change one's outcomes? Awesome.

I still don't see how that proves the afterlife.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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hippomchippo, Subconsciously Correct, manbird12000 why can't you speak your minds without turning this thread into a boring read for everybody else? Say what you think and leave it at that, none of you is gonna convince the others that you are right. It like watching kids fight



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by seabhac-rua
hippomchippo, Subconsciously Correct, manbird12000 why can't you speak your minds without turning this thread into a boring read for everybody else? Say what you think and leave it at that, none of you is gonna convince the others that you are right. It like watching kids fight

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot all my posts had to be entertaining for you.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by hippomchippo

Originally posted by Subconsciously Correct

Originally posted by hippomchippo

There's just no evidence for it, therefore I will await the evidence then come to rational conclusions, like you should have.


There is no evidence for you maybe. I, on the other hand, have plenty of evidence that makes me believe in it. I also formed a rational conclusion based on that evidence. I am not saying you should believe in it. Obviously you do not have the evidence you desire. That's a shame since you wish there was a life after death.

Why not share that evidence then?
Is it because the evidence has been debunked? Is that why it's evidence for you, not me? Is it because I use rational thinking and evidence to come to conclusions?


I have briefly shared the evidence, and I do not believe it has been debunked at all. Why is it so hard for you to accept that I have evidence, some touched upon already, that for me at least suggests life after death? After all, you have not provided any evidence that there isn't life after death, and I am not upset about it at all. I am not challenging you to a verbal duel.

Near death experiences involve death, a white light, a tunnel, a flash of your entire life in a matter of seconds, and then returning to body. This has been recorded in several case studies of NDE's. My mother is a nurse and sees death all the time. She sees these people as they pass and what they are doing. It is amazing to say the least.

Dr. Brian Weiss, a heralded psychiatrist, came out with a book based on a client he regressed into 80-something past lives. She recalled very in-depth scenes from these lives, and she came back to these lives in various sessions when she still had karma to resolve. Now, had he made this book up and sold it as truth, do you think he would have a job right now? I doubt it.

How about the great Edgar Cayce. This man was not a very intelligent man in his conscious body, but he could speak several languages, make medical breakthroughs, and predict the future in a trance state. This is all documented.

Science does not explain astral projection to me. I have done this myself. I believe in my own experiences more than what you or one single study shows. That one study is pretty flawed of you ask me and does not show a very high external validity.

See, I give you this evidence, yet do you believe it? No, you do not. You are going to believe what you want to believe no matter what I tell you. It is not my job to supply evidence or make you believe. You will believe what you want, and I am quite okay with that. I am also secure enough with my beliefs to not force them onto others or call their beliefs ignorant or wrong when you cannot prove they are wrong. Can you say the same?

[edit on 12-3-2010 by Subconsciously Correct]



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by hippomchippo
 


I, like others come here to share ideas and maybe learn something. You obviously don't.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by Subconsciously Correct

Originally posted by hippomchippo

Originally posted by Subconsciously Correct

Originally posted by hippomchippo

There's just no evidence for it, therefore I will await the evidence then come to rational conclusions, like you should have.


There is no evidence for you maybe. I, on the other hand, have plenty of evidence that makes me believe in it. I also formed a rational conclusion based on that evidence. I am not saying you should believe in it. Obviously you do not have the evidence you desire. That's a shame since you wish there was a life after death.

Why not share that evidence then?
Is it because the evidence has been debunked? Is that why it's evidence for you, not me? Is it because I use rational thinking and evidence to come to conclusions?


I have briefly shared the evidence, and I do not believe it has been debunked at all. Why is it so hard for you to accept that I have evidence, some touched upon already, that suggests life after death? After all, you have not provided any evidence that there isn't life after death, and I am not upset about it at all. I am not challenging you to a verbal duel.

Near death experiences involve death, a white light, a tunnel, a flash of your entire life in a matter of seconds, and then returning to body. This has been recorded in several case studies of NDE's. My mother is a nurse and sees death all the time. She sees these people as they pass and what they are doing. It is amazing to say the least.

Dr. Brian Weiss, a heralded psychiatrist, came out with a book based on a client he regressed into 80-something past lives. She recalled very in-depth scenes from these lives, and she came back to these lives in various sessions when she still had karma to resolve. Now, had he made this book up and sold it as truth, do you think he would have a job right now? I doubt it.

How about the great Edgar Cayce. This man was not a very intelligent man in his conscious body, but he could speak several languages, make medical breakthroughs, and predict the future in a trance state. This is all documented.

Science does not explain astral projection to me. I have done this myself. I believe in my own experiences more than what you or one single study shows. That one study is pretty flawed of you ask me and does not show a very high external validity.

See, I give you this evidence, yet do you believe it? No, you do not. You are going to believe what you want to believe no matter what I tell you. It is not my job to supply evidence or make you believe. You will believe what you want, and I am quite okay with that. I am also secure enough with my beliefs to not force them onto others or call their beliefs ignorant or wrong when you cannot prove they are wrong. Can you say the same?

Why do near death experiences vary so widely then?
Why do some see hindu gods and some see christian gods?
You can believe what you want, it just doesn't make it true though.
I'm leaving now, as apparantly I'm ''boring'' some people.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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If you want to get skeptical, then take it all the way.

You can't even prove to me that YOU exist. Even if you stood next to me and touched me. For all I know you're a program in The Matrix. Or, like Descartes suggested, I could be a brain in a vat being manipulated by demons. Or, to reference Plato's allegory of the cave, you could just be a shadow on the wall.

Not a single one of you can PROVE to me that ANYTHING is real. Period.

Cogito Ergo Sum is all that can be proven to me. Everything else is suspect.

You guys are all diet-skeptics. It's time to graduate and become TRUE skeptics!

Solipsism will set you free.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by seabhac-rua
reply to post by hippomchippo
 


I, like others come here to share ideas and maybe learn something. You obviously don't.

I'm not here to learn because I won't accept that NDEs prove the afterlife?
Good lord, stop being so petty.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by seabhac-rua
hippomchippo, Subconsciously Correct, manbird12000 why can't you speak your minds without turning this thread into a boring read for everybody else? Say what you think and leave it at that, none of you is gonna convince the others that you are right. It like watching kids fight


Who am I fighting with? Who am I forcing to believe me? I am not, and you obviously have missed that point altogether (I have posted it more than once already). I am quite content and enjoying this thread.

If this is what acting like a child is, then maybe we should all try acting more like children, don't you think?



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by seabhac-rua
reply to post by hippomchippo
 


I, like others come here to share ideas and maybe learn something. You obviously don't.


I've been open-minded and accepting of beliefs that oppose mine, yet you included me in your original post.

Since we both came to share ideas and learn something, so why is it a problem when I post?



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 05:00 PM
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Originally posted by hippomchippo

Originally posted by Subconsciously Correct
I know all about the placebo effect since I'm in the field of psychology. Call it the placebo effect, call it the law of attraction, call it whatever you like good sir (or ma'am).

So we agree that one's expectations change one's outcomes? Awesome.

I still don't see how that proves the afterlife.


That's not the question you asked that I answered.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


Human beings are the only animal we know of that can consider it's own mortality. Other animals can recognise loss of one of their social group, they can even mourn them but they don't look at themselves and think they wil one day be dead. I think it is this realisation that causes people to hope they continue on after death. The idea of being gone, done, finished, is so scary that most human beings can't handle it and so we invented the idea of an afterlife. We had a loose idea of an afterlife, then shamanistic traditions and it slowly warped into organised religion.

The second reason is loss. We don't like to think our loved ones are gone and that we will never see them again. It's a thought that when dwelled upon is enough to depress anyone. So we imagine that one day we'll see them again and laugh together.

Basically the idea of an afterlife is a coping mechanism, a comfort blanket for adults. In modern times more people seem able to let go of these superstitious ideas, why that is i'm not sure.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 05:23 PM
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Here's a few questions...

1. If Near Death Experiences prove of an afterlife, then why are they not consistent? Some see a white light, some see their life flash before their eyes, christians see Jesus and Hindu's see whatever their god is.

2. Why can some recall their past lives and other's can't? Wouldn't it be beneficial if we all could recall past lives, if such a thing exists? After all, it would provide me with the knowledge of where I've been and in turn I would know where I'm going. Because right now it's like we all are a bunch of chicken's running around with our heads cut off.

Someone was mentioning how meditation was the "key" or whatever. As a non-believer in an after life, for the next 6 months I'm thinking about waking up early and meditating out in nature all alone for 30 - 60 minutes. (I live in the country so I could find a nice secluded spot.) Then after 6 months re-evaluate my views and opinions.

Hmm...I just....might....do it.....

Wouldn't hurt I suppose

[edit on 12-3-2010 by doped00]



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 05:27 PM
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Originally posted by doped00
Someone was mentioning how meditation was the "key" or whatever. As a non-believer in an after life, for the next 6 months I'm thinking about waking up early and meditating out in nature all alone for 30 - 60 minutes. (I live in the country so I could find a nice secluded spot.) Then after 6 months re-evaluate my views and opinions.

Hmm...I just....might....do it.....



You should meditate, it has very real health benefits. As for it being a "key", well i've been meditating for many years and i'm an atheist, so well i guess that theory doesn't hold water lol. I've practiced many forms of meditation and all i'll say about it is that it helps me relax.

[edit on 12-3-2010 by ImaginaryReality1984]



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984
 


Alrighty. I'll try it for the healthiness of it.

Guess I just need something to log my days and a spot to do it at.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by doped00
Here's a few questions...

1. If Near Death Experiences prove of an afterlife, then why are they not consistent? Some see a white light, some see their life flash before their eyes, christians see Jesus and Hindu's see whatever their god is.


[edit on 12-3-2010 by doped00]


Someone asked this previously in the thread, and I believe the answer lies in the Law of Attraction (in lighter instances the placebo effect) in which our expectations can effect our outcomes. That's my belief anyway.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 05:55 PM
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Yeah meditation is the best thing to do. You don’t have to be religious to practise it. I have been meditating for years, since I was in martial arts. It is the best way to calm the mind.

For me people believe in an afterlife of course as a coping mechanism. We fear the unknown so we make things up. That being said, I have seen weird things in my life, and weird things have happened to me. It really makes me question there being 0% of nothing after death. I forgot who said this, but it’s basically like a fish in the ocean, if it came out of the water and was shown around the world it would be so foreign to it, it couldn’t comprehend what it is seeing. Same for us. It is too hard to be certain what comes after death. Infinity might actually be comprehendible after we die, who knows. That is why I’m sticking to agnosticism.



posted on Mar, 12 2010 @ 06:18 PM
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I believe, but wish I didn't at times. As a normal human being, I'm far from perfect and have done wrong many a times.

I'd almost rather not believe in the after life. It'd sure be one easy way out. However, from my past experiences, I know that there is an after life and that scares me. What if there is a Heaven and hell? Or something similar? I bet you if there is, those people in hell are wishing the afterlife didn't exist.

I think you get what I'm saying?





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