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Life after Death without God...an Atheist Theory on the Afterlife.

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posted on May, 17 2011 @ 10:43 PM
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I read with interest the thread elsewhere at ATS re Stephen Hawking's view on the possibility of an afterlife. He says it is non existent. I am a confirmed non religious person, but I am proud to say I consider myself to be a spiritual person. There is a big difference IMO and I am sure you will all agree. I did spend a few years in my youth at Bible Class at the local Anglican Church and even graduated to teaching those classes for a year. I now feel a real fraud as I was not convinced even then of the existence of 'God' as commonly portrayed, but did believe there was a ' higher power' of some kind. For me now, at 58 yrs old, I have a reallly profound affinity for our universe that does not include some white robed, bearded benevolent balancing on some clouds.
I found this thought provoking article a couple of days ago and it has had me excited by the possibilities discussed about how there COULD be an afterlife without ' God'. If you have the time and the inclination, a very good read and something to ponder. And then throw out if need be. It is not a long article, it took me 5 minutes to read but I am still digesting...a good thing.


In this article we examine the possibilities that one could carry on without the need for god or religion. Religion uses two main components to lure in and hold followers. Fear and desire. We fear death, dying and being dead, and we desire to live forever, be it in a paradise or simply reincarnation. Religion fills this need. It eliminates our fear of death, gives us a motivation to do good, and treat one another with respect and dignity. Or does it? We are indeed a sorry lot if we "need" the threat of a hell, or the promise of a heaven to live our lives with honor. Enough on morals, that will be a topic for another article. Let's discuss if we *need* god or religion to go on living after we die, life after death, no GOD or religion required.



exreligious.com...
edit on 17-5-2011 by annella because: (no reason given)


ETA: Mods....if I have this in the wrong forum move post haste! Ta.
edit on 17-5-2011 by annella because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 17 2011 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by annella
 


I was asked not to come back after attending

My 1st CCD class [Confraternity of Christian Doctrine] class

I was 8 years old

they asked us to make a mask

out of construction paper, crayons, magic markers, elmers glue, etc...

mine was that of a Devils smiling face with horns & fangs

what are ya gonna do

edit on 5/17/2011 by spoonbender because: the power of christ wasn't compelling me either



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 11:11 PM
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reply to post by spoonbender
 



Was Halloween just around the corner?

Truly though..'religion' should not be forced upon anyone. Fullstop.



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 11:27 PM
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reply to post by annella
 


Afterlife somehow seems to include a huge asexual party in the clouds that goes on forever unless you ask to see the man behind the curtain. Hell seems similar, only with the most base of emotions and desires present.

Personally, as a bit of a horndog, I think I might prefer hell; B & D and all that.

I do not remember a Jesus, or a a Muhammad, or a God. Joseph Smith I would probably have been happy to shoot on sight assuming my broadsword mutated into a rifle in time as I arrived.

We all die, and that in itself answers our greatest questions. I think I have died before, and so I think my questions have already been answered.

If oblivion is our ultimate destination; then why fight it? Dead and gone is still nothing but gone, whether it happens in the next 30 seconds as you read this or in the next 30 millenia.

So what is the big mystery? We stop moving and our bodies rot as our friends watch.

The biggest mystery is that I do not believe I require a God to continue on as a consciousness. And I believe that anyone who proclaims to speak the "word of God" should be shot on sight.



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by annella
 

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. JC

Adi Da: Everythilng has already died. This is the other world.

Life is only the illusion created by seeking in fear............

The Mind is Irrelevant. It is only confusion
regarding its own nature.



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 11:30 PM
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I find it perfectly possible to consider the hypothesis of some sort fo after life or continuing of consciousness after physical death without including any God at all. Not that I have any such beliefs, but I do not see one as inseparable from the other.



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by annella
 


heres a much simpler atheistic counterpoint [ mine ]

when you die - thats it nothing

game over
no respawn
no rewards
no punishment
no second chance

the moral of this philosopphy

this life is your one chance - live it to the full

spending part of the time you have , on your knees mumbling to your imaginary friend in the hope he will like you is not really acheiving anything



posted on May, 17 2011 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


I mumble to nobody.


Have you read the attached link in my OP? I am NOT a God believer, but the article was thought provoking and that is always a good thing. Provoking thoughts, as opposed to people. Or anything else actually!

ETA: Forgot to say that as an atheistic counterpoint, yours is no different than most if not all non believers. Maybe there is a 1/2 way point somewhere?

edit on 18-5-2011 by annella because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by mydarkpassenger
reply to post by annella
 


Personally, as a bit of a horndog, I think I might prefer hell; B & D and all that.

We all die, and that in itself answers our greatest questions. I think I have died before, and so I think my questions have already been answered.

So what is the big mystery? We stop moving and our bodies rot as our friends watch.

The biggest mystery is that I do not believe I require a God to continue on as a consciousness. And I believe that anyone who proclaims to speak the "word of God" should be shot on sight.


Can I take your points and comment on each? I will anyways!


1/ You are a B&D person? Good start.

2/ So if you think you have died before, just what questions were answered for you?

3/ Have you looked at the soon to be ghastly watchmerot site? Maybe that was your reference?

Namaste




posted on May, 18 2011 @ 12:53 AM
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reply to post by annella
 


Dear annella,

I am a Christian and would argue that because there is an afterlife, there is a God. If there is sentience then because energy can neither be created nor destroyed, I believe sentience exists in the same way. I think the Near Death Experience proves that. We are then faced with two choices, we are the only sentience or there are other sentient beings.

If we are the only sentience in the Universe then we are God. If there are other sentient beings then where did we come from except a greater sentience and that is then God. Problem for most people is that they think about God in relationship to his holding us back, not letting us do what we want; but, that is not the way the world works, we do as we please and that is why the place is so messed up.

I guess I wonder why you would want to believe in an afterlife without God, it is okay that you do and you of course should believe what you find true in both your heart and mind. The article claims that we believe in God out of fear and want, not my reason; but, why do you wish to believe in an afterlife without a God, same reason perhaps? Not a criticism, not an attack, an honest question that your article presents to Christians, I ask the same.

I read your responses to others and see a gentle soul, not a hater. I wish you to know that this is an honest response from someone who sees things differantly. I believe we get to pick our God, free will. We can choose to become God (the only sentience), to be part of God (one of equal sentient beings), reunited with God (one of many sentient beings where none equal God; but, together we can understand and interact with him) or one where we cease to exist as independent sentient beings (the parts disperse and reconfigure with the other parts from others that chose not to be). The philosophy in the article chooses one of the choices I believe we get rather than answering all the possibilities being correct. I like my answer, be well.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 01:52 AM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by annella
 

I read your responses to others and see a gentle soul, not a hater. I wish you to know that this is an honest response from someone who sees things differantly. I believe we get to pick our God, free will. .


Thank you for your lovely reply...and you are right! I am not a hater..lol
Your sentence " I believe we get to pick our God, free will" means I shouldn't need to explain myself because in a sense that is precisely what I have done. I can be pretty sure the following wont measure up but I'll give it a go.

I need to be wary of getting off topic with this as the whole point of the thread was about the possibility of an after life WITHOUT a God in your beliefs/life/whatever. And the link I provided gave me food for thought.

AQuestion, I must clarify something here. I do believe in a higher power, just not in the form that most religious people 'see'.
I am not saying I wish to believe in an after life, I DO believe in an after life. Something that I should have mentioned in my OP. My bad.
Reason for that is I have experienced so many things that totally convince me, and I wont get into them here suffice to say those experiences were not accompanied by anything remotely ' religious' as far as I was concerned, they were spiritual moments. Enlightening therefore growing moments.
The person who authored the link in the OP posed some wonderful things for me to ponder such as the whole issue of now, time and space, and ultimately our place in the current. Fits with my thinking!
As far as believing in an after life without God? Truth is that I dont think for one minute that the bearded, robed, handsome, 30yrs+ something man is about at all. For me it is a sad fact that so called Christians ( and especially of a certain faith) have destroyed the lives of so many, and some very close to me. And I am talking VERY religious people here! The World is full of these people. Sad but true.
When I die my energy will carry on, therefore so will the essence of me but in another form. Elisabeth Kubler Ross had a wonderful analogy she used to explain life after death to children. She talked about how a nondescript caterpillar turned/transformed into a beautiful butterfly that grew wings and could fly.You could not see what was coming just looking at that caterpillar!
If there was anything I could recommend everyone should read it is Kahlil Gibrans ' The Prophet'. Take the word God out of the few passages he uses it in if you want, replace with what you FEEL is your imagined/believed higher one.
For sure I have not answered your questions, rather I have ranted lol. Ah well, will go back and read your post later.

Have a good day!!
Namaste!



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 02:24 AM
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Originally posted by annella

Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by annella
 

I read your responses to others and see a gentle soul, not a hater. I wish you to know that this is an honest response from someone who sees things differantly. I believe we get to pick our God, free will. .


Thank you for your lovely reply...and you are right! I am not a hater..lol
Your sentence " I believe we get to pick our God, free will" means I shouldn't need to explain myself because in a sense that is precisely what I have done. I can be pretty sure the following wont measure up but I'll give it a go.

I need to be wary of getting off topic with this as the whole point of the thread was about the possibility of an after life WITHOUT a God in your beliefs/life/whatever. And the link I provided gave me food for thought.

AQuestion, I must clarify something here. I do believe in a higher power, just not in the form that most religious people 'see'.
I am not saying I wish to believe in an after life, I DO believe in an after life. Something that I should have mentioned in my OP. My bad.
Reason for that is I have experienced so many things that totally convince me, and I wont get into them here suffice to say those experiences were not accompanied by anything remotely ' religious' as far as I was concerned, they were spiritual moments. Enlightening therefore growing moments.
The person who authored the link in the OP posed some wonderful things for me to ponder such as the whole issue of now, time and space, and ultimately our place in the current. Fits with my thinking!
As far as believing in an after life without God? Truth is that I dont think for one minute that the bearded, robed, handsome, 30yrs+ something man is about at all. For me it is a sad fact that so called Christians ( and especially of a certain faith) have destroyed the lives of so many, and some very close to me. And I am talking VERY religious people here! The World is full of these people. Sad but true.
When I die my energy will carry on, therefore so will the essence of me but in another form. Elisabeth Kubler Ross had a wonderful analogy she used to explain life after death to children. She talked about how a nondescript caterpillar turned/transformed into a beautiful butterfly that grew wings and could fly.You could not see what was coming just looking at that caterpillar!
If there was anything I could recommend everyone should read it is Kahlil Gibrans ' The Prophet'. Take the word God out of the few passages he uses it in if you want, replace with what you FEEL is your imagined/believed higher one.
For sure I have not answered your questions, rather I have ranted lol. Ah well, will go back and read your post later.

Have a good day!!
Namaste!


Dear annella,

I love namaste as a greeting, a friend of mine uses it and explained it to me. Back at ya. You mentioned a bearded man in his 30s, not what I believe in, I do hope that I explained that well enough. A sentience that can handle more than we can, the greatest sentience in the universe. That is the God I know and he is pretty relaxed and cool; but, the truth is that there is pain, he didn't create it, it just is and we decide how much we can take. I can take a lot and have. I don't think others need to if I have taken more and I know there are those who have taken more than me, I pray they did for the same reason.

Dear annella, you mentioned some "very religious", I am not religious, I am spiritual and scientific, read what I have written about quantum physics. God is a greater sentience, the bible does not give a physical description of him as a white man with a white beard. That is others interpretation. God is someone that knows what all of us know, he is not limited, he creates us from his mind. It says, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the work was God". It later states that his word was "I AM". When you ponder that for awhile, you understand.

Dear person, decide who you are and then decide what God you believe should exist, not someone else's path, your own. Do not worry about being wrong, a God that what create imperfect souls would give us the freedom to be wrong, free will. I assure you, I am a mean old motor scooter, rough as they come and known to be harsh in business. As an ex-assistant reminded me tonight, I am the boogie man for the good guys. I believe in the truth and that everyone has the right to decide for themselves what they are and what their truth is, ya just have to live by it for it really to be the truth of you. Gotta live it. That is why earth is imperfect, so we can choose to be us, or at least that is what I believe.



posted on May, 18 2011 @ 04:13 AM
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reply to post by annella
 

Your observations are quite valid. I was raised atheist, and learned about the birth - life - death cycle from Ron Hubbard!

The whole social control scenario that surrounds the "salvation" religions is another story entirely. And it has very little to do with the truth of the situation.

More recently I have learned that this subject has even been studied by psychiatry (Stevenson) with very persuasive evidence presented.

But I'll tell you about the white robes, because that comes up a lot. People report seeing "guys in white robes" during there Near Death Experiences. Very common. I had never had anyone tell me an NDE before, to my face, until a few days ago when a Scientologist I know told me his. It was a classic NDE. He had been badly injured. He appeared before a "council" of 4 bearded guys in robes who were there to "judge" him. He had the feeling of being pinned in his chair. He decided he wasn't ready to die and snapped out of it. But it sure convinced him that death is not something to be taken lightly!

So I agree. Life after death ... religion ... two separate subjects.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 08:33 AM
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I never died before so i don't know what will happen, I'll know when i cross that bridge though.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by HueyvsRiley
I never died before so i don't know what will happen, I'll know when i cross that bridge though.


Dear HueyvsRiley,

Other have died and come back, that is the near death experience. Isn't it funny that scientists like Hawkings will not listen to those who have died and discount our importance because they cannot accept sentience except their own? As for death, if someone could tell you what the other side looked like, would you accept their version. Most of us would not because we are here, it would be like telling us what life is like on Pluto, no point of referance.

Why is it that we discount the stories of people who have died and come back? Doesn't seem very scientific to ignore people who science says were dead when they tell their story. This is especially hypocritical when there stories are so similar, does not matter if they were atheists or which culture they came from, the stories are the same. If I want to know about France, I ask someone who has been there.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by annella
 
Hello Annella, it's an interesting article (although I skimmed!) especially the final thoughts. I'm not particularly concerned about my own 'after-life' in either a spiritual or religious sense; what will be will be and is inevitable. The state of mind in those final moments seems more important and leaving in a good mood!

I like the guy's notion that we all exist 'somewhere in time' forever; it's appealing on many levels and quite evocative. My imagination struggles to comprehend the notion of all things happening everywhere...not just right now, but our past then and our future then too. In this concept, right now a small group of early humans are learning how best to use a sharp stone, Jimi Hendrix plays live in Paris and music plays loudly for the rich guests at the Moon party. Every reasonable possibility must be happening everywhere in every time forever and never.

Right now, the three-year old me is seeing his baby brother for the first time....and the elderly me lies dying.

The sheer scope of time is so overwhelming and profound that, as our minds tentatively reach out towards distant galaxies, it's difficult to see where added magic is necessary. My breath is taken away by the Hubble images much more than such terrestrial imaginings of religiously-conceived afterlives. I think that as long as an intelligent sentience remains in our universe, or any other (if that's the case), expressing and feeling wonder at the beauty of it all, we will all be part of a greater after-life. Even insomuch as we are formed from the stars, it's like we are part of the stage as much as being actors on it.

I'll leave it at that before I start sounding too metaphysical or esoteric...



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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[I'll leave it at that before I start sounding too metaphysical or esoteric...


Too late!!!
And I love esoteric FWIW.

Kandinsky...I agree re your thoughts on the whole time thing and I loved the OP article for that very reason. And I am still trying to figure it out and having an interesting time I must say! Loved your analogy re Hendrix and a Moon party etc. Its times like now that I earnestly wish to be immortal just so I can be assured of actually seeing a truth about the whole space/time and where I truly fit ...kit and caboodle.

When I was very young, I used to ponder the Universe and wondered if there was a fence right where it ended because I could never get my head around its size, at least the way I thought of its size then. I think we have all contemplated infinity and for me, I believe our life force/energy does not dissipate on death but is redistributed so is also infinite. In what form I am not totally sure, but from my own experiences I do think the strongest possibiIity is on another ' plane/dimension '. Einstein was the one who theorized that energy does not die but is redistributed. I think!
I have had the Cats Eye Nebula image from Hubble as my desktop wallpaper for a few months now. All the images from Hubble are awe inspiring for sure, and now I have a telescope I will be stargazing and dreaming for a long time to come.

Thank you for your cool post.







 
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