What is the Afterlife in most religions?
Bahá’í Faith Afterlife: regards the conventional description of heaven (and hell) as a specific place as symbolic. The Bahá’í writings describe heaven as a “spiritual condition” where closeness to God is defined as heaven; conversely, hell is seen as a state of remoteness from God. Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, has stated that the nature of the life of the soul in the afterlife is beyond comprehension in the physical plane, but has stated that the soul will retain its consciousness and individuality and remember its physical life; the soul will be able to recognize other souls and communicate with them. Ref
Buddhism Afterlife: several different types of heavens also based on how the human lives a life good karma must undergo an improved reincarnation though heaven is not eternal—eventually they will use up their good karma Buddhists thus focus more on escaping the cycle of rebirth and reaching enlightenment (Nirvana) the goal of Buddhism being the obtainment of enlightenment and freeing oneself and others from the birth-death cycle. Ref Nirvana is not a place or a state, but the end of rebirth. The notion of skillful means in Mahayana Buddhism led to other interpretations of salvation, such as rebirth in a Pure Land, where one could continue to aspire to enlightenment in pleasant surroundings without fear of rebirth in human form. Mahayana texts also refer to hells into which one might be reborn, usually in the context of rescuing others from a hellish domain or transferring merit to those in such a place. There is also reference in the earliest texts to Yama, a deity of death who will judge and punish those who do evil. The punishment is not eternal, but lasts until the karma of these misdeeds has been exhausted. As Buddhism evolved and as it moved to other countries with different religious backgrounds, other views of the afterlife emerged. Yama became a central figure in popular understandings of the afterlife in East Asia and also in Tibet. Tibetan Buddhists also envisioned the Bardo, a kind of limbo where the soul or self-remained until the next rebirth. In the Chinese tradition, where ancient notions of the role of the ancestors in human life have shaped Buddhism, people burned incense and paper goods depicting goods or money for the benefit of their deceased loved ones in order to provide a better situation for them in the afterlife. The deceased, in turn, were believed to be able to bring benefits or cause harm to the living. Notions of heavens and hells eventually became a part of popular Buddhism throughout Asia. These range from ideal surroundings such as the Pure Lands to horrific worlds of punishment and suffering. Illustrated “hell texts” are popular among in some Buddhist countries, depicting in detail the punishments one can expect for a host of specific misdeeds, which may range from wearing tight blue jeans to murder. As should be evident, there is no single, consistent notion of the afterlife and salvation within Buddhism. There are diverse and contradictory ideas even within individual countries. This is the result of the merging of Buddhism with pre-existing conceptions, of contradictions between scholarly and popular understandings, and of the evolution of ideas within Buddhism throughout the life of the religion. Ref Salvation is, ideally, enlightenment, but for the many who will not achieve enlightenment in their lifetimes, Zen shares with the rest of Buddhism a variety of ideas about what happens after death. Concepts of the afterlife vary within Zen and Chan, as they do within Buddhism in general. There has been, for many centuries, a close relationship between Zen (and Chan) and Pure Land Buddhism. The existence of this relationship could indicate that, while some Zen monks may aspire only to enlightenment, others, and most of the lay population Zen and Chan has served, may aspire to a less mysterious goal such as rebirth in the Pure Land. According to Pure Land Buddhism, anyone who faithfully calls on the Buddha of the Pure Land, Amitabha, regardless of actions in life or previous karma, can be reborn in the Pure Land. While the Pure Land has many heavenly attributes, and those who arrive there need not fear further rebirths into samsara, it is not technically a final destination. Under Amitabha’s tutelage, one can continue to practice and study toward the eventual goal of nirvana, or the dissolution of self. Ref Pure Land Buddhism offers a way to enlightenment for people who can’t handle the subtleties of meditation, endure long rituals, or just live especially good lives. The essential practice in Pure Land Buddhism is the chanting of the name of Amitabha Buddha with total concentration, trusting that one will be reborn in the Pure Land, a place where it is much easier for a being to work towards enlightenment. Pure Land Buddhism adds mystical elements to the basic Buddhist teachings which make those teachings easier (and more comforting) to work with. These elements include faith and trust and a personal relationship with Amitabha Buddha, who is regarded by Pure Land Buddhists as a sort of savior; and belief in the Pure Land, a place which provides a stepping stone towards enlightenment and liberation. Pure Land Buddhism took off in Japan when the monk Honen (1133-1212) believed that most people, and he included himself, could not achieve liberation through any of their own activities. The only way to achieve buddhahood was through the help of Amitabha. The nature of Amitabha is not entirely clear it can range from “the great saviour deity worshiped principally by members of the Pure Land sect in Japan or “Amitabha” as neither a God who punishes and rewards, gives mercy or imposes tests, nor a divinity that we can petition or beg for special favours”, to mystical view of Amitabha regards him as an eternal Buddha, and believes that he manifested himself in human history as Gautama, or “The Buddha”. Ref If Buddhism is just a philosophy, why does it have a punishing Hell? According to the scriptures of Buddhism everyone who falls into hell is tortured with all of the punishments: some of the tortures are skipped; in some cases the hell-being’s kamma is exhausted before the full round of tortures is completed, so that he dies and is reborn elsewhere; and not everyone goes for repeated rounds. Also, we should note that punishment in hell is not for an eternity. As the discourse implies, when the hell-being’s bad kamma is exhausted, he dies and is reborn elsewhere, in accordance with his remaining kamma. Here is a part of the, “Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers.” Translated from the Pali, (The earliest written scriptures of Buddhism are collected in the Tripitaka, also called the Pali Canon). That evil kamma was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.’ “Then the hell-wardens torture [the evil-doer] with what’s called a five-fold imprisonment. They drive a red-hot iron stake through one hand, they drive a red-hot iron stake through the other hand, they drive a red-hot iron stake through one foot, they drive a red-hot iron stake through the other foot, they drive a red-hot iron stake through the middle of his chest. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Then the hell-wardens lay him down and slice him with axes. Then they hold him feet up & head down and slice him with adzes. Then they harness him to a chariot and drive him back & forth over ground that is burning, blazing, & glowing. Then they make him climb up & down a vast mountain of embers that is burning, blazing, & glowing. Then they hold him feet up & head down and plunge him into a red-hot copper cauldron that is burning, blazing, & glowing. There he boils with bubbles foaming. And as he is boiling there with bubbles foaming, he goes now up, he goes now down, he goes now around. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Then the hell-wardens throw him into the Great Hell. And as to the Great Hell, monks: It’s four-cornered & has four gates set in the middle of each side. It’s surrounded by an iron fortress wall and roofed with iron. Its floor is made of red-hot iron, heated, fully blazing. It stands always, spreading 100 leagues all around. “The flame that leaps from the eastern wall of the Great Hell strikes the western wall. The flame that leaps from the western wall strikes the eastern wall. The flame that leaps from the northern wall strikes the southern wall. The flame that leaps from the southern wall strikes the northern wall. The flame that leaps from the bottom strikes the top. The flame that leaps from the top strikes the bottom. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “There comes a time when, ultimately, with the passing of a long stretch of time, the eastern gate of the Great Hell opens. He runs there, rushing quickly. As he runs there, rushing quickly, his outer skin burns, his inner skin burns, his flesh burns, his tendons burn, even his bones turn to smoke. When [his foot] is lifted, he is the just same. But when he finally arrives, the door slams shut. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “There comes a time when, ultimately, with the passing of a long stretch of time, the western gate of the Great Hell opens… the northern gate… the southern gate of the Great Hell opens. He runs there, rushing quickly. As he runs there, rushing quickly, his outer skin burns, his inner skin burns, his flesh burns, his tendons burn, even his bones turn to smoke. When [his foot] is lifted, he is the just same. But when he finally arrives, the door slams shut. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “There comes a time when, ultimately, with the passing of a long stretch of time, the eastern gate of the Great Hell opens. He runs there, rushing quickly. As he runs there, rushing quickly, his outer skin burns, his inner skin burns, his flesh burns, his tendons burn, even his bones turn to smoke. When [his foot] is lifted, he is the just same. He gets out through the gate. But right next to the Great Hell is a vast Excrement Hell. He falls into that. And in that Excrement Hell needle-mouth beings bore into his outer skin. Having bored into his outer skin, they bore into his inner skin… his flesh… his tendons… the bone. Having bored into the bone, they feed on the marrow. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Right next to the Excrement Hell is the vast Hot Ashes Hell. He falls into that. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Right next to the Hot Ashes Hell is the vast Simbali Forest, [with trees] reaching up a league, covered with thorns sixteen fingerbreadths long — burning, blazing, & glowing. He enters that and is made to climb up & down them. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Right next to the Simbali Forest is the vast Sword-leaf Forest. He enters that. There the leaves, stirred by the wind, cut off his hand, cut off his foot, cut off his hand & foot, cut off his ear, cut off his nose, cut off his ear & nose. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Right next to the Sword-leaf Forest is the vast Lye-water River. He falls into that. There he is swept downstream, he is swept upstream, he is swept downstream & upstream. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Then the hell-wardens pull him out with a hook and, placing him on the ground, say to him, ‘Well, good man, what do you want?’ He replies, ‘I’m hungry, venerable sirs.’ So the hell-wardens pry open his mouth with red-hot iron tongs — burning, blazing, & glowing — and throw into it a copper ball, burning, blazing, & glowing. It burns his lips, it burns his mouth, it burns his stomach and comes out the lower side, carrying along his bowels & intestines. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Then the hell-wardens say to him, ‘Well, good man, what do you want?’ He replies, ‘I’m thirsty, venerable sirs.’ So the hell-wardens pry open his mouth with red-hot iron tongs — burning, blazing, & glowing — and pour into it molten copper, burning, blazing, & glowing. It burns his lips, it burns his mouth, it burns his stomach and comes out the lower side, carrying along his bowels & intestines. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. “Then the hell-wardens throw him back into the Great Hell once more. “Once, monks, the thought occurred to King Yama: ‘Those who did evil actions in the world are tortured in these many ways. O that I might gain the human state! And that a Tathāgata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — might arise in the world! And that I might attend to that Tathāgata! And that he might teach me the Dhamma! And that I might understand his Dhamma!’ “I tell you this, monks, not from having heard it from another contemplative or brahman. On the contrary, I tell you this just as I have known for myself, seen for myself, understood for myself.” Ref
Confucian Afterlife: Heaven (Tian) where the ancestors reside and from which emperors drew their mandate to rule in their dynastic propaganda, Heaven is a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophies and religions, and is on one end of the spectrum a synonym of Shangdi (“Supreme Deity”) Heaven blesses those who please it and sends calamities upon those who offend it. Heaven was also believed to transcend all other spirits and gods, with Confucius asserting, “He who offends against Heaven has none to whom he can pray.” Other philosophers born around the time of Confucius such as Mozi took an even more theistic view of Heaven, believing that Heaven is the divine ruler, just as the Son of Heaven (the King of Zhou) is the earthly ruler. Mozi believed that spirits and minor gods exist, but their function is merely to carry out the will of Heaven, watching for evil-doers and punishing them. Thus they function as angels of Heaven and do not detract from its monotheistic government of the world. Ref
Christianity Afterlife: has taught Heaven as a place of the dwelling place of the angels and the Throne of God to which all the elect will be admitted. Heaven was that it existed as a physical place above the clouds and that God and the Angels were physically above, watching over man. The New Testament Greek word translated “heaven” is “ouranos,” which refers to the sky above, or the place from which the Creator rules. Eternal life for forgiven believers in Jesus only, believers themselves will exist in incorruptible, resurrected and new bodies; there will be no sickness, no death and no tears. Not only will the believers spend eternity with God, they will also spend it with other believers in Jesus. Ref
Hinduism Afterlife: Attaining heaven is not the final pursuit in Hinduism as heaven itself is ephemeral and related to physical body. Being tied by the bhoot-tatvas, heaven cannot be perfect either and is just another name for pleasurable and mundane material life. According to Hindu cosmology, above the earthly plane, are other planes: 1. Bhuva Loka, 2. Swarga Loka, meaning Good Kingdom, is the general name for heaven in Hinduism, a heavenly paradise of pleasure, where most of the Hindu Devatas (Deva) reside along with the king of Devas, Indra, and beatified mortals. Some other planes are Mahar Loka, Jana Loka, Tapa Loka and Satya Loka. Since heavenly abodes are also tied to the cycle of birth and death, any dweller of heaven or hell will again be recycled to a different plane and in a different form as per the karma and ‘maya’ i.e. the illusion of Samsara. This cycle is broken only by self-realization by the Jivatma. This self-realization is Moksha (Turiya, Kaivalya). The concept of moksha is unique to Hinduism and is unparalleled. Moksha stands for liberation from the cycle of birth and death and final communion with Brahma. With moksha, a liberated soul attains the stature and oneness with Brahma or Pramatma. Different schools such as Vedanta, Mimansa, Sankhya, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, and Yoga offer subtle differences in the concept of Brahma, obvious Universe, its genesis and regular destruction, Jivatma, Nature (Prakriti) and also the right way in attaining perfect bliss or moksha. In the Vaishnava traditions the highest heaven is Vaikuntha, which exists above the six heavenly lokas and outside of the mahat-tattva or mundane world. It’s where eternally liberated souls who have attained moksha reside in eternal sublime beauty with Lakshmi and Narayana (a manifestation of Vishnu). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven This path is among the focus of the Upanishads. In these texts, there is much discussion of what happens after death. In a famous passage from the Katha Upanishad, a sage named Nachiketas wins a boon from the god of death, Yama, and asks the god what happens to humans after they die. Yama at first refuses to answer, and then, after Nachiketas persists, tells the sage that if he wishes to know the answer to this question, he must study the nature of the self, and in the process, he will be able to leave both joy and sorrow behind. This is a typically cryptic message from the Upanishads, but it points to a basic understanding of salvation articulated there: human beings continue to be reborn because they continue to generate karma, and they continue to generate karma because they are ignorant. They are ignorant of the true nature of the self. According to the Upanishads, the individual self, or atman, is no different than the ultimate reality of Brahman. According to the Upanishads, if one knows the true nature of the self—that it does not, in any ultimate sense, exist—then one will stop grasping. If one stops grasping, then one stops generating karma. And when there is no karma, there is no rebirth. One is released. Ref This release, called moksha, is ultimate salvation. The individual is absorbed in the ultimate, Brahman, in the same manner, that a stream or a river (a metaphor for the individual atman) is absorbed into the ocean (Brahman). When one attains this state, rebirth stops. One is released, forever. The individual is one with Brahman. Ref Ref
Islam Afterlife: The Qur’an contains many references to an afterlife in Eden for those who do good deeds. Regarding the concept of heaven (Jannah) in the Qu’ran, verse 35 of Surah Al-Ra’d says, “The parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised! Beneath it flow rivers. Perpetual is the fruits thereof and the shade therein. Such is the End of the Righteous; and the end of the unbelievers is the Fire.”[Quran 13:35] Islam rejects the concept of original sin, and Muslims believe that all human beings are born pure. Children automatically go to heaven when they die, regardless of the religion of their parents. The highest level of heaven is Firdaus Paradise to which the prophets, martyrs and other pious people will go at the time of their death.The concept of heaven in Islam differs in many respects to the concept in Judaism and Christianity. Heaven is described primarily in physical terms as a place where every wish is immediately fulfilled when asked. Islamic texts describe immortal life in heaven as happy, without negative emotions. Those who dwell in heaven are said to wear costly apparel, partake in exquisite banquets, and recline on couches inlaid with gold or precious stones. Inhabitants will rejoice in the company of their parents, wives, and children. In Islam if one’s good deeds weigh out one’s sins then one may gain entrance to heaven. Conversely, if one’s sins outweigh their good deeds they are sent to hell. The more good deeds one has performed the higher the level of heaven one is directed to. It has been said that the lowest level of heaven is one-hundred times better than the greatest life on earth. The highest level is the seventh heaven, in which God can be seen and where anything is possible. Palaces are built by angels for the occupants using solid gold. Verses which describe heaven include: Quran 13:35, Quran 18:31, Quran 38:49–54, Quran 35:33–35, Quran 52:17–27. Islamic texts refer to several levels of heaven: Firdaus or Paradise, ‘Adn, Na’iim, Na’wa, Darussalaam, Daarul Muaqaamah, Al-Muqqamul, Amin & Khuldi. Ref Muslims believe in the Day of Judgment and heaven and hell. A person’s ultimate destiny, whether it is heaven or hell, depends on the degree to which that person intended and acted as God desires, with justice and mercy toward others. While it is impossible to know with certainty who will go to heaven and hell, believers, who had faith in the revelations that God sent through his prophets and lived according to those revelations, may hope for heaven. If individuals find that they have sinned, they may sincerely apologize, and through remorse, receive forgiveness. The slate is clean, and they may begin again. This will likely happen many times in a life, because humans are not perfect. But on the Last Day, there are no excuses. God has sent many prophets to remind humans of their duty and to wake them up when they forget their dependence on God. As a result, the punishment on the Last Day is just. The Quran says that terrible events will proclaim that the end is near. The people will gather at the bridge called Sirat. Sirat spans the fires of hell. Those bound for paradise will find the crossing easy. But for those bound for hell, the bridge will be as thin as a razor, and the condemned will fall into the flames. Hell, called Jahannam, is a horrifying inferno. The flames roar, scorching hot winds blow, and black smoke chokes the air. The skin of the suffering sinners is continually refreshed so that they will feel the pain of burning, with no relief. Their thirst is unquenchable, and yet they drink disgusting fluids in an effort to alleviate their suffering. Boiling water is poured over their heads. If they try to flee, iron hooks drag them back. Ref In contrast, paradise is a blissful garden where the blessed are at peace and are content. The conversation is pleasant, the wine has no ill-effects, and the food is endlessly abundant. The faithful, dressed in silk robes, relax on beautiful couches while servants tend to their every need. Men and women are attended by beautiful and handsome young members of the opposite sex. Choirs of angels sing in Arabic and all the bounties of heaven are enjoyed endlessly. No one is ever full. Ref
Jainism Afterlife: When the passions have been utterly conquered and all karma has been removed, one becomes a Jina (“conqueror”), and is no longer subject to rebirth. Jainism conceives of a multi-layered universe containing both heavens and hells. Ref Jinas are believed to reside in the top level of heaven, above the realm of the gods. Accordingly, Polytheism and pantheism liberated souls are revered more than the gods. Jainism incorporates the traditional Hindu concepts of karma and reincarnation, but rejects the Veda scriptures, castes and the idea of a creator god. The goal of life is to reach liberation by a life of purification and discipline as taught by the tirthankaras. The soul is uncreated and eternal and can attain perfect divinity. Only in human form can one achieve liberation. Purpose of life Gain liberation from cycle of rebirth. How to live Cause no harm to any sentient being. Afterlife Repeated reincarnation until liberation. Jains derive their name from the jinas, spiritual conquerors who have achieved liberation and perfection. Included among these are the 24 spiritual leaders called “ford-makers” or tirthankaras. The last of the tirthankaras was Mahavira (599-527 BC), a contemporary of the Buddha and the man generally considered the founder of Jainism. Ref The shape of the Universe as described in Jainism is shown alongside. Please note that unlike the current convention of using North direction as the top of map, this uses South as the top. The shape is similar to a part of human form standing upright. The Deva Loka (Heavens) are at the symbolic “chest”, where all souls enjoying the positive karmic effects reside. The heavenly beings are referred to as devas(masculine form) and devis(feminine form). According to Jainism, there is not one heavenly abode, but several layers to reward appropriately the souls of varying degree of karmit merits. Similarly, beneath the “waist” are the Narka Loka (Hell). Human, animal, insect, plant and microscopic life forms reside on the middle. The pure souls (who reached Siddha status) reside at the very south end (top) of the Universe. Ref
Judaism afterlife: Shamayim, the Hebrew word for “heaven”, denotes a component of the cosmos, the three-tiered cosmos the other elements being the earth (erets) and the underworld (sheol) “hell”. Shamayim is the dwelling place of God and other heavenly beings. The Torah (Biblical Old Testament) authors pictured the earth as a flat disk floating in water, with the heavens above and the underworld below. The raqiya (firmament), a solid inverted bowl above the earth, coloured blue by the cosmic ocean, kept the waters above the earth from flooding the world. We must picture this like a show globe not a sphere. Ref in the talmud (is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism, “200-500 CE” considered second to the Torah contains the opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including law, ethics, philosophy, customs, history, theology, lore and many other topics.) Ref Jewish concept of the afterlife, sometimes known as olam haba, the World-to-come, is not so precise. The Torah has little to say on the subject of survival after death, but by the time of the rabbis two ideas had made inroads among the Jews: one, which is probably derived from Greek thought, is that of the immortal soul which returns to its creator after death; the other, which is thought to be of Persian origin, is that of resurrection of the dead. Some scholars assert that the Sheol mentioned in Isaiah 38:18, Psalm 6:5 and Job 7:7-10 was an earlier concept than Heaven, but this theory is not universally held. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven Some scholars claim that belief in the afterlife is a teaching that developed late in Jewish history. It is true that the Torah emphasizes immediate, concrete, physical rewards and punishments rather than abstract future ones. See, for example, Lev. 26:3-9 and Deut. 11:13-15. The Torah speaks of several noteworthy people being “gathered to their people.” See, for example, Gen. 25:8 (Abraham), 25:17 (Ishmael), 35:29 (Isaac), 49:33 (Jacob), Deut. 32:50 (Moses and Aaron) II Kings 22:20 (King Josiah). This gathering is described as a separate event from the physical death of the body or the burial. Later portions of the Tanakh speak more clearly of life after death and the World to Come. Dan. 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Resurrection and Reincarnation: Belief in the eventual resurrection of the dead is a fundamental belief of traditional Judaism. It was a belief that distinguished the Pharisees (intellectual ancestors of Rabbinical Judaism) from the Sadducees. The Sadducees rejected the concept, because it is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah. The Pharisees found the concept implied in certain verses. Belief in resurrection of the dead is one of Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith. The second blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, which is recited three times daily, contains several references to resurrection. (Note: the Reform movement, which apparently rejects this belief, has rewritten the second blessing accordingly). The resurrection of the dead will occur in the messianic age, a time referred to in Hebrew as the Olam Ha-Ba, the World to Come, but that term is also used to refer to the spiritual afterlife. When the messiah comes to initiate the perfect world of peace and prosperity, the righteous dead will be brought back to life and given the opportunity to experience the perfected world that their righteousness helped to create. The wicked dead will not be resurrected. There are some mystical schools of thought that believe resurrection is not a one-time event, but is an ongoing process. The souls of the righteous are reborn in to continue the ongoing process of tikkun olam, mending of the world. Some sources indicate that reincarnation is a routine process, while others indicate that it only occurs in unusual circumstances, where the soul left unfinished business behind. Belief in reincarnation is also one way to explain the traditional Jewish belief that every Jewish soul in history was present at Sinai and agreed to the covenant with G-d. (Another explanation: that the soul exists before the body, and these unborn souls were present in some form at Sinai). Belief in reincarnation is commonly held by many Chasidic sects, as well as some other mystically-inclined Jews. See, for example, Reincarnation Stories from Chasidic Tradition. Ref Olam Ha-Ba: The World to Come: The spiritual afterlife is referred to in Hebrew as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come, although this term is also used to refer to the messianic age. The Olam Ha-Ba is another, higher state of being. In the Mishnah, one rabbi says, “This world is like a lobby before the Olam Ha-Ba. Prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall.” Similarly, the Talmud says, “This world is like the eve of Shabbat, and the Olam Ha-Ba is like Shabbat. He who prepares on the eve of Shabbat will have food to eat on Shabbat.” We prepare ourselves for the Olam Ha-Ba through Torah study and good deeds. The Talmud states that all Israel has a share in the Olam Ha-Ba. However, not all “shares” are equal. A particularly righteous person will have a greater share in the Olam Ha-Ba than the average person. In addition, a person can lose his share through wicked actions. There are many statements in the Talmud that a particular mitzvah will guarantee a person a place in the Olam Ha-Ba, or that a particular sin will lose a person’s share in the Olam Ha-Ba, but these are generally regarded as hyperbole, excessive expressions of approval or disapproval. Some people look at these teachings and deduce that Jews try to “earn our way into Heaven” by performing the mitzvot. This is a gross mischaracterization of our religion. It is important to remember that unlike some religions, Judaism is not focused on the question of how to get into heaven. Judaism is focused on life and how to live it. Non-Jews frequently ask me, “do you really think you’re going to go to Hell if you don’t do such-and-such?” It always catches me a bit off balance, because the question of where I am going after death simply doesn’t enter into the equation when I think about the mitzvot. We perform the mitzvot because it is our privilege and our sacred obligation to do so. We perform them out of a sense of love and duty, not out of a desire to get something in return. In fact, one of the first bits of ethical advice in Pirkei Avot (a book of the Mishnah) is: “Be not like servants who serve their master for the sake of receiving a reward; instead, be like servants who serve their master not for the sake of receiving a reward, and let the awe of Heaven [meaning G-d, not the afterlife] be upon you.” Nevertheless, we definitely believe that your place in the Olam Ha-Ba is determined by a merit system based on your actions, not by who you are or what religion you profess. In addition, we definitely believe that humanity is capable of being considered righteous in G-d’s eyes, or at least good enough to merit paradise after a suitable period of purification. Do non-Jews have a place in Olam Ha-Ba? Although there are a few statements to the contrary in the Talmud, the predominant view of Judaism is that the righteous of all nations have a share in the Olam Ha-Ba. Statements to the contrary were not based on the notion that membership in Judaism was required to get into Olam Ha-Ba, but were grounded in the observation that non-Jews were not righteous people. If you consider the behavior of the surrounding peoples at the time that the Talmud was written, you can understand the rabbis’ attitudes. By the time of Rambam, the belief was firmly entrenched that the righteous of all nations have a share in the Olam Ha-Ba. Gan Eden and Gehinnom: The place of spiritual reward for the righteous is often referred to in Hebrew as Gan Eden (GAHN ehy-DEHN) (the Garden of Eden). This is not the same place where Adam and Eve were; it is a place of spiritual perfection. Specific descriptions of it vary widely from one source to another. One source says that the peace that one feels when one experiences Shabbat properly is merely one-sixtieth of the pleasure of the afterlife. Other sources compare the bliss of the afterlife to the joy of sex or the warmth of a sunny day. Ultimately, though, the living can no more understand the nature of this place than the blind can understand color. Only the very righteous go directly to Gan Eden. The average person descends to a place of punishment and/or purification, generally referred to as Gehinnom (guh-hee-NOHM) (in Yiddish, Gehenna), but sometimes as She’ol or by other names. According to one mystical view, every sin we commit creates an angel of destruction (a demon), and after we die we are punished by the very demons that we created. Some views see Gehinnom as one of severe punishment, a bit like the Christian Hell of fire and brimstone. Other sources merely see it as a time when we can see the actions of our lives objectively, see the harm that we have done and the opportunities we missed, and experience remorse for our actions. The period of time in Gehinnom does not exceed 12 months, and then ascends to take his place on Olam Ha-Ba. Only the utterly wicked do not ascend at the end of this period; their souls are punished for the entire 12 months. Sources differ on what happens at the end of those 12 months: some say that the wicked soul is utterly destroyed and ceases to exist while others say that the soul continues to exist in a state of consciousness of remorse. This 12-month limit is repeated in many places in the Talmud, and it is connected to the mourning cycles and the recitation of Kaddish. See Life, Death and Mourning. Ref
Shinto Afterlife: Due to the syncretic nature of Shinto and Buddhism, most “life” events are handled by Shinto and “death” or “afterlife” events are handled by Buddhism—for example, it is typical in Japan to register or celebrate a birth at a Shinto shrine, while funeral arrangements are generally dictated by Buddhist tradition—although the division is not exclusive. In old Japanese legends, it is often claimed that the dead go to a place called yomi, a gloomy underground realm with a river separating the living from the dead mentioned in legend of Izanami and Izanagi. This yomi is very close to the Greek Hades however later myths include notions of resurrection and even elysium-like descriptions such as with the legend of Okuninushi and Susanoo. Shinto tends to hold negative views on death and corpses as a source of pollution called “kegare”. However death is also viewed as a path towards apotheosis in Shintoism as can be evidenced by how legendary individuals become enshrined after death. Perhaps the most famous would be Emperor Ojin who was enshrined as Hachiman the God of War after his death. Unlike many religions, one does not need to publicly profess belief in Shinto to be a believer. Whenever a child is born in Japan, a local Shinto shrine adds the child’s name to a list kept at the shrine and declares him or her a “family child. After death an ujiko becomes a “family spirit”, or “family kami”. One may choose to have one’s name added to another list when moving and then be listed at both places. Names can be added to the list without consent and regardless of the beliefs of the person added to the list. This is not considered an imposition of belief, but a sign of being welcomed by the local kami, with the promise of addition to the pantheon of kami after death. Ref Unlike most Western religions there are no ‘good’ kami and bad ‘kami’. There are rough, fierce, and violent kami but they are not intrinsically bad. Just as there are gentle, kind, sweet kami; that does not make them intrinsically good. Every kami has a ‘rough’ side (ara-mi-tama) and a ‘gentle; side (nigi-mi-tama), but you will not find a foil to God and Satan in them. Because of this there is no concept of the wrath of God or the separation of God from humanity by sin. The Kami are worshipped in various shrines but no statues are found in the shrines for it is believed that the Kami resides in the shrine itself so there is no need to have a representative of the deity. The general concepts concerning the afterlife are the belief that a person becomes a spirit-deity, and eventually becomes a part of a collective ancestral spirit. Even though an afterlife isn’t heavily emphasized, a Hades-like realm, called Yomi, is briefly mentioned in the Nihongi and Kojiki within the creation story involving Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto. A person’s Kami nature survives death; therefore, fulfillment of duty is paramount to a Shinto being remembered with dignity after his death. Many Japanese have been detrimentally affected by the karma theory in its fatalistic aspect. But in general, Shinto’s creative influences turned the Japanese mentality toward an inexpressive but potent conception that effects of the past can be overcome in the present by human effort creating a new karma. During any critical period in Japanese history karma was unable to check the spirit of creative action in Shinto taking command of the situation, but in quiet times karma tended to return. The lack of what happens after death is a continued debate even in today’s present time. Although death is considered “a curse, a tragedy, a mishap,” the prevailing thought is that the dead one becomes a spirit that can bestow blessings on a family. According to a Shinto book “The men of this world continue to live after death, and continue to receive the blessings of the gods, that is, the spirits of heaven and earth. We also, with our incorporeal souls, live together this life of man.” The search for Shinto-specific views of the other world begins with the study of myths contained in the Kojiki and Nihon shoki (kiki shinwa). These myths speak of a High Heavenly Plain (Takama-no-hara) where the various kami reside, but there is no connection between this realm and the dead. Ref
Sikhism Afterlife: The Sikh tradition emphasizes a life free of worry about the afterlife, but focused on one’s ethical actions and piety in this life. “Liberation” (mukti) is the metaphor for the best result possible in the afterlife, and Sikhs envision that as finding unification with the creator at his court. Doing well in the cycle of birth and death (“coming and going,” or reincarnation) have brought about the specific human life that must now use the opportunity to reach the divine court. That is to say, the Sikh belief system combines the idea of “reincarnation” (which brings a human life) with the idea of an afterlife in a paradise-like court of God. Therefore, because life provides such an opportunity, death need not be feared. In Guru Nanak’s conception, worldly actions, no matter the religious allegiances, are accounted for by a divine process beyond human understanding. Those who have lived good lives, whether Sikhs or non-Sikhs, have nothing to fear hereafter. Ref How one dies can also bring one closer to the divine court. Sikh tradition holds that dying with the divine on one’s mind is salvific, as is dying for a just cause. Bhai Gurdas wrote that suffering at the hands of manmukhs would lead to redemption, liberation, and a place in the divine court. Guru Nanak taught that the brave one who died for a good cause would be hailed as a warrior in the hereafter (GG 579-80). Ref Sikhs believe that upon death one merges back into the universal nature, just as a drop of rain merges back into the ocean. Individuality is lost. Sikhism views spiritual pursuits as positive experiences in and of themselves that transcend death, not as sacrifices made in order to collect a reward that is waiting until after death. At birth the soul emerges into earth consciousness, veiled of all memory of past lives and the inner worlds. The cycle of reincarnation ends when karma has been resolved and the Self God (Parasiva) has been realized. This condition of release is called moksha. Then the soul continues to evolve and mature, but without the need to return to physical existence. Sikhism teaches that the soul reincarnates when the body dies. Sikhs believe that good, or bad actions, determine the life form into which a soul takes rebirth. At the time of death, demonic, ego centered souls may be destined to suffer great agonies, and pain, in the dark underworld of Narak.A soul, fortunate enough to achieve grace, overcomes ego by meditating on God. Such a soul may attain liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. The soul then experiences salvation in Sachkhand, the realm of truth, where it exists eternally, as an entity of radiant light. Ref
Taoism Afterlife: In no area is the lack of a single unified Taoist belief system more evident than in the case of concepts about the afterlife and salvation. Several factors have contributed to this: 1) Taoism was at no point the only religion of China, but, rather, coexisted with Confucianism and Buddhism, as well as with Chinese folk religion; 2) each Taoist sect had its own beliefs and textual traditions, and these underwent changes over time; and 3) death and the afterlife became the province of Buddhism early in Chinese history, so that most ideas about the afterlife are Buddhist, or were developed in reaction to Buddhism. once Buddhism had become established in China, many of its ideas about the afterlife were adopted by Taoism, because there were so many well-developed Buddhist ideas on the topic. Lingbao Taoism in particular incorporated many Buddhist ideas about the afterlife, and Lingbao priests perform rituals pertaining to the afterlife that priests of other sects do not, such as rituals transferring merit to the deceased. Shangqing Taoist scriptures include elaborate descriptions of the heavens and, to a lesser extent, the underworld; the use of Buddhist or Sanskrit terminology in naming some of these is a clear sign of their Buddhist origin. The concept of rebirth also became a factor in later Taoism. Ref Taoism gradually absorbed many of the moral teachings of Confucianism and Buddhism. Taoism has Zhengyi and Quanzhen sects, Quanzhen clergy take vows of celibacy, but Zhengyi clergy are often married though in some regions, there is a strong interrelationship between Taoism and local popular religions, and not all Taoist clergy belong to an official order. In Taoism death is neither feared nor desired instead a person enjoys living. Ref A few basic concepts which define the nature of Afterlife for Taoism: In one sense: afterlife doesn’t exist in terms of a Taoist belief system It’s in life that we are eternal in Taoism. The afterlife is within life itself. We are of the Tao when living and upon death are the Tao again. Death is the point where your essence is not you, non being. Yet it’s always you as we are always of the Tao, But your expression of your life is within life. We touch upon echoes of existence. So for example: When you die, you still live, in the memories of others. When you die, your essence reincarnates into a new form. Many variations exist within Taoism. Taoism is quite open in this question and as Taoists we like it that way. In some of the religious branches of Taoism, we have immortal deities. Quite a few stories exist where some Taoist is chasing after various forms of immortality. Ref A very common and major goal of most Taoists is to achieve immortality rather than enter the regular afterlife. Reaching this goal is not easy; there are various tasks that must be met during your entire lifetime to be qualified to be immortal. The two different categories of requirements for immortality include internal alchemy and external alchemy. External alchemy is mastering special breathing techniques, sexual practices, physical exercises, yoga, attempting to produce an elixir of immortality by consuming purified metals and complex compounds, and to develop medical skills. In Taoism one’s soul or energy is considered to be interlocked with the vital energy, which is what nourishes your soul. Ridding the body of impurities can increase this energy. Aside from these requirements, you must lead an upright, moral and good-hearted life. Internal alchemy includes sophisticated visualization, strict dieting, specific sexual exercises and self-control. A strict diet was committed to kill demons within the body and to stimulate and maintain energy. The body is purified by the consumption of refined substances such as, jade or gold. The many different types of meditation all revolved around the common idea of breathing. Much of a Taoist’s time is spent meditating. Ref
Why do people think Religion is much more than supernaturalism and superstitionism?
My response, the things I post prove my points in their thinking and believing behaviors all the time.
My response, have you ever heard of “Fideism” religious always appeal to such thinking at some point, as they have no proof to offer only feelings about things they truly wish to be real but lack all proof, as if they have proof why have nonproof faith to offer? “Fideism – By Branch / Doctrine” is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology). The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means “faith-ism.” You know the thing you appeal to when you don;t have justifiable facts but still want to believe like all religious claims of nonreality things as if they are real and then attack science and sound epistemic reasons for a given philosophy or thinking or its just blind belief built on nothing but faithism alone is it not? Think otherwise prove it, please?
My response, here are two favorite logical fallacies of religionists and fideists and their Dogmatic-Propaganda:
Complex Question Fallacy and Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy, which is often used in tandem kind of like this, the universe had a beginning, and if god was not the power before the beginning of the universe you must explain what was. So if you cannot prove that god was not the power before the beginning or that god is not needed or does not exist, that means god was the needed power to create the universe and god must exist.
*The Complex question Fallacy is roughly when someone asks a question that presupposes something (often with loaded language or questions) that is not proven.
*The Argument from ignorance Fallacy is roughly acting that something must be true because it has not been, or cannot be, proven false even if it has not in any way ben demonstrated as true.
“Thank you for committing the avoiding the issue fallacy.” – Challenger
My response, religionists and fideists promote Dogmatic-Propaganda whereas atheists and antireligionists mostly promote Disciplined-Rationality. Dogmatic–Propaganda commonly is a common motivator of flawed or irrational thinking but with over seventy belief biases identified in people, this is hardly limited to just the religious or faith inclined. Let me illustrate what I am saying, to me all theists are believing lies or irrationally in that aspect of their lives relating to god belief. So the fact of any other common intellectual indexers where there may be a right reason in beliefs cannot remove the flawed god belief corruption being committed. What I am saying is like this if you kill one person you are a killer. If you believe one god you are a follower of Dogmatic-Propaganda and can not completely be a follower of Disciplined-Rationality. However, I am not proclaiming all atheists are always rational as irrationally is revolving door many people a believer or otherwise seem to stumble through. Its just that god belief does this with intentionally. Disciplined-Rationality is motivated be principles of correct reasoning with emphasis on valid and reliable methods or theories leading to a range of rational standpoints or conclusions understanding that concepts and beliefs often have consequences thus hold an imperative for truth or at least as close to truth as can be acquired rejecting untruth. Disciplined-Rationality can be seen as an aid in understanding the fundamentals for knowledge, sound evidence, justified true belief and involves things like decision theory and the concern with identifying the value(s), reasonableness, verification, certainties, uncertainties and other relevant issues resulting in the most clear optimal decision/conclusion and/or belief/disbelief. Disciplined-Rationality attempts to understand the justification or lack thereof in propositions and beliefs concerning its self with various epistemic features of belief, truth, and/or knowledge, which include the ideas of justification, warrant, rationality, reliability, validity, and probability. Ref Ref Religionists like to act as if it is they who are being persecuted when it is them forcing what and how they believe on others and asking stupid questions to atheists, such as, I do not understand why you cannot just let religion believers live and let live. I could say, I don’t understand why religious never has, nor ever will just live and let live. However, I already know why they are Dogmatic-Propaganda that wishes self-replication and oppression of those who don’t fall in line and thus every ethical rational thinker must see this as the enemy to a civil humanity that it is, has been and will continue to be if left unchallenged. Religion is Conspiracy Theories of Reality, Not Worth Believing In Religion is conspiracy theories of reality, not worth believing in. They are not harmless they are lies, full of pseudo-history and or pseudo-science. I know most know what pseudo-science is so I will just explain pseudo-history. Pseudo-history is a pejorative term applied to a type of historical revisionism. It purports to be history, and uses ostensibly-scholarly methods and techniques (which in fact depart from standard historiographical conventions), but is inconsistent with established facts or with common sense and often involves sensational claims whose acceptance would significantly require rewriting accepted history. Pseudo-historic will meet at least one of the following criteria:
- The work uncritically accepts myths and anecdotal evidence without skepticism.
- It has a political, religious, or other ideological agenda.
- It is not published in an academic journal or is otherwise not adequately peer reviewed.
- The evidence for key facts supporting the work’s thesis is: selective and ignores contrary evidence or explains it away; or speculative; or controversial; or not correctly or adequately sourced; or interpreted in an unjustifiable way; or given undue weight; or taken out of context; or distorted, either accidentally or fraudulently.
- Competing (and perhaps simpler) explanations or interpretations for the same set of facts, which have been peer-reviewed and have been adequately sourced, are rejected or not addressed, contrary to the principle of Occam’s razor which favors a simpler and more prosaic explanation of the same facts. For example, the work may rely on one or more conspiracy theories or “hidden-hand” explanations.
Not only is Religion is conspiracy theories of reality, pseudohistory and or pseudoscience they also push pseudo-morality.
Real Morality vs. Pseudo Morality?
Real Morality is behavioral and can only accrue in a social dynamic (social behavioral realm) as such all morality propositions removed from a social dynamic and which accrue only in a personal dynamic lack attachment to “Real Morality” in other words if you are by yourself and do something only to yourself it is neither moral or immoral. I hold the assumptions that to understand morality more fully we need to understand its synthesis and properties by emphasizing its relations to conceptual tools understanding motivation and behavior such as biopsychosocial model, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, Kohlberg’s moral development theory and formal axiology interactions across multiple levels. Real Morality is an emergent aspect limited to a sphere of social dynamics (social) result in human progress and social evolution understood in mental processes of high cognitively developed beings (biological) with developed psychological quality of awareness (psychological) and the so-called moral facts and the values that support or motivate them is limited to the realm of possible harm psychological or physical (actual external world or experiential internal world). Pseudo Morality is seen when holy books or people “cognitively reconstruct” an inhumane idea or behavior to make it into something different from then it is, to something more moral than what it actually is. Or turn something highly immoral into something highly moral. One way to do that is to cloak the behavior “in moral wrappings” or “in divine authority” such as god hates gays, gays are evil, thus killing gays is doing good by destroying evil. This thinking is obviously pseudo morality as gays are not evil but killing them is evil and inhumane idea or behavior thus very immoral. The god justified immorality into what is then called moral is some of the most common pseudo-morality though political leaders and others in power tend to employ it as well. They all are using “pseudo-moral justifications” to describe something immoral as moral. True morality is not as simply as the golden rule… Yes, you heard that right as True morality is a valued behavior we do that interacts with others; it is not really related to what we do to ourselves. Which is why I do not agree with the so-called golden rule as it is what you don’t want do to others but this fails in that its focused on ourselves which is us focused and true morality needs to be other focused on what valued behavior we do that interacts with others. I say treat others the way they should be treated. People have self-ownership, self-rights, right to dignity, freedom, and equality. True morality is a valued behavior we do that interacts with others starting with the conception that people matter, they have worth and value, It is in this way they should be treated. First, I have heard it stated that Morality does not really exist. True, it does not exist in the way that it’s not a thing, so it does not in some tangible way exist any more than the feeling of fear or love exist, it’s an emotional intelligence awareness of the sensitivity to the appropriateness of actions and their potential outcomes.
“Thank you for attempting to push your dogma on me while avoiding the problem I already identified in your very foundation. I could list a number of other fallacies in your beliefs presented, such as begging the question, presuming the consequent, and hasty generalization, but I would prefer for you to stop proselytizing and to start engaging in rational discourse.” – Challenger
My response, you have not defended religion once with a fact of any kind but say I am the one wrong I accept reality as it presents itself and others are making the nonreality claimes but you feel I and not they is the one in error? lol
“Would you mind dealing with what I actually said, not what you invented?” – Challenger
Here are just some of my facts you seem to ask for:
- Jews, Judaism, and the Origins of Some of its Ideas
- Ok, you seem confused so let’s talk about Buddhism.
- The Evolution of Religion and Removing the Rationale of Faith
- Did Neanderthals teach us “Primal Religion” 120,000 Years Ago?
- Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago
- Prehistoric Egypt 40,000 years ago to The First Dynasty 5,150 years ago
- Fertile Crescent 12,500 – 9,500 Years Ago: fertility and death cult belief system?
- 12,400 – 11,700 Years Ago – Kortik Tepe (Turkey)
- Pre/early-Agriculture Cultic Ritualism
- 12,000 – 10,000 years old Shamanistic Art in a Remote Cave in Egypt
- 12,000 – 7,000 Years Ago – Paleo-Indian Culture (The Americas)
- Sedentism and the Creation of goddesses as well as gods
- Gobekli Tepe: “first human-made temple”
- Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city”
- The Weakening of Ancient Trade and the Strengthening of Religions?
- Religion is an Evolved Product
- The Evolution of Fire Sacralizing and/or Worship
- Was the Value of Ancient Women Different?
- 9,000-8500 year old Female shaman Bad Dürrenberg Germany
- Kultepe? An archaeological site with a 4,000 years old women’s rights document.
- Connected “dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures?
- History of Drug Use with Religion or Sacred Rituals
- An Old Branch of Religion Still Giving Fruit: Sacred Trees
- Why do atheists spend so much time and energy on god and religion
- Religion is Unwarranted Faith and Belief
- Technological Advances in Evolution
- Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, and Paganism
- Paganism, Folk religion, & Ethnic/indigenous religion
- Canaanites and Israelites?
- Did a Volcano Inspire the bible god?
My response, And you are still ignoring my asking for your proof, so I will give mine.
“Damien, this group isn’t for blind proselytizing. If you can’t talk with me about what I’ve actually said, then you need to find another group.” – Challenger
My response, you said science cannot disprove religion but archeology does so I am proving to you my statements are not unreasoned nor without evidence, I am still waiting on anything valid from you as If you are the one right I do want to know so if you have facts for religious magic claims I am eagerly waiting.
“False. That is not what I said. If you can’t get what I have said right, why would I think you got Kenneth Kitchen right? I already dealt with your blind reliance on Finkelstein on the other thread.” – Challenger
“That is his actual statement, if anywhere wondering and I will now more directly address all of the above with my disproving facts and more facts.”
My response, folk Logic: YOU CAN’T PROVE A NEGATIVE because you can PROVE A NEGATIVE. but from the link: THINKING TOOLS: YOU CAN PROVE A NEGATIVE By Steven D. Hales (Professor and Chair Department of Philosophy Bloomsburg University Bloomsburg, PA) states that it is widely believed that you can’t prove a negative. Some people even think that it is a law of logic—you can’t prove that Santa Claus, unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, God, pink elephants, WMD in Iraq and Bigfoot don’t exist. This widespread belief is flatly, 100% wrong. In this little essay, I show precisely how one can prove a negative, to the same extent that one can prove anything at all. There is also axiological/axiology (value theory/value science), a social science that does aid in morality. So science can add depth in or to the conceptions, understanding, and application of morality. Moreover, the Origin of Logics is Naturalistic Observation (like in the sciences). Prehistory of Logic? Valid reasoning has been employed in all periods of human history. However, logic studies the principles of valid reasoning, inference, and demonstration. It is probable that the idea of demonstrating a conclusion first arose in connection with geometry, which originally meant the same as “land measurement”. In particular, the ancient Egyptians had empirically discovered some truths of geometry, such as the formula for the volume of a truncated pyramid. Another origin can be seen in Babylonia. Esagil-kin-apli’s medical Diagnostic Handbook in the 11th century BC was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, while Babylonian astronomers in the 8th and 7th centuries BC employed an internal logic within their predictive planetary systems, an important contribution to the philosophy of science. So we have real-world origins such as sky observation in Babylonian astrology and land observation in Egyptian Geometry (from the Ancient Greek: geo- “earth”, -metron “measurement”). The field of astronomy, especially as it relates to mapping the positions of stars and planets on the celestial sphere and describing the relationship between movements of celestial bodies, served as an important source of geometric problems during the next one and a half millennia. In the classical world, both geometry and astronomy were considered to be part of the Quadrivium, a subset of the seven liberal arts considered essential for a free citizen to master. While the ancient Egyptians empirically discovered some truths of geometry, the great achievement of the ancient Greeks was to replace empirical methods by demonstrative science. The systematic study of this seems to have begun with the school of Pythagoras in the late sixth century BC. The three basic principles of geometry are as follows: Certain propositions must be accepted as true without demonstration; such a proposition is known as an axiom of geometry. Every proposition that is not an axiom of geometry must be demonstrated as following from the axioms of geometry; such a demonstration is known as a proof or a “derivation” of the proposition. The proof must be formal; that is, the derivation of the proposition must be independent of the particular subject matter in question. Fragments of early proofs are preserved in the works of Plato and Aristotle. Where do these laws of logic come from? If we want to get a causal explanation of the origin of logical laws (apart from posting them as fundamental to the universe), the proper way to understand their origin IS as derivative on rationality as developed by non-rational evolutionary means. Thus, in a way we could say laws of logic didn’t come from anywhere; these just are the rules of rationality as they can be articulated by explicitly rational beings. When rational beings came into existence by purely non-rational evolutionary processes, they came into being as following these rules. And then, at some later point in time, they became aware of themselves following these rules, and able to represent them explicitly. When we see there as being implicitly logically-governed behavior in nature, we interpret nature in accordance with the way we understand ourselves as explicitly logical. We think of the behavior of entities of nature as if they represented their rational behavior like we do, it is our way of explicitly representing the norms of rationality. These non-rational entities of nature don’t have the slightest clue what the laws of logic are. But they behave as we do, and that’s how “we” see them. We can only make explanatory sense of how “we” have become explicitly aware of logical laws by showing how we are the result of beings that evolved an implicit awareness of these laws. And yet, we can only understand our natural ancestors as having an implicit grasp of logic once we’ve garnered an explicit grasp of logic. That’s the only way we can make sense of them as actually following the laws of logic. The reason it is unproblematic for an explanation to conceptually (but not causally) presuppose that laws of logic are that we cannot hope to get out of these laws conceptually since they just are, the bounds of sense. When sense-makers like us naturally evolve this just is the way in which we must make sense of things. It’s is the essential structure of sense-making, so to speak. And since the explanation is a sense-making enterprise, and any coherent explanation will conform to sense’s bounds—the things we’ve come to describe as the laws of logic. Ref, Ref, Ref By the way, I do wish to thank you for this discussion it is fun.
“The claim of hell is ridiculous and immoral, not just false.”
Threats of Hell are Humanistically Wrong
Tell me again, that for the non-crime of disbelief will head me to the abyss. A plague of darkness you say none who lack belief can miss. And yet you wish to say this threatened evil dead, is the purported behavior of a loving god, what did you miss? For, it is an injustice, so for anyone to be so ethically confused, sadly something humanistically wrong must be amidst. No, I don’t believe in goddess(es) or god(s) and I don’t believe in afterlife nonsense either. I cannot believe in the possibility of any deity and definitely not the even more preposterous idea of a psychopathic deity that would create hell with an eternity of torture. Any being so malevolent would not play with the nonsense of staying so invisible to the extreme that there is not even the slightest bit of evidence of any kind that such a being exists. If this deity is so all-powerful and malevolent who wants to create a mass amount of fear and terror which could be done immediately by proving it exists in the real external world, by not proving or even allowing some evidence for the possibility of it to be true then it has to be false. Moreover, many say this all-invisible god is all benevolent, but if so, why would such a god create a psychopathic deity’s hell with its eternity of torture. By doing so, it would no longer be a benevolent god. In addition, if god were all-benevolent, it would not stay so invisible to the extreme that there is not even the slightest bit of evidence of any kind that such a being exists. If this deity is so all-powerful and benevolent who wants to create a mass amount of hope and peace which could be done immediately by proving it exists in the real external world, by not proving or even allowing some evidence for the possibility of it to be true then it has to be false. Then some may say god plays the biggest game of hide and seek by staying invisible to evidence in every way because god wants belief without evidence. However, what about the proposed evidence in holy books? Are they not a reference of when gods (always so long ago) supposedly provided evidence you are not to believe even if it is disproved by science or archaeology evidence? In addition, what about gods reported enemy the devil, why does the devil also stay so invisible to such an extreme that there is not even the slightest bit of evidence of any kind such a being exists in an external world reality. Well, a simple answer is because both gods and devils are myths that are not worthy of justified true belief and actually, not reasonable for any belief at all when one accepts the reality of the external world as in supernatural-free. Lastly, any god that threatens with the human horror of injustice that would be hell cannot be also called a god of love, because a just loving god would not torture anyone for eternity, especially people not guilty of grievously harming others. Then “hell god” supports say, but god does not torture you for eternity, it is you, who puts yourself there by your own choices, “aka” people’s own free will. For a true ethically minded individual “hell god” as a “loving god” is absurd. A loving god would appreciate our reason, skepticism, and freethought. A true “loving god” would totally get that faith devoid of evidence and contrary to evidence is not only not enough it’s rationally repugnant.
Hell, Heaven and the Power of Imagination.
“And before the throne of god there was a sea of glass like crystal: and around the throne, were four beasts full of eyes in front and behind. The first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night.” (Revelation 4:6-8)
Here we have a rare description of heaven where it appears frightening with strange beasts. One cannot help to think that it seems more a description of Hell than a heaven…
Good thing it’s all fake. Lol
What Part of That confuses you?
Think ghosts are proven real? You may say the ghost hunting shows prove it to you, OK, you may need to rethink what standard you put on proof. Think does this belief in ghosts involve a fear ghosts? We are all good people don’t die from ghosts for the same reason the jolly green giant is not some farming tyrant, simply understood, neither exists in reality. What evidence do I have for this non-harm? Well, why not use the same very ghost hunting shows continuing to go year after year never having a member killed should be proof enough not to worry, i.e. “YOU” start to get that it’s just adults playing make-believe.
According to sciencealert.com, “Recent polls have found that 42 percent of Americans and 52 percent of people in the UK believe in ghosts – a huge percentage when you consider that no one has ever come up with irrefutable proof that they even exist. But we might have had proof that they don’t exist all along, because as British theoretical physicist Brian Cox recently pointed out, there’s no room in the Standard Model of Physics for a substance or medium that can carry on our information after death, and yet go undetected in the Large Hadron Collider. “If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist, then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern, and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made,” Cox, from the University of Manchester, explained in a recent episode of BBC’s The Infinite Monkey Cage. “We must, in other words, invent an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has escaped detection at the Large Hadron Collider. That’s almost inconceivable at the energy scales typical of the particle interactions in our bodies.” Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who was also on the show, replied, “If I understand what you just declared, you just asserted that CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, disproved the existence of ghosts.” “Yes,” said Cox. It’s become glaringly obvious that the Standard Model of Physics is an incomplete theory, with several gaping holes that physicists have been trying to patch up for decades, but Cox says the existence of ghosts doesn’t fall within the ‘known unknowns’ of the Standard Model. Instead, he says it directly contradicts the one of the most rigorously tested and fundamental laws of the Universe we have – the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time. Entropy is a measure of the randomness or disorder within a closed or isolated system, and the second law of thermodynamics states that as usable energy is lost, chaos increases – and without extra energy being put into a system, that progression towards disorder can never be reversed. In other words, energy is always lost to heat in any system – whether it’s a washing machine or the Universe – and you can never get back all the energy you put in. The principle can be used to explain why the arrow of time only ever marches forwards; why there’s a past, future, and present; and why you can’t un-scramble an egg, because it would lower the Universe’s entropy. So how does that apply to ghosts? Because we can’t touch and interact with them, ghosts can’t be made of matter, but instead of energy. And if energy is necessarily lost within every system – particularly if they’re doing anything that requires using more of it, such as moving, emitting light, or making spooky sounds – it would be impossible for them to maintain their existence for any significant period of time. The second nail in the coffin comes from the Large Hadron Collider, because while there are things about the Universe we still can’t find using this giant particle accelerator, what we can see very well is the way energy drives our cells’ information. If we assume that the energy that sustains ghosts isn’t an entirely new substance or medium, but carries on from when we were living, then this mysterious force controlling the particles that make up our cells would have been detected in the Large Hadron Collider by now. “I would say if there’s some kind of substance that’s driving our bodies, making my arms move and legs move, then it must interact with the particles out of which our bodies are made,” says Cox. “And seeing as we’ve made high precision measurements of the ways that particles interact, then my assertion is that there can be no such thing as an energy source that’s driving our bodies.” DeGrasse Tyson adds to this by saying that while he, like many people, has experienced “haunting experiences” in the past, he’s yet to really find a phenomenon that’s defied his complete knowledge of physics, maths, and astrophysics. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get the very human urge to want to believe in the lingering dead. “In that moment, there’s a mystery, and it’s kinda fun,” he says. “And that allows me to understand, and even embrace, the urge that people have to want there to be this deep mystery, such as ghosts of ancestors. I have a soft spot for what that psychological state is, because I’ve felt that intermittently, except I kept exploring and getting the answer.” You can download and listen to the whole segment at the BBC’s website.” Ref
No ghosts are not possible, as at no time did magic get added to our natural evolution. However, ghost believers say but it’s not magic, its reality, it’s a scientific fact that once energy is created, it can never cease to exist, it just changes form. Nevertheless, they are in error, they seem to be confusing two things, as energy is mindless , ot aware of what it was in a previous form. Science is against ghosts and souls and stating that energy can go on is a non sequitur to infer that proves ghosts is like saying that because we were once star stuff we turn back into stars. Ghost believers will most likely keep believing and close in on the belief while also closing out the reason and evidence debunking the belief in ghosts. They can believe as they wish and no amount of that belief makes a thing such as ghosts true. Let’s address the thinking that if energy cannot be created or destroyed but only change form, what happens to our body’s energy when we die, why not ghosts? According to Benjamin Radford, a Live Science Contributor, it may seem like a reasonable assumption — unless you understand basic physics. The answer is very simple, and not at all mysterious. After a person dies, the energy in his or her body goes where all organisms’ energy goes after death: into the environment. The energy is released in the form of heat, and transferred into the animals that eat us (i.e., wild animals if we are left unburied, or worms and bacteria if we are interred), and the plants that absorb us. There is no bodily “energy” that survives death to be detected or seen. So are ghosts real? Science says NO. Ref You still believe in ghosts because you think you have seen or felt them? Well think again it’s all just in your head. Scientists Created “Ghosts” in the Lab: This sensation is commonly reported in people with certain neurological or psychiatric disorders, or those exposed to extreme conditions. In 1970, mountaineer Reinhold Messner reported seeing a “phantom” climber descending the slopes of a particularly extreme summit alongside him. This also happens in people who have recently experienced another extreme condition: the loss of a spouse. In most cases, the sufferer reports the very real sensation of an unseen presence. This is the stuff of which ghost stories are made, but researchers say they know why this feeling occurs, and they’ve even recreated it in the lab. Ref
Science, unlike faith, uses more Critically Open-Minded Reasoning (open assessment and reflective correctability) the effort to overcome all of those issues common with Induced Delusional Disorder or “faith brainwashed” thinking. With science, unlike faith thinking, all facts are welcomed, even if they contradict a treasured theory or model, which must then be rejected immediately. A true scientist will be delighted at having found a new aspect of science, especially if it changes a scientific view, whereas a true religionist/fideist motivated by faith or Induced Delusional Disorder will deny it and try to explain it away. Admittedly science is not a single category, approach or thinking, however, nobody who is reasonable and informed can or should reject or deny the truths it produces. Religion too is not a single category, approach or thinking, however, nobody who is reasonable and informed can accept its deluded or reality devoid beliefs as any kind of truths. The scientific method assumes a priori of methodological naturalism about the nature of reality that is devoid of considering supernatural causes, it is not agnostic about this. The scientific method is using a form of philosophical rationalism to establish this view about the nature of reality along with the commonly held philosophy of empiricism because looking for proof or truth devoid of considering supernatural causes by using a priori assumptions is employing rationalism. Open-mindedness for Bertrand Russell is the virtue that prevents habit and desire from making us unable or unwilling to entertain the idea that earlier beliefs may have to be revised or abandoned; its main value lies in challenging the fanaticism that comes from a conviction that our views are absolutely certain. A review of certain key ideas provides a clearer sense of the dimensions of the ideal of open-mindedness for all those who are determined to make this aim central to their work as teachers. What follows is a roadmap to the terrain which surrounds the idea of an open-minded inquiry. Ref Moreover, Open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which people approach the views and knowledge of others, and “incorporate the beliefs that others should be free to express their views and that the value of others’ knowledge should be recognized.” According to What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, closed-mindedness, or an unwillingness to consider new ideas, can result from the brain’s natural dislike for ambiguity. According to this view, the brain has a “search and destroy” relationship with ambiguity and evidence contradictory to people’s current beliefs tends to make them uncomfortable by introducing such ambiguity. Research confirms that belief-discrepant-closed-minded persons have less tolerance for cognitive inconsistency. Ref
I was asked what are my Thoughts on Spirituality?
“Damien, I’m with you in the science side and nature. But what are your thoughts on spirituality?” – Challenger
My response: Personally I don’t know what that means. I use to call myself a spiritual atheist but the more I learned the less I saw that as anything meaningful and was just my placeholder carry over word from my religious past. What I meant by it was I say value and meandering in the world. Those things where connect in some way. I now have a nonreligious word that states this and is more substantive and beneficially descriptive. Axiology or Axiological. Which stands for value theory or value science. And I call myself an Axiological Atheist. But its more than just that value is also a morality and humanistic motivation for my atheism.
“Pretty good. Maybe spirituality is just being conscious of morals and reality. Just wondered where you stood on it. I still pray. (learned behavior i guess). Thanks for the reply.” – Challenger
My response: I believe in you and you should believe in you too.
“Right on, thanks.” – Challenger
My response: I can send you a link about Axiological Atheism if you want.
“Alright cool.” – Challenger
Overall, it should be understood that I don’t value the word spiritual.
It really means nothing to me. I went through a faze when I was working through understanding myself apart from religion I had lived my whole life. So, I use to say I was a spiritual atheist. That for me was lack of understanding how to use nonreligious words to explain how I felt. With the word spiritual, I wanted to say I saw meaning in the world, which people had value and I cared and wanted to live an ethical humanistic life. I now do not put value in the word spiritual as it has 20 meanings if you ask 10 people. Use of the word spiritual to me is just woo woo, trying to making magic of reality. I have a better word that is more accurate to my thinking “axiological/axiology especially formal or scientific axiology and this word does not have the religious baggage. I am an Axiological Atheist (value theorist atheist). Axiological to Atheist: is meant to denote an atheistic rejection of the existence of gods or supreme beings in favor of a “higher absolute”, such as humanity or universal ethical principles. Axiological reasoning as a form of atheism mindset favors humanity as the absolute source of holistic ethics and care values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to gOD. One value of holistic universal ethics being humanistic is mutual care and responsibility. In the absence of a supernatural caretaker, we know that the responsibility for improving this world rests where it always has – with the people who live, think, feel, and act in that world. Thus, no spiritual woo woo needed or wanted. If you think spiritual is true because you think that we have a soul or spirit check out: “My correspondence with a believer in souls” If you think spiritual is true because you think that ghosts or spirits are true check out: “So are Ghosts Possible, Because Energy Does not Die? Well, NO!” If you think spiritual is true because you think developed a spirit in evolution check out: If you think spiritual is true because you think humans have a spirit, because we may not be part of evolution check out: “Humans are Part of Evolution not a Special Creation” and Evolution is FACT!
To me, the term spiritual is a lingering connection to religious beliefs and Science Facts Should Make Religious Belief Impossible. Wondering why I am so harsh on woo woo ideas like spiritual and not just attack or challenge religion, well I Hate Religion Just as I Hate Pseudoscience.
Why we know religions and gods are lies is confirmed in my blog, “The Evolution of Religion and Removing the Rationale of Faith”
Why do most religious people claim to have religious or spiritual experiences is they add make-believe to “reality”, and the general “WHY” to me is because we are emotional beings that while we can employ the thinking strategy of rationalism over faith or unreason/illogical beliefs that follow we still appeal to emotionalism, not the other way around as we are not rational beings who understand the world accurately by employing the thinking strategy of emotionalism over faith or unreason/illogical beliefs that follow, right? We are all emotional and experience emotional wonder but that is just the joy of being alive, it’s wholly cheapened to me by fantasy daydreaming delusions (supernatural) to this wonderful magic devoid reality.
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