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Afterlife vs Not
#1
Afterlife vs Not
It is my understanding that an atheist dose not think there is any kind of afterlife. When the body dies it is game over, no consciousness, no sense what so ever that you or anything existed or even doesn't exist true "nothingness". This leads me in thought that nothing matters in the end, and I don't mean just my personal end. All of human existence, in fact if astrophysics is correct, the entire universe will cease to exist. So, all that we humans accomplish will eventually vanish to this "nothingness" even if we happen to exist as a species to witness this ultimate demise. Nihilism is the only conclusion that can be made from this path of logic, to me. Granted that is a very long way off in the future, if a rogue asteroid or deadly virus doesn't wipe us all out tomorrow. Where am I wrong, if at all, in this way of thinking. How do you who are true atheists reconcile this within yourselves without becoming a nihilist? I personally am an agnostic so at this point I just don't know. I hope there is more to this existence than this, that we are somehow more then the sum of our parts. But, no consciousness has come back from the other side to tell me different, and even if they did I might think I was just going crazy.

Thanks
Mal
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#2
RE: Afterlife vs Not
No, atheism has nothing to say about an afterlife, a beforelife or any other form of existence. All atheism states is a lack of belief in a god or gods. True that many atheists also happen to believe that there is no survival of consciousness after the death of the body but this has nothing to do with atheism itself.

It's quite possible to be an atheist and believe in some sort of 'afterlife', the two are not mutually exclusive.
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#3
RE: Afterlife vs Not
I've known a few atheists who believe in reincarnation. Sam Harris himself has said we simply don't know what happens to our consciousness when we die. Just because there's no god or any reason to believe in one doesn't mean that there isn't some natural mechanic that explains consciousness that survives the process of death.

I've also known a few deists who reject the idea that there's any afterlife. The ancient Jews, if the Bible is any indication, didn't believe in an afterlife. Just because there is a god, doesn't mean that god gives enough of a crap about us to continue our existence.

The two questions are separate.

Personally, I have no idea. Life this life and let whatever comes afterwords be something you worry about then.

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#4
RE: Afterlife vs Not
My $0.02 on the question wither or not there is an afterlife.

I am very convinced by the arguments about human consciousness being entirely material, therefore I do not believe there is an afterlife. Because if human consciousness is entirely material, the consciousness dies with the person.

In fact I have seen research about so called near death experiences and is nothing more than an side effect of cutting off oxygen to a certain part of the brain. For example; pilots being trained for high acceleration in a centrifuge report the same phenomenon as those who have had near death experiences.

Then again I go for the "absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence" assumption.
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#5
RE: Afterlife vs Not
Well. A lot of observations about the material workings of the brain/mind falsify dualism.

E.g. The fact that brain alterations/damage can affect or destroy a person's "essence" such as personality, emotion, and memory.
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#6
RE: Afterlife vs Not
(December 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm)Malfader13 Wrote: It is my understanding that an atheist dose not think there is any kind of afterlife. When the body dies it is game over, no consciousness, no sense what so ever that you or anything existed or even doesn't exist true "nothingness". This leads me in thought that nothing matters in the end, and I don't mean just my personal end. All of human existence, in fact if astrophysics is correct, the entire universe will cease to exist. So, all that we humans accomplish will eventually vanish to this "nothingness" even if we happen to exist as a species to witness this ultimate demise. Nihilism is the only conclusion that can be made from this path of logic, to me. Granted that is a very long way off in the future, if a rogue asteroid or deadly virus doesn't wipe us all out tomorrow. Where am I wrong, if at all, in this way of thinking. How do you who are true atheists reconcile this within yourselves without becoming a nihilist? I personally am an agnostic so at this point I just don't know. I hope there is more to this existence than this, that we are somehow more then the sum of our parts. But, no consciousness has come back from the other side to tell me different, and even if they did I might think I was just going crazy.

Thanks
Mal

Quote:It is my understanding that an atheist dose not think there is any kind of afterlife
A little wrong there. Atheists in general do tend to reject any belief regarding an afterlife. However, being an atheist does not require the lacking of belief in spirits, ghosts or any sort of afterlife. An atheist is simply someone who does not believe in a god. Everything else is up for debate. Atheists do tend to reject any supernatural and accept the scientific like evolution.

Quote: When the body dies it is game over, no consciousness, no sense what so ever that you or anything existed or even doesn't exist true "nothingness".
Mostly true. Though mentally we are gone, physically, we'll exist forever. The idea that one day we'll be gone for good scares the hell out of some people. Which is why many resort to wishful thinking like religion which makes alot of empty promises. The things people will do to hide away from the reality of things. Takes courage to accept and face what you fear. Real truth seekers will accept the truth no matter how bad or good it is.

Quote:This leads me in thought that nothing matters in the end, and I don't mean just my personal end.
Correct. There is no special purpose as theists would like to believe. We are essentially nothing. We are as meaningless as the flies we swat with newspapers. Just biological mechanisms trying to comprehend the larger and older worlds that are outside of our own, and failing miserably.

Quote: All of human existence, in fact if astrophysics is correct, the entire universe will cease to exist.
Well I don't know about the entire universe going into non-existence. I reckon all the matter and energy that makes up this big and very dangerous place would always exist.

Quote:So, all that we humans accomplish will eventually vanish to this "nothingness" even if we happen to exist as a species to witness this ultimate demise.
Well, for the universe to come to it's ultimate end, it will take quite a few BILLION years! Don't know about you, but that seems long enough to me.

Quote:Granted that is a very long way off in the future, if a rogue asteroid or deadly virus doesn't wipe us all out tomorrow.
Which is why it's very important to focus on science. The more we know, the more we can do to protect ourselves. Science can help us extend our lifespans to hundreds of years, stop berth defects, eliminate cancer, produce state of the art limbs and organs. It's endless. Science can improve all our lives to a huge extent. Religion likes to hold it back with delusion. I don't think religion is aware that science can give us an extremely long lifespan. We can delay the inevitable.

Quote:I hope there is more to this existence than this,
We can create our own purpose. We have that ability. We can be as gods if we want. What I think is holding us back is our immeasurable stupidity, like religion for example. We are holding ourselves back. That's the problem.

Quote:But, no consciousness has come back from the other side to tell me different,
It's because there is no 'other side'. We made that up to feel safe. To feel comfortable in the deluded belief of endless existence.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence - Carl Sagan

Mankind's intelligence walks hand in hand with it's stupidity.

Being an atheist says nothing about your overall intelligence, it just means you don't believe in god. Atheists can be as bright as any scientist and as stupid as any creationist.

You never really know just how stupid someone is, until you've argued with them.
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#7
RE: Afterlife vs Not
I am materialist and can therefore see no reason to believe anything survives death. Substance dualism seems to be totally defeated as a line of thought. Neither says anything about my atheism.
"I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence"...Doug McLeod.
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#8
RE: Afterlife vs Not
Belief in the after life is entirely unjustified.

I don't believe what I have no good reason to.
.
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#9
RE: Afterlife vs Not
Malfader13 makes the mistake that atheism has large amounts of beliefs asociated with it, when all it is is the non-belief in god or gods.

Time and time again we come accross people with the exact same misconceptions, who is spreading this stuff.

Personnaly I do not believe in an afterlife, the concept seems a little bizarre to me, but my wife does and indeed believes that she is a medium....sigh....which makes for some lively conversations.



You can fix ignorance, you can't fix stupid.

Tinkety Tonk and down with the Nazis.




 








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#10
RE: Afterlife vs Not
(December 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm)Malfader13 Wrote: It is my understanding that an atheist dose not think there is any kind of afterlife. When the body dies it is game over, no consciousness, no sense what so ever that you or anything existed or even doesn't exist true "nothingness". This leads me in thought that nothing matters in the end, and I don't mean just my personal end. All of human existence, in fact if astrophysics is correct, the entire universe will cease to exist. So, all that we humans accomplish will eventually vanish to this "nothingness" even if we happen to exist as a species to witness this ultimate demise. Nihilism is the only conclusion that can be made from this path of logic, to me. Granted that is a very long way off in the future, if a rogue asteroid or deadly virus doesn't wipe us all out tomorrow. Where am I wrong, if at all, in this way of thinking. How do you who are true atheists reconcile this within yourselves without becoming a nihilist? I personally am an agnostic so at this point I just don't know. I hope there is more to this existence than this, that we are somehow more then the sum of our parts. But, no consciousness has come back from the other side to tell me different, and even if they did I might think I was just going crazy.

Thanks
Mal
I presume you ask because you think becoming a nihilist is somehow undesirable in itself, Otherwise so what if lack of afterlife leads to nihilism? if you think nihilism is undesirable in itself, then the reasons for its intrinsic undesirability should be enough for disciplined person to not follow the nihilist view, should it not? What has it to do with afterlife?

It seems to me the concept that things which are right are only worth doing if one stands to receive an infinite given reward for doing it is the result of the contemptible mix of supercilious self importance and pathetic self debasement that Christianity attempts to bake into every child.
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