• CuddlyHedgehog
    457
    The promise of life after death is religion's lure. Freedom from religious dogmas originates from acceptance that there is no life after death.
  • Joshs
    740
    I hate to break it to you, but there are plenty of religious denominations that don't believe in life after death.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    The promise of life after death is religion's lure.CuddlyHedgehog
    For some adherents of some religions, sure. But for all adherents of all religions? I doubt it.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Name a fewCuddlyHedgehog

    Judiasm has no central position on afterlife.
  • foo
    45
    The promise of life after death is religion's lure. Freedom from religious dogmas originates from acceptance that there is no life after death.CuddlyHedgehog

    While I do think the fear of death is an important theme, I don't think it explains everything.

    I suggest that we have an urge toward objectivity in various forms. We crave a fixed set of rules. We want to resolve cognitive dissonance. We want to know that we are 'clean' or 'innocent' (or 'chosen' or 'elite') with relative certainty. We want to know how to decide whether a statement is true or not, true for everyone.

    If I feel like a part of something objective and timeless, then perhaps I can make peace with the death of my individual self. But that's because I've projected my essential self on to the objectivity that doesn't die.

    But humans also desire novelty and innovation, so the ideal situation is an objectivity that can be added to and yet not taken from. That way I not only survive in 'god'=objectivity but help to build 'god'=objectivity. I think science, literature, visual art, music, math, politics, and other pursuits have some of this structure.

    Finally, (in my view) the religious urge will survive the death of traditional religion if such a death occurs. Humans are almost 'essentially' religious if we generalize the concept of religion as the quest for the deathless that is not necessarily birthless.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    457
    Yes it does:
    "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence" [Daniel 12:2]
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Yes it does:
    "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence" [Daniel 12:2]
    CuddlyHedgehog

    You are just reading from the Torah. I'm referring too what religious Jewish people actually believe and many sects gives no account of life after death. You asked the question and now you are getting the answer so just revise your belief. That is the simplest way to go.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    457
    The simplest is not necessarily the right way to go. Now, if I may, I shall remain skeptical of your argument.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    Now, if I may, I shall remain skeptical of your argument.CuddlyHedgehog
    Skepticism is inimical to your position in this situation. You have made two claims in the OP. The skeptical position is to doubt any claim. Your claims remain under a cloud of skeptical doubt unless you can find some convincing evidence to dispel that cloud.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    It's not an argument, it is information. While religion is closely related to spiritualism, one might normally expect a religion to be interested in the nature of the spirit. In some cases, people get together to discuss the spirit in the here and now, and not to be concerned with the hereafter. Such is the case in some forms of Judaism. Now that you have this information, you can go b it and inquire and revise your beliefs.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    457
    I have seen no convincing evidence that judaism does not believe in some sort of afterlife existence, therefore, I am skeptical about that claim. I have however seen evidence to the contrary which I cited above.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    457
    Information is based on facts, not on mere statements and I am afraid to say that what you are offering in this conversation is self-justifying beliefs that carry no objectivity at all. I take it you encourage people to change their opinions and beliefs so that they match yours quite often. By the way, spirituality infers there is a disconnection between body and spirit, however, science will tell you consciousness originates from electrical activity in the brain and thus cannot be separated from bodily functions and be considered in some sort of metaphysical capacity.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Information is based on facts,CuddlyHedgehog

    There are no facts. Just information you can collect by your own observations and by talking to people. Do some homework, understand people, and learn about life. Life is quite interesting when one engages with it and learns how different people can be.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    457
    Presumably you are giving yourself that advice. You need it.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    I do it all the time and I'm constantly reminding myself it is a reasonable way to spend a life. I'm always interested in observing how people react to new information.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    I have seen no convincing evidence that judaism does not believe in some sort of afterlife existence, therefore, I am skeptical about that claim.CuddlyHedgehog
    That relates to a claim about one religion that was made part way down the thread. But you still have your OP sitting there consisting of two unsupported claims, covering all religions, not just one. A reader of this thread is entitled to be skeptical of your claims, and you have done nothing to dispel that skepticism.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    457
    A claim is by definition an assertion that requires no evidence of proof. An opinion if you like.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    Oh, do you mean the OP is just your opinion? In that case there's nothing to argue about. It would be very presumptuous of anybody to tell you that what you think is your opinion is not really your opinion.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.6k
    You are just reading from the Torah.Rich

    Daniel wasn't in the Pentateuch (Torah), the last time I checked.
  • Noble Dust
    3.6k


    Would there be a need for philosophy if there weas no fear of death?
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Hi Freud, you're going to have to substantiate those claims, especially in light of this: http://www.newsweek.com/fear-death-atheists-religion-dying-afterlife-believers-575496
  • Bitter Crank
    8.6k
    Would there be a need for religion if there was no fear of death?

    The sum of Christianity (the religion I am most familiar with) is not all about dealing with the fear of death.

    First, not everyone (Christian or other) is very afraid of dying. Some people are reconciled to the end of their existence at the time of death. Not all Christians believe in in an afterlife, and there can be sharp disagreement about what "afterlife" even means.

    For some Christians who take God to be a vindictive torturer of souls, there is is more hazard in a life after death (it might be hell on steroids) than no life after death at all (merely non-existence).

    The fear of life after death is, to some extent, part of the package of religion, which posits an afterlife about which you need advice and direction. If Christianity offers a way to avoid hell, a lot of the wide-screen technicolor propaganda on hell came from the church in the first place.
  • Wayfarer
    9.5k
    According to Joshia Royce, 19th c American philosopher, paraphrased by Bill Vallicella, the basis of religion is like this.

    ‘a) There is a paramount end or aim of human life relative to which other aims are vain.

    b) Man as he now is, or naturally is, is in danger of missing his highest aim, his highest good.

    To hold that man needs salvation is to hold both of (a) and (b). The religious person perceives our present life, or our natural life, as radically deficient, deficient from the root (radix) up, as fundamentally unsatisfactory; he feels it to be, not a mere condition, but a predicament; it strikes him as vain or empty if taken as an end in itself; he sees himself as homo viator, as a wayfarer or pilgrim treading a via dolorosa through a vale that cannot possibly be a final and fitting resting place; he senses or glimpses from time to time the possibility of a Higher Life; he feels himself in danger of missing out on this Higher Life of true happiness. If this doesn't strike a chord in you, then I suggest you do not have a religious disposition. Some people don't, and it cannot be helped. One cannot discuss religion with them, for it cannot be real to them. It is not, for them, what William James in "The Will to Believe" calls a "living option," let alone a "forced" or "momentous" one. 1

    So, it’s not ‘fear of death’ as such, but the feeling that life as ordinarily lived is not a worthwhile or true kind of life, and there is a way of being which could be had, but which we’re at grave risk of not seeing.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    The promise of life after death is religion's lure. Freedom from religious dogmas originates from acceptance that there is no life after death.CuddlyHedgehog

    I believe religion is an fundamental expression of how our minds work. Humans see patterns, project their internal world onto the external one. It is a common human experience to feel an emotional, perceptual attachment to the physical world. I think that represents, generally at an unconscious level, an accurate perception of the nature of reality, what some call "the ground of being."

    In my experience, that impulse comes first, the stories come later. Life after death is one of those stories.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    Showing that Christians don't fear death actually supports the claim that the belief in the after-life actually alleviates their fear of death. Arguing against the OP would entail providing the names of religions that don't believe in the after-life AND a list of religions that do believe in the after-life but still fear death.

    If you don't fear death then what you've done is perform mental gymnastics in order to come up with some idea(s) that changes what death actually is. It would be a wonder why anyone who believes that the afterlife exists AND is better than their life now doesn't just "kill" themselves to get to the next part of their lives?

    Personally, I think it is more of the fear of being unimportant, or not having a purpose in life, that provides the catalyst for believing in some religion or another. Thinking that you are immortal is one way to alleviate that fear. But also believing in an ultimate creator with a "divine" plan for you and everything else is another way of easing the fear.
  • Janus
    8.9k
    he feels himself in danger of missing out on this Higher Life of true happiness.Wayfarer

    An extremely unfortunate obsession with self indeed!

    As to the OP; religion can be as much, and more rightly I think, concerned with suffering in this life as with an imagined afterlife.
  • Wayfarer
    9.5k
    An extremely unfortunate obsession with self indeed!Janus

    The Christian and Buddhist understanding is that the only way to realise the higher life is to lose the self altogether, so a fundamental, and probably willful, misinterpretation.
  • fdrake
    3.4k


    It's interesting to see religious faith as motivating the same sort of acts as secular authenticity. The deficiency of life in terms of its current state is interpreted either towards the potential for a higher relationship with oneself or a higher relationship towards the divine. Strange that the two meet. Very Protestant.
  • Janus
    8.9k
    The Christian and Buddhist understanding is that the only way to realise the higher life is to lose the self altogetherWayfarer

    And right there lives the greatest of ironies.
  • Wayfarer
    9.5k
    Well, Protestantism had a particular perspective on it, based on 'sola scriptura' and the relationship of the believer and Jesus Christ as Saviour. But I can't see how anything to do with religion and spirituality can be divorced from the idea of aspiration - the sense that there is a higher or better or more complete way of life, which is what the religion in question is said to codify. What else could it be? I mean, the OP typically sells it short, but then in a secular world, very few have any grasp of what it is they're purportedly trying to explain away.

    And right there lives the greatest of ironies.Janus

    It's not an irony, it's a paradox. I's expressed in the verse, for example, 'He who saves his life shall lose it, he that looses his life for My sake will be saved'. That is kind of the central 'koan' of Christianity, perhaps.
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