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epbart
LSU Fan
new york city
Member since Mar 2005
2543 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

Entire religions and societies built upon the afterlife, but nobody knows.


TLDR version:

You seem to be discounting personal experience as a valid form of knowledge when it is technically a type of knowledge and a form of evidence (even if it is sometimes questionable or inaccurate).

Longer version:

I think it's more accurate to say you don't believe them as opposed to "nobody knows" because some people do claim to know. Many people know things about many topics through experience that others don't know, and they are sometimes correct.

I'm sure some philosophers have addressed types of knowledge and how to validate them in a better way than I will here... But, off the top of my head, it would seem there are at least 3 types of personal knowledge:

1) that which is easily tested in a physical manner so that others can experience a similar level of understanding. Example: I can drive a small common nail through most woods with a small hammer; I'm not likely going to be able to drive the same type of nail through a concrete floor with the same small hammer... All of this would be easily verifiable... and this seems to be the kind of proof you're looking for, but it isn't a valid or reasonable request considering a soul would be freed from their physical body.

2) abstract or theoretical knowledge... can be true, but isn't easily understood and not understandable to everyone. Example: Einstein gained knowledge of what became his special theory of relativity, and maybe the general theory of relavity by building on thought experiments. Not sure how special relativity was tested or proved, but I believe it took several years before general relativity was validated during an eclipse. In the meantime, many professional scientists doubted Einstein. Einstein wasn't wrong (at least we don't think so now), but many people-- even professional scientists-- lacked the understanding to accept what was later experimentally proven true. Whether that level of understanding is based on inherent intelligence/IQ, experience, or some combination is another topic, but it points to the fact that just because some (or even many) people don't understand something to be true does not make believers wrong unless they can prove otherwise. It's fine to be skeptical as long as you don't close your mind to the possibility that others may know something you don't.

3) Some knowledge that can be true is purely experiential. I might be sitting on the beach and see a shooting star, which could be perfectly true, but I'd have no way of proving that to you.

In my opinion, the problem with your question of why isn't there evidence of an afterlife comes down to how you're framing adequate proof. After all, if someone dies or has a near-death experience, and their mind/soul have been temporarily freed from their body, it doesn't seem reasonable to assume they're going to come back with proof or evidence of the type described in the paragraph numbered "1" above. It seems more reasonable to my mind that #3) experiential and possibly #2) abstract knowledge would be more probable types of proof that might be presented to you, and the validity then comes down to your faith in the source and your capacity to understand abstract ideas that are presented.

If you have a legit desire to investigate this topic, studing NDEs as some suggest can give insight to the extent you're open-minded. One particularly interesting case was Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who contracted meningitis (I think) and while he lived through the ordeal, the parts of the brain which would be expected to have been actively working if his experience was a dream were effectively non-operational / dormant / dead for approx a week. He wrote a book, Proof of Heaven, but is also in a number of youtube vidoes discussing his experiences.

If you want to dig deeper into the philosophical framework that would support belief in existence beyond the flesh, I recommend EF Schumacher's book, A Guide for the Perplexed. It has an exceptional chapter on the Great Chain of Being which has bearing on the question at hand. (Briefly, it's about ontological levels of being from non-living matter like rocks, which have no inherent freedom and are thus completely contingent, to plants, then animals & humans, which have increasing levels of intelligence and thus ability to organize matter, making them less contingent, thus more active and free. The book further explains how the increasingly important and precious qualities that mark the ontological levels are increasingly invisible and unmeasurable (to lower standards of proof), with the ultimate expression of intelligence, activity & freedom, etc being God.) In another chapter it further elaborates on how meaning changing up and down the chain, which is relevant to understanding concepts of proof.

ThinePreparedAni's post on pg 3 also has good perspective. We tend to think our five senses are "the" objective truth of reality, but it's just as reasonable to suggest our brain and senses are like antenna that only allow parts of reality in heavily filter out parts of reality that don't promote immediate survival... unless you're on a psychedelic trip or have an NDE which disrupts / deconstructs / opens the flood gates to how you see and interpret reality. So, there's that.


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Randman
LSU Fan
Mississippi
Member since Feb 2018
33 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?


quote:

...but that wasn't detectable or measurable in any way. And nobody ever came back and said "Here, I took this picture" or "God gave me this note." Nobody ever came back with information that could reveal future events.


Do you believe in written historical records? Jesus died and came back to life. It’s recorded history with tremendous amounts of reliable evidence.

Think about this: More than 100 people physically saw and interacted with Jesus after the resurrection. They then witnessed Jesus ascend into heaven. Most all of these people were then severely harassed, persecuted, jailed and even put to death for continuously testifying of their experience. Why would they do this if it weren’t true?

This post was edited on 6/12 at 10:33 pm


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34
rickyh
LSU Fan
Positiger Nation
Member since Dec 2003
10414 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
Jesus is proof. And plenty of people have encountered dead loved ones. There is life after death.


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Globetrotter747
Member since Sep 2017
589 posts
 Online 

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
I think our consciousness ends (no Hell, no Heaven, no reincarnation, etc.) and our bodies simply decompose. I see no reason to think otherwise.

I think people buy into life after death mostly for three reasons:

1. They can't cope with grandma dying and being gone forever.
2. They can't cope with their own inevitable death.
3. They can't stand the thought of bad people (or people who wronged them) getting away with it all without punishment.

Society perpetuates all this shit, as it's passed on from one generation to the next. I think theists who insist that this life is meaningless without God would have an entirely different (and healthy) mindset if they had not been brainwashed since the cradle with Bronze Age nonsense. The truth is, we're damn lucky to have this life and it has all the meaning you want to give it.

"The gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." -- Achilles, Troy.


Klingler7
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Nov 2009
3043 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
I believe in Eternal life. I can’t imagine what the purpose of a brief life on this planet would be if it did not continue in some other form. Life would have no meaning really. It would be a big joke and would be meaningless.

Why spend 18 to 22 years going to school and having relationships if there is nothing more greater than this experience on Earth ? Why do anything ? Or put forth effort to accomplish anything ? What would be the point for an individual or humanity as a whole ?


Globetrotter747
Member since Sep 2017
589 posts
 Online 

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

I believe in Eternal life. I can’t imagine what the purpose of a brief life on this planet would be if it did not continue in some other form. Life would have no meaning really. It would be a big joke and would be meaningless.


Even if you consider finite life meaningless, that doesn't justify believing in something far better just because. A mediocre guy who's not content with his sex life isn't going to start banging 10's just because he's tired of 5's. It is what it is.

There's no reason to look at the mangled corpse of a car accident victim and think that that person is now suddenly having the time of his life in a renewed form.

When we're gone, we're gone. The afterlife is wishful thinking.

quote:

Why spend 18 to 22 years going to school and having relationships if there is nothing more greater than this experience on Earth ?


There are a lot of people out there with spouses and kids that I hope find plenty to live for in the relationships that they have with those people.

I mean, what would you do if you were suddenly convinced that there is no afterlife? Would you no longer give a shite about your family? Would you swallow a bullet? Or would you make the most of it?

quote:

What would be the point for an individual or humanity as a whole ?


I'm an atheist. I have great relationships with people that I will cherish until my consciousness ceases. I am also going to Colorado tomorrow to hike around and look at mountains that have been here since before I was born and will be here when I'm long gone.

It's both humbling and awesome. And if anyone can't find wonder and gratitude and kindness in this world without being coerced or rewarded by a deity or having to believe that they will exist forever and ever and ever, then I feel sorry for someone like that.

Just because something has an ending doesn't mean it doesn't have meaning. In fact, having an ending gives it more meaning.


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Cowboyfan89
McNeese State Fan
Member since Sep 2015
7030 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
I always love a good atheist lecture about the "nonsense" of believing in God. It's almost as obnoxious as a vegan lecturing me over why my choice to eat meat is wrong.
quote:

The truth is, we're damn lucky to have this life and it has all the meaning you want to give it.

Yeah, you're right. If you don't believe in God, then your life is just chalked up to a game of chance and you are lucky to have it. And hopefully you can assign a meaning to it, because something that is simply had because of "luck" implies that it has no meaning otherwise. It's not purposeful.

That's the beauty of believing in God--it comes with a belief that everything has a purpose and isn't just "luck". Everything happens for a reason. I feel sorry for anyone that thinks our entire existence is just a game of chance.
quote:

Just because something has an ending doesn't mean it doesn't have meaning. In fact, having an ending gives it more meaning.

I feel like there is a misunderstanding of what Christians believe about death here. We don't sit here and think this life doesn't have meaning. It means a great deal. If you screw around and do terrible things on Earth, when you die, your soul isn't going to a very great place. If you do good on Earth, your soul is going to live on in paradise.

If anything, believing in an afterlife gives this life more meaning, because it sets a goal. If you run a race just to run a race, do you get the same gratification out of it as the guy that's running it for a prize? Maybe so, but at the end of it, the other guy is still getting something that you aren't.
This post was edited on 6/13 at 1:55 am


Globetrotter747
Member since Sep 2017
589 posts
 Online 

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

That's the beauty of believing in God--it comes with a belief that everything has a purpose and isn't just "luck". Everything happens for a reason. I feel sorry for anyone that thinks our entire existence is just a game of chance.


You can believe what you want, even if it's patently false. There might be someone in a padded room right now who thinks he talks to John Lennon every night and might sincerely believe it. Doesn't make it true.

So what would you do if there were no God? Would you just quit and kill yourself? Are you scared of death? Can you not handle it emotionally that there is an end to your being? Are you that weak? Would you no longer care about your friends and family and not want to spend as much time as possible with them before you die?

I'm honestly curious. Would you quit your family and friends and lose your drive to enjoy and accomplish things for no other reason than the fact that your time is finite and that your consciousness was born from the Universe rather than a deity?

quote:

If anything, believing in an afterlife gives this life more meaning, because it sets a goal. If you run a race just to run a race, do you get the same gratification out of it as the guy that's running it for a prize? Maybe so, but at the end of it, the other guy is still getting something that you aren't.


Tom Brady has a helluva lot better life than I do. He's much better looking, has a supermodel wife, has won six Super Bowls, and has more money in his seat cushions than I do in my bank account.

Since my life isn't as good as Tom Brady's, should I just quit? Should I not enjoy what I do have and make the most of it. I mean, I know there's a Tom Brady and yet I'm still okay with my life not being as superb as his. Why do you get up each day when you'll never be as successful as Tom Brady?

That's what I don't get. No one on this board has a life as great as Tom Brady yet we all still find reasons to get up each day and make the most of it. Similarly, why can't I make the most of my finite existence instead of moping around because I don't believe I'm going to an eternal paradise one day that we don't even know exists?
This post was edited on 6/13 at 2:47 am


Cowboyfan89
McNeese State Fan
Member since Sep 2015
7030 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

You can believe what you want, even if it's patently false.

Isn't this what we are talking about, beliefs? You can't prove either way what is true and what is not (related to God), so don't even go there. Science has been trying and has continually failed to disprove God, simply because it is outside the realm of scientific reason to do so.
quote:

So what would you do if there were no God? Would you just quit and kill yourself? Are you scared of death? Can you not handle it emotionally that there is an end to your being? Are you that weak? Would you no longer care about your friends and family and not want to spend as much time as possible with them before you die?

You clearly lack a fundamental understanding of Christianity if you think any of this is true. No one is going out tomorrow and committing suicide if God isn't real, and no one is quiting their family either. Quite the contrary; some Christians have left their families to follow God (the Apostles most famously).

And if God were not real, why would I leave the only other people that I genuinely care about? What kind of logic is that? I don't love my family ONLY because of God.

A belief in God is not indicative of someone who fears death or can't deal with it emotionally. These are the types of things people tell themselves to brush off Christianity as a magic show in fairytale land. Being a Christian and believing that you have a soul that lives on beyond the physical world is not indicative of being weak. It's simply a belief in the fact that we are more than just a physical being, and that the body dying is not the end of us.

I could just as easily argue that not believing in God is emotionally weak, because it's easier to believe that life ends when you die--allowing yourself to do whatever makes you happy--than to believe that your soul lives on in either heaven or hell. Living that way binds you to a certain moral code, because it implies consequences for poor choices in life. A death that is the end of your entire being does not, so a person that lives a life caring for others ends in the same way a serial murderer's life does--at the grave. Is that true? Maybe so.

I'll say this much: one of us is going to be right and one wrong when we die. And neither one of us will be able to tell the other he was wrong, because we'll both be dead. Until then, we are debating beliefs, and nothing more.
This post was edited on 6/13 at 2:49 am


Globetrotter747
Member since Sep 2017
589 posts
 Online 

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

Isn't this what we are talking about, beliefs? You can't prove either way what is true and what is not (related to God), so don't even go there. Science has been trying and has continually failed to disprove God, simply because it is outside the realm of scientific reason to do so.


My point is anyone can believe what they want to even if it's patently false. I was specifically referring to God, just anything.

quote:

You clearly lack a fundamental understanding of Christianity if you think any of this is true. No one is going out tomorrow and committing suicide if God isn't real, and no one is quiting their family either.


So there's still meaning to life without God?

quote:

And if God were not real, why would I leave the only other people that I genuinely care about? What kind of logic is that? I don't love my family ONLY because of God.


That's good.

quote:

A belief in God is not indicative of someone who fears death or can't deal with it emotionally.


It's mostly indicative of where you were born and how you are raised, and that is indisputably true. Most people born in the southeastern USA are going to be at least nominally Christian. Most people born in the Iraq are going to be Muslim. Most people born in India are going to be Hindu.

Religion is a manifestation of fear and need that is expressed through culture. How people do not have the independence of thought to step outside of themselves and consider their own prejudices and vulnerabilities baffles me.


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Cowboyfan89
McNeese State Fan
Member since Sep 2015
7030 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

Since my life isn't as good as Tom Brady's, should I just quit? Should I not enjoy what I do have and make the most of it. I mean, I know there's a Tom Brady and yet I'm still okay with my life not being as superb as his. Why do you get up each day when you'll never be as successful as Tom Brady?

Success is relative. Tom is very successful at football and has a Supermodel wife, but why would I consider myself any less successful than him because I didn't pursue the same path in life? He may be terrible at what I do, or what a financial advisor or entrepreneur does--does that make him less successful? No.
quote:

Similarly, why can't I make the most of my finite existence instead of moping around because I don't believe I'm going to an eternal paradise one day that we don't even know exists?

Is anyone telling you to sit around and mope? I don't think so. Why would you mope about something you don't believe in? That would be like me not believing in unicorns and then moping about the fact that they don't exist. It's illogical.

The only reason you would mope about this is if it were proven to be untrue, that there was no afterlife.


Cowboyfan89
McNeese State Fan
Member since Sep 2015
7030 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

My point is anyone can believe what they want to even if it's patently false. I was specifically referring to God, just anything.

You missed by point--what about God can be proven to be patently false? The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven, so how can anyone say whether it is patently false, or even patently true? We aren't talking about someone believing the sky is purple.
quote:

So there's still meaning to life without God?

It comes down to whether you believe there is meaning in randomness. If there is no God, life is entirely random. If life is random, it has no reason for existing, no purpose. But can it have meaning? Sure, I think so. You can still have an impact on people's lives, but that does not equate to purpose.

As a Christian, I do not believe life is random. It has a purpose, it was designed purposefully. And God gave it a purpose--to strive towards him. To strive to reach eternal paradise. If there is no God, we have nothing to strive for beyond this life. We live and die, and that's it.
quote:

How people do not have the independence of thought to step outside of themselves and consider their own prejudices and vulnerabilities baffles me.

Well that's ironic coming from a guy who seems to think Christians only believe in God because they fear death or are emotionally unable to deal with death. Again, let's go back to this discussion of the afterlife. Which is easier to believe:
A) If I live a moral life, I will go to eternal paradise; if I live an immoral life, I will go to hell;
OR
B) When I die, life is over; my body goes in the ground. Therefore, it doesn't matter what I do in this life.

One suggests a higher judge of what we do in this life. The other suggests that we are free to do as we want, and the only consequences of our actions are those on this Earth.


LCA131
Appalachian St. Fan
Home of the Fake Sig lines
Member since Feb 2008
57623 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
Good post, Tex.



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Westworld
LSU Fan
SEC Country
Member since Mar 2018
635 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
When you die you vote democrat. This is a proven fact. No one has definitive answers beyond that. TPA- we are on the same wave length. It would be nice to share a cup of tea sometime.


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kywildcatfanone
Kentucky Fan
Wildcat Country!
Member since Oct 2012
60295 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
When you die, your soul ejects from your earthsuit. If you are a Christian you go to Heaven.


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whoa
New Orleans Saints Fan
New Orleans
Member since Sep 2017
774 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

To the op, physics tells us that matter is neither created or destroyed, only changed in form. Put another way, the dalai lama succinctly summed this up in his book the universe in an atom, saying everything exists or nothing exists. Meaning, there is only one thing, in which you exist now, you have always existed and you will always. Only the form of it will change periodically.

Absolutely. This further's my idea that we die and all become stars.


hubertcumberdale
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2009
1046 posts
 Online 

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

Absolutely. This further's my idea that we die and all become stars.


Quite the opposite according to the standard universe model where hydrogen and helium fuse to create stars, die, blow up and in the process of blowing up fuse together all the other elements (us) that exist in the universe.


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The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
24146 posts
 Online 

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
This question is the basic premise behind all organized religion. The promise of a great afterlife as long as you toe the line and act in accordance with that religion's guidelines. No religion has any proof there is an afterlife, or a heaven, or eternal salvation, etc., though they all claim they do have such evidence. I'll admit it does sound better that your deceased loved ones are enjoying a nice tea break in heaven rather than just rotting in an overpriced box in the ground, but it doesn't make it true.


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Globetrotter747
Member since Sep 2017
589 posts
 Online 

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

Success is relative. Tom is very successful at football and has a Supermodel wife, but why would I consider myself any less successful than him because I didn't pursue the same path in life? He may be terrible at what I do, or what a financial advisor or entrepreneur does--does that make him less successful? No.


I think 99.9% of men would rather have Tom Brady's life than yours or mine. My point is I don't have to have the greatest life imaginable in order to enjoy it and find meaning in it.

Would it be nice to live eternally and be the purposeful creation of a deity? Maybe. But either way, I still find this life worth living.

quote:

Is anyone telling you to sit around and mope? I don't think so.


I think a lot of Christians would do just that if it were proven (somehow) that God and Heaven do not exist.

I wish I had a dime for every time I have seen a reference to God or Heaven when reading a social media post about someone being ill, going through hard times, or a loved one passing away. People use it to cope.

I'm sure it works to some extent... but I think it's only a placebo. People who have used religion as a crutch their whole lives would have a hard time doing without it.

I'm fine either way.

quote:

You missed by point--what about God can be proven to be patently false? The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven, so how can anyone say whether it is patently false, or even patently true? We aren't talking about someone believing the sky is purple.


No, you missed the point. I said that people are free to believe anything they want, even it's patently false. That's a large spectrum and I wasn't necessarily saying belief in deities was on the most extreme end of it, even though I think it's pretty close.

A 1st century cult figure talks to you, society is proud of you. A 19th century French emperor talks to you, you might end up in a straight jacket.

It's crazy.

quote:

It comes down to whether you believe there is meaning in randomness. If there is no God, life is entirely random. If life is random, it has no reason for existing, no purpose. But can it have meaning? Sure, I think so. You can still have an impact on people's lives, but that does not equate to purpose.


I can assign purpose to anything I wish.

quote:

If there is no God, we have nothing to strive for beyond this life. We live and die, and that's it.


So? When I went to my senior prom I knew it would only last a few hours and that all the nice decorations would be torn down shortly afterwards and sent to a landfill somewhere and my date and I would go our separate ways afterwards.

Still had a helluva good time. Something doesn't have to last forever or have some deep purpose to be damn fun and enjoyable. Enjoy the music, dance while it lasts, and be grateful for the experience.

quote:

Well that's ironic coming from a guy who seems to think Christians only believe in God because they fear death or are emotionally unable to deal with death.


I think Christians mostly believe in God due to social influences and conditioning. If you're born and raised in Louisiana by die hard LSU fans, you're probably going to be an LSU fan too - even though LSU fans have a lot more exposure to other college teams and fan bases than Christians do with non-Christians (which is almost zero in some parts of the world).

It's the same shite. People generally prefer what they can relate to - be it sports teams, religion, food preferences, etc.

quote:

Again, let's go back to this discussion of the afterlife. Which is easier to believe:
A) If I live a moral life, I will go to eternal paradise; if I live an immoral life, I will go to hell; OR
B) When I die, life is over; my body goes in the ground. Therefore, it doesn't matter what I do in this life.


First of all, people don't go to Heaven (supposedly) for living moral lives. They go to Heaven for accepting JC as their lord and savior. There are plenty of non-Christians living moral lives who will (supposedly) fall into hellfire as soon as their heart stops beating.

Second, just because your life (from a non-Christian point of view) doesn't have an eternal influence does not mean it doesn't matter. Once again, I think you can argue that it matters more.

Who do you think would find more enjoyment out of a night of wild sex with a gorgeous supermodel in some Vegas penthouse suite, Brad Pitt or an Average Joe? The guy who can do something like that any day of his life or the guy for whom it would truly be a once in a lifetime experience?

It's hard to really appreciate something that you can have any time you want it and will never lose. If you live eternally, you will never have fleeting moments of appreciation.

quote:

One suggests a higher judge of what we do in this life. The other suggests that we are free to do as we want, and the only consequences of our actions are those on this Earth.


I don't need a celestial being holding a paddle to keep myself in line.


OweO
LSU Fan
OT Legend
Member since Sep 2009
76969 posts

re: Has there ever been a scintilla of evidence of what happens after you die?
quote:

Much like your story of being raped as a young child by your female nanny.


Wait.. Darth got raped by his female nanny as a child?


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