Interesting questions about "Life":
(1) I am conscious of being me (my body).
Why am I not you (your body)?
Why am I exactly me and not someone else in the world or someone
in the past or someone in the future?
What about identical twins?
Are there people that are not conscious of themselves as
separate from others?
(2) When I die the universe that I know disappears.
Do I disappear too? To others I do disappear.
If a person does not disappear altogether, why is there no reliable
(scientific) evidence of their existence (no communications) separate
from their previous life?
The only somewhat reasonable and interesting explanation of why we never
reliably see or hear of people returning after death is illustrated in the short science fiction story
"Desertion" by Clifford Simak.
(3) I have difficulty imagining my non-existence.
But -> there is no memory before my childhood and there is no evidence
of existence after death. Wishing a continued existence after death
does not mean it exists. What ever the situation actually is, belief in it,
or certain beliefs or non-beliefs, or lifestyle will likely not affect
what happens. Wishing likely doesnt make it so.
(4) If I do exist beyond death, do I remember anything from this life?
(5) If humans have a continuance after death, why not cats and dogs
and other animals? They all share the same kind of DNA.
We are part of the animal kingdom that have feelings, feel pain
and pleasure, reason things out, communicate, are conscious, etc.
What does the Bible say about animals and humans? The Bible agrees there is no line between animals and humans in regards to an afterlife. There is either none or they both have it.
Ecclesiastes 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity
Ecclesiastes 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Make sure you read these verses in context -- read the verses that are before and after these.
(6) Each person has a unique DNA sequence (other than if you are an identical
twins). The chances are essentially zero that anyone else has ever existed
or will ever exist that has your DNA sequence.
Each person has a unique set of life experiences, never to be duplicated by anyone, ever.
The tragedy of death is that when a person dies it is the end of a unique DNA sequence and the loss of a unique set of experiences. People may in future be able to construct a human with a given DNA, but likely never the life experiences.
This, of course, applies to almost all organisms that reproduce sexually -- your dog, cat, cow, bird, flowering plant.
No sense making your life miserable or less happy over something nobody
knows anything about -- there is no reliable evidence from the other side.
I would love to know of any reliable, reproducible evidence, but I don't,
so I concentrate on this life. If there was confirming evidence I would
be the first to be persuaded by it.
What does puzzle me -- Why are Christians and others that are absolutely
sure of Heaven or equivalent so concerned about surviving when approaching
death. You would think with the promise of Heaven they would welcome it;
and the sooner the better. You would think that they would askew medical help
and just die naturally. Why are most so keen on medical treatment in a
life and death situation?
Lets talk briefly about death.
We naturally wish to survive; even death. We all wish to live beyond this life.
We cannot imagine not being. All our experiences in life have to do with
our being, not our non-being.
The temptation to believe in our survival after death is our travesty if we lose
control of our present life to the promises of a book, ancient or modern;
to the promises made by people that say they know.
Lets face it. We dont know what happens after death.
Those that say they know are only guessing. There is no reliable evidence.
Those that die never come back to tell us. The stories of messages
from the other side are not reliable. There is just no evidence we can
depend our lives on.
All we know is this life. Our personal identity after death is a total mystery,
possibly an adventure into the unknown. It may be endless sleep, or
something more glorious. If we could choose, an endless sleep may be
preferable to the promised afterlife sold to us by "those that say they know."
If we are honest with ourselves we must say "We dont really know."
Whatever we hope or wish will not make a difference to what actually
happens to us. What we hope and wish only has an impact on this life --
the only life we know. This does not mean we should not hope.
It is good and natural to hope, but let us not destroy the goodness of
this life in the hoping.
A most interesting book on beliefs in the hereafter is
"the Transcendental Temptation. A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal"
by Paul Kurtz ISBN 0-87975-645-4 book
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