Questions about afterlife.

I do not believe in an afterlife and for a long time that was that. It still is but for several months now I have been thinking about what if there was life after death. A lot of religions and belief systems teach us that it is so, mostly to ensure, I believe, to tie us to those religions and belief systems so that we can secure eternal happiness for our souls, consciousness or whatever entity our departed selves may adopt. Of course, to not believe would condemn that entity to eternal damnation and horrors beyond imagination. And that is where it ends.

That's it; life after death is eternal bliss or an eternity of suffering. 

But, what does that mean? Well, I don't have any answers - that is why the title of this post is "Questions about afterlife." Sure, there are lots of information as to whether there is life after death but none that I could find that deals with what happens in death if the answer it true.

Here are my questions. If someone has any ideas of what the answers may be, I would appreciate a note in the comments.

  • What does one do for eternity?

Eternity is a very, very, very, very, very, ad infinitum... long time. Presumably, it is longer than how long the Universe has been around and longer than how long the Universe will last (except if it is flat or open, in which case, the Universe will also last forever). Even in a flat or open Universe, there are only a finite (although very, very, very (but definitely not infinitely) large) number of states an entity can be in. Perhaps our soul (my term for what we are after death hereafter ;) ) can be in states that are not limited by the physical laws of nature - in which case, how can we even begin to even know how to deal with those states and can we really keep our current human identity in those states?

  • What form do our souls take?

If an infant dies, does she or he stay an infant after death? Perhaps they can float around for mobility but can they have fine motor skills, control their bowl movements (are there bowel movements in afterlife?), etc? What about the elderly - they may have lived a long life but now they are wrinkled, bald and droopy in certain places. Certain things may be fixed like arthritis and bad eyesight, but to change how one looks may lead to an identity crisis. What about the 'disabled' e.g. Stephen Hawking or Terry Schiavoor amputees? Some may choose to be restored to their fully-abled selves but for others, their disability or deformation is what defines their lives. Changing their form would change who they are if not immediately, then over time.

  • Do we keep our memories?

​Well, infants who die don't have any memories to speak of so lets jump ahead a little bit. Again, memories, good or bad, give us our identities. A really horrible event in our life may have defined who we later become. What about regrets? There are memories that may torment us still and we may have preferred never to have experienced the event that led to that memory but now that we have it, it is ours. To remove that memory would be to wipe out all our experiences that came after that may have been shaped by that memory. A good experience that came about because of a bad event in our past would lose its meaning were the original reason for that experience to be removed.

I think I had more questions but it is really late, or rather really early and I need to get some sleep. I will likely amend this post as more questions come to me or in reply to answers posited by others.

I did not forget the proverbial, do dogs go to heaven? While that has gotten more 'research' than the questions I have posted, the answer still seems un-decided. But, if pet dogs have an afterlife, what about strays? What about cats, cows, pigs, chicken, fish, etc?

I really would like to know. These questions keep me up at night. :)

Comments

Interesting, you appear to believe that "afterlife" is just a continuation of an individual Life, but in a different reality domain. I believe that we are each a ripple in an ocean of consciousness that pervades the universe. And when we "die", our ripple ceases to exist and becomes indistinguishable from the source but new ones are being formed all the time in that same ocean.

Hope that helps.

Interesting idea - just as the molecules that make us up get recycled into something new, e.g. weeds and flowers if we are buried, our consciousness gets recycled to create new consciousness-es. If there is no growth or progression of consciousness beyond our physical lives, what does this say about the meaning of life? Also, if our consciousness does not exist after we die, can we call what comes next, the afterlife?

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