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Debate Info

56
58
Yes No
Debate Score:114
Arguments:79
Total Votes:117
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 Yes (44)
 
 No (35)

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DeanN(201) pic



Is there an "afterlife" after death?

I think so because then when you die you cant just sit there and look at black. There has just got to be.Cool

Yes

Side Score: 56
VS.

No

Side Score: 58
9 points

I figured this out a while ago, when I was around 17 or 18, so it may be rusty...

If there was a creator, then possibly. I can't test that so that's the end of that train of thought.

If there was no creator though, I assume that what exists does so infinitely, with no beginning and with no end. I assume this because It's the quickest way to the same conclusion. If you assume that nothing came from something, that is just another plain of existence that could be dealt with in the same manner... so I'll just assume that everything that is, has been and will be forever existent and forever changing.

Bah, it's such a big theory... if energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed, then we get:

A) Matter is infinite

B) Energy is infinite

C) Time is infinite (For the sake of understanding)

D) We are aware of this

If matter and the exchange of energy continues infinitely long, the combination that lead us to this point must have without a doubt, happened infinitely many times in the past (we have lived these exact same lives infinite times, and infinite lives that were different from our own, even if it's extremely different, or seemingly no different whatsoever. We have lived an infinite amount of lives, forever, and once we die we'll be reborn again in the same life until we die the same death over and over, into infinity.

We are, in a sense, always alive, and there is always an "Afterlife", though it's not really an afterlife, it's just a life. Nothing can happen after anything in infinity because it's sort of, not on a linear time line that we're used to thinking it. It's all at once and only seems to happen linearly to human life.

Let me know if you don't understand something, I'll elaborate.

Side: yes
3 points

In your argument you make a couple of assumptions that I disagree with.

First, we do not know time is infinite. We know that our own universe began around 14 billion years ago, and that (assuming the universe continues to expand) eventually all energy and matter in the universe will eventually become uniform heat (second law of thermodynamics). What this means is that, although time will stretch for a very long time, it is not infinite. This is important because it means that not every extremely improbable event has to happen.

Now let me examine your second claim: that we have lived our lives infinite times, and will live our lives again, infinite times. I'm going to use you as an example.

What are you? You could say a human, a living organism, or any number of vague terms, however at the most basic level, you are a collection of atoms. What is most important though, is that your collection is not arbitrary. There was no dice rolled, or anything of that sort. A very long series of events, starting billions of years ago, and ending with this very moment has led to the ever changing grouping of atoms that is you. That grouping is different now then when you first began reading this argument, and will be different again when you finish. Each moment of your life has changed you. And before your life, it was your parents lives that shaped you, up until your conception. And before them it was there parents and so on until you trace yourself all the way back to our primitive single celled ancestors who had just come out of the primordial soup.

I am not even including in this the multitude of outside factors that played a part in shaping who you are today. There were solar flares, asteroids, windy days, snow, and floods that all played a part in the arrangement of the cells which make up you.

I am going to assume that you are familiar with chaos theory, and therefore know that any change during the past 14 billion years, up until now, no matter how infintesimally small, would have meant that you, as you are right now, would not have existed.

What this also means is the chances of the same type of atoms of the same number coming into the exact same formation is indescribably improbable. In an infinite universe, like the one you described, it may still be possible for this to happen, however, in the actual universe, there is a limited window for you or anyone else to be created.

Therefore I can safely say that this is your only life...enjoy it.

Side: No
Bradf0rd(1428) Disputed
1 point

Alright...

1. If you assume that the universe will at some point expand to a point were no matter will have an effect on any other matter or energy in the universe and everything will stop moving (because matter and energy moving through space is still an event), then you're saying that the universe will essentially die. That it will be inactive without end.

My answer to that, very quickly, is that you cannot have an end to infinity. Infinity is one point whereas a "very long time" is a linear string that exists within the point of infinity. Everything that is happening now in space and time, must happen forever or we couldn't be here now. If you think that the universe will die or collapse on itself, that's fine though, it doesn't conflict with my idea though because like I've said, infinity doesn't end, it is infinite, and if we're here now we'll be here forever, just as infinity is forever. If the universe ceases to change at some point and it must reach the linear equivalent that we understand it to be now again, then there is a higher nature that will reset the universe to it's linear beginning through some means. Anyhow

2. If you look at the existence as a calculation, with numbers being matter and mathematics being the laws of physics, time being the change of one number to the next, it doesn't seem as radical an idea, that all of what is now could easily duplicated in infinity. Existence works like a machine, laws governed by a higher level of existence, and that one too, has a higher existence, and so on. The only thing that hinders a simple grasp of this concept is our consciousness and how we expect a final existence by which everything is governed but itself, which would be immediately erroneous (and is the reason why we cannot think this).

It really is something that I should be working on more, but I don't see any great importance in thinking that the universe is nothing and something all at once governed by something and nothing all at once and how time will continue indefinitely and we'll all live our shitty lives over and over... It's not meaningful to anyone, even scientists who are looking for answers... they would just give up and say "Science is bull, and we'll never learn anything because human consciousness cannot understand infinity, and that's what we're dealing with on every level of existence except with our consciousness (which too, we deal with but not seemingly)"

It really is too great a subject to simply argue on CreateDebate after drinking too much.

:^/

Side: yes

I like your argument, one up vote. One question though, is the child the same as the man? I mean, what constitutes the individual? His thoughts, the atoms that make him up or the continuity of the body. If the thoughts, then the child and the man should be the same because the child can adquire the thoughts of the man. If the atoms, then they will never cease to exist but they may separate and become something else. If the body, then that rots in the ground.

Side: yes
1 point

Is a child the same as a man, no. I don't really get the meaning of the question though... It seems like an interesting question, so explain a little better and I'll see what I think.

Side: yes
1 point

That's pretty cool. I have never heard that theory before which is impressive especially if you thought it all up yourself. I don't completely agree but some of it went over my head so I'm not gunna go down that road. (;

Just thought it was good old, entertaining, food for thought.

Side: yes
jthomas4(7) Disputed
1 point

Matter is neither created nor destroyed, it only changes. What to we don't know. So i guess in that sense it is infinite.

Energy is not infinite. It is expended. Which is why things die.

Time is infinite to our understanding, but time isn't actually real, its just how our brains' correlate events to a certain moment.

The correlation between matter and energy allows things to continually change. From living to dead, from full to hungry, from quenched to thirsty, so and so forth.

We are not aware of this. If we knew time didn't exist, we could do so much more in no time at all quite literally. Also if we were aware of all the changes we make, we would not be in the world we are living in right now. Our conciousness past death is debateable, because one: no one has had the definite experience of going to an afterlife. Two: you would have to be dead to progress to an after life, which is why no one has had the definite experience of going on to an afterlife. So in all honesty, no one can say anything other. But one thing is sure, and that is we constantly change. Into what? Nobody can say.

Side: questionable
Openend(35) Disputed
1 point

I believe that their was a creator, and I also believe that energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, but not exactly how others believe it.

Genesis 2:1 - "THUS the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."

The creator (who I believe to be God) created the heavens the earth, and was finished. At that point, when He was finished, energy and matter could no longer be created or destroyed.

The statement that time is infinite is true, but not in the way we define time. We only live on earth for a short period of time, so we measure amounts of time expecting an end to our time here, when in reality if time is infinite then there really is no actual "time" You can't measure something that has no beginning or end. Time is something made by us to keep track of our earthly lives, which have a beginning and end.

Genesis 2:1 "THUS the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."

The matter than makes up our bodies very well may be in another body after us, but that is just the shell of which our souls live on this earth.

Thats alot of words... I hope I was able to convey my thoughts clearly.

Side: Absolutely
2 points

something to think about. lets step back a few paces, to ourselves in the embryonic stage, our gestation period before birth, after conception, or creation. we had no idea that the world in which we began, in the womb, was only the beginning of our life. we did not know anything else outside our little universe inside our mothers. we presumably accepted that this was life and there was no reason to imagine something or somewhere outside of our mother. there certainly is a life outside of this one, all the facts predict so, such as, the tunnel of light, a memory of the birthing experience into a world yet unknown until birth. a world of light, sounds, into the arms of our family, people and places we had never seen before, our first breath. life tells us that the embryo although alive, has yet to be born, so it is fair to assume based on past experience, that there is indeed another plane of existence outside of this one. death to the past life, the only one you knew, and birth, to the new life. just like a baby, conception to birth. statistics show that what has happened in the past is likely to happen again. now having said that, the universe? the world in an embryonic state, suspended in a placental space, what we can understand would suggest that, like the baby, the earth, has yet to be born outside of this universe. if we can exit our mother, escape the earths atmosphere, we too can exit this universe. indeed this is only the beginning of a truly amazing journey, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Side: yes
Conro(767) Disputed
1 point

"We did not know anything else outside our little universe inside our mothers."

This is a false premise. It's impossible to claim that an unborn child is capable of intelligent thought, let alone thought at all. I don't question that it is alive, but rather that it is capable of thought anymore than a spleen is or hair follicles, at least up until the moment of birth. Additionally, there is little to no empirical evidence that everyone experiences "a world of light" or a "tunnel of light". There is less evidence still that one is capable of remembering birth.

It seems that your technique for reasoning in this argument is inductive. However for an inductive argument in this subject, one would need to compile data their entire life until death in order to arrive at a conclusion. The other approach (i.e. deductive) requires one to first believe that their is some afterlife, and then one must somehow compile evidence that indicates specifically an afterlife to support the hypothesis. However, as stated previously, that kind of data is impossible to find without actually dying already first.

As for "what has happened in the past is likely to happen again". This is certainly true in biological terms and sociological terms. However when one speaks of the universe, of the INFINITE universe (a logical response to the infinite universe is that there are infinitely many variables), one must also realize that the chance that something that happened once will happen again will be infinitely small, perhaps even zero. It's the same in a mathematical function where the x-value would be time y is some event. for every x value, no matter the length of the line, there is exactly ONE y value.

The basic problem with your argument seems to me to be a faulty analogy. Please try again.

Side: No
poleflux(37) Disputed
1 point

who were you then, before you? In a view such as your own you believe you were alive, but not quite alive? To have thoughts, feelings or awareness? Did you not hiccup before you could breathe?

Side: yes
1 point

I love the way you used birth to illustrate our "birth" into after life.

Plus 1! :) (I wish I could push the plus button more, get this post to the top)

Great post!

Side: yes
2 points

does anyone here believe in the "before life"? doesnt life exist before you? the matter of creation is absolute, a human created you. humanity is the mystery

Side: yes
Myrtel(54) Disputed
2 points

What do you mean by "A BEFORE LIFE"? If you mean YOU EXISTED before you were born in a previous life as another person or as a Butterfly then I have to ask you how you know this ?? But if you mean your parents were the "before life" ?? what exactly are you saying ?? I respect your belief as simply a belief or desire or even a need. But if you have evidence of your previous life as a Butterfly then great - lets see it. One thing is for certain, the American media will be onto you in a flash.

Side: No
2 points

Afterlife is called death. After death is called...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Side: Yes
1 point

I believe that we have spirits encaged in us that will never die out. Even though our influence on the world will some day be finished that doesn't mean there is never another hirizon, we all just keep living in this ever changing climate called time.

Side: yes
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
1 point

And why do you believe we have spirits? A lot of people believe in spirits, but why do you? Do you have any evidence?

Side: No
1 point

Yes there is always a chance for this situation. they fact that the time is eternal for every one is the suggesting feature for this statemnt

Side: yes
1 point

Here are the arguments of afterlife according to Quran:

1- Just as our Creator gave us life in this world He will bring us back to life on the Day of Resurrection.

2- Allah Who created the heavens and the earth and was not tired of it can easily bring the dead back to life.

3-Allah Who created the heavens and the earth can create the like of them. He can create the Hell and the Paradise.

4- It is He Who originates the creation, then will repeat it and it is easier for Him. As doing the same for the second time is naturally easier than the first time. Although neither the first nor the second creation is difficult for Him.

5-Afterlife is the natural demand of our morality as we know that good and bad are not equal and same and they shouldn't be. Should the reward of prophets and pious people (who are the best people of humanity) and the worst people be the same. Should human beings and trees or insects be dealt equally that both die and that is all?

Here are some verses from Quran having such arguments.

(Al Kahaf Sura No 18, Verse no 37)

Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then He fashioned you into a perfect man?

(Al Dukhan Sura No 44, Verse no 38)

And We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them for amusement.

(Al Maryam Sura No 19, Verse no 66-67)

And man (the disbeliever) says: "What! When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive?" Doesn't he remember that We created him before, when he was nothing

(Yaseen Sura No 36, Verse no 77-83)

Does not man see that We created him from a mere sperm-drop? Yet behold! he (stands forth) as an open quarreler. And he makes comparisons for Us and forgets his own creation. He says: "Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust?" Say: "He will give them life Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-knower of every creation!" He Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold, you kindle from it. Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, Able to create the like of them? Yes, indeed! He is the All-Knowing Supreme Creator. Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be" ــ and it is! So glory to Him in Whose hands is the dominion of all things: and to Him will you be brought back.

Side: yes
1 point

We are all energy , essence and matter, We are all molecular globs. Our soul is lighter and does continue. I believe that the tunnel of light is not just death , but birth also .Afterlife does exist. Its more awsome than "heaven" , its electrical , its hard to explain , almost magical in its appearance , though it is lucid. Religion and prayer has nothing to do with it.

Side: yes
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
1 point

What evidence do you have of any of this? The body has energy in it, but we are not energy. At any given movement you are losing and gaining energy, most of the energy you lose is through something called "heatloss" so you are constantly losing energy and you replenish it primarily through eating food. You cannot misuse scientific terms to support pseudo-scientific conclusions. Energy is not the same as a "soul" or "spirit", it has a very specific scientific meaning.

Side: No
dacey(1039) Disputed
1 point

So you are saying that we are not energy , essence and matter ?

oh ok.

Prove it ?

Sorry , i cant do that.

Who are you to say its not the same ?

P.S Sorry i dont know about scientific terms and what they mean.

Im just an un-informed human that thinks and feels for its self.

Side: yes
1 point

This is hard to make a decision on for me because I believe that if someone believes their is an afterlife,then they're correct and the same goes for those that don't believe in an afterlife. Most people base decisions like this off of religion,and as we very well know,most religions have some type of afterlife. I do believe in an afterlife,although I'm not quite sure which one I believe in. Reason being is I believe in heaven and hell but at the same time I also believe in reincarnation. I've had many friends who have told me that felt like they have lived this life before and I sometimes get proof (arguably) of reincarnation. So,life after death = depends on personal belief

Side: yes

Some dub a person's mental identity as "the soul", an imperishable spirit that transcends the physical. What others would call the soul I call "a configuration". Biologically speaking, "you" are a chemical and physical variation of a standard human brain. The universe being "almost infinite", it is likely that the same configuration will arise somewhere else in it. As your conciousness is a function of this configuration, your awareness would be a given. As to the question of whether several instances of the same configuration can exist at once , I have, as yet, no definitive answer.

Side: yes
1 point

I believe that there's a life after death. It is like proving that we have a God.

According to the bible, God promised us to have a life after death.

Side: yes
1 point

I believe that there's a life after death. It is like proving that we have a God.

According to the bible, God promised us to have a life after death.

Side: yes
1 point

I believe that there's a life after death. It is like proving that we have a God.

According to the bible, God promised us to have a life after death.

Side: yes
1 point

This is why I know life exists after death. This is my own personal experience and memories of death. Here there is no debate.

I was plagued with health problems in the first ten years of my life. I had to pay careful attention to these experiences because they occured on the same day, July 5th, of different years. I had fever seizures shortly after birth to age five, in one of these seizures I suffocated on my own tongue at age one in my crib. When my mother came in to check on me I was dark blue, my feet distended and not breathing, my uncle saved my life with mouth to mouth. I was certainly to young to have a memory of this experience or so I thought later. At age five, same day I drowned in an above ground pool, I stared up at the surface where my three year old sister was floating, she tried to get the adults attention because somehow she knew I was in trouble. I myself was in a mystery at this point because while standing there looking up I didnt know how to get there. That is the last thing I remember, and then nothing. After I had taken my official breath of water my sister was able to get my other uncles attention, who jumped in the pool fully dressed, cowboy boots on and pulled out of the pool and then administered mouth to mouth, different uncle, same day, same gift of life. Again my only memory was standing on the bottom of the pool staring at the surface, wondering how to get there, then nothing. After these two experiences I had two reoccuring nightmares for years that would repeatedly would have me waking up screaming. The nightmares not especially scary at all, strange in fact because they were about cake and ice cream, my mother, and leaving the planet earth. How? One was sugar cones of ice cream stacked one atop the other high into the sky I could not see the end but I knew that the top ice cream was my mothers ice cream and I climbed these cones that led me high above the earth into space until I reached it. I take the cone and I eat it, my mothers ice cream, having left her behind on the earth I woke up screaming, that dream was over, the same every time for years. The next nightmare was about cake. I sensed someone with me it felt male, but my attention to detail wasnt focused on him, but he had taken me to the outer orbit of earth, and vividly I remember seeing our planet down below as an astronaut would, I knew it was earth, I didnt think much about why I was above it and not on it. After being taken to orbit by this presence I would then begin to cover the whole earth with cake, I was making a cake to cover the whole planet, and then suddenly as before I realized that my mother was down there on the earth and I had just covered her in cake and I felt as though I buried her on the earth under my cake, and I would wake up screaming. Again this nightmare persisted for many many years, so often that the vivid images are still with me. As this story has one more profound experience I am going to pause for now, I hope there is someone who would like to hear the ending, as I will write it soon.

Side: yes
2 points

This is why I know life exists after death. This is my own personal experience and memories of death.

Why would your unfortunate experience with the repeated negligence of those charged with your care as a child and a combination of vivid imagination and manufactured memories cause you to decide life exists after death?

Side: No
2 points

Here there is no debate.

Having seen nothing in you account that amounts to convincing evidence of an afterlife, I am inclined to agree with you.

Side: No
1 point

I see someone is doubting the whole of my experiences. For the end of my story I will begin now. At ten July 5th 1981 I hadn't been myself lately as I was an active child. I wasn't as energetic as usual, felt a bit sick with a headache for about by now. It was a hot summer day in northern California when my friends stopped by to ask me if I wanted to go to their grandmas and go swimming. I faked feeling better and off I went to go swimming just up the street from my home. A short time later I dove off of the diving board into the pool, when I surfaced it felt as though I had an explosion inside of my head. So painful I could barely see. My friends thought I was crying wolf and started teasing me about a bee being on my head, but all I could do was scream and try and find the edge of the pool and try to get out which I did. Twenty paces or so later as I held my head together as I thought my brain was coming out I collapsed into a patch of clovers covered in bees. My neighbor seeing that I was in serious trouble helped me to my house where I was then rushed to the hospital. My next memory was opening my eyes and seeing my mother, I smiled, I was in the ambulance being rushed to a city hospital in the next town. I had suffered a ruptured blood vessel in my cerebellum, a brain aneurysm, for which after the angiograms and spinals I was being prepared for surgery and expected not to live. I remember none of what was happening around me as I was unconscious at that point. What I do remember is my experience of leaving the world I knew into a place in the heavens. Here is what I seen:

It was dark, like the night sky, all I could see were pinpoints of light much like stars, I knew who I was and where I had come from and who I had left behind. I was not hot or cold, hungry or scared, lonely or longing, I had no emotions in the human context nor was I sad. I felt as though I was being held in a bubble or cupped in unseen hands, I had no emotions so feeling safe was not relative. I could see, I remembered myself, and in this state I remember holding out my arms to look at my hands as if to see myself, I felt myself doing this but there was nothing there for me to see, I was not inside my body, yet I knew that I was alive and I knew I was a spirit and no longer a physical being. I understood the concepts of being outside the body and being a spirit as if I had always known it, there is no fear here, and just to let you know the spirit can see, and the spirit remembers who he is, and the soul hungers not.

Side: yes
aveskde(1935) Disputed
1 point

It was dark, like the night sky, all I could see were pinpoints of light much like stars, I knew who I was and where I had come from and who I had left behind. I was not hot or cold, hungry or scared, lonely or longing, I had no emotions in the human context nor was I sad. I felt as though I was being held in a bubble or cupped in unseen hands, I had no emotions so feeling safe was not relative. I could see, I remembered myself, and in this state I remember holding out my arms to look at my hands as if to see myself, I felt myself doing this but there was nothing there for me to see, I was not inside my body, yet I knew that I was alive and I knew I was a spirit and no longer a physical being. I understood the concepts of being outside the body and being a spirit as if I had always known it, there is no fear here, and just to let you know the spirit can see, and the spirit remembers who he is, and the soul hungers not.

Your brain was in an altered state, you were not dead but functioning with your brain in incomplete consciousness.

Side: No

I think there is because we cant just not be in the world anymore. Maybe we come back as spirits, roam new worlds, start again as someone else with out knowing it.

Side: yes
1 point

Before saying that there is no life after death, we have to consider this carefully: whose life are we talking about? Who is living in the body in the first place? To be sure we are just made up of molecules and cells and each and every second this whole mass of a body is constantly changing, growing, decaying. After death, the decay process continues and the body's elements return to nature. But this debate topic has assumed that somehow a personality is present even right now as we "live". What exactly marks a personality's death?

To put it simply we have to say that it is the death of the mind in the body. If the mind ceases, we call the person dead - or brain dead to be precise. Until brain death occurs, the stopping of blood circulation, respiration, lack of food, dehydration, all of these can bring us close to death, but not real death. Death happens at the moment the brain can no longer sustain mental activity requisite for life to "exist". I'll digress for a moment to remark that the bacteria and living organisms living inside our bodies continue to live and consume the decaying body after the consciousness has ceased in the body. In this sense, perhaps one may argue that "life continues". But I can see that the question is not about the life of other organisms after death, but about the life of the personality that has just died.

I don't want to make the philosophical error in calling "mental death" as "consciousness death". Why do we restrict life to be sustained only be consciousness? Is it enough to be conscious of stimuli for sustaining life? Is the need to respond to stimuli not necessary? In my opinion, the "personality" or mental image we form for the "person" that we are, is composed of not just consciousness, but also the sensations that precede consciousness (you need to sense something to be conscious of it), but also our free volition (even thinking is a form of volition, memory is also a form of volition, because hardened memory becomes habit and habit is a form of volition too), our perceptions (whether we characterize a stimulus as pleasurable, unpleasant, or neither), and finally, our sense of what we consider to be "our body". The notion of personality we have developed revolves around these basic characteristics. So when I say "death", I mean the death of the "personality" or the notion of identification that we have with regard to all these characteristics.

I was very interested in the process of death and therefore tried to read as much as I could about it. In order to know the process of death one needs to observe it very carefully under controlled conditions. As an example, it is possible to artificially sustain heart beat and lung respiration in a body and still have the person brain dead. It is impossible to revive the person no matter what you do to the heart or lungs. At the same time, it is possible for a person's heart to have completely stopped, we use an artificial external blood circulation mechanism to supply blood to the brain, allow the rest of the body to become a "vegetable", but continue to sustain "brain life". This latter phenomenon is sometimes called "coma", but this form of coma is a little more extreme than the ones known in the medical community. This process will lead to slow death unless this person gets food and water. So obviously that is being given artificially.

How do we know that the "personality" is still "alive"? She can hear, what is being said and the mental activity shows that she is struggling to respond, but her body functions have gotten totally paralyzed. In other words, she can hear (some sensations are intact), she is conscious of the sensations, can characterize them as pleasant or unpleasant, and struggles to respond to them, even though the body doesn't respond to the mental signals of volition. This also means that she still retains some sense of "my body" with regard to the completely non-responsive nervous/muscular system. The only thing active is the brain; the heart and lungs are kept artificially active to support the brain with oxygen. In fact she is aware that she is a female - that means identity with the body is still intact. This is what we could call "personality".

Now, when it does, all of them die instantly. The nervous system is no longer sensitive to stimuli (no sensations), consciousness of the stimuli is gone, perception and response volition are obviously no longer present, but we don't know if the sense of identification with some body is still active or not. Scientists don't know how to characterize this sense of "clinging" (if you may call it). If it has always been there with the "personality", is "clinging" (or a sense of identity built around some body) the only thing essential for "personality"?

Another experiment was performed to see if the sense of identification with the current body could somehow be suspended. Such mental states are rumored to exist in the world of hypnosis. Hypnotists argue that the sense of identification with the body could be suspended without the person dying. This is possible if the "person" now assumes a new personality. This is sometimes observed in personality disorders. The person starts identifying with a completely different sense of "I". Whether this is really true or not is not clear. We do know of psychopaths that do have personality disorders, but controlled observations to understand their "sense of personality" have not been made. "Hard" scientists like neurobiologists shy away from this, because this field is not considered to be truly "scientific".

In this situation therefore, we don't know what exactly happens after death. However, interestingly, some people seem to report knowledge of some other human being that lived in the past. People called this "reincarnation", but to be honest, the person dead is not the same as the young child living now. They are different. But there is a personality association disorder, in the young child due to which, somehow he seems to identify with the person that is dead. Many of the children that associate with such dead personalities, have a hard time with these "memories" - they give them nightmares.

To some people this phenomenon is indicative that there is life after death. However, the fact that some children report experience as a different personality cannot be construed to imply that they have a correct sense of personality to begin with. Studies have to be done to analyze what these children are reporting. Is it that they can currently sense something that a dead person sensed when he was alive? Or is it that they are conscious of the dead person's past sensations? Or are they somehow able to "remember" (carry on the memory and volitions) of the dead person? Here let me point out that I do not mean "remember" in the same sense as "one's own" memory. I mean it as if memory is somehow persistent but without a correct sense of "my own". Finally, do these kids somehow have a sense of identification with that dead body? If so, that would mean a startling possibility that the sense of clinging to a personality has somehow survived. But as one stops associating with the previous personality and begins to associate with the present, these children seem to "forget" what they considered to be their "previous life". In other words, memory of something seems to be connected with a sense of personality. And the sense of personality seems to be dependent on what one clings to. If in the present life, one clings to a body that is long dead, there will be personality disorders, and "memories" will come up.

So now if we were to give credence to the possibility that a personality somehow continues in some other way, the only way I can think of is that the personality is sustained by clinging. If there is no sense of clinging, a personality cannot be sustained.

So whether life continues to exist after death is really questionable. The only philosophical answer we could fathom is that if clinging to a personality exists, that may somehow sustain a sense of personality. This in fact is exactly how we retain memory of our personality while living. We need a sense of clinging to the body and need to appropriately respond to stimuli. Our response to stimuli is conditioned by our old habits since childhood, our acuity with regard to certain sense organs, etc. If a sense of personality error occurs, it almost always is accompanied with a strange set of habits and volitions.

In summary, I can only say "I don't know". But I think a lot more research about the process of death will be required before we can conclusively say what happens after death.

Boy remembers past life
Side: questionable
1 point

Yes. I believe that there is an afterlife, either Heaven or Hell, depending on whether people know Jesus or not.

Side: Yes
1 point

As a Christian, I believe the bible is true, and that God created

heaven and hell.

Side: Yes
1 point

Of course there is an after life. Just read John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life".

Side: Yes
1 point

I believe thaere is. Although there is only one possible way, to date, of knowing for sure. Thats dying and experiencing what comes, then coming back to life to tell us about it. There no way anyone can say for sure. I qwould like there to be. Not existing would suck, im sure.

Side: Yes
1 point

In a sense that there is something like singularity, all locations at every magnitude at all times in one single zero-sized spot at one single moment. But such an idea is not important to us humans.

Side: Yes
1 point

If there wasn't an afterlife, then what would one be afterwards? Is it possible to be nothing? Really, that kind of thing is beyond human comprehension.

For one thing, people have to have souls. Everyone has a kind of light in their eyes before death, and if people don't have a soul then how come we haven't created any humans? Taken dead ones and made their hearts beat and brains function? It would be very hard, but possible, if we isn't have souls. So, in that case, there would be some kind of afterlife for our souls anyway.

Side: Yes

In order for there to be an afterlife, some part of you would have to survive death.

When you die, your physical self ceases to function. This means your brain, your nervous system, your eyes, your ears, your nose etc... cease to function.

We know that memory is stored within the brain. If the brain ceases to function, you no longer have memory.

We can trace instincts, and emotions to different centers of the brain. If the brain ceases to function, then once again we lose the ability to have these instincts or emotions.

Cognitive thought also takes place in the brain, and like the others I mentioned would be impossible without the brain.

In fact, there are conditions in which the brain is damaged and we can witness what happens when parts of the brain cease to function. Alzheimer's for example causes people to lose their memory.

So the question is, if some part of you did survive after death, would it even be you?

There would be no thought, no emotions, and no memory. You wouldn't be able to see (no eyes) or even process sight (no living nerve cells).

Essentially, what you experience after death is the same as what you experience before birth. Nothing.

Therefore, unless you can point to some specific part of a person that exists outside of the body, and could continue on after death then the only logical conclusion is that there is almost certainly no afterlife.

Side: No
1 point

An afterlife,as colorful,wonderful,poetic and ideal as it seems,should remain but one of the mysterious unanswered questions in this life.when people believe in an afterlife,it tends to comfort them greatly,give them security and reassurance in knowing that their dead are probably having a better time that they are.

People who don't believe are faced with the acceptance of the horror of death,the belief that there is absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel.well,unless you believe in reincarnation,but that's another story.

people who wonder have the entire spectrum of possibilities to consider and in having that they may not find peace,or they may and the uncertainty is exhilarating.

Side: No
4 points

In my opinion, no. I don't believe we have any type of "soul" that floats around waiting to consummate somewhere else or whatever. Makes no sense to me. I think death just IS, and that's that. You die, and the end. There's no blackness to look at because you're dead. But I do get how depressing my perception is. Everyone wants to believe we have a soul within us that'll never die and people that live beyond us, will be able to sense it or enjoy their life thinking we're not completely "dead."

Side: No
4 points

I was not aware of a beforelife so there's no reason to think I'll be aware of an afterlife.

Side: No
2 points

I don't believe in it.

I think humans are just so into themselves that they can't accept that our conciousness is a random compelation if electric pulses in our own heads. When that stops, we die and our conciousness goes with it. But from the time we a babies in the womb till the day we die, we are all we really know and have for certain. And even some people don't really know themselves.

It's a comfort to imagine that this isn't all we have, just like God is a comfort. Like your parents telling you tales of faeries that protect you from monsters under the bed, religion tells us that God has a plan and is protecting you from randomness and uncertainty.

Not that it's not a good thing that most people think this way. For the most part people who believe that there is an afterlife are kind to others in this life in holes of a better afterlife. For that I am greatful, although I wish that it didn't have to be that way and others could be kind for the sake of being kind alone.

However, you can never be certain. So I always say a prayer if someone dies or I see roadkill on the street, et cetera. Because had they been religious, whatever religion that may be, they probably would have wanted someone to say a prayer for them.

I may not believe in religion or prayer, but I respect other's need for it.

Side: No
1 point

We are all energy , essence and matter, We are all molecular globs. Our soul is lighter and does continue. I believe that the tunnel of light is not just death , but birth also .Afterlife does exist. Its more awsome than "heaven" , its electrical , its hard to explain , almost magical in its appearance , though it is lucid.

Religion and Prayer has nothing to do with it. :)

Side: No
balaji(2) Disputed
1 point

Read my argument below. We are not talking about death of consciousness alone. Consciousness is being conscious of sensations. So if somehow the sense organs stop working, consciousness will not be evident. But a personality is not just consciousness. It is a conglomerate of several factors. We have volitions, perceptions, ideas, emotions, and so much more. So we need to understand exactly what a "personality" really is. I also think we need to carefully examine what we mean by a sense of personality, a sense of "I" with regard to some particular thing. Until we understand these things well, whether we believe in life after death or not is irrelevant. To make a scientific analysis of this matter we need to understand nature as she actually is. Until then, we can only say that we have no scientific evidence of any phenomenon that proves that the sense of personality is somehow sustained after death. We seem to have some startling observations made on little children, but the study of the phenomenon is still not fully developed.

Side: questionable
2 points

I suppose "after-death" would be a lot like "before birth". Does anybody here remember what it was like before they were born? Of course not, you didn't exist and when you die, you won't exist either. There is no "sitting there and watching blackness" because you are non-existent, you can't see anything not even black.

The burden of proof is on those who say there is an afterlife.

Side: No
dacey(1039) Disputed
1 point

The burden of proof is on those who say there is an afterlife.

OMG Arent you a damning individual.

Side: yes
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
2 points

Damning? In what way?

I am merely stating how debate works. The affirmative belief always carries the burden of proof. If there is an afterlife, no evidence has been presented.

Side: No
1 point

How would we know? And why does it matter? And what keeps us from going out like a light, switch and it's off and gone and no more?

Side: No
1 point

I think it is best, especially since most people agree that we don't know, to behave as if this was our only stretch. We need to make the best of the one life we are certain about.

Side: No
1 point

There is no evidence that would support the claim that there is an afterlife, however there is evidence to support the claim there is no afterlife.

Let's establish that life is generally considered as biological activity in an entity (i.e. rocks are not alive, they are geological not biological entities), and in humans, life is considered the presence of thought (i.e. brain dead people are not often considered alive). Neurological activity of the brain is dependent on the physical matter that composes it. Upon death, this matter degrades and loses its structure and ability to function as before. This is death. There is no life after death because that is what death is, the end of life.

Side: No
1 point

I dont understand why those who exclaim their belief in an afterlife are so arrogant they do not see that -THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE - is a prime factor. If the question appended - "only people who can show evidence may reply" - then there would be NO replies from those who hold the view - there is an afterlife.

Likewise the over the top claims on - solar flares - earth billions of years old -Matter - Anti - Matter etc, is irrelevant. The onus is on those who believe in the afterlife to show evidence. This can not be done. So obviously you live in hope and if this is the case you should state this.

Dont over complicate the question, show any evidence and i will be on your side in a flash.

Side: No
Openend(35) Disputed
1 point

I dont understand why those who exclaim their belief in an afterlife are so arrogant they do not see that -THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE - is a prime factor.

And I don't understand why those who exclaim their belief in no afterlife say that those who belief in afterlife are arrogant. Don't be talking about others "absence of evidence" unless you, yourself are ready to supply evidence. Debating is about supplying evidence, not criticizing others points.

"only people who can show evidence may reply"

If that where the case, their would be no replies at all. Don't criticize, evidize ;)

Side: Absolutely
Myrtel(54) Disputed
2 points

My point, clearly stated, is that for this particular question the fact no evidence can be produced would render there being no answers if the question included "ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN SHOW EVIDENCE MAY REPLY" the whole crux of the question "IS THERE AN AFTERLIFE"? has been answered by some in the affirmative !!

The question did not ask - "do you BELIEVE or DESIRE for an AFTERLIFE"!!

I have no problem with people who BELIEVE or WISH for an afterlife or anything else if it makes them whole or feel good.

I have not said that I DO NOT BELIEVE in an afterlife. I have simply stated that those who are adamant there is an afterlife have no way of proving it. and as is often the case they are affronted when their argument is challenged.

I think it arrogant to state - "THERE IS AN AFTERLIFE". it implies that person has absolute proof, how else do you affirm that something does exist??

There is no requirement (upon me) to provide evidence of "NO AFTERLIFE".

The clue is in the first word - "NO" !!!!!

Side: No
poleflux(37) Disputed
1 point

hmmm, so then the pyramids did not exist before you, they are just here now because you can see them and validate them, but there was no life before you? after you? no evidence to support it, perhaps you should give it another think as philosophy differs from sceintific opinion. Life, is a window.

Side: yes
poleflux(37) Disputed
0 points

EVIDENCE!!! do you think that you exist? now? are you alive? is the reflection in the mirror proof of ones self? are you a creation of your own imagination and all throughout your life just your creation too? what is life? science says that it is impossible to live or be alive without water, oxygen, and seemingly mild climates. do you think earth is a goldylocks planet? hard to know what to beleive isnt it. can you see your reflection in the mirror? is it real? an illusion? is it what you want to see? IS IT REAL? your spirit self staring back at you in the mirror cannot be touched of felt, it cannot suffer or experience love, hate, fear, or happiness. the you inside the mirror can never be hungry. but you can be hungry you know what hungry is, it is life the spirit that is never hungry wanted to feel and to know and it was.

Side: yes
1 point

Just found this thread that has been dormant for a couple years. Is anyone still looking?

Occum's razor applies here: the simplest explanation is usually the right one. We can mostly explain life as we know it, from the evolution of proteins and DNA, to the existence of prokariotic life forms like bacteria, to eukaryotic protazoa and then multi-cellular life forms, some with brains, gaining complexity until you have sentient beings that ask a lot of existential questions. Evolution is reactionary, not striving for a purpose (the purpose is to propagate, but evolution is a response to existing (though changing) environments).

We can explain this with a biological system that fits the evidence, and this system does not require an afterlife (or a creator) to work and to make sense. It also does not preclude the existence of a creator or an afterlife. Occums razor would tell us, though, that it is most probable that the system as evidence describes it is more or less complete and therefore that it is improbable that there is an afterlife.

I do not believe there till be an afterlife, but I cannot say there is not one. Those that believe in an afterlife do so with faith in something perfectly possible, but improbable.

Side: No
0 points

oh and uh, well the evidence. you see, the evidence is in the mirror!

Side: Absolutely