Does God have to exist for there to be an afterlife?
In this article we examine the possibilities that one could carry on without the need for god or religion. Religion uses two main components to lure in and hold followers. Fear and desire. We fear death, dying and being dead, and we desire to live forever, be it in a paradise or simply reincarnation. Religion fills this need. It eliminates our fear of death, gives us a motivation to do good, and treat one another with respect and dignity. Or does it? We are indeed a sorry lot if we "need" the threat of a hell, or the promise of a heaven to live our lives with honor. Enough on morals, that will be a topic for another article. Let's discuss if we *need* god or religion to go on living after we die, life after death, no GOD or religion required.
Theories, facts, and ideas
Before we begin, let me make it *extremely* clear that there is a difference between a theory, a fact and an idea. A quick search of wiki on theory gives us this: THEORY:
In common usage, the word theory is often used to signify a conjecture, an opinion, or a speculation. In this usage, a theory is not necessarily based on facts; in other words, it is not required to be consistent with true descriptions of reality. This usage of theory leads to the common incorrect statements. True descriptions of reality are more reflectively understood as statements which would be true independently of what people think about them.
So, when I say something is a "theory" of mine, it is basically "just an idea". I try to base my ideas on facts, logic, and probabilities. Also, I would like to add this little disclaimer:
There is no way a human can know all there is about life, the universe and everything. Think of ourselves, if you will, as a puppy on the floor of a scientist's lab. The puppy may look up at the equations on the chalk board, be fascinated about the lines and numbers, but there is no way the puppy will ever hope to understand the equation, the mental capacity is just too small to comprehend it.
We are like this puppy when we try to understand all there is to know in the universe. It is an act of mental laziness to "give god all the credit" and it is equally an act of egotism to say "It can all be explained". So, these ideas are only personal theories, and being a free thinker, I am willing to change my perspective with new knowledge or better theories.
First theory - Infinity and the existence of one.
If "infinity" is truly endless and infinite, the existence of one, is mathematical proof of the existence of the same, and any variations possible of the same.
That's it in a nutshell, but let me explain further. Space, it does not really exist. It is just our way of measuring distance between objects. There really is no element, force or dimension known as "space", it is just our way of organizing objects. If space does not really exist, it therefore cannot end. And what if it did end? There would have to be something occupying that end, and that something would (lol) occupy "space". Does this make sense?
Our Universe as we perceive it today.
To view this image of the universe, is to at first feel that it is NOT infinite, that it is a bubble. This is true, but it is also not true. There are many things that appear to be paradoxical in nature concerning the universe. The big bang, of course, was an explosion of epic proportions. There are some theories out there as to "why" the explosion took place, but the bottom line is, we really just don't know for sure. (The puppy and the chalk board example above come to mind.) However, it DID occur in empty space, empty, before whatever caused it came to be. Since space does not really exist, and expanse and distance are infinite in nature, if just this ONE universe exists, it is evidence that there are endless amounts of universes out there. Each with their own stars, planets, galaxies and solar systems. Odds are really good that there is a lot more intelligent life, at all levels of development, peppered throughout the cosmos.
Now consider scale. Uncountable planets are out there most likely, that have life on them. Does this explain UFOs? Not necessarily.
The big questions are: Is any of the possible life bearing planets advanced enough for space travel, and also are the close enough to make the trip? And finally, would they even be interested in coming here? But this is not an article about alien life. Scale should be considered always when discussing infinity or god and religion, and as you will see, it is important to life after death.
In a Nut Shell
Since space is infinite, and "if" there are, as logically expected, uncountable universes out there, the very fact that you "see" through eyes, and are self aware, is mathematical proof you will do this again and again, without end. NO god required.
I think of "self", as awareness. You only look out of your own eyes, not anyone else's, "you" hear from your ears, not anyone else's as well. This happened once, you are reading this, therefore you "exist". Since you did it once, it is very logical and practical to assume you will do it again and again indefinitely.
Does time itself even exist? I have asked this question dozens of times, and you will probably see me discussing it from time to time (pardon the pun) in the forums.
It is possible that time does not exist, it is merely an observation of moving events and energy. If all things remained static, it would by all appearances, look as if time does not exist. However, as things change and evolve, we observe this, and measure it, as if it were a force or dimension. However, this is VERY important, if time does NOT really exist, then of course, it can have no end. If it has no end, then we truly will be revisiting this "window" known as self, countless, immeasurable times. It is a paradox though, when you die, you ARE dead, and "you" no longer exist. However, being conscious again at some point, makes you re-exist, different, yet still focused through a different set of eyes (or eye) lol. However, EVEN if it took you literally billions of years to re-exist, since you didn't exist any longer after death, you would not be aware of the passage of time, in fact, if you could remember your past life, the transition from death to birth, would seem to you to be instantaneous!
We measure time with light. When we look at stars in telescopes and consider that we are actually looking at the star millions, or billions of years ago, we say this because we understand the speed of light. In other words, it takes measurable time for light to reach us, emitted from a star. Some things in our universe do not emit light, we know this because it's gravity bends light photons, and distorts measurements in a comparative way. This is how science proved that "dark matter" exists. Much of our known universe is unseen btw, and there is also "dark energy", an unseen energy in the universe. These are as well, a topic for later discussion. However, when you see a star and perceive it as being an image from long ago, it is due to the speed of light, not necessarily "time" as a force. But... hmmm... maybe time "does" exist? (Aren't theories and ideas fun?)
Second Theory - Existing Always somewhere in "time".
Suppose "time" really does exist after all? Suppose you can somehow in theory, even move through time, be it forward or backward? If "time" does somehow exist, then YOU always exist somewhere in your timeline. At death, your consciousness may somehow "snap" back into your infant body. This would be a time loop in a way, and could actually be a "hell" for some people. Those who live poor lives, or have very bad mental or physical problems, would endlessly suffer infinitely, over and over. Mercifully, memory is a product of mind. Memories are stored in brain cells, so once you die, you would have no idea that you are looping back again, or would you? Like I said, there is much we do not know about "life the universe and everything", so if some inkling of what you have been through still remains, this could very easily explain feelings of deja-vue!
The existence of time could also explain ghosts. Some ghost stories sound strikingly like a "snapshot of time". Like the same woman on a staircase, or looking out a window. Lets look a little closer at "time" as existing.
On youtube, I found a few interesting talks on time, let's watch them together, then talk about them.
Watching this video helps you to understand, somewhat, Albert Einstein's: Theory of Relativity. I recommend viewing all the related material you will see in the box after it finishes playing.
After reading quite a bit on the subject (I recommend you do too) and watching things like the above, I am inclined to think "time" *might* actually be real in some way. If it is *possible* to travel in time, even though presently we cannot, that implies there is a place to travel to, that does exist.
If so, then it is possible that you live on, but are you destined to keep doing the same thing over and over? Maybe not.
Time travel Paradoxes
Watching the above youtube, you will see a very good example of what's known as a paradox. There are theories to "explain" paradoxes, like if you went back in time and killed your grandfather, you wouldn't be born, thus you could not grow up and go back in time to kill gramps! But if you didn't exist you could not be there to kill him, therefore you WILL exist. This is a paradox, similar but different to the boy in the video trying to tackle himself. What he did in the video would be an "endless loop" paradox.
So how then can we figure time, and movement in it, without paradox problems?
The FIRST SERIOUS attempt at constructing a time machine, from the discovery channel:
Watch the second one two, it will appear as a link at the end of it. You will see that the main explanation is alternate timelines. I found a page that explains this well, here is a quote from it:
Now we come to the solution of the paradox problem that quantum mechanics predicts, parallel universes. In the quantum universe everything is probabilistic. The occurrence of an event is ruled by the probability of its happening. In quantum mechanics a particle has no definite position, energy, momentum or time. The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, and , tells us that we can only measure these quantities within a certain accuracy and beyond that accuracy they are uncertain. This is not simply a technological issue of measurement but the actual nature of the universe. Beyond a certain point the universe is in a state of mixed probabilities. This is what the universe is like. Down to a limit we cannot look deeper, and the universe remains uncertain. There is an interpretation of this that says that all things that are possible to occur, *will* occur in separate universes. These parallel universes would exist alongside each other in hyper space with the universes of similar probability, closer to each other. The universes that are very close to one another would differ by very little, and those farther away by much more. There would be a constant creation of these universes as time progressed. The universes could connect to one another via wormholes or Kerr tunnels. As we have seen the wormhole and black hole solutions connect to regions of space time that are not necessarily in our own universe.
So in effect this means, if true of course, that altering your past would not really change your future, you would be slipping into, or creating your own timeline.
We have examined two possibilities in this article. One is that we WILL live on, with our existence right now being a prime piece of evidence that we will live on forever, since we existed once, we are established in the cosmos as a "possibility, therefore, an eventual reality."
The second one is a bit more complex, but it is sound. We exist somewhere in time always, and quite possibly simultaneously in other timelines.
These two theories seem more practical to me then anything religion has to offer. No heaven or hell, no magical beings. I do not believe we are the central focus of a supreme being, scale tells us this. The universes, and all of space time, is far too vast for one powerful entity to control. And if one god existed, it would also be evidence for countless more existing endlessly throughout infinity.
There is no real *need* anymore to fear death. No reason to latch on to a religion for piece of mind. It likely WAS needed in the past, when we had no knowledge of things in science. But, just like some of you laugh at your ancestors for believing in "sun gods" and offering human sacrifices for "better harvests", one day, our descendents will also look back on us in awe at how superstitious and primitive we were.
It is in your best interests to open your mind and free your conscious. Life is worth living, pondering and sharing. Honor, dignity, trustworthiness, all these things make our "here and now", much better for each one of us. You do not need a "cosmic goal" to do good. Nor do you need it to alleviate fear of death either. Remember, this place here, this pale blue dot we call earth, is our *home*. If we live in peace, and stop trying to "convert" people to "faiths", and start opening our minds, we could live in a wonderful, peaceful world, and prosper quite well indeed!
May 21th 2008
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