Afterafterlife June 8, 2014

Hemant Mehta shared the above video, which pokes fun at many of the arguments for an afterlife that people use, pointing out that one can use those same arguments to insist that there must be something beyond an afterlife.

UPDATE: Alex McManus makes a related point, based on an analogy from a future involving artificial intelligence.

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  • contantlysearching

    YES. I have thought about this so much.

  • Sean Garrigan

    Have progressive Christians set aside belief in life after death as one of the erroneous ideas promoted by the early Christians, or is it considered potentially true but ultimately unessential?

    I suspect that Peter Kreeft would have an easy enough time showing the “Friendly Atheist” how desire for everlasting life is properly basic, and all properly basic desires have a real object that satisfies them.

    It would be a pretty creepy for God to set things up so that we’d evolved to have a strong will to live and desire for continued life, coupled with a normal fear of death (even most people who claim they don’t fear death, really do), but then deny us the opportunity to see those desires fulfilled and that which we fear overcome.

    • I’m not sure that our desires, especially our egotistical ones, are a good basis for determining what is the case or what God would do. I suspect that many who desire endless ongoing existence probably haven’t thought about what that would actually be like in practice. I can’t think of any character in any story who gains endless existence and doesn’t end up growing bored and longing for an escape. But that storytelling isn’t a good basis for deciding what is or isn’t the case either. 🙂

      Progressive Christians don’t have any one view on this topic. I talk more about my own reasoning on why this is something that Christians would do better to leave in God’s hands, rather than making it such a focus of attention as it is in many strands of conservative Christianity, in my book The Burial of Jesus.

      • Michael Wilson

        James, I have thought about the prospect of boredom and the afterlife and ny vonclysion us wnybobe bored with eternal life is doing it wrong. I got to this from watching my pets, they pretty much sleep 20 hours a day but are exited as hell for each feeding of the same slop. The need for a constant barage of novelty is a new thing, I’m not sure many monks would share that fear. Anyhow, boredom is a result of a chemical interaction in our brains. If you set up the chemicals right, you won’t experience boredom. On crack, everything is fun. In a hypothetical heaven (I’m up in the air on the afterlife myself) nothing could hurt you and you would want for nothing so the chemicals we have to tell us something is bad or that we need to motivate to achieve goals we would have no use for the chemicals that make us feel bad or bored. Of course that heaven is like being fucked up on junk for eternity might not appeal to all.

  • Gary

    They need to form a union. The guys in hell need to strike, have a moratorium on rock movement, until they get a smoke break. The guys in heaven need to strike, have a moratorium on praise and worship, until they get vacation-time in Hawaii. What is Satan, or God going to do? Send them to everlasting punishment? Looks like both Satan and God are representatives of the ultimate CEO of a minimum wage, no benefits, corporation. Papa John’s, anyone?