July 28, 2022

Motivation for Life after Death

by Interfaith

Many people yearn for life to continue in some form after death.

For me, I cannot accept a materialistic philosophy like atheism. Not only does it deny any continuation, it also denies something more fundamental to a healthy and sane universe: justice. Something is inherently wrong with a universe where the moral arc doesn’t bend towards justice. Such a universe is a hideous and insane one, one in which I would rather not exist at all.

Say a leader living in the utmost luxury knowingly chooses to send thousands of poor soldiers to their deaths in a battle over a petty issue that could have been avoided. He dies. That is it? Nothing? He vanishes? Eventually what this tyrannical leader has done will be forgotten by posterity. What then for those who try to salvage some meaning by placing it on the memories of future generations that will also fade away? The universe remains indifferent to such suffering? It continues churning out unimaginable inequalities in health, wealth, and so many other areas in its evolutionary trajectory – only to leave those that have been wronged and forgotten unavenged? As if they didn’t exist at all? As if the concept of “being wronged” is itself the wrong label?

And those wronged would include children destroyed by natural disasters. Some natural disasters are caused by people, whereas others are not. Regardless of the cause of any natural disaster, I consider it an injustice for a child to be taken by a tsunami. Relative to an elderly person who has experienced the pleasures of a happy, well-rounded life, there are children that have been taken too early by the deadly hand of nature when it goes awry. Perhaps someone like a Taoist will ask, “Who is to say so-and-so’s life experience, which you perceive to be cut prematurely, was more valuable than the other person’s life experience?” Very well. Practically speaking, we all judge life experiences, and most, if not all, run when the flood is coming, showing what it is we value: our lives and the lives of others. Perhaps you would choose to save a child over your own, showing you value her life more than your own.

A materialistic philosophy like atheism perpetuates injustice whenever it asserts there is no life after death. Despite this gulf between me and atheists on this matter, I believe the best we can do is work together to perfect an imperfect universe while we are here. That’s a belief I think many followers of various religions and atheists share together. We can design our cities to better handle natural disasters. We can educate the people to such an extent that even the thought of becoming a tyrannical leader is unimaginable.

Just some random thoughts as I continually read bad news in the headlines.

(Discussion in ‘Belief and Spirituality‘ started by Ahanu, 25/07/2022)

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