Do folks become religious because of the promise of living forever in bliss? Do they repeat the promises of a life eternal and happily sing religious phrases like “in the sweet by and by,” or do some convert because some religions promise converts come back after death and live another but better life because of lessons learned in past lives?
In religion, a heaven and hell or a life-after-life scenario and whatever else the leaders support are accepted as being true. And most of the leaders are sincere folks and believe and hope what they preach is truth, and this sincerity and surety is what sells their messages of life-after-life or an eternal life in a paradise.
As children we are taught what to do and what to believe. Of course this doesn’t work on some folks, but the rest of us join the parade and rarely wake up because life, even with its problems, is a wonder ride. So is good enough what we’re stuck in? Does labeling it good enough just rub it in?
Is having an afterlife a very very long shot because it requires not just magic, but real magic, like the magical power of actually turning real water into real wine in an instant or cause an entire galaxy to disappear out of existence with a single command from an all-powerful entity?
Life everlasting from a so called all-powerful entity only requires admitting you are a “bad person” (like everyone else) and then repenting and believing in the existence of this magical improbability. And one is saved from an eternity of torture. Who wouldn’t grasp this? Only those not believing in real magic?
The stories of many saviors and many miracles were written down a long time after these improbable events were said to have happened and so are hearsay.
Most of us believe because our families and other mature adults who have good educations and good intentions believe in these things too. And so it goes on from one generation to the next. Plus, we are told society needs the positive influence of religious beliefs and the promise of sure punishment for bad deeds.
Humanists practice being “Good Without God” as examples of not needing or fearing a punishing God in order to be a decent human being. No magic or fear is needed when one is raised by rational parents with love and care.
It has been said many times “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, but no one is entitled to one’s own facts.” Do heaven and hell have the strength of being facts?
If this world can only exist in the present, can the real only be found in this nowness we inhabit and are actually part of? What gets in our way of feeling truth, the reality, the nowness, the present?
Is it us, the identities? Is our “I” extra and hard to deal with because it can convince itself very easily of something when the something is believed to be to its advantage. This happens via the constant flow of language.
Is it reasonable to think our identity was the creation of our brain during toddlerhood and was and is influenced and made real by family, friends and society?
Early on, just after we could recognize our names and while the universe was still wide open to us, did we identities turn our backs on reality and took control of our beings and never looked back?
This is normal and our custom. It’s how we stay organized and function as humans. This is how society works. As tiny humans our total awareness was lost and given over to language and identity, and the search to find this original awareness again is the greatest adventure in life and is found through a search to find a way to commune with our being, our animal nature, the one with all the talents and awareness.
Are we useful software created by our bodies? If so, at my animal’s (my body’s) death, will the lack of blood being pumped into my brain erase my memories and me, my identity? If so, what are the odds of an afterlife? Is there nothing left to go anywhere?
What are the alternatives of an afterlife?
—Everyone goes to a good place (magic)
—Everyone goes to a bad place (magic)
—Some go to a good place and some to a bad place (magic)
—All identities exist in a nondescript place and can think even without a brain (magic).
Or do we all go…where?
—On adventures throughout the universe (fantasy)
—To a holding pen waiting for a new body (fantasy)
—To as many scenarios as the mind can conceive) (fantasy)
All of the above beliefs are based on each human body containing a soul which will live forever (a combination of magic and fantasy).
Or do we, the identities, just go…(as I have said before) ”poof”? (reason)
Place your bets…
I’m thinking the odds are best that our physical bodies are our actual souls and are products of matter, time, and chance all doing their things.