Theories Of The Soul
Death has fascinated and frightened mankind throughout history. Due to the nature of death, we can't know exactly what will happen when our time comes. What we can do is learn the possibilities mankind has crafted, and decide for ourselves what we believe to be true. Today, we'll review some of mankind's beliefs about what happens after death, and list some famous figures for each viewpoint. Which perspective best suits your own opinions?
Note: The author intends to present all viewpoints, and isn't trying to promote a belief or disbelief in any god. On with the hub!
Theory #1: Materialism/Atheism
Materialism, the logical progression of atheism (disbelief in a god or gods), states that death ends all. Materialists often believe that if a deity were real, by now we'd have more scientific evidence of it. Materialism is believed to have arisen around 600 B.C throughout several regions of Eurasia. Many ancient philosophers, including Thales, were materialists. More recent figures such as Charles Darwin and Karl Marx also classify as such.
Theory #2: Reincarnation
Reincarnation explains that once a body dies, the soul inhabits a new form. Various beliefs about reincarnation state various things. For example, many followers of Hinduism finds that reincarnation leads to either taking the body of animal, human, or divine being, based on the moral quality of the deceased. Others, such as many Taoists, believe karma is irrelevant; selflessness doesn't affect the cycle of new life. The origins of reincarnation are hard to pinpoint, but it is most commonly found in modern times within Australia, North America, and Africa.
Theory #3: Immortality
Immortality is the belief that the soul continues on after the body's death. Many different religions dictate an immortal soul; let's briefly explore some of these views.
First, Deism finds that simply through observation of our world, we can determine a single creator. Deists believe that a god created our world, but then let nature run its course and adopted a "hands odd" approach to see where mankind would eventually lead itself. Many deists are Christians who became disillusioned with organized religion.
Second, monotheists believe that a single, powerful God created our world. Monotheism includes Christianity and Islam. Monotheists are commonly found today in North America and Europe.
Next, polytheists believe in multiple divine beings. This could be Egyptian, Aztec, Greek, or other gods. Polytheism was extremely common up until about 1200 B.C., when it lost many of its advocates, but still has some members today.
Finally, between theists and atheists are agnostics, who believe that nothing can be known about the existence of God. There may be an immortal soul within us, there may not be. Agnostics find no compelling evidence to prove or disprove the existence of a creator.
What Beliefs Do You Hold?
We've researched various viewpoints. Which one suits you the best?
The mysteries of life and death still allude us, but through examining ourselves, we may find a viewpoint that satisfies our spiritual needs. Whether you worship a divine being, or believe life ends at death, remember to respect each other's viewpoints. Despite convincing arguments on all sides, for now only time will tell what fate awaits mankind.
But for those who have not yet decided what they believe, fear not. Below I'll list some suggested reading to further explore the mysteries of the beyond.
Theist And Atheist Scientists?
For those who want more in-depth scientific hypotheses, I recommend researching Atheist Physicist Lawrence Krauss and Christian Scientist Hugh Ross. You can find many of their videos and debates on Youtube.