- Religion and Philosophy
The purpose of life and life after death.
I will begin with the confession that i am not religious in anyway. No preference whatsoever. However, I am from a Christian background (government, laws, school, distant family members etc.). Thus I am more aware of the notions of heaven and hell than of any other life after death ideals e.g. Reincarnation. The idea of religious beliefs though i am very supportive of. I studied anthropology for a while at university and would say that from that I learned the importance of religion in shaping society. Without religion of any sort I believe it can be a lot easier for people to get lost and lose their sense of self and their sense of a place in society. It's as through religion is a social construct build to ensure that we thrive with a purpose and meaning to our lives. It is also a great social network to keep people together and bonded as a group with celebrations and shared stories and beliefs of right and wrong. I would encourage religion greatly! I am a little saddened that i cannot believe myself.
However, given my lack of belief what meaning is there to my life? Why should i be so concerned with what I do today if it does not necessarily effect my tomorrow? I have no notion of an ultimate punishment or reward keeping me in check. No afterlife to look forward to in order to keep me from things which seem fun yet harmful or wrong in the here and now. So what do i believe?
Society for one keeps me in check. I don't want those around me to judge me harshly or exclude me in anyway. I like people, others are deserving of the freedoms i expect so there is motivation for me to steer clear from harming others. Lying, cheating etc. those behaviours we are able to get away with; there is no God to catch me out. Those i could surly do without harm to myself or others in cases. What then? The should I shouldn't I debate becomes much more grey... It always is grey though. The notion of right and wrong is all relative even with the rules set out by religions. Two people of the same faith can conclude very different notions of the right action in the same situation; there are forms of extremist in every religion for example. But generally the desire to be a social creature will keep me in check. My desire for love, friendship, and companionship wins above the possible wealth in store of ill gotten gains.
What though is the purpose if at the end of it all I merely die? I am to become nothing one day...
Well happiness right now is the purpose. The joy of the moment. We are more than our consciousness; we are our body and that is never gone. Our body stops thinking and moving and believing what we believed. Our thoughts are no more but where is the harm in that? Our thoughts will be outdated soon anyway. We will be though backwards and wrong by our family of the future. Our thoughts and beliefs are nothing more than a result of our society, how we were raised and taught and indoctrinated to behave and act and think. The notion that we are truly individual is nonsensical when we are nothing until society gets its grip on us. Everything we say and do and think is a result of this society. It is a result of our in build desire to befriend and be included and happy. It is what the purpose of humans is. We interact to survive and survive to interact and love and be loved in return. This is not a grim idea this is great and good and happy. The only motivation for who we are is friendship really. Yet it will all be lost in death, this i do truly believe.
consciousness is not valuable yet it is what we hold most dear as it is what brings us the people we love. But our bodies are all that will survive us. They will continue as they have done before we were even a notion. The atoms that are our bodies will continue forever more. They were once another thing, another part of the universe and they will continue to be so. As a part of other living things we will all continue to exist and thrive. We may even one day make up a part of another person or animal; another conscious being and we can form a part of the same conciousness chain again. There is nothing to fear in this. No sadness in this loss.
Feel free to leave your own beliefs in comments. I'm always keen to hear others as my views are my own so i can be easiky swayed to adapt them when i hear new ideas. Thanks for reading xx