What would life on this planet look like if people did not believe in an after-life?
How specifically do you think life would change if most people believed that this is all we have - that there is no reward or no punishment in an afterlife - that our whole existence is here and now. How would that belief affect our care of the planet, exploration in space, interaction with each other as individuals and as countries. Would we be more advanced in medicine and other innovations? Does believing in an after-life hold us back as a species? (I'm just askin'
Frankly speaking, I don't believe in after-life. I live here and now and try to enjoy every single second of my existence. If I happen to get proofs of after-life, then I would enjoy it too just like my current living.
I'm sure it would affect some people negatively and some positively.
I don't believe in an afterlife and I take caring for our planet very seriously, as I believe it's all we have. It does frustrate me when you get into conversations about the environment with people and they have a very lax, uncaring attitude about it because "God created it and it's perfect and it'll all be fine." Not to say that everyone who believes in God/the afterlife holds that view, of course, but I've certainly seen some that do.
I think that a lot of my passion for life and experiencing new things and loving the things around me comes from my belief that this life is the only one that I have and that I want to live it to the fullest. I think that some people might appreciate this life more if they weren't always just looking forward to what comes after it.
At the same time, I think some people sort of need guidance and consequences in order to behave themselves, so knowing that they need to be good people (or at least pretend to be good people) to get into heaven is what drives some to 'behave themselves'. I definitely think some would take the "well then screw it all" approach if they felt like there would be no eternal consequences for their actions.
And before anyone jumps down my throat, I'm not implying that everyone who believes in the afterlife doesn't appreciate their lives here or would be terrible people without the promise of the afterlife. I think the majority of people would probably would live their lives in a lot of the same ways.
I TOTALLY agree regarding concern for the environment. I hear variations of your quote all the time ("God created it ...and it'll all be fine). That abdication of the concept of "stewardship" is frightening. You are very wise, Aime and a philosopher
It seems to me that most advances in science have been made by people who believed in God. Einstein, for instance.
Einstein, as I see it,was more inclined toward pantheism-admired Spinoza who argued that the soul and body were one.Therefore, we might conclude that Einstein might not have believed in an afterlife.He claimed humility in trying to understand God.
I believe there are lots of people who don't believe in an afterlife.
In my opinion it would have no effect on space exploration or how people treat the planet. Most people are of the mindset of focusing on the "now".
Even Christians are more grateful for another day on earth as opposed to being whisked off to "heaven" away from all the earthly problems.
Without an afterlife man would still continue to have laws, court systems, and punishments for breaking those laws. Most people aren't just being law a bidden citizens so they can get into heaven. They want to avoid jail!
I think, for the most part, life would be the same. There might be more emphasis on health and advancement, but I don't think it would be a significant leap. Ultimately, we're all still humans, life is still a rare and precious gift, and we should work to make it the best it can be.
Thanks, M.T, I guess most of us do believed that life is still a rare and precious gift. I worry about the power of those who feel the after-life holds more. However, I think you're right. In the heart of hearts of each person is this awareness.
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