Mummified victim of the 19th century cholera outbreak in Mexico
“It’s not that I’m afraid to die, it’s just that I don’t want to be there when it happens.”Woody Alan
Death is a subject most find difficult to talk about. Yet all of us without exception will face death one day. It is natural to fear death I suppose and some would say that there is no sense wasting time talking about something we cannot prevent. But we should explore it. Why? If for no other reason, our understanding of death will influence the way we live our life. That is to say, if we value truth, then seeking and living truth will give our life value.
What truths can we seek about death? First of all, where will death lead us? There are two major thoughts but only one can be true. Death is ether the end of our existence or a new beginning.
If death is an end then there is no sense in exploring the subject any further. We should strive to live long enough to enjoy what little life we have. So live life to the fullest. Make the most of each day seeking life’s pleasures.
But what if we do live on in some form beyond death. What would this look like? What evidence if any is there? Does life after death automatically presume a god? Will what I do in my lifetime influence what happens in the next life?
One thing for certain, if life after death is a fact it will affect all of us without exception It will not be a matter of choice despite any personal opinion. Much as life on earth is the natural step after life in the womb, life in the “spirit realm” must also be the next natural progression whatever that may be. The baby, in its nine months of existence in its mother’s womb could not imagine what life will be like outside. The womb was the only world the baby knew. In a similar way, our understanding of what life after death could be can only be understood under the limitations of our personal life experience. This accounts for why there are different views on the subject.
So right from the start we can see that there is going to be some ambiguity. That does not mean that we cannot find the truth in the matter. It means that often in searching for truth the evidence is not in proportion to the reality.
As an example, recently scientists have been discovering planets outside our solar system. Not because they can see them through some new powerful telescope but by monitoring small variations in light output of distance suns. Science tells us, these small rhythmic variations in light are the evidence that a planet is blocking the light emitted from the sun it is orbiting. This is small evidence for a big discovery. We believe because there is reason to believe.
Take a hypothesis or a theory and apply it to the facts. If the data doesn’t fit the theory, you either have to discount the data, and somehow explain it away, or you’ve got to modify your theory. That’s how science works.
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