The Effects of the Afterlife on Current Life

5 February 2021

Jeff McCarty

This existence that we are all experiencing is the phenomenon known as life. Each life is a series of experiences that one has within a physical form. With each of those physical forms, it has always been understood that there will be an end to that physical form's existence. This is the phenomenon of death. The subject of death is one that many like to avoid. This can be for a variety of reasons, yet it would serve us well to understand the role that death has on our life.

When we talk about the concept of death, we are more often than not having a discussion about what may occur next after any human experiences the phenomenon of death, commonly referred to as the afterlife. We must distinguish the difference between death and the possibilities that may await us in the afterlife. Death is the event that occurs in which our life as a physical form comes to an end. The afterlife is the realm of possibilities that may await us after we experience the event of death.

The controversies of the topic have always been with the possibilities that may await us in the afterlife. The event of death has always been less controversial. This has been the case since each human having to deal with the death of their physical form has always been widespread. Since the first conscientious observations of reality began, death has been an accepted experience that every human would undergo. Our ancestors would have witnessed the death of other humans and in turn process the event as an objective reality that is awaiting us all. So far, that prediction has stood the test of time.

What has been unobservable is the events that occur after the event of death. As humans, we have pondered upon the possibilities that may await us in the afterlife, essentially ever since we could say with a large degree of confidence that one day, we would each have to deal with death. From that point on our mind has run wild, from reincarnation to heaven and from eternal damnation in hell to just literally nothingness there are many beliefs on what happens next. Just like everyone else, I can make speculations on what may be on the other side of life. Though my speculations are founded on no more evidence than anyone else’s speculations, I see no purpose in laying out these speculations (for now at least). What I do see a purpose in though, is to consider how our beliefs on death and what awaits us in the afterlife shape how we live our current life.

Depending on the beliefs we have on death and the afterlife, we may be more or less willing to engage in certain activities. There are plenty of examples of this through human history, and even today is very prevalent in the decisions and actions we take. There have been plenty of ‘god-fearing’ humans that have based their actions on the belief that there are certain ways of living your life that will get you to a pleasurable afterlife, as well as there are ways in which you can live your life and earn an afterlife experience full of suffering and pain. When viewed through a religious context it is easy to see examples like this and many others where the beliefs on death and the afterlife altered human behavior. Examples exist for those who are not religious as well though. I have talked about the Fuck It Ideology in the past, and that same sort of mindset plays into this conversation. People who are willing to make decisions and take actions that could be detrimental to them under the FII just as easily discount the possibility of an afterlife and decide to act in reckless ways, under the assumption that there is only one life that you get to live.

I am not here to promote one way or the other necessarily. Our beliefs on what could come next in the afterlife have been both beneficial and harmful to our global human civilization. What I am here to do though is provoke the thought and encourage each of us to contemplate the connection that death and the potential afterlife have on our current lives.

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