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Old February 4th, 2018, 02:27 PM   #1
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Possible explanation for belief in an afterlife

If you watch many movies, TV shows, or cartoons, you might have come across the type of story involving someone who is shown to die, and the projection of their consciousness is shown as a semitransparent image of themselves awakening and separating from their inanimate physical body and either floating up towards the sky, or just walking off, to then encounter someone who tells them that they have died but they're not yet ready to enter heaven or paradise. They are then told that they must be brought back to life in order to perform some sort of task or mission before they can go back to heaven or paradise and remain their.

The medieval era Assassins could be a good example that explains how a belief in an afterlife may have developed. Imagine being one of Hassan's drugged victims, being made to feel that you've somehow actually been to eternal paradise (i.e., heaven, the afterlife, etc.), and being able to corroborate it with other victims to friends, family, and others you interact with; you're 100% convinced and capable of being 100% convincing to everyone else.

Could the method Hassan used to recruit the medieval Assassins provide some insight into this?

Why wouldn't this story passed form one generation to the next explain where the religious conviction stems from?

I wonder if the same type of innate knowledge mechanism that exists in birds that are born knowing how to weave the same nest without being taught or spiders that instinctively create a web is involved in passing along this belief in an afterlife or supernatural being or beings from one generation to the next.

The point is not to argue that this particular case (regardless of the accuracy of some of the details about it) is the ultimate source for the belief in an afterlife; the point is that maybe this sort of scam in one form or another may have taken place throughout history.

Sources:
Etymology of Assassin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassins
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan-i_Sabbah
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamut_Castle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innatism
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Old February 4th, 2018, 06:02 PM   #2
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Religion has been used to scam people. It still is used.

That has no bearing on whether an after(physical body)life is real, imo.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 07:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
Religion has been used to scam people. It still is used.

That has no bearing on whether an after(physical body)life is real, imo.
Yes I agree, actually. It's certainly plausible that ever since humans evolved the complex brain & capacity, ability to ponder & imagine, and the level of intelligence that we have now, we have been able to wonder what happens to that which was behind animating us while we are or were alive after the body has died. It could be that this is where the Hassans of the past got the idea of a paradise that we somehow manifest ourselves after we die.

It's possible that we're in something analogous to the Matrix, where when we die we're actually just removed from this realm of reality like a person playing a video game and the game says "game over" who simply turns off the console or computer and goes back to normal in their realm of reality.

Another possibility I've pondered is that if we're able to manifest once, why not manifest again and consider the possibility that we may have manifested into existence before. I'm not referring to something that happens within a few years, decades, or even centuries; I'm referring to something that probably happens over a span of trillions upon trillions of years or maybe even more than that. Even if it were possible for us to somehow remember such a past life, we wouldn't remember that even a single second has gone by just like an unconscious person who came out of a decade long coma wouldn't notice a single second went by while they were in that coma. Some who are religious might take exception to the notion that this appears to be some sort of reincarnation; if that does happen oh well, it is what it is.

Anyways, you basically boiled down what I was getting at in a round about way, that religion has been & is still being used to scam people.

Last edited by Neil; February 4th, 2018 at 07:20 PM.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 07:20 PM   #4
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The birth of religion was when somebody figured out they could say "You guys go hunt and gather, I'll stay here and make sure the Gods favor your endeavor" and just wait for people to come back and feed them.
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Last edited by goober; February 5th, 2018 at 06:27 AM.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 04:35 AM   #5
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Before there were machines you could switch off, I'd guess that the change between a live person and a corpse was so utterly weird that it was easy to believe something vital had gone off to somewhere else, so that it was easy to sell the notion of carrying on to young men you wanted if necessary to die fighting or young women you wanted to die having plenty of babies.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 06:44 AM   #6
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It's obvious that the "soul" is something from human experience.
In dreams we see and converse with people who are dead in the real world.
Up until relatively recently(a few hundred years ago, up until 1693, Massachusetts courts allowed spectral evidence, based on English law, where spectral evidence had been permitted since the 12th century), dreams were considered "real", courts accepted testimony about what people had dreamed and used it to condemn defendants.

So if you saw or conversed with someone in a dream, someone you knew to be dead, that person had to exist somewhere in some form.
Hence the afterlife and souls and all the attendant constructions, all based on extrapolating what were fairly common experiences.
Human beings have a facility for detecting patterns, which may or may not have actual underlying phenomena.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 08:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
Yes I agree, actually. It's certainly plausible that ever since humans evolved the complex brain & capacity, ability to ponder & imagine, and the level of intelligence that we have now, we have been able to wonder what happens to that which was behind animating us while we are or were alive after the body has died. It could be that this is where the Hassans of the past got the idea of a paradise that we somehow manifest ourselves after we die.

It's possible that we're in something analogous to the Matrix, where when we die we're actually just removed from this realm of reality like a person playing a video game and the game says "game over" who simply turns off the console or computer and goes back to normal in their realm of reality.

Another possibility I've pondered is that if we're able to manifest once, why not manifest again and consider the possibility that we may have manifested into existence before. I'm not referring to something that happens within a few years, decades, or even centuries; I'm referring to something that probably happens over a span of trillions upon trillions of years or maybe even more than that. Even if it were possible for us to somehow remember such a past life, we wouldn't remember that even a single second has gone by just like an unconscious person who came out of a decade long coma wouldn't notice a single second went by while they were in that coma. Some who are religious might take exception to the notion that this appears to be some sort of reincarnation; if that does happen oh well, it is what it is.

Anyways, you basically boiled down what I was getting at in a round about way, that religion has been & is still being used to scam people.
I was a newspaper writer for part of my life. Being concise is a virtue in that profession.

Yours are interesting thoughts, all possible.

I am an person who's had experiences both solo and in company that have no 3D+time explanations. I believe evidence or explanations for "spirit" or an "afterlife" can't be found in the material universe.

I don't know if the evidence requires additional dimensions, or planes, or something presently inconceivable.

I've been through too many discussions with atheists wherein I asked what would be acceptable evidence for reality beyond the five senses, logic, and time. All examples of such evidence can be explained as examples of higher technology.

It seems to me that the only honest evaluation of an afterlife is an agnostic one.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 10:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
Religion has been used to scam people. It still is used.
The threat of hell is the only way to make average people behave.

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That has no bearing on whether an after(physical body)life is real, imo.
Nothing has any bearing on whether an after(physical body)life is real.
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