Why non-belief in an afterlife may mean a less happy life

For me a belief in reincarnation and a soul assists in a happier life, right or wrong.

A blogger wrote an inspirational blog recently about the cycle of life, which got me thinking about our relationship with death.  I also got to reading a forum discussion between atheists and others about death, and what struck me about that debate was how terrified and disturbed the atheists were about the subject of death.

One of my historical mystery detective puzzles involved the tragic murder of a 14-year-old boy in Colchester over 140 years ago.  The boy, John Harding, ran away from home after losing a broom, fearing a savage beating.  He had been running from his parents about three days until he was cornered on the 26th April 1870 and killed with a strike to the head with a poker; the anniversary of that death is today. John Harding was buried on 29th April, a few days after running away in an unmarked grave.  I paid for a grave marker for him.

It is incidents like that of John Harding that brings me up against the reality of death, and contrary to most, I have no trouble dealing with the issues of death, which is part of the process of life.

I am an agnostic, I have a belief in a soul, and in reincarnation.  I like to have at least some evidence for reincarnation, which the many stories of children remembering past lives provides.

A belief in a soul and reincarnation has no negative impact upon my life.  This belief is a positive thing, it gives me comfort, and I am accepting of death.  I believe that when I die I will be reborn, and start a new life again.  There is a part of me that looks forward to being reborn.  My approach to the future is to leave a legacy of a better world for that future self to exist in, thus I have a selfish motive in assisting in moving humanity away from its self-destructive path.

I could be totally wrong about reincarnation, but it matters not, it makes me happy and I play to that idea.  If I die, and there is nothing beyond death, then I won’t know any different.

In reverse, there are some atheist types who waste their lives arguing over something that is unprovable, insisting with arrogant certainty that there is no life after death.  Those same atheists waste further time worrying and fearing death.  Those atheist guys get very nervous and unhappy about death.  They argued themselves into a corner, which by its nature means they are unable to enjoy life as much as I can, since I have no hang ups over death, and just enjoy life.

Even if there is no life after death, I am going to be buried in the ground like John Harding; the plants and animals will feed on me, and I will live on as part of the cycle of life in plants and animals.

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14 responses to “Why non-belief in an afterlife may mean a less happy life

  1. I also believe in reincarnation, but unfortunately for me, I take little comfort in it. I’ve always believed it is totally random, and that wondrous as well as terrible existences await, Which are ongoing and endless, and that everybody gets a turn at whatever kind of life you can imagine, and that there is no escape.

    • Hi James, I am of similar view. The testimony of children with past life memories indicates they may have choice, as some seem to be reborn in their own families. In the James Leininger story he told his parents he chose to be born with them. I get this impression that as in life, in death there is choice but everything is still subject to the wheel of change.

  2. Quote: I could be totally wrong about reincarnation, but it matters not, it makes me happy and I play to that idea. If I die, and there is nothing beyond death, then I won’t know any different. Unquote

    Do you consider the possibility that there IS something after death? According to Scripture everyone is ressurected, some to eternal life and the remainder to eternal damnation. You could easily believe in this as you do in what you believe now but only one of them is truth. You need to be sure which is truth as that decision cannot be made once you are dead.

    Shirley Anne x

    • Hi Shirley, thanks for your comment. I cannot be sure 100% what is beyond death until I have experienced it. The children with past life memories indicates to me there is something beyond death, so I play to that idea.

      • Thanks for replying. Here’s another question for you. Do you ever consider that these children or indeed adults who claim the same experience are perhaps under the influence of a counter-being, one who is against the God I think you don’t believe in? What I mean is this, again in Scripture (I have to quote from The Bible as I am a Christian believer) God has given such power to the entity that is commonly known as Satan, Lucifer or whatever other name he is known by so we shouldn’t be surprised that he (Satan) wants to sell people an illusion. He wants to turn people away from God, that is his what he is all about. We have to decide ourselves not to accept a lie but to seek the truth. It is a journey that we can only take by ourselves and the final outcome, the consequences of our decisions will decide on our fate. That’s what God says anyway.

        Shirley Anne x

      • A “counter-being” requires a belief in such things, and for me there is no evidence for such things. It is popular to blame a “counter-being” for things that are not understood, and a dangerous idea when it comes to children who claim to have past life memories.

  3. Well I have to disagree with the suggestion being dangerous, it is more danerous to me not to believe in the spiritual forces in play. To say things are not understood is denying the existence of God, something I have personal experience of but I do accept that not everyone believes in such things. It isn’t therefore surprising to know that this unbelief is written in Scripture. As I said before it is a matter of personal choice because we have been given the freedom to choose for ourselves. Thank you for the stimulating banter by the way. Love

    Shirley Anne x

  4. Pingback: The Other Side « My World

  5. How about this for another idea:
    I too, have no real problem or fear of death, but it would be more accurate to say that I do not believe in death!
    The system of belief that I have created for me, entertains the idea the the life we are each in at the moment, is merely a ‘middle place’ between the ‘eternal beginning’ and the ‘eternal ending’ (never thought of those phrases before!)
    We were a long time in non-existence, after the ‘death’ of our bodies, we will be an even longer time in non-existence… ’til the end of time.
    I have a belief in a soul, but I feel that it is like a globule of wax in those lava lamps that was once a part of a larger lump of was and it currently floating free, but will soon be re-absorbed into a universal soul that is all pervasive.

    Shirley, this larger universal soul is the thing that many think of as God, or aspects of it as Gods, but for me it has no self-awareness, no benevolence, and no ‘super powers’… it just is. Like a river bed defines the shape of the waterflow, but it is the flowing water that contains the energy and life, the river bed is merely a source for its form.
    Alex and James, there is the possibility of reincarnation, but it will always be with a different mix of ‘particles’ from the universal soul / source. I tend to think that the ideas of reincarnation point toward an individual being aware of a previous life in some manner. Yes, we hear of some that think they are doing this, but could that be simply an echo in time of events past…?

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