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On "Taking Your Chances" -- The Afterlife

Updated: Feb 22

A color-floating pasture

The afterlife is a likely assumption, that no one actually knows what happens once we die. After all, should we die, we can't go back to the original body. We can't return and tell the tale of what happened after we died. Even if we were to create a sentient robot, we might not know what would happen to their consciousness once they ran out of electricity. Why? Because death is also end of knowing, and thus, of experiencing. It is the ultimate end, because those who die, don't know what it's like to die. They might not even know, ever. It's a process that is either long or short, and when it happens, the "plug" is disconnected. My only theory is that everything fades to black, and that applies to all the senses as well. You lose your sight, your hearing, your smell, and so on. You become nothing, and yet your body remains.

A few years ago, I told a religious man just that. They can't know for certain what happened once they're dead. There are many theories and assumptions, but no actual clue, even if these beliefs are portrayed as facts in different societies. The man told me this: that he chose to be a devout Christian, because he's "not taking his chances" when it comes to of Heaven or Hell.

But the thing is, who said Christianity was the truest of all religions? It's certainly the largest religion in the world, with a following of more than two billion believers. Which is India and China's populations combined, more or less.

However, it meets with the fallacy known as Ad-Populum. The mainstream isn't correct just because it is mainstream. Christianity became this large for a reason. Its philosophy is all about spreading the word of Jesus and converting as many people as possible. It is done in order to save humanity from possible doom. And yet, who said there would be a doomsday? Who said the most important religion was the most correct one?

After all, not all religions are missionary by nature. Judaism and Shintoism are not missionary at all, as they are based on ethnicity. A "macro cult," for lack of a better term. The Druze and many others also apply. There are possibly dozens, if not hundreds, of religions in the world. Each one of them has the probability, of being the truest of all religions.

The thing is, since that probability is unknown, then religion in general is a gamble. A gamble for what might happen next after we die. You can love your God(s) as much as possible, but your love and faith in them don't make them truer than any other religion out there, whether you know these religions or not.

The only way to know for certain, which religion is the most correct, is to use a time machine and see if that religion's founder has actually talked to a higher deity. It is said that God/s work in mysterious ways, but how can we know they exist if they so desire to remain in the shadows?

Furthermore? How can we know for certain what happens after we die, if our fate is in the hands of a mysterious force? For we do not truly know what remains in mystery.

Wouldn't it be better to actually know things instead of remaining ignorant for all of our lives? After all, even if these truths are revealed to us, we are still mortal, unlike the gods, who are not. Do you expect a villain to just use that godly information and turn themselves into a god? Why would that be a probability if god/s are, by nature, omnipotent?

Do I deserve redemption? I see no need to redeem myself, just because of my thoughts. Is it that bad to doubt? Aren't there bigger sins like far severe crimes? Even those who doubt, can return to their original standpoint, by being proven wrong.

Those who do crimes, will have this title of "criminal" for life. Redeemed or otherwise. So how, then, do you tell me, that being doubtful is as bad as being morally bad, like a r***st?

In short, because there are so many religions, each with their own view of the afterlife, either one of them is truly right. While the rest have become incorrect, or there is no afterlife, and like a robot, we end once we cease to function completely. As said in earlier writings, faith is no substitute for knowledge. Faith is an assumption, not a fact. Only a fanatic would dare claim they know something about someone they don't actually know if they exist at all, beyond the strength of their belief, love, and prayers.

Religion, ultimately, is the most philosophical gamble there is. It is a gamble on something so existential yet devoid of certainty. The certainty of one's faith being correct. Why do preachers talk so much about the importance of religious belief?

It is because there is no alternative to faith in religion. It is the main, if not the only, drive that makes people turn from secular to religious or stay religious for the entirety of their lives. Shintoism is an exception to that, given that no faith is required. Only the practice of ceremony.

And still, why must there be no possibility of certainty? Why aren't we given the right to know what happens to us after we die? Why do we have to guess and pick sides? If religion is about something, it's about believing in something that is based on faith, love, and loyalty rather than on actual likelihood.

You can't quantify the possibility of a religion being true, in percentages, so you are left with the love you develop for your religion's god/s. As that is the thing that will stick you with following that specific religion.

Don't expect to know the answers from me; I'm no omniscient god. But unlike such gods, I don't see a reason to "work in mysterious ways". What I tell you is open and sometimes personal, and it works just as well. Why is ignorance bliss?

Why believe, when we can try knowing? Know more and more about this existence? While religion is based on accepting your ignorance with love, philosophy is about accepting your ignorance, not with love but with doubt. A good philosopher will doubt their religion in the name of reality. In the name of researching the truth.

Socrates accepted his ignorance by saying that he knows nothing, but what separates philosophers from others, is that they refuse to give up on better knowing themselves and reality.

There are just people who are satisfied with submission. A feeling that's merely based on the faith that "something has been written from a certain source, therefore it is undeniably true, because."

Most of humanity might end up in some obscure hell just because a minor religion is the truest of all religions, and we couldn't even know it because we weren't exposed to it whatsoever.

Please note that I am not anti-religious. An irreligious man may be anti-religious, but not every anti-religious man is irreligious. I "believe" in agnostic atheism. And I try not to discriminate against any of my readers based on their religion or other demographic data. I simply criticized a common feature in major religions.

As long as we respect one another, I don't think there should be any reason for disruption in Philosocom.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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