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Belief in an Afterlife

Religion and Philosophy
Forum rules
we are introducing this on a trial basis and that respect for other's views is important e.g. phrases like "your imaginary friend" or "you will go to hell" are not appropriate
WickedLester
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Belief in an Afterlife

#652036

Postby WickedLester » March 7th, 2024, 2:54 pm

I don't want to get into an argument about whether there is an afterlife or not, a great many people still do believe, what I'm curious to ask is whether the very tendency to believe is genetic, social or a mix of the two.

Does it matter whether you believe in Valhalla, any of the three main Abrahamic religion's version reincarnation or whatever? They all seem to revolve around the assertion that the better the life you lead the more handsomely you'll be rewarded in the next life.

I imagine ever since primates became social creatures, they have witnessed the death of compatriots so to speak. They would have witnessed the decay of the body over time and presumably evolved an understanding that it would happen to them in time and every other member of their group, including their own offspring. If that member of society was 'good' in an evolutionary sense, had strong, healthy, intelligent offspring who provided well for their group would they evolve to mourn them when they were gone because of the good they did for the group when they were alive?

Would that desire to once again be with them for their protection, company etc. possibly be evolutionary therefore and does it only exist in mammals?

DrFfybes
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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#652046

Postby DrFfybes » March 7th, 2024, 3:54 pm

WickedLester wrote:I don't want to get into an argument about whether there is an afterlife or not, a great many people still do believe, what I'm curious to ask is whether the very tendency to believe is genetic, social or a mix of the two.


For starters...
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125629/

then there's the "God Gene" theory.

Personally I think it is biased twaddle by believers clutching at straws for proof of their views. Religious belief, or lack of it, is social conditioning, upbringing, and community. The again I don't believe in God either.

We know a lot aout the human genome, we have the sequence of most of it, identified tens of thousands of genes, and yet the God gene has not been identified, despite what I'm willing to bet are extensive efforts to find it. If there is a God gene it is probably somewhere in the left spral arm of a telomeric region, right next ot the Gay gene, the one for favourite colour, and the one for finding Ricky Gervais funny.

Actually the latter 2 could be genetic, differences in retinal cells could cause difference in colour perceptions leading to a bias, and nobody in my family thinks Ricky Gervais is funny.

Paul

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#652052

Postby Tedx » March 7th, 2024, 4:13 pm

...I didnt say he was funny. I just happened upon a show of his on Netflix over Christmas time.

XFool
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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#652083

Postby XFool » March 7th, 2024, 5:34 pm

WickedLester wrote:I don't want to get into an argument about whether there is an afterlife or not, a great many people still do believe, what I'm curious to ask is whether the very tendency to believe is genetic, social or a mix of the two.

A much more interesting question, IMO, is whether political views are inherited (genetically) or socially, or solely come from experience.

My bet: It's all three (with a strong association with personality - which is itself determined by...)

ursaminortaur
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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653486

Postby ursaminortaur » March 14th, 2024, 11:51 am

WickedLester wrote:I don't want to get into an argument about whether there is an afterlife or not, a great many people still do believe, what I'm curious to ask is whether the very tendency to believe is genetic, social or a mix of the two.

Does it matter whether you believe in Valhalla, any of the three main Abrahamic religion's version reincarnation or whatever? They all seem to revolve around the assertion that the better the life you lead the more handsomely you'll be rewarded in the next life.


Though they may have different ideas as to what is involved in living a "better" life. As I recall the "better" life which would get you into Valhalla involved killing a lot of people and dying in battle.

RockRabbit
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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653529

Postby RockRabbit » March 14th, 2024, 3:06 pm

ursaminortaur wrote:
WickedLester wrote:I don't want to get into an argument about whether there is an afterlife or not, a great many people still do believe, what I'm curious to ask is whether the very tendency to believe is genetic, social or a mix of the two.

Does it matter whether you believe in Valhalla, any of the three main Abrahamic religion's version reincarnation or whatever? They all seem to revolve around the assertion that the better the life you lead the more handsomely you'll be rewarded in the next life.


Though they may have different ideas as to what is involved in living a "better" life. As I recall the "better" life which would get you into Valhalla involved killing a lot of people and dying in battle.

That appears to be a feature of Abrahamic religions as well at certain points in history - Crusades, Jihad and all that. Most religions appear to flex with the prevailing political winds.

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653584

Postby Dicky99 » March 14th, 2024, 5:51 pm

I've heard it said by some scientists that the more they learn and understand science, the more they believe in a god. There's always the possibility however that they are God botherers masquerading as scientists :?

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653598

Postby Watis » March 14th, 2024, 6:22 pm

Dicky99 wrote:I've heard it said by some scientists that the more they learn and understand science, the more they believe in a god. There's always the possibility however that they are God botherers masquerading as scientists :?


Science and Religion are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

It seems to me that every scientific discovery - at least in the field of astrophysics - reveals how much more we still don't know.

Watis

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653607

Postby ukmtk » March 14th, 2024, 6:48 pm

Watis wrote:
It seems to me that every scientific discovery - at least in the field of astrophysics - reveals how much more we still don't know.


I think that's true of most sciences.

When I went to university I thought I'd discover the answers and found that you seem to find new questions (read Maths&Physics).
I heard some time back that mathematical knowledge doubled every 10 years - not sure if this is still true.
I suspect it might have been related to the number of PhDs published.

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653608

Postby Lootman » March 14th, 2024, 6:56 pm

ukmtk wrote:When I went to university I thought I'd discover the answers and found that you seem to find new questions (read Maths&Physics).

I heard some time back that mathematical knowledge doubled every 10 years - not sure if this is still true.

I suspect it might have been related to the number of PhDs published.

At Uni I learned that there is no such thing as "mathematical knowledge". That is because, at least in the case of pure maths, its truths are by convention rather than empirical. So you can learn nothing about the real world by understanding that 1 plus 1 equals 2.

That is not to say that maths is not useful, and certainly not to say that those who can do it are not smart. Only that mathematical truths are a priori rather than a posteriori. You can derive them sitting in an armchair with no exposure to the real world. And that may explain a thing or two about mathematicians, or not.

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653611

Postby skyshield » March 14th, 2024, 7:01 pm

Seeing pals pass away likely got us thinking about what happens next. Whether it's Valhalla or reincarnation, the idea of being rewarded for a good life makes sense. Wanting to reunite with good pals seems natural, but if it's purely evolutionary and exclusive to mammals, not sure.

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653612

Postby XFool » March 14th, 2024, 7:04 pm

Lootman wrote:At Uni I learned that there is no such thing as "mathematical knowledge". That is because, at least in the case of pure maths, its truths are by convention rather than empirical. So you can learn nothing about the real world by understanding that 1 plus 1 equals 2.

Well, that's wrong for a start!

Mathematical physics can make new predictions about the world - they are either true or false. Determined by experiment and observation.

It all starts with "1 plus 1 equals 2".

i.e. Maths is useful in learning new things about the world.

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653651

Postby stewamax » March 14th, 2024, 10:34 pm

WickedLester wrote:Does it matter whether you believe in Valhalla, any of the three main Abrahamic religion's version reincarnation or whatever? They all seem to revolve around the assertion that the better the life you lead the more handsomely you'll be rewarded in the next life.

Christianity doesn't.
a. You get to heaven though belief in Jesus; redemption is by faith alone - the doctrine of sola fide
b. Good works here don't improve your chances of unlimited celestial virgins, fountains of Lafite, or pastoral locus amoenus scenery.

Any Christian who doubts these two just needs to recite any version of the Creed.
This is what they (are supposed to) believe.

stewamax
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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653657

Postby stewamax » March 14th, 2024, 11:17 pm

Lootman wrote:At Uni I learned that there is no such thing as "mathematical knowledge". That is because, at least in the case of pure maths, its truths are by convention rather than empirical.

It seems not uncommon among pure mathematicians to believe that mathematics exists independently of us - that it is 'outside there somewhere' - and we just discover it, roughly akin to Plato's Theory of Forms. And this belief seems unrelated to their religious beliefs or none.

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653836

Postby bungeejumper » March 15th, 2024, 7:26 pm

skyshield wrote:Wanting to reunite with good pals seems natural, but if it's purely evolutionary and exclusive to mammals, not sure.

Or, as the elderly lady said to her vicar: "Vicar, when I die and go to heaven, will all my dear lttle doggies be there waiting to greet me on the other side?"

"Well," said the vicar, "we can't know, but let's put it like this. If they're there, then you're going to have to explain yourself to the turkey you ate last Christmas." :?

BJ

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#653902

Postby DrFfybes » March 16th, 2024, 11:09 am

skyshield wrote:Seeing pals pass away likely got us thinking about what happens next. Whether it's Valhalla or reincarnation, the idea of being rewarded for a good life makes sense.



I disagree.

Telling people you want to influence that they will be rewarded for a good life as you define it makes sense. Similarly wanting to live a good life to enjoy better interactions with others makes sense.

However doing it for future rewards not only doesn't make sense, but also negates the latter reason for doing it.

Paul

I'm waiting for the first 'scam reclaim' case against a bank for someone who's donated to a church for years and suddenly decides their god isn't real :)

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#654007

Postby stewamax » March 16th, 2024, 9:21 pm

DrFfybes wrote:I'm waiting for the first 'scam reclaim' case against a bank for someone who's donated to a church for years and suddenly decides their god isn't real :)

But who would they call as a witness?

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Re: Belief in an Afterlife

#656398

Postby Leothebear » March 28th, 2024, 10:04 am

Absolute belief in an afterlife, especially one that promises paradise and that this life is a rehearsal or test for that paradise, has proven to be inherently dangerous and destructive.

I'm an atheist, but I've no problem with religions who preach that this life should be valued and nurtured.


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