standard An afterlife: Heaven and Hell? 

after

The afterlife is the belief in the continual existence of an individuals consciousness after the physical body dies or ceases to exist. The intricate part that continues to exist outside the body is sometimes referred to as a soul. Philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Hick, Bishop Berkeley, St Thomas Aquinas, and Pythagoras all believed in some form of an afterlife, some of their beliefs or ideology also comprised of reincarnation. Belief in an afterlife, may be naturalistic or at times supernatural, the belief in this ideology is in opposition to the belief in oblivion after death.

The truth of the afterlife boils down to the mind/body/ soul connection. There have been many theories about the phenomena, some theories suggesting its existence and others disproving it. The mind/body/soul connection has proven to be a tricky topic, because no theory can be fully verified. Greater minds than mine have argued about this for ages past and will continue to after I am long gone. I can only speculate on both the mind/body/soul idea and the afterlife. So as usual, for argument sake let’s agree that they both exist.

This piece takes on afterlife as it pertains to religion and how it affects the normal life and its vices.

Many religions believe in life after death, more often than not the whole religion is built or centered on this philosophy. It is believed that individuals shed their mortal shells leaving their souls free to enter the afterlife. The idea of an afterlife when it is concerned with religion is often accompanied with the act of judgment, a belief that every life is held accountable for its action while on this plane of existence is held in high regard. This gives rise to the idea of a paradise that houses souls who lived a good life on earth and a place of torment for people who lived wrongly. They are many iterations of this concept.

In Christian theology, Hell is a place of suffering and torment. It is often described as having everlasting flames that burns the souls of sinners. It’s a place where judgment is passed on sinners after death; souls who have done right are entered into a paradise know as heaven where the souls get to bask in the glory of divinity. Hence they leave behind the sin and wickedness of the previous world.

Naraka is the Hindu equivalent of Hell, here sinners are tormented after they die; It is also a place that houses Yama, the god of Death. It is said to be located at the southern part of the universe and under the earth. Yamaha weighs the virtues and possible sins of a soul. When a soul has been deemed sinful, he remains in Naraka and the virtuous are sent to Svarga. Svarga or Svarga Loka is a collection of heavenly worlds where the virtuous souls live in paradise before they are reincarnated to live another life.

Jahannam is one of the names equivalent to the Islamic concept of Hell. According to the Qur’an, the Last Day will see the world as we know it being destroyed then all people will be judged by God as to whether they are befitting of paradise (Jannah) or are to be condemned to hell. Hell will be occupied by those who have disobeyed his laws. Jannah is often compared to the Christian Heaven.

Every human being has a sense of justice, just like how man has searched for a divine being since the inception of time. Platos epistemology will argue that we were born with it, while the Aristotle school of idea will argue we learnt it from society. If Plato is right, it is just one of those things we were born with it. Sometimes our sense of justice might be skewed or wrong but thats not what this discussion is about.  As stated earlier everyone has a sense of justice; even atheist believe in this, a physical sort given by humans that is. The justice system in the world settles disputes and dishes out appropriate punishment for crimes. Just as the physical realm has a justice system so does the spiritual or at least it is believed to. There’s a paradise (synonymous with heaven) and a place of damnation. There’s no proof these concepts are real or exist, it can only be proven by word of mouth and by faith in the doctrine. An individual who believes in a religion has to have faith in all its rites and beliefs (except I am wrong and you can select specifics to believe. Let me know in the comments) That is to say if someone is a Christian, the individual is supposed to believe in heaven and hell; A Hindu and a Muslim in the corresponding places. These concepts whether real or fictions were made to serve as an incentive to inspire a good and virtuous behavior and conscience by a divine being, and a disincentive for those who would go contrary to the doctrine.

According to a survey carried out by WIN Gallup International, it was found out that 63% of the world’s populations are religious leaving the atheist at 11%, now these findings may be subject to errors and objections. But the fact that I believe, is that they are more religious people than atheist. The world as we know today is full of corruption, wars, poverty, and crime in general. Wars are fought in the name of these gods; we have rich people who are religious who refuse to help the poor but instead exploit them. There are religious individuals who commit crimes regardless of their religion and the eternal punishment that fits their actions. I believe it is safe to say that religious people (NB: not religion) have added immensely to the decay that plagues our world today not that atheist havent either. So it is either the spiritual punishment isn’t strict enough to motivate them to live right or most people don’t actually believe in what they practice; only doing it because they were raised with it.

If the premise is true, could it be that science got it right and that an individuals consciousness cease to exist when the brain is dead? This leads us back to the question, is there a divine being, a god? Or is religion practiced by bunch of hypocrites who need it as a backup plan in case anything about their religion eventually turns out real?

Did you know HELL is a real place? It’s a small town in Michigan. Read more about it in Ranker.com



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