Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Afterlife: Why Give It So Much Thought?

There seems to be a lot of discussion about what people believe happens when they die. I don’t usually join in, mainly because I don’t have any good ideas on the subject myself.

I have started to wonder, however, why so many people seem to give it so much thought. My question, to those who think about it, is why. By that I mean, what practical difference does it make in your life? Does belief or non-belief in an afterlife affect the way you live this one?

I can understand that if you believe you will be judged, and that the quality of your afterlife depends on what you do in this one, the belief can impact on your day to day behaviour. But if you don’t believe in judgement, why is the question of life after death even an issue? Is it just a fun or improving thing to think about? Does it give extra meaning to the life you are living? Are there things you do or don't do because of it? If your belief or non-belief were the opposite of what it is, would you behave differently?

I’ve read descriptions of all kinds of possibilities of what happens after we die. I’m just wondering why this thing that we can’t possibly know until it happens is so important to try to figure out.

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