What, if anything, comes after this life? What do you believe?

I wonder if at times you must feel like a prisoner in a cave who escapes and returns to tell the other prisoners, still in the cave, of the truth that exists outside their prison. lol Yes I have done a little studying of Philosophy my own here lately and have enjoyed every bit of it. I was raised Pentalcostal during my early childhood years and as an adult I have no religion. That is not to say however that I do not believe in a higher power. My higher power has no label, but others can call my higher power a god if they wish. If they think it will put them in heaven after death. My question for you is this: what do you suppose happens to the energy that is within our bodies after we have passed on? I ask this because energy cannot die yet it can be passed on. What purpose does that energy serve at that point? Is this what Christians refer to as the soul?
Atheist Answer: 

I would suggest that what I consider to be "outside the cave" might simply be a larger cave, but yes, there is an urge to show people the new space.

I don't think anything comes after death. After death, there is no longer a person who might experience anything.

It's difficult for most people, including me, to properly wrap their heads around the idea of not existing. In the absence of an afterlife, many people still imagine themselves persisting forever, alone in darkness and silence. It's an idea I find more frightening than Hell. (Therefore if there is a Hell, that's how it might well manifest for me.) I remind myself that at the moment of death, there won't be a me anymore, so any thoughts of what might happen to me after death are meaningless.

The energy in the body is eternal, but it's not a soul. It's the simple chemical and electrical energy in our bodily fluids, as well as our muscles and our brains. When we die, it escapes mostly as heat. It also contributes to the reactions which decompose the body. Some of it goes to feed some lucky earthworms, and eventually to enrich the soil around the grave and whatever grows in it.

The Christian concept of a soul has nothing to do with quantifiable energy. (They did try to connect the two by identifying a measurable loss of substance at the moment of death, but ultimately failed.) The soul, hypothetically, is an intangible entity which accompanies the human body for its entire lifespan. It controls the body and supplies it with human qualities, and human worth. Essentially the soul is an externalisation of certain brain functions and social conventions. Upon death, it severs all connections with the physical world and goes to God to be distributed as He sees fit.

The soul shares a category with Buddhism's karma and all manner of energies posited by New Age systems, in that although it's credited with many effects (for example a person's conscience), none can be attributed to it unambiguously. Associating it with the ordinary, observable energy inside the body is one way to make it sound more plausible, but there's no merit in the comparison.

- SmartLX


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I thank you for your quick

I thank you for your quick response, SmartLX. I also like your opening comment: "I would suggest that what I consider to be 'outside the cave' might simply be a larger cave, but yes, there is an urge to show people the new space."

For those who are unaware, Plato made this comparison to humans and knowledge in his dialogues starring Socrates.

And now I feel like "a thing with no intelligence" (Socrates)

I have been studying different religions and such but have not found one that I can believe in. They all seem like cults to me. So I have moved on from that search to just knowing that there is a higher power. I just finished a Philosphy course that, not suprisingly, has answered some questions yet left me with so many more unanswered.I never want to stop learning (we as humans naturally seem to fear the unknown but I'm fearless and want to know everything I can). I may have more questions for you in the near future, but for now I am pleased with the response I have received from you.

Again, I thank you kindly!

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk. —Emerson

"I'm the Fruit Loop in your Cheerio's" Jnut


You're very welcome, but if you don't mind I have a question for you. If you can explain briefly, how do you know there is a higher power?