#51 Edited by Brandino (251 posts) -

@Questionable said:

If from tomorrow on you had absolute certainty there is no afterlife would you continue to behave exactly as you do now?

  • No reincarnation
  • No afterlife
  • No lingering spirits or any form of awareness
  • Absolutely zero repercussion or consequence

I believe that once we die we are like we were before we were born, nothing. We just cease to exist like we did before we were born so i would behave no differently.

All this "Heaven" and "Afterlife" stuff is nothing more than a coping mechanism for people to accept death and that is totally cool but i just don't believe in any of it.

#52 Posted by Andorski (5310 posts) -

Be the same. I already accepted that there is no afterlife.

#53 Posted by believer258 (11914 posts) -

As someone who does (or at least falls on the "I really hope so" side of "possibly")? Nah, I probably wouldn't behave much differently.

Granted, my feelings on belief in God have, for a long time coming, fallen into question. I don't want to write it off but I've been searching for a lot of why's in the matter. Which, incidentally, also makes my username something of a misnomer.

#54 Posted by geirr (2574 posts) -

I already live under the assumption that there is no afterlife, if the situation was reversed however and I suddenly knew I'd be spending eternity on Santa's lap eating christmas pudding then I might change some of my ways.

#55 Edited by Viking_Funeral (1791 posts) -

@Questionable said:

  • Absolutely zero repercussion or consequence

Yeah... just because someone doesn't believe in an afterlife does not mean there are no repercussions or consequences to their actions.

And, honestly, I prefer to put my faith in people who choose not to be assholes out of a sense of benevolence towards their fellow man, than people who only pretend to be nice to each other because they fear burning in a lake of lava for all eternity, for ever and ever and ever!

#56 Posted by TruthTellah (9122 posts) -

@Questionable: Nah, because you should try to be good regardless of whether there's some kind of after death consequence. Embracing the best of yourself is its own greatest enrichment of your life while you're here. Even if there was nothing beyond this, I'd still not squander this life of mine.

#57 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3052 posts) -

There aren't zero consequences. There's still prison and there's still death. Neither of those do I want to experience, and I already don't belief in an afterlife.

#58 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1975 posts) -

@Questionable said:

@Hailinel said:

So you're asking if the knowledge that there is no life would turn us all into sociopaths?

Why yes, that could be a excessively simplified option but sure.

Look at Anders Breivik, a pretty recently created "Monster". I believe he is sane. He may have some crazy conspiracy theory's cooked up but at the end of the day he was a man who decided his beliefs were worth dieing for. His end goal which was to stir up the world and make people aware of his manifesto was for him personally worth forfeiting his life for.

  • I believe everyone has a value to his life, be it in money, experience or just being able to leave footprint om the earth you walked on.
    I could have gone for suicide bombers just as easily. Those people choose to pay the price of theyr lifes for the sake of pretecting theyr cultures.
  • People in Tibet are setting themselves on fire for those very same reasons.
  • Yet others take their life just because it is boring, unfulfilling or just very hard,

I can not judge for anyone what their life is worth except my own and deciding on where you stand in life some risks are worth more than others.

Anders Breivik is a Christian Extremist. Suicide bombers are usually Muslim Extremists. The Tibetan protesters are Buddhist. So ya, you kind of countered your whole point there.

#59 Posted by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

I think a bigger change would be if everyone suddenly knew that. There'd be far less war, and far more focus on extending life as long as possible. Transhumanism ftw.

#60 Posted by theguy (796 posts) -

@Questionable said:

@DJJoeJoe said:

Jail and morals exist during life, so unless you include those as also being none existent then I don't see why anyone should change how they act.

I can consider (hypotheticly) that killing my wife and running off with the insurance money is worth the risk of 15 years jail, Now if the risk is 15 years prison and "eternal damnation" that really tips the scale even when you take the jail time entirely out of the equation.

Personally i would feel allot more inclined to take risks that would cross morals. perhaps invest some money in a sound isolated basement in a remote location and see where it goes from there. afteraal, if the only thing that matters is your life now. why not fulfill every curiosity and fantasy you might have or whatever you consider living life to its fullest.

If there is no afterlife than all that morals are are just rules imposed onto you by your fellow man.

I think that's a very narrow view of morals. People generally don't do shitty things to each other because it would make people feel shitty and everyone knows it feels bad. I don't think empathy is something "imposed" on you. I act as morally as I can not because if I don't I'd be breaking a rule but because if I don't I'd feel guilty.

#61 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

I would begin organizing people to work on the Robocop program.

No, but more seriously, I wouldn't. I'm happy with the way I choose to live my life, with my decisions being focused on this world moreso than on an afterlife. Decisions right now are less moral and more subjective, such as choosing between being a secondary ed or film student.

#62 Posted by Hailinel (24842 posts) -

@ShadowConqueror said:

There aren't zero consequences. There's still prison and there's still death. Neither of those do I want to experience, and I already don't belief in an afterlife.

What he said. Regardless of any existence of an afterlife or lack thereof, I do not wish to die because it is an experience that I simply cannot grasp. In particular, if there is no afterlife, and my consciousness were to wink out like a candle upon death, why would I want to hasten that by using the lack of an afterlife as a motivation to do things that could get me a death sentence?

#63 Posted by Fuzzypanther (12 posts) -

Also the existence of a afterlife will not stop insane evil. The people who caused 9-11 believed what they were doing would be rewarded after they died.

#64 Edited by Questionable (619 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

@Questionable: Nah, because you should try to be good regardless of whether there's some kind of after death consequence. Embracing the best of yourself is its own greatest enrichment of your life while you're here. Even if there was nothing beyond this, I'd still not squander this life of mine.

I feel this is somewhat in line with how i currently live my life, Tough with the selfish assumption that if i treat others as i would like to be treated that sooner or later the world will be a better place for it. In reality that occasionally just leads to friends\colleagues abusing my helpfulness and hospitlaity For the moment i will naively continue to run the same course believing that i would not want to live in a world where you can't be the socially awkward "nice" guy.

#65 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

No, I'd just kill myself then. The uncertainty is what gives me strength to go on!

#66 Posted by Spike_Kojima (56 posts) -

According to science ( the best way we have to understand the universe ) once you stop breathing your body stops supplying oxygen to your brain . When that happens your brain cells die . Your consciousness is contained solely in your brain cells . The idea of an afterlife is already ridiculous enough without knowing this so I live my life already thinking "this is it ". The cosmos is pretty fucking rad , so I'm happy enough with that . I also think most people are pretty okay , so I don't want to hurt them or steal there shit because it would make me feel kinda shitty .

#67 Edited by TOA_Doom (70 posts) -

So, first of all, I'd just like to say I'm not religious in any way, and i do not personally believe that there is an after life, but a couple of things. The people saying anything along the lines of "there is evidence that there is no after life", no, there is not, shut up. I don't believe there is, but really, we don't know either. No one really knows what happens after death, and though i believe we just rot, there is certainly not "evidence" one way or another. In answer to the question, i already don't believe there is an afterlife. If i had absolute certainty there was not, i don't think it would honestly change much, other than the fact that i would most likely be stupidly wealthy or murdered by a religious group.

#68 Edited by TruthTellah (9122 posts) -

@Questionable said:

@TruthTellah said:

@Questionable: Nah, because you should try to be good regardless of whether there's some kind of after death consequence. Embracing the best of yourself is its own greatest enrichment of your life while you're here. Even if there was nothing beyond this, I'd still not squander this life of mine.

I feel this is somewhat in line with how i currently live my life, Tough with the selfish assumption that if i treat others as i would like to be treated that sooner or later the world will be a better place for it. In reality that occasionally just leads to friends\colleagues abusing my helpfulness and hospitlaity For the moment i will naively continue to run the same course believing that i would not want to live in a world where you can't be the socially awkward "nice" guy.

Well, I think of it this way. You can't control how other people act. All you can truly control in life is the person you decide to be.

That doesn't mean you have to be a doormat, for even a caring person knows that sometimes the right answer is "no". But it does mean being willing to give of yourself more than you'll ever receive. We can't live under the false assumption that we will get what we give, because the world is unfair. The only thing no one can ever take away from you is what you freely give away. Our actions and who we are must have personal value outside of any circumstance we might encounter. Each day, take control of your life and be the individual you aspire to be.

#69 Posted by Intro (1207 posts) -

Wouldn't change a thing. I already think there's no afterlife anyway and I don't feel the need to do anything different.

No one really believes in any religion or its book, that's how I feel. Surely everyone who reads from the bible doesn't always agree that slavery is okay, women should fully clothed at all times, not allowed to wear jewelry, etc. However, they may believe in things like gay marriage being wrong. Meaning, people just pick and choose what they want from religions.... They're just picking things they agree with.... Meaning you're not religious, you just have your own morals like everyone else on this planet.

I apologize in advanced if I'm coming off as the asshole, super confident atheist. Sorry again.

#70 Posted by Brandino (251 posts) -

@Spike_Kojima said:

According to science ( the best way we have to understand the universe ) once you stop breathing your body stops supplying oxygen to your brain . When that happens your brain cells die . Your consciousness is contained solely in your brain cells . The idea of an afterlife is already ridiculous enough without knowing this so I live my life already thinking "this is it ". The cosmos is pretty fucking rad , so I'm happy enough with that . I also think most people are pretty okay , so I don't want to hurt them or steal there shit because it would make me feel kinda shitty .

Pretty much this.

But i will admit to the fact we don't know exactly what happens because we can't really prove what happens to us other than what happens to our body. For all we know we are reborn, go to heaven or somewhere else or anything. But as it stands i am a firm believer in what we know, what the facts are and science. That being said i don't look down on religious people or people who believe otherwise because again we really don't know. Personally i think most people want to believe in these things because it helps cope with death and if that's what it takes for someone to cope with death then who am i to judge? I wish we didn't have to die because no matter how long you live, it isn't long enough.

#71 Posted by StarvingGamer (8250 posts) -

Since I am already certain...

#72 Posted by TheFreeMan (2712 posts) -

I don't think I'd change at all. I'm agnostic, which means that I basically live my life as an atheist anyways. I like this planet and despite how fucked we, as a species, can be, I've met too many good people, seen too much love and seen too many beautiful sights to just go "ahhhhhh FUCK IT" and start stabbing people for money. I do think about how fun/thrilling it could be to plan/pull off a non-lethal heist though, but I'm pretty sure that's mostly my appreciation of Ocean's 11 working.

Not referring to anybody in this thread but I never understood the idea from some religious people that atheists/non-believers are hopeless, sad, angry and frightened. I am intensely curious about death at times, and at times it also frightens me (like i'm sure it does for many people), but my lack of confidence that there's something waiting after I'm dead sure makes me appreciate what I have. I breathe in real deep. And if there is a god out there responsible/waiting to judge me after, well, I'm glad I got the time I got.

Online
#73 Posted by FilipHolm (667 posts) -

Like most other posters here I have to say no, since the fact doesn't affect my decisions in life. I don't know if there's some form of afterlife or not, and frankly I don't care. If there is, great I guess? I enjoy living. If not, I don't think I'll mind the nothingness since... well you get the point.

#74 Posted by afrofools (1348 posts) -

@Questionable: Most people impose rules on themselves. I don't believe in the afterlife but I am paranoid about my Karma. I don't care about the law at all. The reason I'm not being pursued by the police is because my personal rules almost completely align with that of the law. I do adopt the road rules 100% though, so don't worry fellow motorists ;). I do not - not do things because of fear of being incarcerated, I do not do 'bad' things because I am a decent person. You don't kill your wife because you love her very much and want to protect her, as she does for you, and even if that is not the case you are still decent enough not to; god has nothing to do with it. If spirituality was the determining factor, then everyone would be using 'he who cast the first stone' as a justification for insanity, and everyone would be insane. Because we care about others we do the right thing (most of us). How do we know what the right thing is though? Most people agree that others should not have their basic needs taken from them. Most people, and animals, have the same set of needs, so this is how people understand what the right thing is or is not. All common-sense behaviours stem from these needs, and how to protect those needs of others. Laws are created to enforce these behaviours on the few who don't act accordingly, but are otherwise not needed.

#75 Posted by Dixego (385 posts) -

Afterlives are pretty much completely isolated from our real lives anyway, so I would have no reason to act differently.

#76 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4523 posts) -

Yeah. I hate change.

#77 Posted by Hector (3365 posts) -

As others here don't, I as well don't believe in afterlife. It wouldn't (doesn't) affect how I behave...

#78 Posted by hawkinson76 (370 posts) -

What do you mean "if"

#79 Posted by JonathanAshleyMoore (283 posts) -

I don't believe in the afterlife regardless, so no I wouldn't start like... "living" as they say. I'd still play Video Games far too often, make Articles about stuff I like, write and listen to music etc. Knowing what I already know probably isn't going to change me too much.

#80 Posted by Questionable (619 posts) -

@afrofools said:

@Questionable: Most people impose rules on themselves. I don't believe in the afterlife but I am paranoid about my Karma. I don't care about the law at all. The reason I'm not being pursued by the police is because my personal rules almost completely align with that of the law. I do adopt the road rules 100% though, so don't worry fellow motorists ;). I do not - not do things because of fear of being incarcerated, I do not do 'bad' things because I am a decent person. You don't kill your wife because you love her very much and want to protect her, as she does for you, and even if that is not the case you are still decent enough not to; god has nothing to do with it. If spirituality was the determining factor, then everyone would be using 'he who cast the first stone' as a justification for insanity, and everyone would be insane. Because we care about others we do the right thing (most of us). How do we know what the right thing is though? Most people agree that others should not have their basic needs taken from them. Most people, and animals, have the same set of needs, so this is how people understand what the right thing is or is not. All common-sense behaviours stem from these needs, and how to protect those needs of others. Laws are created to enforce these behaviours on the few who don't act accordingly, but are otherwise not needed.

Thanks, i like that explanation.

There is a specific reason why i don't like it when people play the moral card because there is such a huge diversity of it in this world.Things that appear unimaginable and morally corrupt from your current perspective can be the norm right now in another country, but you managed the boil it down pretty nicely.

#81 Posted by ZeroRegistry (82 posts) -

I don't operate with the assumption that an afterlife exists anyways, so yeah, I would definitely continue acting the exact same way I do now.

#82 Posted by dungbootle (2457 posts) -

I already do have absolute certainty there is no afterlife! And I'm doing just fine.

#83 Posted by andrew2696 (314 posts) -

I'd get depressed as shit. I'm not even that focused on religion I find the idea of an afterlife comforting though.

#84 Posted by Alexandru (301 posts) -

I don't believe in that anyway.I behave how I behave because that's how I am, not because I am afraid going to hell or anything like that.

#85 Posted by IzzyGraze (850 posts) -

@Questionable said:

afteraal, if the only thing that matters is your life now. why not fulfill every curiosity and fantasy you might have or whatever you consider living life to its fullest.

If there is no afterlife than all that morals are are just rules imposed onto you by your fellow man.

Yup.

#86 Posted by AiurFlux (902 posts) -

I don't believe in an afterlife anyway, and I haven't for some time, so nothing would change. I live my life the way I see fit with proper morals and I try to be as good human being as possible. But I refused a long time ago, in Catholic School of all places, not to be dragged into following doctrines that don't make sense, have no scientific credence, and will never be proven. I don't need religion to tell me where I come from or where I'm going to go, I know already. I come from an ordinary planet orbiting an ordinary star in an ordinary galaxy. I live in the universe and the universe lives within me. I am connected to every single thing on this planet, as well as to the planet itself, and when I die my body will return to that which gave me life so future generations may live. In that I am at peace and perfectly happy.

#87 Posted by troll93 (388 posts) -

Nope, and I call bullshit on this topic, theists just trying to pretend that atheists can't be good people.

#88 Posted by Soap_of_Death (94 posts) -

I don't need to be promised a heaven or a "reward" in an afterlife of sorts to see the merit in performing a good deed. I try my best to do right by others because I know that my actions have consequences.

Online
#89 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I already do have absolute certainty. So of course I'm going to act the same.

#90 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

That's exactly what I've believed for the past decade, so yes, I'd continue to act the same.

#91 Posted by llamaegg (227 posts) -

If you're acting like a good person because of fear of the afterlife, you're doing something wrong. I might be agnostic, but I still believe that (most) religions have good morals that would make the world a better place if followed, but you shouldn't be doing so out of fear.

#92 Posted by Tebbit (4465 posts) -

I don't like the whole "If there isn't an afterlife, why bother with morality and acting like a decent human being" line of reasoning.

I really really don't like it.

#93 Edited by Bollard (5555 posts) -

@Gamer_152 said:

Well, I already don't believe in an afterlife as I've seen no evidence or logical reason to do so, so I wouldn't behave any differently, apart from the fact that I'd urgently want to present my proof of no afterlife to scientists.

#94 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

I already believe that. I act like a decent human being because I want to.

#95 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

Life is but cause and effect, the immediate consequences of whatever I do are consequence enough.

#96 Posted by HKZ (70 posts) -

What does the religious bullshit fantasy have to do with being a decent human being? Oh, yeah. I forgot. It's so religious morons can somehow comfort their ignorance and stupidity by thinking if they are a good boy or girl they'll get into the afterlife. News flash assholes: your religion is a complete fabrication, be a decent human not for a reward at the end, but because it's the decent thing to do.

#97 Posted by Flawed_System (388 posts) -

@HKZ said:

What does the religious bullshit fantasy have to do with being a decent human being? Oh, yeah. I forgot. It's so religious morons can somehow comfort their ignorance and stupidity by thinking if they are a good boy or girl they'll get into the afterlife. News flash assholes: your religion is a complete fabrication, be a decent human not for a reward at the end, but because it's the decent thing to do.

So many logical fallacies contained in one post.

#98 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Did you ever think we are in the afterlife now?

#99 Posted by Neferon (262 posts) -

@afrofools said:

@Questionable: Most people impose rules on themselves. I don't believe in the afterlife but I am paranoid about my Karma. I don't care about the law at all. The reason I'm not being pursued by the police is because my personal rules almost completely align with that of the law. I do adopt the road rules 100% though, so don't worry fellow motorists ;). I do not - not do things because of fear of being incarcerated, I do not do 'bad' things because I am a decent person. You don't kill your wife because you love her very much and want to protect her, as she does for you, and even if that is not the case you are still decent enough not to; god has nothing to do with it. If spirituality was the determining factor, then everyone would be using 'he who cast the first stone' as a justification for insanity, and everyone would be insane. Because we care about others we do the right thing (most of us). How do we know what the right thing is though? Most people agree that others should not have their basic needs taken from them. Most people, and animals, have the same set of needs, so this is how people understand what the right thing is or is not. All common-sense behaviours stem from these needs, and how to protect those needs of others. Laws are created to enforce these behaviours on the few who don't act accordingly, but are otherwise not needed.

Excellent post :D

#100 Edited by HKZ (70 posts) -

@Flawed_System: I'm sorry, exactly how? Religion says you have to do certain things to get into the afterlife. Like not kill people, or steal things. I don't disagree these are things you shouldn't do. Yet the question is posed as someone who never believed the bullshit of a man nailed to a cross, and returned to life three days later as being anything remotely close to true, can't be a good person. Religion is total bullshit. Always has been, always will be. Now, there are good things about religion, like morals to follow. Some things are bad, like actually thinking the Earth is only a few thousand years old, and some old dude built a boat to put two of every animal on, or that you are incapable of being a fit parent if you're a homosexual, or that having children out of wedlock will send you straight to "hell" unless you beg some made up dude for forgiveness. Or someone actually believe a deity split a body of water, and let some Jews avoid getting their feet wet. Religion is bullshit, and posing the question in it's given form questions whether or not you'd be a good person if you knew there was no afterlife. There never was, so what is the point asking? Do you have to believe in some made up garbage to be a good person, or can you actually be intelligent enough to recognize bullshit when you see it and be a decent person without the threat of pain and suffering. Religion has caused more deaths, more murders, and more child molestation than not believing in religion. (I don't have factual information to back that up with hard numbers, but I'd be willing to bet I'm right)

I'd love to hear your opinion rather than your "logical fallacy" bullshit. It'd be nice to hear something intelligent than the typical crap about how "wrong" someone is without a valid reason.