This inquiry deals with your preferences as opposed to your beliefs. In a variety of SD threads, I’ve noted that quite a few Dopers have expressed not only a disbelief in an afterlife (a perfectly rational opinion, IMO), but also a desire for one not to exist. Finding the aversion to an afterlife to be somewhat of a befuddling preference, I wish to expand on this theme.
Which of the following statements best describes your preference (not necessarily your belief, though you may include that as well)?:
- I prefer to not believe in the existence in an afterlife, and for this to be false.
- I prefer to not believe in the existence of an afterlife, and for this to be true.
- I prefer to have faith in the existence of an afterlife and for this to be true.
- I prefer to have faith in the existence of an afterlife and for this to be false.
- I prefer to have proof in the existence of an afterlife.
- I prefer to have proof that an afterlife does not exist.
I believe that the declarations listed above cover all the bases and that a compelling reason may be expressed for any of them (with the possible exception of #4…I can’t imagine anyone validating that one).
If appropriate, include your reason (s) for choosing your particular preference.
I can understand some people preferring not to have faith in, or proof of an afterlife (be it true or false). Reasons may include (but are not be limited to):
- An afterlife for most people implies the existence of a creator and for many people the existence of a god implies a diminishment or absence of free will - or perhaps the implication of a deterministic existence simply seems unsavory. My guess is that people who feel this way will most likely choose #2 or #6 above.
- Reliance on the belief of the existence of an afterlife may unduly influence the way some people live their lives on earth. My guess is that people who feel this way will most likely choose #2, #6 or #1 above.
Though less clear to me, I understand some argument for the preference of a non-existent afterlife. Reasons may include (but probably aren’t limited to):
- Boredom: An afterlife implies some form or fashion of immortality and it’s difficult to imagine any existence, beyond an eon or two, not becoming inexorably mind-numbing.
- Tired: Some may harbor the following attitude toward life: *been there, done that – now I just want an eternal rest. *
- Scared: Infinite agoraphobia :eek: .
- Displaced Martyrdom: “You call this suffering?”
Continuing on (if you’re still game): For those of you who prefer that afterlife exists, describe your perfect post-mortal existence. Anything goes, but don’t forget to factor in potential problems with infinite time (i.e. engaging in flagrante delicto in paradise with 72 virgins may be invigorating for a few millennia, but beyond that…well, even Dr. Poopiepants may need a little Viagra…
As for me: I’m agnostic, leaning slightly toward non-belief. I wish that I had faith in an afterlife and that it was factual (#3). In order to guard against immortal ennui, I would fashion my afterlife on some model of re-incarnation (I may elaborate, if this thread gets hopping).
Lastly, for those of you who prefer a non-existent afterlife, would you feel differently if you were assured the right to model your own post-mortal existence?
BTW: You all may owe me eternal gratitude for getting you to think about your immortality model early: That guy manning the Pearly Gates may give you but a few moments to put in your order and you don’t want to blurt out some interminably asinine existence. (…uh…uh…I want to spend eternity having sex with 72 Abe Vigodas…<done>… :smack: d’oh…I meant 72 able virgins.