WHAT BEGINS AFTER LIFE ENDS?
By Neel Anil Panicker
The only certainty in life is death. But what exactly is death? Is it the end of life? A blank wall? Or, it a doorway to another life? If so, what? And then, what after? Is there an afterlife? Is death the end? The end to end all ends?
Well, the opinion is fairly divided on this, and the answer to this eternal quagmire hinges on a lot many factors, not the least one’s moral, educational, scientific, religious, humanistic, or even philosophical bent of mind.
Speaking of the last, let’s have a look at what the men in grey, those learned men in long flowing beards and piercing looks aka philosophers and litterateurs have to say on this matter.
The Bard, Shakespeare himself, believed that there was no after life and if there was one, it was infinitely far worse than life itself. Recall what he says via Hamlet in his “…To be, or not to be, that is the question…” speech.
This is quite in contrast to what some others believe who’ve said that there is an afterlife and that’s it consists of Heaven and Hell. In fact the utterly dark, nihilistic philosopher Nietzsche believed that the above two were Jesus’ creations who so very desperate that all people love him that he sent all those who didn’t to Hell!
Well, now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum and find out what other groupings have to say.
Humanists believe in life after death. What separates them from other groups is that they believe morality & action should focus on humans. They may believe there’s a God who has promised an afterlife, but also aver that God also wants us to care more about other humans than the divine.
Then are those that say there’s no life after death. The religious among them believe God will destroy a soul upon a worldly death. Now, most religions believe this is possible but then there are some even among these who believe as God is benevolent he would not destroy a person’s soul.
And, of course, there are those who play it safe and call themselves agnostics and atheists and thus skirt from speaking their minds on such ticklish issues. The pantheists believe that man never dies; he returns to Nature, his elements dissolve, and re-emerge in new forms, thus becoming part of the natural cycle.
At the end, all one say is that denying or affirming that there’s life after death need not to be straitjacketed as a matter of faith versus evidence, or even courage versus cowardice.
It’s best that when it comes to such (un)temporal matters we leave it as, and respect as well, an individual’s choice.
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