Death And the Afterlife
What the materialist believes • Only the body exists (no soul) • We are the body • When the body dies, we die • There is no afterlife Birth life death “When you’re dead, you’re dead”
What the religions believe Body & soul: the body may die but the soul lives on: • Resurrection of the body (Jewish) • Heaven & Hell (Christian, Muslim) • Reincarnation (Hindu, Buddhist) • Life in the spirit world (Chinese, Japanese) Are you a body with a soul or a soul in a body? Or are you the combination of the two?
Western ReligionsJudaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism • We live one life in this world Birth life death • Sin determines our afterlife: • Purgatory (the “waiting room”) • Resurrection (physical or spiritual) • Judgment (immediate or at end-times) • Heaven (eternal life) • or hell (eternal damnation - or not)
Indian religionsHinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism Reincarnation: we live many lives in this world Birth life death rebirth … (in human or non-human form) Tibetan Book of Death and Dying: • Bardo state (between lives) Bhagavad Gita 2:19, 22: “The Eternal in man cannot die.” “As a man leaves an old garment and puts on one that is new, the Spirit leaves his mortal body and then puts on one that is new.”
… or release Moksha/Nirvana Ending the cycle and moving on: • We are soul trapped in a body • Karma determines the state of our next life • Ultimate goal is to be released from the cycles of reincarnation, to release the soul from the prison of the body
China & JapanTaoism, Confucianism, Shinto Birth life death spirit world • Hungry ghosts • Reverence for ancestors • Kami (Shinto)
Deep thinking questions • How might our belief about the afterlife influence how we live this life? • What evidence is there for reincarnation? • Your questions…