Friday, March 04, 2005

Does Atheism Mean There is No Afterlife?

I'm not so sure about this one. Personally, I would like to exist in some form after death, but I'm not so sure if that's possible. I have no memory of myself existing before my birth so I really don't have anything to go off of.

Now death usually means the ending of all metabolic proceses and the general decay of your body as it exists in three dimensions. But, is that all we are? We also exist in a continual expansion of a fourth dimension we refer to as time. Time isn't like our first three dimensions where an object can remain motionless. Time is always pushing things forward or as far as our minds can currently perceive. Our perception of time is rather limited. We can remember things in the past as they used to be, we can plan for things in the future, but we never really have a grasp on it. Time also raises a few questions in terms of existence. Once an object is influence by time, does it only exist in the present? Does it no longer exist a second ago? Will it not be there in the future before we catch up to it?

So we know we exist in at least four dimensions. Three of which we usually have a good handle on. The fourth, not so much. But is that all? Depending on which physicist you talk to, there are maybe 2-3 other dimensions as well. Dimensions we can not perceive. So is it possible that some part of us exists in one of these hidden dimensions and will only be perceived after our present three dimensional bodes are destroyed? Possibly. I know I'd like to think so.

There are also those people who wander around looking for empirical evidence of an afterlife who we refer to as ghost hunters. This is a fascinating study of the possible continuation of conscious existence after death. I mean lets face it, if someone finds hardcore physical evidence of an existence after death, then one of the greatest fears of all time is history.

There is plenty of evidence and stories that tend to bring credit to this possibility. I've had friends tell me great ghost stories of phantom tanks and old statesmen who love to play jokes. But I have yet to hear or see any concrete evidence that any of these phenomena are in any way related to humans or something else entirely. Another possiblity is perhaps these are merely uncertainties in the fourth dimension that people refer to as "thin places". Or could it be that these really are the souls of dead people wandering around. However, that raises the question, does everyone have the ability to exist after death or is it a genetic fluke like being double jointed? Also does anything that gains consciousness also exist in this hidden dimension (i.e test tube babies or artificial intelligences)?

Honestly, I just don't know.. yet.

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