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Nitish Panda

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Nitish Panda


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afterlife
reincarnation
soul
Fri, Nov 11, 2016 - 11:27 PM

How should humanists adjust their beliefs if afterlife/reincarnation is found to exist?

If it is found that souls exist and afterlife or reincarnation is for real, how should humanists recalibrate their beliefs?



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Stacy S
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Stacy S

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About Stacy S

Member of Canadian Armed Forces.
Member of Humanist Canada and Ontario Humanist Society.
Print Sun, Nov 13, 2016 - 12:57 PM
In general, humanists probably wouldn't have to do much adjusting. Humanists promote being good to each other and to make the world a better place by using the latest information. Unless reaching the afterlife or being reincarnated is contingent on being crappy to each other, there would be little to change. Right now, many religious people consider themselves humanist because they share many values as Humanists. These people live by humanist values and believe in an afterlife.

Most religions are okay with people being good to each other, but there are some religions that expect people to react violently to opposition or blasphemy. Therefore, if you are trying to suggest an afterlife or reincarnation that is aligned with a particular religion, then I would need to know which religion you are referring.


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Steffen Haugk

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Steffen Haugk


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Print Mon, Nov 14, 2016 - 04:23 AM
We know there is an afterlife, it's what happens after we have died. The body rots.

Somehow I think this is not what you mean. But if we somehow 'live' after life, than it's obviously not an 'after'-life. It's still life.

I don't want to ask how the existence of an afterlife/reincarnation could be established. Let's assume that it has. Well, the adjustment in belief would be this: before the discovery of the existence of an afterlife/reincarnation a humanist had no reason to belief in the existence of an afterlife/reincarnation, after the discovery he has.

Right now I believe that our planet has one moon. This is what the experts are saying. If the experts some day announce they have discovered a second moon (maybe eclipsed by the visible moon), I will have to believe them. I will adjust my belief, because expert in the field have used reason and logic to come to this surprising conclusion. If later they revise their opinion, I will adjust my belief again.

Where it gets interesting is when we have answers to questions surrounding these phenomenon:

Afterlife
How do we get there?
Will everybody get there?
Can we get back here?
What's it like?
What are the rules?
Is there only one place, or multiple?
Where does it all take place?
Do we keep our bodies, or de we get new ones, or do we not have bodies?
What are we doing, and how are our activities fuelled?
Do we need to eat, sleep, drink, use the toilet?
Where does the food come from, where does the waste go?


If afterlife is better then the before-afterlife, then we should get there as soon as possible, whilst our bodies are young and healthy. If it's a nasty place, maybe we can avoid it altogether? So much depends on the answers to the questions above, and many more.


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Bill Haines
Garden State Attitude in the Old Dominion

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Bill Haines

Garden State Attitude in the Old Dominion

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About Bill Haines

"Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try."
-- A. C. Grayling
Print Tue, Nov 15, 2016 - 04:54 PM
My answer would be, "In accordance with the evidence, sound reasoning therefrom, general compassion and good humor." For a more specific answer, as Steffen points out, we would need more specific hypotheticals.


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