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Hey! I liked your answer to the question on whether you were sure there’s no afterlife. While you might very well be right I do personally have a lot of questions. There’s a LOT of material out there from people who have seen ghosts / spirits including testimonies from people who are most certainly NOT nuts in any way. I have several people in my circle who are staunch atheists like myself but are yet pretty sure they have had some sort of experience in that field. I don’t really have answers myself but I take into consideration that us humans probably don’t know barely anything yet about the universe and the possibility of various plains of existence, dimensions, the list goes on and on really. Maybe it’s possible to ‘remain’ as some sort of energy footprint or maybe it’s possible to live on as pure energy. Who knows. At any rate, I believe the possibility of some sort of life after death can fit perfectly in an atheist context. It does for me anyway. Assuming for a second that there indeed is some sort of after life there would be absolutely no need for any kind of deity in that context. Anyway… just figured I’d drop you this note. What are your thoughts?
Thank you for the message. The problem for me has been that even though there has been talk of ghosts and spirits nearly as far back as we can trace recorded human history there has never been any level of substantial proof. The reason that science really pays no attention to these topics is because there is no way to even attempt to prove the majority of stories. If there was something substantial there science would be all over it. Science would be doing everything it could to explore it and attempt to further understand it if there was anything worthwhile to study.
I think most people who believe they have some kind of experience with a ghost or spirit aren’t crazy, but they are mistaken. I’ve even had experiences that I can not explain in a natural sense, but I know that the answer isn’t something supernatural, I just lack all the needed information to come up with a good explanation. It is possible for people that are otherwise entirely mentally sane to have delusions. We are also pattern seeking animals, we are often mistaken about things. Evolutionary it is better for us to mistake a sound as something important than to ignore it as nothing. There are lots of logical and simple explanations for events that occur but we’ve never been able to find or prove one that is supernatural.
As far as living on as “pure energy” why would it be possible? If we all did have “souls” wouldn’t we have thousands of ghosts running around everywhere from all of the billions of people that have come and gone? What would hold this energy together or contain it? Wouldn’t we have ghost squirrels and pigs and cows and maybe even dinosaurs? If someone rejects the idea that other lifeforms would have the same ability I would have to accuse that person of a bit too much ego. We have attempts to set ourselves apart from the rest of the natural world too much. There is nothing more special about the energies that animate us than the energies that animate other living creatures.
I do agree that belief in an afterlife does not necessarily require any deity figure. The idea of reincarnation is one that I did find appealing at other times in my life but even then I didn’t really see it as being anything like the common description of reincarnation. We all have things we’re comprised of, of course those things continue on after we have passed away, but there is no reason to think any “energy” part of that would retain a form in any way resembling ourselves. Without some way to contain or direct energy of any kind it usually tends to disperse. As I said before we can not be entirely certain really without experiencing it for ourselves but I can’t imagine death to be anything more than what it was like before I was born.