One can also inform oneself sufficiently to make an educated assessment of the evidenced offered, to judge the plausibility of the thesis. On that basis, theism is particularly lame.
And agnosticism is in fact atheism.
Guessing about what happened before life and what happens after death does not have to be a guess without any good basis.
An atheist can say birth is like death because "I have been knocked unconscious and aparently time passed without my knowledge." If the connection between a lack of brain function and lack of self existence can be drawn from such a case and other similar cases, then from this understanding we could draw the conclusion that with no brain activity due to death there is no longer mental activity. Whether this is actually true or not can only be supposed from a body of experiences. On the other hand, a religious person may say "I have been hit in the head and while you saw me lying still on the ground I saw God and He/She/It spoke to me." . From this and similar experiences we may draw the conclusion that death is like lying still on the ground for eternity and so there will be an infinite time experienced in the presence of God. Whether this is true or not... well it is not true.
.Well that doesn't get's us anywhere,you're just going round in circles.
And once again my friend,atheism is the lack of belief,stop claiming it that it is a ideology,there are some that treat it like that,but the definition says it's lack of belief.
So any answer to the question "Do you believe in god?" but "Yes,I do!",makes you an atheist,even if you say "I don't know." or "No,I don't."
An atheist can say birth is like death because "I have been knocked unconscious and aparently time passed without my knowledge."
Now I will admit this is not nearly a rigorous enough reasoning process to be certain that a person should experience no mental activity after death and before birth. But it seems the most reasonable among the various alternatives.
I do not know; I can think of no way to find out;
Hey Frank, have you thought of hiring yourself out as a cure for those annoying kids who keep asking "why" ? It would be interesting to see who got murdered first, you or the child !
Frank, this "guess" is more than a BLIND guess.
You seem extremely certain in your uncertainty.
How is it that you came to the conclusion "I can think of no way to find out." or that "I can think of no way to honestly assign probability to the other alternatives.".
This implies that you have tried to understand what happens before life and after it, but it does not say anything about the methods employed to get to those two statements. For instance, you could have thought once about the topic and and come to the conclusion "I can think of no way to find out (what a person experiences before birth and after life).". Is this necessarily true if more alternatives were explored? If the answer is "I don't know", then we must search for a solution until the answer is "I don't know for sure but I have a good guess".
I am absolutely certain of my not knowing.
I simply cannot think of any way to find out. Can you?
We need to get to the point about what we do know, and what we can't know for now : What actually is life ?
I have an abstract view of some sort of afterlife, but not as people used to define it. From a logic view, the fact that I once came out of nothing is a hint that it might work again so the ? would be again some sort of birth, but not in the classic idea of reincarnation, much more abstract.
This is only a thought of mine, feel free to believe in what you want. The main question about our existence is presented in my little drawing, and everyone has a different answer for "?", some say that there is no "?" and you just stay in Non-existence, but I kind of find that hard to believe, because well I already came out once out of non-existence why can't that work again. And if the goal of every life would be to be for ever dead, then there would be no life at all.
Just my opinion, feel free to answer.
It seems that there are 3 main issues in society about afterlife:
1. You go to heaven/hell and there's some huge explanation for why no one knew **** about religion.
2. You die. That's it, you can't think anymore. You can't feel. You're dead, you're gone.
3. Or this, 2 happens, and you die and wait. So time goes by like immediately since you're dead, and you wake up either born as someone else, or something else. The explanation for this would be some sort of atomic crap like your atoms finally eventually being put back in the spots they were in. Either that or something to do with mysterious quantum physics.
I think idea number 3 seems to be more logical. A life doesn't last for ever but life itself does. So your life will may end someday but your individual existence will somehow form itself new in far future (you won't recognize the time, since your dead/non-existent), like it did to form the existence you are living in now, of course this new existence will not have anything to do with the old one, you start from 0 again I think.
And yeah it's too optimistic to think of a place like heaven,
but it's also too optmistic beeing dead forever,
just now you are alive,this is by far the best proof that nothing can possibly be dead for ever.
The process that makes your existence works by itself, no one needed to do anything to exist ,it just happens.
As you can see, I am trying to argument against that "Forever and ever dead"-attitude to death, just because it doesn't make any sense at all. You once came out of nothing, so why shouldn't that work again and again after your dead (for this life at least).
Please keep in mind, that even this idea sounds great and logic, the real event that will happen after death won't change no matter what we believe in, so it's very likely that everyone of us might be wrong, or the death is in fact for ever.
The rational answer to the question of afterlife would be: Due to lack of information, I have no other choice but waiting till I am dead. And even though, if you didn't believed in anything, you can't be disappointed if there would be an afterlife and that you've would have lived life-long believing in a lie.
What do you think about Number 3?
I love it ! At least that tackles the continuity of identity issue !