A Multi-Religious Q/A

I am branching out the scope of my theological material. As a devout Christian, it can be limited but I will remain objective for this post when it comes to who is right or wrong. I want my viewers to get a glimpse of the basic similarities and critical differences of people that are affiliated with a wide range of religions or simply do not affiliate. This is simply a snapshot that encompasses the views of 6 billion people. For each religion, I surveyed a person affiliated with that religion. I asked three questions in this order: What is the meaning of life? Is there an afterlife? If so, how do you get there? Here we go ladies and gentlemen:

  • Christian
  • As Christians we are meant to serve and glorify God. We are to love God and other people
  • Yes, there is an afterlife of heaven or hell
  • To get to heaven you must pray to God acknowledging that you are a sinner and to put your faith and trust in Jesus as your Savior who died on a cross for your sins. If you do not believe this with all your heart, you will go to hell.
  • Muslim
  • Serve Allah and follow the 5 pillars of Islam
  • Yes, after the soul is drawn from the body Allah keeps it in a place called Alam Barzaak. Good people’s soul are kept in a good place and bad people’s soul in a bad place until Kiyamat (Judgment day) arrives, when everything is destroyed except Allah. There will be resurrection of all Mankind
  • All souls will get up from the graves. Obedient souls will go to paradise forever. Disobedient souls will go to hell for punishment. Those who ignore or reject or refuse to believe Allah and who worshipped false gods rather than Allah, The Creator , in this world , will go to Hell forever in the next world. Muslims do not believe in Incarnation (reborn again) to this world.
  • Atheist
  • The meaning of life is what you determine it to be. Just because something doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value or meaning.
  • No, I don’t believe there is an afterlife where you retain the ability to consciously experience it. I believe once your brain ceases to function, you are no longer able to consciously experience reality.
  • I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. -Carl Sagan
  • Hindu
  • The meaning (purpose) of life is four-fold: to achieve Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Dharma means to act virtuously and righteously. Artha refers to the pursuit of wealth and prosperity in one’s life. Kama can be defined as obtaining enjoyment from life. The fourth and final meaning of life according to Hinduism is Moksha, enlightenment.
  • Life and death are both part of what Hindus call maya, a grand illusion; Hindus believe that when a soul dies, it gets born into a new body.
  • Through the reincarnation process, you will enter a new body for better or for worse based on the deeds of your past life.

 

 

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Godless Cranium and commented:
    This is a post by a religious blogger who approached me about answering a few questions from my own atheist perspective. They were:

    What is the meaning of life? Is there an afterlife? If so, how do you get there?

    The last question I answered with a Carl Sagan quote. I’m going to disable comments here but I hope you’ll consider stopping by their blog and commenting on the post or adding your own perspective on those questions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mattie says:

      I’m so glad that the ineenrtt allows free info like this!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lptrey says:

        I’m glad to be able to offer it to you! Thanks for visiting and please take a look at the most popular tab!

        Like

  2. Hello. I am here at the request of Godless Cranium. Thank you for these inviting questions that if anything might allow or encourage the beginning of human decency and eusociality. By the way, I am a Freethinking Humanist. 🙂

    “What is the meaning of life?”
    Freethinking Humanists know that meaning must originate in a mind. Since the universe is mindless and the cosmos does not care, YOU must care, if you wish to have purpose. Individuals are free to choose, within the limits of humanistic morality. Some freethinkers find meaning in human compassion, social progress, the beauty of humanity (art, music, literature), personal happiness, pleasure, joy, love, and the advancement of knowledge. Personally, I would also add broader deeper empathy for all our Earthly cousins/family — afterall, this planet and others sustain us or kill us.

    “Is there an afterlife?”
    Yes. The Law of the Conservation of Mass/Energy along with current increasing exploration and knowledge in the fields of Quantum Physics/Mechanics, metaphysics, and further understanding into neuroscience on the atomic & subatomic levels, reasonably shows that those who’ve passed-on can be contacted a number of ways. What is critical to understand in this pre-mortem life is that there is no “one way”. Nothing on the subatomic levels or in this physical life, planet, Universe/Multiverse, or Cosmos demonstrates monism.
    Exclusion makes us all suffer. Inclusion makes us all thrive.” — E.O. Wilson

    “If so, how do you get there?”
    After your life ends. Precisely what happens there — for any period of time — varies as much as there are stars in the entire Cosmos.

    Thanks again lptrey for these very simple questions and what it encourages. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. th3platform says:

      Thanks for the comment ! That’s a very interesting view you have that I have not heard before.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you lptrey. It is merely MY particular world-view of life and death, as I’ve experienced it the last 45-years all over the world on 4 of the 6 inhabitable continents, with the aid of many many dear friends, and grad-level education (with seminary) have offered me. As I said, it is MY one “star” of current belief “in the Cosmos.”

        Thanks again. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. th3platform says:

        Of course! Feel free to check out my other content!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ubi Dubium says:

    Again, I found this from Godless Cranium. As an Atheist, here are my answers:

    1. The meaning of your life is yours to create for yourself.
    2. I don’t have any expectation of my consciousness existing after my brain shuts down, in much the same way that a candle flame doesn’t “go somewhere” after you blow out a candle. It was a thing that the candle was doing, and it’s not happening any more. So the only “afterlife” we have is the memory that other people have of us, and the effect we had on the world while we were here.
    3. “How do you get there?” for me becomes “How do you leave a good legacy?” The answer, again, is yours to create. It can be, for example, children, art, discovery, invention, social change, or just fond memories of compassion and kindness. You decide what you would like to be remembered for, and then go do it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. th3platform says:

      Thank you for your additional perspective on atheism

      Like

  4. Also referred here by Godless Cranium.

    “What is the meaning of life?”
    To maximize the human experience for not just ourselves but others and enjoy it to the fullest ourselves each step of the way. To live life to our fullest potential which, as humans, we have a tremendous amount of.

    “Is there an afterlife?”
    I don’t believe so, and one reason for this is because it all sounds too human to be something real. To me it sounds more like wishful thinking, symbolism, and metaphor to keep an uneducated public on the path of a good life vs. an actual realm of existence.

    Another reason is that there’s no way some deity includes people of a certain belief and not others into “heaven”. So many contradictions in the very beginning of all that (the “rules” for getting into the afterlife, how can one believe the end (the afterlife itself?)

    (This does not mean that I don’t believe in Faith, however, but that’s another topic.)

    “If so, how do you get there?”
    Since I don’t believe in an afterlife, I can’t answer this question in that sense but I will answer it in terms of “eternal happiness”.

    How do we achieve eternal happiness? By digging deep, never playing victim, challenging and conquering our fears, deflating our egos, taking risks, and pushing forward to do good knowing our cause is truly just – and doing so even when weaker people would have quit. Do this, and you sleep like a baby every night no matter what you have as far as material goods are concerned, or what your religious beliefs might happen to be.

    That’s why I’m often at odds with Leftist Atheists, because they’re always playing victim, and are mostly cowards and chicken-shits in this sense. They are cowards who insist that someone else take their risk for them, do the bulk of the work, and then dole out the rewards according to what that same coward feels they (or the people they like) are now somehow entitled to. And they usually expect that something for free, btw, citing “the common good” as their excuse. Leftist Atheists tend to not only lack any understanding of Faith or its benefits, they’ll go one step further and choose to mock or ridicule it even though their own lack of faith is largely why their own lives are shit. It’s an interesting irony.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Arkenaten says:

    Also came here via Godless Cranium.

    To get to heaven you must pray to God acknowledging that you are a sinner and to put your faith and trust in Jesus as your Savior who died on a cross for your sins. If you do not believe this with all your heart, you will go to hell.

    If are able to demonstrate the veracity of this claim with any verifiable evidence then there are grounds for a very interesting and open discussion.

    If not, then I would hope you do not indoctrinate young children with such beliefs, and rather allow them to grow and develop critical thinking skills, thus enabling them to make an informed choice on this subject.
    Thanks.
    Ark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. th3platform says:

      I don’t have to prove it. I don’t have a way to go to heaven and come back to tell you about it. I surely wouldn’t come back either. I live a faith based life. That faith is reassured by the truth I find in the Bible and the evidence of its effect on people: changing their lives for the better. We indoctrinate our kids with that same way of life. I find your comment insulting though as if you do not think that growing up as a Christian gives you the capacity to think critically.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Arkenaten says:

        Sadly, based on the fact there are a myriad interpretations of the Christians doctrine, I would venture that certain versions of your faith you would dismiss out of hand as heretical.
        The Jehovah’s witnesses would be a likely candidate.
        So let me ask you, do you consider the Witnesses are falsely indoctrinating their children?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. th3platform says:

      That is a fair point to bring up. Any denomination or sect that does not teach the statement that you mentioned in this post on how to get to heaven is teaching a false doctrine. Whether they take away from or add to it in any way.

      Like

      1. Arkenaten says:

        You see? My point exactly!
        And I would also venture you may have a few issues with Catholicism as well.( unless you are a Catholic, of course)
        This is why I mentioned allowing children to grow to the point where they are able to investigate all faiths and make an informed decision based upon their own investigation which I beleive to be the ethical and moral path to take.

        I am a firm believer that as adults we must be free to believe what we feel is the right belief, providing it does not hurt others, ( and, providing one is of sound mind, one can hope, neither ourselves )
        Therefore, I am sure you consider children deserve a similar degree of respect?
        While I acknowledge you may have a deep rooted belief that a non-believer is destined for hell, ( whichever version you hold in your heart) and thus may feel compelled to proselytize, surely the message of your god is powerful enough that as a child grows into adulthood a choice made freely is better than one that is compelled, no matter how tacitly?

        Liked by 1 person

    3. th3platform says:

      I do have issues with Catholicism. To your larger point, children have the free will to make a decision regardless of what religion their parents practice. That does not mean that as a Christian I will somehow promote other religions in the name of free will. I will still teach my children the Word of God.

      Like

      1. Arkenaten says:

        children have the free will to make a decision regardless of what religion their parents practice.

        There is a difference between teaching in an open, two-way fashion that encourages inquiry and telling the child emphatically that your religion is the one and only version of merit and the ultimate penalty for not following said religion is eternal damnation.
        Such fundamentalism is not based on love and trust, though you may think it is, but rather fear; a statement that can be tested for veracity quite easily by asking any child raised in this environment what do they beleive happens to them if they do not beleive in Jesus/God.

        I was raised in a chriatian environment; my parents are Church of England; my father nominally my mother devout.
        I knew all the stories, attended chutch now and then and Sunday School as a child. I believed many of the bible tales. But there was never ever any tacit threats about non belief.
        Eventually I grew out of religion.
        You sound somewhat afraid to allow your children this amount of freedom.
        Why?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. th3platform says:

        Well being a Christian means that all other religions are false by nature. For me to somehow intentionally lead my child astray intentionally in the name of free will would be a sin.

        Like

      3. Arkenaten says:

        Yet surely you can appreciate this is exactly what every other variation of Christianity would say, is it not?

        Therefore, surely the strength of the Word alone will draw the individual in, irrespective of any teaching from a parent?

        Like

      4. th3platform says:

        It can. But the Bible is not a magnet. It doesn’t just latch on to people and tell them to read it. People are led to read the Bible and the ways of Jesus by other people.

        Like

      5. Arkenaten says:

        So why will you not let let your children grow without being encumbered by a fear-induced belief, instead of one based solely on free will in the certain knowledge the holy spirit will look after its own?

        Like

      6. th3platform says:

        The Holy Spirit doesn’t latch on to people either. He must be invited in by accepting Jesus and your Savior. Again, it requires people informing others. The great commission.

        Like

      7. Arkenaten says:

        Then why can this not be postponed until the child is able to make an informed decision, at least as a young adult?
        And why do you beleive it is necessary to raise the child under a fear induced cloud ?

        Like

      8. th3platform says:

        I never said it was fear induced. That is your opinion.

        Like

      9. Arkenaten says:

        I did not say you said it was fear induced. I said it is.
        Are not children taught the belief in the reality of eternal damnation in the fires of hell?

        Like

      10. th3platform says:

        Yes but that is not the singular motivation of attaining salvation. It’s not simply a fear, for Christians it is a reality.

        Like

      11. Arkenaten says:

        Two points.
        It is not a reality to all Christians, of this you are surely aware, and also the biblical evidence unequivocally shows that Jesus refers to Gehenna.

        So, once again, why do you feel it necessary to raise a child with this (apparently erroneous) fear-based belief rather than let the child come to enlightenment and salvation through logic and critical thinking as an adult?
        Can you please answer the question directly?
        Thanks.

        Like

      12. th3platform says:

        To the overwhelming majority of Christians, if you do not accept Jesus then you will go to hell. As I already indicated, it is not very likely for someone to come to the realization of God and the Bible on their own. Again I cite the great commission of believers.

        Like

  6. Interesting discussion to observe, gentlemen. Thank you. Raises an interesting question to me: does the majority of Christianity teach that a newborn who dies goes to hell?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lptrey says:

      No they do not. I would say that the majority teach the exact opposite including toddlers that do not have a complete sense of right and wrong.

      Like

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