Afterlife Simplified

Buddhism - After you die you are reincarnated. The goal is to get out of this Ferris wheel cycle and eliminate want. This peace is called nirvana.

Judaism - Death is not the end of existence. Judaism leaves a lot of room for personal opinion, but basically believes in a heaven and hell. Some day a messiah will come and resurrect the dead. The wicked may be tormented with demons, or in the alternative, Jews can believe that the wicked are simply destroyed and no longer exist.

Islam - There will be a day of reckoning where Allah will judge the living and the dead. The soul remains in a deep sleep until judgment day. Non Muslims can attain heaven if they go through a purification process in the fires of purgatory.

Hinduism - Their belief bears some similarity to Buddhism in that they believe in reincarnation. If you were a generous person you would be reincarnated as a wealthy person. (Karma) This cycle is considered not good, and the goal is to get out of it. "Moksha" is the term for release from the endless chain of deaths and rebirths. You can reach this by practicing a highly disciplined form of yoga and attain proper knowledge. When reached, you merge into the cosmic Brahma. This can be described as like a drop of water in the ocean. You are no longer an individual. They also believe that sins can be cleansed in purgatory like the Islam.

Christian - They believe in an afterlife based upon your conduct on earth; ending up in heaven or hell. This is determined at a final judgment day where the dead will rise from the graves and be determined as to their destination. The Catholic Church believes that hell fire is for eternity, but there exists a purgatory, a stage between heaven and hell after which time one will proceed to heaven.

Alternative Christian belief - Even though Christians believe in the day of Judgment at which time the dead will rise from their graves, there is a conflicting belief held by most Christians. That is, that after one dies, there is a belief in an active spirit amongst us. Phrases like "I know my mother is proud of me" are common place. Or, "I can feel his or her presence", is another example. This alternative belief is in complete conflict with the Bible, yet most Christians believe both. A rational conclusion is that both are not possible.

Atheist - Simply when you die, you no longer exist. Your only trace of existence would be in the minds of those left behind.

See previous homepage articles. See previous homepage articles.
Dave Johnson is a long-time friend and deep thinker.
David L. Johnson
Bullhead City, Arizona
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