Afterlife and Reincarnation Part 2 Oblivion
An explanation of the beliefs different religions have about the afterlife and reincarnation, the views on oblivion.
Afterlife and Reincarnation
This system is one of the ways in which we can attempt to put into order the multitudinous variety of beliefs that people have held as to what will happen to them after death.
1Ai--complete oblivion for everyone. The belief that all awareness is totally and permanently snuffed out when the body dies is held by modern materialists, whether they be humanists, atheists, or communists. At their best such believers have demonstrated a high degree of selflessness and ethical behavior, but this credo may at times contribute to a feeling of purposelessness which may lead to antisocial behavior. It may also lead to a disregard for the value of human life and individuality. (This A is included here because most subscribers to 1 do not believe that man has any nonphysical nature.)
1Bi--oblivion, though with spiritual involvement, for all. The differentiation between physical oblivion and spiritual oblivion may seem a fine distinction, but a form of spiritual oblivion is the closest description of the belief of early cultures that one's spirit did go on to somewhere, but that it was a somewhere of almost nothingness. The early Jews called this somewhere Sheol, and it was, apparently, a desolate place:
". . . in Sheol, for which you are bound, there is neither dying nor thinking, neither understanding nor wisdom." (Eccles. 9:10) The Mesopotamians held a similar point of view, as did the early Greeks, whose spirits occupied Hades, a dreary place where they could only chirp meaninglessly like birds. Hades had much in common with the underworld of the shamanistic cultures of many "primitive" peoples, and included a provision that properly qualified "heroes," like the shamans, might rescue a soul and return it to life.
So, if the underworld is a place that can be actually visited, we have already blended into category 2, in which the afterlife is somewhere else.
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