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The Afterlife: What You Want Versus What You Believe:

It's easy, mmkay?
The Afterlife that I believe in is by no means the afterlife that I want...

If life is like a movie, then Cessation of Existence claims that when the movie's over, there's nothing else, ever. Resurrection is seeing another movie. Hell is exiting the theater to find yourself in an unspeakable apocalypse. Heaven is being forced to watch the credits. FOREVER. And you'll be Mind Raped to like it and be unable to think about anything else.

Now, I'm a Christian, so I only believe in Hell and Heaven (though I think it's possible that Hell is actually Cessation of Existence). Of all the options listed, Heaven is either the scariest one or tied with Hell for the scariest one.

So I present this question to tropers. Of all the afterlifes that various philosophies claim the existence of, which one sounds best to you, and which one do you believe in? Are they the same?

edited 10th Dec '11 5:57:58 PM by PDown

At first I didn't realize I needed all this stuff...
 2 Ramus, Sat, 10th Dec '11 5:57:40 PM from some computer somwhere.
Lead.
Eh, honestly can't be bothered to think about it. I've got this life to live and I might as well not waste it thinking about the stuff after my death.
The emotions of others can seem like such well guarded mysteries, people 8egin to 8elieve that's how their own emotions should 8e treated.
 3 USAF713, Sat, 10th Dec '11 6:00:26 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I don't believe in an afterlife, and I have yet to encounter an afterlife in any religious mythology that was particularly appealing in any fashion.

Honestly?

I wouldn't mind an afterlife like Inception where I could create my own world to live in for an eternity. I don't know that I'd ever be bored, that way, which is my biggest beef with most "eternal happiness" heavens: they're boring.
I am now known as Flyboy.
I believe that there's a Heaven and Hell, and that only those who believe in Jesus (or have possibly found some unknown-to-me exception) go to Heaven, but that hopefully not everyone else goes to Hell and there's a middle ground. I'd WANT, at the very least, for there to be no Hell. Perhaps an afterlife more like a peaceful, huge, wonderful version of earth.
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
We're Having All The Fun
and that only those who believe in Jesus (or have possibly found some unknown-to-me exception) go to Heaven

That's a pretty arbitrary criterion. You realise that under that system, billions of innocent people get sentenced to eternal damnation, while Hitler gets to relax up in the sky with Jesus? Basically, you are arguing that your God, an all-powerful being and supposed source of morality, is willing to let billions of wonderful people from non-Christian nations who do the right thing and are all around good blokes be tortured for all time, whereas murderers, despots and serial killers get off the hook provided they stroke his son's ego.
All I do, is sit down at the computer, and start hittin' the keys. Getting them in the right order, that's the trick.
Yes, which is why I'm really fucking HOPING for some wide swaths of goddamn exceptions, because I dislike the idea of ANYONE going to Hell. But thanks for telling me what I already know, Bro! It's been fun!

edited 10th Dec '11 6:13:41 PM by Katrika

"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
"I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse." ~Isaac Asimov
 
 8 USAF713, Sat, 10th Dec '11 6:16:07 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
As the religion teacher at my (Catholic) high school explained, the current Catholic Church's position is that the Commandment about "you shall have no other gods..." need not necessarily be the Christian God, so much as it means that one must be true to whatever faith one holds. I don't think it helps atheists though. It appears to have been designed as a way to answer the "if somebody never hears about Christianity (somehow), do they go to hell for ignorance?" question.

It opens its own cans of worms, but it's at least slightly better...
I am now known as Flyboy.
Prince of Dorne
I take boredom over cessation of existence. Without doubt, in a heartbeat. But as it happens, I'm atheist. I think that is what will happen - and yet at the same time it's also my greatest fear. So yes, what I believe about the afterlife is definitely not what I want.
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
名無しさん
[up][up][up][up]You seem to be pretty easily wound-up over religion. If you don't like it when people talk about your beliefs, perhaps you should stop posting them. I'm not telling you what to do, but it might save you some stress.


What I Want: What I believe.

What I Believe: Nothing at all.

What Might Be Awesome: Personal, subjective, potentially ever-changing paradise-of-the-moment, for eternity. The afterlife that you get is automatically the afterlife that you would most enjoy.

edited 10th Dec '11 6:29:14 PM by ekuseruekuseru

 11 L Mage, Sat, 10th Dec '11 6:26:48 PM from Miss Robichaux's Academy Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Evil Trickster
Personally I've never put much stock into the "Believe in Jesus or be denied salvation" idea that most Christianity is predicated on. It seems more than a little illogical for a all power omnipotent being to create a complete paradise out love for the race of humans then deny the means to enter into that paradise to the overwhelming majority people he created. It seems even more illogical that a omnipotent being would demand worship in exchange for salvation while still claiming everlasting love for them. It seems....vain.

I would LIKE to believe in reincarnation or something similar, it offers the security of assurance in a life after this one that will be neither agonizing nor stagnant, but rather again what you make of it. But there are large issues with this theory that I recognize.

edited 10th Dec '11 6:28:08 PM by LMage

"You are never taller then when standing up for yourself"
 12 Excelion, Sat, 10th Dec '11 6:33:44 PM from The Fatherland
I'm not too knowledgable about religions, not even Christianity. I don't even know what kind of place heaven is supposed to be, really...

[up]But if you reincarnate, you're actually a different being, right? I mean, you have a different body, a different mind, and no memories of your previous life, so how is it any different from simple death?

edited 10th Dec '11 6:35:37 PM by Excelion

 13 De Marquis, Sat, 10th Dec '11 6:40:23 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
What I believe: That it's incomprehensible to us, and there is no point speculating on it...

What I want: To go back and re-live this life again, remembering everything from the first time around...

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
That's a pretty arbitrary criterion. You realise that under that system, billions of innocent people get sentenced to eternal damnation, while Hitler gets to relax up in the sky with Jesus? Basically, you are arguing that your God, an all-powerful being and supposed source of morality, is willing to let billions of wonderful people from non-Christian nations who do the right thing and are all around good blokes be tortured for all time, whereas murderers, despots and serial killers get off the hook provided they stroke his son's ego.

It's fine, dude. The rest of us don't want that Heaven in the first place.

What I believe: no consciousness in death.

What I'd like: if not happiness, at least serenity.

edited 10th Dec '11 7:05:19 PM by kashchei

And better than thy stroke; why swellest thou then?
 15 Enzeru, Sat, 10th Dec '11 7:57:58 PM from Orlando, FL ¬ôχಠ♥¯
icon by implodingoracle
What I believe: I'm not sure if it counts as Cessation of Existence, but when we die, if we can preserve enough proper memories, we can be brought back to life in a functioning body. Otherwise, the memories stay in your mind 'til your body rots. No afterlife of a mystical/spiritual kind, semi-sadly.

What I want: I'm not sure.

 16 The Earth Sheep, Sat, 10th Dec '11 8:07:41 PM from a Pasture hexagon
Christmas Sheep
I wouldn't mind an afterlife like Inception where I could create my own world to live in for an eternity. I don't know that I'd ever be bored, that way, which is my biggest beef with most "eternal happiness" heavens: they're boring.

Mormonism's "Exaltation" is this.

Anyway, as an Agnostic, I don't know what I believe in, but I think if any religion turns out to be true, I'd like to go to that conception of the Afterlife, I don't care whether it's Nirvana, Heaven or Paradise. (or countless others, but you get my point).
Still Sheepin'
Why so serious?
I believe in oblivion after death, which is well enough in and of itself. Still, if I could choose, I'd like an afterlife where every living thing gets a custom pocket-universe optimized for that organism's happiness, but with an opt-out clause.

Of all the afterlifes that various philosophies claim the existence of, and which one do you believe in?
Unfortunately there's no way of knowing what awaits. We can only choose to believe what our own background teaches, reject it, or search for an alternative.

As a Christian, I was brought up believing in Heaven and Hell. As a small child, I came to resent the fact that you can't Take a Third Option. However, I came to the conclusion that the reason there are only two choices is because in The Bible, God offers mankind, through Jesus Christ, a choice of rejecting or accepting his offer of salvation. To be in Hell is to have rejected God. An eternity of knowing that God exists, but he's given up on you. Heaven is to accept God. If God is the incorpeal embodiment of love, then (ideally) to be in Heaven is to be surrounded by God's love, believers who love god, and one's own loved ones. Hell is to be alone and empty, with no one to love you.

While Christianity teaches that non-Christians go to Hell, to paraphrase Billy Graham, it is not up to Christians to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to Hell, it is up to God. And as someone else once said, there are going to be a lot of surprised people in both Heaven and Hell. Hell, because they are now in a place they believed did not exist; Heaven, because of who else got in.

I do not know if it is our place to attempt to delve any further into what the afterlife might hold, but there are witnesses who say they've been allowed a glimse of the afterlife. While I question these accounts, I found Howard Storm's account to be fairly compelling.

Also, a few hours before my grandmother's death, she told the nurse, who told my mother, that she had seen a boat coming for her in a dream. There was space for 20 people, and there was one empty seat left.

Which one sounds best to you?
Not really sure, but perhaps a heaven that was more like reincarnation, so that to use the OP's analogy, Real Life is like watching an R - rated movie that has moments of being very dark, and moments of comedy; Hell is like watching the credits, and Heaven is like watching a G - rated movie, maybe. And it would be cool if Hell isn't necessarily forever, and maybe the people in Heaven could do something to help them.

In fictional terms, I'm thinking something like What Dreams May Come.

Are they the same?
Not necessarily. But not exclusive to each other either.

edited 10th Dec '11 8:55:12 PM by FrodoGoofballCoTV

名無しさん
[up]G-rated movies are often boring and made for little kids. However, I usually like watching the credits - and since there was some comedy, we might even get bloopers!

edited 10th Dec '11 9:25:51 PM by ekuseruekuseru

[up]On second thought, the heck with the analogy.

Let's just go with What Dreams May Come, period.

Obsidian Proboscidean
I don't really like to think about the afterlife. I can't bring myself to really care about it, either.

It would be nice if it were sort of like it was in Inception, though. Or maybe the Grim Reaper shows up with hula girls and takes you to Death Beach like in the Sims 2.
I'm an elephant. Rurr.
 22 Balmung, Sat, 10th Dec '11 10:05:57 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
I'll admit that what I believe happens when you die (Cessation of Existence) is the opposite of what I want it to be (ie. not Cessation of Existence). My ideal afterlif would be something like post-liberation Hell, largely because I think any afterlife created by other beings would be less pleasant than what we could make for ourselves, but failing that, reincarnation or limbo would still be acceptable, though even Hell would be marginally preferable to Cessation of Existence, especially since I don't think that (using Word of Dante as a basis), I'd wind up in one of the really horrible parts.

You may notice that I left some afterlives out (ie. Heaven and Valhalla). That's because I'm pretty damn sure I don't qualify (atheist and not a warrior, respectively.)

edited 10th Dec '11 10:08:10 PM by Balmung

 23 Oh So Into Cats, Sat, 10th Dec '11 10:58:00 PM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
You have to do all 613 mitzvot, and because you can't do all of them in a single lifetime because not all of them apply to all people, you keep living lives again and again until you do.

I'm not sure what happens at the end, but at this rate I'll be recycled forever, so I'm sure it's a moot point.

edited 10th Dec '11 10:59:15 PM by ohsointocats

"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
I'd like an afterlife similar to Planescape one.

As for what I actually believe in... well, it is a difficult question. I tend to treat life as finite and afterlife as Cessation of Existence with Nothing After Death for all intents and purposes. However, I can't get myself rid of a vague belief that there is something other than that. I... can't come in terms with the thought that my uncle is gone, even though I can easily and without much worry envision final death for myself.

And what I am afraid of is an afterlife Abrahamic religions promise. Not that I believe in it, of course, but were it true, it would be unpleasant for the one such as I.

edited 11th Dec '11 12:02:17 AM by Beholderess

If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 25 Oh So Into Cats, Sun, 11th Dec '11 12:14:09 AM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Christian ideas of Heaven and Hell do not apply to all Abrahamic religions.

edited 11th Dec '11 12:14:25 AM by ohsointocats

"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
Total posts: 401
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