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Mama_Cakes's avatar

I know that some of you don't believe in the afterlife (or that the soul lives on when we die). But, for those that do? What happened to make you believe?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9310 points ) August 20th, 2012

Not talking about faith here. I’m asking if something happened that made you a believer.

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16 Answers

SpideySense's avatar

No. When I die I start life over again in the past, because I refuse to cross over.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I have seen the ‘ghosts’ of my deceased loved ones since I was a very young child.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I met a live, breathing human being who’d been declared dead, but she’d spontaneously come back to life and remembered the experiences that had happened to her on the other side. Her experiences matched those of others with near-death experiences, as they’re called.

I’ve also had psychics tell me about a particular past life I’ve had. That’s four different psychics all at different times, and some were on different continents.

Personally, I have a lot of trouble with my beliefs. I don’t believe in any of the gods worshiped by mainline religions of today, yet I have this enduring faith that there is something which transcends what our five senses can comprehend.

Bill1939's avatar

I am still uncertain whether or not there is life after death, although I lean toward recyclling. I’d guess that the instinct to avoid death, as well as the longing for those who have died, creates the desire for a notion of immortality. Not being, is nothing to look forward to. However, neither is floating on a cloud playing a harp very appealing to me.

I find the idea that thought is energy and, though it may have a biological origin, once created it exists forever, somewhat reasurring, even if I have some doubt about its premise. How long after departing its physical body does it take for one’s spirit to shift its focus away from the limited identity of self and become conscious of the infinity that it is a part of?

Kayak8's avatar

I lived through an epidemic that eviscerated my community. I needed to believe that they went somewhere meaningful. I still envision the final scene from Longtime Companion where they all (the current folks and those who went before) all gathered on the beach. The loss has been so great, that I have allowed for some amount of magical thinking just to help me cope with the magnitude of the missing . . .

submariner's avatar

My belief in the afterlife is based directly on neither faith nor experience, but it is inferred from other beliefs that are based on faith or experience.

Premise 1: Life is worth living, and not just for relatively comfortable white middle-class American straight guys like me, but for people whose circumstances are much worse.

Premise 2: Life is not worth living if the universe is fundamentally and monstrously unjust.

Premise 3: If this life is all there is, then the universe is fundamentally and monstrously unjust.

Conclusion: This life must not be all there is.

janedelila's avatar

Side note: When I started teaching preschool, a 3 year old told me he was hit by a train. I told him “Gee, that had to have hurt a lot! I would think that you wouldn’t be here right now!” to which he responded “Oh it did hurt. Not for very long though. I died. Boy was my wife mad! It’s ok though, cuz she’s here somewhere. I’ll find her again.” Every hair of mine stood up.

Kayak8's avatar

@janedelila Gave me goosebumps!

janedelila's avatar

@Kayak8 I’m sayin! He was so matter-of-fact about it. Like it was common knowledge and not a big deal. I’ve heard similar stories from small children since then, and they seem just so calm about telling them. One child told me that she had surgery when she was 36. Another told me that his sister was a boy “last time”. I write every single incident down, just because.

ninjacolin's avatar

I’ve seen dinosaur bones in my museum and attended funerals and have observed how many people are still alive after those others have passed. It seems to me that when I die life won’t just end. It seems life began a long time ago and will continue after my death.

ninjacolin's avatar

^ I mean, I realize I can’t prove it or anything. Sure, maybe everyone will just disappear along with me when I go, like all the other figments of my imagination… but given the evidence, I just kinda doubt it.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@janedelila wow that’s just fascinating. I love reading or hearing about stuff like that.

Shippy's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake. Can you share her experience here? So interesting.

digitalimpression's avatar

I am open to all sorts of possibilities. There is no single event which made me believe in an afterlife. For me, it seems there really is an intelligent design to this whole thing (even though there is so much nay-saying about intelligent design these days).

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Shippy : The story is too long and detailed to give much here. She was killed in a motorcycle accident and pronounced dead at the scene. After reaching the morgue, she revived. She was met by a being of light, shown many peaceful things, and then was told her time was not finished on Earth. Many similar experiences are documented at this site.

Paradox25's avatar

I like the way you have asked this question Not talking about faith here, because I’m about as faithless a person you can get. I’ve had one particular event happen to me when I was a kid, involving an apparent OBE where I was able to identify what was happening in another area of my house while I was asleep. After all of them years I thought the whole thing was either just another floating dream, or that I was sleep walking, until I started talking about the event to others that were there many years later.

I had some strange occurances happen shortly after my brother passed away, where my phone, and my mom’s kept ringing, where the numbers coming up on the ID box being all the same like all 0’s, 5’s or 9’s. I’ll get these types of numbers on occasion but they kept popping up after he passed, and I would get nothing but white noise when I would answer the phone. Ironically the calls ended after the funeral. After these and other strange events I started reading about this stuff. I have found that what I’ve experienced is not uncommon at all. These and other events turned me from a sceptic to a believer.

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