General Question

googlybear's avatar

What happens when you die?

Asked by googlybear (1827points) September 30th, 2008

A) You get to hang out with your old pals and family in heaven (hell if you’ve been a naughty naughty boy/girl)
B) You get to take a nice long nap and become one with the earth
C) Off to the next karmic cycle
D) <Insert your own view here>

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25 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

You get buried.

richardhenry's avatar

You know, I’m not one for speculating on this. When the time comes to find out what actually happens when you die, it could well be the most amazing surprise ever.

Death is potentially a huge box with fantastic wrapping paper underneath the most amazing Christmas tree in the world, and I’m waiting between 55 and 80 years to open it and find out what’s inside.

On the other hand the present could be horrifically disappointing (the box is empty), but if that’s the case it’s not like I’ll know.

I think it’s all win.

googlybear's avatar

Well you got two choices when it comes to dying – being buried or being burned….I’m planning on my ashes being released somewhere in Hawaii….

richardhenry's avatar

@cheebdragon: Seriously though, are you not excited to find out if we’re all wrong* and something awesome actually happens when you die? I mean if nothing does come of it, it’s not like there’ll be anything to end your excitement. Better to be excited than all morbid.

*We being non-religious folk. I consider myself somewhere between being an atheist and an agnostic. Oh, and when I say excited, it’s not “screw it, I’ll open the present now” excited. I don’t want to skip along the process or anything.

krose1223's avatar

I have several theories…Sometimes I’m into the whole reincarnation thing. Sometimes I think death is a place in your mind… it’s not like Earth where you have a pysical body to do things. I see vibrant colors in this theory, and you don’t have to speak words. Everyone is just a presence and there’s a telekinesis (sp?!) thing going on. I was raised mormon (don’t practice it anymore) and I kinda like their take on it… They believe there are different levels of heaven. Celestial being the highest, then Terrestial and Telestial. (Can’t forget about the “Outer Darkness” either.) Not levels like “well you were good so you get this very top level” but just different places. It’s decided where you go by what is in your heart, by the person you truly are. Say you are a person who lives to give; in your heaven you would be giving and singing nice little church hymns. Maybe you’re a person who just kinda likes to live and have fun, then in your heaven you would be doing everything you did on earth… It’s pretty much a continuation of what you were on Earth. I wish I could explain it the way I had it explained to me, but I’m just not good at these things. A lot of people misconstrue the Mormon theory, because really I don’t think a lot of Mormons even understand it. I never did until after I “became inactive”. I randomly started going to church awhile back, and the teacher was awesome. He knew I was skeptical so he made the lesson plan on whatever question I asked that day. I learned to appreciate the religion, but it’s still just not for me. I understand the religion better now then when I actually went every Sunday. Anyways, that’s a little off topic. But yeah, my mind is always changing but I like to have a positive take on it… Otherwise I get kind of depressed.

cheebdragon's avatar

@richardhenry- I use to feel that way about death, but everything changed when my son was born. The thought of death scares the hell out of me now, because I have to worry about what would happen to my son if I died. I don’t want to leave him to grow up without a mother.

syz's avatar

You rot.

We are merely highly evolved animals – why should we have some special “life after death” deal that every other species doesn’t?

CorporeSano's avatar

Syz said it perfectly.

There isn’t special treatment to humans. Sadly, some are brainwashed to think otherwise.

To prevent the rotting route, you could sign up for cremation. Donate as many body parts as you can give, as you won’t be needing them anymore.

Sobering thought, but you’d be a fool to not think othwerwise. Enjoy your life while you have it!


googlybear's avatar

@Syz: I believe in C and that goes for our little creature friends too. Once one flame is extingushed, another one is lit.

Critter38's avatar

Your body breaks down into its component molecules which in turn get recycled repeatedly by various other lifeforms. As all thought processes are reliant on the continued unity of function of your cells, and your cells quickly begin to perish without heart or lung function, then your thought processes will too end with death. What you understand as “you”, ceases to exist, except in the memories of the people who’s lives you’ve touched and in the legacy of whatever efforts you’ve made during your lifetime to change the lives of others on this planet for the better or for the worse.

Although others may hope for more, there is no evidence to suggest this is anything more than wishful thinking.

PupnTaco's avatar

Most likely Option B (decomposition and nothing more). Anything else seems like wishful thinking.

edit: jinx

EmpressPixie's avatar

I’m going to choose option B.

I guess the cool thing about this is that we’ll all find out some day—and with a definitive answer at that!

seVen's avatar

The question of what happens after death can be confusing. The Bible is not explicitly clear on when a person will reach their final eternal destiny. The Bible tells us that after the moment of death, a person is taken to Heaven or Hell based on whether he or she had received Christ as his or her Savior. For believers, after death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6–8; Philippians 1:23). For unbelievers, after death means everlasting punishment in Hell (Luke 16:22–23).

This is where it can get confusing as to what happens after death. Revelation 20:11–15 describes all those in Hell being cast into the lake of fire. Revelation chapters 21–22 describe a New Heaven and New Earth. Therefore, it seems that until the final resurrection, after death a person resides in a “temporary” Heaven and Hell. A person’s eternal destiny will not change, but the precise “location” of a person’s eternal destiny will change. At some point after death, believers will be sent to the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21:1). At some point after death, unbelievers will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11–15). These are the final, eternal destinations of all people – based entirely on whether a person had trusted Jesus Christ alone for the salvation of their sins.

PupnTaco's avatar

The Bible?

scamp's avatar

There is no concrete answer to this question. We can only speculate on what happens. We can really just discuss what we believe, and there is no way to prove or disprove it.

Critter38's avatar

I think we know far more than many people seem willing to give credit for.

We know that damage to isolated parts of the brain will selectively destroy memories, language skills, motor-function, general cognitive ability etc. In other words there is every evidence that who we are is an emergent product of the interconnected workings of component parts of the brain. If we excise or damage part of the brain through trauma or oxygen depletion etc, then part of what makes us who we are, goes too. If we allow the entire brain to decompose, then everything we have learned over centuries of examination and experimentation points to the same conclusion. We cease to exist.

So there actually is a concrete answer to this question. It just doesn’t have a great deal of appeal for those of us who think they’ve somehow been short changed and deserve more than “just” the decades of life we might have a chance to live.

So yes we can speculate. But all of that speculation is in a different camp of probability than the events I describe above. Its only because of cultural/religous/personal investment in the relative merits of one particular unfounded speculation over another that these discussions seem to take on any semblance of reasonableness.

But if we accept that then, granted, we can have completely speculative discussions as to whether one person’s highly improbable and completely unfounded belief is more or less valid than another’s highly improbable and completely unfounded belief.

Knotmyday's avatar

Option D: When we die, we are immediately transformed into delicious Gummi bears and Swedish fish, and enjoyed by discerning palates worldwide. I hope I get to be a fish.

syz's avatar

Interestingly random.

scamp's avatar

@Critter38 Thanks so much for your input. Your well worded post reinforces what I said in a much more eloquent way than I said it! Welcome to fluther.

Critter38's avatar

Thanks for the welcome!

Critter38's avatar

@Knotmyday, is that surströmming or gravlax we end up as…the specifics dramatically alter the extent to which I fear death…

Knotmyday's avatar

Neither. I’m of Norwegian descent, and the things my relatives eat regularly turn my stomach.

PIXEL's avatar

What happens when you die is a bit confusing. You go to Heaven no matter what. Hell does not exist. This lie was created to scare people into doing good before there were police. It just makes me sad seeing people who do good things because they feel they have to and not because they want to.

linda_randy's avatar

The best description I think can be found in the book, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”. The book was better than the movie, because each person can ‘see’ for themselves. But, watch the movie if you won’t read the book!

PIXEL's avatar

@linda_randy Woah! I just started reading that book! Didn’t know it was a movie. I’ll check it out.

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