Explain to me the afterlife

Okay get this. How can there be an afterlife when everything that makes us us and gives us our own consciousness and awareness is tied up in our physical body?

I.e. People's personalities change both temporarily and permanently as a result of physical changes such as hormones, drugs, brain injury/chemistry. Same can be said for people's memories. Consciousness is tied up in our physical bodies also, you can lose your consciousness from physical phenomena.

So the three things that make a person, their personality, memories and consciousness are affected by and dependant on the physcial state, yet we are to believe that they become independant upon death?

The afterlife is a great promise to make onto your servants. You promise them something really wonderfull that will make up for all their toils and hardwork in their current life.

Then when they die, you don't really need to give them anything. And since nobody comes back from the dead, nobody really knows if your promise will come through or not.

"Follow these rules and you'll have eternal bliss after you die!"


You don't seem to get the problem.

Say someone suffers a brain injury that makes them incapable of forming lasting new memories (which happens often enough). Such unfortunate people may have memories of before the brain injury, but after the brain injury they cannot remember anything that happened ten minutes ago.

Therefore: how does that effect their mental state in the afterlife? If such a person continues with no ability to make new memories for, say, ten years before dying what does that last ten years mean to his spiritual personality? Does his spirit not remember those last ten years as well?

Same for people who are severely mentally disabled, who cannot learn or process information beyond that of a second grader? When their body dies is their soul also "mentally" stunted as well?

(And how can the severely mentally disabled "accept Christ" with any conviction anyway?).

I've yet to hear any Christian, apologist or otherwise, provide an explanation for these problems.


Chinese wrote:
--"prof, Concerning the brain injured person. I really thought this answered the question."--

Not to be picky, but no you didn't answer the question I posed.

--"Once freed from the deterioration of the physical body, our personality will be freed from that deterioration also." --

The main point was: Would the soul of a memory-impaired body also have forgotten the last ten years, just like the physical body did?

We are trying to figure out the relationship you propose between the body and the soul.


--"There are many things in my life I've already forgotten. I have no idea what the name of my first grade teacher was. Will I suddenly remember it when I'm in heaven? I don't know. How is that really any different from whether or not an alzheimers patient will remember what city they live in?"--

The problem is memory and mental states are inextricably linked with identity, cognition and the choices we make.

There are mentally disabled people who will never have the ability to understand the concept of Christ's death and his offer for salvation. They will never be able to "open their heart to God" in any meaningful manner.

Likewise, our cognitive abilities or impairments affect who we are and the choices we make - choices which apparently God will judge us on - moral choices etc.

A good for instance: I have two friends who are schizophrenic. One of them, Calvin, is Christian.
When he first became schizophrenic he saw the devil in everything (TV shows, adds, whatever). Later he told me how the devil was speaking to him. Soon his Devil delusion became more palpable to him than God. He began for a while following what "the devil" told him to do, and got into a kind of Satanism (very briefly).

He's on meds now and is doing ok, pretty normal to talk to.

But...if he had somehow died during that state in which a brain disease caused him to worship the Devil, how would God have judged him?

There are all sorts of physical, brain trauma and diseases that cause a disintegration of our very personality...the person who makes the choices on which God judges.

This not only posses a problem for the question of "what version of a person survives into the afterlife," but also posses problems for the Christian tenet of personal responsibility and the consequences for our eternal judgment by God.

(Which is one big reason, obviously, that so many Christians wish to challenge materialist views of human beings...not that such materialism is in principal wrong, but that it leads to very sticky problems for Christian tenets).


people who haven't reached a level of understanding (children or brain damaged people) will go right to heaven.....

So in summary Chinese is saying "The bible says so, so there." I'm not convinced.

people who haven't reached a level of understanding (children or brain damaged people) will go right to heaven.....Is there a Bible passage that goes along with that?SCRAP

Remember what things were like for you before you were born?

Why should things be any different after you die?



joe ray and the other board buddhists your all talking about one thing here saying the self and "ME" dies with the body but the buddhist belief states that the spirt will keep getting reborn till it eventually (if it ever does) reaches nirvana does it not?

It's all faith prof, you know that. People form beliefs from what they've read in the bible, etc. We can't really argue either way, as we have no proof what happens.


You can download and read the book "Heaven and Hell" to understand what the Spiritist Doctrin has to say about this subject.

"as we have no proof what happens. "

It still amazes me that almost no scientist researchs such serious subject.


Neuroscience can prove only things related to matter.

If you consider the conscient as a software, and the body as a hardware, it is easy to see that no software can work thru a damaged hardware. It doesn´t mean that you don´t have the software saved in another place.

Neuroscience does not have focus on spiritual things, therefore it is not prepared to search for spiritual facts.


Im with you Donna :) glad to see your still posting here

Hi, JoshuaB! Just lurking a little.

"If you consider the conscient as a software, and the body as a hardware, it is easy to see that no software can work thru a damaged hardware. It doesn´t mean that you don´t have the software saved in another place. "

Flawed argument IMO, and the same baseless argument for dualism that has been given on this thread all along, just with a different analogy. There is no evidence for this.

Neuroscience needs to be viewed from a holistic point of view. The hardware/software analogy is dualist. A better analogy would be the alphabet.

You have 24 letters and some grammar (analogous to the simplest components of the physical mind, neurons, etc), which you use to write poems, stories, songs, the bible, the magna carta, Karl Marx manifesto, sonnets, a eulogy - extremely powerful statements.

At one level these things are a collection of simple characters, at a higher level they are these powerful and complex statements which can change history or reduce a person to tears or incite war and revolution. Same as the human mind, a one level it is a collections of neurons and gooey grey shit, at a higher level it is this physical entity which produces and contains our thoughts, emotions and our consciousness.

Holistically the brain provides us with thought, emotion and memory, even if we cannot understand through reductionist study of it and its components.

The whole we are just a collection of chemicals theory has some serious flaws in it.

One of the big ones which has yet to be explained is where exactly is ALL the memory stored. There simply isn't enough room in the brain to store over three months of memories much less a lifetimes worth.