Do you believe in life after death?

Do you believe in life after death?

  • Yes

    Votes: 87 39.9%
  • No

    Votes: 91 41.7%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 40 18.3%

  • Total voters
    218
Jun 2014
5,486
New Delhi, India
Judging by the sheer number of reports on it, it should already be a part of mainstream biology by now.
Numbers! That should make the existence of God also a part of science? But then somebody did not have much faith in numbers and found that Earth is round and it Sun is the center of the revolution of planets.
Just to mention Ian Stevenson alone, a serious scientist who was Carlson Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia and chairman of the department of psychiatry for many years, ..
What was his qualification in Biology? Near-death experience - Wikipedia
 
Jun 2014
5,486
New Delhi, India
If it does happen to all, as the present world population is 7.7 billion, a number thought bigger than that of all people who have ever lived, where on earth do these re-incarnated souls come from.
Going back to the world population, let's say that all this vast number of souls re-incarnating a new living body are non human in origin, the only way to get the numbers, does anybody remember a previous life as an ant, or cat, or T.rex.
It would seem that a new body gets a new soul, akh, ba, ka, life force, or whatever depending on belief in these things, and not a second hand one as demand far outstrips supply.
That is easy to explain in Hinduism. Take into account the souls of Bacteria, Ameoba, etc. They too are living organisms, why just ants and mosquitoes? 8.7 million (give or take 1.3 million) life forms (according to Google Search).
 
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Jul 2012
3,233
Dhaka
Judging by your previous posts, I can well imagine that you regard that as being devastating repartee, and an adequate refutation of more than thirty years of detailed research that you have never examined.
But I did, and found this: "A Burmese girl born without her lower right leg had talked about the life of a girl run over by a train."

On a serious note, have you considered that there's far more simple and plausible explanations for these phenomena? For example, the Srilankan child was out somewhere earlier when she (absent mindedly) overhead a couple of strangers talking about the drowning case, and her imaginative mind made her believe it was she herself?
 
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Jul 2017
2,753
Crows nest
That is easy to explain in Hinduism. Take into account the souls of Bacteria, Ameoba, etc. They too are living organisms, why just ants and mosquitoes?
It certainly is easy to explain when we view us all as what we are, just Life, and so all interconnected and having one origin. The issue with re-incarnation as often portrayed in the West is that nobody seems to think they had once been bacteria or a spider, but far too many think they had once been nobility. I would think that Akhenaten at the least must have had very many souls to spread himself amongst those today who think they are his re-incarnation, but we only have the one ba.
 
May 2013
3,249
Albuquerque, NM
Our True Believer Hindu members hold reincarnation as a fundamental belief, just as True Believer Christians insist upon the resurrection. When they come to have doubts, their faith isn't quite so complete. Exposure to Western-style education and ways has been tried, but frankly most folks would rather pick cotton than think more deeply than their oxen. Hinduism is rooted in folk beliefs that began forming long before literacy, and the population of the sub-Continent has almost as lengthy history of invasion and occupation by others. India, I believe was settled very early and agriculturally rich conditions were as favorable as the Nile Valley, the Tigris-Euphrates, the Yellow River, the Mississippi Valley, or the Amazon. All of those and more had myths that became over time structured and the Mother Religions began to diverge. Primitive Hinduism held onto a system of very human-like gods particular to place, and were very similar to the the gods of Olympus; they love, fight, squabble among themselves, intervene in human affairs, and even die. Hindu notions of time focused on infinity made up of endless cycles, while in the West religiosity evolved into thinking of the Universe in finite terms. Humans can't escape trying to find patterns in the Universe, but different groups can have very different notions of cycles ... a favorite with our species. One became fatalistic, while the other believed in progress and human control over destiny. The Sub-Continent's religious convictions developed very early, and stabilized society to such an extent that it absorbed occupiers far more than the population adopted new ways. Scholars have tried to explain the Caste System partially by assigning the higher Castes to foreign subjugation of earlier inhabitants. Maybe.

There was one of history's most remarkable rulers in India named Asoka. Asoka was a Warrior King whose greed for conquest was as great as Alexanders, but limited to the Sub-Continent. He was also among the most brutal of despots in the Ancient World. King Asoka discovered Buddhism, the Mahayana variety, and had a trans-formative experience. Constantine made Christianity the State Religion for the Roman Empire, and Asoka made Buddhism the State Religion of all his dominions. What followed was a Golden Age for India. Wars virtually ceased, the economy boomed, a high level of Justice blurred Caste lines, the King and his government actively looked for ways to "serve" the People and mitigate their suffering. Like I said a Golden Age, the Age when India was ruled by Buddhism. Asoka set up pillars all over the place promoting Buddhism, and those pillars are important to the study of religion on the Sub-Continent and for World Buddhism today. Not surprisingly, Asoka died. Within a relatively short time Hinduism re-emerged and Buddhism became a very small minority. Skipping forward in time India came to be dominated by the Moguls who brought Islam with them. The Moguls became super rich and powerful, and Islam became an alternative to Hinduism. Among the subject Hindu population, Islam was seen as the Religion of Occupation. The Moguls became very rich. As an example the largest of all time was when the Grand Mogul's treasure ship was captured by an English Pirate. Maybe Morgans plunder on the Spanish Main and in Meso-American might be a close second.

As Western nations expanded Colonizing less technologically advanced populations, India was one of the great prizes. Russia, France, and England all vied for the opportunity to tap into India's wealth and resources, but by the early 18th century, England was on the up-tick. The East India Company led the way. It was a private corporation with extremely close ties to the British Government and even had its own army. From a few footholds in Southern India, the East India Company spread outward until its reach included most of the Sub-Continent. How did they manage to do that? Basically, they offered the many small Mogul States that made up what is now India to take over the administration of tax collecting, and providing security. They would reap the harvest and fight the Prince's enemies ... sorta like economic mercenaries. British inheritance laws produced hordes of young men with limited expectations at home, and India was a golden opportunity for many. The Company kept the British Treasury plush, and their agents out in India rose to dizzying heights which only drew more Brits seeking their fortunes. As the British star rose, the Mogul's faded and became supplanted. Islam remained the second largest religion in the region, and the Indian Army was led by British Doctrine and officers. The best firearm was the old Enfield, Brown Bess. It was a heavy muzzle-loader that required the soldier to bite a small package of gunpowder to load the weapon. A rumor started that the ammunition was encased in pig skin, a very big thing for Muslims of the time. The result was a revolt that was only put down with difficulty. Leaders who were captured were tied to the mouths of cannon and blown to bits before being buried wrapped in pig skins. The main leader of the revolt disappeared, probably into what is today Iran and Afghanistan. Thereafter, relations between the Anglos and the Native Population (never great with the most Indians) was damaged beyond repair. Anglo-Indians were marginalized by both, and now are almost a footnote. I'm not going on with modern history of the region since our members should all be well aware of it. The bottom-line is that many Conservative Indians today are Hindu True Believers and the West, esp. Britain, are the Black Hats of Indian History. Just across the border, Islam is the conservative foundations for Pakistan who hate the Indian Hindus as only one brother can hate another. True Believers! Ouch!

So I think that modern Sub-Continent is mixing gasoline with oxygen, Religion and Politics, that only requires a tiny spark to explode bringing un-told suffering for the the whole world. There is a lesson there, and it is that when politics and religion are coupled with True Believers is a very bad idea. See Historum's most fundamental rules and valuess.

2.
 
Jun 2014
5,486
New Delhi, India
1. Scholars have tried to explain the Caste System partially by assigning the higher Castes to foreign subjugation of earlier inhabitants. Maybe.
2. Within a relatively short time Hinduism re-emerged and Buddhism became a very small minority.
3. Britain, are the Black Hats of Indian History.
4. So I think that modern Sub-Continent is mixing gasoline with oxygen, Religion and Politics, that only requires a tiny spark to explode bringing un-told suffering for the the whole world.
I would like to add a few points on the selected portions of your post.
1. It is not that the indigenous people were deprived of higher castes. The Aryan priests and the indigenous priests, both were included in the priestly castes. This is specially apparent among the warrior castes. The indigenous warrior castes were designated as 'Nagvamshis' (arising from Cobras) and the later invaders were accepted as 'Agnivamshies' (arising from fire).
2. Buddhism became even stronger after Ashoka and prospered for centuries, till the Gupta period, when Hinduism became strong. It finally lost its importance around 8th Century, but Nalanda continued till its final destruction in 1,300 AD.
3. Not with most people. The British rule benefited us in various ways. It made India of today, otherwise there may have been many countries in India. Generally, Hindus have no grudge against UK. What happened has happened, why hanker about it? UK is just a small nation and we will soon have a economy bigger than that of France or UK (GDP - Nominal). We are sort of at-par with them at present. With GDP (PPP), we already have the third largest economy in the world and may overtake that of USA in the 2030s.
4. Don't worry about that. India is the largest and a mature functioning democracy. We will be celebrating the 72nd anniversary of our independence in about a month from now. Perhaps by that time, the Indian Moon Rover (Chandrayana 2) will be on the surface of Moon.
List of countries by GDP (nominal) - Wikipedia
 
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Sep 2012
9,011
India
An indirect evidence could be the infant prodigies exhibiting a remarkable talent in fields as disparate as Chess and Music . Bobby Fischer beating US champion Byrnes when Fischer was 13. Backgrounds or family conditions do not seem to have any effect on their achievements. Our saint Dnyaneshwar composed a most remarkable commentary on Bhagavad Geeta when he was around 16. The work is in verse and is still avidly read, recited, sung and discussed after 700 years.
 
May 2013
3,249
Albuquerque, NM
As to transmigration of souls, as much as many people believe in it, the evidence for it remains mostly anecdotal though studies into the question have raised enough questions to justify far better and more rigorous investigation. Proving or disproving the existence of individual souls is probably not possible in the 21st century world. Those who believe in the existence of individual, or even corporate souls are not likely to abandon their beliefs, and those who define the Universe only in terms of perceptive reality have similar convictions. The nature of Ultimate Reality is beyond human-ken, so in my opinion its best to regard all claims with suspicion and hope that some "higher" understanding of our Reality might be found. Personally, I don't believe in having a "soul" ... only those natural capabilities and flaws of our species. Language, curiosity, and survival instincts make "progress" possible. We can learn and the more we learn, the better equipped we become in understanding the "Bigger Picture". Today science as made great inroads into mitigating things that previously caused humanity unbelievable suffering. Science has provided the tools and conditions to help humans to live longer, healthier lives. Western Science has given our species greater knowledge of the Universe and how it all works. We travel around the world in hours, or we can have a face-to-face conversation with someone totally isolated millions of miles away on a moment's notice. Even those living less than TWO HUNDRED years ago commonly believed what today are dismissed as fantastic nonsense. For those living in almost 3000 years ago, we are Gods. Yet we still have Suffering in common whether we are Multi-Billionaires or Slum-dog Out-Castes. Metaphorically speaking, of course. This fascination with death and what it means to sentient beings will never probably change, but it is a distraction from what I think our top priority should be. How do we mitigate suffering? Do we throw up our hands and hope that somehow after we die that Suffering (for ourselves at least) will end ... a finite proposition, in'it. The alternative, the Buddhist alternative, is that we keep open-minds about Death and focus more on reducing suffering for the living who we can be absolutely certain all suffer. I believe we need to accept that very little in our world of seeming multiplicity are within any person can control much beyond their own skin. Even controlling ourselves is a dubious proposition for most of human-kind, but it is possible. In India of Siddhartha's time, and still across most of our species our destiny/fate is sealed the moment we are born, or at least from the time we are accepted into society. The Buddha changed that and gave each individual control enough to escape the fate society we are unwillingly thrown into. Focus instead on controlling yourself, and you will quickly learn just how difficult that is even for short periods. New Year's Resolutions are admirable, but as we all know they have short lives. Suffering can be mitigated, but don't try to solve all the problems you see around you (much less the problems you blame for suffering in history) all at once. Suffering is not conquered by one's material wealth, fame or political power. His Holiness the Dali Lama wears glasses, is growing older with all the pains and problems that entails. I was a student of Roshi Suzuki, perhaps the most important Zen Missionary to the West, and he suffered just like most of us, yet both men suffer(ed) probably less than almost anyone sharing their time and place in the perceptive world. We can all choose how we deal with suffering, I just believe after a lifetime of study that Zen Buddhism is about the best strategy for living we are likely to find among the existing approaches.
 
Jun 2012
7,259
Malaysia
An indirect evidence could be the infant prodigies exhibiting a remarkable talent in fields as disparate as Chess and Music . Bobby Fischer beating US champion Byrnes when Fischer was 13. Backgrounds or family conditions do not seem to have any effect on their achievements. Our saint Dnyaneshwar composed a most remarkable commentary on Bhagavad Geeta when he was around 16. The work is in verse and is still avidly read, recited, sung and discussed after 700 years.
If you keep eschewing the scientific method, you will be 'seeing' your so called 'evidence' here, there & everywhere. Because that is what you want to 'see'.
 
May 2013
3,249
Albuquerque, NM
Thank you Aupmanyav for your clarifying remarks. As to:

1. I only report a theory, even though I don't hold it myself.
2. Yes, but a few hundred years is almost no time at all. We humans tend to measure time in terms of our own short lives, but to understand our world I believe we need to look at events and trends across significant periods ... thousands of years, not hundreds and certainly not any period less. Understand the "bits & bobs" of even very limited events of yesterday is impossible, and we have less undisputed information about what was going on in Eur-Asia in India. The Buddhism of Asoka was Mahayana Buddhism that came out of Nalanda and other Buddhist "think-tanks". Here's a question for you ... please tell us about how Asoka's Buddhist prosperity lost out to the Gupta's and reversion to more traditional Indian notions.
3. I'm pleased to hear that in your experience that most Hindus today recognize the values introduced by the British, and hold little grudge for the very concrete failures of British Colonialism. I hope that is an accurate assessment, and you are certainly in a position to know better than I do.
4. The old world where individual nations were insular; where populations were far more homogeneous, and local Cultures largely held to traditional taboos; where transportation and communications networks insured incremental change, and; local economies remained local with agriculture as generally the most important product. What is the world like today, in the first quarter of the 21st century? The old borders and ways are being over-whelmed by the materialism that is commonly associated with the West. There are few if any economies that stand alone, so comparing GNP is relevant as one of many steps in analyzing these tumultuous times when all those old verities are being challenged daily everywhere that modern technology reaches, and that's pretty far. The Moon ye say? Sure, but how do we regard an Indian moon landing? We applaud the science and technology, and hope that new advances to human knowledge will result, but is it for that or for the prestige it lends the Nation? There isn't anything wrong necessarily with national pride, unless it ends up causing more suffering than the event itself brings profit and mitigates suffering on the larger scale. Things have been changing so fast that no one can keep up with them. That causes anxiety and causes many to look backward to some Golden Age as refuge from the uncertainties of life in the here and now.
 

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