Is there really an afterlife? Does our consciousness leave the world and enter a different place, universe where those who have ‘passed on’ belong?

Well according to Buddhism, there is.

Taking this all from memory, I believe that there are three different destinations for those who enter this afterlife.

There is Heaven, where those who have performed great deeds in life, are rewarded to live carefree lives amongst the deities of the religion.
There is reincarnation, where those who have done no wrongs, go. To rebirth and live again as another human or animal.
And then there is Hell.

For all those who have acted wrongly during their lives, they must pay their debt in Hell. To what I remember, even the slightest form of waste will be recorded and paid afterwards in Hell. (Apparently, for each grain of rice that is wasted, a worm is eaten in punishment….)

What I also remember, is there are 18 levels of Hell. Each possesses a greater deal of pain and suffering then the last. And at the 18th level, the punishment is isolation for an infinite period – the supposed worse punishment that one could receive.

I’ve always wondered though…

What happens to you after death? Obviously, the afterlife is not the same for all religions that are present within our society. So there cannot be one truth afterlife that can be believed. Does that mean if you’re Buddhist, then this is the afterlife you will come to? Does that mean if you’re Christian, then you are transported to a different afterlife – one which resembles that in the Bible?

What happens if you’re agnostic. Or atheist?

Are you condemned to a worse fate considering that there is no one religion you have faith in?

Or…. does your consciousness simply fade as your body looses the ability to fight against death.

Hopefully this last option is what we all will be subjected to. Seems the least painful.

Here is a picture I managed to find off Google relating to the different levels of Hell within the Buddhist religion. Don’t worry, it’s only a cartoon.

buddhist-hell

By the way.. I hope I don’t come across as morbid. I’m just curious.

-cat-

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I just snooped around Google abit and found two interesting images that related to the contrast between science and religion. There’s only one problem that I have with these two images… why don’t people ever show religion in a good light?

science-vs-religion1

science-vs-religion2

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“Traitor”

March 20, 2009

Has anyone seen the movie “Traitor”?
It was out in cinemas recently, and even though it wasn’t the most fantastic movie I’ve ever seen (quite dull actually – sorry to the fans out there); the underlying meanings of the narrative was very interesting.

The story basically revolved around an American spy who was placed in a group of Muslim terrorists, to try to report back all activites that could’ve threatened our society.
What I thought was interesting, was the way they interpreted the reasons behind Muslim terrorist acts.
Their thoughts were that even though these actions would deem them to their religious “hell”; they were actually providing a service to the community through “purification” – in a sense.
They believed that what they were doing was for the common good of their society – simply acting out to achieve what their God described as a better world.

But even though I do sympathise, in the sense that they believe they’re doing a deed for the world; it was still simply a wrong form of interpretation that caused all this damage to be done.
If they could simply act in different ways, though trying to fight for the same cause; would Muslims then be stereotyped as the better race within our society? Rather than now carrying the weight of a terrorists’ name on their shoulders?

Their initial belief was coherent. Understandable. Commendable even. But the path they took to help our world has infact caused a diservice to both our people and their religion.

I guess this is the same as many other disasterous acts that have occurred in the past – those related to ‘acting in the name of God’.
From medieval times of burning suspected witches at stake, to the era of Hitler; each revolution was once, right from the start, a belief stemmed from a good prospect of God. But all turned negative in the end.

So my question now is: who is to blame?
Some blame the religion in itself, for providing such beliefs that caused such tragedies. Some blame the interpreters for twisting a once positive belief, and interpreting it incorrectly.
Some just simply don’t care.

Though… I don’t think a general agreement will be made on this question.

Oh and by the way… I just thought to add the poster for the movie, just to lighten things up =]

Traitor

Hm….

I’ve never really thought that there were so many different forms of relating science and religion. I’ve always thought that there was those who believe in science, those who believe in religion, and those…. who simply stand in the middle. Believers of both.

I’m an agnostic. That’s as close as I can get to categorising myself in some form of religious category. I don’t believe that science should be the only thing looked upon, & I don’t think one should really go head on into religion and forget all else about our modernistic proving society.

I believe a good balance between the two will make the one person happy =]

Of course, there will be contradictions. Science will say “No no!! I proved you wrong, religion!” And religion will come back with a “But this is what GOD says!”
And when situations come to that, I simply stand back and let the two parties fight it out. I mean, I’m not that knowledgeable in either subjects. Who am I to say one should best the other?
Science? I’ve never been quite fond of it. Maybe because it was a compulsory subject at school. So being the rebel I am, I just tuned out.
Religion? This on the other hand I’ve never been quite interested. I mean, I belong to a family with a religion – Buddhism. But besides that compulsory visits to temples twice a year; there’s nothing that I do that really makes me part of that religion.

Bube got me thinking though. What do I, myself, fall under when looking at how science and religion relate to each other?

Well….. being a pushover, I could relate and agree to pretty much all seven of the ways he suggested. =]
Though, the one that really stood out was the seventh way of relation that was mentioned.

“Religion and Science give Complementary Insights”

The title says it all. Both religion and science are able to coexist because they give different perspectives of the one thing.
Science allows us to understand things – to prove uncertainties and provide concrete answers to questions about our surrounding world. It’s there to enlighten us about how our society runs on physical and psychological levels. It lets us delve into our past – what really happened and how. And it allows us to try and predict what will come in the future.

But how about all the other aspects of our world that won’t be able to be understood? At least not in this lifetime or in the near future? How of all the coincidences that occur? Things that happen without any scientific explanation?

Is it simply because it’s all “not true”?

That’s my reasoning for my choice in the relation of the two.

Another thing that I was just thinking about. Maybe religion is something we use to fill in the gaps – temporarily whilst science tries to slowly provide us with answers.
As time goes by, science will be able to prove parts of religion right or wrong. But for the time being, is the basis of religion just the draft answer we write, before we can certainly print out the final copy and say “Yep, that’s what it is. That’s final.” ?

Just a thought. What do you think?

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Just an intro…

March 17, 2009

Hey all!!

This is Catherina Dang here. I’ve just mainly created this blog to express all the ideas that has come across my mind; but am not comfortable in sharing with my Science & Religions course.

Hopefully my views won’t offend anyone out there that may be reading – I am quite naive in the subject so please, anyone. Correct if you believe I am wrong.

I may include some videos or articles that I find relevent or interesting… who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.

But all in all, thanks for reading this post & hopefully I’ll give you a little insight on what I think of religion & science

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