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Does Atheism necessarily invalidate belief in an afterlife?

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    This is just something I was thinking about the other day...

    Atheism is essentially, not believing in the existence of a God, but does that then mean that you dont believe in an after-life either? I mean, surely the idea of God and afterlife are not so tied together that you could believe in one and not the other?

    Just curious to see what everyone thinks really...
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    No as an atheist you can still believe in an afterlife although most don't.
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    I know I don't, I can't see how an afterlife would appeal to an atheist either.
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    No, the idea of an afterlife at this time is not knowable at this time. It cannot be proven and it may never be. It may be knowable it the future it may not. Atheists do not wholly have the same beliefs on God/deities, belief or the afterlife.
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    That's true. Atheism only refers to a lack of belief in God(s) but I'd be surprised if you'd find any that believe in an after life since there isn't much evidence for that either.
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    Most atheists don't and won't without proof, but there are exceptions who believe, among other things, that the self or soul will live on. If you're defining atheism as simply a lack of belief for a deity, then you could count Buddhists as Atheists, though I believe Buddha himself was considered agnostic (I'm probably speaking a pile of rubbish, but oh well)
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    Nope. Nor does Theism automatically mean you believe in an afterlife.
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    Nope. Reincarnation is legit. I'm hopefully going to be a bear, so I can claw your reincarnated animal's face off.
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    No, an atheist could easily believe in the afterlife if they wanted to. Since atheism isn't anything like a religion there are no specific 'rules' as such to follow in order to be an atheist.

    However most atheists will not believe in an afterlife since there is as much evidence for an afterlife as there is for a god... None.

    Edit: And for the record. I'm an (agnostic) atheist.
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    I don't think you'll find many who do believe in an afterlife. There's no evidence for either of them, so I'd be shocked to find an atheist who doesn't believe in a god but believes there is an afterlife.
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    Atheism is not believing in the supernatural. I don't know how one can believe in an afterlife and be atheist, as noone in this generation has witnessed a transition to life when something is dead
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    no reason they can't. just like a theist does not have to believe that there is an afterlife (why does god necessitate an afterlife?)
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    (Original post by anon1212)
    Atheism is not believing in the supernatural. I don't know how one can believe in an afterlife and be atheist, as noone in this generation has witnessed a transition to life when something is dead
    An atheist is simply someone who does not believe in a god/gods. That is all. Whether they believe in fairies, the hulk, Jinns, or an afterlife has no bareing on their atheism.

    A lot of Buddhists are atheist, while they believe in reincarnation, which is an afterlife.
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    I have thought about this for about two minutes and my thought is that if an Athiest can not believe in God why on earth would s/he believe in an afterlife? Surely they stem from the same root arguement? I.e. no proof whatsoever and no way of knowing...well until you are dead in both cases.

    Regarding Buddhism. It is in a sense athiestic (in some forms) or rather Nastik in that there is no worship of creator God. However there is no literal statement (i think) that there is no absolute, but rather commentary on the demi-gods being subject to the material world as men are, they cannot deliver one from the cycles of material existance and therefore there is no point in worshipping them for that. Nirvana is achieved through ones own efforts.
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    Although an atheist should not believe in the existence of such things, it varies from person to person. Buddha was an atheist. He believed neither in the existence of God, nor in the existence of soul, but he believed in rebirth. But answer me this - if there is not a soul, what will be reborn?
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    Well, no, being humanist does, and most atheists are also more or less humanist. It might disregard many conventional systems regarding the afterlife, since those tend to be governed by supernatural entities, usually gods.

    Buddhism is generally regarded as a faith, not a religion, and though it doesn't prohibit using gods in the path to enlightenment it does indicate that one should use gods for guidance only and that dogma crushes the essential questioning spirit, which would retard enlightenment somewhat (remember that it was made parallel to the extremely dogmatic 'Hindu' culture, with the revealed scripture and so on, and there was some serious debate among the higher thinkers of its heyday). As such should we regard Buddhism as an atheist faith and the cycle of samsara as an 'afterlife', then no, even among more conventional beliefs.

    Disregarding faiths I can think of as examples, though, there's absolutely no reason why not. You die, your spirit moves on. Atheism is just the rejection of a higher being. Ghosts, zombies, ghouls, booglies, angels and demons and large furry hippos in top hats are not out of the question providing none of them are gods.

    So no, not really (though most, including me, don't).
  17. Offline

    Buddha was an atheist. He believed neither in the existence of God
    I thought Atheism was the explicit disbelief in God, I do not think the Buddha made such a statement, but some people come to a conclusion that he was an atheist. His statement on demi-gods might suggest that he thought they exist, but it did not matter in any way in regard to the individual reaching Nirvana.


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