Once in talking about faith to my Dad, who was agnostic at the time, I told him there were really only two possibilities for him after death: he would have no life (extinction), or eternal life. Pretty basic, right? Well, let’s think these through:
If we die on this earth, and we are nothing more than the composition of atom in an arrangement that somehow gives us being and thought, then when that composition no longer supports function, everything goes away. Poof! Everything we did, everything we strive for — all gone from our standpoint. Why in fact try to make any lasting impact for something that you will not see again, and from your standpoint doesn’t even exist, because you don’t exist. While you don’t feel any more pain and are truly at rest, that rest is so extreme that it is nothingness. You’re done.
I’ve observed that people who retire from work, anticipating a life of ease and simplicity, often exchange those hopes for a reality of feeling worthless and bored. Some manage to find fulfillment in retirement and overcome those feelings, but my Dad often lamented how all that he had done in his work was getting replaced, and he felt left out and washed out. He had to start a new business to regain some feeling of value. His life was much simpler, but he found it also emptier.
Fact is — we often wrap our identity into our work and struggles in this life. We work, raise kids, invest in others, as though it matters. But when you die, it all goes away if this is all chance circumstance to begin with.
I reject the whole notion that this life is lucky randomness on many grounds. I’ve posted some articles on why. If we believe that there is some sort of continuity for us after death here, then is it something we can and should pursue, or does it just happen and there’s no point in concerning ourselves now about it. I reject the idea that this universe, while intelligently created, is on auto-pilot. It makes little sense for such a powerful designer God to do all this, and have no continuity. If He took that approach, I can at least say that my efforts to know the right faith and to aggressively pursue it is non-harmful, at at most a waste of time. But when the stakes are simply eternity, what’s a little lost time?
This life isn’t random, and there is continuity — that’s the only rational conclusion in my mind. So which of the religions, if any, is correct? That’s what other posts here are about. Almost as crazy-impossible as this life coming about by random chaotic events is the idea that Christianity was fabricated. There is so much coordination across millennia of time in Scripture, Jesus Christ’s life is so well documented, the problem of evil and payment of sin so fantastic, the knowledge of a God who loved the world (those in His family) so much as to create it and save it, and that there is hope of a life even better than this one looming ahead — these are so huge that I can’t accept missing them.
Have you thought much about all this? This life won’t last forever! The next is a different story.