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The following shows afterlife beliefs of Americans in 1988:
The following are quotes:
- “Not only do I not believe in the principle of the afterlife, but also do not believe in the principle of life.”
- “We do not know this for sure but most likely all animals other than ourselves live only in the present and past. Some have instincts that prepare them for the future, like storing food, but they are not able to conceptualize a time period other than the one in which they currently exist. They experience anxiety but only because of present threats. Because we can visualize the future we worry about the future. Because we worry about the future we seek assurances of what the future holds. We do not want to face permanent separation from someone we love and we do not want to envision a time when we no longer exist. We are therefore very strongly psychologically disposed to believe in life after death. Most religions include this belief and it is one of the most important attractions of these religions. It sets us apart from other animals. We believe because we can believe.”
- “About fifty years ago , just before my twenty-fourth birthday, I decided I could no longer believe in the supernatural. I gave up the Christian religion I had embraced to that point in my life. This act presented a dilemma. My values were derived from my Christian faith. Without it they had no foundation. What was important in life and for what reason was it important? If there is no life after death then the most important value is to be happy in this life. Happiness is however a very difficult concept. It is not pleasure. Pleasure is short term. It can make a peripheral contribution to happiness but it cannot be its basis. Creativity contributes to happiness. Creativity can range from finding the cure to cancer to finding a better way to get to work. Beauty contributes to happiness. Beauty can be anything from a member of the opposite sex, to a sunrise, to music, to a painting, or a photograph, to the smell of a new mown lawn. Easier to recognize than what promotes happiness are the things that detract from happiness. Ill health is near the top of the list-pain, disability, depression, anxiety. Loss of a loved person or animal or even a loved possession is on the list. Poverty, being hungry, and homeless, and dirty and without self-respect is there. Insecurity-constant fear of crime or war or natural forces is anti-happy.”
- Afterlife – Hmolpedia 2020.