What Happens When We Die
What happens when we die? A very good question, which I have pondered most of my life along with the rest of humanity. I would categorize myself as a Christian theist as I do believe in the afterlife and that our bodies transform and we either enter into eternal existence with God, or eternal separation from him (Sire, 2009, p. 41). Although I personally cannot find the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory in Scripture (Akin, n.d., para. 1), I keep an open mind to the possibility that it, indeed, exists. The difficulties with this doctrine that make it less believable are the so called indulgences that go with it. According to the Catholic Church, there are good things that can be done in this life that lessen the duration a soul may spend in this realm being purged of venial sin before entering into paradise (Akin, n.d., figure 3).
I also believe in the possibility that heaven and hell could be multi-tiered or have different levels of paradise or torment based upon how one lead their life while they were alive. My own personal fear of hell, even worse than the lake of fire described in the Bible, would be eternal separation in complete darkness where a soul is left to mire in its own misery and re-live the sins of their past life to the end of time. Knowing God is transcendent (Sire, 2009, p. 29) and beyond our human means of comprehension, is it not possible that a multi-tiered heaven and hell or even purgatory for that matter could actually exist? Knowing what is true concerning living the Christian life and the plan to salvation as noted in Scripture, the choices are clear; either accept the free gift that Christ gave upon the cross or suffer eternal damnation by rejecting it. I choose to accept and live what Christ taught and be on the right side of St. Peter’s gate, facetiously speaking.
The View’s of Others
Deism of course with its warm and cold views, view God as the creator or the first cause of all things (Sire, 2009, p. 53), but his personality is eliminated (Sire, 2009, p. 51). Simply under deism, God is no longer interested in his best creation which is mankind. Warm deists believe in the notion of an afterlife while cold deists do not (Sire, 2009, p. 53). Obviously to a deist, life after death is a tossup; it may or may not happen. Deists nonetheless are human beings, and live based upon human reason (Sire, 2009, p. 53). Although there is no special relationship to God with deism (Sire, 2009, p. 53) and an afterlife appears irrelevant, many deists live moral and ethical lives based upon human reason and the God found in the laws of nature (http://www.deism.com/deism_defined.htm).
Examining the basics of naturalism, God is removed from the overall equation of existence and reason alone is the truth (Sire, 2009, p. 67). Prime reality is matter exists externally and that is all that there is (Sire, 2009, p. 68). Death brings the end to personality and individuality, matter becomes...