Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Is there a Life after Death?

Innaiah Narisetti

The majority of people believe in an after-life. If there is something after death, what is it? 

After death, the body is buried by some, cremated by some others, donated to hospitals by a few. These practices are common. When a person dies, along with other parts of the body, the brain also dies. That is the end of it. Now the question arises. If there is something after death, what is it that survives death?

Religions jump into the fray to answer this question. They say that there is a soul that is subtle, that goes to heaven or hell or takes rebirth. The believers in rebirth, reincarnation, heaven, and hell have to accept this concept. Otherwise there is no meaning in an after-life. Who decides the fate of the soul after the death of the body?  All religions have created the concept of God to sustain this belief.

Burning Ghats - Varanasi
What is soul? You can’t touch it nor is it visible to you. Where is it in the body? In the brain? The Brain is filled with neurons well connected to one another. The thinking, memorizing and related functions are done by the brain. Thus, the brain plays a vital role in the body. With death, brain ceases functioning. There is nothing to function after death. There is no separate existence for mind without brain

Then, where is the soul? It is only a blind belief. All religions survive on the believers’ blind faith in soul, god, heaven, and hell. Once the belief in soul is accepted without question, then the game starts. Stories are woven around soul, which has to be saved through prayer - how to pray, what to pray, and whom to pray. These are the monopoly of religious priests. To sustain this belief system, holy books are created. Though the so-called holy books are written by people at various ages, they are propagated in the name of god because only then the believers accept it. Priests are the middlemen to interpret the meaning of holy books on behalf of god.

Parents give their religious beliefs to children. There is no choice for children to opt for their own religion or non religion. Since birth, children are brain washed with the belief system of their parents. Hence it is very difficult for persons to come out of that belief which is inculcated since birth. That is how the children of Muslims become Muslims; those of Christians become Christians, and so on. Even the educated persons are not able to come out of this childhood influence.

The concept of soul, god, heaven and hell and life –after-death cannot stand in front of rational questioning and scientific evidence.


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