Originally Posted by Acting Like Godot
For example, I know many people who would consider themselves "scientific" or "rational" or "logical", and who think that it must follow that they should dismiss the possibility of an afterlife ... and therefore they do.
I have little faith in science or the scientific method, actually, but I am blessed, or cursed, depending on your point of view, with a very small right brain.
I don't dismiss the possibility of an afterlife at all. I simply can't prove it, even to myself. So I remain open to it. I will not pitch a fit if I find myself someday in an afterlife. I just don't consider it terribly relevant or comforting in the here and now.
I have looked at Fenwick's lectures ... in fact I may even have done so at your prompting elsewhere in this space. I've even read Weiss. At the end of the day I can't get past that the afterlife seems to be whatever the person experiencing the NDE or ADE thinks or has heard it should be. Christians see Jesus and a linear afterlife, Buddhists see Buddha and a cyclic afterlife ... and on occasion, people who think they are going to hell see that. My guess is that you take your illusions with you.
Granted, there are a lot of similarities ... but some very huge and incompatible differences. Unless you accept that the afterlife is an infinitude of self-created realities, that makes no sense. And if everyone has their own personal afterlife then the evidence of other people's afterlives is useless.
I have come to the conclusion that while there is nothing wrong with being curious about such things, perhaps it is not the best path. In my experience the more detailed and specific things people come to believe about the spirit world and / or the afterlife, the weirder they become.
Besides, if we were supposed to have such knowledge, it seems to me there would be a unified testimony about it. As children, we wonder about things that are hidden from us ... seemingly mysterious and exotic experiences such as sex. But eventually, when we are sufficiently advanced in understanding, we find out about it, and our experience is not very different from everyone else's. Yet with the afterlife you have pretty much a random grab bag of stories. My working theory is that the afterlife is one of those things we just don't have the equipment to grasp and probably shouldn't spend too much energy on it until we do.
At the end of the day I think questions about the afterlife are really asking one question: will I survive after death, or will there just be some form of oblivion or loss of identity? To be honest, oblivion holds no terror for me, and survival holds very little terror other than, sheesh, I hope we at least won't continue to struggle for eternity, or, god forbid, keep coming back here. But even if those things are true, it will be as it is. So, I'm cool either way.