If you understand love you know that if anything in life is worth living for, it is for people to love, really and truly love, people. Yet if death is the end, what use is it to love anyone? We believe that if death is indeed the end of your existence, then love and hate and you and I and life are all transient puffs of smoke in an ultimately inanimate eternity. Even love will succumb to death, making its apparent beauty no more lasting than a winter's snow.
We really do not know, and will not know, what lies in store for us beyond the grave until the inevitable moment of death arrives. If life and love end at the grave we will never know the answer for we will no longer exist, and the question will die with us. Of course, as we explained in the chapter Afraid of Nothing, such an end would be the ultimate in painlessness.
If you no longer are, you no longer are, period. The void that follows death without a life after death is a complete and total void. There would be no one to experience joy, there would be no one to experience pain, all would be as if it never was. The possibility of "nothing" frees us to live the most positive life that we can.
We have said there is absolutely no way we can prove life continues beyond the grave, but we have also said there is absolutely no way we can prove it does not. We discussed the possibility of life having meaning without life after death. We said that we cannot be certain that life does not have meaning and purpose even if there is no life after death. While we cannot be certain we are right, we explained why we believe that life has meaning only if there is a non-physical life after death. We concluded that whether we are right or not, there is absolutely no reason not to live for the possibility that life has meaning and purpose, and for the possibility that we may eventually find true meaning and value in our life.
If we are right, we simply cannot know what life after death may or may not be like. Yet, as we have already noted, the "feeling" persists that life beyond the grave should possess the positive aspects of life in this world. If the most positive aspect of life is love, then a life after death that is filled with love seems to be worth believing in. If we continue to exist after death, we may indeed find ourselves in a "world" where people love people.
If love is worth living for, and if the only realistic alternative is nihilistic death, then it seems that you, and I, and everyone else, should love each other and live for the possibility that we will continue to exist after death in an existence filled with love. Yet choosing love because the alternative may be a meaningless death is not a good enough reason. Love must be chosen by those who in their heart, mind, and soul truly want to love, or their choice will be a shallow one that will not last. Those who choose to love must do so because they want to love.
If we want to love, we believe that for our love to have meaning we must have faith that we continue to exist after our physical death. Can we have faith in a random existence after death that has no guidance, might there be more? If we are to accept that human beings may continue to exist after the death of their bodies we need to consider what, if any, external force or presence may "guide" or "control" such existence. We are way past the limits of human comprehension, at the point where belief must turn into faith. The more modern science has discovered, the more it seems that some form of "logical", "rational", process occurs in nature, replacing random events with "planned" sequences.
Such "logical" progression of nature may be the result of an incredible computer like property whereby nature is equipped with some sort of "artificial intelligence", perhaps so, perhaps not. Yet we have already said that the odds that the universe was created at random appear to be as close to zero as can possibly be imagined. Perhaps the universe is not "controlled" or "guided" by some deterministic process. Perhaps the universe is "controlled" or "guided" by someone. [Please read the next section in its entirety before reaching conclusions about what it says.]
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