A Logical Approach to the Afterlife

Is there an afterlife?

First, if you are one of those people that only behaves because they’re worried about going to hell if they don’t: yes, there is an afterlife. Stop reading right now.

Still reading? OK… The answer is:


We’re not going to answer that question. Instead, this post is going to be one of a few posts looking at some logical conclusions one must accept if they believe in an an afterlife or not. As with my approach to any topic like this, I try to look at everything involved in a particular assumption and follow it to some logical conclusions based on that assumption.

Many people simply look at the main arguments for – I get to live forever, I get to see my loved ones again, when my loved ones die they go to a better place, good people are always rewarded, bad people are always punished, it encourages people to act morally, etc.. Others look at the main arguments against – the biggest being that there’s really no good reason to believe there is an afterlife.

We’re going to try to go beyond just feeling good or just being analytical and see if we can come up with an intelligent approach that satisfies both our spiritual needs and our analytical mind.

If you’re wondering, my personal choice, the one that both makes logical sense and which makes my life feel the most special and sacred and encourages me to live the best life I can, and help others to do the same, is to take the position that there is no afterlife.

The reality is that if there is no afterlife, then nothing we believe will change that. If there is an afterlife, nothing we believe will change that. To date, there hasn’t been enough evidence to really support a belief in an afterlife, but there’s been some anecdotal evidence that there might be. So we can’t really say one way or the other if there is or isn’t one. We can’t really know.

But, if we want to pick a “least wrong” approach, then we would look at the pros and cons of believing or not believing there is one, and what the consequences might be if we are right or wrong. After all, believing in an afterlife isn’t just hypothetical, with no real impact on your life. There are some knock-on effects. Now that we know where we’re starting from, lets take a look with the first one in the next post: Is Life Infinitely Important or Unimportant?