Anon reader query:
I believe you are a Christian apologist. I am a theist but have issues seeing a reason to believe in an afterlife.
Do you have any reasons to believe in the afterlife (assuming a loving God) even if one does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus?
If you could convince me of the resurrection of Jesus as well I would appreciate the effort. I’d definitely read the message and try to learn something
I’m sorry you think I’m a Christian apologist. (Good joke!) I’m a blogger who happens to be Catholic, and not the other way around. I cannot meet the burden of saintliness for it to be the other way around.
FOREVER & EVER
Lots of reasons why I’m convinced we live forever. Here’s one.
We know that some propositions are certainly true. If you deny this, pace “I know with certainty there are no propositions we know with certainty”, you admit this. If instead you say “I know with certainty we can only know all propositions with some degree of uncertainty”, again you admit it.
There is therefore no getting around that some things are true, and known to be true. True no matter what. True regardless of how the universe happens to be at the moment. Just plain true.
Many propositions are known to be true with certainty, including the precepts of logic, which itself is used to deduce other truths. There is no way to argue anything without first knowing these precepts are true. Try disproving that! Try convincing anybody there are no certain truths without using the certain truths of logic.
There are also many other truths (e.g. things exist), the most important of which we know via mechanisms higher than logic. These are the universals, which come to us via intuition or inspiration—in-spiritus-given. For instance, we know all essences this way: e.g. dogs have four legs; water is nothing like steel; there are an infinite number of primes, which is deduced only after accepting axioms known to be true via intuition.
There has to be a reason, a cause, why these things are true. It can’t be for no reason; that is, no cause. That’s point one.
Rather, points one and two. Universal truths exist and have a cause, and we can know these.
Now all these truths form a collection. And that collection has either a cause or causes. Suppose it’s causes and not one cause. Then each of the individual causes itself has to itself have a cause, a reason why it is this way and not that. These causes cannot just be “brute facts”, but themselves must have a reason behind them.
Well, you can’t go on like this forever. There has to be a meta-cause, a cause above all these, the cause of all causes. And that’s what we call God.
The reason that I believe we last beyond the body is that our intellect and will can grasp universals. All universals involve infinite extrapolations. No animal save man can do this. And man, it is obvious, cannot do it himself unaided. The intuitions and inductions have to be given us from above, as it were.
The form of us, like the form (the essence) of all things, is itself immaterial. Since part of our essence is our intellect, and our intellects grasps infinity, and all essences have to have that one Cause, our intellects are somehow infinite, and caused, or held, by God.
Our immaterial intellects therefore survive our material passing. But it seems to be complete, we need that material part of ourselves, hence the idea of our own eventual re-store-ations.
I think that’s all that can be done in fewer than 750 words.
The single best reason are the eyewitness reports. John was there, and told us about it. Peter, too. And so on afterwards, as documented in Acts.
The reporting on the Resurrection wasn’t like myths and fables, passed down as obvious stories. It was no different in reporting style from battles and other political events of the time.
The expectation moderns have is that the Resurrection would have been celebrated like some minor, and soon-forgotten, flap today with millions of tweets, articles, and other records. The opposite is true. It was recorded in an age where most things were not.
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