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In the Name of God بسم الله

An Argument For The Afterlife

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  • Veteran Member

1. You can't do a wrong or an injustice to someone who doesn't exist

2. John died last week. His best friend Sam decides to damage John's grave and defecate on it, and subsequently make up lots of lies about him. Sam clearly does John an injustice; Sam clearly wrongs him

Therefore,

3. John exists, even though he's dead

Therefore,

4. Existence doesn't end at death. In other words, there is life after death.

[Mods: please move to the appropriate forum!]

Edited by .InshAllah.
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His best friend Sam decides to damage John's grave and defecate on it, and subsequently make up lots of lies about him. Sam clearly does John an injustice; Sam clearly wrongs him

This is unproven. The fact that Sam was unjust to John by defacing John's grave is not a proven fact. Remember at this point, John doesn't exist anymore. Also, lies cannot hurt a dead man.

can you please explain how this is an argument for the afterlife?

Edited by Gypsy
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2. John died last week. His best friend Sam decides to damage John's grave and defecate on it, and subsequently make up lots of lies about him. Sam clearly does John an injustice; Sam clearly wrongs him

This is a heavy and unsupported claim. Sam does seem to do something wrong, but it does not mean he has done an injustice, especially towards John.

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This is unproven. The fact that Sam was unjust to John by defacing John's grave is not a proven fact. Remember at this point, John doesn't exist anymore. Also, lies cannot hurt a dead man.

can you please explain how this is an argument for the afterlife?

It seems obvious that backstabbing your dead friend and desecrating his grave is wronging him, don't you think?

That, with the premise that you cant wrong the non-existent entails that your friend isnt non-existent.

But we know your friend is dead, so dead does not equal non-existent. Ergo, there is life after death.

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Interesting, brother InshaAllah.

Provisionally: Sam does, indeed, wrong John by desecrating his grave, and that this means existence does not end with death.

But, then, some questions would be asked:

-What kind of 'wrong' is this that has been done? That is, is it possible for us to somehow provide the wronged John with justice or compensation of a sort? If not, then is it a different form of 'wrong', one we do not mean in the conventional sense?

-Given that this use of 'wrong' is not the common one, and that we can only possibly deal justly with Sam while failing completely to compensate John, the wronged, does it imply a weakness in our justice system, or does it mean that we simply cannot use our justice system in case of John, the dead and wronged.

-If we cannot use our justice system in case of John - which we regularly apply to living individuals (and could have applied to John if he lived) - does it not mean that dead individuals, if wronged, are not wronged in the same sense that living individuals are?

-Thus, does it not mean that we may talk of wronging the dead but only in a completely different sense than that of wronging the living? And so, perhaps your argument does not at all manage to establish the continuity of existence?

I miss Jebreil.

(wasalam)

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Your confusing,or maybe its your philosophical style of writing.

John does not existed physical in this world anymore but sam has wronged him and johns soul would probably feel the backbitting. John exists in the other world but this all can not be proven.

If you argue that the soul is an individuals identity then soul can not be kept in one place the body,after death it will escape so that can prove that their is life after death. But if you base the argument on material then no harm is done on john by sam because he cant feel ,see,move or talk which means nothing in him works for him to get affected by sam.

But then you cant phyiscal prove a soul because its spriuatel but you can prove a physical person. If we die with our mind and soul then we can feel people talking about us but if we lose the mind and soul then you cant prove that the person inside the grave would feel anything.

Anyways its hard to physical prove everything ,that why you have to have faith in the unseen sometimes.

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the insects, the worms the plants the soils will consume a mans body, there will be all kinds of dirt mixed into the body, it will return it back to its original form which is soil, you grow your crops and eat off the compost of dead things, in other words, you eat soil, your made of soil and you wear soil (hadith)

even a mans name is taken away from him when he dies, islamically, we have rights before we are born and after we die, these are rights proviided in islam, however if a non believer who does such to a grave and has non of these beliefs and understanding, then how is he injust in his intentions, saying bad about another if dad is no different to when he was alive.

if there are no witnesses to what oner does to a grave and the one that does this act has no understanding or belief of what hes doing, then there is no argument, your basing your argument on beliefs,respect and rights from a religion and culture, look at it scientifically.

there are more men burried in this earth then there are walking upon it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Advanced Member

It seems obvious that backstabbing your dead friend and desecrating his grave is wronging him, don't you think?

Yes, if you go by your personal conviction (religious or moral perspective).

But how does desecrating the grave of a dead man harm him? It doesn't.

Also, it's not very clear how this is an argument of afterlife?

That, with the premise that you cant wrong the non-existent entails that your friend isnt non-existent.

There's no connection with any of your premises. And your conclusion is also faulty because it's based on wrong premises.

But we know your friend is dead, so dead does not equal non-existent. Ergo, there is life after death.

This is still faulty.

In your first statement, you said a dead man cannot be harmed. Then how come sam can harm his dead friend by desecrating his grave?

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John might not physically exist in this world but his memory and relatives do. Tarnishing a dead persons memory does not seem like the nicest thing to do. Also it would be a cause of stress and hurt for friends and relatives and family members.

Maybe people could start showing animosity towards John's children due to Sam's lies.

I often think that people are doing injustice to Rasul Allah (pbuh) and are oppressing him in today's world by stubbornly calling him illiterate, nausubillah, but then he is alive for sure and it must hurt him. It hurst his followers who believe otherwise and it is an injustice because it alters his true image and personality.

I guess this is an arguement for life after death in the sense that Sam wont face any backlash from John, but he will be made accountable for it, be it in this world or the next.

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But how does desecrating the grave of a dead man harm him? It doesn't.

'harm' isnt in any of the premises. I say he's wronging him or doing him an injustice.

There's no connection with any of your premises.

In your first statement, you said a dead man cannot be harmed. Then how come sam can harm his dead friend by desecrating his grave?

The argument is valid, which means the conclusion follows if the premises are true (and I think they are). If you can wrong the dead, but can't wrong the non-existent, then the dead are not non-existent, which means they exist.

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John's memory and reputation still exist.

That's true, but he's still be doing John an injustice.

What if a prophet were to tell us that Allah destroyed the soul of Sam? In that case, would desecrating his grave still be considered a form of wrong doing? If it did, then does it prove that you can wrong someone who ceased to exist?

Desecrating a grave is wrong for more than one reason. One of those is that you're doing the inhabitant of the grave an injustice. This particular wrong would not be exist if the soul of the person ceased to exist. On the other hand , the other wrongs would still exist, eg damaging someones property, hurting family and friends of the deceased etc.

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  • 7 months later...
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.InshAllah, salam.

 

Yours is a probable argument (jadali) that borders on the rhetorical (khitabi). Someone can easily deny 2, saying that it's simply a matter of human convention, not something independent of it or true by nature.

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.InshAllah, salam.

 

Yours is a probable argument (jadali) that borders on the rhetorical (khitabi). Someone can easily deny 2, saying that it's simply a matter of human convention, not something independent of it or true by nature.

 

ws

 

The reply would be that 2 seems true, and it's denial seems false.  I would say the same for things like 'wisdom is good', 'murder is bad', 'honesty is a virtue'.  If by probable you mean that it doesnt yield certainty by itself, then I do agree with that, but I think it has some strength.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The problem is with premise 1.  The statement is not true in my opinion. You can wrong potential lives. If someone decided to destroy all human life, I would say he is not just wronging all present humans, but all potential humans to be born.

 

Likewise, if we chose to go on a path that would lead to a horrible fate of a future generation, we can say, we are wronging that generation now, even if they don't exist.

 

Likewise, working to find a cure for cancer can be a good towards unborn humans, non-existent humans, and we can donate to research hoping well for humans that are not yet born.

 

I think premise 1 is problematic.

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Im not sure that that's wronging potential lives rather than committing a different wrong such as the wrong of destroying the opportunity for more humans to exist or increasing the amount of suffering that will exist etc. But I do see the pull of what you are saying.  All of your examples are regarding future humans who will exist.  We could alter 1 so that:

 

1' You can't do an injustice to someone who no longer exists.

 

In the cases you mention what you do can potentially make a physical difference to the state of humans.  But in the case of someone who has ceased to exist, what you do after they die makes no physical difference to them.

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I'm not sure if this is true as well. 

 

Suppose God decided to stop maintaining the life of a really good person who was just and deserved the highest rewards.  Would that be an injustice on part of God?

 

Also, I used the following example to show why I believe abortion is wrong to Atheists.

 

Suppose in the future, we are able to bring back to life a person who dies, for about another 30-40 years. They must die first, and for some reason it won't work twice. 

 

As far as this example goes, they are dead. Not alive. However we can bring them back to life with this technology. We have the resources to do it.  Is it injustice towards the dead people that they are not brought back to life? 

 

I think it would be. 

 

But it would contradict your premise that you can't do injustice to someone who ceased to exist.

 
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I'm not sure if this is true as well. 

 

Suppose God decided to stop maintaining the life of a really good person who was just and deserved the highest rewards.  Would that be an injustice on part of God?

 

 

 

But that wouldnt be doing an injustice to someone who doesnt exist.  Its not that they dont exist, then God does them an injustice (which is the case in the example of the opening post).

 

 

Suppose in the future, we are able to bring back to life a person who dies, for about another 30-40 years. They must die first, and for some reason it won't work twice. 

 

As far as this example goes, they are dead. Not alive. However we can bring them back to life with this technology. We have the resources to do it.  Is it injustice towards the dead people that they are not brought back to life? 

 

I think it would be. 

 

 

This is similar to the example of 'potential lives' that you initially brought up.  Bringing them back makes an actual physical difference.  Not bringing them back deprives them of future lives.

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2. John died last week. His best friend Sam decides to damage John's grave and defecate on it, and subsequently make up lots of lies about him. Sam clearly does John an injustice; Sam clearly wrongs him

This is an incredibly confused analogy. You're using John, an individual empirically verified to have once existed, as a predicate to prove the notion of an unseen reality. It's called a false analogy.

3. John exists, even though he's dead

Duh. Of course he exists. This should be intuitive. What you can't do is use this axiom to commit this leap of logic, "afterlife exists, even though you can't see it." John exists because his existence is confirmed by Sam's recognition of his grave in which his corpse is buried 6 feet under. The afterlife on the other hand has never been seen. There is a difference.

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"The reply would be that 2 seems true, and it's denial seems false.  I would say the same for things like 'wisdom is good', 'murder is bad', 'honesty is a virtue'.  If by probable you mean that it doesnt yield certainty by itself, then I do agree with that, but I think it has some strength."

 

Sure it has some strength, but then again rhetorical and even sophistical arguments do as well. My point is that this "seeming" nature of 2 will differ across people, depending on various factors like their temperaments, beliefs, etc. Hence, insofar the argument appeals to, and depends on, these factors in people, it is highly probabilistic to the point of being rhetorical.

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