Will You Know, Will You Care: Four Belief Systems

There has been this random thought bubbling around in my head lately. I suppose it is an outgrowth of getting older, or something.

That random thought went with me to the movies yesterday. We went to see the movie The Grey. I won’t spoil it for you in case you haven’t seen it yet but neither will I recommend going to see it. NOT a feel good film. It does, however, touch on themes of eternity and ultimate destination which brings me back to the original random thought.

Now, there may be more than the four categories I list below and if you know of one then feel free to add it but, the question is: After you die, will you know and will you care?

1. If there is NO god – (ex: atheism)
No one will know, we’ll all die and be dust, so no one will care

2. If there is reincarnation –  (ex: Hinduism)
There we’re in the midst of it now and it seems only a select few know and most folks don’t care

3. If we join a higher consciousness – (ex: Buddhism)
We may or may not know but we won’t care

4. If there IS a God – (ex: Judaism, Islam, Christianity)
Everyone will know and everyone will care

You may well argue that YOU won’t care either way but that’s not the point. The point is that by the tenants of the system listed you WILL (or will not, based on the system) care which make sense because each of these represent an eternal eschatology that is bigger than you.

Told you it was a random thought. But one worth exploring.

If you have a fifth or sixth option how will we fair on the know and care scale?

8 responses to “Will You Know, Will You Care: Four Belief Systems

  1. I stopped working on my post for today on paradigm shifts to read your post that just came in my email. Very timely, as I am struggling to express what is bubbling in my heart and mind. Very thought-provoking post! I think it will help me get over the hump I’m struggling with as I write this morning.

  2. Glad it could help, Kari. It might have been MORE timely had I not slept in this morning but I suppose “just in time” is “just in time.”

    • Too funny! You’re lateness was perfect timing for me. Plus, I am late with my post too. The brain just isn’t working this morning. So, being late ended up being the right timing, I guess. If that makes sense…

  3. Interesting thought experiment but I’m not sure I agree with those as logical statements.

    I think you are intermixing tenses. In points 1 & 4 you are describing “knowing” in the future tense (after death) but in points 2 & 3 you are referring to “knowing” in the present tense. This is further confused by intermixing of personal caring vs societal caring.

    The other thing that I’m not getting is the use of the word “care” as an afterlife description. What exactly are we caring about in these scenarios?

    Atheism, if you are dead and there in no afterlife then “care” doesn’t have meaning at all.

    With reincarnation you seem to be getting at the fact that people today don’t care about the fact that it is happening? (I might be missing some other meaning here). How does that relate to afterlife caring described in 3 & 4.

    Buddhism & Christianity, I’m not sure what the distinction is between these two on the “care” spectrum. Why would we care in one but not the other?

    P.S. I’m not sure if you generally are looking for debate in your comments, and trying not to be a douche (as per @petershankman post today), I just enjoy debate. Please moderate me out of this if I’m out of line with your blog concept.

  4. No worries! Love discussion/debate so long as is it geared toward iron sharpening iron.

    The mix of tense was necessary because, in the case of reincarnation, we would effectively already be “in” an “afterlife” as part of a repeating cycle. But most people either don’t know or don’t believe that currently thus the use of present tense.

    Caring refers to caring on a personal level. If I become nothing I can’t care, as you point out.

    In a Buddhist afterlife there is no sense of self thus no sense of personal caring. I do continue on but as part of a larger consciousness.

    On the other hand Christianity has a very personal sense of self and thus a very personal level of caring about the living conditions in an afterlife.

    I probably should/could have tied the notion of “caring” to how a person feels about afterlife options now, while alive. A person may not care NOW but they may find they do care “after” depending on which system proves true.
    Make sense?

  5. …ah, what? You only go to movies to feel good? You? Amazing.

    …but then, again, probably have that all wrong…knowing you!

    …and am very thankful that I do…….!!!

  6. I’m interested to hear more responses from people who disagree with this post. I, for one, get it! When I wonder if I’m wasting my life by investing in things of a spiritual nature, I remember that if I’m wrong about the spiritual nature of existence, it doesn’t really matter what I invest my life in.

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