One of the greatest mysteries in life is more than a mere question but one of our greatest gambles. What comes next?
Here are some generalizations to be considered:
Is there a God or not?
Does our consciousness die when our body no longer lives?
Is our consciousness part of something larger or is it an individual entity?
Is there nothing for us after we die?
Of course there are probably unlimited variations to these general questions but what part does this question play in how we live our lives and treat our fellow man and even the gifts of nature?
I have heard many arguments from people of religious faith that one who does not believe in god can not feel true compassion towards others. That without the moral compass of religion and belief in God that we are lost.
Some would imply that those who believe that nothing exists beyond now are the root of all evil. That their lack of belief in an afterlife somehow makes them incapable of believing that all life is precious.
I have often heard people who claim to follow the teachings of some religions say that “The good lord takes care of those who take care of themselves”. Hmmmm....
While I try to remain objective to the best of my ability to consider the beliefs of those who cling to specific religious beliefs and gods I find many of those people to be very unforgiving and intolerant of others who do not share their beliefs. So much so that they would not lift a finger to help those in need if they did not share in their faith unless they could somehow use that assistance to promote their brand of god.
In all fairness I have also seen people of specific faiths and religions who would give the shirts off their backs to anyone in need regardless of their spirituality or lack of faith.
Of course the same extremes can be found in people who identify themselves anywhere along the scale of believer and non-believer.
So how do we live our lives?
Do we choose a path that we think will reward us with a place in the afterlife or not?
Do we live our lives so that we will be the richest person in the cemetery or do we live to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us?
Does one need to believe in a god to know right from wrong or do we all possess the ability to know the difference between the universal laws of right and wrong if there even is such a thing?
When that little voice tells you that what you are doing is wrong but the act will bring you satisfaction will you act the same if you are alone as you will if you are in a crowd?
Do our actions reflect our beliefs or do they reflect our own hypocrisy.
When we look in the mirror and dare to see ourselves for who we truly are what do you see? Is it the same person we teach our children that they should be and the same person we try to convince those around us of who we are?
I challenge anyone to convince me that they know what comes next with absolute certainty. Unless you have god-like powers and can demonstrate those powers to me or convince your god to reveal himself in a form that can not be questioned than I would have to other choice than to call your faith a gamble. And the same goes for what I believe in. Each of us must decide what we believe in. The gamble is what awaits us and how the way we live our lives will influence our ultimate fate.