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Religions' Views On Life After Death

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Throughout the history of civilization, there has always been a certain mysticism about what really happens to a newly departed soul. In each of the major religions of the world, there is a certain idea about what happens to the soul after death. Not all religions have the same beliefs about life after death; some do not even think it exists. In order to clarify what happens to a newly departed soul, it will be necessary to develop a basic understanding of the major religions of the world, how these religions came into existence, the practice of worshiping a supreme being, and the idea of life after death.
All religions came into existence in different ways. Christianity developed at around the death of Jesus, Which was 33 A.D. Under the Christian idea, which Jesus first started to preach, God created man. The first man who was created was Adam. The only reason that we don't use Neanderthals, the early cave dwellers, as a way to identify our first man is that they were not able to talk back to their Creator, worship him, and choose among alternative ideologies (Eerdmans' Handbook 31).
Buddhism was founded about 500 B.C. or shortly afterwards. The teacher who founded it was Buddha. The tradition is that he was shocked into seeking the meaning of life by the sight of a leper, an old man and a corpse (Eerdmans' Handbook 43). He practiced austerities for many years until he achieved the illumination he was seeking. Buddha was said to be an atheist, or at least have abandoned the usual worships of gods (Eerdmans' Handbook 44).
Judaism dates back to ancient Israel, when they toyed with the notion of characterizing their Lord as a lord among many lords. The names of their God that they used were Elohim (the mighty one), Yahweh (he was, he is, he will be), or Adhonay (the Lord) (Eerdmans' Handbook 33).
The earliest account of Hinduism dates back to 1500 B.C. when men and women sacrificed animals as a normal way of approaching God or the gods. The earliest literature of this account was written in the Vedas. The Vedas were then used as hymns that the priests chanted as the sacrificed smoke ascended to the gods (Eerdmans' Handbook 32).
The Islam religion is directly related to the early Semites of Babylonia, Assyria, Syria, and Phoenicia. Their idea of God was to nationalize him into a tribal deity. For example, he was the one who helped the nation in war. This can be seen a thousand years later when Muhammad proclaimed that Allah was the Supreme Being. Allah was known as the conquering Arab tribal god (Eerdmans' Handbook 33).
Many religions have a different supreme being whom they worship. People under the Christian religion believe that there is one God; they believe he created the universe. Christianity also teaches that God sent Jesus into the world as his chosen servant to help fulfill religious duties. Many Christians view Jesus as the type of person who is interested in flowers, animals, and children, not one who is interested in a harsh world of reality (Young 3).
Buddhism rejects all the ideas of a supreme being or of a soul or self that is a reflection of the Divine (Haskins 39). Instead, they believe in Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as Buddha. Buddha believed the cause of all unhappiness is desire. The lust for power, success, money, sex, comfort and other bodily pleasures causes the ills of life. Buddha said it was not necessary to stop doing the necessities of life, but don't have a passion in doing them. Buddha denied love for self so that practical love for others was lost (Eerdmans' Handbook 44).
Judaism also teaches that there is one God. Jews believe that God wants people to do what is just and merciful. Judaism teaches that a person serves God by studying scriptures and also by practicing what the scriptures teach (Ariel 11). Judaism views God as a man who is above all living things (Ariel 12). Jews believe that God created all living things in his image and with his own characteristics (Ariel 16).
Despite a biased evaluation that Hinduism attracts the less instructed members of their community, it is apparent that Hinduism has a very great influence (Stevenson 131). Under Hinduism they worshiped many gods. Some worshiped gods that presented powers in nature, such as the rain and sun gods. Hindus also worshiped some gods in the form of animals. The most sacred animal that is worshiped is the cow. They also worship monkeys, snakes, and many other animals (Rinpoche 196).
The Islamic religion also teaches that there is only one God, Allah, and that Muhammad was God's messenger (Cassels 183). Muslims believe that God is just and merciful and that God wishes people to repent and purify themselves so that they can be in paradise after death. Allah sent prophets to teach people their duty to God and humanity (Haneef 51).
Many religions also have a different idea about life after death. Christianity teaches that all people are destined to die once, and then face judgment (Young 119). Those who were good Christians go directly to heaven. Those who were bad go to hell (Life Beyond Death 124). The Christian religion teaches that heaven will be filled with life, beauty, and joy. In heaven, there will be no death, mourning, crying, or pain. Instead, heaven will be a place of friendship where Jesus will drink wine with his disciples. All who are in heaven will be bathed in the light of the presence of God, and there will be glorious music sung in the worship of God (Young 126). Christianity strongly discourages people from attempting to get in touch with deceased loved ones by doing s'ances. Christians believe they may lead to a road of heartaches. Christianity encourages people to commit their loved ones to God and to trust in ...

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