This article states reality as clearly and as bluntly as possible:
Why do we wonder where our mind goes when the body is dead? Shouldnâ€™t it be obvious that the mind is dead, too?
Yes, it should be obvious to anyone with a brain, who is willing to use that brain rationally. Unfortunately, most are not willing to accept reality:
And yet people in every culture believe in an afterlife of some kind or, at the very least, are unsure about what happens to the mind at death.
The author labels these beliefs, rightfully, as irrational. He then goes on to explain from where such beliefs might arise:
Back when you were still in diapers, you learned that people didnâ€™t cease to exist simply because you couldnâ€™t see them. Developmental psychologists even have a fancy term for this basic concept: â€œperson permanence.â€ Such an off-line social awareness leads us to tacitly assume that the people we know are somewhere doing something. As Iâ€™m writing this article in Belfast, for example, my mindâ€™s eye conjures up my friend Ginger in New Orleans walking her poodle or playfully bickering with her husband, things that I know she does routinely.
As Iâ€™ve argued in my 2006 Behavioral and Brain Sciences article, â€œThe Folk Psychology of Souls,â€ human cognition is not equipped to update the list of players in our complex social rosters by accommodating a particular personâ€™s sudden inexistence. We canâ€™t simply switch off our person-permanence thinking just because someone has died. This inability is especially the case, of course, for those whom we were closest to and whom we frequently imagined to be actively engaging in various activities when out of sight.
And so person permanence may be the final cognitive hurdle that gets in the way of our effectively realizing the dead as they truly areâ€”infinitely in situ, inanimate carbon residue. Instead itâ€™s much more â€œnaturalâ€ to imagine them as existing in some vague, unobservable locale, very much living their dead lives.
That makes some sense, if you are irrational. A rational person, on the other hand, accepts reality and updates the status board for dead people without any difficulty.
It’s an interesting article, but it leaves a gaping hole, which is this: Given that irrational people can’t handle the idea of death, why do they have to create so much religious nonsense to go along with it? To see how ridiculous the nonsense gets, look at this comic:
The absurdity is painful. In this case, Christianity has a complete story for what happens after death, and the story includes things like demons and eternal torture. It’s nuts. Apparently there is still no explanation for where such absurdity comes from, nor why anyone in their right mind would believe one bit of it.
If you are a Christian, and you are starting to realize that the afterlife story of Christianity is ridiculous, this web site can help you to see reality clearly:
In particular, turn to Chapter 27, which talks about death: When you die, you die