Author Topic: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?  (Read 1161 times)

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Offline lotanddaughters

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Just as on this forum we have successfully determined that Christians don't really act like they believe in the bullshit-promises that have been pounded into their vulnerable, "optimistic" minds, do we atheists, who contemplate the substantial possibility that this is the only consciousness that we are so extremely lucky to even have, truly act like our infinitely miniscule time is ticking toward infinite nonexistence?
Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline Aerial

Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 08:57:25 PM »
Nope I do not act as if we only have one chance at life.
Expecting to regret it greatly on my death bed.

Offline Nam

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 09:02:03 PM »
What does this have to do with Science?

But to answer your question: I would like Elysium to exist[1] but, I know it doesn't. What we like and what we know are always, or at least seem to be, separate most times.

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 1. not the bastardized version, the original one
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Offline kin hell

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 09:09:54 PM »
KNOW capitalised? .....well no.

Believe? ....yes.

Act as if?  ...I'm with Aerial.  The minutiae of living overwhelms the one truth of life (that this too shall pass).
It's probably a survival trait so as not to drive one mad with the constant awareness of inevitable mortality.

Try to live life as if?  ...as often as possible, but I am starting to realise that as I get older (ex/current adrenaline junkie or not), I am really quite a coward. 
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Aerial

Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 09:18:30 PM »

It's probably a survival trait so as not to drive one mad with the constant awareness of inevitable mortality.


On that, I tried for a while to practice the mindfulness of impermanence. After a couple of friends died and I looked for solace in Buddhism.
It actually did help quite a lot, and not as depressing as one might think, but it is so hard to maintain.
If one is going to live by their beliefs fully, in this case, that life is impermanent...I think they have to devote a lot of energy to it.

Offline Nam

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 09:23:23 PM »
I shortly attempted Jainism but it seemed too much for me; though I hold the religion in high respect.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 09:25:48 PM »
I do not know. I like to pretend I can cherish every moment of everyday and enjoy this life to the fullest. I don't, I take it for granted like everyone else. I don't live as though there is an afterlife, I'm just not too good at "seizing the moment".

Edit:Spelling error.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 09:30:27 PM by Kimberly »
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline none

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 09:29:20 PM »
Just as on this forum we have successfully determined that Christians don't really act like they believe in the bullshit-promises that have been pounded into their vulnerable, "optimistic" minds, do we atheists, who contemplate the substantial possibility that this is the only consciousness that we are so extremely lucky to even have, truly act like our infinitely miniscule time is ticking toward infinite nonexistence?
I do.

Offline wright

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 09:33:26 PM »
Interesting question. Do you mean in terms of accomplishing set goals (raising a family, getting that damn book written, bungee-jumping off Washington's nose on Mt. Rushmore), the whole bucket-list thing?

For me, I do and don't act that way. I'll be fifty this year; though I probably have another thirty years or so (barring accident), the reality of my death is something I intellectually accept. I don't like it, but I do acknowledge it.

I've made certain preparations: a living will, what I want done with my remains, etc. And I'm moving ahead with certain goals: getting my poetry honed and published, for example.

But certainly there's no sense of urgency in these things. I'm a bit over my optimum weight, but otherwise in moderately good physical shape; no serious health issues (so far). If something were to happen that cut those estimated thirty additional years by half or more, that would definitely light a fire under me.

I suspect my attitude is partly personal temperament and partly a failure to fully grasp my impending death as real. Intellectually I know that all living things die, that several people and animals close to me have died, but I'm still in denial at some level about my own death. That somehow, I'm different.
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 09:52:09 PM »
What does this have to do with Science?

Of all the categories, I feel that this is the most appropriate. What do youthink?
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 10:03:52 PM »
Just as on this forum we have successfully determined that Christians don't really act like they believe in the bullshit-promises that have been pounded into their vulnerable, "optimistic" minds, do we atheists, who contemplate the substantial possibility that this is the only consciousness that we are so extremely lucky to even have, truly act like our infinitely miniscule time is ticking toward infinite nonexistence?
I do.

You are saying that you truly act like your infinitely miniscule time is ticking toward infinite nonexistence. Currently, you have 1.686 posts per day on this forum. Maybe you should tone that down a bit, considering that there are many aspects of life that you haven't fully explored that are much more rewarding than this.
Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2012, 05:38:11 AM »
Just as on this forum we have successfully determined that Christians don't really act like they believe in the bullshit-promises that have been pounded into their vulnerable, "optimistic" minds, do we atheists, who contemplate the substantial possibility that this is the only consciousness that we are so extremely lucky to even have, truly act like our infinitely miniscule time is ticking toward infinite nonexistence?

What would you suggest is the way to "truly" act as if we're mortal?  When we're dead, we're dead--just like before we were born.  So it's not as if we'll spend eternity alone in darkness wishing, if only we had spent every moment of life bungie jumping, hang-gliding, skydiving, having sex with lots of attractive members of the desired gender, trying every drug at least once, and never wasting a precious moment posting on an internet forum. 

You are saying that you truly act like your infinitely miniscule time is ticking toward infinite nonexistence. Currently, you have 1.686 posts per day on this forum. Maybe you should tone that down a bit, considering that there are many aspects of life that you haven't fully explored that are much more rewarding than this.

True, there are more rewarding things, like maybe a white-water rafting trip.  But those more rewarding things also have higher costs in money and time.  So, assuming that "none" enjoys posting on this Forum, given that it costs nothing to post, and at a mere 1.686 posts/day (including some as short as "I do."), the reward/cost ratio for posting is arguably higher than for some other activities, like, say, "Make ten million dollars."  The latter has a higher reward, but it will also probably take decades of hard work and long hours each day--and no time for whitewater rafting trips, either.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2012, 08:00:53 AM »
.....Currently, you have 1.686 posts per day on this forum. Maybe you should tone that down a bit, considering that there are many aspects of life that you haven't fully explored that are much more rewarding than this.

Sez who?   :P

Seriously though, who is to say that posting here ISN'T high up on his - on anyone's - list of "rewarding behaviour"?  What are we talking about when we say something is "rewarding" anyway?

Whatever reward we get for behaviour, whether they be a buzz, a trophy, a hug, a big cash prize.....none of them have any objective worth - all of them mean different things to different people.  I think ultimately, what we do that we believe is rewarding is something that makes us happy, to some degree.  That may not be an immediate happiness - getting up in the night for a sick child is hardly my idea of fun - and may be more of a thoughtful, longer term happiness (that I have a child who is well and gives me an appreciative hug). 

But if neither of those applied?  If I appreciated neither the immediate getting-up-in-the-night NOR any of the long-term effects of that action?  Well, then I wouldn't find it "rewarding" in any way and so I doubt I'd be doing it.

So I think I can - for the most part, anyway - echo none and say that yes, I DO live life knowing that this is it.  I do the things that are rewarding, while knowing that many times I have to sacrifice the immediate reward for the longer-term reward.  For example, do I like working?  Heck no.  But I like buying my "toys" a lot too, and know that without one I couldn't do the other.

And I could - right now - be playing PotBS or reading my Bill Bryson or painting my Arachnid Tanker Bug.....but right now I am enjoying the intellectual stimulation that reading and posting on this forum gives me.  When it stops being rewarding, I will stop posting - a while back, it did, so so did I.  But today it ain't, so I am.

Live life knowing this is the only one?  Yes.  The majority of the time, at least.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2012, 08:45:55 AM »
If something were to happen that cut those estimated thirty additional years by half or more, that would definitely light a fire under me.
For me, this lighting-a-fire-under-me feeling is what I need even when it could be another 30 years.
But those more rewarding things also have higher costs in money and time. 

My wife and I had a friend who worked at McDonalds and maxed out credit cards like there was no tomorrow - I can't do it, but part of me wants to.  There is a fun play that starred Jason Robards called "You can't take it with you" where a family lives just like that.
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Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2012, 09:04:14 AM »
I have always thought that one of the worst pieces of advice I've ever heard (and we've all heard it) is, "Live each day as if it were your last." It seems like such a profound and powerful philosophy, but at its core it is simply not practical. I mean, if I knew for sure this was my last day to live, I certainly wouldn't bother going to work. I don't even know that I'd call in to tell them.

Then I would probably just spend as much of my remaining time as possible with my family and doing my best to express how much I love and appreciate them. Maybe we'd have my last meal at a nice restaurant that we normally wouldn't go to because its too expensive. I'd probably do some scratch recordings of all the songs I've started that I think my co-writers might want to help finish.

Hell, I don't know exactly what I'd do, all I know is that I would not do the daily-grind work/traffic jams/pick-up-the-dry-cleaning kind of drudgery that actually needs to be done[1]to help ensure that the days that follow will be more livable for me and my family. You know, the practical stuff.
 1. Assuming its not actually one's last day to live, of course.
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2012, 02:47:34 PM »
What would you suggest is the way to "truly" act as if we're mortal?

I actually don't have a suggestion. I had a few drinks and started wondering about the topic and wanted to see what others thought.

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  When we're dead, we're dead--just like before we were born.  So it's not as if we'll spend eternity alone in darkness wishing, if only we had spent every moment of life bungie jumping, hang-gliding, skydiving, having sex with lots of attractive members of the desired gender, trying every drug at least once, and never wasting a precious moment posting on an internet forum.

That's a good point. I think time is relative to the observer, so to a dead person 1 second or 1,000,000 years probably feels the same. 

Quote
True, there are more rewarding things, like maybe a white-water rafting trip.  But those more rewarding things also have higher costs in money and time.  So, assuming that "none" enjoys posting on this Forum, given that it costs nothing to post, and at a mere 1.686 posts/day (including some as short as "I do."), the reward/cost ratio for posting is arguably higher than for some other activities, like, say, "Make ten million dollars."  The latter has a higher reward, but it will also probably take decades of hard work and long hours each day--and no time for whitewater rafting trips, either.

Reward/cost ratio . . . huh. Another fair point, Mr. Crady.
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2012, 03:03:38 PM »
Good post, Anfauglir.


This excerpt was possibly worthy of being included in some "Quote Of The Day" collections:

When it stops being rewarding, I will stop posting - a while back, it did, so so did I.  But today it ain't, so I am.

Live life knowing this is the only one?  Yes.  The majority of the time, at least.
Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2012, 03:09:25 PM »
Hell, I don't know exactly what I'd do, all I know is that I would not do the daily-grind work/traffic jams/pick-up-the-dry-cleaning kind of drudgery that actually needs to be done[1]to help ensure that the days that follow will be more livable for me and my family. You know, the practical stuff.
 1. Assuming its not actually one's last day to live, of course.

I don't know exactly what I'd do either. I guess if you don't truly know it's your last day, you can't truly live it like it's your last day.
Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2012, 06:49:53 PM »
I was told I would enjoy life more if I stopped being a glass is half empty kinda person. Basically I spend most of my life expecting the worst and being prepared for the worst should it happen. I'm constantly in a state of prevention to avoid problems. If I can't avoid them I prepare for them. It's tedious and high stress. I'm not sure when or why I developed this method but I currently rationalize it by enjoying the reward when something better happens. I guess I'm some what of a pessimist. I just really hate being disappointed so I prefer to expect the worst of people, places, and things.

I do think it cuts my experiences short, limits my life interactions, and prevents me from thoroughly enjoying this life. I'd love to be a glass is half full kinda person but then I'd have to learn how to deal with unexpected disappointments! I wish I could live every day like it's my last, hug my kids more, tell people I love them, and just generally express more love. But that's not me, who I am, or how I'm wired.

I strive to be a better version of myself all the time. But sometimes I think we have to accept that we can't live up to our own potential/expectations. It would be exhausting!!!
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline jetson

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2012, 07:09:25 PM »
Is modern life in western societies too complex?  Are there just too many choices out there?  Have we completely over-complicated what could otherwise be a much more simple and meaningful life?  Do less modern societies actually have it better, at least in some ways, than more modern societies?

Humans seem destined to "progress" towards some unknown idea of "better".  And built in to that progress, is the idea that life will somehow be better, that we will reach some point where we are happy, or satisfied.  On the other hand, there are many people who seemingly have what others can only dream about (I'm not talking about wealth).  They have some sense of satisfaction, or some sense of a connection with themselves that allows them to be satisfied with their lives.

We are also saddled with the cultural pressure to "succeed".  But the definition of success that is most strongly portrayed and worshipped, is monetary wealth and material possessions.  So, as a result, so many of us chase that goal, erroneously thinking we will find happiness. 

On the philosophical side, we have all heard, repeatedly, that happiness is within and should be embraced.  But that is nebulous, and unsatisfying.  It is elusive to many for various reasons, obviously. 

Personally, I can take inventory and feel good about where I am at.  But simultaneously, I can easily complain about what I have not been able to accomplish.  Without the litany of excuses, I can only say that I simply failed to persist towards those things that I thought were so important.  Most of them turned out to be hobbies at best, but a few remain troubling to me.

I have indeed wished I could take another shot at it!

As far as the future, technically I have lived 2/3 of my life.  I'm 50 this year, and I suppose I could live another 30 if I stay healthy and lucky.  What can I do to fill some of the gaps I feel today?  I don't really know, but I think about it a lot.  Thanks for the gentle reminder!

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2012, 07:23:27 PM »
If we all truly lived as if every day was our last, none of the stuff that is necessary for normal survival would get done. Who would wash a load of laundry, scoop up the dog poop, take out the trash, go grocery shopping, gas up the car, return the library books, clean out the fridge?

Like dumpster said, who would even go in to work?

Luckily, most of us manage to do some of the things we want to do in our lives before it is over. I have few regrets, having done many interesting, maybe even important things and experienced a lot of happiness. I would still like to write books and work more with animals.

But living as if this is our last chance, every day? Not likely. Now I have to go out and mow the lawn.... :angel:
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2012, 09:08:58 PM »
Is modern life in western societies too complex?  Are there just too many choices out there?  Have we completely over-complicated what could otherwise be a much more simple and meaningful life?  Do less modern societies actually have it better, at least in some ways, than more modern societies?

I feel for every time saver we create the less time I have to spend.
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2012, 01:15:52 AM »
I live each day like I have bills to pay and a daughter to take care of... throw in a little bit of fun on the side.

Offline inveni0

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2012, 10:22:51 AM »
I know that this is the only life we have.  How do I know?  Because when we die, we die.  We don't appear in sunsets or rises.  We aren't the butterfly that lands on our loved one's shoulder because they know we liked butterflies.  We aren't a summer breeze, and we aren't a song in an elevator.  We are dead.  Gone.  Finished.

The only possible way our consciousness could live on is if there is a single "great" consciousness, something that our brain taps into.  And the only reason we have a sense of self is because our brain assembles that consciousness into a sense of self.  IF this is true, then when the brain dies, our individual portal to this consciousness would also die.  And we'd be no more as an individual.

Unfortunately, all evidence says that this is NOT true.  But again, even if it were, we'd still be dead and gone.

This is it.  Our only life.  Live it so that you're happy and loved, and that those who love you are loved in return.
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2012, 10:53:13 AM »
I do not 'know', but due to the lack of evidence I have not reason to believe there's an afterlife, just as I have no reason to believe in the existence of God, Big Foot, The Loch Ness Monster or Spongebob Squarepants. I do not know of their non-existence either, but of course the burden of proof if with anybody who makes any positive claims.

I would say based on what we know about human life - we know a lot about our thought processes and our brains and how that relates to consciousness and we know that when one dies we lose all that and no part of the brain is functional. We have no reason to suggest all this data is imprinted into a 'soul'. Based on what we know, it's highly unlikely and to suggest so would be nothing more than fantasy. Something like a Near Death Experience is not enough to serve as evidence, simple because what the subjects are experiencing could be hallucinations - I'm sure a psychologist and a priest experiencing an NDE would have completely different ways of describing their experience. The psychologist would probably have more substance behind their explanation too because they'd have some expertise on how the brain works and of course a priest's beliefs are based on faith and not evidence.

So in essence, I believe that there's no life after death, but I do not know. How do I live my life? I live it like it's the only one I've got, there are no second chances. ;)
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Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Who, on this forum, KNOWS that this is the only "life" we have?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2012, 05:22:35 PM »
Can anyone remember their previous life? Obviously not, so the question itself is totally irrelavant, simply because even if it was true; based on my current experience of not remembering my previous life - I'm pretty sure based on this undeniable experience; who or whatever I was in the 'next life' wouldn't have a clue about the life I'm living now.

Would be pretty awesome rembering someone elses thoughts, you'd be like "Cheers previous life, now I know not to waste a day of my life watching star wars."

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