The Naturalist's Concern for Death

But just because naturalists do not believe in a life after death does not mean that they don't care what happens after they die. I am deeply concerned, for instance, about whether my family members will be happy and successful after I am gone, whether my friends will continue the traditions we have established, and whether the world will be a better place because of my actions. I hope that what I do in this life will make a long-term difference in the world, though I will never know whether this ambition is fulfilled. In fact, a strong case can be made that naturalists tend to care more about these things than do religious people, since naturalists are committed to an ethic that emphasizes the causal effects of our actions in the here and now, as opposed to a mythological hope for a better life in a supernatural realm. A core belief of naturalism is that this life is the only one we will ever experience, and therefore any hope for the betterment of our lives and the lives of others must come in this lifetime.


It's my firm conclusion that human meaning comes from humans, not from a supernatural source. After we die, our hopes for an afterlife reside in the social networks that we influenced while we were alive. If we influence people in a positive way—even if our social web is only as big as a nuclear family—others will want to emulate us and pass on our ideas, manners, or lifestyle to future generations. This is more than enough motivation for me to do good things in my life and teach my children to do the same.


They are concerned about the welfare of their loved ones, and the causal effects of their life rather than rewards in an afterlife.

Folksonomies: death spirituality naturalism afterlife

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Death (0.977758): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Religion (0.966119): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Meaning of life (0.854327): dbpedia | freebase | yago
AfterLife (0.825082): dbpedia
2005 singles (0.805073): dbpedia
English-language films (0.792469): dbpedia

 Anarchy Evolution
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Graffin , Greg and Olson , Steve (2011-10-18), Anarchy Evolution, Harper Perennial, Retrieved on 2013-01-08
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  • Folksonomies: evolution science punk rebellion counter culture