that death is not the end of human existence. However, because the
focus is on present-day life, this leaves room for interpretation
regarding the afterlife: Jews may believe in a heaven and hell,
resurrection from the dead, or reincarnation into a new body.
believe that upon death the spirit goes to the spirit world, where it
undergoes instruction and preparation. Eventually it is reunited with
the body forever. If an individual was good, he/she joins God in
heaven. If bad, however, there’s a temporary stop in hell to repent—and
if repentance doesn’t work, Hades becomes a permanent address.
Scientologists reject the notion of afterlife and heaven or hell.
Instead, the soul is immediately reincarnated into a new body. In each
life, there is the opportunity to become a better person.
concept of reincarnation is more than 10,000 years old and still
popular with 800 million Hindus. Unlike Scientologists, they believe
the soul may be reincarnated into another human or animal form.
to a recent Harris poll, 40 percent of people ages 25 to 29 believe in
some form of reincarnation, rather than going to heaven or hell.
Meanwhile, individuals wedded to scientific or rational thought say
there is no evidence of life beyond the grave, so any teaching of
immortality is simply an illusion. They contend there can be no spirit,
personality, mind or soul without a functioning brain.
all hope there is some form of existence after death, since the idea of
non-existence is so difficult to accept. Yet given our strong yearning
for immortality, it’s understandable that the faithful will vehemently
defend their beliefs, since they find them comforting and credible. ❏