Is there life after death? Perhaps no other question is more fundamental to the human experience than this one. The majority of people believe in some form of the afterlife. But, the question is whether there is anything to back up these beliefs?

Do we have an innate knowledge of the afterlife in the same way that we know right and wrong? Or, are we simply participating in wishful thinking?

For the most part, life after death is a matter of faith. Whether our opinions are based on our subconscious feelings or the teachings of our religion, the afterlife is more about what we believe than what we know.

At the same time, there are several reasons that a belief in the afterlife is neither irrational nor misplaced. Here are a few reasons to believe that there really may be life after death.

Near Death Experiences Provide Evidence for the Afterlife

A near-death experience (NDE) occurs when a person dies and is brought back to life. Not all, but, a significant number, of these people report experiences that seem to indicate the existence of the afterlife. For example, some people report seeing a light at the end of a long tunnel. Others talk about meeting long lost relatives or friends. These people, quite literally, experienced life after death.

As a result, we are left with only 2 possibilities. Either NDEs are the result of random electrical impulses in the brain after our heart stops, or, they tell us something about the afterlife.

One aspect of NDEs that may point to the latter explanation is that they are strikingly similar across cultures. If they were just “random,” why wouldn’t people report all kinds of things – dancing chickens, mysterious places and unknown people? In other words, if NDEs were like dreams, there would be a stronger case to simply dismiss them as hallucinations.

Like so many other aspects of the search for life after death, NDEs do not “prove” that the afterlife exists. But, given the commonalities between these experiences, they cannot be easily dismissed either.

Science Says that Energy Can’t be Destroyed

Your mind is the sum total of the electrical energy in your brain. So, in a practical sense, what you think of as “you” is really just a pattern of energy, flowing through your brain. When you die, something has to happen to the energy that once composed your thoughts, ideas, memories and emotions.

If you are a materialist, you might believe that the energy in your brain, and in the rest of your body for that matter, simply dissipates in the form of heat. But, if you believe in the soul, which the majority of people do, then it seems likely that the soul can survive the death of your body. After all, energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred.

The Afterlife is a Universal Belief

There are multiple types of “authority-based” arguments for the existence of life after death. The first points out that, since the majority of people believe in life after death, there is likely to be some basis for this belief. After all, our brains seem to be programmed to believe in the afterlife.

On the surface, this seems like a fairly weak argument; after all, just because many people believe in something doesn’t make it true. However, while not as strong as other arguments for the existence of the afterlife, this evidence still deserves careful consideration.

For starters, our collective belief in the afterlife is deep and goes beyond organized religion. Even before the development of writing, there is evidence that societies practiced spirit worship and performed ritual burial. Is it possible that our “knowledge” of the afterlife is like our knowledge of right and wrong? After all, we don’t question our moral instincts just because we don’t know where they came from.

The second “authority-based” argument for life after death comes from the teachings of the major religions around the world. While there are differences in how the major religions view the afterlife, the belief that something happens to us after we die is fairly universal. In addition, many of the central figures in the world’s religions discussed life after death directly.

So, if you believe in the accuracy of their teachings, especially when considered in combination, you can choose to view this as evidence for the afterlife.

At the end of the day, what you believe about the afterlife is a personal matter and a question of faith. I hope that the ideas articulated here give you plenty to think about and discuss with your friends and family.

Do you believe in life after death? Why or why not? What additional reasons would you add to the ones listed in this article to support your belief in the afterlife?