SOME people believe that life’s journey ends with a new beginning, but others would say that life’s journey ends with an ending. It means, there is no life after death, and no soul that is going to continue to exist.
Today, believing in the soul is considered unscientific, like believing in ghosts. The word “soul” does not have the significance it used to have, not only in daily usage but also in technical fields, such as philosophy and psychology.
The word commonly used to replace “soul” is “mind”, which was used to refer to the conscious immaterial substance.
Today, the meaning has changed significantly as the word “mind” is now used as a synonym for “body”, because the mind, from the viewpoint of neurophysiology and neuropsychology, is now regarded as interchangeable with the brain.
According to this view, various aspects of our mental life can be explained in terms of the action of the brain and central nervous system. So humans, according to this view, are just physical creatures, like all other material objects. When the brain stops functioning we are simply dead, and we exist no more.
Naturally, with the rejection of the soul, life after death becomes inconceivable. Even though the thought of an eternal life may sound comforting, it has to be rejected, for the lack of what they call “scientific evidence” to support it.
The scientific unbeliever would suggest that we all face the “real” world (as they see it) rather than believe in a fairy tale.
But what is “reality”? Maybe life after death is real.
If life ends with death, then everything that we do comes to nothing. What meaning or purpose can our life possibly have?
The unbeliever would say that life gets whatever meaning one chooses to give it, and one does not need to believe in the afterlife in order, for example, to believe in truth, beauty, science, making the world a better place to live in, saving the environment, freedom of speech, democracy and tolerance.
But then again, why does all that matter if life ultimately ends in nothingness?
This brings us to the question of God as the Ultimate Reality, the Creator of all. The rejector would surely raise doubt as to whether He exists or not, or whether it is possible to know Him and His Will.
He would say if faith in God makes some people feel good he will not argue with that, but he personally prefers a more “rational”, open-minded approach to life.
He believes that one shouldn’t think that anything is true unless it is scientifically proven. But has the belief itself been scientifically proven?
So we all look at life very differently from each other, as if everyone is from a different world. Of course we do not belong to different worlds, but we do subscribe to different worldviews, as a matter of fact.
What is a worldview? A worldview is the set of lenses through which you see the world around you. It is a set of inter-related beliefs that help you make sense of your experiences.
The worldview affects the way you think, how you feel, and how you live your life. Through your worldview, you interpret life in a particular way, and because of that your worldview matters.
To understand further what a worldview is, think carefully about the big questions of life. Think and try to answer these questions. Does God exist? How did everything begin? Who am I? Why am I here? Am I living a good life? What happens after I die?
Vegetables and animals don’t think about all these things but people do. Reflecting about these questions is part of what makes us human.
In fact every one of us has a worldview, even though not everyone will be able to tell and explain what his worldview is. What is your worldview? Do you care to examine it?
Mohd Asham Ahmad is Senior Fellow at Ikim’s Centre for the Study of Syariah, Law and Politics. The views expressed here are entirely his own. The STAR Home News Columnist IKIM Views August 4, 2015