The debate "The concept of an afterlife is detrimental as it places value on what is to come rather than what is" was started by
April 22, 2015, 4:20 pm.
15 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 15 people are on the disagree side.
There is a tie in this debate, post your arguments, call some reinforcements and break this tie.
stantinou93 posted 1 argument, Sosocratese posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
PsychDave posted 3 arguments to the disagreers part.
stantinou93, Sosocratese, transfanboy, I_Voyager, sighnomore99, skyfrancois_97, soullesschicken and 8 visitors agree.
PsychDave, pretty_twin, Shahmir, wmd, debater and 10 visitors disagree.
It cam breed that kind of fanaticism, but so can any other closely held belief. Ethnic cleansing has occurred that was not based on an attempt to get into paradise. To day that it is the belief rather than the fanatics is unfair.
Charities frequently benefit from religious people. Even if the sole reason someone gives money to an organization to help people in a third world nation is to improve their immortal standing, people still see the benefits of their donation. There are many religiously based groups that do good work around the globe and, as it is part of their religion, they are at least partially doing it so that after they die they will go to paradise. Whether their actions are actually altruistic is debatable, but the result is still an improvement in the lives of those helped by the charity.
The believe in an afterlife is a dangerous one. Especially when it also comes with stipulations and/or guarantees. In Islam for example, martyrdom is a guaranteed way to get into paradise. In Christianity, crusaders were promised paradise to go fight in a holy war. The concept of an afterlife breeds a kind of death cult if dying for that cult guarantees paradise.
While I am sure there are people who fit that description, the vast majority of people I have met who are religious and believe in an afterlife feel assured of their place in it. The afterlife provides motivation for them, but rather than fear it provides comfort. Without the concept of an afterlife, death leads to oblivion. With it it leads to being reunited with loved ones and happiness. I would say that the lack of a concept of an afterlife can provide the same stress and fear of the future you are describing. They are not worried about their acceptance into heaven, but terrified of being consigned to oblivion upon their death.
But if one needs a motive to be a good person then they are always going to be living in the future, and most likely living in fear; as you can not know if you have do enough to be accepted into the afterlife and if they are "good enough". So one becomes trapped in this conceptual thought of the future which becomes of greater significance than the immediate reality i.e life.
The afterlife provides an extrinsic reward for positive behavior. If someone is inclined toward being a good person without any expectation of a reward, they will be a good person no matter what. If someone wants to be a good person, but needs something to motivate them, an afterlife gives them a goal to work towards.