As far as I know, everyone knows that they will die eventually. Often though, people don’t talk about it. Lately it’s been on my mind a lot.
The reason people avoid this subject is most likely because there are disagreements on what happens after death.
Some people believe that people either go to heaven or hell. This is the general idea taught in the Bible, and it’s the one that I currently think is true. The most confusing debate is the reason people go to either of these places. Some think that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. That’s actually not what the Bible teaches nor can anybody agree on what good or bad deeds someone would have to do to deserve eternal reward or punishment. The main lesson of the new testament is that Jesus somehow paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross and that by believing this we go to heaven. Even as I write it I must admit that it doesn’t make sense to my brain, but I just wanted to define this before I mention the two alternate ideas about what happens after death.
The next idea is reincarnation. That generally means that after one life ends, then another begins in some other type of body. This new body could be another human, animal, plant, or maybe something else. I don’t really think that this would be a good idea unless someone could choose what they would be reborn as. If I could choose, I would probably want to be some kind of flying bird.
The next idea is oblivion, the idea that after death, people just don’t exist anymore. This idea is probably the easiest to understand and certainly sounds a lot better than either going to hell or being reborn as a cockroach. Of course some would rather go to heaven, but at least if you don’t exist, then you don’t care.
So far, those are the current theories I know of that people say happen after death.
I think that the way people live their lives is directly affected by what they think death is. For example, if you believe that someone doesn’t exist after they die, then what difference does it make how long they live or what they do. If you think that someone is doomed to go to hell if they haven’t accepted Jesus as their savior, then naturally you want to tell them about him before they die.