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In philosophy, religion, mythology, and fiction, the afterlife (also referred to as life after death or the Hereafter) is the concept of a realm, or the realm itself (whether physical or transcendental), in which an essential part of an individual's identity or consciousness continues to exist after the death of the body in the individual's lifetime. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity. Belief in an afterlife, which may be naturalistic or supernatural, is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.


  • He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
  • The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife – a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife, but no one will know where it's being held.
  • Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.
    • Wernher von Braun as quoted in Gravity's Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon; also quoted as: Everything science has taught me— and continues to teach me— strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. Nothing disappears without a trace.
  • How do we know there is an afterlife? Because the Bible says so. How do we know that the Bible is correct? Because God wrote it. How do we know that God wrote it? Because it says so in the Bible. Yes, we have to admit this is circular reasoning, and those outside the circle are unlikely to accept it.
  • Sunt aliquid Manes: letum non omnia finit,
    Luridaque evictos effugit umbra rogos.
    • There is something beyond the grave; death does not end all, and the pale ghost escapes from the vanquished pyre.
    • Propertius Elegies IV, vii, 1.
  • If this life is all there is, there is no basis for any meaning, hope, purpose, or significance to life. Everything in your life would simply be a random change of fate at best, or an accident at worst. Your life, and your death, would not matter at all. The logical end of such a life is despair. Moreover, we can forget about being decent or ethical, with no basis for human dignity, rights, or liberty.
    • Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church and author of "The Purpose Driven Life," in "Lifer After Death" by Dinesh D'Souza, 2009, the foreword, pgs. x-xi.
  • As you intend to live hereafter, it is in your power to live here.

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