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Compare and Contrast the Ideas about What Happens after Death in Buddhism and Christianity - Research Paper Example

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Topic: In this paper, the ideas about what happens after death in Buddhism and Christianity will be compared and contrasted, as will the practice of meditation/prayers Every living entity born in the world has to go through the two distinct phases of life and death…
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Compare and Contrast the Ideas about What Happens after Death in Buddhism and Christianity
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Download file to see previous pages Death is one entity which causes the cessation of these duties. There are many definitions of death in different scriptures and religions. The scientific world describes death as a mode when there is a permanent termination of all biological functions needed to sustain a living body. The journey does not end here as there is a mention of a life after death or the beginning of the afterlife across various religions of the world. According to the second law of thermodynamics, all energetic states in nature strive to attain the most probable state thus the more disordered and the highly undifferentiated state (Koslowski 4). As such, resurrection or gaining eternal life or Nirvana would not be possible in a world that is subject to the laws of thermodynamics. It would be possible only in a world that is free from such physical laws. The theories on bodily resurrection or eternal life are based on the assumptions of ontological transformation of the dead or the matter. Eternal life – its depiction across religions There are many ways by which the theories regarding after life or life after death is explained. No single belief or faith can provide an accurate concise explanation to the same. Christianity and Islam speak about the existence of the heaven and the hell as places where the dead transcend after death. Sikhism and Hinduism also believe in the concept of reincarnation and heaven and hell. According to these religions, one’s life after death or his journey in the afterlife depend on the deeds he performs in his biological life. Good deeds lead to heaven while wrong deeds lead to hell (Ellis and White, 83). Christianity, Judaism and Islam acknowledge the apocalyptic transformation of matter and thus a realization of the afterlife (Koslowski, 4). Buddhism advocated the presence of life after death. But it does not mention the existence of heaven or hell in its religion. According to the Buddhist doctrines, human life is a cycle that consists of birth, death and rebirth. The process is a continuous one and is known as the Dharma chakra or the Samsara (Prasad, 4). According to it, living life forms a continuum of life after death that begins immediately after a person is dead. Buddhism lays great emphasis on the karma of a person. According to it, a person leaves behind his karma and his character. The force generated out of his karma brings in an entity that would be influenced by it and bear the same disposition as the dead (Prasad, 4). Afterlife as in Buddhism and Christianity Buddhism began with the teachings of Gautama Buddha to address the suffering that exists in the world. Buddhism accepts the religious philosophies of Hindu doctrines which believed in reincarnation and karma. It believes that the ultimate goal of any religious life is to attain liberation from the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Buddha said that desire and cravings for materialistic things keeps one bound to the cycle of life, death and after death. When one liberates himself completely from such material pleasures he liberates himself from the cycle and enters the state of Nirvana. Buddhism however was not focused on ultimate salvation or attaining Nirvana as the sole motive in the life of an individual. Little is said about Nirvana in the Buddhist scriptures as Buddha felt the importance of attachment, pain and sufferings. The people were encouraged to give alms to the needy, donation of goods and services, to chant or copy sutras and engage in activities to gain merit. This would lead them to think ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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