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Jacob Greene
Mrs. Thomas
UWRT 1102-004
10 April 2016
Thesis Paper: A Whole New World
Reflection:
After finishing my Annotated bibliography, I felt good about the
material I had in order to write a really good thesis paper. As I began to
write, I actually found it pretty difficult to put my ideas on paper. I feel as if
maybe my initial outline for my paper wasnt as in-depth as I would have
liked it to be, leading me to areas where I wouldnt really know what to talk
about. I feel as if there is still a lot to learn about this topic, and in order to
make this paper better, I need to continue to do more research and define a
more specific outline for this paper.
Have you ever come across a moment in your lifetime where you
thought to yourself, What will happen to me after I die? Just about
everyone has come across this scenario at some point in their life; But how
many of those people actually try and dig deep enough to find an answer to
their own unresolved questions? Well, with a little bit of effort and research, I
managed to put together some bigger thought processes and beliefs on what
happens after we die from the perspective of many different views, such as
philosophical, theological, and scientific. It turns out that there really isnt a
definite answer, but rather several different opinions formed by different

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individuals, which in part leads to the religious systems we have today. This
question, that many of us ask ourselves on a daily basis, led me to my
thesis: Why do people chose to believe (or not believe) in an afterlife, and do
they actually exist.
Have you ever wondered if there really is an afterlife? And if an
afterlife does in fact exist, are there certain paths someone can take,
defined by their good and evil qualities, such as a heaven and hell? Why
do we choose to worship the thing we worship? Do we know if
supernatural gods actually exist? Is there scientific proof of their existence
somewhere? Where do religious beliefs originate from?
All of these are are questions which I had recently been developing
through my own religious beliefs. As a practicing catholic at Holy Spirit
Catholic Church in Denver, North Carolina, I have slowly begun my journey
into the concepts of religion. Unfortunately for me though, I still dont have a
very good understanding of the church and what it represents to some
people. There are many people around the world who know a lot about their
own religions, but because I was young and wasnt super interested in the
church and studying the word of God, I severely lack in the knowledge some
kids my age have. For example, my girlfriend, a Non-Denominational
Christian, always talks about her love for God, and is always telling me
stories of how God has helped her become the woman she is today. Now, at
the age of 19, I have decided I really want to take my religious studies to a
new, deeper level; A level at which I understand more about what my church

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believes in. With this new passion, I also have the urge to find out what other
religions believe in, as I am always curious about the beliefs of other people.
Due to this recent change in personality, I have wanted to begin researching
these ideas for my own religious knowledge, in order to eventually reach
eternal life in Heaven, my own religious afterlife belief. With the opportunities
handed to me to research any topic in my UWRT 1102 class at the University
of North Carolina at Charlotte, I took this to my advantage in order to learn
more about my own and others religion. A big part of many religions is their
focus on what happens after we die, in which I thought would make for a
pretty good research project. With the hypothesis of many professionals who
perform religious studies, I managed to get enough information in which to
formulate a paper on the ideas of many religious groups afterlives.
Before we start to understand what afterlives are, we need to start
with their roots: religion. Religions, according to Mircea Eliade in The Eliade
Guide to World Religions, are maps of the human mind (Eliade 7),
referring to the idea that religions are based primarily on our own individual
processes and beliefs. Often times our ideas can be swayed by the opinions
of people important to us such as our parents or close friends, which leads a
few select religions to become more popular than others, and allowing
people to categorize themselves so they dont feel alone in their journey.
Religion dates all the way back to the Stone Age, where the main purpose in
life was simply to survive. Because they didnt have the modern technologies
we do today, they had to learn was was good and bad through their own life

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experiences and stories told from those who had been around to live through
the good and bad. Because everyone in that era wanted to live, often times
the less-intelligent would look up to the smarter people in order to learn
survival instincts and how to live life effectively. These smarter individuals
were the ones who began coming up with concepts of religion. Yathish
Dhavala states that For Stone Age people, will was spirit, and they saw the
world as filled with many spirits (Dhavala). These people saw will in
everything that surrounded them, and believed that spirits encapsulated all
things. Because of this, people had things to worship and look forward to. It
made their current life on Earth less stressful and gave them hope for what
would come in the future.
The ideas of spirits and will has greatly evolved since the era of the
Stone Age, and has even been studied in much more detail. Many people
now refer spirits to supernatural beings, a make-up of religious afterlives.
According to Donald Morse, The afterlife is the purported existence after
death (life after death) (Morse 154), although not everyone may believe an
afterlife exists. The afterlife is often interpreted in different ways, depending
on different religions. As a Christian, our afterlife is made up of Heaven, the
good side led by God, while there is also a bad side, Hell, led by Satan. Many
religions, although not calling them by the same names or even believing in
the same beings, worship an afterlife similar to this one, involving a good
side, in which everyone who has fulfilled their duties goes, and a bad side,
where everyone who doesnt quite follow the rules goes. There are also

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several other options. Some religions dont believe that an afterlife exists at
all, and that once your natural life on Earth comes to an end, you are just
dead, and that is the end. Others even believe in reincarnation, where some,
after experiencing death, has been taken to another world, only to be put
back on earth in another form, such as another animal or living entity.
Several other options are possible, and again is dependent upon each and
every individual. Many views can be different when discussing the afterlife.
There are several ways in which people today are trying to learn and
prove more about the afterlife.

Follow up with ways in which people have tried to prove afterlife. Go


in detail about eschatology and NDEs, as they are the most
important in proving that afterlives exist. Give specific cases.
Works Cited

Dhavala, Yathish. "The Big Story: Origins of Religion." YouTube. YouTube, 9


Sept. 2013. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=V9mFNgu6Cww>.
Eliade, Mircea, Ioan P. Couliano, and Hillary S. Wiesner. The Eliade Guide to
World Religions. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991. Print.
Morse, Donald R. "Can Science Prove the Soul, the Afterlife and God?" The
Journal of

Religion and Psychical Research 28.3 (2005): 154-76. Academic

Search Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.

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