What if there's an afterlife but no God?


What do you think that "real religion" is?

Any type of education that aid one in the pursuit of self-realisation.
Self-realisation is to understand one's essential nature, the point of which is to ultimately join with it's source.
The source is what we would call God, or the Supreme Being.

I use the word 'religion' in the way that it's used in academic religious studies.

I cut out the middle man prefering to use it as it was originally intended.

MR speculated that there might be an afterlife, even if Christianity isn't true. You attacked him (and seemingly the rest of us along with him) because he/we didn't cite what you called "scripture". You didn't define the word 'scripture' and you didn't specify which particular religious writings you were referring to.

Why you require a definition of scripture god only knows, but as far as defs go this one will suffice.

The trouble with MR's speculation was that he used religion but decided to do away with it but steal the concept of ''afterlife''. This seems to be the way forward ''let's nick religious values, take the credit for it, and get rid of religion''.
You cannot separate scripture from real religion because that is the information for the spiritual aspect of the human being. What you tend to get is major human catastrophe's (ultimately), when irreligion becomes dominent.

Of course your whole objection might have been poorly conceived since MR was seemingly wondering about the possibilities of an afterlife even if NO religious traditions, and their associated 'scriptures', happen to be true. (He stated his first post in terms of Christianity, but I expect that he'd agree with my broadening of his thesis to include other traditions as well.)

MR's wonderings of an afterlife IS the point of religion. The portion of the human being that can be in an afterlife state, is the subtle body, or the personality (including mind and ego), which is precisely the portion that religion is concerned with. Of course it is also concerned with the physical body as the vehicle that the personality acts within, in the sense that it is to be purified of unecessary actions that can cause one to remain in ignorance. In short he was caught with his hands in the cash register.

There are certainly religions that imagine human beings eventually evolving into a god-like state.

There is certainly alot of crap out there, and you'll find that, like MR, they pick and choose their own values, either bypassing scripture, changing scripture to suit themselves, or writing documents that are considered scriptural by their followers. This is ''irreligion'' the opposite of real religion.
The meaning of ''religion'' taken from the latin ''re-ligare'' meaning to bind again, means to bind with God, and the only way one can learn how to do this is to somehow or other understand scripture, and unless you can show any other way to do this, we have to conclude there is no other way. The idea of wanting to become a god, is no different than wanting to buy the house on the hill, and live the lifestyle. It has nothing to do with religion.

(In religious studies that's called 'deification' and the idea isn't uncommon.) The Jains are an example. As I understand it, the Jains don't imagine these evolved individual selves eventually merging into a single entity. Instead, they form kind of a heavenly society of omniscient beings. They imagine the universe (not just our physical universe but all the higher and lower planes as well) in the form of a giant cosmic human body. As selves evolve or devolve, they rise or fall in this cosmos. So the most highly evolved deified selves end up rising all the way into the cosmos' head, and form what Jains apparently literally imagine to be the cosmos' collective godhead.

As far as I understand, the Jains source of religion stems from vedas, which basically informs us that we do evolve or transmigrate from one species to the next (including gods and celestial beings) (most likely where the Darwin machinary got it's license). Like most Indian religious traditions, the jain's objective is moksha liberation from samsara the wheel of birth and death (transgressing through the millions of species throughout the universes.

What you are describing there seems to be what religious studies calls 'syncretization'. It's the tendency to combine what were originally distinct religious traditions into one. The so-called 'pagan' religion of the ancient Roman empire was famously syncretistic. When the Romans took over places like Celtic Gaul, they simply identified the various Celtic gods worshipped there as culturally different versions of their own gods. When strange gods from the east (Isis, Serapis etc.) appeared in Rome, many people simply worshipped them as if they were new additions to the Roman pantheon. Some historians speculate that this 'it's really ultimately all the same' syncretistic tendency helped early Christianity gain a foothold in the empire. (Of course the Christians never accepted syncretism and emphasized the other extreme: we have the one true religion and everyone else is an idolator.)

The very idea of calling it ''syncretization'' is for me kind of disturbing, as it is painfully obvious from scriptural sources that the objective is the same, albeit on different levels (no different to any other kind of education system). There seems to be an awful lot of effort in concealing this fact, and running with the idea that every scripture, every religious tradition based on scripture, is just making it up as they go along. I suppose it coincides with the idiotic idea that early man invented the scriptures to explain stuff he didn't have a natural explanation for.

Another place where a similar ancient syncretistic tendency existed and where it's survived down to the present day is India. Today's Hinduism is kind of a grab-bag of ideas and deities that probably had separate origins but over the centuries were rolled together and combined into one larger tradition. The Upanishadic Brahman, Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna, Shakti, Kali, you name it. Personal gods, impersonal cosmic principles, monotheistic deities, polytheism, and many strands of often inconsistent religious philosophy.

''Hinduism'' is kind of complex, because the term is manmade, describing a people from a particular part of India. What we regard as ''hinduism'', again , stems from the vedas and it known as sanatan-dharma loosely described as ''the eternal occupation of the soul''. Like all polytheistic cultures they still worship Vishnu as God (some worship Shiva as God, but that's a different topic). They understand that the devas (demi-gods) are part and parcel of God's cosmic universal form, acting as superintendant and caretaker of their specific regions. They are powerful beings who can offer many things, but they cannot offer liberation, only God can do that because only He is in full knowledge of everything.

The obvious question this raises is whether it's really possible to smear religious traditions together that were originally separate, without losing some of those religions' most basic tenets. For example, we can smear Judaism, Christianity and Islam together, but can we preserve the unique divinity and salvational role of Christ when we do it? If we try to incorporate the trinity, can we preserve the unique monotheism of Judaism and Islam? My point is that while we might create a viable new religion if we combined Judaism, Christianity and Islam, that new religion wouldn't be Judaism, Christianity or Islam. It would be something new.

If the basic tenets contradict their objective, then traditions have already become lost, and we're dealing with irreligion.
The salvational role of Christ was to inform some people that they are not there bodies, that after it's anihilation you still are. So let's concentrate on that essential thing. Kind of like, if you are drowning, and I fail to save your life, but emerge with your garments, would that be acceptable to your family and friends.

Religion is purely about coming out of the system of birth and death, and returning to our natural, spiritual, position, sac, cit, ananda.

Then do it. Start a thread and introduce your new topic. I'm not sure whether you want to discuss particular scriptures, the concept of 'scripture' itself, or what. It might be an interesting thread.

I've tried but it tend's to get rail roaded by morons whose jobs seems to be perpetuating the idea that religion is an idea made by their descendants to explain stuff they didn't understand but had a burning desire to know.

Your arrival in this thread was an attack on the rest of us for ignoring 'scripture'. (Despite the fact that 'scriptures' are irrelevant to the topic of the thread, which was essentially what if an afterlife exists even if the various religious scriptures aren't true.) Then you added your little kicker about how the rest of us are 'afraid' to study 'scripture'.

Firstly, it wasn't an attack. Secondly, 'scriptures' is absolutely relevant when discussing religion, and understanding what it actually is, which is most probably why they are at the forefront of being attacked, discredited, and as such NOT ALLOWED in any discussion regarding religion. Without scriptures (spoken/read) we would be no different to any other animal. As it stands there is a gulf of differenc between us with regard to ability. While other animals may out rank us in physical abilities, we have the power of the human mind and brain to excel anything they can achieve (speed, sight, strength, etc..).

I believe there is a fear for some to study scripture because they will be forced to accept that there is something more than what they are prepared to believe, and they will have to eventually drop the lame excuse ''I don't believe in God because of lack of evidence''.

That was just your attempt to get people going emotionally because you like to play empty back-and-forth games, and I called you on it.

I don't even see why you're jumping on this bandwagon. I'm a human being and I have got something to say on this subject matter. The current propagandic noise that's being generated here is not only stale, but long overdue (I've been here a good few years now). I would have thought that you would have noticed by now that I'm being attacked, ignored, and what have you because I tend to bypass this stale bullshit and talk about actual religion. It's time!

Believe anything you want, I don't care. But if this all just private to you, then why were you attacking the rest of us for thinking about other possibilities? As soon as you do that, you are implying that your 'scriptures' aren't just authoritative to you, but also that they should be authoritative to the rest of us as well. And that much stronger claim needs to be defended.

Whether or not something is authoritative has no bearing on what the thing is.
These forums are called ''Sciforums'', the ''Sci...'' meaning science (i suspect), and ''science'' meaning ''knowledge''. The only people who would dismiss scriptures as integral to religion are ignorant or devicive. The only people who would honestly regard scriptures as fiction painstakingly written by prehistoric man are idiots, ignorants, or devicive.