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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Afterlife:
  • Expand the lead section to a full 3 or 4 paragraphs
  • Pinpoint areas to work on
  • Separate fraudulent experiments and research on this subject from that which is considered legitimate, i.e., that which is accepted as valid by the scientific community. The two categories (exposed fraud and legitimate science) should be listed in different sections under different titles. Lumping fraudulent research together with valid research may give the impression that all legitimate scientists reject the existence of life after death or, even worse, consider the very question absurd. If there is a consensus among scientists that the question of life after death is absurd, then research demonstrating the validity of this assertion should be offered. However, it seems obvious to this writer that no such consensus exists or can exist. (talk) 00:11, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Priority 2

Section headings for small religions[edit]

These are respectively the 6th and 7th largest religions in the US (link) - we have already previously spoken about that and i linked you to WP:ADHERENCESTATS They have similar figures in other western countries so i would not classify them as small. Secondly your edit made an error by placing UU's with Christians when they are distinct religions. As a compromise i have given them secion 2 level headings. Pass a Method talk 13:24, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

This article is not about different religions, it is about Afterlife. Religions are included in the article, not for the sake of having a complete list of religions, but when they have a notable point of view on Afterlife. Small religions should be mentioned where they are most relevant in the article, instead of giving each one a new section heading. (If we gave the same treatment to all religions with over a few hundred thousand members, we could have hundreds and thousands of section headings, defeating the purpose of having an encyclopedia article at all.) Thus, Wicca should be mentioned when it is talking about reincarnation, because that is where Wicca is relevant and has a notable point of view. Likewise, Unitarian Universalism should be mentioned where it's talking about universal salvation.
Re: "6th and 7th largest religions in the US": They're actually listed as 9th and 10th on the website you linked, (perhaps you omitted athiest/agnostic/secular?) and the number for Wicca is counting other pagan religions besides Wicca. Altogether these account for about 0.4% of US citizens. More importantly, this article is not just about the US or western countries.
Re: WP:ADHERENCESTATS, that's Wikipedia-space redirect to a User-space opinion essay. I don't see what "Christian POV" has to do with anything here.
~Adjwilley (talk) 23:33, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Standard Model rules out life after death[edit]

According to the Standard Model life after death is impossible. We should intergrate that fact into the article. Sean Carroll: "Just knowing that the Standard Model Of Particle Physics is the right theory of thet matter that makes up the everyday world is immediateley enough, to rule out a whole host of possible phenomena..." The fact that the Standard Model is true just rules out the existence of an afterlife. That fact should be more apparent in this article. -- (talk) 17:22, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

That is a POV assertion. Any notion or possible manifestation of an Afterlife is an un-testable idea, therefore not subject to the scientific method. The existence of an Afterlife is a scientifically un-quantifiable state, not subject to any metric test: therefore one can not say it exists or does not exist if one can not measure it. Boneyard90 (talk) 19:23, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
I think it unhelpful to work on the basis that an afterlife must be untestable and wholly separate from the material world, because quite a lot of people who believe in an afterlife claim to have found real-world evidence of it. For instance, there have been countless people who claim to communicate with the dead; of course it's a delusion and/or a scam, but in principle all we need is for one of them to be genuine and, bingo, solid evidence that an afterlife exists. By the way, why capitalise the A in afterlife? bobrayner (talk) 20:18, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Testimony is not "solid evidence". This is why we have the Scientific Method. This is why paranormal phenomena repeatedly fail scientific tests, or are not subject to them. An afterlife is not objectively measurable, thus it can not be scientifically confirmed. And no reason in capitalizing the "A". I suppose just because I was writing on the article title. Boneyard90 (talk) 21:15, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
That is not a POV assertion. Sean Carroll is a scientist who thinks completely rational and neutral based on proven theorys. -- (talk) 11:39, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
It is a POV assertion. POV stands for "Point of View". Acalycine talk 11:43, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
I know what pov stands for. Just listen to his arguments and you'll see that his conclusion is grounded in facts. -- (talk) 14:31, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Life after death is, of course, scientifically testable. So far, no test has demonstrated it, but that doesn't mean it isn't testable. Does life after death have to be testable? No to that, also. Of course, we can't test the insides of a black hole, either, so it's nothing to be upset about. Rklawton (talk) 16:00, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

To the AnonIP: Theories and hypotheses are never "proven" in science. They are supported by evidence, or the evidence fails to support them. The afterlife is not supported by evidence, however, there is no way to send any un-biased metric "into" an afterlife, therefore there is no way to test it. If an afterlife exists, there is no way to send a human "there", with objective measuring equipment, therefore there is no way, there is no hypothesis, no methodology that can support the existence of an afterlife. Therefore, it is not testable. This person, Sean Carroll, has used observable facts to conclude there is no afterlife, but all he has found is an absence of evidence, and made inferential conclusions. The simple absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It seems to be another expansion on philosophical ideas of the existence (or non-existence) of an afterlife. I probably would have no objection to the addition of his conclusions, referenced, but it can not be presented as an absolute, or factual, truth. - Boneyard90 (talk) 16:13, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

I think you have a confirmation bias. Go out and learn some physics, about the real world, and broaden your mind. -- (talk) 11:46, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I recommend you to read this article. -- (talk) 14:35, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Just like this Sean Caroll, you seem to make inferences based on minimal evidence, and assume they are confirmed. You really know nothing about me. I am trying to keep the article neutral. - Boneyard90 (talk) 15:52, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
You can live with your wishful thinking but I gonna work Sean Carrolls insight into the article soon. I don't care about hurting your dreams or wishful thingkings. The only thing I care about is the truth. -- (talk) 16:57, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
What, is this serious? I've already said: "I probably would have no objection to the addition of his conclusions, referenced". Add away. Just remember, it can't be put forth as fact, and you can't cite Youtube. - Boneyard90 (talk) 19:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Limbo section inconsistent with Limbo entry[edit]

As per the "Limbo" section

"On Friday, April 20, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI, abolished the whole idea saying he "showed doubt about the concept of limbo". He cited his concerns about it when he was a cardinal."

As per the "Limbo" main article

"Media reports that by the document "the Pope closed Limbo"[34] are thus without foundation. In fact, the document explicitly states that "the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium. Still, that same Magisterium did at times mention the theory in its ordinary teaching up until the Second Vatican Council. It remains therefore a possible theological hypothesis" (second preliminary paragraph); and in paragraph 41 it repeats that the theory of Limbo "remains a possible theological opinion". The document thus allows the hypothesis of a limbo of infants to be held as one of the existing theories about the fate of children who die without being baptised, a question on which there is "no explicit answer" from Scripture or tradition.[33] It ought also to be mentioned here that the traditional theological alternative to Limbo was not Heaven, but rather some degree of suffering in Hell. At any rate, these theories are not the official teaching of the Catholic Church, but are only opinions that the Church does not condemn, permitting them to be held by its members, just as is the theory of possible salvation for infants dying without baptism."

I am removing the sentence from the "Limbo" section in order to resolve the discrepancy as it is not at all cited while the Limbo entry section is much stronger. Cassius235 (talk) 19:40, 1 April 2014 (UTC)


The science section should represent the scientific consensus on the subject not fringe views or paranormal views from parapsychologists. I have removed unreliable references from this section sourced to YouTube videos. Goblin Face (talk) 11:30, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure there is any consensus on scientific arena on this. It is not quite logical to label the studies carried out by some -who stick to the scientific method- as parapsychology. Logos (talk) 12:52, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
The studies in question are also off-topic. 'Near-death experiences' are experiences reported by the living - any connection to a supposed 'afterlife' is pure supposition, and beyond the realm of science. If the subject were on topic, this article would of course have to reflect the scientific consensus on the subject, rather than that of fringe parapsychology. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:06, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
The removed material was/is about the people who carried out Near-death studies. You might not know that Near-death studies is not just listening to the Near-death experiences of living people. As you know, we can't correct people's views in wikipedia by excluding the material about their studies, we can just report ("the threshold for inclusion is verifiability, not truth"). Near-death studies and Near-death experiences are directly related to Afterlife, because one of the POVs see that way, so the removed material is on-topic. Logos (talk) 13:30, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Um, no. The section is labelled 'science', and the clear scientific consensus is that whatever 'near-death studies' are studying, it isn't the 'afterlife' - because that is beyond the realm of scientific explanation. We de not represent fringe claims as mainstream - and the claim that 'the afterlife' can be studied via science is about as fringe as one could get. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:50, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Which "clear scientific consensus" are you talking about, where are the references? Apart from that, the citations given in that science section are not qualified/sufficient enough to reflect a clear scientific consensus, if there is any: a letter from a psychologist and a theologist, and a Time magazine article without any citation/reference (that can imply a consensus) by a Harvard Psychology Professor. Even the former source has a statement like this: "Yet, models of perceptual and motor capacities such as color vision and gait do not directly threaten the idea of the soul. You can still believe in what Gilbert Ryle called 'the ghost in the machine' and simply conclude that color vision and gait are features of the machine rather than the ghost". Neither of the sources mention any consensus. Near-death studies are studying whether the individual's identity or consciousness continues to exist after/near the death, which is related to the afterlife. Logos (talk) 15:30, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Raymond Moody (psychologist and medical doctor), Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (psychiatrist), Pim van Lommel (cardiologist) , Sam Parnia ( Assistant professor of medicine at the State University of New York), Bruce Greyson (Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia), and Kenneth Ring (Professor Emeritus of psychology at the University of Connecticut). These are not fringe people. Editor2020, Talk 14:53, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think these ideas should be ignored, but I do think that a Near-death experience section would be sufficient. Editor2020, Talk 15:05, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
We have a section entirely dedicated to parapsychology. I have no objection to mentioning them there, but keep it to the appropriate section (and make it clear where views are a bit fringe). That said, the parapsychology section itself has major issues to do with bias towards fringe ideas. The ridiculously extensive Fontana quotation is probabbly amongst the worse, where it seems like he gets quoted simply because he's willing to put the fringe views really strongly. Adam Cuerden (talk) 16:30, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Why do we need a section named as science for a cultural topic/concept/belief? It is a quite stupid ambition/passion to insert such science sections into paranormal topics or cultural beliefs. Do prominent encyclopedias (britannica, etc.) have such a section? This section shuld be moved to Consciousness_after_death. Logos (talk) 12:48, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Because it has a section on Parapsychology and makes direct scientific claims about evidence. Subject fields are dealt with under their own standards of evidence: If something claims to have scientific backing, as many paranormal fields do, but this claim is, in fact, a fringe claim within science, then WP:FRINGE requires we comment on it. But if something is framed as mythology, we don't need to. The story of Phaethon does not present itself as a scientific claim. Creationism does.
For that matter, this is a generalist article. It should include all major viewpoints, including the view that it doesn't exist. Christianity doesn't need to discuss Buddhism or Atheism, but the general article on Religion should. Adam Cuerden (talk) 19:07, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
The grounds for inclusion can not be the existence of parapsychology section, as it may also be moved to Consciousness_after_death. Even if parapsychological studies choose to use afterlife as the term, which I suspect is the case, afterlife topic should be free from both. We should frame the subject the same as other prominent encyclopedias do. Logos (talk) 20:01, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay, and my second point, that this is a generalist article, which you have ignored? Adam Cuerden (talk) 21:38, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Afterlife#Hypotheses: Should we cut it?[edit]

I'm not convinced the parapsychologists listed are particularly representative - it's very easy to simply list people one finds that say something, rather than create an overview. I mean, one of them is cited to the comic magazine Punch, which is not a good sign, to say the least. I think cutting this section would improve the article. Adam Cuerden (talk) 04:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and cut it for now. Adam Cuerden (talk) 20:29, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

African Religions and After life?[edit]

African Religions and After life? I see Ancient Egypt but apparently it is not in Africa anymore. But we need more African religions included. --Inayity (talk) 10:04, 27 September 2014 (UTC)