Reincarnation – What a Stupid Idea

Sikh and ye shall find.

I spend a lot of time on here picking on Christianity, as well as bashing Judaism and Islam. This is because these religions are the ones I am most familiar with. However I’ve been known to tear other religions a new one from time to time, like I did with Wicca. So I’ve decided it’s time to beat up one of the main tenets of a number of Eastern religions: reincarnation.

For those six people who don’t know, reincarnation is a concept that holds that when people die they are later reborn into new bodies with no memories of their old lives. The idea here is that each time they die the soul knows what happened in the previous life and can make better choices in the new one.

Well, this is just a dumb idea.

For starters simple math precludes this notion. If there’s six-and-a-half billion people on the planet and there were less in the past, where did all the “new” souls come from? Ok, maybe they came from animals, but there’s more of those than there were in the past, too.

Second, what proof is there of this? None. We don’t have any at all. Basically someone sat down one day and made it up. Some people like to say past life regression is proof, but it’s only proof of an active imagination. We don’t even have any proof that souls themselves exist.

Third, how are the mechanics of this supposed to work, exactly? Who decides what you’re born back into? People like to claim that Buddhism isn’t a religion (it totally is), but if that’s the case, who is it that says that, for example, George W will be reborn as a slug?

Fourth, the fact that you don’t remember your previous lives doesn’t really make any sense. If you don’t remember what mistakes you’ve madein previous lives, how are you supposed to apply those lessons to your current life?

Fifth, why is this desirable? I’ll admit, it’s better than going to Hell for all eternity, but come on. An endless cycle of death and rebirth broken only by merging with the Godhead or whatever? No thanks. I’ll stick to oblivion.

This life is the only one you get, folks. There’s absolutely no proof otherwise. None. I don’t care if 99% of the people in the world believe in an afterlife, there’s no proof one exists. Accept that this is the only existence you get and live accordingly. You’ll probably enjoy yourself a lot more. 🙂


16 Responses to “Reincarnation – What a Stupid Idea”

  1. PiedType Says:

    Dude, you’re such a killjoy. 😉

  2. Rob Says:

    I actually like the concept of reincarnation. The idea that we are all time travellers appeals to me. I may not KNOW it but I will be living 100 years from now… 500 years from now…

    Unlike so many other people, though, just because I LIKE it doesn’t mean I believe in it. If I had to choose a favorite it would totally be this!

    • Chris Says:

      Yeah… but if you don’t remember things from one life to the next, what’s the point? Besides, in a sense we do continue on forever. The constituent atoms in our bodies have existed since the start of the universe and will continue to exist until the end. From that point of view, we’re eternal, and I think that’s pretty neat!

      • Rob Says:

        It doesn’t MATTER that I don’t remember. The fact is that for every point from now until the end of time I will be sentient and experiencing the universe. How is that NOT better than “oblivion?” If all we have after life is OBLIVION then why bother giving a crap at all about anything? Why not just kill ourselves now and bring about the inevitable?

        Atoms aren’t sentient so while that might be neat and all it’s hardly much more than recycling.

        • Chris Says:

          Now, don’t get all nihilist on me. Besides, under most versions of reincarnation, you’d come back as an animal, which is not quite what I’d consider sentient.

          And anyhow, by your own admission, you don’t believe in the concept of reincarnation. From what I know of you, you don’t believe in any afterlife. So that means you’d believe when you die, nothingness is what happens. So why do you still care about anything, and I know you do?

          • Rob Says:

            I’m totally working in hypotheticals with this. And while I suspect that oblivion is probably the final outcome I am also smart enough to know how little I know and that I could be wrong on many, many things. And the concept of reincarnation into an animal is someone’s interpretation of it.

            Humans into humans is how I’d want it in my own version of “pick your afterlife.”

  3. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    According to Dr. Granville Dharmawardena of Colombo University reincarnation may be defined as the re-embodiment of an immaterial part of a person after a short or a long interval after death, in a new body whence it proceeds to lead a new life in the new body more or less unconscious of its past existences, but containing within itself the “essence” of the results of its past lives, which experience goes to make up its new character or personality.
    In the seventeenth century Rene Descartes divided everything in the universe into two realms as “Res Extensa” (matter) and “Res Cogitans” (mind). Gathering knowledge within the realm of Res Extensa was called Science and the phenomenon of reincarnation got pushed into the other realm Res Cogitans which was not considered suitable for scientific probing. Science developed in the framework of Res Estensa is known as “Classical Science”. Classical science had tremendous material achievements because it helped all round growth of technology which brought about prosperity to mankind. The air of frame work of Classical Science was blown out by Henry Becquerel in 1896 by the discovery of Radioactivity. The discovery of Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein in early 20th Century gave it further blow. The advent of Quantum Theory and the Uncertainty Principle did the rest. It is significant to note that Einstein’s discovery fall entirely within the frame work of Res Cogitans as it did not involve any experiments or measurements. Gravitation Force Theory of Newton is also an example of such observation and intuition work involving no experiments and measurements.

    Modern Science enhanced man’s knowledge surpassing the restrictions imposed by the five senses and took us to hidden areas of nature and profound changes had been introduced in procedures of science. Our ability to understand everything by way of perceptible mental pictures is reduced and it became necessary to imagine models with components which behaved in ways that had no counterparts at all in the world familiar to us. In most cases mechanisms involved in these models not only are imperceptible but also consist of elements that operate in ways never known in the world that we actually experience through sensory inputs.
    Modern science tied up the two realms, Res Extensa and Res Cogitans and made us to understand that they are not independent and cannot be completely studied independently. Within the establishment of modern science some of the aspects of nature that did not strictly adhere to the realm of Res Extensa, which were therefore earlier condemned as unbecoming of scientists to talk about have become respectable. Reincarnation falls into this category
    Reincarnation is a very old belief and a large fraction of the world population believes it. For example Rene Descartes’ statement “What I have said is sufficient to show clearly enough that the extinction of the mind does not follow from the corruption of the body and also to give men the hope of another life after death” in 1641 confirms his belief in reincarnation. About 20 percent of those in the Western World whose religions shun reincarnation nevertheless believe it. According to opinion polls this percentage is rising.
    Lisa Miller, Religion Editor of Newsweek says that Americans are becoming more Hindus. According to 2008 Harris Poll 24% of Americans says they believe in reincarnation
    Steven J Rosen writes in The Reincarnation Controversy, Uncovering the Truth in World Religions (New Age Books) that belief in reincarnation allows us to see ourselves as architects of our own future. Rosen raises certain queries,‘ what is it that reincarnates from one body to another? Is it the soul? the mind? the intellect? To understand this we should suggest answer to these questions. We all know that there are four fundamental forces in the universe viz., gravitation force, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. I have written a paper entitled ‘Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator’ and presented it at the 1st International Conference on Revival of Traditional Yoga held in Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla in January 2006. In this paper I have defined soul (individual consciousness), mind and body. According to this every point of action of Gravitational Force Field is individual consciousness or soul, electromagnetic force as the force of mind and weak and strong nuclear force as the gross material force which constitute physical frame of body.
    Consciousness is All Intelligent and pervades everywhere. Although all other remaining three forces are also intelligent but they are subordinate to Gravitational Force. THIS DESCRIPTION WILL HELP TO UNDERSTAND ‘WHAT IS IT THAT REINCARNATES FROM ONE BODY TO ANOTHER.
    According to Buddhism this is not the supreme atman or soul that ties one life to another, instead it talks about past lives as evolvement of consciousness, emergence of a new personality from the same stream of consciousness.
    Reincarnation is not an exclusively Eastern precept. It is contained in some form in almost every major religion and mystical philosophy. Research indicates that it was an accepted doctrine, at least in some quarters, at the time of Christ, and is still an integral part of some sects of the Jewish tradition. The Bible contain no condemnation of the principle of reincarnation, and in fact, when Christ was asked when Elijah would return, he answered that Elijah had returned, referring to John the Baptist.
    Sakina Yusuf Khan writes in an article A Night Of Forgiveness published in The Speaking Tree: “It (Shab-e-Barat) is also a festival associated with the dead. It is believed that the souls of the dead are set free on this night to visit their relatives.” What this indicates? This is a belief in reincarnation, of course in subtle body. Sadia Dehlvi also writes in her article Jesus In Islam published in The Speaking Tree (August 29, 2010) that both Islam and Christianity believe that Christ will return to destroy the Antichrist. This is affirmation to reincarnation although in some restricted sense.
    It is clear from the above descriptions that both Islam and Christianity appear not to opposed to reincarnation. Of course, they don’t believe reincarnation in broader sense as Hindus do.
    Unaccomplished activities of past lives are also one of the causes for reincarnation. Some of us reincarnate to complete the unfinished tasks of previous birth. The is evident from my own story of reincarnation:
    “My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state of mine. This was sort of REVELATION.
    HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth of Spiritual Head Radhasoami Faith.
    Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”
    I am one the chief expounder and supporter of Gravitation Force Theory of God. This is most scientific and secular theory of God. This is the Theory of Universal Religion. I have given Higher Theory of Everything. Sometimes back I posted this as comments to a blog on:
    ‘Fighting of the Cause of Allah by Governing a Smart Mathematics Based on Islamic Teology’
    By Rohedi of Rohedi Laboratories, Indonesia. Rohedi termed my higher theory of everything more wonderful than which has been developed by Stephen Hawking. Some details are quoted below:
    @anirudh kumar satsangi
    Congratulation you have develop the higher theory of everything more wonderful than which has been developed by Stephen Hawking. Hopefully your some views for being considered for Unified Field Theory are recognized by International Science Community, hence I soon read the fundamental aspect proposed by you.
    I have posted my comments to the Blog of Syed K. Mirza on Evolutionary Science vs. Creation Theory, and Intellectual Hypocrisy. Syed Mirza seems to be a very liberal muslim. He responded to my comments as mentioned below.
    “Many thanks for your very high thought explanations of God.
    You said:
    “Hence it can be assumed that the Current of Chaitanya (Consciousness) and Gravitational Wave are the two names of the same Supreme Essence (Seed) which has brought forth the entire creation. Hence it can be assumed that the source of current of consciousness and gravitational wave is the same i.e. God or ultimate creator.
    (i) Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator, Source of Gravitational Wave is God”
    Whatever you call it, God is no living God of any religion. Yes, when I call it “Mother Nature” is the God generated from all Natural forces and Gravitational force is the nucleus of all forces or we can presume that Gravitation is the ultimate guiding principle of this Mother Nature we call it non-living God unlike living personal God of religions. I can not believe any personal God would do so much misery created for its creation. Hence, only non-living natural God can explain everything in the Universe. When we think of any living personal God, things do not ad up!”
    I have also discovered the mathematical expression for emotional quotient (E.Q.) and for spiritual quotient (S.Q.).
    Austrian Scientist Rudolf Steiner says,
    “Just as an age was once ready to receive the Copernican theory of the universe, so is our age ready for the idea of reincarnation to be brought into the general consciousness of humanity”.

    • Ayub Says:

      I am not so enthused by such writings. this is what I call it unbounded imagination just to show prove one’s the degree of perceptibly. When some tommorrow claims or atttempts to prove that there is anti Gravitational force or gravitational force is the resultant of some other force, then theories will change accordingly. No wonder India has more self ordained gurus than anywhere else. Strange people.

  4. Katherine Says:

    The asshole who wrote this just had DUMB IDEAS. Of course reincarnation is real, and I won’t explain why because you’re too stupid to understand.

    • Chris Says:

      Aw, thank you for your sensible and intelligent feedback! 🙂

    • PanteraEra Says:

      Sure, the person calling another person, “an asshole”, and cant even be bothered to explain why they “know” reincarnation is “real” because people are too “stupid” to understand is a sensible and logical person who makes complete sense and has proven how enlightened she is. Yup.

      I now have more reason NOT to believe in reincarnation.

      And to the author of this post, awesome post, your website is awesome, keep up the great work. 🙂

  5. anismdnor Says:

    Nice article!
    I’m a muslim(just saying I know you don’t give a shit bout this) and i don’t believe reincarnation really exist.

    • anismdnor Says:

      I came across this article as i tried to read more about reincarnation because i recently become really interested with anne frank story and happened to know that there is someone who admitted to be anne frank in the past (barbro karlen). It really pissed me off because i really adore anne frank and by reading your article, now i know i’m not the only one who thinks reincarnation is stupid.

  6. Ben drowned Says:

    I hope it doesn’t exist I hate being human I’d rather not exist entirely , become a god, or else a hyper advanced alien race.

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